Posts Tagged ‘moneynews’

Feeding Seymour

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

I ran across a website that visually represented how much money BP lost due to the oil spill.   I was incredulous.  That much money exists?  It is a loss they plan to recoup.  How do you suppose they will make up the loss?

They have convinced us to drive bigger cars, drink our water from a bottle, use more plastic and carry on with war, any war.  Oil men love war.  War is what truly feeds Seymour.  You remember the insatiable plant from “Little Shop of Horrors”.  I liken the oil (and coal) industry to Seymour’s need to keep his plant alive.  In the beginning it was a nice fun little plant.  Harmless, at least relatively.  The plant like the oil industry has gotten so big it is devouring the planet through wars and plastic and large ships and cruise liners that carry us and our crap across oceans.

We are convinced that if we all pile on a giant boat together life will be more fun.  We are convinced that the stuff we have is not good enough.  It all needs to be replaced by better stuff.  Most of the stuff is plastic and plastic is made from oil and the plastic is brought to us on giant boats that require massive amounts of oil.  This insatiable need has been brought to you by the oil industry.

We can’t blame oil entirely.  Coal is what fuels this nations heat and air and lights.  The current grid was set up by the coal industry and subsidized by the US government.  It was harmless and useful in its beginnings.  What a blessing to have heat and air and light due to the fabulous grid work that traverses the nation.  Except, now it too is like Seymour’s plant.  Dividing and devouring and convincing us that nothing else will do.

So let me share the website that prompted this blog…

I wrote to my smart friend Fred who gave me this reply…

BP ‘s profit last year was $16 billion. The year before was $22 Billion.
We gave one bank $150 billion of the $750 billion bank bailout.
Bernie Madoff swindled $65 billion from investors.

So you see in the world of business BP’s loss isn’t so much. Don’t feel sorry for them. Don’t think how much good this money could have done because it pales in comparison to the money we waste on wars. Iraq I believe was $1,000 billion. That’s 112 times what BP wasted.

When you look at it this way — it isn’t oil and coal that feeds Seymour’s plant.  Economics feeds the plant.  How often does economic advantage take precedence over doing good?  Goodness faces doom when it gets in the way of the economy.

What truly amazed me is that 3.4 billion dollars would buy an ice cream sandwich for everyone in the world and yahoo is worth 20 billion.  Wouldn’t it be cool if yahoo bought an ice cream sandwich for everyone in the world?  There is probably a soy version for the lactose intolerant.

Wall Street Reform news

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

The Top 10 Things You May Not Know About the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act

Posted by Jen Psaki on July 21, 2010 at 06:00 AM EDT

Here are 10 aspects of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act you may not know about — the online attention-deficit version.

  1. Stronger protections for consumers against unfair credit card practices like rate hikes for existing credit card balancesWhen my son had a traffic accident I didn’t work for a month to be at his bedside,  I had a credit card with a 9% rate that I never used, but kept for emergencies.  As soon as I used it the rate went to 18%.  When I called to complain, they dropped the rate to 16% and told me that was “standard practice“.   I told them this was “standard bullshit” paid it off and canceled the card forever.
  2. Mortgage brokers will be prohibited from making higher commissions by selling mortgages they know consumers can’t afford. But —  We love the stuff we can’t afford. We need to go back to –> we can only have what we can afford.  Then the cost of living will drop and the pay scales will rise and we’ll need less stuff.  Like “Happy Days”.
  3. Free annual credit scores so people can stay on top of their finances. [Clarification: free credit scores are available if you receive worse terms on a loan because of something on your credit report, or if you are rejected. You think this will make folks stay on top of their finances?
  4. No more taxpayer-funded bailouts. yay!! If a company can’t make it, it will have to liquidate.  If what they sell is junk, they need to go down. Like the company building junky jets for the air force — they went down.
  5. Greater input by company shareholders over how much a CEO gets paid.  Companies’ compensation boards are now required to be truly independent.  you mean they weren’t in charge of a CEO’s pay or compensation?
  6. Brokers who offer investment advice will have to act in the best interests of their customers, not their own financial interests.  Oh, yeah, like some federal law is gonna make that happen.
  7. Financial firms won’t be allowed to grow so large that if one fails, it will affect the entire financial system.   Isn’t that why we don’t allow monopolies? When did that change?
  8. There will be one agency whose sole job is to make sure that consumers get the protections they deserve and to set clear rules to hold banks, mortgage companies, payday lenders, and credit card lenders accountable.  It will be interesting to see how this works out. I’m sure you anti-government types are focusing on this one.
  9. Businesses can’t be charged extra fees for debit card “swipe fees” that exceed the cost of processing transactions.
  10. You can learn plenty more here at WhiteHouse,gov or at
  11. Updated: To tack on #11, here’s a new animated video we’ve released to further explain Wall Street Reform.

