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Gonzalo Lira On The Coming Middle-Class Anarchy

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Gonzalo Lira

The Coming Middle-Class Anarchy

True story: A retired couple I know, Brian and Ilsa, own a home in the Southwest. It’s a pretty house, right on the manicured golf course of their gated community (they’re crazy about golf).

The only problem is, they bought the house near the top of the market in 2005, and now find themselves underwater.
They’ve never missed a mortgage payment—Brian and Ilsa are the kind upright, not to say uptight 60-ish white semi-upper-middle-class couple who follow every rule, fill out every form, comply with every norm. In short, they are the backbone of America.
Even after the Global Financial Crisis had seriously hurt their retirement nest egg—and therefore their monthly income—and even fully aware that they would probably not live to see their house regain the value it has lost since they bought it, they kept up the mortgage payments. The idea of them strategically defaulting is as absurd as them sprouting wings.
When HAMP—the Home Affordable Modification Program—was unveiled, they applied, because they qualified: Every single one of the conditions applied to them, so there was no question that they would be approved—at least in theory.

Applying for HAMP was quite a struggle: Go here, go there, talk to this person, that person, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. “It’s like they didn’t want us to qualify,” Ilsa told me, as she recounted their mind-numbing travails.
It was a months-long struggle—but finally, they were approved for HAMP: Their mortgage period was extended, and the interest rate was lowered. Even though their home was still underwater, and even though they still owed the same principal to their bank, Brian and Ilsa were very happy: Their mortgage payments had gone down by 40%. This was equivalent to about 15% of their retirement income. So of course they were happy.
However, three months later, out of the blue, they got a letter from their bank, Wells Fargo: It said that, after further review, Brian and Ilsa had in fact not qualified for HAMP. Therefore, their mortgage would go back to the old rate. Not only that, they now owed the difference for the three months when they had paid the lowered mortgage—and to add insult to injury, they were assessed a “penalty for non-payment”.
Brian and Ilsa were furious—a fury which soon turned to dour depression: They tried contacting Wells Fargo, to straighten this out. Of course, they were given the run-around once again.
They kept insisting that they qualified—they qualified! But of course, that didn’t help at all—like a football, they were punted around the inner working of the Mortgage Mess, with no answers and no accountability.
Finally, exhausted, Brian and Ilsa sat down, looked at the last letter—which had no signature, and no contact name or number—and wondered what to do.
On television, the news was talking about “robo-signatures” and “foreclosure mills”, and rank illegalities—illegalities which it seemed everyone was getting away with. To top it off, foreclosures have been suspended by the largest of the banks for 90 days—which to Brian and Ilsa meant that people who weren’t paying their mortgages got to live rent free for another quarter, while they were being squeezed out of a stimulus program that had been designed—tailor made—precisely for them.
Brian and Ilsa are salt-of-the-earth people: They put four kids through college, they always paid their taxes. The last time Brian broke the law was in 1998: An illegal U-turn on a suburban street.
“We’ve done everything right, we’ve always paid on time, and this program is supposed to help us,” said Brian. “We follow the rules—but people who bought homes they couldn’t afford get to squat in those McMansions rent free. It would have been smarter if we’d been crooks.”
Now, up to this point, this is just another sob story of the Mortgage Mess—and as sob stories go, up to this point, it’s no big deal.
But here’s where the story gets ominous—here’s where the Jaws soundtrack kicks in:
Brian and Ilsa—the nice upper-middle-class retired couple, who always follow the rules, and never ever break the law—who don’t even cheat on their golf scores—even when they’re playing alone (“Because if you cheat at golf, you’re only cheating yourself”)—have decided to give their bank the middle finger.
They have essentially said, Fuckit.
They haven’t defaulted—not yet. They’re paying the lower mortgage rate. That they’re making payments is because of Brian: He is insisting that they pay something—Ilsa is of the opinion that they should forget about paying the mortgage at all.
“We follow the rules, and look where that’s gotten us?” she says, furious and depressed. “Nowhere. They run us around, like lab rats in a cage. This HAMP business was supposed to help us. I bet the bank went along with the program for three months, so that they could tell the government that they had complied—and when the government got off their backs, they turned around and raised the mortgage back up again!”
“And charged us a penalty,” Brian chimes in. The non-payment penalty was only $84—but it might as well been $84 million, for all the outrage they feel. “A penalty for non-payment!”
Nevertheless, Brian is insisting that they continue paying the mortgage—albeit the lower monthly payment—because he’s still under the atavistic sway of his law-abiding-ness.
But Ilsa is quietly, constantly insisting that they stop paying the mortgage altogether: “Everybody else is doing it—so why shouldn’t we?”
A terrible sentence, when a law-abiding citizen speaks it: Everybody else is doing it—so why don’t we?
I’m like Wayne Gretsky: I don’t concern myself with where the puck has been—I look for where the puck is going to be.
Right now, people are having a little hissy-fit over the robo-signing scandal, and the double-booking scandal (where the same mortgage was signed over to two different bonds), and the little fights between junior tranches and senior tranches and the servicer, in the MBS mess.
But none of that shit is important.
What’s really important is Brian and Ilsa: What’s really important is that law-abiding middle-class citizens are deciding that playing by the rules is nothing but a sucker’s game.
Just like the poker player who’s been fleeced by all the other players, and gets one mean attitude once he finally wakes up to the con? I’m betting that more and more of the solid American middle-class will begin saying what Brian and Ilsa said: Fuckit.
Fuck the rules. Fuck playing the game the banksters want you to play. Fuck being the good citizen. Fuck filling out every form, fuck paying every tax. Fuck the government, fuck the banks who own them. Fuck the free-loaders, living rent-free while we pay. Fuck the legal process, a game which only works if you’ve got the money to pay for the parasite lawyers. Fuck being a chump. Fuck being a stooge. Fuck trying to do the right thing—what good does that get you? What good is coming your way?
When the backbone of a country starts thinking that laws and rules are not worth following, it’s just a hop, skip and a jump to anarchy.
TV has given us the illusion that anarchy is people rioting in the streets, smashing car windows and looting every store in sight. But there’s also the polite, quiet, far deadlier anarchy of the core citizenry—the upright citizenry—throwing in the towel and deciding it’s just not worth it anymore.
If a big enough proportion of the populace—not even a majority, just a largish chunk—decides that it’s just not worth following the rules anymore, then that society’s days are numbered: Not even a police-state with an armed Marine at every corner with Shoot-to-Kill orders can stop such middle-class anarchy.
Brian and Ilsa are such anarchists—grey-haired, well-dressed, golf-loving, well-to-do, exceedingly polite anarchists: But anarchists nevertheless. They are not important, or powerful, or influential: They are average—that’s why they’re so deadly: Their numbers are millions. And they are slowly, painfully coming to the conclusion that it’s just not worth it anymore.
Once enough of these J. Crew Anarchists decide they no longer give a fuck, it’s over for America—because they are America.
Update I:
The Center for Public Integrity has a story, written by Michael Hudson this past August 6, that shines a light on the issue of perverse incentives of the HAMP program. These perverse incentives came to light because of a whistleblower, a former employee of Fannie Mae, filing a lawsuit. Fannie Mae was so keen on being perceived as a money-maker, after the Federal government bailout, that the aid programs passed by the Congress and signed by the President were turned into profit centers.
The former executive, Caroline Herron, recounts:

    “It appeared that Fannie Mae officers were focused on maximizing incentive payments available to Fannie Mae under various federal programs – even if this meant wasting taxpayer money and delaying the implementation of high-priority Treasury programs,” she claims in the lawsuit. 

    Herron alleges that Fannie Mae officials terminated her $200-an-hour consulting work in January because she raised questions about how it was administering the federal government’s push to help homeowners avoid foreclosure, known as the Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP.

Herron further alleged that “trial mods” were implemented regardless of eligibility of applicants, so that Fannie Mae would be eligible for Federal government bonuses.
Ms. Herron’s testimony in fact proves Ilsa’s suspicion that there was a scam at bottom. As Mr. Hudson writes, “Herron charges that Fannie Mae continued in headlong pursuit of ‘trial mods’ even though it knew that many had little chance of becoming permanent. [. . .] Fannie preferred doing trials, Herron alleges, because it was eligible to receive incentive payments from the Treasury Department.”
So in the pursuit of these perverse incentives, people who did not qualify for HAMP were enrolled in the program. And when their “trial mods” were up after 90 days, they would be notified that they didn’t qualify—regardless of whether they in fact did qualify, as in the case of Brian and Ilsa.
All so as to be perceived as a profitable operation, worth having been bailed out. All so as to be perceived as “returning America’s money”.
As of February, 2010, of the over one million homeowners’ mortgages under HAMP auspices, 83% were “trial mods”. One would assume that those 850,000 homeowners would also be assessed an $84 penalty for non-payment.
$84 times over 850,000? You do the math.


