Everyone in this day and age is familiar with the Banking System. We use our ATM’s, Pay Pal and of course other financial instruments designed to make our life easier, and financially safe. But who protects us from the Banking System?
To truly understand the banking system, you first need to know where it came from and what it´s purpose was in the beginning. Now most of us know banks have been around since Jessee James, but those were different creatures, not even closely related to what we have today.
One of the largest Earth Quakes in the History of the United States was the Great San Francisco Earth Quake or 1906. Most people weren´t alive when this happened, but the Bank of American was born in that disaster. You see, the Federal Govt. and the State of California had no money to rebuild the city. You see financial institutions were always looked at like loan sharks. The sell you money, they take interest and drive prices up with artificial prices based on speculation. The old stories how the bank was going to repossess the farm and kick aunt Martha off here land, forgotten and forsaken. This was the image banks had gotten in the public eye, in the press and on the different medias available at the time. Remember, there was no television in 1906.
Remember, this is a country at the time on the gold standard. As long as gold was the financial foundation of the United States, the dollar had to be stable. But, this tragedy had almost every man, woman and child homeless and without shelter. The only building left standing was the Mark Hopkins Hotel standing straight and proud on the top of the hill in San Francisco. Normally the view was spectacular, but this day was like looking at Mt. Saint Helen’s the day after the volcano erupted! Injured people, no medical care, the Mark Hopkins was turned into a hospital. The situation was dire, the city and government officials had serious problems and turned to a group of wealthy individuals for help. No need to go into names…. These individuals formed the Bank of America, one of the most famous and long-lived names in the banking industry. Special laws were written where the Bank of America could assign debt, basically make loans, and collect interest on that debt which would be controlled and regulated so people would not have the bankers take advantage of individuals when they were down…. Eventually the city was rebuilt and Bank of America was in the middle of positive perceptions and was given more and more leeway as the years went by.
Fast forward now to the present where we are no longer on the gold standard so the international community can afford the products from the United States. International banking and commerce becomes a daily issue in the press on in all medias. What the DOW was doing, what the interest rates are, how strong is the Dollar, all these things were daily items in the minds of the ¨home trader¨and his Charles Schwabb account. It seems that everyone in the states became a day trader. Everyone was a speculator.
Along the way there have been depressions, Black Fridays, four more market crashes, Junk Bonds, Enron, a thousand other disasters in the financial markets and still, the day traders speculated. Just like they speculate oil, Electricity, Currencies and anything else you can buy on the open market. Speculation unchecked is dangerous, but the present-day markets are a bordello of illicit financial transactions and opportunities and nothing has changed. Greed has gone wild, transparency is as clear as mud, special interest groups get what they want and the politicians are all pointing fingers in everyone elses direction, but not in theirs. After all, they weren´t the ones who caused the problem… or are they?
With the frustration factor attached to the global economy because our elected officials, influenced by the special interest, I think of it as being bribed, all looked the other way when it came to present market conditions or were simply in a position to repay the special interest guys for campaign contributions or ??
Now we could blame Bush and most do for this financial melt down. I will say he did nothing to stop this, but you have to give Bush some breathing room, after all, he wasn´t able to make a sentence with more than six works long when he was first in office. He was just oblivious to the whole thing and being a less govt. sort, the banks were safe and free to give my dog a guaranteed credit limit of $25,000.00 usd, all she had to do was put her paw print on the form and it would have been a done deal! The whole idea of risk and risk management disappeared when the sleeping public never heard from it´s news services like CNN, CNBC, and others how Congress and the Senate had changed the law so the unsuspecting individual could not file bankruptcy on unsecured debt. This is because they are not journalist, they are television companies owned by soap manufacturers or appliance makers influencing what you hear and see so they can continue to sell advertising space… basically these entertainment corporations, Walter Cronkite would flip if he was directed to present the news today! But I´m off subject.
So the Banking Industry now had the ability to give credit cards, houses, cars, business loans and more to our college students, unqualified people with no income, and home owners. Home owners, the holy grail of Banking yet has no social responsibility, none. They can issue cards to anyone they want, even those who they think will not be able to pay their debts. Imagine that, no risk, can’t get out of paying through bankruptcy, they used to call these people ¨Loan Sharks¨. You know, the guys who would break your legs if you didn´t pay them back with the ¨vig¨or interest compounding daily. Now things are done with a little more subtlety, but still the same process, only now they have suits and not over coats.
