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Updated and republished
Written by an American expat living in the E.U. who holds an M.B.A. degree.

Are you ready for the next Wall street bail out?
Here's a better idea this time let's bail out main street! Let's help bail out  underwater home owners and their kids who are living in their parents basements drowning in  $876 billion dollars in student loan debt. Of course as wall street is right now engineering the next crash for you to bail out, if they have their way the the 1 in 3 home owners who are at present underwater will be left to drown.  
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Welcome to the lost continent of American Atlantis, the land of underwater mortgages, a country where waterfront property has a new meaning!

Daily Mail UK quote: "Housing market sinks deeper as ONE THIRD of homeowners are underwater on their mortgages and owe $1.2 TRILLION more than their homes are worth........Nearly one third of homeowners are underwater on their mortgages and owe an average of $75,000 more than their houses are worth, according to a startling new report by the real estate research firm Zillow." End of quote.
Daily Mail quote: For now, though, they keep making payments. Nine out of ten underwater homeowners are current on their mortgages." (End quote)
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/...
DON'T WE KNOW PAYING OFF NEGATIVE EQUITY IS PAYING FOR NOTHING! SHOULDN'T EVERYONE STAND TOGETHER AND STOP PAYING EN MASSE! TO FORCE A MARKET CORRECTION OR BAILOUT THAT ALLOWS EVERYONE TO STAY IN THEIR HOMES!
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How did all of this happen in the first place? To answer that question we have to go back to the start of the 2008 crash with the help of the Spiegel quote below.
Here is what we see is the bill coming due for the fact that as working class wages have been flat for over 30 years (thanks to the 1%) the only way to find money, for the economy to grow was to convince American home owners to take out mortgages on their homes. The product of which is that 1 in 3 American homes are underwater todate.
Wall Street in what is called equity stripping took $750 billion dollar out of the working class U.S. housing market and put it straight in their own pockets! This dropped home ownership from 70% in America to 40%.  Happy holidays America thanks to Wall Street's gifts that keep on giving!
Wall Street's Central Values: Avarice and Greed
Spiegel quote:  09/30/2008
 The End of Arrogance America Loses Its Dominant Economic Role
By SPIEGEL Staff
  "Wall Street started looking for a new market for its growth machine. This time it discovered the American homeowner, convincing him to take out mortgages at favorable terms, even when there was practically no collateral.

The total value of all outstanding mortgage loans in the United States -- $11 trillion (€7.6 trillion) -- is almost as large as the country's gross domestic product."
http://www.spiegel.de/...

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There is no better way in the modern day American neo-feudalist state to ensure a compliant population than through debt slavery. Therefore it becomes important to ensure that people are in debt longer. Ergo Wall Street newest gift to America, the underwater mortgage, where you too can become the proud owner of waterfront property like it or not. With that most innovative gift from Wall Street, your 20 year mortgage may now well take you 30 years to pay off, assuming that they don't force you into foreclosure first.

If one third of underwater mortgage holders all stood together, it would be a practical impossibility for the banks to evict everyone and ruin everyone's credit. That's not the problem. The problem is that working class American families en mass to date will not stand together! We must all stand together or surely we will fall apart.

As Wall Street's neo-feudalist gift that keeps on giving, they're also drowning your kids, living in the basement of your underwater mortgage house in student loan debt, whereas in every country in western continental Europe, tuition is so low that it's almost free. In fact American students are more likely to spend more on books than are their European continental counterparts on tuition. Of course the American plutocrat owned media isn't going to tell you that, so this diary just did. It's not just rich Europe, the University National in Mexico is completely free of charge.

 The only way  to effectuate change is through sustained collective action by the public.
To win in America all we have to do is to care about each other and stick together!
If we are looking for change we must look to the Occupy movement to provide
that peaceful nonviolent approach to change in helping to elect better
progressive politicians to public office. The Occupy movement and the
American unions are the last great hope of the American working class dream!

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Originally posted to Democrats Ramshield on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 08:07 AM PST.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement.

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Comment Preferences

  •  you know what is really interesting, if the US (20+ / 0-)

    government had bailed out the underwater homeowner instead of Wall Street, the economy would have turned the corner in 2008.  In the meantime, the homes are still on the books, they are still overvalued and they are still the time bomb at the heart of our economy.  

