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Guest Post: Illusions Versus Reality

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Tony Palotta of Macro Story

Illusions Versus Reality

"Illusions commend themselves to us because they save us pain and allow us to enjoy pleasure instead.  We must therefore accept it without complaint when they sometimes collide with a bit of reality against which they are dashed to pieces."

- Sigmund Freud

Our global society needs a reset.  The insolvency of Greece or the growing US fiscal imbalance are only symptoms of a much deeper problem. It is easy for market participants to sit behind their red and green charts and point blame at "the Bernank." It is easy for homeowners to forego their mortgage payment to fund the expenses they are "entitled" to.  It is easy for the Mortgage Bankers Association to "strategically default," after all it's a "business decision."

I'm sorry but "the Bernank" is not the problem. People are "entitled" to nothing and "business decisions" have moral implications.
If you witness a crime but fail to act can you simply wash your hands? If someone emotionally or physically attacks you and you fail to defend yourself are you an innocent victim? If you spill a cup of hot coffee why does McDonalds have to pay you one million dollars and write the words "hot" on every subsequent cup sold thereafter?

If the world resets its debt yet society fails to reset its moral compass then we will have done nothing more than "kick the can" down the road. We will have squandered an amazing opportunity for true "change we can believe in." We will have solved the symptom but not the problem.

The only way people truly solve problems is when they are confronted with a tragedy, whether personal or financial. When left with nothing people truly find what they are missing.  Those who grew up in the Great Depression talk about what they have while those after that life changing event talk about what they want. The different views on life are small yet the implications are massive.

The solution to the world's problems is simple. People know the answer.  The convict who lives on the lam for twenty years is relieved at their capture for they are tired of the hunt. People have debt they know they are slaves to.  People have jobs they know brings them misery. People are in relationships they know brings them unhappiness. Yet they do nothing until they are forced to act.  Until they are confronted they will continue to run waiting for the day of capture when they must face reality and begin the process of healing.

As a trader it's your fault you are losing money, not "the Bernank." If your spouse is spending beyond the family budget you have a responsibility to stop reinforcing the bad behavior. A strategic default may be a way at getting back at the bank but what about the financial damage to your neighbor.

The world is entering a very scary and dark period. We hear of hyperinflation. We hear of the end of the fiat currency system. We hear of a period of grave economic depression before us. Our illusions and our reality are truly on a collision course. The road ahead may very well be difficult but it is also an amazing opportunity to truly solve the world and society's problems. Failure to act is all of our fault and we will be forced to live with the consequences.


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Sat, 06/25/2011 - 21:25 | 1401920 Thomas
Thomas's picture

Sorry. Doesn't work for me. I am debt free, have averaged 13% annualized return since 01/01/00, and am still royally pissed off at the Fed and Wall Street. Most of us wish to see some convictions of the mobsters. You may be posting on the wrong site; this is Zero Hedge, home of some very angry people.

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 22:00 | 1401970 lynnybee
lynnybee's picture

Yes !  doesn't work for me, either !   ....... good citizen, good worker, good person !  for what !  to get scammed, defrauded & lied to !  .......... you bet your butt there are a lot of damn angry people on this site (but, not mad at the wonderful people who created this website & the wonderful commentors! ) .    Just a few short years ago I thought I was going to retire in my little paid off house, debt-free !    Now, I find I am in an epic battle with a criminal gang of off-shore bankers who want to steal from me & my kids !    criminal bankers, corrupt government, impoverishment due to hyperinflation, joblessness, it's all outrageous. 


Sat, 06/25/2011 - 23:14 | 1402107 steveo
steveo's picture

Well said

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 21:27 | 1404340 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

Did you refinance and take equity out of your house?

If so, then you can't blame criminal bankers.  You were to blame.

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 22:00 | 1401971 Derpin USA
Derpin USA's picture

He wasn't singling out any individual. He was pointing out the overall attitude and belief system. He's pointing the finger back at those people, and he's correct. You are the exception, not the rule.

All the stuff you're mad at is made possible by the people he points to, so consumed with the amassment of material wealth and shiny distractions that they can't be bothered to pay attention to what's going on around them. Instead, they only care about what they feel they deserve. They are the problem.

This whole fiasco has only been made possible by a populace too consumed with greed to realize they were being led down a terrible path. Regardless, they still did it. Ignorance, as they say, is not an excuse.

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 22:10 | 1401986 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture


"This is a country of fiefdoms, like the Middle Ages, you know 'I want my airport ... my convention center and my high-speed train,'" said Stephen Matlin, managing director of the Matlin Associates investment banking firm in Madrid.


"What we're doing is maintaining the old economic structure of the country," said Fernandez. "Instead of investing in new skills for people ... we spend money on keeping them busy to give the appearance of bring the unemployment figures down."




Sun, 06/26/2011 - 10:14 | 1402734 oldmanagain
oldmanagain's picture

Being against "airports" is a new one on me.  Why not hospitals, those really hurt the pocket book. Anal retentive Fox support of corporate greed may lose the transportation sector vote.

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 22:14 | 1401988 Thomas
Thomas's picture

"I'm sorry but 'The Bernank' is not the problem."

He could have blamed us and gotten away with it if not for statements like that.

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 22:25 | 1402003 Derpin USA
Derpin USA's picture

The Bernank is a symptom of the larger problem. His evil is only made possible by a people too consumed with their own greed.

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 22:57 | 1402052 nuinut
nuinut's picture

Here's a simple diagram of the problem:

There are no other problems that are not in fact symptoms of this, including problems same may have with their "moral compass", as Palotta puts it.

Illusions = Claims

Reality = Assets

Problems stem from our valuing them at par, which enables the creation of debt.

Diagram from

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 23:10 | 1402099 Derpin USA
Derpin USA's picture

I agree, but what came first? The illusion or the greed?

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 23:29 | 1402139 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Water, food, clothing, shelter....  in that order.   All the rest is just trappings leading to trade and improved life.   Gold, at the top of the tangibles, just facilitates the process.   All above that level is ephemeral in the long run.  Quality of life is absolutely subjective.   The article points out that debt and credit are unnecessary if assets are properly handled and the processes kept honest.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 00:01 | 1402211 nuinut
nuinut's picture


Credit and debt can be replaced by equity, resulting in an equitable system.

