Sunday, August 21, 2016

TWIT moves to the East Side



I don't do much TWIT coverage anymore mostly because I don't believe in beating a dead horse.  On occasion, however, there are noteworthy events that require no context and no explanation.

Honestly, there's rarely much that comes out of the house the Leo built that's worth covering.  I'll save the morbid voyeurism for sites like totaldrama.org.

Which leads me to the video below.  If anything punctuates the sad state of TWIT it's watching the cadre of TWIT regulars ride an open air bus to a sad little office park.  Listen closely and you'll hear unmistakable subtext of unhappiness.

The long last looks at the old studio,  the constant jokes about the seedy neighbors of the new one and the apologetic tone for everything the new studio isn't once they arrive.

It's a capitulation brought about by a reality check even if the public face of TWIT denies the reality.

Still, it's the most lively broadcast to come out of TWIT in a long time.  So whether you're fan, foe or like me indifferent to TWIT the following should provide entertainment nonetheless.

Kind of like the morbid curiosity one finds at staring at the aftermath of a car crash.



Wednesday, August 17, 2016

I hate stupid people....


Now before you run off and call me an elitist or a snob realize that I'm referring to those who continue to hold outdated and prejudicial views.  

Such as those that have a nasty habit of blaming the victim.

I've included just such an exchange with what I consider to be a charter member of the "stupid people" group.  The topic is predatory lending specifically as to how it relates to the 2008 financial crisis.  

What follows is the unedited exchange....

Stupid Person...

Dumb people making dumb decisions. They should have read the fine print. They should have a good job and a good set of skills so that if they lose their current job by no fault of their own they can find a new one without too much trouble. If you do not have at least these things, you should never consider taking on a mortgage. 

And yes it is shitty that banks gave these mortgages out anyway, but the information is not misleading. At the time of things like Fannie the fine print was still given to the buyer in full. While it may be legalese, that is what lawyers and accountants are for. The banks are happy to give you credit even if you won't pay, and they are perfectly happy to give you all the terms and conditions. There is no serious wrongdoing here except for the buyer being negligent.

Less Stupid Person ( ME ) ....

Thank you Bernie Madoff....

That's the "They deserved to be F'd because they're stupid argument" 

You're making a hell of a lot of assumptions there. Like assuming that everyone out of work or underemployed are stupid and lack skills. Never mind that many skilled and professional jobs have been shipped overseas leaving people with a whole lot of debt and nothing to replace the income. As for the fine print, you literally would have to have a Juris Doctorate degree to understand every term and condition. I suppose you read every word of every EULA you click "accept" to in that case. Good luck getting anything done. 

It's called predatory lending for a reason. There was a time when you could trust your banker, lawyer and even your doctor to do the right thing and give the right information. Now it's all about padding profit margins and when banks started using their deposits as gambling money on wall street speculation...well....all bets were off. You can't trust a banker any more than you can trust a used car salesman so whom are you supposed to seek guidance from? 

Do you think a 25K a year guy with a wife and 2 kids is going to be able to afford 300/hr for an attorney to look over every line of a mortgage? Most people were sold a bill of goods and they believed it because somebody told them that the "pros" would never lie to them. If it were just simple interest that's one thing but try to explain amortization and compounded interest to a bunch of people left behind by a public education system that barely teaches them to tie their shoes. 

In a culture of desperation it's easy to leave your skepticism behind when the "pros" are telling you otherwise. Your admonition of "good job and good set of skills" doesn't fly anymore and it hasn't for 30 years. You're assuming a level playing field and it's not. If you think it is, I've got a bridge to sell you in New York...