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Tue, 10/12/2010 - 23:25 | 645248 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

I just wanted to add a nod of confidence to the Jefferson tradition.

Wed, 10/13/2010 - 06:32 | 645575 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Jefferson is my favorite for a lot of reasons.

One of the things that pisses me off the most is the state of public education in this country. Whether by design or neglect we are producing kids who go into college already softened up to the idea of the individual being subservient to the state instead of the reverse.

This will have to change. The federal Dept.of Education will have to be abolished and it's mission given back to the individual states before anything else can be done in that regard.

Even though started by a socialist, the system of publicly financed education has merit as it exposes kids to other kids of varying backgrounds. It is better for molding yoiung people socially (in the good sense of "socially") than a private school in my view, as it can develop into a group think kind of thing that people are fleeing from in the first place. It just needs to be done locally so the parents have more control over the curriculum.

Wed, 10/13/2010 - 11:40 | 646219 chopper read
chopper read's picture

+1. agreed. 100%.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 20:49 | 638618 Misstrial
Misstrial's picture

What I want to know is what is that in the background behind them?




Sat, 10/09/2010 - 13:28 | 637991 George Costanza
George Costanza's picture

Everyone be careful, because Equities are the next sucker bet (again). If the bankers want to, poof, they can pretty quickly wipe out 50% or more from equity values.  When that happens, there will be no recourse, just take the hit.  Most will then sell what remains at the bottom to preserve their greatly reduced wealth.   Make sure you can handle a 50% hit and NOT sell - otherwise get out of the market if you are foolish enough to be in.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 13:32 | 638002 AssFire
AssFire's picture

This is not the back bone of America. They "bought" it with borrowed money and they paid too much. Well tough shit, the rest of us bought at reasonable prices and paid cash.

The speculators that lost were trying to make money in the stock market in the 1st Great Depression.

The speculators that lost were trying to make money flipping overpriced shit in the 2nd Great Depression.

Granted Mako's argument makes it clear that the banks should be on the hook for everything- and I agree this is another "money changer" scheme.... let's not forget these people only looked at the upside when buying the properties- and they were ridiculous "investments".

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 18:10 | 638427 DosZap
DosZap's picture


No, I think this is Joe n Jane, and I think they had lived their lives well, raised a family, and played the game fair.

Saved their dough, and retired after years of planning.............and got caught in the system.

Ole Joe was gonna paly golf whenever he  wanted, and had no intent of ever leaving there until time to cash out of this life.

Same for Jane............

Tried again to do what was legal, and right, did so, and got screwed in the process.........

Had this been You and Your Jane, How would you feel?.

Angry,or Oh, well.......que sera,sera!.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 21:16 | 638631 doolittlegeorge
doolittlegeorge's picture

has Erin Burnett contacted you yet?  I had my people contact her people and we are in agreement "it is time for assfire."  I recommend the ZH uniform of Paper Bag Over Head so we can "keep up the brand" while "showing the flag" too.  After that it's up to you.  You could of course....wear nothing but the Bag...

Sun, 10/10/2010 - 09:51 | 639152 TheForgottenMan
TheForgottenMan's picture

Who the FUCK are you??? Commenting on every GOD DAMN THING??

People should play by the rules and there is no reason to argue this logic unless you are gaming the system. I believe AF's junks come from those who know they fucked up, but can't handle the truth.

Why don't you STFU??

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 13:35 | 638010 Waterfallsparkles
Waterfallsparkles's picture

Thinking about it and had a brainstorm.

Maybe Banks want to Foreclose because that way they get paid on their Credit Default Swaps.  So, maybe they actually make Money on Forclosures.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 22:41 | 638759 doolittlegeorge
doolittlegeorge's picture

i'm so glad you were inspired.  you may thank me at anytime.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 13:38 | 638017 kengland
kengland's picture

Hop skip and a jump to anarchy...


Wishful thinking and a dream. You don't have anarchy and the largest most sophisticated intelligence, military, and police force on the planet. What you have is a police state where laws are thrown out the window in favor of the power structure


You better pray to whatever god will listen because we should be so fortunate for "anarchy."

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 13:56 | 638059 michigan independant
michigan independant's picture

There guilty of Ignorance, no more no less. Court supervised Esrow account is a mediation tool. Grow up, people bitch to much.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 19:31 | 638516 chopper read
chopper read's picture

guilty of showing off with borrowed money.  

everybody else is doing it, why don't we?

fuck them.  

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 21:05 | 638635 doolittlegeorge
doolittlegeorge's picture

stop making our web site seem tawdry and ill informed.  and of course you're against them.  the last time Michigan mattered they were in canoes and "coming for Iroquois."

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 13:57 | 638063 JR
JR's picture

Is Zero Hedge’s new target audience eighth grade boys…as some writers, many with outstanding ideas to express, feel they can only signal their seriousness or humorous side by using bathroom expressions, obscenities and vulgarities?  In the Lira instance above-- over, and over, and over, ad nauseum. 

It’s no secret that public officials, always striving for as much audience support as they can get, avoid these terms because they lose credibility with many people. If eight year olds could vote, of course, this language would be a vote getter.

Repeated vulgarity, I have noticed, often rapidly overshadows the serious points and draws attention to the language rather than to the ideas. IOW, in a Fight Club of ideas, it’s a loser.

Has ZH, just when it has reached its pinnacle of success, shot itself in the foot?

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 14:21 | 638100 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Have you heard of getting pumped for battle? Or seen football players getting ready for a game as the coaches talk to them in the locker room? 

JR, I just smacked you on your ass. It stung. Get pissed. They are using our civility and our desire to be polite and do the right thing against us. There is no way in hell we can bring them down and be NICE at the same time.

One version of the history of the word FUCK is that it used to mean Fornication Under Carnal Knowledge. Supposedly a court term that was used in the Victorian era so that you did not have to say those 4 words out loud in polite company. Others say the origins come from German and it meant "to strike." I don't know what is correct. My point is so called vulgar language is a social agreement, it is socially constructed, in a time, at a place. Why do all societies have it? What is it that humans accomplish with it? 

If there was ever a time to cuss, it is now. It's on like Donkey Kong. Will you fight, flee, or freeze?  Your choice not to cuss is okay by me. But I think the folks cussing are getting pumped.

I feel some of your pain though. There are people I would send here that I don't for this very reason. But that also means they are probably not ready, either.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 15:17 | 638195 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

JR, I just smacked you on your ass. It stung. Get pissed

MsCreant, oh lala, I didn't know you were into that

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 19:33 | 638519 chopper read
chopper read's picture

that was funny.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 16:08 | 638287 JR
JR's picture

MsCreant, if you're right, we sure could have used some dirty lines from Ice T in our fight if it hadn't been for Charlton Heston reading the lyrics at a stockholders meeting and getting the public upset.

However, IMO, you prove my point:  ZH is mad, so the best thing it can do is stick with the people who can cuss, driving out the audience that won’t cuss or doesn’t like to hear the people who do. Substituting people you want to support you by substituting people impressed with vulgarities, thinking that vulgarities are funny or somehow more potent than ideas, is hurting the effectiveness of  ZH. IMO.

If Lira’s article has to come with the warning, “Contains some bad language,” as some sites are labeling it, why, then, use bad language rather than good language?  The reason movies use violence and car chases and sex and vulgarity is they don’t cost as much as writers do. To hire good writers is expensive; nudes and car chases are cheap. 

Charlton Heston “frequently spoke out against what he saw as evidence of the decline and debasement of American culture. In 1992, appalled by the lyrics on ‘Cop Killer,’ a recording by the rap artist Ice T, he blasted the album at a Time Warner stockholders meeting and was a force in having it withdrawn from the marketplace.” He gave it everything he had! as only an actor of his caliber could :

I got my black shirt on.
I got my black gloves on.
I got my ski mask on.
This shit's been too long.

I got my twelve gauge sawed off.
I got my headlights turned off.
I'm 'bout to bust some shots off.
I'm 'bout to dust some cops off.

Cop killer, better you than me.
Cop killer, f**k police brutality!
Cop killer, I know your family's grievin'
(f**k 'em)
Cop killer, but tonight we get even.

I got my brain on hype.
Tonight'll be your night.
I got this long-assed knife,
and your neck looks just right.
My adrenaline's pumpin'.
I got my stereo bumpin'.
I'm 'bout to kill me somethin'
A pig stopped me for nuthin'!

Cop killer, better you than me.
Cop killer, f**k police brutality!
Cop killer, I know your mama's grievin'
(f**k her)
Cop killer, but tonight we get even.

Die, die, die pig, die!
F**k the police!
F**k the police!
F**k the police!
F**k the police!
F**k the police!
F**k the police!
F**k the police yeah!

Cop killer, better you than me.
I'm a Cop killer, f**k police brutality!
Cop killer, I know your family's grievin'
(f**k 'em)
Cop killer, but tonight we get even.

