Monday, September 15, 2008

Dear Wall Street,


Hope this morning rocks your world.

You crazy kids, always wanting to privatize profits, but then make public all the risk. Like today, AIG is sniffing around for some help, just as Lehmen Brothers did. And god bless the US government for not bailing them out.

Sometimes you have to fail to learn a lesson. Kind of like how conservatives weren't interested in helping people who signed up for adjustable mortgages, right? "Those dumb people need to learn a lesson," was the sentiment, I believe. Ah, yes. That works... rich investors make money, and then when things start to break, the risk is transferred to the public via bailouts.



Did you know that in Lehman has been around for over 158 years and had never reported a quarterly loss until this June? Shocker.

From Asia Times:

"An enormous hoax has been perpetrated on global financial markets during the past 10 years. An American economy based on opening containers from China and selling the contents at Wal-Mart, or trading houses back and forth, provides scant profitability. Where the underlying profitability of the American economy was poor, financial engineering managed to transform thin profits into apparently fat ones through the magic of leverage.

The income of American consumers might have stagnated, but the price of their houses doubled during 1998-2007 thanks to the application of leverage to mortgage finance. The profitability of American corporations might have slowed, but the application of leverage in the form of mergers and acquisitions financed with junk bonds multiplied the thin band of profitability.

Wall Street and the City of London rode an unprecedented wave of profitability by providing overpriced leverage to consumer and corporate markets. Led by the financial engineers at Lehman, the securities industry grew an enormous infrastructure of staff, systems, and financial exposure. They were so successful that when the music stopped, there was no way to liquidate this mechanism gracefully. It only could be allowed to collapse."


Oh, and HERE'S another treasure:

Other hedge fund managers recognize the dangers and the harm that is befalling bank employees who have been paid in their companies’ stocks . “My children, their playmates’ fathers work at Lehman,” said one manager who is short Lehman and asked to remain anonymous, citing the sensitivity of the situation. “Obviously I had nothing to do with what happened, and the idea that I profited, and they got clobbered, and I’ve got to see them on Monday is awkward. I feel badly for them.”

78 comments:

Anonymous said...

Decorno,

You are the biggest bitch around. You take pleasure in others misery. You make me sick, and this is the last time I will click onto your blog.

Simone said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simone said...

I had to repost because I saw anonymous' post - did we read the same posting??? I hope that this travesty on Wall Street is well-addressed in the election votes because there are not enough words in the English language to put them all on blast nor do I think that they care.

Decorno said...

Anon, if you don't get it, I can't help you.

I am not sure how expressing my disappointment in how certain members of the capitalist class are basically undoing our financial stability makes me a bitch.

Decorno said...

Ha, Simone... I know. I really don't get the first comment at all. I think this person may have failed "Reading Comprehension" in school.

Oh well. Maybe that person doesn't have any money in the market like the rest of us, so it's easy for him/her to remain ignorant and not worry.

amymezzell said...

Sometimes I really try to believe people are posting things like that first entry just to stir things up for their own pleasure. I'm hoping they're not regular readers and somehow came across this blog they know nothing about and just posted something randomly ridiculous because they thought it would be funny.

D, you are so right. If they don't get it now, they never will. Lots of people must be like this to have this stuff still going on.

Anonymous said...

Washington Mutal is another gem.
My parents are retired after working their asses off and now their Wamu bonds, (most conservative investment practically) is worth pennies on the dollar. How are they going to live off of that?
Wall Street get a clue.

hello gorgeous said...

Decorno,

That must be the anon from the other day, still trying to come up with one thing Bush did right and couldn't and now this? I'd leave, too.

It's tragic, what happened today, but it had to happen. I do feel sorry for all the innocent bystanders to Wall Street's greed. And not just from the collapse of Lehman.

One example, a colleague of my husband has a client who just inherited quite a lot of money from his father, who recently passed away (early this year). He put everything in Fannie and Freddie, as some of the safest instruments around.