The bulk of our problems would dry up and blow away. This ain't utopia, to be sure, but it does make today the "Dark Age" by comparison. And we are already aware of that, intuitively, that this is currently no golden age by any stretch of the imagination, aren't we?


More and more people are waking up. Many more will be rudely awoken before this year is done.

Buy physical gold to both store value and to kill the beast. The entire system is reliant on the liquidity supplied by fractionally reserved gold. Gold in your possession is not available for this process, and neither is it subject to any counter-party.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 08:57 | 1402637 oogs66
oogs66's picture

yes, but the regulators don't even have the balls to make TBTF banks put up an extra 2-3% of equity NOW!  Why wait til 2015?  There are potential problems not fixed - PIIGS, CMBS, Resi, etc, and yet we want to wait til 2015 to make banks raise some extra equity?  And even then the regulators already seem to be backtracking on if its necessary.  We do not have the courage to forego any form of comfort today to ensure a safer future.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 10:39 | 1402818 malikai
malikai's picture

What you speak of simply hastens the process described in this article.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 10:34 | 1402792 j0nx
j0nx's picture

SOME convictions? There needs to be THOUSANDS of convictions. After that then we can talk about changing society's moral compass. The simple fact is that people are tired of taking it in the ass from NY and DC and they are starting to do the same things as the sociopaths in charge have been doing. Moral hazard, 'aint it a bitch?

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 21:38 | 1401936 DrLamer
DrLamer's picture

From the lack of responses here:

I have made a conclusion that moderm so-called americans prefer 30+ years of Sluggishly progressing schizophrenia.

No crashes, no revolutions, only socialism.

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 23:19 | 1402119 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture



The Majority of "We the Sheepeople" do prefer to ignore and sleep thru the hard work portion of all this, yes.


no need to junk him for being truthful..

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 00:15 | 1402239 agrotera
agrotera's picture

looks that way, with humans' innate cognitive dissonance and comfortable numbness , and for so many reasons, we sit back and allow our elected officials to sacrifice their to minds and our wellbeing to "experts" that write laws that sanction criminality...BUT  we still have a vote, and maybe just maybe, that vote might bring forth some honest public servants.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 00:57 | 1402331 DrLamer
DrLamer's picture

BUT  we still have a vote, and maybe just maybe, that vote might bring forth some honest public servants.

Your public servants is a mirror of yourselves. While you will remain idolatric pagans you will get from GWBush to naive  Obama, both surrounded by (not only jewesh) financial mafia.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 01:18 | 1402365 agrotera
agrotera's picture

Financial  mafia, for sure...I know it is hard to believe any honest person could survive running for office of any kind knowing how most elected officials are purchased.

I guess it is highly unlikely for anything to shake the scum out of control, but the discussion to get rid of the privately owned federal reserve is happening...although far fetched, anything can happen.  I do hope for peaceful resolution and that doesn't mean that people are idolatric pagans to want to use peaceful means to get political change.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 18:36 | 1403719 James
James's picture

Why would one think that peacful means would be effective against a violent opponent?

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 20:48 | 1404107 Cleve Meater
Cleve Meater's picture

Because it's the only thing that works... Turn your back on them... Completely.  Ignore them.  Don't vote... Cut up your credit cards...Don't bank (or if you do withdraw your monthly salary in cash as soon as the check clears the bank) Pay for as much as possible in cash... Fuck up their accounting by paying a few cents more each month... Move offshore... Buy a few acres or hectares of land and grow your own damn food -- using real seeds.

Stop shopping at grocery stores... Go to farmer's markets.  Stop shopping at Wal Mart... Go to second hand, Goodwill, or local merchants.

If you have a retirement account, 401K, IRA, SEP IRA or Simple IRA convert it to a self-directed IRA which you, not Wall Street, control and move the entire thing offshore.  Invest in whatever you want to invest in - land, farmland, real estate, foreign stocks, foreign equities, even other businesses.

If you have to fly for business or pleasure, refuse the backscatter. Force the TSA motherfuckers to pat you down each and every time. Did you know that if you "opt-out" of the backscatter, you can't touch any of your bins once they come through the x-ray?  That's right, a TSA drone has to carry them to the area where you get the pat down.  So, load up 5 or 6 or 7 bins with your junk. Wait until the last possible moment to declare you're opting out, and then say "opt out." Make them find one of their flunkies to give you a pat down.  Wait patiently. Then make them carry every one of your bins to the pat down area.

When they pat you down, moan, gyrate your hips, groan with pleasure. Fake orgasm. Fart if you can.  Where your stinkiest pair of socks. Violate their dignity as human beings, just like they are violating yours. Make their day just that much shittier.

TSA orcs may be complete asshats and morons, but I assure you they hate patting us down just as much as we hate it. They'd prefer we give up our rights without a fight.

Most of all, stop with the bitching and whining. Stop thinking you can fight the system head on. If you think you can, you're smokin' dope.  You can't compete with a military industrial complex that will most assuredly be unleashing drones on our own citizens at some point.

Every society since the beginning of time has had its guerillas. They have all eventually brought down corrupt systems. Harass your opponents gently, most effectively by ignoring them.  Follow the letter of the law, but progressively grind them down. There's not a decisive battle, this is classic assymetric warfare. 

When enough people get wise to that, the system crashes.

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 21:36 | 1401937 MountainLotus
MountainLotus's picture

Great article! However, it will be easy only for some group of people like Zerohedge members to recognize reality. But, for the entire society to spending responsibly, watching carefully for the collapse of fiat currency is truly difficult. For example, like I said before, my country is going to have an election in the coming weeks, but all of us voters still cheer for most crazy deficit spending policies, for most easy money hand out spree. They won't look ahead and face reality until we like Greece.

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 21:38 | 1401941 Misean
Misean's picture

You go out there and solve the world's problems Sancho...erm...except that it's people wanting to solve the world's problems that got us in this mess in the first place.

Here's a thought. You solve your problems, and I'll solve mine.

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 22:01 | 1401964 cynicalskeptic
cynicalskeptic's picture

The problem is that in the current rigged game, those with the means to do something use those means ONLY to further their own personal agendas - those WITH resources use those resources to gain even MORE resources.  E.G. the rich get richer and the poor get poorer  - NOT because the rich work harder or smarter - in fact many of those who are 'poor' work far harder than the 'rich.   Those lacking resources - the 'have-nots' find it almost impossible to advance in a system that is controlled by the 'haves'.  Few of the wealthy I know have EVER worked as hard as the working poor I know.  And the few that HAVE managed to advance their status usually did so because of lucky or hard won 'connections' - far more important than sheer effort.


