Thursday, November 13, 2008


In the spirit of our 43rd President, I will occasionally create new words to reflect this brave new world we face. Or, should I say, this farcical new world we face. Today's word is "bamboozlization" or the act of bamboozling. This is exactly what the myriad banks, insurers, former credit card companies, mortgage companies, defaulting mortgage holders, and now manufacturers are doing in an attempt to swindle as much of our money into their coffers as possible. It's like the '49 Gold Rush, with wild eyed prospectors racing across the country to collect their piece of the pie. Except instead of the land being pillaged, it is the responsible American who gets up and goes to work to pay his taxes and his mortgage, and resisted living high on the hog in the heady years of easy credit for everyone, who is taking it on the chin. It is these people whose retirement savings, college funds, and home equity have taken a whalloping hit, from which they may never recover.

From the $700 billion bailout, thus far, 52 financial institutions have reportedly received preliminary or final approval for about $172 bn of the $250 bn available under the government’s capital-infusion program, according to Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, with another 23 companies that have submitted applications for an additional $4.6 bn. We've got the Big Three Automakers looking for another $25 million in addition to the $25 million in loans they just received, American Express looking for $3.5 billion, $150 million pumped into AIG (apparently to support executive spa retreats, but hey, it's been a tough year), and now Fannie Mae is looking for more moola. Home builders have proposed $268 in tax credits for homebuyers in 2009. As if that is not enough, the new mortgage rules instituted to help homeowners are geared specifically for those who have already defaulted, not for those people on the edge who are doing everything possible to pay their mortgages on time. Gee, I wonder what effect that will have? In this tough economic climate, do you suppose that a homeowner struggling to make payments might just think "I'll take a 3 month break from paying my mortgage, keep the cash for Christmas, and then let the government restructure my loan so it'll be easier to handle in the future"? Seems like a no brainer that this is the tact that many people will follow, thus resulting in a landslide of restructured, government assisted mortgages.

Face it folks, we were bamboozled by a corrupt Congress, Wall Street, Fannie and Freddie, ratings agencies, insurers, the SEC chairman, The Fed, and that was BEFORE the financial meltdown. We were bamboozled into handing over $700 billion pronto, or the country would implode. Now new bamboozlers are lining up in droves for handouts, because they know this is a free for all, that there is NO accountability for anyone's nefarious behavior (witness the re-election of all of the major Congressional bamboozlers who had their fingerprints all over the sub-prime mess which created this house of cards). We just stand there, mouths agape, wondering who is on our side. Nobody is on our side. We have to affect change ourselves, because the swindlers think we are sheep. It's time to revolt. It's time to get our "revolution" t-shirts and go to the Hill.

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