F**k the police!
F**k the police!
F**k the police!
F**k the police!
F**k the police!
F**k the police!
F**k the police!
F**k the police, break it down.
F**k the police, yeah.
F**k the police, for Darryl Gates.
F**k the police, for Rodney King.
F**k the police, for my dead homies.
F**k the police, for your freedom.
F**k the police, don't be a pussy.
F**k the police, have some muthaf**kin' courage.
F**k the police, sing along.

Cop killer!
Cop killer!
Cop killer!
Cop killer!
Cop killer, what you're gonna be when you grown up?
Cop killer, good choice.
Cop killer!
I'm a muthaf**kin' cop killer!

Cop killer, better you than me.
Cop killer, f**k police brutality!
Cop killer, I know your mama's grievin'
(f**k her)

Cop killer, but tonight we get even!

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 17:36 | 638395 Bob
Bob's picture

Damn, you provoke some thought, JR.  It would seem that "the public" does have difficulty appreciating context, as evidenced by the reaction to what is a potently relevant and legitimate (albeit "offensive") rap commentary on the oppression of underclass African-Americans by uniformed authorities. 

The law of unintended consequences. A conundrum. 

For my part, use of profanity is both a tribute to speaking plainly and naturally (as most men do in real life) with emphasis.  I know what the counter-argument to that is, so you need not further explain your point. 

Hmmm.  What to do?  I'm gonna . . . excuse me, I'm going to give it some thought.  I don't think it will meaningfully influence ZH culture, but it's worth some thought to me. 


Sat, 10/09/2010 - 18:54 | 638466 JR
JR's picture

Thanks, Bob, for your courteous and thoughtful comments. They were excellent.

Obviously, as you believe, every man is free to express himself as he sees fit, as is every man free to interpret another’s words and demeanor as he sees fit. 

The problem here, in my view, however, is that a body of sound ideas presented by Zero Hedge is being tragically sidetracked by excessive vulgarity.  I have no doubt that it could be scientifically shown that Mr. Lira’s language reduced the size of his audience and marginalized both his and ZH’s principal points.

To impress and attract admiration of one audience, Lira destroyed his stature in the eyes of another audience, arguably substantial.  For this, Zero Hedge and the cause that we all feel is so critical to our country, is the loser.

Lira... "A terrible oath, with a swaggering accent sharply twanged off, gives manhood more approbation than ever proof itself would have earned him." -- Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 21:19 | 638651 doolittlegeorge
doolittlegeorge's picture

"As my memory turns back the pages/I can see the happy years we had before/now the love that kept this old heart beating/has been shattered by the closing of the door."  It's "your everything" man.  We understand.  Engelbert Humperdink...he got it too.

Sun, 10/10/2010 - 01:09 | 638909 Bananamerican
Bananamerican's picture

Doolittle, you down with the "Dink"?

Damn you is my nigga


Sun, 10/10/2010 - 09:50 | 639140 Bob
Bob's picture

Yeah, JR, what you say about audiences is no doubt true.  I would refrain from devaluing the "vugar" audience, however.  The old saw about profanity being the preserve of those without the capacity to intelligently articulate substantive ideas has little truth, imo.  Sometimes a spade is best called a spade--while a spade by any other name arguably is still a spade, the other names (while opening the Shakespearical potential of poetry) lose something essential in the translation. 

Yet we all know there is this other, potentially large audience that is repulsed by profanity, those who, as my father used to say, wouldn't say "shit" if they had a mouth full of it.  While I may be relying upon base stereotypes here, my impression of that audience is that they are some of the world's most conformist people and never stray from the mainstream party line.  They are the front line troops of the status quo. I wouldn't expect them to come here.  If they did, the majority would flee in horror from the irreverance for TPTB that is inherent in the site content regardless of language.  Those who didn't I would expect to do so when they saw the language, ideas and attitudes of the commentor community.  Conformists are loathe to associate with the "wrong people" under any circumstances, imo. 

Yet this particular article is one that some would wish to link for wide consumption.  The author has not responded to your criticism, but I would expect that he has considered it.  Perhaps a warning label "contains adult language" would not hurt.  Or simply using the usual convention of implicitly expressing profanity without actually spelling it out, i.e., f**kit, would not weaken the impact.  Beats me. 

All this said, I can't see it meaningfully changing the reaction of that other audience, however.  I mean, look at the comments!  And, if they were to come back, they would find that Tyler's own posts--the lifeblood of the site--are rife with "vulgarity." 

Bottom line, I don't think that more attention to "language" is going to happen or, if it did would make the site more palatable to this other audience. 

It is what it is.  And Fight Club is the context.  The format itself seems to me to select for an audience that pretty much is going to alienate those with delicate tastes.  Those would be people who could not stomache the movie itself. 

I would say that the power of ZH is its ideas and analyses.  These can be, and are being, "cleaned up" for that other audience by people who are introducing them to the mainstream via their own channels. 


Sat, 10/09/2010 - 18:29 | 638441 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

I suspect you are not as angry as I am. Ice-T was an angry motherfucker when he wrote that, was righteous, saw too much, was pushed too hard, told his truth. I respect the hell out of cops. I think that is a great song. We are really different, but I don't think you are "wrong." 

I predict you will be as angry as Ice-T when you are ready. Maybe you will write "Banker Killer" without cussing.  Or maybe I'll stop cussing because I will see it as immature and grow up. Meet you on the other side.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 18:58 | 638471 JR
JR's picture

Just as long as you're there. And, btw, do you need a ride?

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 22:27 | 638740 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

Very meaningful exchange. Merci.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 23:02 | 638779 RichardP
RichardP's picture

Won't the masses have to go through the cops to get to the bankers and politicians?  How is anybody going to be strung from the lightpoles without first killing the cops?  I would think Ice-T's rant would be the anthem for those who join the fight.

Ice-T was an angry motherfucker when he wrote that ...

I think he was simply an opportunist.  Had lunch with family at Maria Calendars on Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks, CA a few months back.  Ice-T snuggling and giggling with his lady in the booth next to us.  Angry indeed.

None of what you hear on the radio or on CD's has escaped the marketer's influence.  Perhaps if you happen upon joe nobody out in south-central swearing about something that happened to him, you could believe the anger was real rather than opportunistic.

Anybody here seek out a real joe nobody, listen to his/her story, put your arm around their shoulder, and say "let's fix this together" (besides Bruce, I mean).  Nah.  It's more productive to swear on ZH and shake our fists at the man.

Sun, 10/10/2010 - 02:47 | 638988 RECISION
RECISION's picture

The story I heard was that it meant - For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge.

That is until I heard somewhere else that it was well in use some 1000 years ago. Which would preclude it from being anything to do with English - or legal jargon.


Sun, 10/10/2010 - 08:27 | 639104 Miss Expectations
Miss Expectations's picture

All I know is F*** is an extraordinarily powerful word, especially coming out of the mouth of a toddler.  My toddler picked it up immediately when he heard me say it after dropping and breaking a plate in the kitchen.  Finally a word to express his 2 year old frustrations!  Spill Juice: F***.  Drop Cheerios: F***, Fall over when running:  F***.  I realized that a 2 year old needs a word to express his lack of control and daily oops moments.  F*** fit the bill perfectly. 

Sun, 10/10/2010 - 18:30 | 639871 Things that go bump
Things that go bump's picture

I was told by my writing teacher that it was a good old anglo saxon word, and according to Wikipedia its roots are Germanic and its first known use in writing was in a spurious poem written prior to the year 1500 about some Carmelite friars of Cambridge suggesting why they were not in heaven.  There is also a reference in a land charter granted by King Offa in 772 to a place wonderfully called Fuccerham that might lead one to speculate about the origin of such a place name.  There are words in other germanic-based languages that are strikingly similar with a similar meaning. 

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 14:25 | 638106 snowball777
snowball777's picture

The floor recognizes Senator Jemint.

Dim Jemint: The good Senator from Nevada is a poopyhead. I waive the balance of my time.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 22:43 | 638760 doolittlegeorge
doolittlegeorge's picture

let's hope so.  they're the only ones with any spending money now.  plus they've told me "they're in love with the Death Row T-shirt girl, too."  And i think to myself "good kids we got comin' of age here."

Mon, 10/11/2010 - 00:04 | 640246 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

Who is the intended audience? Does the choice of words clearly convey the message, the context and the sense of urgency? Do the words used deliver the message most effectively?

May I suggest you learn to fixate less on the "bathroom expressions, obscenities and vulgarities" being spoken and written and come to terms with the daily, in your face and in broad daylight actions of the government and the financial sector. What is being to this country has never been more blatant, obscene, vulgar or as promiscuous. "[B]athroom expressions, obscenities and vulgarities" seem appropriate.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 14:06 | 638074 Cyan Lite
Cyan Lite's picture

So when's the next episode of Dancing With The Stars coming on TV??

