Tag Archives: collapse

  bankers behaving badly

Justice Department Threatens to Rap Banks on Wrist, Again

Another day, another instance of bank wrongdoing, this is the world we live in! Or rather, this is the world we WOULD live in if banks were capable of engaging in wrongdoing, which of course they are not, duh. Anyway, what have the banks been accused of doing this time? Oh nothing, just engaging in massive fraud to the tune of $850,000,000, for cleverly disguising crappy mortgage-backed securities as good mortgage-backed securities and then selling them to unsuspecting investors: According to the lawsuits Bank of America made misleading statements and failed to disclose important facts about the mortgages underlying a securitisation named BOAMS 2008-A. More than 40% of the 1,191 mortgages in the securitisation did not comply with the bank’s underwriting standards, according to the complaint. “These misstatements and omissions concerned the quality and safety of the mortgages collateralising the BOAMS 2008-A securitisation, how it originated those mortgages and the likelihood that the ‘prime’ loans would perform as expected,” the justice department said in its statement. Translation: almost half of the mortgages underlying the securities were so bad that they (allegedly) did not pass Bank of America’s own underwriting standards, but were nonetheless packaged and sold as prime, which they certainly were not. BofA’s argument is 1) that their investors were “sophisticated” (translation: probably kind of rich), and 2) that everyone was doing it, Mom! Read more on Justice Department Threatens to Rap Banks on Wrist, Again…
  poorburbs

U.S. Suburbs Now Just Sprawling Hell-Camps For the Poor

The scared white working class used to flee The Poors and The Coloreds by moving to the next new ring of surburbia, which helped create the Architecture of Banal Oppression that defines this ruined country. But now the next (last) ring of suburbia/exurbia is where The Poors have wound up … and it turns out The Poors are actually the people who last tried to escape the other Poors, and … oh god. Read more on U.S. Suburbs Now Just Sprawling Hell-Camps For the Poor…
  fourth horseman

Cops Now Hunting Escaped Zoo Monsters

How are things in the American Heartland this morning? Very terrible, according to this video news report from … a comedy blog? A superhero musical? No, it’s from the Associated Press. Read more on Cops Now Hunting Escaped Zoo Monsters…
  our flourishing economy

New U.S. Achievement: More Americans In Poverty Than Ever!

If the sunshine seemed a little bit brighter this morning and the air a little bit sweeter, you were surely imagining it — Obama’s new smog allowances keep the skies permanently brown and sour, despite the collapse of American manufacturing. But America is on the rise in one exciting new respect: One of every six Americans is legally poor, and more Americans are officially in poverty than ever before! The Census Bureau just released its 2010 poverty data, which says 46.2 million Americans are The Poors — that’s an all-time record and a 17-year peak in percentage terms. The Census Bureau bases its poverty threshold on family size and number of kids, so it goes from a $10,956 annual income for a sad adult living alone to $21,756 a year for a now-mythical family of four with two children. So remember, when trying to put yourself “in poverty” because you make 20K a year giving handjobs behind Union Station, that you’re well above the poverty rate if you’re supporting only yourself with that free-lance consultancy income. But if you’ve got an unemployed “common law husband” and a couple of malnourished orc children hunting rats underneath the half-collapsed trailer you call home, then you are part of the hottest new demographic in this great nation. Read more on New U.S. Achievement: More Americans In Poverty Than Ever!…
  recovery.gov

U.S. Recovery Canceled Due To New, Neverending Economic Depression

The stock markets just closed in New York, hooray! (“Hooray,” because now the stock markets can’t fall any further today. But tune in tomorrow!) If you don’t care because you’re already poor — hello, 90% of America! — or you have retirement and/or investment accounts and have just been too terrified to look at Marketwatch.com, the Dow Jones Industrial Index closed down 635 points, or another 5.5% in the toilet. Wh-wh-whut’s happening? Didn’t Obama and Boehner solve the “debt crisis” or whatever made-up horse poop they invented to avoid talking about the tens of millions of unemployed workers and the stagnant/declining wages for those still hanging onto jobs and the other symptoms of our long national recovery? Read more on U.S. Recovery Canceled Due To New, Neverending Economic Depression…
  our flourishing economy