The top 1/10 of 1% who control an ever growing percentage of the world's wealth - far more than the bottom 50% (or is it 75%)control - use that wealth NOT to 'solve the world's problems' but only to gain control of even MORE of the world's wealth.......


The world may not be fair but you should endeavor to leave it a bit more 'fair' than you found it...... 'Trickle down' economics are the rich pissing on the rest of us.. 'Compassionate conservatives' care only about themselves - they are not the slightest bit 'compassionate' about those born with less than they have and are more than pleased to work those people to death while profitting as much as possible from the labor of their 'lessers'.

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 22:49 | 1402059 Founders Keeper
Founders Keeper's picture

[...'Compassionate conservatives' care only about themselves - they are not the slightest bit 'compassionate' about those born with less than they have...]---cynicalskeptic

Phew! I can smell the stink of social justice a mile away.

(Painting with a broad brush there aren't we, cynical?)

I'm not in the 1/10th of 1% of the worlds wealth. Still, I'm content for the most part. I have countless blessing in my life that money can't buy.

As for "compassion" that's my personal choice. That's between me and God.

I don't like how the gov't distributes my wealth. I like charity. Feels right to me. My wife and I contribute monthly to two local charities and one national charity. On the international stage, we contribute to a particular charity when a major natural disaster strikes. My wife donates professional services to a local charity monthly.

And I'm as "conservative" as they get!

Is the game rigged? Tragically, yes. If you had pursued this topic, it would have been a worthwhile post. Tragically, you didn't.


Sat, 06/25/2011 - 23:27 | 1402144 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture

how about instead of any American being hungry.. we make the top 1% pay what they are supposed to pay?


you know.. what you pay.. what I pay.. what everyone else pays..


like a flat tax or without the loop holes and subsidies.. do you get a subsidy for you land? for NOT farming? No? well you are a sucker.. (me too, dont feel bad I dont think we are alone!)


this NOT about the poor of America, this IS about the TOP 1% who do NOT pay their fair share and thusly are guilty of Treason Against the Populace.. sprinkle on some corruption.. and we have a NICE lil conspiracy.. for the rich to get richer and the hungry to get hungrier!


This is NOT about more from you.. unless it is up to them.. it is about more from them.. if it is up to us. or we can split what they have and hang them all, works for me.

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 23:48 | 1402190 cynicalskeptic
cynicalskeptic's picture

The wealthy and powerful use both to manipulate government to give them additional advantages - 'crony capitalism' instead of real and free competition.  While you might argue that EVERYONE tries to 'rig' the system, truth is that the more money and more power you have, the more successful you are at these efforts.  The person who schemes to get more food stamps than they deserve or some other (relatively) trivial 'edge' even when multiplied by millions does not cost you as much as the no-bid government contract awarded to Halliburton or the corporate welfare going to companie like GE or Pratt and Whitney or Lockheed Martin or Boeing.....the bankers and Wall Street execs bailed out to the tune of billions (trillions) and the hedge fund guys in Greenwich paying 15% 'capital gains' instead of double that in income tax (as they should) cost all of us more than all the criminals locked up for stealing far less.....

I've been in both worlds and am left slack jawed by the sense of entitlement shown by the wealthiest - the real irony is that it is worst in those that have inherited all their wealth - and done nothing of note themselves beyond being born to a family where sometime - often far in the past - someone actually DID do something of value and note (or were very good at scheming and manipulation like buying condemned rifles from the government and selling them right back to the government at a 300% mark-up).  A 90% inheritance tax - over say 5 million (that is more than generous) - would encourage the constructive use of capital, real charity and eliminate the worst excesses of the Walton heir and Koch brother types......

As far as the 'stink' of social justice.....   I prefer that to the stench of unbridled self-centered wealth and power......    Those that REALLY work for a living are far more charitable and generous in their dealings with others than the wealthy I have encountered......  The trust fund kid in college was ALWAYS the one that stiffed te table when chipping in their share at the diner.... the 'charieies' favored by the wealthy are more like little private clubs - excuses for black tie dinners and social netorking - you give to MY cause - the ballet and I'll give to yours - the local art museum... but a food pantry?!?!?  

A few - a VERY few - wealthy may do the 'right thing' but they prefer to let others get dirty and do the heavy lifting - in pretty much all endeavors.......  they are more than willing to fight wars to preserve this or that but never put their own lives - or the lives of THEIR children - in the line of fire......   they pull every string they can to get a NG assignment or draft deferment. 

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 06:02 | 1402543 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

The text of federal laws and regulations is tens of thousand of pages long.

The loopholes that exist to be exploited to further inequality cannot be "fixed" by creating more loopholes in effort at counter balancing and creating equity.  This is simply more of the social engineering, which is what dug the sink hole the US currently finds itself in.  The net effect more pages of laws and regulations, will be more loopholes, and more inequity - a certain quote about insanity and doing the same thing over and over comes to mind.

Short of revolution, the only workable soulution is a MASSIVE REDUCTION of federal laws and regulations.  Eliminate 50%-75% of the pages of laws and regulations, and huge swath of loopholes that further inequality will be removed.    



A 90% inheritance tax will never be paid by the top .01%, there is an army of well paid trust attorneys and lobbyists that have already seen to that.  Taxes, alone, never encourage the constructive use of capital, and often drive misallocation and export of capital.  In order to encourage wise capital allocation - monetary, fiscal, and regulatory policy need to synchronized, which is fundamentally at odds with the current Chinese wall supposedly protecting Federal Reserve independence/control of/by the government.  Internal accounting regulations which promote debt & dividends and regulatory obstacles to business formation, practice, and hiring need to be removed.

15% capital gains is a loophole, it is nothing more than a carve-out for gains on the trading of fiat instruments (as opposed to tangible goods).  Income is income.  Whether it is salary, gain, royalty, rent, dividend or distribution.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 09:28 | 1402677 Founders Keeper
Founders Keeper's picture

[The wealthy and powerful use both to manipulate government to give them additional advantages - 'crony capitalism' instead of real and free competition...]---cynicalskeptic

Now that is a worthwhile post. Smart and passionate.