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 14:22 | 638102 snowball777
snowball777's picture

Fuck these stupid assholes if they default on their mortgage. Anyone who bought into a bubble that obvious DESERVES to be taught a lesson by gravity. I don't see them complaining about how much they made on whatever they downsized from to go live in this shitty golf-commune. Did they spend it all on green fees?

I'm glad their savings aren't paying shit and I'm sick of supporting them in their dotage because their benefits haven't been means-tested out of their grubby mits.

They ARE people who bought a house they couldn't afford (or apparently don't WANT to afford)...having a hissy like this about what OTHER people are doing/getting/etc is a lame rationalization for not living up to a contract that THEY SIGNED. If that makes them pouty, they can take some govt subsidized meds on us.

"Everyone else is doing it" + "an eye for an eye" == "in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man..."

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 14:48 | 638144 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

What about the young people who can't afford a house because the prices are still too f****ing inflated from all these charity programs?  I doubt these two old greedy ass***** give a sh*t about them.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 16:26 | 638312 snowball777
snowball777's picture

That'd be me; my 20% down is earning 10% per annum while I wait for the inevitable. PM, FX, and some tiny-fist at the sky short positions.

No, they don't care who's pocket they have to pick to maintain their lifestyle despite the obvious fact that they're 60+ and even HAVE a mortgage (I know mine will be paid off WELL before then).

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 19:41 | 638530 chopper read
chopper read's picture

+1 to all three of you.  

these people do not give a fat rat's arse about anyone but themselves.  they'd do anything but join the 'peasants' in the tomato field, including dragging the country down with them.  they cannot handle freedom, which is why they'll likely be the first to trade it when given the opportunity.    

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 21:20 | 638656 doolittlegeorge
doolittlegeorge's picture

assfire!  assfire!  assfire!  assfire!

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 14:34 | 638120 Fat Ass
Fat Ass's picture

Good for them - thank God for people like this who have decided to do the right thing and STOP feeding the "banking-government complex"

They are national hero. It would have take a lot of guts for them to change everything they have ever done in life. Great stuff.

Ben and Lisa -- HEROS.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 14:54 | 638156 Fred Hayek
Fred Hayek's picture

Uh, if you remember from the piece, they're STILL feeding the "banking-government complex".  Because of the husband's insistence on maintaining illusions, they're making partial payments.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 17:07 | 638365 snowball777
snowball777's picture

BS, they were lining up at the HAMP trough and were only heroic in failing to abuse the taxpayer.

If you want to worship someone, try the hippies in NM who live off the grid with a tiny windmill and solar panels with no hot water and owe no one a dime.

Your 'heroes' just want a nicer condo.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 19:44 | 638533 chopper read
chopper read's picture



our country is weaker because of people just like these.  

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 14:37 | 638126 Species8472
Species8472's picture

If they are well-to-do, semi-upper-middle-class, why do they have a mortgage on their house when they are retired. You would think most folks with means would have payed off the mortgage by the time they retire. Has a large portion of the the country lost their minds or what? A  mortgage in retirement!! That is and always has been dumb for most people.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 16:01 | 638269 Kali
Kali's picture

"folks with means" - that is the primary illusion/delusion.  Shared by many.  Of course they are NOT folks with means.  They are folks with DEBT. And probably always have been.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 19:46 | 638535 chopper read
chopper read's picture


...hoping to die someday with someone else holding the bag on their indebted estate.  


i hope this asshole does not soon spit on my burger for saying so.  

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 20:02 | 638554 Landrew
Landrew's picture

My fathers mortgage is due to my stepmothers illness and eventual death. Cling to your dreams health insurance is there for you. Yes, I junked you, my father junked you and my son junked you. She was dying and he could not be as cold as you and let her go without a fight.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 21:25 | 638662 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

I got your back, for what it is worth. I posted up thread to a kid criticizing parents and in-laws for having a mortgage. Many times so called boomers used the house as an ATM to do nice things for the kids. And then there is the situation you describe. Everyone wants it to be black and white when it is grey. It is possible they don't know because they have never been desperate. I don't know how to send love or healing your way without sounding trite, but I do it anyway.

Sun, 10/10/2010 - 07:45 | 639075 Landrew
Landrew's picture

Belated thanks kiddo! Oh, you mean like my tuition loan for my sons degree in biology, last payment 2027 ha! Bill Clinton saved me (the only thing he did spot on)on that with 3.9% thru Sallie Mae. Now I hear horror stories from students ( I work with grad students) and parents today not being able to fund without signing over the home. This is again just part of what CD talks about, moving the level of intelligence downward. The last thing a student should be thinking about is funding. But then again funding research is most of what I think about ha! Like you, Ms. I live mortgage free in a small home, zero car payments( we wont be driving cars for long), near zero credit card (travel), cash emergency account, silver (in oz, pounds). When the bank refuses my fathers refi (CS 640), I will buy his property (our lifeboat, acres of black gold) and he will live there. Thanks Ms. I have always felt you had my back as I have yours. We may differ in how we get there, but, we want many of the same things:)

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 14:44 | 638136 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

Welcome to the real f***ing world Brian and Ilsa.  The world your kids and grand kids will get to enjoy.  While you were living in your delusional fantasy world worrying about ballgames, greater forces were at work to undermine their future.  You really f***ed up, and now your progeny will pay the penalty.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 19:48 | 638536 chopper read
chopper read's picture

no, they'll be voting for the next Hitler and blaming 'the Jews'.  anything but admit that THEY ARE THE PROBLEM.  

Sun, 10/10/2010 - 00:28 | 638877 chindit13
chindit13's picture

I have to agree.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 14:46 | 638143 killben
killben's picture

Americans should wake up to the fact that Ben Bernanke is screwing the lives of tax-payers, retirees and savers and raise the banner of revolt. He needs to be removed if Americans do not want the country to be destroyed.

This guys only interest is in saving his bankster pals. Give him the boot now.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 14:57 | 638158 Fred Hayek
Fred Hayek's picture

He'd just be replaced with another simulacrum of a human being.  Remember, the meeting minutes of Fed meetings consistently record only one of the attendees as disagreeing with their present policies. 

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 15:10 | 638180 WSP
WSP's picture

Serious question here.   Did Brian and Ilsa not take on the mortgage back in 2005 knowing full well what their mortgage payment was?  What does the present value of the house have to do with whether or not they can afford to make the payments----those are two separate things.

Back when homes were going up every day and everybody was either a home filpper, trading up, or taking out home equity, people like Brian and Ilsa saw purchasing their dream home as doable because they felt the value would continue going up and likely that they could use that equity to live large.  Whose fault is it that the market has turned south.  Seriously, it HAS NOTHING to do with whether they can make the payments or not, because when they bought the house they said they could make the payments and their situation has not changed.

So, in the end, what this boils down to is Brian and Ilsa see that other people are "getting over", so they want to get over to.  Totally pathetic.

I know this will sound crazy, but back 2003-2007 I would literally get sick to my stomach seeing all of these people making money flipping houses, use equity to finance a lifestyle they could not afford, using their house as an ATM.  It really made me sick because I am responsible and refused to play along knowing full well that it would end badly.  Why now should the responsible be punished for irresponsible people, and people like Brian and Ilsa who can afford to make the mortgage, they just want a handout since everyone else is getting one.

The aforementioned is the real reason why we will have anarchy.  If Brian and Ilsa were playing by the rules as they contend, they would accept that they bought at the wrong time and deal with it, provided they have the means, which clearly they do.   If you use the logic that since their home's value has dropped they should get a bailout, even though THEY KNEW they were buying in a bubble, then why shouldn't everybody get bailed out anytime any deal (stocks, CD's, etc) goes against them.  Its called risk, and I am sick and tired of seeing all of these people expect to be bailed out because they made a bad decision.  I could have bought more house back in the bubble to "leverage up" gains like all of these people, but I chose not to----why should the responsible be punished.

Brian and Ilsa, I hate you and everything you stand for.   You can afford the house, you just don't like it because the market went against you----deal with it.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 17:12 | 638369 zaknick
zaknick's picture

not the point


how would you like to buy something worth a million bux and now it's only worth half yet u have to pay full value???


jesus, ppl sure are assholes

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 18:24 | 638436 AuShoot
AuShoot's picture

It's completely the point.   If somebody promised them a rose garden, they should sue them - not steal from us.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 19:04 | 638481 WSP
WSP's picture

zaknick, this happens all the time---its called free markets.  So what you are saying is if you buy a house for 500k and it goes up  1000k, you get all the gains and benefits, but if you buy the same house for 500k and it drops to 250k, somebody else should eat the loss?  

Nobody was complaining when prices were going up, and that is total hypocrisy.  I'm sorry, I don't see your point.  You say I am an asshole because I believe people should take the good with the bad.  Using your logic, can I get back the MAJOR losses I suffered in January-Feburary 2000 going leveraged short the Nasdaq 100?  Afterall, I was totatlly "right", the only reason the market went higher during that time was Greenspan manipulating the market higher?  The market eventually fell in a major way, proving me right, yet I lost my ass.  So you are saying I should be entitled to get my money back?  Think about it?

