Idle time

by fmhilton

I’m going to make a confession: all my prattling about the economic misery we’re in is not just idle ranting and raving.

It’s personal. Due to the economy, I’m under/un employed. After 30 or more years of being gainfully employed, I find myself in a situation that many have come to in various ways.

It’s shocking to become redundant. It’s terrifying and very humiliating to know that you’re just another statistic and just another body  to an employer.

It tempts one to become very bitter, cynical and disillusioned with the economic meltdown. It’s very easy to become very angry when you read in the paper that the banks which led the charge into this incredible turn of events are not being punished for their wrong doing.

Why do I pick on the banks? Easy: they’re most to blame for this.

My line of thinking:

If banks had not been deregulated, they would not have been in the stock market in such a huge fashion. They would not have been betting trillions of dollars on imaginary paper gains.

They pushed all their profits into a market saturated with greed.

Banks also were to blame for the housing bust-if they had not been so damned greedy, they would not have been handing money out to everyone who had breath in their bodies for a mortgage, never mind about credit or paying back that mortgage.

They aided and abetted with realtors for fraudulent mortgages. They produced paperwork that would be better off on walls for the outhouse. They made up loans that nobody in their right mind would have financed.

The banks encouraged rampant speculation in real estate, thus driving up housing costs to the sky.  Realtors would not have been able to price a house that should have sold for $100,000 but priced at double the amount-based on what the market would bear. The banks enabled people to dream too big. They also advertised into the mantra of “everyone can own a house”, better known as the “American Dream”-which is turning into a nightmare of epic proportions now.

Construction of new houses was based on a illusion-that people were just so eager to buy into a project and were able to finance it easily enough. Reasonable projections based on what banks were doing-handing out money left and right to everyone who walked in the door.

Then someone noticed a little discrepancy: nobody could afford these places. A lot of people were in over their heads. Foreclosures started to spike. Credit card payments began to be missed.

The turn down was as rapid as the build up was long. It all started to unravel in  spectacular fashion back in 2008. It’s still going on.

The truth finally came out: there was nothing there. The money was a paper trail. The stock market was loaded with worthless bundled mortgages that had no intrinsic value. The stock market was overloaded with worthless securities that they had issued in a rush for money-financed by banks.

Then the money started drying up at the source. Banks no longer gave anyone credit, which led to people being laid off because their employer could no longer afford to have them working. The companies employing people had no more credit; they had to cut their payrolls.

Bigger companies lost lines of credit that would have been useful in payrolls. Banks refused to extend  credit lines. People lost their jobs, houses and other fun things that make life in this country so much easier.  Then consumers stopped spending money on products…and on it goes.

It was a spiraling downturn that has no end. I’m a victim of it, as are many people.

Someone stole our livelihoods and our lives, for the sake of profit. They just had to make one more dollar. That’s cost us our jobs, and our self worth. We’re just a set of numbers to report on now. Nice to be a statistic, isn’t it?

That’s enough to get your blood boiling, especially when you realize one very important truth:

The banks got away with it.

They have never been punished for their role in the destruction of an entire economy. They should have been.

Don’t believe me? Then rent the movie “Inside Job“, by Charles Ferguson.

It will open your eyes up to the reality of how we all got suckered and taken for the ride of a lifetime by these wolves in three piece suits.

 

 

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