We disagree on the root problems and solutions.

(JW, above, made a good case for the flat tax. I like the flat tax as one of many needed solutions.)

Many people equate "conservative" with greed. I see this all the time. (I think liberals created and exploit this misperception.) Greed is not exclusive to conservatives, the top 1% wealthiest, or Wall St. bankers. Greed is a human condition pervasive across all wealth classes, ideologies, nations, races, religions, across human history.

Conservatism is an ideology. Any person, regardless of ideology, will without a moral compass be tempted by greed, pride, lust, etc.

Don't let the liberal media machine sell you on the idea conservatism is greed. I can see you're smarter than that.


Sun, 06/26/2011 - 03:26 | 1402475 oldman
oldman's picture

Thanks cynical,

I haven't heard: 'Trickle down' economics are the rich pissing on the rest of us..' in more than thirty years. It was a greta line then and still has the ring of truth to it.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 03:30 | 1402476 oldman
oldman's picture

Thanks cynical,

I haven't heard: 'Trickle down' economics are the rich pissing on the rest of us..' in more than thirty years. It was a greta line then and still has the ring of truth to it.

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 21:43 | 1401947 max2205
max2205's picture

I HAVE a lot of money but I still WANT a time machine and the next days WSJ today..... :)

I lived through the current depression

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 21:45 | 1401948 Westcoastliberal
Westcoastliberal's picture

Yes, angry and getting angrier by the second.  Where the fuck are the indictments?  Are we going to allow war crimes to pass? Torture formally endorsed by our so-called leaders? Election fraud? SCOTUS ethics (and worse) violations? Campaign violations? Lobbyists in control of the government instead of the people? The biggest cash heist in history (Iraq $100 bill pallets $18 Billion), and of course the biggest overall heist, the 2008 meltdown and subsequent payoffs. (And this is just off the top of my head).

We're sure as hell a hypocritical nation if we can't resolve issues like legal alchohol generating untold deaths and misery, and illegal weed with untold health benefits.  Besides it's good for bakery business.

Bottom line, this isn't the people's fault.  They're home watching American idol, drinking a beer and probably smokin' some weed.  Read Joe Bageant sometime and you'll understand what I mean.  The people have been cleverly hoodwinked years back.  It will take a miracle to save this country.

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 23:29 | 1402151 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture

forest fires.. are a good thing.. they kill off the weeds, enrich the soil with the dead nutrients and toughen up the old wood.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 00:18 | 1402248 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Except now JW the fuel load on the ground is too high and the burn temp is such that the soil gets sterilized.I seen first hand where, 20 years later, still no trees growing. Only scrub brush..

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 07:34 | 1402588 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture

there is a fire coming.. I am trying to be positive..


the majority will duck and hide.. the stupid will poke their nosey noses out their front door and take two.


this shit must stop, cowards abound with insects feeding on them.. and I am fucking over it. I will talk to everyone I see to educate as many as I can! either they will see it or they will choose to look past it for their own shitty quality of life. but I will fight the ignorance, one numb soul at a time.. &, if I have too.. by myself.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 12:36 | 1403085 Prometheus418
Prometheus418's picture

Not by yourself, friend.

I've got a smallish cabal in WI working towards the same goal- and I am sure there are others.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 12:34 | 1403097 Prometheus418
Prometheus418's picture

Not by yourself, friend.

I've got a smallish cabal in WI working towards the same goal- and I am sure there are others.

Tue, 06/28/2011 - 22:13 | 1410554 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture

until they are unpluged.. they are part of the system.

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 21:52 | 1401954 sellstop
sellstop's picture

The last thirty years of credit expansion has spoiled most people.Their reality is different than the reality of those who lived through the 30's depression. So, unfortunately, it will take more pain and deprivation to wake them up.

Our leaders talk about how bad the economy is. People repeat how bad the economy is. Yet I see nothing but new cars running down the freeway. I see the parking lot at the casino full. etc...

We all know that debt has to be repaid, one way or another. But I just see more debt. I don't see the return to the basics that is the prerequisite to savings.

I don't think it is over. By a long shot!

Depressingly yours,


Sun, 06/26/2011 - 14:40 | 1403322 malikai
malikai's picture

The irony here is that the current retirees who should know better seem to be woefully inable to identify the problems of finance and state today. They too have taken to the lie. How many Staunch republican elders do you know? I know quite a few. How much opposition did they give when Bush "freed Afghanistan and Iraq" at the cost of their own future and that of their children, grandchildren, et all? 

Mon, 06/27/2011 - 08:41 | 1405025 spooz
spooz's picture

They can't shake free of a lifetime of partisan politics.  They need to wake up and see that Republicrats are all the same.  We need a third party that leaves wedge issues alone and focuses on the important things we can do to take back our legislature and free ourselves from special interests and their lobbyists.

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 22:08 | 1401983 Cindy_Dies_In_T...
Cindy_Dies_In_The_End's picture

Nope, wrong, wrong, wrong about most (not all) consumer debt. I have made the argument many times on ZH that "civil disobedience" by lawfully planning and declaring Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a useful expression of displeasure at The System.

People who argue for "paying down debt" before "The End" make little sense. Why not tell a morbidly obese terminally ill person who has a short time left to lose weight? Its illogical.

Assuming inflation carries on to hyperinflation, it makes MUCH more sense to NOT pay down your debt, and then if you decide you must, "THEN" pay it off in hyperinflated currrency. Either that, or discharge it.

While "morality" would be the charge or "irresponsibility", get back to me when the system is cleansed of moral hazzard.



Sat, 06/25/2011 - 23:35 | 1402157 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture

"cleansed of moral hazzard." I am sorry but I just have too borrow this from you, it is beautiful.. sprinkle some doom and gloom with just the right amount of Hell Fire and brim stone and this can be such a wonderful way to bitch slap those not familiar with the rule of thumb.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 02:05 | 1402438 Things that go bump
Things that go bump's picture

The rule of thumb refers to the thickness of the stick a man is permitted to beat his wife with.  It can be no thicker than his thumb.  

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 07:31 | 1402590 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture

I was speaking to lady above me.. Sir.

