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Fannie Mae Seriously Delinquent Rate Hockeysticks to 4.45% From 1.57% In Prior Year

Tyler Durden's picture


The FNM "seriously delinquent" rate has gone parabolic, increasing by roughly 5% sequentially and just under 300% YoY. As mere text will simply not do this metric justice, please enjoy this chart of the dataset from Blytic. It tells you all you need to know about the Fed's containment of the housing problem.

The August seriously delinquent single-family number comprised of a 2.87% non-credit enhanced delinquencies and a very bothersome 11.52%, consisting of credit enhanced loans.

The deterioration of FNM's book however did not stop it from increasing the size of its book. In September Fannie's total book of business hit $3.242 trillion, up from $3.229 trillion in August and $3.079 trillion in the prior year.

This trend should bother you, dear taxpayer, because it is your money on the hook here, which is not only massively mismanaged by Bernanke & Co., LLC, but which sees another $80 billion of free funding every month courtesy of the dollar printing press to onboard even more toxic garbage onto your balance sheet.


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Fri, 10/30/2009 - 18:42 | 115663 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Strategic default will become standard operating procedure for underwater borrowers, therefore no sane lender takes RE loans onto portfolio on other than strict terms, can you imagine 30% down 7% interest non-conforming?

Which will not be good for the higher end house prices.

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 18:57 | 115683 ghostfaceinvestah
ghostfaceinvestah's picture

Agreed, as I have been saying (and seeing), the delinquent inventory is feeding on itself: high delinquency rates are begetting even higher delinquencies, as borrowers who are current hear about their neighbors who are equally underwater but have stopped paying their mortgage and are living rent-free, going on vacation, buying toys, etc.

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 19:29 | 115713 nicholsong
nicholsong's picture

"as borrowers who are current hear about their neighbors who are equally underwater but have stopped paying their mortgage and are living rent-free, going on vacation, buying toys, etc."

This is exactly what I was railing about to people a 18 months ago when Bernanke suggested lenders should forgive homeowners' mortgages--but not as a mass cramdown which might actually be an arguable proposition--but only those who are underwater.  I knew it would result in people seeing their neighbor not pay and only gain from it. The metric is simple:

1)  I pay, you pay: We both keep our stuff. 

2)  I pay, you don't pay: We still both have our stuff. 

3)  I don't pay.

This is no endorsement of any 'immorality' of not paying a mortgage; it's just a contract to perform in exchange for a consumable called a house.  But the behavior is, of course, utterly predictable.

Here's the link to Bernanke showing how little he understands human nature bysuggesting to ramp up the foreclosures--oops I mean forgive certain homeowners.

ZH: I love the captcha joke. 17-6=11 is wrong. I love that.

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 19:35 | 115716 ghostfaceinvestah
ghostfaceinvestah's picture

Nothing pisses a person off more than seeing their neighbor get away with something.  It is a strong motivating force.

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 20:37 | 115764 Miles Kendig
Miles Kendig's picture

A big time feedback loop for sure ghost

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 21:52 | 115811 torabora
torabora's picture

Perhaps 'higher end' is just 'overpriced'.

Sun, 11/01/2009 - 09:31 | 116538 blindfaith
blindfaith's picture

Don't suppose anybody happens to notice that what these two financial sewers get in one month would pay for the National Health Plan for one fucking year!!!!  And, in one year a full decade of health care for American.  But the sheep believe, with blindfaith, all is for the best and our paradise be OK soon.

30% down, that is exactly what was required just a few short years ago by an S&L or bank with 12% interest I might add.

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 18:43 | 115665 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

You say this like it's a bad thing.


Sat, 10/31/2009 - 08:01 | 116021 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

The Fed will need to place a call to "Carpets Are Us" if they're going to find a bigger rug to sweep this under.

Sat, 10/31/2009 - 11:05 | 116072 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

The US is the rug. Maybe the planet. Dunno.

We should do a content analysis of all your posts and develop a typology of financial denial and denial metaphors. You stay in character rather easily, I'd say. So much fertile material and all...

PS. You posted me a nice post (I think on the Joe or Rosie thread) and I posted you one back!

Sat, 10/31/2009 - 15:18 | 116149 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I did see your applause as well as Miles, standing witness. Thank you kindly for your complement. I've never quite thought about it the way you described but it makes sense that if "you spot it, you got it." Bravo! Once again you do me the honor of offering me the Readers Digest version of your thinking for my easy digestion.

