Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Credit Crunch Part II!

First my wife, now me. I received an offer today for a home equity loan, despite the fact that I rent (though my old home in Chicago is rented out).

So, where is that credit crunch again (and yes Rodak, I know that is how they make their money, but we keep hearing about how the debt markets have seized up).


Rodak said...

Let's suppose that your anecdotal evidence actually shows that credit is flowing routinely(albeit with more caution than has recently been the case.)
Are you saying, then, that the sharp rise in joblessness is based on nothing more than a plot by the MSM to wreck economy? And the conspiracy is aimed at what goal? Putting a larger Democratic majority in congress? Increasing the size of the federal bureaucracy? The latter, of course, will be hard to do, once the illusion of a credit crunch has eliminated the flow of tax revenues and strangled even those programs already in place.
So, as you see, I don't get it.
If the credit crunch is not real, who is benefitting and prospering from spreading the lie that it is?
Is it possible that while a barrister is seen as a good risk even under prevailing conditions, a retail clerk, or a even a bank teller, or a used car salesman, might not be? Like, are you able to look DOWN, Anthony? Or is your neck too stiff for that?

Anthony said...

Rodak -- I do not think credit is folowing normally. Quite the opposite. I just find it funny in a non-haha sort of way. I mean, my wife is a stay at home mom with not much independent income -- the B of A wanted to give her a $50,000 unsecured loan and while I still own my house, I rent it out and live in an appartment in another city.

And yes, I guess I am a good risk. For one thing, except for those "non interest for XXX month" deals I pay off my crdit card balances each month (and pretty much always have). Yes, I make more money now than I did when I was a struggling student or worked for the government, but I have always strived to live within my means, pay off loan term debt (car loans, student loans, etc) faster.

I guess I picked that up from my parents, who grew up extremely poor. One thing I did not quite pick up from my parents was the desire when things are good to buy extra canned food, clothes, etc and put them in storage, in case later calamities hit (for example, when my mother died, I found a crate of casual shoes that y father liked to wear, never worn, they bought them in case at some future time they could not afford them).

Rodak said...

I don't question your frugality, or your sensibility. But to a bank that issues credit, you (and by extension, your wife) plug into a whole different table that the kind of people I mentioned above. They are the ones who need credit the most, if they are to purchase big ticket items and keep the economy going. That's what I see as the problem.

Rodak said...

I guess that should have read "sensibleness" not "sensibility." But what do I know--I didn't take those econ and math courses!

Rodak said...

So, where is that credit crunch again

You see, your 9:30 a.m. disclaimer notwithstanding, that bit of snark there makes me believe that, because it hasn't hit you personally, you are doubting the reality of any serious credit crunch.
If there isn't one, then the media are lying to us.
So, what's their angle?

Anthony said...

Yes Rodak, I was being snarky. Though I feel that these types of things are why the banks got themselves into this mess. I mean, the Bank of America wants to give a stay at home mom $50,000 unsecrued yet they would not allow a business in Chicago to pay off their laid off workers. Something is nuts!

I do not think the media is lying, but I think lots of people, starting with the banks, the real estate interest, and the Big 3 management, have an incentive to really make things look and seem bad. That way, if it is not their fault, they cannot be blamed and they get their bailout.

I also think that the media thrives on crisis, so they have an incentive to play it up.

Two (of many) reasons I opposed the bailout seem contradictory, First, I worried that the banks would not be held responsible for what they did with the money. And to an extent, we see that. The purpose of TARP was to loosen up credit. But the banks doing OK seem to be more interested right now in buying up their competitors. Second, by giving money, the government gets a say in how the companies are run. So they may use the money as a way of social engeneering.

Contradictiory yes, but having seen how government and business work, I would not be surprised if it works out that way.

If you accept the Friedman explanation of the Depression's cause, we are not there yet. Under Friedman';s analysis, the Depression was caused because the Fed decided to tighten credit just when the economy was slowing down (following a decade of following a mild inflationary policy). That is not the problem. The money supply seems to be OK. The pronbnlem seems to be velocity -- people with money are hording right now.