Well, sadly, you know the end of that story.

More than that, though, I worry about retirees, teacher's pension funds, the list goes on - all of whom put blind trust in their financial advisors and institutions.

However, if you bought a (first or second) home that you couldn't afford and you got an interest-only loan with the intention of refinancing later or flipping it, I don't feel sorry for you. Or if you refinanced 5 times to pay off your credit cards. Or if you're in debt up to here because you had to have the big house, the humongous SUV, the in-home theater that you really couldn't afford it but you got it to impress the neighbors, again, not sorry. Somebody has to start taking responsibility for his/her/its actions. Unfortunately, there is a lot of additional fallout. And it's not over, I suspect.

However, you will have the opportunity, as Simone reminds, to voice your opinion and be heard on Nov. 4.

Ivy Lane said...

Decorno, You are RIGHT ON!!!

Anonymous said...

Are you saying your a part of the socialist class? The communist class? Just wondering what you mean by capitalist class.

Decorno said...

Oh, I am definitely a cog in the capitalist machine. What I really mean are capitalist operators... people who have the means to create complicated financial mechanisms that most people can't create or access. I am thinking of hedge funds and hedge fund managers, specifically.

I am a proponent of capitalism in general. I just happen to agree with John Bogle, the founder of Vanguard, who recently commented that the financial markets are increasingly complicated by financial mechanisms that aren't really about public "ownership" of companies, but that are mechanisms for easy trades and weirdly leveraged deals that make it easy for things to come undone so quickly, as they have today.

Anonymous said...

One would think it would be a wake up call; guess Americans haven't yet reached their pinnacle of suffering; may take America's crumble like the Roman Empire before the hard headed Republicans awake. $5/gallon at the pump isn't doing it for them -- it's got to get much worse before they'll feel it and start suffering and that is when there will be real change! Wake up people -- it's the economy, stupids!

the quarter rat said...

Gore Vidal put it best when he described our system as socialism for the rich and free enterprise for the poor (or merely middle class).

This crisis was years in the making - short-sellers just put the nail in the coffin. This shit is nothing new: short-selling has been going on since the 1600s - short sellers were blamed for the Dutch Tulip Bubble of 1637.

L said...

Anonymous @ 6:33 a.m. No, you have it backwards -- it's the Republicians who enjoy seeing the masses suffer for they like to feel "separate" from it -- your party put on its ticket a person who lives and breaths drama, which equates to suffering and she takes it with her wherever she goes, gets off on being a nasty bitch -- she's basically the "biggest bitch around."

It's the Republicans who put their heads in the sand regarding the plight of the vast majority, call us "whiners," so don't cry foul here because their treasures are now threatened. Why don't you concern yourself with getting a "conscious" instead of defending the actions of the guilty who are responsible for the mess America is in!

Anonymous said...

The first poster believes Decorno is a bitch. Wonder what he/she thinks about the republicunt who could become president.

Anonymous said...

Decorno,

When you asked what *your* readers wanted on your blog, did anyone actually ask you to talk politics every single day?

Geez, you're angry. Give it a rest and take a breath.

Anonymous said...

The first poster believes Decorno is a bitch. Wonder what he/she thinks about the republicunt who could become president.

Decorno said...

Anon 8:19: We're having the worst financial crisis of at least the last 50 years and maybe the last 100 years.

For a lot of people, these problems mean they can't afford a new lamp/sofa/ikat pillow. I think since the blog is about decor, which really means matters of the homefront, that I am right on point to be talking about this today.

Anonymous said...

Hello Gorgeous, get a clue! You feel bad for the client who lost his money when he put ALL his inheritance in Fannie and Freddie? Safe or not, how stupid do you have to be to put all your funds in one type of instrument?

People who put blind trust in their financial advisers are automatically at fault. You don't think the investor holds any responsibility? Does it have to be explicitly stated in bold that nobody cares more about your money, than YOURSELF? Do some research, read the business section.