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 22:17 | 1401995 blindman
blindman's picture

@"As a trader it's your fault you are losing money, not "the Bernank." If your spouse is spending beyond the family budget you have a responsibility to stop reinforcing the bad behavior. A strategic default may be a way at getting back at the bank but what about the financial damage to your neighbor?"
hey tony, with all due respect, you may be a fucking shit head? as a
retiree, while ben has made saving for shit, do you thing he gives a
fuck that i eat cat food with my blind and amputee neighbor? no. he
wants to destroy the dollar, have you not heard? then again perhaps you are
correct and the mic does need to be financed with fiat reserve to finance
the systematic desolation we call progress, and on the future taxpayers dime.
enjoy your wet dream.

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 23:13 | 1402113 MacroStory
MacroStory's picture

So I am a $hithead if I lose money trading and blame Bernanke?  That was my point.  If I lose money trading it is my fault, no one elses.  I understand or better learn how the system works regarding capital markets and trading in them. I understand what you are saying about his policy and I am not advocating what he or the Fed or the system does.  I am saying though if I lose money and blame anyone but me then in that case sure, call me a $hithead.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 00:28 | 1402278 blindman
blindman's picture

i said "may be". i'm not worried about gamblers and traders and
they are all in with ben. the story is with the fiat destruction
that happens to coincide with the retirement of the boomers who
are being stripped of their savings, pensions, social security,
401k's, ira's, home values and everything else including cheap
cat food. that is all. i don't blame you or anyone but the fed.
they are shitheads. not may be, they are. imo.
end the fed.

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 22:22 | 1401998 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

Why not go long the $? 

It's clear to me that we are @ the apex in terms of the dollar/bond relationship. 

To be more the last 30 years, the dollar has gone down, and UST's have gone up. With all else set aside, would it be insane to speculate that in the next 30 years, bonds should fall and the dollar rise? I only ask because it seems like Europe is on the brink, and although the US is daring brinkmanship on the debt ceiling, the dollar is solid....if not just for the short term. 

Would it even matter if the US defaulted? If the US defaulted would lending still exist? The answer is yes. The only people that would suffer are the blacks, but I could argue that demographic is largely responsible for our debt. So how do we get the blacks to work? Any ideas? More welfare, less welfare? 

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 22:24 | 1402009 Ying-Yang
Ying-Yang's picture

Wow.. that's gonna hurt

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 23:25 | 1402109 DrLamer
DrLamer's picture

You can not profit from the crash of a society. This is greatest moronism in the world (some traders are trying it now, here on ZH). Probably You can profit from the SMOOTH TRANSITION into a better society, but unfortunatelly the USA avoided this path.

You can not profit from a real big crash, but I can tell you how to save your money, I will tell you what will be the most valuable financial asset in the future (if I told about it on MarketWatch board, why not on ZH? On MarketWatch only the well-known user with nickname "AmericanPatriot" full understood it and agreed).

This is a top banking secret: while metal gold and silver will be for sure the most valuable reserve asset, the second is ..... PAPER PRINTED DOLLAR.

Ok, suppose, US defaults. Electronic digits on hard disk in banks are going into trash. So what? Re-valuing MILLIONS of correspondent inter-banking accounts, denominated in ELECTRONIC dollars, or substitution them by ANY other currency is technically impossible. (Additionally, please take into account the up-coming crash of illegal "currency" euro, and corresponding crash of thousands of very important inter-bank so-called correspondent accounts in euro.) 

Inflation in socialism is provided with almost-un-known in western economies fact: the discrepancy between CASH currency and electronic (non- paper) currency on bank accounts, the "cash<-->non-cash" currency ratio.  Add here fascist style of taxation in socialism, with total control over banking transactions.

With 14 trillion in debt, the same number of assets in electronic accounts, the USA issued (emitted) only a small fraction of this sum in PAPER CASH.

After a US default, or mid-sized crash of markets due to inflation, the local goverments all over the globe will issue more local currencies - electronic and paper. But (attention) without the unified legal (legally backed) tool for financial measures, the real value of local currencies (both printed and electronic) will be very low.

Therefore, it will be comic situation in the future: there will be no USA, there will be no inter-bank transfers in dollars, BUT the printed paper dollars will be very, very valued over the globe.

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 23:30 | 1402154 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

You're saying they can't print more -- quickly?   Ask the Germans about that one.   Remember the pallets of billions in $100 bills that "disappeared" in Iraq.   Maybe they got diverted to a nice cool warehouse in Jersey.

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 23:41 | 1402170 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture
by bob_dabolina
on Sat, 06/25/2011 - 22:22


The answer is yes. The only people that would suffer are the blacks, but I could argue that demographic is largely responsible for our debt. So how do we get the blacks to work? Any ideas? More welfare, less welfare? 


1. Blacks are like 10% of the population.

2. More Whites are on welfare than Blacks.. given the number for hand outs is 59%.. well you can figure out that 490% more Whites or other are on welfare if ALL! Blacks are on welfare.

3. if you want to be racist.. think about learning Spanish, because the Blacks and the Whites COMBINED will be a minority in 5 years in America or aztlan.. depending on your view!

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 00:25 | 1402279 spooz
spooz's picture

Provide tax relief for jobs to new urban manufacturing.  Make the home grown manufacturing competitive by giving job creaters the biggest tax rates and least regulation.  Create jobs where they live.

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 22:28 | 1402007 i-dog
i-dog's picture

I vote this the 'Worst Contribution Of The Year'!

Personal responsibility is certainly an issue ... but corporate fraud, central banks (ie. fraud), lying politicians (ie. fraud), trampled constitutions (ie. fraud) and endless wars against contrived enemies (ie. fraud) are far more serious problems that need an urgent systemic reset.

End the Feds!! (FRB &
End the European 'Experiment'!! (EU & EUR)

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 22:29 | 1402013 Ying-Yang
Ying-Yang's picture


Sat, 06/25/2011 - 23:18 | 1402127 MacroStory
MacroStory's picture

If we don't speak up then the system continues as is.  If you want to end the Fed then do something about it versus sitting behind a computer and just whining about Bernanke or how others have harmed you.  Do people really not understand we are bigger than the system.  If we do nothing but complain with no action then we are dumber than those who naively think the system works.  Want to end corporate fraud then lead an effort to yank money out of the big banks or boycott a corporation. The article I wrote is no different than someone who files bankruptcy only to max out more debt and file again. Fixing the debt was the symptom the real fix should have been on why the person got in debt in the first place.  Imagine if people didn't rely on the government for handouts, etc.  Would we be in such a mess?  