    •  To lakesliberal your right let's bail out main st. (4+ / 0-)

      sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 04:05:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That was my thought at the time (11+ / 0-)

      The excuse as to why we have to worry about the banks first is that they repackaged all these mortgages and other consumer loans together, over and over, until they don't know who owned what, so they don't know who is owed if a bailout or default actually happens. But, quite honestly, that's a non-starter, because the banks were betting both that the mortgages would fail and that they would not fail, just to cover themselves. So, if it took a while for the banks to figure out who owned the mortgages that got paid off, they'd be in exactly the same boat they are right now, in terms of what they owe. The only difference is they wouldn't have had that sweet, sweet government bail-out cash to give their executives and brokers in bonuses.

      Radarlady, sick of the lot of them

      •  radarlady.and here comes an other Wall st bailout (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, radarlady

        it's the gift that keep on giving! :-)

        sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

        by Democrats Ramshield on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 04:28:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  They have two options (6+ / 0-)

        for resolving the "under water" and "default" problems.

        They could re-negotiate loans to amounts that reflect realistic market values, but that would mean a write-down for the banks (and other "investors"), so they won't do that (unless the government makes up the difference by assuming more "National Debt", which is the game so far).

        They can re-inflate the housing market (re-inflate the bubble), to re-create the appearance of "prosperity", but that's hard to do when they are simultaneously trying to lower wages for the majority of Americans, and housing is still overpriced relative to family income.

        In the meantime they keep kicking the can down the road while they try to find a way out that preserves the banks and wealthy investors who actually own/run the country . . . a way that ultimately does not exist.  Eventually they will find, and settle on, a way simply to come out (remain) on top after the final crash . . . ie. another taxpayer bailout of some sort.

        Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

        by Deward Hastings on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 06:24:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Congress has no interest in bailing out (19+ / 0-)

      the citizenry. Congress is at war with the people. Why do you think they keep threatening increased deprivation of

      Health care for women
      Nutrition for children
      Education for all
      Employment for migrants
      Marriage for the same-gendered?

      If there is to be government by the people, then legislators face being reduced to public servants. That's quite a come-down, especially for people whose practical skills are virtually nil. They are law makers who can't even write their own laws; speech makers who can't write their own speeches; rule makers who can't follow rules. Our legislators have been revealed as a sorry lot and now they are proceeding to bite the hand that feeds them. They are not all in the Republican party, but the Republican party is in its last throes.

      We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

      by hannah on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 04:34:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Excellant comment - - Totally agree: (15+ / 0-)

        I get very tired of hearing about how expensive Medicare is and how we need to "adjust social security" for all these people that "can't take responsibility for themselves" all b/c "we don't have the money."

        And yet. . .

        When Wall Street faced being underwater they simply called up Congress and told them how the financial world would end and Congress couldn't get out of its own way fast enough to give them $800 Billion - with VERY little oversight (hello Sen. Warren!), despite the Repukes cries about SNAP "abuse."

        Does anyone see any difference between the two?  Its big Gov transferring wealth, it is gov. supporting people in trouble. . . oh, that's right, the difference is one group goes without medical care and food while the other goes without the THIRD home and maybe the 3 weeks in Europe over the summer.

        Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick. Message to Repug Fundies: "DO you really wonder "what would Jesus do?" I didn't think so.

        by 4CasandChlo on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 05:57:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  To 4CasadChlo - Well said (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          4CasandChlo, jabney

          sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

          by Democrats Ramshield on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 06:16:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  4Cas - the difference between TARP (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          4CasandChlo

          and bailing out Main Street is that TARP was a loan program to borrowers who were likely to pay the money back within a few years. In hindsight TARP was a very successful program and will likely be completed with no net cost to the Treasury. Could we ever hope to say the same thing for a program to help Main St?

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 08:38:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  While I acknowledge that you may well know more. . (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sunspots, jabney

            than me, what disturbs me is not so much that they got the money, it was more that it happened within a week, I never heard "concern" about budget deficits, I saw nothing passed alongside the loans to change the system so it wouldn't happen again.

            And I (by reading Taibbi) see how they purposefully manipulated the system into a bubble to get rich on the way under the assumption that the feds would cover them AND as a cherry on top, many of those loans were of no interest and had little oversight, so fake companies (CEO's wives???) were set up b/c the money was used to get richer and the payback was simply from their winnings and NOT new investment on mainstreet or for the middle class.

            Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick. Message to Repug Fundies: "DO you really wonder "what would Jesus do?" I didn't think so.

            by 4CasandChlo on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 08:45:34 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  A common misconception, aided (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sunspots

            by the Corporate Propaganda Apparatus we call "news" here in the US.

            Who says TARP hasn't been repaid? Why, Christy Romeo, who was appointed by our government to be Inspector General of TARP! From Apr 2012:

            Even by non-financial standards the bailout has been less than a roaring success and may be helping to lay the groundwork for future financial disasters and bailouts, writes Christy Romero, the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, in her latest quarterly report to Congress, released Wednesday morning.

            "It is a widely held misconception that TARP will make a profit," she writes right at the top of her 327-page report. "The most recent cost estimate for TARP is a loss of $60 billion. Taxpayers are still owed $118.5 billion (including $14 billion written off or otherwise lost)."

            That directly contradicts the Treasury Department's repeated claims that the government will eventually at least break even on the bailout. So far, the government has gotten back about $300 billion of the $414 billion it has paid out to banks, but some banks paying back TARP have simply used other government money to do so, as The Huffington Post and the Wall Street Journal have reported.

            Please stop repeating this counter-reality line, which is almost as foolish, and as pure a con-job, as "the recession has ended."


            The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

            by Jim P on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 09:43:26 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Jim - the $14 B writeoff was the inital loan (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Jim P

              to GM and Chrysler made in the Bush administration which saved both GM and Chrysler from Chapter 7. Of all the TARP loan programs the auto loans look to be among the least likely to be fully repaid, even if you just look at the loans made during the Obama administration. However, if you compare the likely losses on the auto loans, the $14 B already lost during the bankruptcy process as well as the likely shortfall on the GM equity, it would appear to have been a good investment saving massive unemployment costs in the auto industry.

              My larger point was that TARP was a loan program and the loans were made to entities who were likely to repay them. How could we craft something similar for Main St?

              "let's talk about that"

              by VClib on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 10:28:33 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  All I know for sure is that (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sunspots

                the monies variously loaned, given, or cleverly transferred to the banks, and not just in the US, totals, by latest estimates between 16 TRillion to 21T.

                The official TARP numbers are just cooked.

                There seems no political will to craft something similar for Main Street. As far as I can tell, the Establishment position is Main Street can go fuck themselves.

                The way out, I think, would be for the US government to stop dealing with banks (except for widespread criminal prosecutions, nationalization, reorganization, and then selling them off) and simply print US notes instead of Federal Reserve Notes, and loan them out at low interest. The 1890s Populist solution.

                We suffer from a lack of velocity of money, not lack of money. The banks/corporations simply aren't putting the stuff into circulation and hence the Depression we are currently in.

                There is no solution within the current Conventional Wisdom except ever-increasing impoverishment for the many, so as to protect the same crooks who will be employing most of our politicians after they leave that game.


                The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

                by Jim P on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 10:43:16 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Jim - regardless of whether its TARP (0+ / 0-)

                  or the Fed all the programs are loans and nearly all are likely to be repaid. It seems to me that Main Street doesn't need a loan, even a low interest one. Main St is already drowning in debt so how do more loans help? Programs that are judged by the CBO to have no net cost are much easier to find political consensus than those programs that have a significant budget cost. And that's the challenge.

                  "let's talk about that"

                  by VClib on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 10:50:24 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Not sure about that. (0+ / 0-)

                    If you take a 2nd loan from a lender to pay the lender's first loan, ... how does that mean you've "repaid" except in the most technical of senses. That's the Bank situation at the moment.

                    We could have taken a fraction of the $16-21T which is now going into driving up life-necessities-inflation and the stock market,  while letting insolvent banks pretend they are not ...

                    We could have taken say, $3T, and given every man woman and child in the nation a $10,000 loan at low interest. A depression has to do with the velocity of money running through the system (how quick and often a dollar passes into the next person's hands). Practically every penny of that money would have gone out into the living economy. Moreover, most people would actually repay that money over time. Unlike the banks who are in the middle of engineering even more crisis from which we'll have to bail them out, even as I type.


                    The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

                    by Jim P on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 12:34:54 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  How do you define "Repay"? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sunspots

                Medicare is not repaid.  It is a social good and a worthwhile investment in and of itself.  It helps older people deal with the diseases/health care costs associated with advanced age.