There are, no doubt, innocent bystanders. But you're feeling sorry for the wrong crowd!

Decorno, a little callous, but justified.

CashmereLibrarian said...

Decorno, I love how you talk.

Decorina said...

I posted about Freddie and Fannie yesterday - in fact the post is titled Privatize the Profits and Socialize the Losses.

Go Decorno.

The economy may need to sink the ship these thieves sailed in on for many of them to finally understand that we are being screwed.

A friend, (sort of anyway) told me she is going to vote for McSame. I asked her where she was going to register to vote because she has missed three mortgage payments and her house will be auctioned this weekend. She is going to be on the street with her 12 year old son! What does it take to get through to these people?

Anonymous said...

Let me help clarify history:

In 1977, Carter, along with a Democrat Congress, created a worthy project with noble intentions—the Community Reinvestment Act. Over strong industry objections, it mandated that all banks meet the credit needs of their entire communities.

In 1995, President Clinton imposed even stronger regulations and performance tests that coerced banks to substantially increase loans to low-income, poverty-area borrowers or face fines or possible restrictions on expansion. These revisions allowed for securitization of CRA loans containing subprime mortgages.

By 1997, good loans were bundled with poor ones and sold as prime packages to institutions here and abroad. That shifted risk from the loan originators, freeing banks to begin pyramiding and make more of these profitable subprime products.

Under two young, well-intended presidents, therefore, big-government plans and mandates played a significant role in the current subprime mortgage mess and its catastrophic consequences for the U.S. and international economies.

Hardest-hit by the mortgage foreclosures have been the citizens that Democrats always claim to help most—inner-city residents who fell victim to low or no down payment schemes, unexpected adjustable rates, deceptive loan applications and commission-hungry salespeople.

Now we're having to bail out at huge cost Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the very agencies that were supposed to stabilize the system. In time, this should improve the situation. But the party of Carter and Clinton that midwifed our mortgage mess now wants to be trusted to take over and have the government run our entire system of health care.

Decorno said...

So, what you're really saying is that our current two-term Republican president could not recognize the problem he inherited from Clinton and did nothing to fix it for all these years.

Got it.

Decorno said...

And let's take a moment to credit your source:

http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=305938528597493

Decorina said...

Oh, and hello to anon 8:19 - I would have thought that your penchant for calling bloggers you don't agree with "one angry woman" would have worn thin by now. Apparently not.

Decorno will find it as hilarious as I did when you used it on me.

You seriously need some new material.

Anonymous said...

Decorina - sorry, you must have the wrong person. I don't believe I've ever visited your blog.

Anonymous said...

Nice try, Annon 9:08, but today's crisis is the result of failed policies of the past 8 years and an ill-gotten, murderous war that stole from our Treasury!

With today's news of the "melting of Wall Street" those who felt separate by their wealth will feel enough pain to rethink the McCain ticket because with it comes more suffering, more loss and this time it will filter down to all!

All McCain has is lies, he has nothing to stand on, so he can only lie.

Decorina said...

OK, my bad. Or at least it would be if I believed you. No matter, you anons are all the same.

Decorina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I guess I don't see this as a political issue despite it's convenient proximity to the election.

The collective American "we" have benefitted from this house of cards with low interest rates, record high numbers of home owners, and high returns in our 401ks, IRAs, pension plans, as well as a traditionally strong currency over the same time period in which the 30-year fixed mortgage spawned any number of exotic progeny. Now that the cards are left in a heap and the government has moved in to try and re-build the house we want to participate in a macabre celebration of Wall Street’s demise while bemoaning the fact that we have to bail ourselves out. If we all look a little bit closer it’s our funeral at which we’re choosing to wear red.

Julia said...

Wow. Some of your readers work on Wall Street or in the finance industry and this is how we make our living. And we're proud of it.

Maya said...

Julia, I concur!

Decorno said...