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 00:24 | 1402184 i-dog
i-dog's picture

"If we don't speak up then the system continues as is."

I am speaking up ... and have been quite vocal about it, too ... about focussing on the real problems, rather than your side issues.

We each have to contribute what we are capable of to motivate those around us who are still focussing on the "suggestion box for slaves" (ballot box) and their daily drip-feed from the Ministry of Truth (MSM, 'Danzig mit die Starz') to stop "hoping" for a "change". My posts in this forum contribute to that effort.

The most productive thing we can do against TPTB at this late stage is to dismantle the central planning organs they have been carefully and deliberately constructing over the last 150 years. That's 7 generations of Statist brainwashing and Statist 'creep', for those who are counting! We could undo it in just a few months if enough pressure is put on those who currently still have the power to veto those constructs.

I do not think it is productive at this late stage to continue the Hegelian dialectic of dividing the sheep into: those who borrowed and those who didn't; those who should pay and those who shouldn't; who is overspending and who isn't ... that's just finger-pointing! And I do not think that a strategic default is simply "a way of getting back at the bank"!!

End the Feds!!
End the European 'Experiment'!!

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 00:28 | 1402291 spooz
spooz's picture

Defund the IMF!!

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 00:44 | 1402308 Thomas
Thomas's picture

We do speak up. I buy gold. I donated to Ron Paul and was an official endorser on his web site. I tell my class (yes, I teach at an Ivy League institution) about what they are up against. The guys who walk from their mortgages and stay in their houses are speaking with a very loud, collective voice. What your tough love article does not mention is that the Federal Reserve is the source of significant unfairness and inequality which makes staying out of debt very difficult. The poor slobs who put 20% down on a house to find out that, despite their best intentions, they got hosed by the housing bubble have a right to be angry for something that they played little or no part. 

So I will concede that people acted poorly, over consume, all those frailties you mention, but they are not the primary problem in my opinion. I should add to my little biography that I was also a Reagan-Ford-Bush-Dole-Bush republican (followed by Paul libertarian and getting militantly so), so this may be tripe but it is not liberal tripe. 

To boil the story down to whiny, spoiled children is simply not accurate, IMO.

Tue, 06/28/2011 - 22:25 | 1410573 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture


how he.. or more over you.. mr. those who cant, teach!


missed the fact! that the sheep were herded into buying more and more and encouraged by their fearless leaders to do so, over and over again!

how in the fuck did both of yous! miss that it was preordained?

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 12:47 | 1403110 Prometheus418
Prometheus418's picture

And what are you doing?

Getting tired of this "stop sitting behind a computer" meme- I could never have untangled this without the people who post on these boards sharing their thoughts and providing leads to follow.  Now that I have, I am pursuing legal action, and preparing for physical warfare, should it come to that.

Information is every bit as important as bullets or fists.  Flailing about aimlessly accomplishes nothing worthwhile.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 13:55 | 1403225 Thomas
Thomas's picture

"Getting tired of this 'stop sitting behind a computer' meme"

Me too.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 14:51 | 1403327 Partisan
Partisan's picture

It seems to me that resistance to the financial oligarchy is best supported at the state level.  We flail about on ZH, blaming the Bernank, blaming the "elite", blaming TPTB - all for what? 

I've been reading impending doom since I started reading this blog in 2009.  Things have gotten progressively worse, and while I see this so-called "resistance" getting progressively larger, it still lacks an organized direction. 

Perhaps we should focus less on the top tier - the Fed, the White House, Congress - and start building the resistance at more local levels within our state legistlatures and county comissions.  If you want to spread the message, begin there. 

How many times does ZH make the news with its insightfult posts?  Rarely, if ever.  How many times do state legislatures make the news when they author bills making silver and gold legal tender?  Always.

You construct a building from the bottom up.  Create the local-level infrastructure for resistance, and the move upwards from there.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 17:50 | 1403646 i-dog
i-dog's picture


Sat, 06/25/2011 - 22:29 | 1402011 cpnscarlet
cpnscarlet's picture

It isn't my fault that oil was released from the SPR just to manipulate the price down to give Obummer some breathing room! It isn't my fault that unbacked silver paper floods the COMEX! It isn't my fault when I get mugged! Typcail liberal sophistry in that post. Blame the law abiding when they are the target of crooks, and tag the man who tries to protect himself as a danger!

Long Live Bernard Goetz!

Here's my family's anthem (an old tune)-

"I've been thinking about our fortune,

and I decided that we're really not to blame.

For the love that's deep inside us now

is still the same....."

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 22:30 | 1402017 gwar5
gwar5's picture

We know the Bernank isn't the problem, he's just the figurehead and the patsy. 

The answer is to default on the Central Banking cartels and kick them to the curb. Then reboot with a goldbacked currency issued by the treasury, putting a restraining order on the politicians to limit their spending. Government will shrink and be restored to its proper place and would no longer be able to subsidize their friends and distort markets. Everyone will be forced to start living within their means.

Banks are engaged in a currency war. The little people are involved in a war for the survival of self government and self determination.   


Sun, 06/26/2011 - 07:33 | 1402592 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture

Kermit the Frog must be held accountable for the words he speaks!

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 22:34 | 1402029 Hayabusa
Hayabusa's picture

Look, this poster is correct.  The reason things are the way they are is due to the majority of American's sucking on the boob tube, being into sports, and the rest of the pablum they fill their lives with.  The Bernank... well, he's simply a product of uninvolved, uneducated, distracted voters who allow themselves to be 'taken care of"... of course when the SHTF, then as the poster said, people change and complacency is transformed into anger and in this case blame.  When people are on the precipice of total annilation then they change... some of you believe you've done your part by being personally responsible for yourselves only... united we stand, divided we fall... and we're falling.


Sat, 06/25/2011 - 22:43 | 1402040 Hohum
Hohum's picture

Aren't most of you traders?  The Bernank may be evil but he's predictable.  Why didn't you take advantage of it, bitchez?

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 23:37 | 1402160 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

So, you're saying just buy into it.  Great.

Reminds me of something scrawled on the latrine wall when I was doing an Air Force stint in Thailand back in the 70s.