I am not an asshole nor uncaring---these people bought a house---sometimes you win, sometimes you lose---its a market.  I got screwed by the government in January/February 2000 because of Greenspan testimony about the "new paradigm" and the markets squeezed higher, I lost money, I got over it (well, I will never get over the Federal Reserve corruption and intervening in the markets that has destroyed our markets).


Sat, 10/09/2010 - 19:52 | 638545 chopper read
chopper read's picture

zaknick, can i please have the money back for every bad trade that i've ever made? 


no? sure are an asshole.  

Sun, 10/10/2010 - 00:13 | 638863 chindit13
chindit13's picture

Too fucking bad.  So your idea of economic fairness is you buy something for a million bux, and when its value falls to half that---but you are still obligated to pay full value---I have to make up for your loss?

The assholes are the people who expect everyone else to cover for their mistakes.  Bankers or borrowers, wrong is just wrong.

Personal accountability.  What a novel, albeit seemingly outdated concept.

Sun, 10/10/2010 - 02:03 | 638948 chopper read
chopper read's picture

yeah, "Personal accountability": thats so "greatest generation".  

my sister-in-law actually had the gumption to tell me "the world doesn't work that way anymore".  this is America?  land of opportunity or land of handouts?  freedom or big government?  we cannot have both.  they are mutually exclusive.   

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 21:25 | 638659 doolittlegeorge
doolittlegeorge's picture

let's see here.  "my neighborhood has now been taken over by some guy named Poncho Villa---and he ain't Bob Villa.  He and his buddies have nothing but gold teeth and attitude problems.  and now i've got a letter from some cockfuck from Wells Fargo."  Keep it coming Democrats.  Open the floodgates of humanity!

Sun, 10/10/2010 - 00:00 | 638848 snowball777
snowball777's picture

Perhaps you live in a shitty nabe because you've 'done little' with your life, George.

Sun, 10/10/2010 - 09:57 | 639161 TheForgottenMan
TheForgottenMan's picture

George comments are just like Cathy's, except he is a dopesmoker, not a drunk.

No doubt he wasted his life like his brain.

Sun, 10/10/2010 - 10:49 | 639215 AssFire
AssFire's picture

Tough shit George, personal responsibility.

No one is coming to help.... grow up, leave and start over.

Sun, 10/10/2010 - 11:48 | 639303 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

So that said, WSP, would you support them if they chose to default and mailed the keys to the bank?

I can appreciate the whole issue of the mortgage "contract."  At least insofar as yes, it's a legal agreement, you agreed to pay, etc.

But what's the other half of the contract?  The bank agreed it would seize the house if the payments weren't made.

So what would be a problem with a few million (er, well OK about 30 million) mortgages being strategically-defaulted?  The banks get the houses.  (At least in principle, although titles could be anywhere in practice.)  And the bank ALSO agreed to the terms of the contract.

It's just BUSINESS.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 15:21 | 638200 metastar
metastar's picture

Looks like Brian and Ilsa have finally woken up!


The elite seem to be playing by no real rules except to screw the middle slave class. So, Fuck it!

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 15:43 | 638231 Traveler-2
Traveler-2's picture

This couple is of my generation.  We were put through college by our parents, with little effort on our part.  We graduated, got some type of "respectable" job, and then waited around for our parents to die so we could inherit.  This was part of our "culture."  We didn't really have to work for anything.

As others have pointed out, this is a story of a bad decisions made by these "noble" people.  A weak husband who can't make a decision now, and is making partial payments, which he will never get back, while his credit rate is plummeting. 

What ever happens to these people, who, like others have brought the US to its knees through their self-absorption, they deserve.  Hey, pitch a tent out there on that course, you all.  Live there.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 19:54 | 638548 chopper read
chopper read's picture


Sat, 10/09/2010 - 16:04 | 638277 SteveNYC
SteveNYC's picture

This is a shout-out to my fellow New Yorkers, you know who you are:

- The one's that walk into Chase or Citi bank to use the ATM at lunchtime, on Park or Lexington Ave......etc....

- The Bank of America and Wachovia junkies......

- Depositor of your personal and business cash in a TBTF bank......


Why don't you do your patriotic duty and once and for all, close your fucking accounts with these assholes and use a smaller or foreign, non-TBTF, non-bailout bank????

Just do it, no excuses, no justification, you are part of the problem.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 16:08 | 638280 minus dog
minus dog's picture

I think the reason so many are getting pissed off at these people (those underwater, not those in this article specifically)  is not because the timing of their purchase was so unfortunate, but because they went so far beyond what they could afford in the first place, as if extra equity would have really made things more affordable in the long run.

As usual, people have lost sight of the problem that we now live in a time, place, and culture where something so simple as aquiring a home is increasingly unattainable.  

So supposedly people should have have purchased homes at the "top" - why the fuck is there a "top" in the first place?  Did it not take a giant clusterfuck to get us to that point?  Is everyone supposed to just put their lives on hold and live in a motel for decade, waiting for the "top" to pass?

It was already bad enough to live under the threat of the government seizing "your" land for failing to pay your tribute.  Finding a place to live is every bit as basic as finding something to eat, and it'snot like we don't have more space than we know what to do with.  This entire setup is fucked from top to bottom.


Sat, 10/09/2010 - 19:57 | 638551 chopper read
chopper read's picture

minus dog, come on, my friend.  these people bought a house on a golf course.  some of us have rented shoeboxes to avoid going into debt.  perhaps savers could afford a house if borrowing fucks like these (and FNMA and Freddie Mac) were not driving up the price through excessive demand.  

Sun, 10/10/2010 - 17:07 | 639754 Misstrial
Misstrial's picture

*tips hat to c r*

And it wasn't simply excessive demand, it was also artificial demand.


Mon, 10/11/2010 - 10:33 | 640760 chopper read
chopper read's picture

exactly.  unintended consequences of centrally planned money and "everyone has a right to a house" government programs. 

Sun, 10/10/2010 - 00:07 | 638857 snowball777
snowball777's picture

I came out of college as the RE market was starting its ascent and didn't have the 20% down that I wanted to have before I bought a place. I've saved diligently and rented while the value of houses went ballistic and my phone was flooded with spam from realtors and other middle-vermin.

I called this BS as a bubble in 2003 when I saw StarBucks baristas buying condos where I was renting. I started moving my 401k out of equities in summer 07 and didn't lose dime one.

Where did they live before this golf-course, country-club place? How much did they make on it and where is that money now?

If they're willing to walk away, then they must not have much equity to lose; their little sob story doesn't add up.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 16:16 | 638298 alagon
alagon's picture

Bernanke Tells the Truth: The United States is on the Brink of Financial Disaster

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 17:51 | 638410 Waterfallsparkles
Waterfallsparkles's picture

Amazing.  Yet, Bernankie continues to print Money and do POMO's to keep everyone feeling good.  But, better yet he continues to transfeer the Wealth of the United States to the Bankers so than when everything goes into the toilet the Bankers are stitting pretty.  They can all go offshore and enjoy their rewards while we are stuck with the fallout.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 21:27 | 638663 doolittlegeorge
doolittlegeorge's picture

feelin good?  i feel like shit god damn it!  so are some of the bankers i know!

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 16:20 | 638309 Traveler-2
Traveler-2's picture

All I know is that when I go, I want to be standing next to everyman, bob_d, B9K9, and Carbon....  Let's go get 'em.......  lol

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 21:29 | 638666 doolittlegeorge
doolittlegeorge's picture

yeah well they told me "they want you in front while bob_d lays down some fire to keep their heads down so that Carbon can...."  in the meantime B9K9 calls in a little...

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 16:36 | 638325 Zerohedge fan
Zerohedge fan's picture

January 1st, 2011

Brian and Ilsa are proud owners of a house they paid off with one ounce of silver they bought Saturday, October 8th, 2010

   have it, Brian & Ilsa,


"..................It was all part of the plan"

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 16:45 | 638334 Madhouse
Madhouse's picture

What we need is a war !  Yea. A fuckin War, boy, to get us going again. Eh ? Oh, already in a war ? Oh. 

Ok, then what we need are tax cuts. Yea. Stop all the spending by cutting taxes. Best goddam way to stop the goverment spending, see  ?  Oh, we already tried that ? Oh.

Well then just sell everything you own. Buy some gold coins with it. Declare bankruptcy and then live off the fat of the land. Aha. Can't beat em, join em.


Sat, 10/09/2010 - 16:54 | 638347 Hang The Fed
Hang The Fed's picture

Brilliance, both in the writing and the subject.  We have skewed so far from our founding principles that it's absolutely sickening to watch the fallout.  I'm in the camp of "Fuckit," and I don't owe a dime to anyone.  Fuck the banks, fuck the Fed, and fuck their entire game-strategy...if you ever needed more proof that we're being treated like a pack of farm animals, this is it.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 22:07 | 638707 chopper read
chopper read's picture

taxpayer livestock whose labor is traded to foreign lenders to finance crony 'capitalism'.  