All the world's my stage, MsCreant. I just shovel the shit, I don't produce it. At least not in these quantities. As far as the denial metaphors are concerned, I'd say it's my own personal coping mechanism, little ole me shaking my stick at the hornets nest the masters of the universe continue to weave, occasionally making some contact. To be perfectly honest, it makes me feel good. No better reason than that to do it.

So many smarter people on ZH have a better grasp of the actual Ponzi techniques than I do and can very eloquently describe them for other ZH readers. I see my role as a wannabe chief shit shoveler and I shoulder my self imposed burden with great gusto. Hey, someones' gotta do it so why not me. Besides, I'm most certainly not alone at the wheel.

Surely no one believes this insanity is solely the product of a few good men? It takes a gloriously dysfunctional and ultimately suicidal culture to create the really titanic human disasters. When you boil it all down to its base ingredients, we're all asking the same extraordinarily interesting question. 


The search for the answer to that question begins, and I suppose will end, by looking within. I've found that the answers I'm beginning to unearth are exponentially more complex, and more satisfying, than the how questions and bring me personal healing and hope. Thus, it's where I prefer to dwell, if for no other reason than my selfish desire for peace and happiness.

Sat, 10/31/2009 - 15:52 | 116187 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

I hear you on the idea that others document the Ponzification well. You on the other hand, are good at spoting the ways the rest of us (not the masters of the universe) stay in denial.  Your performance as an observer of cognitive dissonance is where I thought we could do a content analysis. I bet we could chart axes on n-dimensional graphs (maybe even make them hot).

When we were done charting the graph points, with the green as the x axis, perhaps this is what the graph would look like:


Sat, 10/31/2009 - 16:07 | 116194 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Boy, you had me going there for a second. While I didn't really expect a graph of my posts I did figure you might have poached one from somewhere else as an funny example.

So you caught me leaning and when you tugged on my shirt collar, I came tumbling down in a laughing silly mess. I must say though, that does look like my ass stuck up in the air. The head is too buried for me to draw any conclusions. :>)

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 18:43 | 115666 ghostfaceinvestah
ghostfaceinvestah's picture

One other thing to mention - all those "credit enhanced" loans, of which 11%+ are delinquent, are backed by the Mortgage Insurers, who almost universally are a) rated BB or lower (and this week got put on negative watch), and b) are denying claims like crazy in order to survive.

But yet, Fannie or Freddie don't take a valuation haircut on that exposure.  (Except for the one MI that is paying claims at 60cents on the dollar, they kinda have to take a haircut on that.)

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 18:45 | 115668 Cistercian
Cistercian's picture

 Wow...the fed has done such a good job here!Kudos are in order!Ummmph....what the heck!I was standing on my head and....oh crap!The bloodthirst is unquenchable!



Fri, 10/30/2009 - 18:45 | 115670 Joe Sixpack
Joe Sixpack's picture


Fri, 10/30/2009 - 19:04 | 115688 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

anybody know what the slope on that is?


Fri, 10/30/2009 - 19:39 | 115722 docj
docj's picture

It's the Slope of Hope.  And Change.

Sat, 10/31/2009 - 00:04 | 115893 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture


Sat, 10/31/2009 - 11:25 | 116081 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

y = mx + b

Where there is slope, there is change.

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 18:54 | 115676 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

this is all delusional.....bernanke told us the housing loan crisis would be no more than 200b usd and that it was contained in 2008....and we were assured by jim cramer that the housing crisis ended june 30th....

so all of this graphola is a lagging indicator....

furthermore housing delinquencies can't be this high during a recovery.....the recession has ended and the economy is growing like vigorously....therefore the graph is irrelevant....

reasonable workouts will be made without impact to banks....

Sat, 10/31/2009 - 02:15 | 115940 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Someone junked your joke. Sorry they done that 2 U. I'm laughing!

Sat, 10/31/2009 - 06:25 | 115990 Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

Who would kick such a fine comedian in the junk. That ain't RIGHT I TELL YA!!

Sat, 10/31/2009 - 08:07 | 116022 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I don't know. From my point of view, it sounds like a reasonable and prudent analysis of our current situation but any talking head on CNBC or Bloomberg.

So much easier to understand now that the hopium is kicking in. Another round for the world Tyler, I've got Ben's "AAA" rated unlimited credit card.