Julie & Maya - there is a difference between simply working in Wall Street or the financial sector and actually devising large-scale schemes to manipulate the market, create financial instruments that put the whole economy in peril, etc.

Unless you are part of the latter, I wouldn't take offense.

hello gorgeous said...

Anon whenever: Oh, I do have a clue. And I am all about diversification. But this was a very temporary measure until some estate paperwork was finalized and I was trying to illustrate how quickly it happened.

And even the financial "experts" didn't see this coming. Not really. Not to this extent.

So you think some retired schoolteachers who are trying to pull together a pension fund saw it coming? You get real.

Beyond Wall Street and Corporate and public greed, there are a lot of innocent bystanders, who were sold instruments or mortgages they didn't really understand as "safe" by somebody they trusted. And many of the guys selling them thought they were safe!

Not everybody is a smart as you are, anon.

Anonymous said...

decorina:

No one goes on your blog. And apparently neither do you. You're always here.

And if anons are all the same, why do you keep responding to them?

tritesprite said...

Wow! Many nerves have been pinched. I guess that's to be expected when money is involved.

Truth be told, there is no one party that is to blame here. Though the current administration DID willfully disdain several prominent economists who predicted disaster.

Part of the problem is the shell game that these structured investments allowed to be played.

Part of the problem is/was the widespread support and enabling of the largest housing bubble in history by the administration.

But you can put most of the blame on the shoulders of lack of regulation of the financial markets. Because of bank regulation after the Great Depression, we have avoided similar scenarios for almost 100 years. These newfangled structured investments moved what used to be the banks' job to investment firms, and regulation of investment firms has historically been lax. You can bet that will change now...

Sigh. It's much more fun to figure out if this lamp makes me look fat. (Well? Does it??)

Anonymous said...

I don't mind Decorno deviating from home decor...it's just a bit like a gawddogger. Always finger pointing, always so far left that there isn't a middle ground. Extremists on either side end up coming across and coo-coos. I think most know it's time to get religion out of politics but the super-liberalism almost comes across like a religion.

Anonymous said...

This just seems like the beginning-more investment banks may close. Wonder what will happen to the real estate market in Manhattan?

Anonymous said...

This blog has gone from " d├ęcor porn" to throat slashing liberal trash talk. Yuck.

Anonymous said...

Pardon me, Decorno, but for the last four years both houses of Congress have been controlled by Deomocrats, so there's blame to go around in terms of "solving the problem Bush inherited."

At least you admit that Bush inherited a problem, that is progress.

Problems this deep and complicated are not resolved quickly. Especially when our country has been attacked by Terrorists only a few short years ago.

We are all Americans. And we are all impacted by these frightening economic circumstances. But it doesn't serve anyone to spew venom at others people or parties or not allocate blame honestly. I won't defend going into Iraq, that probably was wrong, but McCain supported best plan to resolve the mess. Obama now admits this plan worked beyond his "wildest expectatiions.."

MaryBeth said...

It was always to make a buck. Why don't these CEO and CFO and COO's have to give back their bonuses and salaries and stock sales to make up for all the losses? No they just walk away after nobody will bail them out and they will find another job and figure out away to do it again.
But then again we were all (not all so don't get mad at me) living on borrowed money. We had to know our houses were not worth what the banks were allowing us to borrow.

Anonymous said...

To I at 8:16 am:

Let us not blame all republicans. Pretty please.

Since the Decorno brought up the Fannie Mae mess in her post I only have one name for you:

Jamie Gorelick

But you will have a very emotional response to that I suspect. And you will have excuses for her behavior. Heaven forbid a democrat(appointed) does something shady. There is blame on both sides.

The AIG mess scares me more than what is happening today.

Ah Decorno- sometimes my blood pressure can't take your posts. But I read you anyway because at least your view points are backed up by facts- even though you may not represent the facts from the other side. And you have great taste!

Anonymous said...

I am so upset right now. My husband's whole life insurance policy, which we have been paying monthly for 7 years, may all vanish if AIG can't make it through this week. F******* greed on Wall Street.

decorno said...