Fighting for peace is like fucking for chastity.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 00:43 | 1402313 Thomas
Thomas's picture

I am over 50% weighted to precious metals, so I am dealing with him. That is not to say that I am also not appalled and shocked that the little D-Bag has forced me into such an insane wealth management strategy. I shouldn't have to play it this way. It's risky as hell, but the alternatives suck worse.

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 23:01 | 1402082 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Your wealth is getting stolen weather you realize it or not. Your buying power is in the process of getting crushed. Opportunities for advancement are drying up. Opportunities for your kids are getting more and more constrained. 

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 23:13 | 1402104 steveo
steveo's picture

Sorry but this article is BS,  first time I have ever said this.  

If there is criminal manipulation, and you are losing money because of it, it is not your fault.  I am not losing money, except for the blatant default o nt he debt by money printing, however the other games are rigged.  It is so obvious.  Agreed, that we should all "fight back" but the game is rigged.

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 23:22 | 1402135 Tabarnaque
Tabarnaque's picture

Another useless article. How come there is no mention of the monetary system that we live in. Since the establishment of a privately owned Federal Reserve in 1913, 95% of all money is created from debt. Without debt, there would be no money in the system. Money = Debt. Period. It is the monetary system that we live in that enslaves us to the Bangsters. This is what needs to be changed. We need a monetary system revolution that will free us from the Bangsters and our condemnation to perpetual debt repayment.


Because of the interest repayment, the monetary system that we live in is incredibly unstable and needs a permanent growth of the money supply (which equals a permanent growth of the total debt) in order to sustain itself. Without a permanent growth, the system forces a percentage of the total debt owners into foreclosure and bankruptcy. And this is exactly what is happening now.


Sat, 06/25/2011 - 23:36 | 1402168 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Hell, we all know that.   Get some new material... or some solutions. 

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 23:49 | 1402194 Tabarnaque
Tabarnaque's picture

You’re an old runner. Humanity is constantly renewed. Education has to be a permanent effort. New comers to this site need to get the message…  

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 00:17 | 1402244 i-dog
i-dog's picture


Sun, 06/26/2011 - 00:26 | 1402272 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Oh, alright.  You are correct and I apologize for being cranky.  It's all Tyler's fault.  He's been posting like a demon and I'm tired.

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 23:56 | 1402205 Things that go bump
Things that go bump's picture

I know it is a Saturday night and all, but really, it is the effort of a moment to find information on that McDonald's coffee lawsuit case referenced in this post.  If the author had shown some reasonable journalistic effort, I might have tried to take this childish, preachy drivel more seriously.  


The jury did award 2.7M in punative damages in this case, after deciding that McDonalds showed callous disregard for the safety of their customers.  It was brought out, through company records, during the trial that this incident was not the first, but was one of at least 700 incidents that had occurred over the previous decade, and that the company had settled other cases for as much as $500,000.  The 81-year-old plaintiff suffered third degree burns on her groin, inner thighs and buttocks, was hospitalized for 7 days, and required skin grafts.  She had only requested that the company pay her medical expenses and they offered her $800.  They were given several opportunities to settle before the trial.  A mediator (a retired judge) recommended McDonalds settle for $250,000. They should have taken his advice. The jury awarded $200,000 in compensatory damages, which they reduced to $160,000, finding the plaintiff 20% liable.  They awarded 2.7 M in punitive damages, which was 2 days' worth of the profit McDonald's made selling coffee, the sort of slap on the wrist bitterly complained of here on this site when applied to entities such as JP Morgan or Goldman Sachs for their shenanigans. The judge who presided over this case reduced the punitive damages to $480,000 though he called McDonald's actions, "Reckless, callous and willful." After that, the parties agreed to a settlement that was reported to be much less than that ordered by the judge.  In an earlier case, the temperature of coffee served at McDonalds was found to be 180-190 degrees, 20 degrees higher than the temperature coffee was served at in comparable restaurants. Fluid at 190 degrees takes less than 3 seconds to cause 3rd degree burns, 12-15 seconds at 180 degrees and about 20 seconds at 160 degrees. I imagine the pictures of the burns the plaintiff sustained were quite graphic and lurid to inspire a jury to order punitive damages in such an amount.  I hope no one I know ever spills 190 degree coffee on their privates.  

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 01:07 | 1402350 Thomas
Thomas's picture

Nice catch. I was gonna mention the actual veracity of the coffee suit, but chose my battles. There are a number of suits that seem silly on the surface with more meat on the bones when investigated thoroughly. 60 Minutes did a very nice expose' on such frivolous suits that proved to be less frivolous than first thought.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 02:08 | 1402422 Things that go bump
Things that go bump's picture

Thanks.  The famous McDonald's coffee lawsuit is almost an urban legend and is often brought up when someone wants to make the point that juries have gone mad and are frivolously handing out millions of corporations' hard earned money for the equivalent of a hangnail.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 11:09 | 1402887 chunga
chunga's picture

If I recall correctly the fabric of her clothing actually melted into her skin.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 00:02 | 1402219 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Wow! What a weak article.

The thesis is what? Things are so bad, yay, we have an opportunity to reset? 

It must be Sunday! ;-)


Sun, 06/26/2011 - 00:09 | 1402234 Hacksaw
Hacksaw's picture

A strategic default may be a way at getting back at the bank but what about the financial damage to your neighbor.

Who is this bozo? Since when does defaulting on a loan harm your neighbor? If your neighbor speculated on real estate it isn't your place to prop his ass up.Your neighbor probably speculated on real estate because some clown like Tony told him real estate prices never go down. Now he wants to lay the blame off on you because you are smart enough to not pay twice as much as your house is worth for the next 30 years. Get lost Tony, the thing that's easy is to be self righteous. The problem isn't that "everyone" needs to reset, it's that those who commit crimes need to be punished. It's not a crime to default on a loan but it is a crime to defraud investors and to forge foreclosure papers.

I love these investment experts who can't seem to differentiate between a legal act and a felony.


Sun, 06/26/2011 - 00:23 | 1402261 MacroStory
MacroStory's picture

So you are fine with the majority of people who bought a house they cannot afford and now won't pay their mortgage for 4 years yet will buy iPads and all kinds of other crap they cannot afford. It's not their fault. They'll just stick it to the bank.  I'm not a fan of the banks but how is it any different people skipping $25 grand in annual mortgage payments for 4 years versus someone who steals $100,000 robbing a bank?  Just because the banks screwed them they can screw the banks which in turn screws their neighbor and don't be so literal. We are all each other's neighbors because we are all subject to fees by banks and higher taxes for socialist programs, people who want to milk the system, etc.  You don't think BAC losing $100,000 in a strategic default is not going to recoup that in higher fees somewhere or in TARP 2 which you will pay for?  