Sun, 10/10/2010 - 14:12 | 639529 Hang The Fed
Hang The Fed's picture

The real question, in figuring out where we go from here, is whether or not we're going to stand for this shit any longer.  I opted-out from anymore credit, ever, except of the in-house variety from local suppliers who I know, mostly on a personal level, for a long time.  Even then, I keep the balances as small as humanly possible.  I will NOT submit to making lazy assholes rich by soaking up whatever snake-oil it is that they try to sell me with "easy, convenient terms."  Nada mas, por favor.

Mon, 10/11/2010 - 10:41 | 640769 chopper read
chopper read's picture


centrally planned money is criminal and doomed, along with faith-based fiat.  i expect we will go back to some kind of 'competing currencies' model which will include gold and silver, and other tokens of barter.  it is happening in some states:

the tinker bell effect is giving way to brute fact. 

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 17:06 | 638366 Downtoolong
Downtoolong's picture

I can't think of a bigger joke than the idea that big banks are still classified as part of a service industry.


Sat, 10/09/2010 - 21:31 | 638668 doolittlegeorge
doolittlegeorge's picture

neither can i.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 17:14 | 638372 overqualified
overqualified's picture

Re: "When the backbone of a country starts thinking that laws and rules are not worth following, it’s just a hop, skip and a jump to anarchy. "

No: it's a jump to Italy.

Here only salaried workers pay income taxes up to the last cent, since they are dectracted automatically from from their pay by law. Everyone else cheats big time. If only just everyone could cheat the system, it would be great.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 17:24 | 638379 Voodoo Economics
Voodoo Economics's picture

We're supposed to feel sorry for this "upper class" Country club paying dopes? 

F*%$ them!!!

We didn't buy an overpriced home and lever the hell out of it when we couldn't afford it. I have and continue to care for family, too. I don't have a CC membership or pay thousands for golf every year. Hell, we have a 10 year old TV and don't pay for cable, etc. etc.


We're supposed to feel sorry for them???  FU@$! THEM AND THE BANKS - IF "THEY" GET BAILED OUT THE END IS VERY NEAR!!!

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 17:26 | 638384 idoubtit
idoubtit's picture

Everybody should say fuckit.  Think about it.  What we "borrowed" from banks didn't cost them a thing.  Through the swipe of a pen, banks were given the right to conjure up money from nothing and live off our interest and labour.   We spend our lives paying back something that didn't cost them a thing to produce.  Nice job if you can get it.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 17:31 | 638388 Traveler-2
Traveler-2's picture

Maybe if it were like Italy at least the playing field would be level.  I lived in Barcelona for years and it was the best time of my life.  I think, then, Barcelona was a lot like Italy (as was/is most of Spain).  But life was great, grand, and I wish I were back there for good.

Fuck this country and our "constitution."

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 17:31 | 638389 Traveler-2
Traveler-2's picture

Maybe if it were like Italy at least the playing field would be level.  I lived in Barcelona for years and it was the best time of my life.  I think, then, Barcelona was a lot like Italy (as was/is most of Spain).  But life was great, grand, and I wish I were back there for good.

Fuck this country and our "constitution."

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 17:32 | 638390 darkpool2
darkpool2's picture

Everyone, select your tribe.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 19:11 | 638491 AuShoot
AuShoot's picture

Yep, it's going to be a battle between the crybabies whose Moms let them quit the monopoly game and start over when they were loosing, and those who were taught that you can't win them all and quitters never win.

I'm sure the rules were clearly spelled out in Brian and Ilsa's Promissory Note (in my state anyway) with the bank.  If they didn't like the rules, then they shouldn't have played the game.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 17:34 | 638396 JR
JR's picture

Bush’s American Dream Down Payment Fund

George Bush’s idea was to give every American a chance to have a dream house; meaning the Republican Party "can get a larger percentage of the Mexican vote."  The Republicans were trying to increase their Hispanic vote, and so they needed to give them houses.   Then, after they gave them houses, the Mexican voted for Obama anyway. And, now, the Mexicans can’t pay for the houses, so Bush’s Republican base has to pay.

There can be no value for an independent, productive man living in a society of moochers where he is to be the sacrificial animal, that penalizes his virtues in order to reward looters for their vices.  Forced altruism—the doctrine that any action taken for the benefit of others is good, and any action taken for one’s own benefit is evil-- says Ayn Rand, “permits no concept of a self-respecting, self-supporting man—a man who supports his life by his own effort and neither sacrifices himself nor others...permits no view of men except as sacrificial animals and profiteers-on-sacrifice, as victims and parasites…permits no concept of a benevolent co-existence among men…permits no concept of justice."

Obama’s Home Affordable Modification Program: Overview

The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) is designed to help as many as 3 to 4 million financially struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure by modifying loans to a level that is affordable for borrowers now and sustainable over the long term. The program provides clear and consistent loan modification guidelines that the entire mortgage industry can use.

Borrower eligibility is based on meeting specific criteria including:

1) borrower is delinquent on their mortgage or faces imminent risk of default
2) property is occupied as borrower's primary residence
3) mortgage was originated on or before Jan. 1, 2009 and unpaid principal balance must be no greater than $729,750 for one-unit properties.

After determining a borrower's eligibility, a servicer will take a series of steps to adjust the monthly mortgage payment to 31% of a borrower's total pretax monthly income:

  • First, reduce the interest rate to as low as 2%,
  • Next, if necessary, extend the loan term to 40 years,
  • Finally, if necessary, forbear (defer) a portion of the principal until the loan is paid off and waive interest on the deferred amount.

You decide.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 19:17 | 638500 Reese Bobby
Reese Bobby's picture

I choose to junk you but I think it is good form to explain why if a comment is not outright obscene.  Your comment is "junk" to me because:

1) You don't seem to have read the post,

2) Your history is "to poop on",

3)Most importantly, you have been reading ZH for over a year and you think Obama is different than Bush?



Sat, 10/09/2010 - 21:34 | 638671 doolittlegeorge
doolittlegeorge's picture

I think Obama is different than Bush.  I mean "we're talkin' two different planets here" aren't we?

Sun, 10/10/2010 - 00:11 | 638861 snowball777
snowball777's picture

Name one substantive difference other than their positions on homosexuality.

Sun, 10/10/2010 - 00:49 | 638883 chindit13
chindit13's picture

Obama has a preference for military drones, aka Pakistani Wedding Crashers, while Bush was more a boots-on-the-ground type.  It's kind of like newspaper ads vs. an internet campaign, one is old school, one is 21st Century.  Also, one gets you a Nobel Peace Prize.

I believe that constitutes substantive, no?

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 17:41 | 638400 americanspirit
americanspirit's picture

I think that regardless of the scenario you choose, the point of this article is that there is always a line somewhere out in front of increasingly desperate people that, when crossed, leads to chaos and destruction. It doesn't have to be organized - it just happens. Two words - mob mentality. I quite agree that we are getting close, but I also think that people are closer to crossing that line elsewhere in the world and so those of us who are watching will be able to see it coming like the sunrise advancing inexoribly westward. Not that I have a clue what I can personally do about it, even though I have my small stash of real money and my mental go-bag packed. But I'm old enough and have seen enough to know that nowhere and no situation will be safe regardless of how well-prepared you or I may think we are. So I simply plan to watch it coming, and probably cry a foolish old man's tears for what might have been, and then to get up off my ass and try to take as many of the motherfuckers who caused this shit with me before I die.

Sun, 10/10/2010 - 12:06 | 639332 TobyJones
TobyJones's picture

best post out of the 600 so far.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 17:44 | 638402 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

Hey, this song fits right in!


"I got F'd by Liberty Mutual, now Liberty Mutual can go f' themselves."



Sat, 10/09/2010 - 17:45 | 638403 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture


Sat, 10/09/2010 - 17:55 | 638414 subscriptionblocker
subscriptionblocker's picture

Someone! Please! Find us a way to avoid being crushed by crooked banks and their deadbeat customers.


I don't wish to be responsible for banker loans.

I don't wish to be responsible for this couple's purchasing decisions.


Why must all of us be dragged into this? Why do "rest of us" just have "responsibilities" for government bailouts - yet zero authority to tell both these parties to go to hell?


Would anyone here loan their *own* personal funds to this couple? Would you wish to place those funds under the care of Wells Fargo? When did taxpayers sign up for a HAMP obligation?

Sorry's hard to see much difference between the motives of Wells Fargo or this couple. They both want what they want, and don't give a damn about bystanders. Please encourage them to have their duel far away. 



Sat, 10/09/2010 - 18:51 | 638464 QQQBall
QQQBall's picture

duplicate - apologies

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 18:50 | 638465 QQQBall
QQQBall's picture

Well, the problem for WFC, assuming no recourse, is that they are tied to the couple's purchasing decisions. On the other hand, the couple may be free to walk away. If WFC made enough bad decisions, they should go out of business not thrown under a TARP, but thats a whole 'nudder problem.