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 18:54 | 115678 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

did i get captcha right?
must have if i made the string.
we are so fucked!

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 19:00 | 115686 digalert
digalert's picture

Good thing FHA is still rubber stamping loans and we can thank Barney Frank "bad loans are actually good, they keep prices from falling farther. It's policy." WTF? he said it not me.

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 19:22 | 115703 MyKillK
MyKillK's picture

I'm a pretty damn cynical person, but even I couldn't believe that quote. But yep, it's real, here are the exact words:


"I don't think it's a bad thing that the bad loans occurred. It was an effort to keep prices from falling too fast."


And this guy is one of our most powerful congressman in the financial world...stunning, truly stunning!

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 21:20 | 115793 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

barney frank is a pedophile....i don't expect
anything better from him....

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 21:57 | 115816 torabora
torabora's picture

This is the same guy who didn't know about the homosexual underaged call guy ring being run out of his home.

The voters in his district are terminally stupid.

Sat, 10/31/2009 - 01:17 | 115930 Pedro
Pedro's picture

In his district?  How about the whole state.

Sat, 10/31/2009 - 05:43 | 115979 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

yes that would the link between omaha and washington
with tentacles spreading out all along the

Sat, 10/31/2009 - 10:56 | 116068 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

They read Atlas and thought Mouch was the hero.

Sun, 11/01/2009 - 03:03 | 116496 TumblingDice
TumblingDice's picture

Some of my comrades just make the unfortunate mistake of linking civil liberties to big government. There are also other factors as well, such as the current system working well for Mass, the Democratic party being seen as the "people's party" and the general non-chalant approach to politics promoted by the entrenched academic capture of having the keynesian approach as the standard for economic study.

It is a damn shame, but I wouldn't lose all hope in Massachusetts. It is full of free thinkers who would embrace new ideas if only they gain momentum. The key, IMO, is to present them as new ideas and not as the ones a bunch of grumpy old men penned in the Constitution.

Sat, 10/31/2009 - 05:41 | 115978 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

you mean his home at the white house where craig
spence had an unexpected suicide after being
caught giving call boy slaves a tour of the white
house? and where
many kidnapped child sex slaves (mostly boys)
could give detailed accounts of their and daddy
bush's presences at sex parties?

or were you talking about the under age boys
sent to his house via the larry king run pedophile
ring out of omaha from franklin credit union?

or the guy who brought suit against king and
won who testified about how he was paid numerous
times to "service" frank?

the germans claimed they didn't know about the
gas chambers and the americans claim that they
don't know about the slave sex rings.....

Sat, 10/31/2009 - 19:17 | 116285 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

I will look into this myself, meanwhile, links please when you make charges like this. I knew about Barney's lover running a gigilo ring out of the house, but none of this. And not underaged boys.


Fri, 10/30/2009 - 23:35 | 115879 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

HERE are his exact words:

"I don't think it's a bad thing that the bad Woans occuWWed. It was an effoWt to keep pWices from faWWing too fast."

He belongs in Jail.

Fri, 11/06/2009 - 04:22 | 121958 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

“I don’t think it’s a bad thing that the bad loans occurred,” he said. “It was an effort to keep prices from falling too fast. That’s a policy.”

-- Congressman Barney Frank

Notice he didn't say "falling further", he said "falling too fast". There's a big difference between the two. If prices collapse too quickly the government fears that homeowners will walk away in droves. Is it a good policy? Probably not, but that's no excuse for sloppy quoting.

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 19:16 | 115699 ghostfaceinvestah
ghostfaceinvestah's picture

btw, i am looking at a pool of seriously delinquent agency loans, if Total Delinquencies = 100%, over 2/3rds are 180+.

6 months down, hard coming back from that.

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 20:50 | 115772 Green Sharts
Green Sharts's picture

My understanding is that once they're more than 60 days delinquent the default rate is 95%+.  The 180 days plus would include properties in the process of foreclosure.

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 19:24 | 115705 delacroix
delacroix's picture

welcome to the new world disorder

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 19:24 | 115706 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Why are the banks not aggressively pursuing judgements and garnishment on the stategic defaulters where allowed by law, which I believe is just about everywhere except for first mortgages in California? Why the hell would anyone pay on a piece of shit house that is 100-500k under water, versus getting a ding on their credit report.

