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It of course didn’t matter who won the 2012 Presidential elections….the riots after all were not a function of politics, but of mathematics. And numbers of course do not have any partisan identity. And numbers…when left to their own purposes….don’t lie…they just are what they are.
And the reality of the numbers facing the USA leading into 2013 were unavoidable. Romney was elected in a squeaker of an election and an even closer electoral college vote….but he was indeed elected. Ad he was elected on the promise to create 12 million jobs. Create jobs he was. Jobs for everyone. Gobs of Jobs and glorious things. And unlike all his previous experience…shipping jobs further and further offshore, Romney’s promise was to keep those jobs right here….stateside. The 2012 campaign was very much like Walt Disney’s Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Mittens waving his magic wand around while Bat Boy created a new set of numbers and economic principles…the likes of which the universe had never before seen. Those delusions were an absurd response to the pathetic reality made clear to the entire nation of the horrifying reality delivered by the anemic Obama administration…not exactly Carter’s malaise…it was more like malaise but with a terrifyingly brutal Billy club…called…the NDAA.
What was made absolutely certain was that a Romney/Ryan administration was going to bring WAR! GLORIOUS WAR! WAR ALL ACROSS THE PLANET! And war…especially in the short term…was indeed going to stoke up the fires of the Industrial Machine. As the economic numbers were spewing out of both official government sources (UNEMPLOYMENT UP/UNEMPLOYMENT DOWN) and out of private sources (STOCK MARKET UP/STOCK MARKET DOWN) as summer turned to fall in 2012…I realized that I was the only person in Amerika who wondered what any of those numbers would look like if the USA announced a cessation of hostilities around the globe. I wondered, “What would happen if the USA articulated a foreign policy of non-intervention and de-escalation of tensions?” And of course the answer was, “The US economy would crash if the war machine was not properly fed.” What was the economic impact of the War Machine on say….Florida’s economy. Not just the boys (and girls) on bases and in uniforms in Tampa and in Jacksonville, but all the boys and girls working for private contractors all across the state. They don’t wear uniforms and they don’t drive to bases. And their economic impact cannot be traced by looking at the federal or state budgets. As Frontline noted, in their series, “Top Secret America”, the amount we were all spending to bomb babies and maim mommas was…TOP SECRET.
Perhaps the biggest heaps of bullshit were showered down upon the Amerikan fools each time the jobs reports were published. UNEMPLOYMENT UP/UNEMPLOYMENT DOWN! And nearly everyone lapped up whatever those numbers were….no matter what they were…and without even talking the time to think about what they meant. The only number that matters was how many people were not able to feed their families….and how the densely populated cities were becoming increasingly concentrated with people who could not take care of themselves. Now sure, part of the solution was to continue to dump increasingly toxic poison down their turkey necks…fattening the whole of the population into a sick, sniveling, gelatinous blob. After years and years, the sickly bovine blobs couldn’t fight back even if they were able to muster up any contempt or conviction….but of course that was all part of the plan…wasn’t it? Well, it’s actually a bit more complicated than that.
Would you like to venture a guess at how many guns were in private possession in the good ‘ole USA? Of course no one had any idea…but the number was clearly MILLIONS. And how many bullets to load up into those guns? Of course no one had any idea…but the number was clearly BILLIONS. So when, in mid 2012, a few folks started feeling a bit anxious when hearing press releases about the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BUYS 436 MILLION ROUNDS OF AMMUNITION….they were just trying to play a little catch up in the WORLD’S LONGEST RUNNING SMALL ARMS RACE! And it’s a funny thing about MILLIONS OF GUNS and BILLIONS OF BULLETS just lying around wondering what their purpose in life really was…..at some point in time every object in the universe wants to fulfill its destiny. And a fluted barrel, cold forged AR-15, an object that can indeed live forever will never accept that its destiny is to merely attack cardboard…forever.
A few isolated gun massacres lighting up the press every few months and taking down a few innocent souls was really just a distraction…a side show…a diversion. The real story….the insanely off the tops story occurred weekend after weekend, year after year at county fair grounds all across Amerika…in that uniquely American cultural expression….THE GUN SHOW! Forget about illicit gun deals and MAC 10’s sold out of trunks down dark alleys….gun shows championed a massive proliferation of extraordinary firepower in the hands of everyday people! While, at various points in the nation’s history, we worked for A CHICKEN IN EVERY POT! Or, ERIDICATE CHICKENPOX! Or FOOD AND NUTRITION FOR EVERY CHILD! In Amerika 2012, the nation…rather subversively….advocated for AN AK-47 IN EVERY HOME! And, according to the best estimates of the FBI…and other folks who should know….that noble goal was indeed accomplished sometime prior to 2012.
Ok so what do we have? Dramatically rising food prices. Dramatically increasing real inflation. Increasing fiscal anxiety. And just to round things out, an explosive…and antagonizing….international environment. And a sophisticated propaganda machine expertly capable of whipping up frenzy and passions and finger (and gun) pointing…in every direction. What could possibly go wrong?
But anywhoo…back to the story…this is a story about Math. And something called Blowback and The Law. Lack of The Law and The Laws of Unintended Consequences. Amerika 2012 was indeed a lawless land. Lawless if you were a bank or a Wall Street titan. Gutting pensions and retirement accounts and the savings of millions of poor, dopey Amerikans became a pastime for the nation’s oligarchs….not unlike polo or yacht racing had been for decades previously…but the oligarchs and the plutocrats grew tired of prancing around on million dollar ponies and the Fraudclosure Barons got bored puttering their boats (paid for with money pilfered from millions of taxpayers)…so they invented increasingly brazen ways to take money from the dopey slaves that littered the American landscape….first they took homes, then they reached into bank accounts, then they just started ripping through and tearing apart pensions and 401ks and retirement accounts.