Sun, 10/10/2010 - 07:58 | 639084 jplotinus
jplotinus's picture

Telling 'both' of the parties to go to hell is contradictory and will not resolve the matter.  Instead, a clear determination as which of the parties is at greater fault and which at lesser fault will need to be made.  Otherwise, oversimplification will result in no solution at all.

As it is amongst drug dealers versus their customers, it is the banksters who are at greater fault and against whom the brunt of the solution must fall upon.

Sun, 10/10/2010 - 07:59 | 639085 jplotinus
jplotinus's picture

Telling 'both' of the parties to go to hell is contradictory and will not resolve the matter.  Instead, a clear determination as to which of the parties is at greater fault and which at lesser fault will need to be made.  Otherwise, oversimplification will result in no solution at all.

As it is amongst drug dealers versus their customers, it is the banksters who are at greater fault and against whom the brunt of the solution must fall upon.

Sun, 10/10/2010 - 10:15 | 639178 SteveNYC
SteveNYC's picture

"Because we need to take these actions to save our free-market system"

Bwahahahaha, Bush, the fool!

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 17:58 | 638418 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

On the comments in this article:

Definately sounds to me like we are gona' have some class warfare in this country.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 18:19 | 638433 Traveler-2
Traveler-2's picture

No, I don't think we are going to have class warfare.  This, in here, is just people venting--it is probably healthy.  Our problem in America is not "class;" it is our governance and with whom that governance associates and validates.

It is not Republicans nor Democrats, for both are the same--just two different parties fighting with votes to see which gets to screw those who elected them.  Things will not change one iota after this election.  There will just be another set of people doing the same to the voters.  The people running for office today are running to "get theirs."  Give me a break.  "I am one of you," hah. 

I am in my 69th year and I don't know the answer.  I hold a doctorate from Stanford and I am not dumb, maybe naiive.  But I do know that something bad has evolved, and that Tyler and his website have helped delineate and expose it.  Wherever good people (whoever they are) can take the information and use it to resolve the problem (s) deserves support.   

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 21:42 | 638680 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Remember, rulers have no right to do anything that you have no right to do on
your own.  If you shouldn't do it, you shouldn't ask others to do it for you.

Look to the means first, noble ends will follow.  Free people find unexpected
solutions and those who are not free find unexpected problems.
No other person, or group of persons owns your life nor do you own the lives
of others.

A product of your life and liberty is your PROPERTY.

Sun, 10/10/2010 - 10:20 | 639182 SteveNYC
SteveNYC's picture

"No other person, or group of persons owns your life nor do you own the lives
of others."


I agree fully, however, the masses in this country most certainly do NOT "own" their own life. They, like many others around the world, are fed an "illusion" of "ownership", but their day to day experience in reality is NOTHING of the sort.

May I suggest Century of the Self (go to Youtube) as a real "enlightener" of this fact. We only take "ownership" when we completely let go of all attachment to self and to "things". Only then does "mind" become our sovereign territory.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 18:48 | 638434 QQQBall
QQQBall's picture

no comment

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 18:24 | 638435 robertocarlos
robertocarlos's picture

I can't take sides without knowing the dollar detail figures. 

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 18:28 | 638439 QQQBall
QQQBall's picture

“We’ve done everything right..."


This is the key sentence, Americans think there is some sort of guarantee... well, you didn't do everything right - you bought the top of the market and now you do not want to pay your mortgage. You never learned to sell your investments, so you held on thinking that they would come back in a typical "buy and hope mentality." There are untold number of people that have been hanging on thinking this time is not different, that they ride it out, things will turn out okey for them becuase "they have to..." No they do not.


Americans are poorly educated in true financial terms and generationally we have had it darn good for a long time. The one thing that people are never taught is to do almost the exact opposite of everyone else and what feels good, is probably wrong.


Good luck to Brian and Lisa.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 18:39 | 638446 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

Piss on Brian and Ilsa. Just another couple of deadbeats imo. If the house and 401k had gone up they'd be smug as hell right now. Whiney little bitchez.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 18:39 | 638448 trav7777
trav7777's picture

Fuck tha POlice

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 22:45 | 638767 doolittlegeorge
doolittlegeorge's picture

there is a certain honesty about you.

Sun, 10/10/2010 - 00:14 | 638864 snowball777
snowball777's picture

...with a little bit of gold and a pager, bitchez.

Sun, 10/10/2010 - 11:04 | 639247 aheady
aheady's picture

Goldbugs With Attitude muthafuckas

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 18:54 | 638467 gwar5
gwar5's picture

It's unfair. If this couple were a minority they would not be having this problem. Minorities are first in line for HAMP. It's considered payback time for all past white injustices by this administration. Just saying, from their own words.

Just wait until people like this couple have to go before the new health care rationing board for a kidney transplant. Doctors will be subject to CRIMINAL penalties if they treat them without approvals, even if the couple wanted to use their own money. Serious.




Sat, 10/09/2010 - 19:02 | 638476 max2205
max2205's picture


Here is bens plan. Drive commodity prices for wood copper PVC nails granite and concrete up so that the break-even of a new house is 300 per sq ft. Don't laugh

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 19:20 | 638503 BurningFuld
BurningFuld's picture

Why on earth would a 60 something couple take on a fucking mortgage? Help me out here...somewhere along the line things did not go right for these people. Furthermore..lost on their investments? What on earth is a 60 something couple doing taking on risky investments?  Sorry but this 50 something couple here has no mortgage (don't live on a golf course) and is not invested in any risk...awe the returns are lower....poor me..does anyone feel sorry for me?

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 19:32 | 638517 Reese Bobby
Reese Bobby's picture

Sort of.  The bank bailout crime will continue to lower your standard of living going forward.  And if you have any savings ZIRP is an ungoing transfer from you to the banks.  And if you pay taxes you'll have to pay more going forward to pay for our debt-finaned, hand-out society. And, well you get the picture...  On the bright side the next generations may view you as having been "rich"!

Still you have a point.  If sympathy was finite I would not use much on those two.  But I guess it is not.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 19:22 | 638505 Xibalba
Xibalba's picture

Let 'em all rejoice:

Boston: It's More Than a Feeling

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 19:27 | 638511 chopper read
chopper read's picture


"J. Crew Anarchist".  that is catchy. for our "keeping up with the Jones's" couple here:

Everybody else is doing it—so why don’t we?  

Is not this attitude exactly what got them into a borrowed house at the top of the market?


why did they not just pay cash for a house and not borrow anything?  


...because they could not afford the 'storefront' that they were presenting to their circle of friends.  

now our 'average' couple wants to blame the banks rather than themselves?

moral of the story for our children:


..."they love golf".  give me a fucking break.  I've been waiting my whole life to see these types of assholes get caught pretending to be bigshots.  they are the symbol of a generation that has lived and voted beyond not just their own means, but the means of their children.  

...and all they do is whine about how unfair it all is. 

The "Greatest Generation" gave birth to the biggest spoilt brats the world has ever known.  It is a pleasure watching it all crumble.  

these people are not victims, they are shallow-minded borrowers and consumers with no character. 

"they love golf".  how nice. 


Sat, 10/09/2010 - 20:13 | 638569 BurningFuld
BurningFuld's picture

Exactly dude!  +1 and 1/2

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 21:28 | 638664 NorthenSoul
NorthenSoul's picture

why did they not just pay cash for a house and not borrow anything? 


Yeah huh? That'd be so fucking easy to do. Pay cash for a house...we ain't moving in you privileged circle...bitch!

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 22:13 | 638719 chopper read
chopper read's picture

then rent and live in shoeboxes like the rest of us did until we could pay cash.  but don't pretend like these twats.  ;)

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 19:36 | 638521 Clint Liquor
Clint Liquor's picture

I'm with you Chopper.

Worked and saved to pay our home off ten years ago.

Meanwhile our neighbors were in refi heaven, treating their home equity like an ATM.

Now they are upside down big time and I'm supposed to feel sorry for them? Fuck them and anybody that looks like them.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 20:11 | 638565 chopper read
chopper read's picture



is this the land of handouts or the land of opportunity?  this includes the opportunity to fail.  

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 20:18 | 638577 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

I hope they get sued. Lawyers gotta eat too.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 20:21 | 638583 chopper read
chopper read's picture

that made me laugh out loud.  thanks for that.  

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 21:41 | 638677 doolittlegeorge
doolittlegeorge's picture

come all ye feeling deprived from South of the Border!  Clint Liquor beckons!  Come from ALL THE WORLD!

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 19:39 | 638525 JR
JR's picture

The right to health care expands here to a right to housing (HAMP). The “rights” expressed in the Declaration of Independence and enumerated in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights are watered down and threatened by the socialist extension of invented rights based on the redistribution of wealth.  Obviously, it’s impossible to have unlimited unemployment protection, equal healthcare whether you pay or not, and housing that you can’t afford, unless money is taken from the producers under police authority.