Sat, 10/31/2009 - 02:26 | 115943 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

"Why are the banks not aggressively pursuing judgements and garnishment"

Too many lawyer fees, have to pay to upkeep houses/yard, pay local taxes, pay if house needs renovations before selling (often the houses get trashed from neglect or on purpose), pay someone to keep track of all this stuff with the houses..

Need to admit to the loss and write it down and be forced to admit you are insolvent...

"Why the hell would anyone pay on a piece of shit house that is 100-500k under water, versus getting a ding on their credit report."

They were not raised with the ethic of "walk away," it somehow seems like, oh I don't know, theft. Typically a working class ethic, rather than a white collar ethic. Scared of screwing with the system. Not educated about the system.

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 19:25 | 115707 docj
docj's picture

Well, much like the unemployment number you'll eventually reach a maximum of this stat and it will level-off ('cause you can only lay-off so many people and only so many will default on their mortgage - and yes, "delinquent" == "default" in this environment).

That said, looks like we have plenty of upside on both of those stats before any such "leveling" takes-place.

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 19:37 | 115720 ghostfaceinvestah
ghostfaceinvestah's picture

I think it is going to keep climbing, exceeding 10% by 12/2010.

Not many people voluntarily quit their jobs in this economy, but a hell of a lot of people are voluntarily quitting their mortgages.

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 19:41 | 115723 docj
docj's picture

I could see that - 10% on the "delinquent" number and upwards of 17% on the "official" BLS unemployment number are certainly possible, particularly in tandem.

Like I said, I think we're potentially a long way from any such leveling-off of these trends.

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 19:27 | 115710 delacroix
delacroix's picture

frank is just doin his part to help unload the trash, before it starts stinking too much

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 19:55 | 115736 Anonymous
Fri, 10/30/2009 - 21:28 | 115797 cbxer55
cbxer55's picture

We'll see if this truly comes to pass. According to Calculated Risk, we can expect to see nine banks shuttered tonight.

Well, whats taking them. 2030 central time and no announcements. 8>(

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 22:21 | 115836 Zombie Investor
Fri, 10/30/2009 - 19:57 | 115738 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

ghost face , do you exchange email? ich habe eine gross problam.

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 20:00 | 115740 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

ghost face , do you exchange email? ich habe eine gross problam.

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 20:01 | 115741 Gimp
Gimp's picture

To all my fellow ZH'ers out there. I am in South Florida which is a cluster pluck of housing foreclosure and rampant mortgage fraud. The area will be a mess for at least a decade. Case in point;  one of my neighbors pays $700K for a house three years ago at the peak of the housing bubble. Figures out a year ago that, one he paid to much..duh and two he does not want to pay his mortgage anymore. Gets a lawyer who tells him to not pay his mortgage for three months then the lawyer fights with the bank and gets the mortgage reduced by 50%. 

What does the scumbag do with his savings...yes you guessed it, buys his wife a brand new BMW convertible!

Moral of the story, there is no shame in not paying your bills anymore and only the suckers will continue to do so. Got to love the USA.


Fri, 10/30/2009 - 20:06 | 115745 GoldmanSux
GoldmanSux's picture

It's good to see the "seriously delinquent" level vs. the regular  delinquincy level. I would like to see the "supuer secret seriously delinquent" level please.

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 20:35 | 115760 Miles Kendig
Miles Kendig's picture

End of 1Q10 will tell the tale...

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 20:48 | 115770 Lothar the Rott...
Lothar the Rottweiler's picture

I got neighbors I know are not paying, and bank owned they aren't claiming or putting on the market for 3/5 of recent appraisals.  Makes me sick.

We're jamming in the RZH chat, Miles.  You should join us. :)

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 20:17 | 115747 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Bank holding company to be seized tonight by SEC - the holding company has 9 banks within it and over $13B in loans.

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 20:20 | 115750 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

The odd thing about that graph is that the era from 2001 to 2007 was artificially suppressed because of the housing bubble and ultra loose standards. The flat to declining real earnings should have shown an increase in defaults, but was wiped out by the artifices of FED monetary policy.
In a reasoned monetary system the rise in house prices would have been throttled by a rise in defaults once the house prices exceeded the ability to pay. The FED stuck the penny in the fusebox that would have tripped when prices got much above the flatlined to declining real incomes. I screamed to the pols and opinion outlets, but what do I know? I gave up when the only reaction from the bought off pols was the form letter thanking me "for sharing your concerns".