Obama’s Tea Party Bill Signed, Stocks Collapse

Ronald Reagan’s illegitimate son Barack Obama just signed his Tea Party Disaster Bill, which officially makes “being poor” both Illegal and the legal status of 90% of Americans. So will Wall Street finally love Barack Obama a little bit more? No, of course not. Stocks collapsed. This is a Failed State. The value of American stocks has dropped nearly 7% in a week — that’s quite a Vote of Confidence! Meanwhile, regular Americans (the illegal Legally Poor) can add “no emergency social services” to “no jobs” and “no home equity” and “no homes” and “no money.” The 14% of Americans who approve of this destructive insanity are, of course, the Tea Party idiots. But at least Barack Obama gave a really terrible, infuriating little speech in the Rose Garden after spending the past few weeks attacking both his supporters and America in general. Read more on Obama’s Tea Party Bill Signed, Stocks Collapse…
  our flourishing economy

America About To Lose Its Fancy Credit Card

Because of many reasons including “the nation cannot even agree to print more money,” the United States is in danger of losing its fancy AAA credit rating from Moody’s, the investing service that decides what countries and businesses have good credit. (Moody’s failed to predict the housing collapse and current financial meltdown, so who knows why we are listening to them today.) Read more on America About To Lose Its Fancy Credit Card…
  just a 'rough patch' that won't ever end

Study: Americans Poor Now Because They Don’t Have Any Money

A startling new study proves that America’s Middle Class has been utterly, completely wiped out — these are the people all politicians are always talking to, in theory. What happened? Apparently, wages have been declining for thirty or forty years and pensions have vanished and the one asset 90% of middle class people owned is no longer worth anything. (That asset is “their house,” and many have also lost the actual house, in addition to its supposed value before the crash.) Read more on Study: Americans Poor Now Because They Don’t Have Any Money…
  hobo beans

Nation Needs To Replace 6,955,000 Pre-Recession Jobs; 38,000 Created Last Month

At the rate of last month’s dismal job creation, it will take more than 15 years for America to replace the 7 million jobs that vanished in this Great Recession. The awful new job numbers — just 38,000 in May when economists say the country needs at least 244,000 new jobs per month if the United States is to ever climb out of its hole — are the latest sign America is beginning a new brutal phase of the endless crisis. Read more on Nation Needs To Replace 6,955,000 Pre-Recession Jobs; 38,000 Created Last Month…
  our flourishing economy

Nearly a Third of American Mortgages ‘Underwater’

The economic recovery continues to be a complete fiction, like the Harry Potter books but without all the fun sex magick. Unemployment is officially back to 9%, with real unemployment at 22%. Energy and food costs keep rising as jobless benefits run out and wages are stagnant for the lucky ducks who still earn a paycheck. And there’s a record number of people owing more on their houses than the houses are worth: “28.4 percent of single-family homeowners, representing a peak since Zillow began calculating the data in 2009.” Throw in all the other awful economic news from America and abroad, and you might wonder if this whole system of corrupt corporate welfare/warfare thing has, you know, collapsed forever. Read more on Nearly a Third of American Mortgages ‘Underwater’…
  diving off the sinking ship of america

Bob Herbert’s Last NYT Column: America Has ‘Lost Its Way Entirely’