Thanks anon.

I don't think this is a Republican/Democrat issue. Honestly. There is enough blame to go around.

My concern is a do-nothing government that probably saw this coming. Enough people have been offering warnings.

And when I quote the morning papers about selling short, let me remind everyone that George Soros - a famous liberal - brought the Bank of England to its knees in 1992 by doing just that. So questionable financial tactics are employed by people on both sides of the fence. Never said this was a republican issue. Just disappointed it's gone on this long. And glad that the government isn't bailing every company out.

Anonymous said...

Decorno- you are a class act. It just frustrates me when people like 'I at 8:16 am' make blanket comments.

And to 'I at 8:16 am'- in no way am I making light of what you are feeling. Just want you see both sides sometimes.

Decorno- I tip my hat to you, my dear. I appreciate you taking the time to keep with your commenters.

anon 1:30pm

skywaykate said...

Loved the post because you tell it like it is.

Highly recommend that everyone listen to the second segment of "This American Life" from this past weekend: it talks about the lack of action by the SEC chairmen to change the game that led to this, even when given free reign to ask the government for whatever money he needed to make sure that the same agency that was issuing credit ratings (for these bonds, etc.) wasn't the same agency selling them--or at least that how they were doing this was ethical.

Like decorno said, the TAL podcast talks about how some of it actually happened ["I just happen to agree with John Bogle, the founder of Vanguard, who recently commented that the financial markets are increasingly complicated by financial mechanisms that aren't really about public "ownership" of companies, but that are mechanisms for easy trades and weirdly leveraged deals that make it easy for things to come undone so quickly, as they have today."].

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?episode=363

Oh, and the first segment on the show is a story about humorous (though ethically questionable) group of people who mess with a Nigerian scammer.

skywaykate said...

BTW, favorite phrase of the day:

"spawned any number of exotic progeny."

Thanks, anon. 9:44

skywaykate said...

OK, only one more for now, I promise, because then I have to get back to work and actually be productive to keep my piece of the capitalist cog turning.

To those on either side of the political spectrum: I highly doubt that anyone will change their political views over this because everyone will be blaming everyone else, and then will become even further entrenched in their previously held views.

Republicans will blame the Democratic-controlled Congress for not keeping an eye on it, the democrats will blame greedy republicans/the president, and they'll also scape goat a few people and then go on to say this is why McCain is needed, he's a maverick who'll stand up to it, and Obama will say he'll make them reform their ways, and we'll keep going in circles.

Many people will just give up on trying to equate this to something politically because either they've lost too much money, don't know how much they've lost and therefore don't care, or have faith that the free market will correct itself and the US will be back to being strong.

And yes, the few at the top who should be held liable will walk away with their millions (maybe reduced from billions because of the crash), and they'll hide out until this is washed over and then be rehired by their old cronies at the next place they land.

Those are the folks we should be going after, the people actually in power to do something about the greediness, but they're the greediest of all.

Government bail out might be good because it helps the small guy retain some of his equity, but it's bad for teaching them a lesson, and we still pay anyway--either with our taxes or our loss of retirement funds.

hello gorgeous said...

skywaykate - that was my favorite phrase as well. I wasn't going to say so since I've already used my allotted number of posts today but I have to correct Anon 1:12 - The Democrats didn't take control of Congress until 2006. And the session didn't start until Jan. of '07.

Decorno said...

Anon 9:44 - how did I miss your comment earlier? You get the smartest comment award for sure. Thanks for posting here today.

Hello G - you could never leave too many comments. We love you here.

Anonymous said...

http://blogs.wsj.com/deals/2008/09/15/where-was-lehmans-board/

Where Was Lehman’s Board?

Nine of them are retired. Four of them are over 75 years old. One is a theater producer, another a former Navy admiral. Only two have direct experience in the financial-services industry.

Meet the Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. external board directors, a group of 10 people who, perhaps unknowingly, carried the health of the world’s financial system on their shoulders the past 18 months.