                The money also has the secondary effect of compensating the medical industry and supporting millions of jobs and businesses and the tax receipts from those beneficiries are like a part payment "back."

                Why is your primary concern that Main Street "Repay" a "loan?"  Why can't it be an investment in education, work programs, infrastructure which never gets paid back in installments to a set figure but ripples with secondary financial recompense in growth of the tax base, while also decreasing the suffering of unemployment, mortgage defaults etc?

                I find your view to be very very narrow and a little cold.  Unlike the bankers that were bailed out by TARP, the beneficiaries of Main Street did not knowingly build and benefit from an inherently unstable/unworkable bubble  sham.  No banker would have starved in the cold had tarp not been passed, but many of us on Main Street are right on the brink - we deserve to live a minimal existence even if it comes at a 4% expense of the richest citizens ever to live on earth.  

                Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick. Message to Repug Fundies: "DO you really wonder "what would Jesus do?" I didn't think so.

                by 4CasandChlo on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 10:47:59 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  4Cas - I was drawing the political distinction (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  4CasandChlo

                  If you have a TARP program and the CBO scores it in a way that it doesn't have a net cost to the government it is easy to find a political bipartisan consensus because there is no negative budget impact. It is easy for members of Congress to vote for something that has the potential to have a positive economic benefit at no net long term cost. There is no current political will in Congress to craft programs that would benefit Main St because all of them have an actual cost to the federal government making them much more difficult to pass. My comment was soley regarding the politics of the Wall St v Main St due to the structural elements of TARP, not on the societal merits of helping the people on Main St.

                  "let's talk about that"

                  by VClib on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 10:58:19 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Thank you for clarifying (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    VClib

                    Your explanation helps me understand that you were addressing a different point than me and we likely have the same umbrella values.

                    I never, ever assume that I know more factually than the next guy.  I do believe that I have a moral and just sense of what is right and wrong.  On the first, I am happy to be corrected or redirected - and glad you responded, on the second . . . I am less comprimising but you do seem to have the same compassion.

                    Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick. Message to Repug Fundies: "DO you really wonder "what would Jesus do?" I didn't think so.

                    by 4CasandChlo on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 11:03:57 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

        •  Congress rewards fraud, punishes hard work. (6+ / 0-)

          It really is that simple. The banks only "needed" a bailout, because they insisted on engaging in securities fraud instead of doing actual banking, because fraud made them rich, faster.

          In contrast, people who have worked their whole lives, played by the rules, and now have the audacity to expect to receive the benefits into which they invested over the course of their entire working lives, deserve to be punished for failing to have sufficient levels cut-throat avarice.

      •  Congress, Congress, Congress. (2+ / 0-)

        Okay, how much interest does the President have in bailing out the citizenry?

        •  The President has no power to bail out the (4+ / 0-)

          citizenry.  All speding has to be authorized by Congress and all programs have to be approved.

          The supposed potency of the unitary executive is a sham. The only autonomous ability the President has is not to act -- to do nothing.

          The system set up by the Constitution is permissive.  There are mays and musts. These positive directives are enforced by dismissing agents of government who don't perform.
          The amendments are an anomaly to the extent they express prohibitions. They presume that by prohibiting one action, its (positive) opposite will take place. In reality it doesn't work that way, if only because prohibitions are fraught with exceptions. So, for example, agents of government are prohibited from entering a residence, unless they have a warrant or no time to get one. The prohibition is conditional and easy to evade.
          Similarly, individuals are not to be interrogated to testify against themselves -- unless they have been warned to shut up and talk anyway.

          If we had just stuck with the positive directives and spying weren't assigned to any agency, there would be no authorization to spy.
          The Constitution does order the regulation of commerce and under that rubric lots of intercourse is directed.

          Also, because of the precedent set in the amendments, some people argue that whatever is not prohibited is ipso facto permitted, even though it is not specifically addressed in the Constitution. And then, under the guise of "protection," even more stuff gets done.

          We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

          by hannah on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 07:27:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  whoosh! (4+ / 0-)
            The President has no power to bail out the citizenry.
            Duh.  But he has the worlds' biggest bully pulpit.

            On second thought: Yeah, he has plenty of power.  I had the good fortune to see the LBJ Museum last year.  You know that guy spent hours each day on the phone browbeating Democrats and Republicans alike into acceding to his agenda?  If this President does anything of the sort, he's been doing a great job of keeping it a secret -- all we hear about is preemptive compromise.

