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Posts Tagged ‘recession’

At the time of Honoré Daumier it was Europe balancing on a  live bomb. Now the situation has hardly changed. From street protests for political rights the crisis now hinges on economy.

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I have on hand a report where 52 economists have put the chances of falling back into a recession in the next year at one in four. The same Wall Street Journal had come with a one in three chance foreseen by the same group in September.
America is biting the bullet and hoping the nightmare would go away. The Great Recession officially ended in June 2009, but the bits and pieces of the Great Meltdown of 2008 still reverberate. Now all we need to brace for is Europe’s debt crisis. It is like the riptide after the high tide of consumer spending for goods we could not afford,- and listening to Alan J Greenspan as though he were an oracle, and finding after the waves broke that the ground was cut off from beneath, he was mistaken.
Now while in America politically divided house harp over the same old charges at one another veterans are suffering, man on the street is suffering and the home industries are gathering dust. I suspect American Banking is one grey area where troubles brew come high tide or low tide.
As a layman I do not trust banks. Especially when they crow of their expertise. American bankers are like crows with degrees but technocrats with so much power in their hands often behave like cuckoos. Remember how clever John Devaney sounded when he bought up risky loans? Hedge funds played an important role in his life. By buying up mortgage loans, Devaney and other hedge-fund managers made it profitable for lenders to make questionable loans and then sell them off. Hedge funds were more than willing to swallow the risk in exchange for the promise of fat returns. Devaney wasn’t just a big buyer of mortgage bonds — he had his own $600 million fund devoted to buying risky loans — he was one of its cheerleaders. He was also a wizard , maestro jumping through hoops, only that there weren’t any. In early 2007, talking about option ARM mortgages, he told Money, “The consumer has to be an idiot to take on one of those loans, but it has been one of our best-performing investments.” From crow to cuckoo is the art making the dollar shrink,- and whichever way you look it cannot do you any good.(ack:Time magazine/John Devaney)
benny

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The Way Things Are in America

Barbara, 46, and Kevin Lowe, 52, Grand Rapids, Mich.

The cell phones were canceled; so were all subscriptions and outside entertainment. We didn’t go skiing this winter, and we won’t be golfing over the summer. No more wine. We used our severance and some savings to pay off Kevin’s 2008 Saturn and pay down the house. We debated whether to cancel the local newspaper, but in the end kept it for the Sunday coupons. We now eat every single item in the house until it’s gone. If that means we have curly pasta and penne and spaghetti all mixed up, so be it. I have 101 ways to use half-eaten boxes of pasta. We’re much more careful shopping — no more running in to get one or two things. We wait until we have a big list, and then buy only what’s on that list — and at the local grocery warehouse, not the food boutique.

You’d be amazed at how you don’t even know where your money goes. It took us a couple of months to get a firm handle on our expenses. There are some things you only pay a few times a year and you forget them, and then they crop up and you don’t have $40 for the water bill or veterinarian. I distributed flyers around the neighborhood offering babysitting and elder-care services. I can take care of an infant for a few hours as well as any high school girl. I’m tired of waiting for someone else to offer me a job.

It’s hard to invite people for dinner, so we don’t accept many invitations. We went to the art show on the day tickets were discounted, and told friends we’d brown-bag our lunches. One of them said we could go to a cheap restaurant, but I can’t. I’m not sure they really understand how it is. I know I didn’t until it happened to me”.

Another news item that I came across and it is also disturbing.

“People were picking the bodies up last year,” says Albert Samuels, chief investigator at the medical examiner’s office in Wayne County, Mich., which includes Detroit. “Across the board, I’m finding the numbers are on the rise of either families who are not coming forward to claim bodies or they’re signing releases saying they can’t afford to bury someone, which taxes the county resources because then the county is responsible for burying these people.”

How come manifest destiny of a nation fails both living and the dead?It seems to me someone or groups of people in their positions of trust have been waving the flag and beating the drum too often to think of the nation’s most precious commodity-people.

benny

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One panhandler: When my career was on right track I had a job and a desk. No one came with meaner  killer streak. Around the cooler my jokes dropped them dead; my back-stabbing took no prisoners.
The other: Then what did go wrong?
The first: The gravy train went wrong way.

benny

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The day I turned 18 my father called me to his study and said I was on my own. My parents wanted me to go and find a job. But jobs that came were not what exactly I was after.
So after a long search I became my own boss. I have this sign in front of my seat: the buck stops here.
At the end of the day no bucks stopped but two nickels.  That will do.
You see how one learns to downsize one’s expectations?

benny

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Bailout Please!

drawings-benny5

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Energy As Wealth ©
This is the story of two brothers. Hedgie-Lee was the older and his brother was Lee-Hung Woof. They had not a yen between them when their father died. Mr. Hedgie went to Shanghai. When he first came home he saw his brother picking scraps of paper from the dusty lanes and splashing water about.
“Why break your back?”
Oh I mind the environment. There are lots of dust and rubbish. Health of our village is..”
“Ah you needn’t quote from the little red book.” The older brother was always irritated by his idealism. ”Mao is dead and gone. Wake up brother!”
Mr. Woof asked, “What do you in the big city?”
“I sit in a big hall and watch dots of lights go up and down. When the gong strikes some fellows just like me sit around and compare notes. And at the end I pocket wads of notes. I earned it.”
Of course Woof didn’t understand what it is to be a broker. His brother had money to burn. That shut up all who thought he was idling away chasing some one’elses money.“
“It must be festival time!Every day!” was the remark of Mr. Woof when he came next to see his brother. Mr. Hedgie was a director in one of the investment banks.
“You must work hard to earn such a three piece suit?”
Mr. Hedgie chortled. He knew his brother wouldn’t understand a word of his operations. He grimaced to see his brother waste his time taking health inspector, a barefooted peasant, around each house to check the pregnant mother and the infants. “ Infants are prone to sickness if we didn’t take care of their mothers. So I identify all the pregnant mothers who needs looking into.”
Mr. Hedgie checked before he felt anger rising within. “It is your life!” he said curtly and next time he came and announced that he was the CEO of Greed-Is-Good Bank.
A year later Mr. Hedige came all in a fluster and whispered,”Hide me brother. I lost even the shirt off my back.”
While he blubbered how he had lost all wealth, and was about to be apprehended for all the economic woes, Mr. Hung said,” You can start all over. You still have health?”
“You mean I should sweat out as you do?”
Then he caught the sight of a certificate hanging on the wall, signed by the Chairman himself, thanking him for the services.
“ I receive a stipend that takes care of all my needs.” Mr. Hedgie coud see that his brother was made much of by the entire village. They saw to that he was not in want in any thing.
Mr. Hedgie made money with no sweat but Mr. Woof because of his dedicated service won the respect and affection of all. Energy that he collected by selfless service does not clink as gold.
For some anything that they cannot convert into money is worthless. There are so many such fools walking about grown up but still like a baby inside. They cannot distinguish between the real and trifle.
benny

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One homeless person to another: “I thought of turning a new leaf; but the winter set in early.”

The other: “I was so low on the job market.  so I took a couple of degrees. But now I am overqualified for the jobs available”.

2.

At a Hallow’n party

one in the costume of  Headless Horseman,  “I am not sticking my neck out for any one.”

His companion in a Dracula dress: ” Ichabod, you lost your head and I my dentures. We will take off from there during the party. Remember we are here for a good time.”

benny

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