Who was on this board? Until the 2008 arrival of former US Bancorp chief Jerry Grundhofer, the group was lacking in current financial-knowledge firepower. A number of the members did have past financial-markets expertise, but most of their working lives were tied to a different era: The one before massive securitization, credit-default swaps, derivatives trading, and all the risks those products created.

The board’s members include John Macomber, 80 years old, a former McKinsey & Co. consultant and chief executive of chemical-maker Celanese Corp; John Akers, 74, former IBM chief; Thomas A. Cruikshank, 77, chief executive of Halliburton Co. prior to Vice President Dick Cheney; and Henry Kaufman, 81. In the 1970s and ’80s, Kaufman, the chief economist at Salomon Brothers, was known as “Dr. Doom” for his bearish views on the U.S. economy. Ironically, in April, Mr. Kaufman termed the credit crisis a “global calamity” and criticized the Federal Reserve for “providing only tepid oversight of commercial banking.”

Other current members include: Sir Christopher Gent, 60, the one-time chief of mobile-phone company Vodafone PLC; theater producer Roger S. Berlind, 75; former Telemundo Chief Executive Roland Hernandez, 50; Michael Ainslie, 64, former chief executive of Sotheby’s Holdings; Marsha Johnson Evans, 61, one-time head of the Red Cross and a former Navy rear admiral.

Until 2006, Lehman’s board included Dina Merrill, the 83-year-old actress once featured in the old Katharine Hepburn movie “Desk Set,” as well as “Caddyshack II.”

How much was Lehman’s board monitoring the company’s on-going risk as it began accumulating its portfolio of real-estate assets and securities? In both 2006 and 2007, the risk committee of Lehman’s board met twice each year, according to Lehman’s SEC filings.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:12 here. I believe Dems took control of Senate in '04 and House in '06. If you're going to blame Sept. 11 on Republicans then blame credit crisis on Democrats.

Decorno said...

What a minute - who blamed 9/11 on the Republican? Did someone write that here in the comments somewhere? I don't see that.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:12:

Wrong again.

Can't you be bothered to spend 7 seconds doing one of the easiest web searches imaginable? No excuse for your laziness.

"The Republicans would hold on to the House until the United States Congressional elections, 2006, during which the Democrats won back control of both the House of Representatives and, narrowly, the Senate."
--Wikipedia.

Decorina said...

No one blamed the Reps for 9/11. The anons are just sorta touchy these days.

Kristin said...

Well, anon 9:44, I think people are expressing fiendish pleasure in this situation because the bad practices of the greedy and powerful are finally coming to light. Things are so bad now that they can't be ignored. Hopefully the media will change its practices and start regularly dispensing information and thoughtful analysis instead of candy, and the American people will learn how to be more vigilant in demanding honest practices. A lot of people were blindsided by these developments because they didn't have information to make choices.

hello gorgeous said...

Anon 1:12/3:44 pm: The Democrats took control of both the Senate and Congress in Nov. '06 - trust me, it was a big day for me.

They did not start the session until Jan. '07 and the credit crisis started rearing its head in late spring/early summer of that year. I remember asking my husband in June of '07 if he thought there could be another Depression if everything collapsed at once and he said that too many safeguards were in place to prevent such a thing from ever happening again. Hmmmmmm.

Anyway, don't lay false blame. The blame for this crisis doesn't even lie with one party or the other any more than it lies solely with Lehman. Some MBAs somewhere likely started it, but the banks, financial institutions, government and public were equally involved and now everyone will pay. Not just Lehman and Merrill and AIG and Wachovia and WaMu and IndyMac, but you and me and our local banks the next time anybody tries to get a loan, that is, if there isn't a run on them first (God help us).