            So sure, the current President would probably fail some of the time if he used the LBJ approach.  But at least we all would've known that he'd tried.

            Of course, all this assumes that he wanted to do so in the first place.

      •  "Democracy Gap" a phrase I just (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, Sunspots, Words In Action, jabney

        read somewhere in an article about how huge majorities want Medicare and Social Security completely untouched, with taxes on the rich raised.

        But it extends to almost every field: the War Formerly Known As On Terror; bringing the Corrupt Organizations we call Banks to Justice, etc etc.

        We have a democracy which almost never has democratic outcomes, and the Beltway and its shills aka pundits don't really care at all about that.


        The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

        by Jim P on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 09:28:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's Not the US Government It's the Economic (10+ / 0-)

      government. It's not running a nation-state, it's running markets.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 06:51:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The people don't know (23+ / 0-)

    When we announced that we were moving overseas to our relatives, they almost universally gasped at the very thought of leaving the US. They worried about the terrorist -- in New Zealand -- and how no country could support our six-figure lifestyle like the US could.

    They rationalized with themselves that we must be "on the lamb" or "running from the law" since we obviously couldn't just decide to leave the "greatest country on Earth."

    They did these things because they have been lied to. Worse, they can't admit to themselves that they were duped, because that would invalidate so many deeply held beliefs about themselves.

    I'm sure this is pretty typical for a lot of the American populace. They can't change because change involves asking questions. Those questions might lead to answers that they aren't comfortable with; so, they keep on pushing that stone up that hill, knowing full well where it will land when they finally reach the top.

    George Carlin was too subtle for the American public. A public that, 20 years after being told who is screwing the country, still can't seem to figure out what is going wrong! The owners have administered a powerful sleeping agent, I'm not sure if they'll ever wake up from the American Dream.

    Wanted: New sig line. Must be insightful with a good sense of humor. Non-smoking, no pets.

    by Herodotus Prime on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 04:24:07 AM PST

    •  Please rec Herodotus Prime's post! Thanks :-) (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ScienceMom, corvo, Words In Action, jabney

      Wow that was a really great post!

      sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 04:32:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  USA: History's Most Powerful 3rd World Society. (14+ / 0-)

      We're the developed nation you most need to leave to find the American Dream of generational advancement for your family, which is more likely in all the other advanced democracies.

      We export raw materials and import finished goods.

      We have a large superstitious fundamentalist population that is anti-reason.

      It's impossible for most people to have an accurate, pertinent view of current events by following mainstream news and information sources.

      Our system of government is a democratic oligarchy. Most of us can vote, though we're correcting that, but the government serves ownership first and foremost.

      Under all political leaderships we have transferred the wealth and opportunities of the people to the very rich for all of the last half century.

      We rank behind the advanced democracies often by double digits in most measures of well-being for the people. You'd be safer, healthier, more economically secure, and have more opportunity in many other countries than the US.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 06:57:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yup, you're right (0+ / 0-)

      (R's) take those tired memes and shove 'em, Denise Velez Oliver, 11/7/2012.

      by a2nite on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 08:14:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What Germans should learn from their (9+ / 0-)

    experience with the Euro and we should learn from the Germans is that the currency is worthless. Currencies are measures of value, much as inches and centimeters are measures of distance -- useful, even indispensable, inventions, but intrinsically worthless. Or, for another comparison, we can define national currencies as certified IOUs, much as certificates of marriage certify domestic commitments and relationships. Marriages exist, whether or not they are certified and given public recognition. The latter is only socially important to the extent that recognition is associated with additional benefits and a sense of permanency. Ditto for national currencies, whose reliability also depends on national constancy.
    So, if the U.S. dollar is more reliable than the Euro, it is because it has been around longer and the U.S. has a reputation for reliable behavior. The Congress threatening not to return dollars it has taken into safe keeping sets a terrible precedent. But, fact is that those dollars are not borrowed. A country can't borrow its own currency. The Congress' shell game is a scam. They have been trying to ration the currency to demonstrate their own potency. That's all. It is a losing proposition for the simple reason that money is not only worthless, but we can invent alternative currencies, as people are doing electronically on the Internet.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 04:25:03 AM PST

    •  The Dollar is more reliable than the Euro b/c, ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Orinoco, sebastianguy99

      ...every 4 years, 300 million Americans cheer for the teams from the US of A in the Olympic Games.