America’s last half-assed attempt at a serious newspaper, the New York Times, is rapidly losing the last of its serious op-ed writers. Bob Herbert is the latest to say goodbye, and his final column is devastating. It starts like this: “So here we are pouring shiploads of cash into yet another war, this time in Libya, while simultaneously demolishing school budgets, closing libraries, laying off teachers and police officers, and generally letting the bottom fall out of the quality of life here at home.” Haha, and then it gets depressing. But it’s good to see somebody in the NYT taking on the actual monsters in our nation — our horrific income inequality, the Obama Administration’s perfidy in letting G.E. chief executive Jeffrey Immelt run the White House’s “Council on Jobs and Competitiveness” even as G.E. refuses to pay a nickel in corporate tax, statehouse wars against public-service employees, congressional wars against women and Muslims and the poor, etc. Read more on Bob Herbert’s Last NYT Column: America Has ‘Lost Its Way Entirely’…
  stucco apocalypse

Building Permits For New Housing Drop To 51-Year-Low

The last time so few new permits were issued for housing construction, it was 1961 — when American economists first began keeping records of the numbers of housing permits as an economic indicator. Read more on Building Permits For New Housing Drop To 51-Year-Low…
  never forget (until tomorrow)

USA Beats USSR In Losing Afghanistan

Congratulations, America! The U.S. war in Afghanistan has now lasted longer than the Soviet war in Afghanistan. That’s nine years and fifty-three days for us, so far, and nine years and fifty days for the USSR. One cool thing about always having wars in the same brown-people countries year after year and decade after decade is that simple people don’t need to keep learning new, weird country names. Just sort of learn to say Afghanistan and Iraq, and you’re set for 20 or 30 years! Read more on USA Beats USSR In Losing Afghanistan…
  black friday

Happy Holiday Bargain Day!

On this Holy Day of going to the Big Box stores and outlet malls to use up whatever’s left of the American Consumer’s shrinking credit line, as a permanent jobless/starving class approaches one-fourth of the entire population and constant economic fear is the standard emotion for all but the richest 5%, what are Washington’s concerns? Preserving very low tax rates for the very richest Americans, spending hundreds of billions losing wars against nobody in places like Afghanistan, and the institutionalized harassment of people who can still afford tickets on the nation’s commercial airlines. Did you give enough thanks for all this, yesterday? Read more on Happy Holiday Bargain Day!…
  plus nighttime is for 'fourthmeal' now

Recession Drags On & Crime Keeps Falling, Because America Is Too Fat

For the third straight year, even as the Great Recession pummels ever more people into poverty, the national crime rate has dropped. Murder, rape, burglary — almost every kind of criminality has fallen, with the rate of violent crime and property crime dropping by another 5% in 2009. Since 1991, the United States has seen the murder and manslaughter rate drop by half, violence in general fall by a third, and automobile theft dropping by half in real numbers. There are many theories about this steady collapse of America’s Criminal Will, from our insane rate of imprisonment to low (or no) price inflation. But what if our country’s sad, impoverished people are simply too obese to go out and do the hard work of mugging or busting into houses? Read more on Recession Drags On & Crime Keeps Falling, Because America Is Too Fat…
  actual global market collapse

Uhh, Financial Collapse/World Recession II?

We mentioned earlier this morning that there are some troubles in the world economy — and that includes us, in the America part of Earth. Well, uhh, it’s really awful. Remember that 1,000-point drop in the Dow blamed on robots or astrology or whatever? Ha ha well now there’s a 1,000-point drop for real, it just took a few weeks. On April 26, the DJIA was at 11,239. Today, right now, were at 10,212. The S&P and NASDAQ and Nikkei and Oil and the U.S. Dollar and Platinum and even Ron/Rand Paul’s GOLD is down (but just a quarter-percent, compared to nearly 2% this morning on the major U.S. markets). How does this affect “Main Street,” you ask? Main Street is boarded up and closed down. Unemployment is, somehow, even higher now than it was three months ago. Read more on Uhh, Financial Collapse/World Recession II?…
  our flourishing economy

Nobody’s Making the House Payment, Nobody’s Getting New Mortgages

Despite the complete recovery of the American Economy — what, did you miss it? — a record 14% of households with mortgages are currently delinquent. That’s more than 7 million households. Another survey says 10% of all mortgages are in default, the highest percentage on record. Don’t worry, it gets worse. Read more on Nobody’s Making the House Payment, Nobody’s Getting New Mortgages…
  it's morning in america

This Is Not a Repeat of Last Week (and the Week Before Last, Etc.)