Yet, I continue to get offers of loans.

That is why I say the whole thing is nuts.

Tell you what. You and Bill buy some gold bars, canned food and ammunition and meet me in the Adirondacks. Wolverines!

Rodak said...

meet me in the Adirondacks.

Our slogan:

Ruby Ridge: It Didn't Have To Be a Nightmare!

Anthony said...

>Ruby Ridge: It Didn't Have To Be a Nightmare

No matter what you think about the guy's theology (somewhat nutty, though he now claims to be an atheist) or other beliefs (some of which, such as hanging around the Aryan Nations, repugnent) they really just should have left the guy alone. He was not bothering anyone up there.

Rodak said...

Of course they should have. But they never do.

William R. Barker said...

re: Rob; December 11, 2008 1:01 p.m.

Rob. First of all, unless you link what you borrow to what you're reasonably able to repay according to the borrowing terms...


(See what I'm saying...???)

Second - buying "big ticket" items that are manufactured by foreign firms employing foreign workers on foreign soil doesn't do all that much to stimulate our economy. Actually in many ways such commerce detracts from our economic foundation by draining our wealth.

Third - buying "big ticket" items even if those items are American made by American workers here in America is a losing proposition if the "buying" is done on credit which either overwhelms the buyers resources or simply renders him "gadget poor" in the sense that principle and interest payments conspire to sap his lifestyle overall.

Forth. "Need" means need. "Want" means want. Sometimes the line is nearly transparent, but often times it's as bright as bright can be. (*SHRUG*) When it comes to "discretionary" purchases - and yes, even the necessities - a man must live within his budget.

As to why the media would lie to us...


See: Global Warming


(Oh... you don't like that one...???) (*GRIN*)

See: Saddam Hussein; WMDs.


Media group think gets it wrong ALL THE TIME...!!! (By "all the time" I mean quite regularly - not literally they're always wrong.)

How much do you think the average reporter knows, anyway...??? Most reporters follow the herd, largely rewrite "official" press releases and such and rely largely on the people they're reporting on to give them the "facts" to be reported.

re: Anthony; December 11, 2008 2:02 p.m.

"...the Bank of America wants to give a stay at home mom $50,000 unsecrued yet they would not allow a business in Chicago to pay off their laid off workers. Something is nuts!"

YEP!!! (The problem is... the POLITICAL pressure - and media sympathy - is based not on championing the exact reverse, but on the false and irrational "compromise" of making loans equally available to BOTH the "bad" risk (or rather, the "unnecessary" risk) as represented by the stay at home wife and mom with the attorney husband who hasn't even asked for a loan AND the business that disparately NEEDS a loan!


"...lots of people, starting with the banks, the real estate interest, and the Big 3 management, have an incentive to really make things look and seem bad. That way, if it is not their fault, they cannot be blamed and they get their bailout. I also think that the media thrives on crisis, so they have an incentive to play it up."

YEP! Right you are, laddie!

* To be continued...


William R. Barker said...

re: December 11, 2008 2:02 p.m.

"Tell you what. You and Bill buy some gold bars, canned food and ammunition and meet me in the Adirondacks. Wolverines!"

As I've written in the past, Anthony... (*SMILE*)... I have no worries regarding your future. You're a lawyer. Good resume. Good work ethic. Clearly intelligent and no doubt possessing specific in demand skills that will see you through bad times that might adversely effect "general practice" attorneys.

Your kids though...


Unless you create something - an ongoing business, a large trust - which can sustain your children in the style to which they're being raised once you're no longer in the picture, I'd advise showing a bit more serious concern with long term trends than you seem to be.

Hopefully 2040 America will look nothing like a Mad Max movie (set in America!) or Soylent Green, but I see increasing class separation and class tensions growing and when you picture where demographic changes and ever increasing unfunded government (not to mention private sector - pension funds, etc.) may lead...