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 20:50 | 115773 trillion_dollar...
trillion_dollar_deficit's picture

So how much of this is going to end up on the Fed's balance sheet?

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 21:21 | 115794 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Bernanke wil wind up swinging from a lampost in Manhattan or DC.

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 21:33 | 115799 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

We are living in a Banana Republic

Venezuela and Cuba make us look like basket cases

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 21:38 | 115802 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

isn't that Al Gore's chart?

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 21:57 | 115815 theoilyboy
theoilyboy's picture

isn't that Al Gore's chart?

Sat, 10/31/2009 - 00:04 | 115892 Prof Gulliver
Prof Gulliver's picture

If refuse to pay my CAPTCHA numbers, will ZH still let me on?

Sat, 10/31/2009 - 17:59 | 116246 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

You're here so you paid. Since you wish to remain here, you will continue to pay. Tyler takes lessons from banksters and learns real quick.

Sat, 10/31/2009 - 00:30 | 115911 walküre
walküre's picture

***** RESET *****

Is the only inevitable option. "Asset" prices are marked to myth and the revenue / income levels cannot support the payments to service the loans on these "assets".

There was a time when a man could afford to buy a house, pay it off and raise a family on a single income. We were a rich nation then. Now we are poor and slaves to the banks. Not only have the banks enslaved the hard working men and women and tied millstones of debt around their necks, the banks have extorted billions from the treasury and are asking that the slaves are paying the banks profits for all eternity.

Let the banks die and all will be good.

Sat, 10/31/2009 - 12:57 | 116121 DaddyWarbucks
DaddyWarbucks's picture

Not all of us are slaves. Some have NO, yes you heard that right, NO DEBT. Most of us acquire our personal financial habits from our families and in my case the fundamental guidance was that one's expenditures are determined by one's needs not one's income. In other words you don't spend money just because it's there. It means a simple life and this approach is certainly not for everyone but I can tell you from experience that it provides much peace of mind. 

Sat, 10/31/2009 - 13:27 | 116134 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture


We are still slaves though. You and I did not get to help the government make choices for the rest of us that reflect the values you shared here. We are in debt because we are American tax payers. I have a simple paid for house and car, no debt of any kind, and I save, really, by accident. I splurge on organic food (which becomes our selves quite literally), good quality footwear (we run and excercise), and a few quality items because they will be durable and in the long run cheaper, and that is it. I have been exceedingly poor before, and if it happens again, I think I can do it with a good attitude. This experience, combined with my savings helps quite a bit with my peace of mind.

I wish I could share the attitude more than anything. Poor is not so bad if you can get over the notion that you are entitled to have what you want when you want it. Live like a monk, simple and clean, and there is still joy to be found everywhere. The library alone is a treasure trove of possibility. I think having been poor, I have less anxiety about some aspects of what is happening. Life is simpler without debt and without so much stuff.

Sat, 10/31/2009 - 15:25 | 116168 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being "poor" and everything wrong with being powerless. Unfortunately, we equate the two as one. Or more accurately, we have bought into the concept that to be poor is to be powerless and that more money equals more power.

Thus we make our own bodies and minds slaves because of our own belief system. And we make those that are "richer" than us our masters simply because we have collectively agreed this is the way things are to be.

It's simply a state of mind, a mass delusion that is made "real" by our actions. People, we have all agreed that the person who has the greatest number of printed or electronically created pieces of paper is the one who has access to a largest share of resources and power.

We, through our own willing assimilation into and outright cooperation in an economic system categorically unfair to the vast majority of us, have not only enslaved ourselves but we also self police ourselves through inaction and even forcibly constrain ourselves from changing this unfair system.

How is it that the "richest" one percent of the human population comes to control the other ninety nine percent if not by our own willing consent and active participation? We are our brother's keeper in so many more ways than we wish to understand. 

We say our government this and our government that. Our government has power only because we concede power to them by our inaction. We are so far down the rabbit hole that we can't distinguish reality from the fantasy we've trained ourselves to support, giving life to an alternative reality that supports the 1% above all others.

This isn't silly fantasy gibberish. We live this everyday. The government supports the banksters because we allow them to do so. We are still involved in two foreign wars because we allow the people in power to do so. We have become so deep captured mentally, emotionally and economically by the 1% that we are powerless to do anything because we have disarmed ourselves.