The global economy appears to be in freefall, with Asian markets dropping more than 2% and the Euro dropping to four-year lows against everything. Meanwhile, the U.S. economy seems to be on the mend, finally, but also nobody really believes this, in their hearts, and unemployment is still officially at 9.9% — the real rate is more than 17% –and one-in-five American men are jobless today and will never again have full-time work in America. And California will be the “Next Greece.” Also don’t sell your wife’s diamond ring on Craigslist because crazy/desperate people will come to your house and murder you. U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says it’s all going to be fine, Europe will fix its own problems, you can totally trust him on this, etc. [Marketwatch/Bloomberg/NYT] Read more on This Is Not a Repeat of Last Week (and the Week Before Last, Etc.)… Read more on This Is Not a Repeat of Last Week (and the Week Before Last, Etc.)…
  and mcain vows to make it worse

America Still Has Its Housing/Mortgage Disaster!

Those lousy Greeks/Europeans, how can they spend so much money propping up their failed economy and jobless cretins and mountains of bad debt? Don’t they have capitalist scruples or whatever? Oh yeah, and America’s government-run mortgage hander-outer, Fannie Mae, needs another $8.4 billion to get through next week maybe, things have been sort of tough, what with the $11.5 billion loss just in the first quarter of this year. Read more on America Still Has Its Housing/Mortgage Disaster!…
  gloomy eastern europeans

Czech Government Collapses Because U.S. Bailout Is ‘Way To Hell’

The Czech government collapsed, which means current prime minister — and current president of the European Union, whoops! — Mirek Topolanek is now powerless and will soon be jobless, but that doesn’t mean he can’t deliver an apocalyptically Slavic-ly gloomy sermon against the United States and its terrible bailout plan, which is just like the American response to the previous Great Depression, which sort of led to … Hitler? Yes, Hitler. Depression + Czech troubles = Hitler. Works every time. Read more on Czech Government Collapses Because U.S. Bailout Is ‘Way To Hell’…
  peggy's world

Peggy Noonan Is Out Of Pills!

Thursday, early evening. She turns the key to her Dungeon of Medicines, an isolated pod floating atop the highest vistas of Park Avenue. It is constructed of the finest Metals and can only be reached by rickshaw. Even after all these years, the scent of myrrh lingers. A glass of scotch is poured and she takes to the shelves. Tonight will be a night of barbiturates. Full bottles of Amytal, Nembutal, Seconal, et. al, are downed within seconds. She takes to her camel fur chair — a special model, in that it is an actual camel — and waits whilst supping on a bowl of cough syrup. The hour becomes 10, then 11, then 12. Midnight. A new day. But still, nothing. She is able to walk; this should not be physically possible. Time to bring out the typing machinery. She is struck, sober, hands on the keys, sitting on a camel, poised, wrought, a wordsmith to the death, honest. Peggy Noonan has written her headline: “There’s No Pill for This Kind of Depression.” Read more on Peggy Noonan Is Out Of Pills!…
  justice takes a holiday

Grinch Bush Revokes Real-Estate Crook’s Pardon

Brooklyn fraud king Isaac Robert Toussie got the gift of Innocence from George W. Bush on Tuesday. But just a day later, on Christmas Eve, mean old Grinch W. Bush’s heart shrunk three times. Even thought Toussie’s dad sent the GOP a $28,500 “reminder” that his convicted felon son really needed a presidential pardon for running an elaborate and cruel housing/mortgage scam that pretty much defines the amoral real-estate boom & bust of this miserable decade, the White House suddenly decided they really didn’t fully understand how this famous crook screwed over hundreds of working-class and low-income minority families. Read more on Grinch Bush Revokes Real-Estate Crook’s Pardon…