      And every four years, Spaniards cheer for the Spanish team, and Germans for the German team, in the same Olympics.

      In short, there is a US of A; there is not a US of Europe.

      The day that citizens from the state of Germany and from the state of Spain cheer for the team from the US of Europe, as it plays against the Brits in the World Cup final, that's the day that the Euro should be taken seriously as a currency.

      But you've got to ask yourself.  Do Greeks, Italians and Germans consider themselves European, part of the US of Europe, or do they consider themselves Greeks, Italians and Germans?

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

      by PatriciaVa on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 07:22:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Whatever, they have adopted the Euro, a common (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Deep Texan, Orinoco, IreGyre

        currency, much as they adopted the centimeter, while the U.S. sticks with inches and makes it more difficult to import window hardware and parts for cars.
        The dollar conforms to the decimal system. The inch and the yard do not.
        But, the things measured are the same, much as the marriage of a straight couple or a gay is the same in that it differs from a casual relationship.

        We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

        by hannah on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 07:34:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  and those Texans and Alaskans... some anyway (0+ / 0-)

        where is their allegiance?

        Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

        by IreGyre on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 10:21:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm a proud citizen of the U.S.A. (0+ / 0-)

          Is there some oath that people in designated states have to take to prove their "allegiance" to those of you beyond reproach?

          "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

          by sebastianguy99 on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 12:33:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hey this is shoe fits thing.. "Some" is the operat (0+ / 0-)

            ive word here... not doing any reproaching and as for that... there are some people in the news (a loud but small minority) pushing secession petitions... so this is aimed at them...

            Since I doubt you are one of them... no reproach intended or implied...

            Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

            by IreGyre on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 04:06:15 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  ..... (0+ / 0-)

        sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

        by Democrats Ramshield on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 01:42:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Irony in this line is delicious: (7+ / 0-)
    To win in America all we have to do is to care about each other and stick together!
    Or, you know, expatriate to the EU, specifically to the one nation doing well in it.

    I wonder if you were in danger of physical harm in some 3rd-world country, would you run to the American or German embassy?

  •  The number is actually about 1 in 10 (4+ / 0-)
    The product of which is that 1 in 3 American homes are underwater todate.
    if that type of nitpicking (i.e., overstating the problem by 333% or so) is important to anyone . .. .
    •  Here's the link: (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Miggles, bubbanomics, IreGyre
      New data show the number of underwater borrowers in the U.S. is continuing to decline as home prices improve, meaning one of the most stubborn roadblocks to the housing market’s recovery is slowly lifting.

      The Santa Ana research firm CoreLogic estimates that the number of homeowners in the U.S. who owed more on their homes than those properties are worth totaled 10.8 million American households, or about 22.3% of all homes with mortgages, at the end of the second quarter.

      link

      Considering that about 1/2 of homes do not have mortgages (or are rental properties held by others) - that 22.3% drops by about 50% to about one in ten.

      Or slightly less than that going by the number of households (114,761,359) reported by the US Census folk

    •  To Roadbed Guy -1 in 3 stat is correct (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, Sunspots, Words In Action

      Well I wondered why you didn't recommend this diary (as you have recommended my diaries in the past), I think there's a misunderstanding here.

      The British Daily Mail newspaper is quoted in the diary as stating that, a third of homes of mortgages in the U.S. are underwater, of which 9 out of 10 underwater mortgage holders are current on their mortgages.

      The fact that 9 out of 10 underwater mortgage holders are current on their mortgages shows that these mortgage holders are paying for negative equity. This means they're paying for nothing. The point of the diary is this bears corrections. The diary goes on to state, that if the market doesn't provide for a correction and the government only wants to bail out Wall Street and not Main Street, underwater mortgage holders that if underwater mortgage en mass defaulted, the courts could never foreclosure on that many people if everyone stands together.

      sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 07:25:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not correct, not at all (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bubbanomics

        10.8 million American households are underwater.

        There are a total of 114,761,359 households.

        So the number is 1 in 10.6

        Not 1 in 3.

        No matter what the British Daily Mail might be saying . .. ..

        Sure, there might be the occasion locality (Las Vegas?) where that ratio might be true, but nation-wide it's WAY off.