It's not a time for joy; it's scary out there, people.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:12/3:44 pm:
Jesus, can't you do a basic Google search?
2004 Senate: 51 Republicans/48 Democrats/1 Independent
After the November election in 2004, the breakdown was 55 Republicans/44 Democrats/1 Independent

2006 House: 232 Republicans/202 Democrats
After the November 2006 midterms, the breakdown was 202 Republicans/233 Democrats
sheesh

Anonymous said...

Thank you, George Allen, for calling a young Indian guy "Macaca" and thus losing Virginia and handing the Senate over to the Democrats, in...

2006.

Another great moment in the Republican Party!

Anonymous said...

Well, I 'm not the earlier anons. And the arguments are interesting. Obviously the dismantling of financial controls was a bad idea. Its been going on since Reagan, through Clinton and now GWB. The Senate and House have been through several changes of party and several warning crises but here we are now. And did anyone else notice that the last quote about the guy shorting his company seems to be a public admission of insider trading in a particularly despicable way?

eM said...

i worked for an investment banking/brokerage firm for years, and even my low-level admin ass raked in the dough. 90% of those people were straight up dirtbags. the lone lady stock broker took my starving artist self aside and helped me make a plan, bless her french couture clad heart

tracey said...

Hi Decorno
I have been reading your blog for awhile now, but have never left a comment before. (I do love your blog!)My brother and husband both work in the share markets and both are hurting. However, yes, we have had many good years before and can accept what is happening now.But, being that I am not American, when I visit America (last time 2 months ago) I am always flabberghasted by how "entitled" Americans think they are. They want, want, want, but don't necessarily think they should pay. They live way beyond their means and when it finally catches up to them, they cry foul.Some families live in houses that they could never afford and, although it is terrible and unethical that the banks gave them these loans in the first place, they should also bear the responsibility for their own actions. Yes, Wall Street (and the capatalist operators)have a lot to answer for, but so do we - the consumers who buy things that we can't afford don't need and shouldn't have. Please do not send me hate mail - I love America, I love my country (a little America in the making), but I can take, and do take, responsibility for my own actions.
I hope you don't take offence.
Tracey

tracey said...

By the way, I feel (even though I am not American) I have a right to comment as we know in my small, insignificant country, that when America sneezes, the whole world catches a cold. Everything done on Wall Street affects me, your elections affect me (PLEASE vote responsibly! - can't tell you how, but goodness I am so worried about the one possibility!)
Tracey

Anonymous said...

Nothing pisses me off more than foreigners telling me how to vote.

And stop generalizing - there are plenty of us Americans who bought houses that we can actually afford...even after our mortgage rates adjust.

Anonymous said...

It pisses you off to be told to vote "responsibly"?!

amymezzell said...

Anon 7:53, Tracey (to whom you ignored the actual name and just called a 'foreigner')never generalized about Americans buying things they can't afford. She clearly said "Some families live in houses that they could never afford ..."

Tracey was also very tactful when asking you to merely vote responsibly - she could have easily told you who she wishes we would elect, but she didn't.

You need to get over yourself and stop firing off lame, generalized complaints.

Anonymous said...

How dismal is all of this? As I wait for the next shoe to fall I wonder if my future is about to unravel. My husband and I have investments, as many of you do, and I am paralyzed. Do we ride it out and stay where we are? Do we pull it out and invest in precious metals? This is so reminisant of Enron except on a much larger scale. We have watched in horror as the world banking system has been manipulated and squeezed of all life blood by greedy people who believe themselves to be above us all. Our government has done nothing more than to enable this rape. I for one have lost all faith that there really is anyone in any party who can truly make a difference and change the status quo of big government. This trickle down shit is ridiculous. Big business will never give a rats ass about the little people. Does anyone really believe that these guys wouldn't do anything more than eat their fill and spit us out? COME ON......ANYONE!!!!! O.k., so I got a little emotional there. So, I guess I am going to go watch the news and wait.

Carol

Anonymous said...

anon 7:53

"And stop generalizing"--You think complaining about "foreigners" isn't generalizing?