If I were you... I'd take seriously my throwaways concerning a backup plan for getting out while the getting is good if the $hit really hits the fan in a societal way one day.

Assuming both you and your wife are in the talented 20% or better range and the kids got your genes... (*WINK*)... push 'em towards the hard sciences.

How many frigg'n lawyers can society support? How many teachers, how many paper pushers? Your kids will be best off if they're trained in and capable of actually producing goods and/or services of concrete value, not just living off a percentage of the value of that sort of work done by others.

ANYWAY... I know I've sorta ridden off the original rails of this discussion and taken it on a rambling tangent, but it's not the damage which was done in the Bush years nor the damage that will done in the Obama years which scares me as much as my fear that America will never truly rebound from the combination of the Bush and Obama years.


re: Anthony; December 12, 2008 11:05 a/m/

Yep. (*SIGH*) The Marshals and FBI murdered those folks.


Anthony said...

Well Bill -- make sure the gold bars, canned food and ammunition are made in the USA.

Also, make sure Rodak brings some toilet paper.


Rodak said...

Mr. Barker repeatedly demonstrates, by the endless stream of links to MEDIA outlets that he posts, that only the media with which he disagrees are lying.
He seems to think, for instance, that ALL of the media was buying the neocon/fascist agitprop about Saddam's WMD, when actually, there were plenty of media sources out there reporting the TRUTH. Those were not the media sources that Mr. Merino, er...excuse me...Mr. Barker, chose to read and believe, however.
No matter what media sources you check out, you need to bring a fund of independently accumulated scholarly knowledge by which to measure the accuracy of the reportage.
Virtually all journalism is reporting a point of view, and that must always be entered into the equation.

William R. Barker said...


I apologize for Rob. Obviously he's off his meds again.


("Mr. Barker" this, "Mr. Barker" that...) (*SIGH*)

Over at my blog he's presently obsessing about Sarah Palin.



William R. Barker said...


Screwed up the hyperlink.


Still... shout out to Rob (thanks!) for giving me the directions on how to create a hyperlink. I just screwed up the typing.



Anthony said...

Rob and Bill -- the thing for me regarding Iraq is that what Bush was saying in late 2002 was pretty much the same as Clinton was saying through out the 1990s. Hence I was willing to support an attack on Iraq (post 9/11) whereby I would have been against it pre-9/11, was against it during the 1990s (yes, even though I supported the Gulf War, I think we should have gotten rid of Hussein then, or at least supported the Shiite revolt)).

Anyway, Merry Christmas!

William R. Barker said...

First... YES... MERRY CHRISTMAS, Anthony - AND ROB!


As to Clinton...


Anthony. Don't bring facts into it! What are you, some sort of fascist nutcase...?!?!


Nope. There WAS no history prior to the Bush administration. You should know that. The 1998 Iraq Liberation Act supported by President Clinton which made toppling Saddam official U.S. foreign policy...

NEVER EXISTED!!! (What Clinton? Who's Clinton? 1998...??? History only began in 2001...)

Anyway... back to Christmas...

Rob - you make every day jolly!



Hmm... before signing off let me try this hyperlink thing again:

Speaking of dishonest media...

Rodak said...

Has it occurred to either of you that I was fully aware that Clinton (Kerry, et al.) supported giving Bush a blank check on the war. And I was also a supporter of Clinton, et al. politically.
But I was still against the war. I was still predicting that the fact that the inspectors on the ground in Iraq had not found any WMD meant that there were no WMD to be found. And I still predicted that we would not be greeted as liberators, but as an invading army of infidels.
There was plenty of MEDIA evidence out there to support all of MY beliefs. But I was able to choose the right media because I was able to access a historical pattern by which to evaluate what I was hearing in the contemporary media.
Anybody else could have come to the conclusions I came to if only they studied that which they disagreed with, rather than only that with which they were in agreement.