      •  An argument could be made that 10.8 million (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bubbanomics

        is  a shockingly large number.

        I won't dispute that.

        But still, putting the numbers in a "reality-based" context still seems to be worth doing.  Especially from a German perspective (because isn't precision something that your country likes to think they excel at?)

  •  Do you have any views independent... (3+ / 0-)

    ...of what Spiegel says?

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 07:05:55 AM PST

    •  I'd be curious to know what the average German... (0+ / 0-)

      ...thinks of being lied by their pols.

      A recent poll shows that 70% of Germans want less Europe, not more.

      But Germans politicians couldn't care less about the rank-and-file.

      They are so committed to this grand ill-fated artificial construct known as the Eurozone, that they can't admit that they're wrong.

      I disagree with almost everything Milton Friedman ever said.

      But he was on point when he predicted disaster for the EZ, over one decade ago.

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

      by PatriciaVa on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 07:33:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  the EU financial mess was avoidable (0+ / 0-)

        just as 2007 was... The Euro was not a guaranteed fail... but some did see what the pitfalls could be. And others were gunning for it from day one... and were not the friend of the EU or its citizens but only out for what they could get out of helping destabilize it... an easy thing to do for the right entity in the right places. And Wall street and transnational banks all led the stampede to grab as much and game things against their rivals regardless of the havoc they were set on creating while paying pols off to stay in denial and to keep anything from stopping them

        Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

        by IreGyre on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 12:16:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I just don't see this happening. (4+ / 0-)

    With respect to mortgages, while I think that the American people fully support renegotiating the terms of a mortgage (like lowering interests rates, and/or extending payments, and/or suspending payments on the unemployed) I don't see a huge support for either forgiving principal or righting down principal amounts.  Here's why.  

    The only way to do this, supposedly, is for the United States government to pass some law saying that mortgage holders are limited to the present value as the mortgage principle.  And doing that -- changing the basic terms of the contract forcing the mortgage holder to take a financial loss that was not bargained for -- would be an unconstitutional "taking' without just compensation (see the 5th Amendment) by taking property rights of the mortgage holder.  The government would have to compensate the mortgage holder for the amount of loss the government forces the mortgage holder to take -- i.e., another bailout of the banks.  I don't see that happening.

    And I think a lot of people would see a "fairness" issue in here.  The people you would be "bailing out" are only those who borrowed up to the then-existing full value of their homes.  Many, many others who made larger down payments, or who have paid down principal, have suffered equal losses in the value of their homes -- and an loss in equity in your house is a real financial loss, especially when they go to sell it.  Yet all these people, who have suffered real financial loss, would not get a bailout because, and only because, the amount of principal remaining on their mortgage is less than the now-lowered value of the home.  Not only do they not get financial relief because their either were more financially conservative in the first place or have paid longer on their mortgages, but they would, in essence, be paying others who suffered the exact same loss but had a more aggressive borrowing strategy and/or bought their house more recently, at the top of the "bubble."  

    It seems to me that, unpleasant as it is, there are not a lot of options to letting the legal structure stay in place.  People who are "underwater" can look to see if their loans are no recourse or not, and make decisions as to what is in their best interests.  

    I think the same applies to student loan debt, frankly.  There are a lot of people who couldn't afford to go to college, or couldn't afford to go full time, or couldn't afford to go to a "name" university.  Should they be paying so that someone who racked up $100,000 in debt for tuition, room and board at a top tier university -- and who will keep all the benefits of that education -- can now be free from debt?  I think there's a fairness issue that will not play well with the American public.  (And this is from a parent who knows full well how outrageous the cost of a college education can be.)  

    •  But the issue is that all this talk of fairness (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, mkor7, Sunspots

      that you bring up was never considered during the big bank bailouts of 2008 and 2009.  And it's still happening today.  This year the Rajoy government in Spain bailed out the big banks and did zilch for Spanish homeowners.  And the way things work in Spain, you can't walk away from an underwater mortgage.  You owe forever.

      •  You can't justify (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib, nextstep

        this unfairness by saying "the big bank bailout was unfair, so I should get to profit unfairly, too!"  That doesn't work with someone who bought a house for $300,000, has been paying on a mortgage for 15 years, now owes $200,000 on a house worth $225,000.  They've lost $75,000 and they have to pay for someone else's mortgage, all because they bought their house a while back and paid their mortgage regularly?  And what about the person who had $100,000 equity in their first home, and used it to by a second, $300,000 home?  Say that second home is now worth $225,000 -- they've clearly lost $75,000, but since they had a lot of equity in the house, and didn't borrow as much, they not only get no relief, but they have to subsidize someone else's loss.  

