Friday, March 27, 2009

Ripoffs and Civil Unrest

I see on the news today that insurance executives have received hairy threats as a result of the publicity surrounding bonuses to them while people invested in their company have lost money.

It appears that civil disobedience stems from lost expectations, cash, opportunities, or from excessive debt and penalties. Pretending that debt is a product will not make it so, but Bernanke and Geithner cannot see another option other than propping up debt derivatives. Just who is benefitting by the continuation of the sale of debt derivatives? Are they or their families in a position of power that influences policy decision making, rather like the Madoff family and the SEC? Debt derivatives produce nothing but brokers fees and insurance obligations. What were the terms of the insurance obligations? 100% of expected profit from the derivative investment? The principal invested in the derivative? What?

Credit card schemes with excessive penalties, automatic interest rate hikes based on other accounts, the punitive attitude taken by these lenders and their predisposition to extend credit to undocumented borrowers has created a mountain of debt. Much of that kind of debt is an obligation plus penalties that are unearned income for lenders and unplanned debt for borrowers on the credit card scene. Bailing out the credit card firms is ridiculous but can turn fraudulent if the bailout funds include unearned lender income projections based on extending credit to anyone. Payday lenders and credit card companies are in the same category, preying on the foolish and desperate in many instances.

Attacks by the ripped off on the wealthy who benefitted by the scam will easily gather steam. Announcement of hearing and indictments would take the edge off, but I can’t help but wonder if returning the principal to the investors might be cheaper than bailing out all these unregulated funds and insurance obligations, particularly foreign entities.

Globalization has turned into a massive fraud perpetuated on the USA taxpayers by domestic and foreign banks and insurance firms who invested in derivative garbage based on fraudulent contracts all the way from the inflated appraisals and undocumented borrowers, the creation of derivatives with unresearched ratings and lax regulation when present at all. Why are USA taxpayers stuck with this tab? Insurance schemes overseas bankrupted a company holding assets obtained through mandatory insurance and retirement accounts in the USA, drained these assets and then demanded more from the US government. Their demands were met at our expense.

I think that insurance is a racket. Legislators have foisted mandatory insurance off on the people and now these insurance firms are using the pool money to gamble and pay themselves huge salaries. They have gambled away retirement funds, IRA accounts and any other money they could get their hands on, even to the point of bankrupting the company and funneling our tax money overseas.

Were members of AIG really brokering these derivatives to banks and then insuring these same derivatives through AIG, receiving a handsome brokers fee in the process? Are the retirement accounts of House and Senate members held by AIG?

Whatever it is, this financial scam and the incredible debt load has created unemployment and anger on the streets of this nation. Were the boomtime profits and the high compensation of irresponsible developers and executives worth the social cost? Are the members of the boards who approved the excessive contract amounts for executives receiving sweetheart loans from the very same companies they represented? How many political figures received cheap loans from these companies? Who sat on the boards of Fannie and Freddie and others when ‘bonus’ schemes were approved? How much were these people paid to rubberstamp any wild scheme the executives deemed a good investment?

And above all, why not review the figures and see if returning the principal might be cheaper than bailing out all these wild schemes? People are angry because their money has been stolen and gambled away, not just the boomlet money but also the principal in many cases.

Civil unrest is not good for the nation.