Look: Some advice is good, some is bad. The advice-giver's nationality has nothing to do with it.

Nothing pisses ME off more than some Dufus-Americans showing up at my door asking me to vote McCain-Palin.

Decorina said...

Tracey, thanks for your thoughtful comments. And for posting as someone other than anon, that takes some conviction, which I admire.

Yes, Americans need to vote responsibly, but I fear that if we do get 4 more years of this insanity that we won't even be around to get the planet's biggest Darwin award for voting ourselves into oblivion.

Anonymous said...

This thread feels played out.

skywaykate said...

Last!

Sorry, couldn't help myself (which is the story of my life).

Anonymous said...

Senator Obama took more money from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac than anyone but the chairman of the committee they answer to (Christopher Dodd). And he put Fannie Mae’s CEO, who helped create this problem in charge of finding his Vice President. That’s not change,that's called more of the same stuff.

s. said...

Thanks, Decorno - I appreciate your comment that it's not a partisan issue. It seems as tho' practically every post these days descends into vindictive party bashing ("Cow-hide rug in the powder room? Must have been the work of some deranged Republican/Democrat!")

And, I'm not happy about the word repbulicunt. I am not fan of Sarah Palin or her anti-choice ways, but "CUNT" is a terribly misogynistic insult. Vaginas are wonderful organs, and at the very least, CUNT should be reclaimed and used as a term of endearment and praise.

Yeah, I wish that this sorry situation would result in lowering of Manhattan real estate prices. Alas, since it's a town where many, many people want at least a pied-a-terre, apparently Europeans and others with strong currencies have been happily helping keep prices elevated.

That being said, now's a great time to pick up equities. Not to glory in the misery of others (this is a dreadful situation and I feel for those who've been financially decimated) but if you / your broker were paying attention during the past few years, you've probably kept yourself fairly liquid. Many stocks prices are finally down to a level that better reflects their actual value.

amymezzell said...

This is the weirdest thing I've read in a while.

"CUNT should be reclaimed and used as a term of endearment and praise."

Just try and switch that one to a nice compliment.

s. said...

Sure, Amy. How's this?

"Aunt Ruby was a magnificent old cunt and I am honored to own the Georgian chest of drawers that once belonged to her."

Reclaiming words that deserve better than their current usage... it's not a particularly complicated a concept.

amymezzell said...

I know how to use words in a sentence. I didn't mean it was a hard thing to do literally.

All I'm saying is that word is ridiculous to try and make it out to be some splendid compliment, and frankly, people don't want it to be something nice. It's meant to be foul and wretched, just like the people we refer to as Cs. You know, Ann Coulter, for example?

We haven't talked about her yet.

s. said...

Well, you're right about one thing. People don't want it to be nice. They want cunts to be considered horrible, disgusting, filthy things. And apparently, you're okay with that. But I'm not.

Have you read PetuniaFace's touching blog entry, in which she writes of her young daughter's total acceptance and delight in her "bagina?" Would you like to be the one to break it to her, and other young girls everywhere, that cunts are "supposed to be foul and wretched?"

Women whom I despise have absolutely nothing in common with my clean, healthy, life-giving organ. I will call those women misguided, rude, hateful, back-stabbing, crass, jealous, social-climbing, ignorant, conniving, mean-spirited or stupid, but never EVER cunts. Because, let's face it: they just don't deserve it.

Anonymous said...

The crazy thing is the government spends all this time bailing out these companies instead of addressing the root of the problem, if instead they bailed out the homeowners as they should have done long ago, these banks wouldn't be facing losses on unpaid loans.

Even in a crisis of this proportion people can't see clearly enough to realize that our future as a country rides helping the poor, so we're going to continue to bumbling around. Seriously you want people to put money in the economy? Then give them mortgages that they can afford and the extra cash they save will go back to being spent because they'll feel secure to do so, knowing that the government is on their side.

There are a lot of rich in this country but they don't have the real purchasing power. Hello, Wal-Mart anyone?