        And saying, "well you got screwed in the bank bailout so we're entitled to screw you again" doesn't help.

        As for the "walk away" thing, here that depends on the documents you signed when you agreed to borrow the money to buy the house, and state law.  In some instances, it's "non-recourse," which means that the only thing the mortgage holder can do if you don't pay is take the house.  But that also means that the mortgage was probably a bit more expensive in terms of points or interest rate, because it's a bit riskier for the bank.  If it's a recourse loan, where the bank can not only take the house but you still owe the difference between what they get when they sell the house and what you have left on the loan, that's worse for the homeowner who defaults, but on the other hand, the loan was probably a little bit cheaper and easier to get in the first place.  

      •  Miggles - the bank bailouts are loans (0+ / 0-)

        that the banks are expected to repay. I don't see how that is the same as debt forgiveness for individual borrowers.  

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 11:15:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  the banks inflated the market with easy credit (0+ / 0-)

      in the first place which ballooned housing prices far beyond what was safe. So they actively colluded in deceptive lending which directly overheated the housing market. Their actions are directly to blame... they covered up, lied and generally acted corruptly... and it only ended when the bubble popped and the recession started. Citizens relied on the Govt and public and private entities to act with the wider long term interest of the whole country... mortgage holders and everyone else too. I don't know if there is any way to tie recourse to the causes but in a higher state of justice there would be some sort of relief for those who bore the brunt of the results of greed and corruption.

      Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

      by IreGyre on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 12:24:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I Agree With the Thoughts... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roadbed Guy

    ...but...effectuate change?

    Do you not mean effectuate changeration?

    Or perhaps effect change.

  •  bailouts? with what money? (0+ / 0-)

    -You want to change the system, run for office.

    by Deep Texan on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 07:59:14 AM PST

  •  CEO's want it all and will not stop till... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, Azazello, Sunspots, Words In Action

    they get Social Security privatized

    ....another glaring example of these CEOs’ hypocrisy. Of the CEOs in Fix the Debt, 71 lead public companies; of those, 41 have employee pension funds. Of those, only two pensions are fully funded; the other pensions are underfunded by an average of $2.5 billion, according to the Institute for Policy Studies.

    More generally, according to the same source (see full report), S&P 500 companies’ pensions are only 72 percent funded. Social Security, by contrast, will pay full benefits for the next twenty-some years, and will pay about 75 percent of scheduled benefits thereafter even if nothing is changed. And those company pension funds benefit from the lax standards of private pension accounting, which allow them to assume optimistic rates of return. Social Security’s funding estimates have much less risk because it is paid for by interest on Treasury bonds and by payroll taxes, which are much less volatile than the stock market.*

    http://baselinescenario.com/...

    no one is safe from the Kochtopussy's of the world.....wtf

  •  Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) proposed... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, Sunspots, Words In Action, IreGyre

    ....a provision in Chapter 13 bankruptcy allowing debtors to  cram down mortgages to the value of the house.  (If your house was worth $150,000 and you owed $200,000, the debt would be lowered to $150,000 if you completed a 3-5 year bankruptcy plan).

    (Currently, you can remove a second mortgage if the house is worth less than the first and you complete the Chapter 13 plan.)

    Of course, we have the best Congress money can buy.  The banksters shot that down as quick as they could slap a $35 late fee on a credit card payment that's one day late.

    9-11 changed everything? Well, Katrina changed it back.

    by varro on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 08:45:00 AM PST

  •  Occupy is right. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Democrats Ramshield

    The only way we'll really turn the tide on the Class War is to camp one or two million people around D.C. until they agree to make the necessary changes.

    The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

    by Words In Action on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 11:43:43 AM PST

  •  I'll be darned if I take lectures from the EU. (0+ / 0-)

    There really is no economic high ground to be found on the planet. Perfection just doesn't exist in any system no matter which country/tribe/faction one might like to throw bouquets to.

    "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

    by sebastianguy99 on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 12:38:29 PM PST

  •  smile (0+ / 0-)

    sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

    by Democrats Ramshield on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 02:18:34 PM PST

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