Wake up people. We have only ourselves to blame.

Sat, 10/31/2009 - 16:10 | 116195 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

You  just proved my post up there correct. Nice job again.

 "through our own willing assimilation into"

I do need to challenge this. We were born into it, handed it. Some folks never leave the intellectual worlds bequeathed to them by their families. It is asking a lot of them to see something differently. For some there is an inkling of something terribly wrong, and they turn away from it because it is too alien or uncomfortable to think about. For me, when I had doubts, it was simply because I thought I wasn't "getting it yet" that my socialization was pretty far off from the norm. In short, classic Marxist false consciousness, I blamed myself.

Not all the assimilation is willing. Coercion is sublime, pleasure mingles with pain and desire. There often is no agent that you can directly pinpoint as the oppressor, but that does not make the assimilation willing. Too simplistic. Willing/not willing... it is something else.

Sat, 10/31/2009 - 17:37 | 116223 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture


We are born into it and and we train our children into it just as we were trained. And it's so very difficult to break the bonds when the easier softer way is submission for survival sake. I agree that my rant is simplistic but time and space constraints limit extrapolation of my ideas. My 400 page PHD dissertation must wait until I know you better. :>)

For the most part, I'm not using the word willing to imply "awareness" or "understanding" of our part in this symphony of subjugation. And coercion is absolutely positively used in all its forms, starting with Maslow's hierarchy of needs. It's not called psychological operations for nothing.'s_hierarchy_of_needs

Now comes the BUT. There is a reason I use the ID Cognitive Dissonance here and on other forums. Every hour of every day we are pinged with little red flags and warnings that something isn't correct, that the numbers don't add up. We really do receive "danger Will Robinson" alerts from the most complex computer in the world, our brains.

We get these pings when we read the controlled media, when we watch the news or those brain numbing entertainment programs. Everyone everyday gets hit with numerous "this does not compute" error messages. These pings sometimes push to the surface and cause emotional and intellectual pain, becoming the beginnings of a Cognitive Dissonance.

And for the vast majority of humans, when faced with a choice between exploring the reasons for the pain or reaching for a soothing pain killer, we choose the number one pain relief method in the world, rationalization and denial, actively encouraged and supported by the 1% in control and the 20% who support the 1%. 

We push aside the mental and emotional pain the dissonance is causing, pain that is a normal human warning sign of a problem, for the short term pleasing effects of the pain killer.

We all know that to mask the pain simply sets up bigger problems down the road, whether it's an abscessed tooth or a human pathology so severe 60% of Americans seek refuge in food and are overweight/obese and our children walk into their own high schools and kill dozens of their fellow students.

Is the rat to blame for repeatedly pushing the button on cue if he then receives food or other stimulation as a reward for a job well done? Is it asking too much of the rat to break from the programming? Most people would say yes, it is asking too much, because the rat lacks the ability to reason or awareness of self.

But we have precisely what the rat lacks, the capacity to break the self imposed chains that bind us. I was once hopelessly lost to the same degree as that rat and my experience, my ongoing evolution, gives me great hope that others can as well. But in order to take that first step, I needed to become so desperate that I became willing to do anything to break the chains that bind and to be free of me.

I will not be the one that applies the terrible beat down humanity needs in order to become desperate enough to leave behind the chains of self destruction. The masters of the universe are doing a bang up job in that department.

What I hope to do is to plant a few seeds of awareness and hope along my path for when the spring rains return. ZH is one of the few blogs I've found where people already have the capacity to break free without completely breaking down their id and ego for rebuilding. This gives me great hope, particularly when I learn ZH is exploding onto the public consciousness with its message of rational thinking and speaking truth to power.    


Sat, 10/31/2009 - 17:45 | 116238 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

I think we are on the same page, though my dissertation was not 400 pages (nor in psychology), though for my comps I was tested in social pschology (my minor).

It's funny, someone today asked me the question "What do you think it takes to motivate folks to embark on a self improvement program that looks difficult to do." My first answer was that the pain of not doing it had to seem more overwhelming than the pain of doing it. But other things come into play. Awareness of the trap you are in, as you mentioned, is huge. Knowing something different is possible helps you have the faith to take the leap. Encourgement from others (particularly those who have been there and done that) also helps.