RE:  My son’s accident–> I didn’t borrow from mother, father, sister, brother or friend, I had money sitting around doing nothing waiting for the inevitable shit that happens in life.  Something governments, companies and individuals all need to do.

My smart friend Fred

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

explain the economy

I never really understood economics and whenever I try to I go to my smart friend Fred.  He has a way of putting things in terms I understand.   So I was asking him about some claims on the internet.  They claim that if you really want to be wealthy you subscribe to their read and they will show you how President Obama and Washington are undermining our ability to have wealth.

I forwarded it to my smart friend Fred and this was his response.

Money has no intrinsic value. It is a medium of exchange and a temporary store of value. Emphasize “temporary”.
If you hold money you lose value as it inflates, which it almost always does because government can’t resist using inflation to pay for its excesses of spending over its ability to tax. Remember the Bush tax cuts when waging an expensive war.

Too bad the government ran a deficit when the economy was booming. Now we need a bigger deficit to stimulate a bad economy. This is inflationary and we will see our money buying less in the future.

Don’t hold money. Hold items with intrinsic value like real estate, stocks, and even gold, though this does not earn a return.

Don’t pay attention to this crap. It’s just scare tactics to get you to buy a useless book.


So the federal government does with our money like what we did with our equity of our homes?  Imaginary income that we used to buy new carpet, or a pool.  They use imaginary income, be it inflation or equity, and buy stuff — like wars or healthcare.

I suppose “imaginary income” is one way of putting it, and yes, there is a similarity.  However inflation is a little different than the bubble of inflating home prices.  With a bubble the price of one thing (a durable item) goes up faster than the price of everything else; usually because people believe it will keep going up.  Eventually the bubble bursts, the price falls, and the people holding the item lose wealth.

Inflation is where the money price of everything rises because money is worth less. People holding money lose, which is virtually all of us. It isn’t so bad unless inflation gets so high people run from money.  In some countries, Germany
in early 20th century,  people were paid wages twice a day and given time off in mid day so they could go spend it before it lost too much value. Are you kidding me?

I shouldn’t date myself this way, but when I was a kid the price for a loaf of bread, a pack of cigarettes and a gallon of gas were all 25 cents. A big wad of bubble gum was a penny.  Prices are now about ten times for these things except for cigarettes which the government has taxed much higher than the other items. The one-tenth value of the dollar has been so gradual that we didn’t notice it much, except in the late 60’s and 70’s when the government took steps to control inflation.

As a kid I recall people (my father often), saying ‘I remember when a dollar was worth a dollar.’ So now I say, I remember when a dollar was worth 50 cents.  Today that makes it worth about 5 cents.

I don’t mind if you use the exchange on your blog.  I’ll try to keep it clean.

happy Fred

So OK I understand that economics is about the value of money.  My GOP friends don’t want reforms from Washington because they are afraid it will tap in to their own personal wealth.   Personal wealth is the money you hold and the stuff (items with  intrinsic value) you own.  What should be done differently?  Maybe we need to change our value system.

Another explanation that I could understand regarding economics today in this country was from Bill Maher.
How about this for a New Rule:  Not everything in America has to make a profit. It used to be that there were some services and institutions so vital to our nation that they were exempt from market pressures.

Some things we just didn’t do for money. The United States always defined capitalism, but it didn’t used to define us.

I also received a response from Stacey Derbinshire at

and am including her link as it was helpful to me

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