Following is the text of Article 25 (a), of the Universal Declaration of Human rights (1948), a founding United Nations document signed by the United States.  It links the pattern we are seeing in the United States today  :

Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for health and well-being of himself and his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

“Housing as a human right has been reaffirmed in Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (1966), to which the United States was also signatory, and in many other international human rights documents since then. In order to take the position that housing is not a human right, the U.S. government would need to violate international human rights law and renege on existing agreements.”—Tom Head, Guide

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 22:55 | 638780 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

The Bill of No Rights

Courtesy of Lewis W. Napper

We, the sensible of the United States, in an attempt to help everyone get along, restore some semblance of justice, avoid any more riots, keep our nation safe, promote positive behavior and secure the blessings of debt-free liberty to ourselves and our great-great-great grandchildren, hereby try one more time to ordain and establish some common sense guidelines for the terminally whiny, guilt-ridden delusional, and other liberal, commie, pinko bedwetters.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that a whole lot of people were confused by the Bill of Rights and are so dim that they require a Bill of No Rights.


You do not have the right to a new car, big-screen color TV or any other form of wealth.  More power to you if you can legally acquire them, but no one is guaranteeing anything.


You do not have the right to never be offended. This country is based on freedom, and that means freedom for everyone -- not just you! You may leave the room, turn the channel, express a different opinion, etc., but the world is full of idiots, and probably always will be.


You do not have the right to be free from harm. If you stick a screwdriver in your eye, learn to be more careful, do not expect the tool manufacturer to make you and all of your relatives independently wealthy.


You do not have the right to free food and housing. Americans are the most charitable people to be found, and will gladly help anyone in need, but we are quickly growing weary of subsidizing generation after generation of professional couch potatoes who achieve nothing more than the creation of another generation of professional couch potatoes.


You do not have the right to free health care. That would be nice, but from the looks of public housing, we're just not interested in public health care.


You do not have the right to physically harm other people. If you kidnap, rape, intentionally maim or kill someone, don't be surprised if the rest of us get together and kill you.


You do not have the right to the possessions of others. If you rob, cheat, or coerce away the goods or services of other citizens, don't be surprised if the rest of us get together and lock you away in a place where you still won't have the right to a big-screen color TV or a life of leisure.


You do not have the right to demand that our children risk their lives in foreign wars to soothe your aching conscience. We hate oppressive governments and won't lift a finger to stop you from going to fight if you'd like.  However, we do not enjoy parenting the entire world and do not want to spend so much of our time battling each and every little tyrant with a military uniform and a funny hat. 


You do not have the right to a job. All of us sure want you to have one, and will gladly help you along in hard times, but we expect you to take advantage of the opportunities in education and vocational training laid before you to make yourself useful.


You do not have the right to happiness. Being an American means that you have the right to pursue happiness -- which, by the way, is a lot easier if you are unencumbered by an overabundance of idiotic laws created by those around you who were confused by the Bill of Rights.

Copyright - Lewis W. Napper. All Rights Reserved

Sun, 10/10/2010 - 01:25 | 638918 i-dog
i-dog's picture


Sun, 10/10/2010 - 02:09 | 638953 chopper read
chopper read's picture


get your balls back, America. 

Mon, 10/11/2010 - 22:19 | 642313 honestann
honestann's picture

just common sense... unless you're brain damaged.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 19:45 | 638534 mogul rider
mogul rider's picture

Look out Matrix the carbon based electricity are waking up from tehir sleep. Neo was only the first of many. 


You know the symbolism of that movie is starting to freak me out. Maybe ... just maybe.......

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 20:13 | 638541 sbenard
sbenard's picture

The next mortgage-related crisis is upon us.

What I don't see anyone mentioning is who is going to pick up the losses for this. The banks that make "porfolio" loans are lending out the money of their depositors, not their shareholders. This is the foundation of fractional reserve banking. If the losses start mounting, more bank failures are assured and this at a time when the FDIC is already insolvent.

The banks that sell their loans are selling nearly all of them to Fannie and Freddie, which are now owned by the Federal government. This means that the taxpayers are on the hook for the $5.5 trillion of Fannie/Freddie liabilities. As this mess snowballs, it has the possibility of making even our $1.3-$1.5 trillion per year deficits turn into debt mushroom clouds (as if they weren't already).

The bottom line is that since we have socialized housing finance, the potential losses and liabilities are catastrophic. And the point of the two scenarios I've mentioned above is that the ultimate cost will be borne by the taxpayers, either through the FDIC or deeper debt, now being monetized aggressively by the Fed. They are of a magnitude that could be the final straw that tips the balance, and our society, into chaos!

And what about the moral hazard? If everyone starts defaulting on their mortgages, no one can possibly begin to calculate the potential destructive impact.

The last home I bought was 1 mile away from a military base that closed 2 years after I bought the house. An appraisal indicated that it was worth nearly 30% less than what I paid for it. I considered a strategic default until my Dad said to me, "Is that honest?" I had paid for the house what seemed to me to be a fair market price. I accepted that risk that the price might decline.

Eventually, the house increased in value and 10 years later, I was able to sell it during that last bubble for a 75% increase in value. I feel sorry for the couple in this story, but it was ultimately their own actions and decisions that put them in this imbroglio. They wanted a better deal because they realized that they had bought into the bubble, and now, they want the banks, and thereby, society, to be forced to bail them out and put things right for them.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 21:09 | 638641 honestann
honestann's picture

No, it was not "ultimately their own actions" that put them in their current situation.  Their actions were a very minor part of the actions that caused their problem.

The fact is, houses are 8 to 12 times overpriced today.  This was directly caused by the imposition of "fiat money", "debt money", and "fractional reserve lending"... all of which are predatory criminal (and unconstitutional) actions of the international ganster bankster cartel, assisted by treason and crimes against humanity by most members of congress.

This system (created by the predators, not homeowners) created a system in which buying a home changed from:

Have we saved enough to buy or build a home?

... to ...

Can we borrow enough (from parents, credit-cards, etc) to pay the down payment on a home?

Needless to say, when the price of a home is limited to "what people can pay", the price is much, much lower.  In fact, all things considered, the price is 8 to 12 times lower.  While "8 to 12 times" may seems a bit steep at first, careful analysis proves it is accurate.  While these multiples are significantly larger on homes than most other goods, the multiple on all goods is substantial (3x to 5x or more).

And anyone wonders why "the economy sucks"?  In a non-predatory system the money people pay for mortgage payments would be free to invest, free to improve their environment, free to relax, free to learn, free to travel, etc.  In other words, a natural economy (free of those predators) is happy, vibrant, amazing.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 22:19 | 638730 chopper read
chopper read's picture

i still do not feel bad for this couple, honestann, but you are dead on.

The fact is, houses are 8 to 12 times overpriced today.  This was directly caused by the imposition of "fiat money", "debt money", and "fractional reserve lending"... all of which are predatory criminal (and unconstitutional) actions of the international ganster bankster cartel, assisted by treason and crimes against humanity by most members of congress.

like i said, though, these folks believed their own hype 'living on a golf course'.  thats 'keeping up with the Jones's', and its the type of behavior that makes our country so revolting at times.  everybody is a bigshot!


still: fiat money, fractional reserve lending, centrally planned money; these are the weapons of terror.  

Sun, 10/10/2010 - 02:57 | 638993 RECISION
RECISION's picture

You know "Chopper" is Australian right?

So.... who's country are we talking about again???

Mon, 10/11/2010 - 10:44 | 640774 chopper read
chopper read's picture

everybody likes a smartass, RECISION!  :)

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 20:07 | 638556 honestann
honestann's picture

Reasonable article, except one thing... the phrase

"Fuck trying to do the right thing..."

The notion that "do the right thing" means "sanction the predators, strenghten the predators, obey every predators scheme"... is absurd.

Since when does "creating fake money out of thin air and lending at interest to others" constitute "the right thing"?  Since the international gangster-banksters bribed criminals in congress to pass the blatantly unethical, criminal, unconstitutional FederalReserveAct?

No.  The "right thing" is to stop treating "government" as if it exists.  It flat out doesn't exist.  Even in law, all named organizations are called "fictitious entities", which is precisely what they are (ignoring the fact that "fictitious" and "entity" contradict each other).

Every individual who tells you what you must do, or must not do, is a criminal and a predator... pure and simple.  End of story.

The "right thing to do" is to defend yourself, to put a bullet between the eyes of every predator who dares come after you, your property, your family.  And if that predator is human... no difference, which is why self-defense is perfectly moral, ethical and lawful.  Of course, don't expect the other predators-that-be to defend you (cops and courts), because they won't.  They work in packs to defend their predatory scam, which is "enslavement of every honest, ethical, productive human".

So yeah, "do the right thing"... eradicate predators.

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