We need some economic pioneers. I am trying some things, but I think folks would see what I am up to as pretty retro! I lecture on the economy in my classes and conduct experiments in living to see what works here, now. All of it is half assed, all of it is weird enough that folks immeadiately around me or my home are forced to think. So my truth is I am half in prison/half out. I suspect this is the status of many here. Differnt ways of being half in/half out.

Derrick Jensen is probably right. There is a guy who has seriously given cognitive dissonance a run for the societal money.

Sat, 10/31/2009 - 18:22 | 116254 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I was only kidding about the 400 page dissertation. I considered the <sarcasm> light and settled for the smiley face. I actually get by on my high school education and way too much reading and way too little "life."

I'm delighted that you're aware of Derrick. All of his books occupy a top row of one of my bookcases and as he continues to write, I continue to purchase and read. I had the distinct pleasure of numerous conversations with him as well and his awareness has not come without considerable personal cost, above and beyond his early work. End Game was a turning point for him.

But that leads me to something I've noticed you've alluded to often but not really expanded upon and that is sustainability. It was clear to me when I began reading you that you have a deeper understanding than most, discerned from certain words and phrases you use. It's interesting how we self censor when we are uncertain of our audience and their tolerance for non standard ideas.

We are way past the carrying capacity of this world and to think (I'm not saying you are thinking this way) that technology will "solve" our problems is to not be aware of all the problems. Because our social and economic problems are intertwined with our cultural destructiveness and outright insanity, we are way past the easy, medium or hard solutions and are firmly into the meltdown phase.

But ants make progress with various insurmountable tasks precisely because they handle them one step at a time. And so can we. The only questions that remain are will we become willing to change and will the masters of the universe allow the change.

Everything else is just the details.

Sun, 11/01/2009 - 03:09 | 116498 TumblingDice
Sat, 10/31/2009 - 02:07 | 115939 delacroix
delacroix's picture

make the bankers die and all will be better

Sat, 10/31/2009 - 03:30 | 115959 carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture

Looks like Quantitative Defaulting to me...

Sat, 10/31/2009 - 06:31 | 115992 Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture


Sat, 10/31/2009 - 03:48 | 115962 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Now that's a red chute if I've seen one.

Sat, 10/31/2009 - 04:25 | 115966 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture


Sat, 10/31/2009 - 07:20 | 116009 BennyBoy
BennyBoy's picture

This is one of the new signs of growth.

Like a tumor.

Sat, 10/31/2009 - 11:33 | 116086 Lionhead
Lionhead's picture

Exactly, stiffing your mortgage to buy cars, vacations, or new toys is "stimulating" growth both here & abroad. We need Growth!  Growth is Good!  After you've made your purchases, you can stiff the credit card companies and repeat the growth cycle until no one will lend you more money. Wash, rinse, repeat as debt is forgiven creating another new growth cycle ad infinitum.....

Debt is Wealth!!  It's soo clear... A new paradigm of prosperity is coming as green shoots in decaying neighborhoods camoflage the crumbling houses.

Sat, 10/31/2009 - 12:44 | 116117 omi
omi's picture

I think they are taking a lesson from Canadian housing market. Canadian government is now pretty much the largest subprime lender. Just keep pumping liquidity into it. Expect more of the same, but on grander scale.

Sat, 10/31/2009 - 13:36 | 116137 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Need a Year of Jubilee.

Or a National Repudiation of debt and to endure the consequences of such.

I have not steadily brought debt freedom and other measures to my household for nothing. If need be we can live for a time without want. The only decision would be is to select the ammunition necessary to stop the hungry hordes.

5 years ago, we would have been called nuts. Now I think the USA has gone nuts.

Sat, 10/31/2009 - 17:29 | 116225 Zippyin Annapolis
Zippyin Annapolis's picture

Put FNM and FRE on the US balance sheet--another negative $5T ? Not likely.


Meanwhile the PPIP program is turning into an overt government subsidized ponzi scheme to prop up the mortgage backed security market.

There Are No Distressed bank assets "available" to package, as the banks are not being "forced" to sell anything (in fact they are being given stealth accounting and regulatory forebearance), so 4 of the 5 designated asset managers are going into the open market and buying mortgage backed securities on the open using all of Uncle Stupid's subsidies.


The dealers are laughing so hard that they are peeing their pants. New BMWs all around!

Mon, 11/02/2009 - 09:20 | 117116 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture


Mon, 11/02/2009 - 09:24 | 117118 fatjezus
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