Recently it came out that the Bail-Out was over paid and Pres. Obama wants to take the overage, if you can call two hundred billion overage… and ¨Spend out way out of the recession¨. OK, I thought the money was to get the bad loans and the foreclosed homes back in line and keep people in their homes. Anyone seen any of this??
Hitler, now there’s a name that will get your attention, was in the same situation as Pres. Obama… The banks would not loosen the grip on the national monies, they were of a certain religion that he didn´t care for anyway, so Hitler went out and eventually got money moving in Germany. They financed the second world war and believe it or not, pulled the world out of the depression. We all know the story of WWII ….
One thing the United States always had going for it was it´s wealth, it´s people and it´s clear and distinct transparency so anyone could see how and were the money went and what was coming in. Now, this has all changed. With the open check book, when questioned where the ¨TARP¨ money went, they all shake their heads and point fingers.
Now we hear that these banks and brokerage firms are paying back the money they received, even though they never did anything with it except prop up it´s bad loan divisions which are now ghost companies on some other banks bottom line. Smoke and Mirrors amigos… Now you can see these very same people showing commercials about how safe and rock solid they are… What?? Credit card companies looking to screw clients have introduced all sorts of fines for things like over chargers, late payments, even no usage of the card comes with a fee or fine if you ask me….
So, where do we go… Well, I don´t know. But I had a friend tell me the other day that if two hundred billion was spent, it would pay off every loan in America, not just the bad loans, all the loans! So why is the bailout seven hundred billion dollars of invisible stimulus activities?
If Govt. took the seven hundred billion dollars and gave that money to the general public, this would be a done deal by now. The general public knows where they need to spend money, what bills need paying, and what medical bills they have. Imagine if every american over the age of fifty got a million dollars. Now they have to quit, can´t work. They would have to buy a car, a few appliances, and take a trip. They would not have to pay taxes on this money and the trickle down effect is in place. It can’t do anything but help. We don’t have the politicians still making bad decisions based on their pocket-book and perceptions of what the american people need. After all, 80% of those in the Senate and Congress are millionaires. Not exactly govt. by the people, but govt. by lawyers is more like it… What did Shakespeare have to say about attorneys again…. Hmmmm, can someone help me here?
The bottom line here is: I am tired of huge Stock Market Disasters, I am tired of being told we need to cut back more and lower our standard of living just to have what I worked so hard for, taken in the name of bad banking and bad govt. Frankly, if there was no extended banking, the general public would be forced to deal in real world values, not artificially inflated prices paid for with your money on their credit cards…..
I want to be able to look at my daughter and know her life will be a little better for her than mine, but I can´t do that…. I want to think I will be able to go to a doctor in the states when I get old….. well older if I need some serious medical attention without having to go to India to be able to afford an operation. I want a new car every four years, a two-week vacation every year, an affordable house where the wife can stay home and nurture the children of the family so they aren´t strangers with Uzis when they turn 13!
In short, I want to see some level of sanity return to the daily lifes of Americans who have lost touch with the American Dream. We need to demand our elected officials stay away from lobbiest, and listen to their constituents. We need real world people in Govt, not some guy that has been there for thirty years telling people he isn´t to blame for this mess, when he is. We need to turn the television to CSPAN and see what your govt is doing to you, not for you. We all need to start paying attention and using our vote to get back what we have lost. Everything todays generations have, came from the previous generation who returned from WWII hell-bent on making the world a better place. After coming close to dieing in the war, most Americans had a different, ¨building¨ attitude if you will. Today, we’ve regressed to living of the mis fortune of others and we don´t care as long as we got our… screw everyone else. Well America was not founded on these principles and I for one wouldn’t want to see what we have as a situation turn into our Great grandchildren problems. Lets be adults, lets set the markets and politicians straight….. Run for office, vote, write articles, left or right, write….. Get involved, it’s time for common sense to speak up and demand accountability, intelligence, and compassion. This is the United States.. Not China… Get our factories back in the states and let’s get Communist ¨Allies¨ finances back in their pockets and stop allowing China to put itself in a position of superiority….. That’s my opinion, I may be wrong, but there you are….. Stan