But even all of that wasn’t enough…the resources and the programs and the initiatives necessary to care for an increasingly dependent population continued to dwindle…while at the same time the needs continued to increase…while at the same time the percentage of the working population available to meet those needs continued to shrink…once again…what could possibly go wrong here?
It didn’t take much imagination to see what was going to happen in the USA…all you had to do was look at the riots in Spain and Greece and Canada even….except that The Press refused to report on what was happening in those exotic lands….far better they supposed to keep it all bottled up….but it was coming regardless….that’s math for ya!
The untold story in the foreclosure crisis unfolding across America is that, following a foreclosure perpetrated by one of the October 2008 Bailout Banks (e.g. Bank of America, Citibank, JPMorgan, Wells Fargo) Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac suddenly appear as the record owner of Average Joe’s home. These federal government sponsored entities then go into local housing court and get a court order authorizing them to evict Joe. If Joe resists, these supposedly charitable institutions obtain a writ ordering the local sheriff to forcibly remove Joe from his home.
Newt Gingrich recently admitted to accepting $1.8 million from Freddie Mac ($25,0000 to $30,000 a month during one span of time) for advising this proto-fascist entity. Gingrich claims that he supports Fannie and Freddie because he believes the federal government “should have programs to help low income people acquire the ability to buy homes.” But Fannie and Freddie don’t do this and never have. When government “helps” someone by subsidizing the purchase of something (through easy credit or lower-than-market rates), it makes that something more expensive. Helping someone buy something that is overpriced because of your help is not help. Fannie/Freddie subsidies not only hurt the low income people they intend to help, they hurt everyone by subsidizing, and therefore distorting, the entire housing market. Fannie/Freddie’s charity has now taken a dark turn. Like their Depression-era New Deal predecessor the Regional Agricultural Credit Corp., Fannie/Freddie are now repossessing homes at an increasing and alarming rate.
Mr. Gingrich either does not understand economics – government subsidies make things more expensive, not less expensive, and therefore hurt their intended beneficiaries – or he is a vain, selfish, and cynical man with no interest in actually helping his neighbor.
THE OCTOBER 2008 BAILOUT PAID OFF THE HOLDERS OF MORTGAGE BACKED SECURITES AND DERIVATIVE INSUREDS
The facts indicate that the Federal Reserve “printed” at least 16 trillion dollars as part of the 2008 bailouts. The bigger questions, however, who got it, why and what did the Fed get in return? The Fed doesn’t just print money. It prints money to buy stuff. Most often this is U.S. Treasuries. That changed in October of 2008. In and after October 2008 the Fed printed new money to buy mortgage-backed securities (MBS) that were defaulting at a rapid rate. Want proof? Here is a link to the Federal Reserve balance sheet which shows that the Fed is holding over a trillion dollars in mortgage backed securities that it began acquiring in 2008.
Why is the Federal Reserve holding all these MBS? Because when “the market” collapsed in September of 2008, what really collapsed is the Fannie/Freddie/Wall Street mortgage “daisy chain” securitization scheme. As increasing numbers of MBS went into default, the purchasers of derivatives (naked insurance contracts betting on MBS default) began filing claims against the insurance writers (e.g. AIG) demanding payment. This started in February 2007 when HSBC Bank announced billions in MBS losses, gained momentum in June of 2007 when Bear Stearns announced $3.8 billion in MBS exposure in just one Bear Stearns fund, and further momentum with the actual collapse of Bear Stears in July and August of 2007. By September of 2008, the Bear Stearns collapse proved to be the canary in the coal mine as the claims on off-balance sheet derivatives became the cascading cross defaults that Alan Greenspan warned could collapse the entire Western financial system.
Part of what happened in October 2008 is that the Federal Reserve paid AIG’s and others’ derivative obligations to the insureds (pension funds, hedge funds, major banks, foreign banks) who held the naked insurance contracts guaranteeing Average Joe’s payments. To understand this, imagine that a cataclysmic event occurred in the U.S. that destroyed nearly every car in the U.S. and further that Allstate insured all of these cars. That is what happened to AIG. When the housing market collapsed and borrowers began defaulting on their securitized loans, AIG’s derivative obligations exceeded its ability (or willingness) to pay. So the Fed stepped in as the insurer of last resort and bailed out AIG (and probably others). When an insurer pays on a personal property claim, it has “subrogation” rights. This means when it pays it has the right to demand possession of the personal property it insured or seek recovery from those responsible for the loss. In Allstate’s case this is wrecked cars. In the case of AIG and the Fed, it is MBS. That is what the trillions of MBS on the Fed’s balance sheet represent: wrecked cars that Fannie and Freddie are now liquidating for scrap value.
Thank you Mr. Gingrich. Great advice.
BUT FANNIE/FREDDIE WASN’T MY LENDER AND WASN’T MY MORTGAGEE, SO HOW CAN THEY TAKE MY HOUSE?
To understand how it came to be that the Fed has paid Average Joe’s original actual lender (the MBS purchaser) and now Fannie and Freddie are trying to take Joe’s home, you first have to understand some mortgage law and securitization basics.
Attorneys General from all across this country conspired with the banks to sell out the American people. The press conference announcing the deal…and in fact the entire way it was delivered to the people was a remarkable form of propaganda…it was released while we were sleeping, sold as something it is not and when we find out no one bothers to report…well, at least the NY Times still does real journalism….