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 10:42 | 1402280 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Only if we let 'em.  Let's get crackin' and bring 'em down!

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 01:14 | 1402355 Thomas
Thomas's picture

All your points are fine, but the debt was marketed like crack. Caveat emptor sounds great, but there are many things civilized societies put a cap on. Usury used to be one of them.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 03:15 | 1402426 Hacksaw
Hacksaw's picture

Fraud and forgery aren't the banks screwing someone, they are felonies, bank robbery is a felony. Do you understand the difference between default and a felony? Read my lips, default isn't law breaking.

How exactly do you know what all those who aren't paying their mortgages are buying? That sounds like some of Mish's crap or maybe that tool Beck.

Moral hazard was Pandora's box that was opened by the bailouts of the TBTF financiers. Making the little guy pay through the nose, grandma eat cat food, or making sick people die on the side of the road won't put it back in the box. The only thing that will put moral hazard back in the box is for all those bastards who committed felonies to be investigated, prosecuted, and punished.

If you don't do business with BAC you won't have to worry about fee increases by them. If you would stop voting for fascist bribe takers you wouldn't have to worry about paying for bailouts for the TBTF financiers either.


Sun, 06/26/2011 - 03:26 | 1402474 bk1037
bk1037's picture

You're dreaming if you think for one moment that moral hazard will go back in the box if they punish wrongdoers that precipitated the Great Recession. From mortgage origination fraud on down the line, the system is corrupt and moral hazard will continue. Who do you think runs DC, it sure as hell is not the politicians (even though it appears that way)? Durbin said it best, 'the bankers own this place' when he referred to DC. Look at how fast they tried to slip in the legislation to legalize common notarizing of documents across all 50 states last year when robosigning scandal broke. Obama only vetoed it when the issue came to light in the blogosphere and he faced withering political criticism at the time if he signed the legislation. The fact that Congress can and will act that quickly and quietly should illustrate who runs DC. And it won't matter who you flush out, the process will continue.

The credit system will take care of people who think it is OK to default, as well as the courts. There is no point in getting emotional about it with these posts, if the system thinks a strategic defaulter should be penalized, he will be. I wouldn't want my credit stained forever by deliberately stopping payment on a mortgage. Some think it is OK to walk away from the mortgage as a soured investment, if someone wants to convince himself that it is OK to walk away, farbeit for me to say it's a bad move for that person. They'll pay the price sure enough for that action.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 03:25 | 1402470 agrotera
agrotera's picture

If an FHA loan defaults, our government backs the if someone defaults on a loan, the bank still wins.

You are so right about the fact that people need to be responsible, but some people just have no concept of  markets, and that might have been what messed them up, others may have been just stupid and buying into something they can't afford, while yet others might full well afford but decide to let go of a property as an investment decision, and there  are several million examples of all kinds...but one thing we know for sure, big banks were buying up small shady loan makers to pump a prime to get more and more mortgages to package, slice up, and no matter how dangerous, label as AAA and sell around the world. 

The latest Obama bailout is going to give the underwater home owner another $50,000 toward payments, and if they still get forecloses, that loan will be paid to the bank, so this is really not helping a homeowner in that shape --people in that spot might be helped with money to move, rent for a few months,  but $50,000?  Our gov is in the bigbusiness of gutting our country, and unless our politicians get control of  the financial cartel that is running policy, we are all screwed.

It is like swimming upstream in a white river rapid to blame homeowners when the real issues are SO MUCH BIGGER.  You are totally right on to point out that there will always be people who are not responsible, but as responsible US citizens, our energies are best directedt toward getting new leadership, to correct and replace our current/long standing banana republic style legislature that enables, and sanctions criminality through all kinds of means that are designed to make us believe it is all for our good.

PS  THe big banks are continuing to borrow for about ZERO and while we are SUPPOSED to believe that they are soooo important and toobigtofail, they are out setting up funds to buy tax notes across the country--so the poor property owner that got into a bad spot and owes 300 dollars in back taxes, and while he is rubbing his nickles together to save his property, bank of america is sending out soldiers to buy up the notes, and tag on fat legal fees .  So, the guy who owns 300 in back taxes now has to pay a few thousand in legal fees and 300 before he can regain his property--these are the banks (agents of the privately owned Federal Reserve corporation) we had to save according to Paulson and Bernake...


Sun, 06/26/2011 - 01:05 | 1402346 zorba THE GREEK
zorba THE GREEK's picture

 I grew up with parents who were in debt constantly. Even as a child, I was aware of the stress

 this put on their lives and promised myself I would not follow in their footsteps. I never purchased

 a car until I could pay cash for it, even if it meant keeping a vehicle for 10 years. Other than my

 first house, I never bought anything on credit. Today, I am retired and living a stress-free life,

 thanks to the lessons learned in my childhood and saving in PMs for the last 11 years. Hopefully,

 a whole generation will now learn a lesson from a generation of 'want it now/pay for it later'

 people who leveraged the future and ended up in a hole. Just think, if every car on the road

 was paid for, how much less traffic you'd have to deal with at rush hour. But all kidding aside,

 difficult times builds character and it sure looks like we are headed for difficult times. There may

 be hard times ahead, but the great depression and WWII were no picnics and we survived them.

 So we should hope for the best and prepare for the worse. Well I'm ready for another rum and

 ginger beer.


Sun, 06/26/2011 - 11:33 | 1402940 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

difficult times builds character...

There is the much older and truer axiom:

Adversity does not build character, it reveals it.

And we should be very afraid of what will be revealed when the worst happens.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 01:33 | 1402381 MacroStory
MacroStory's picture

My post seems to have stirred up a lot of emotions.  First, I'm not an "investment advisor" as someone labeled me.  I'm a full time trader who writes a free blog. I'm a father of two and worry about not only the debt they will inherit but a lot of crap in society.  People willing to screw each other as long as they can take care of themselves.

I despise the system we live in.  I despise both sides of the aisle.  I despise the banking system, the fraud, the corruption. My post was a simple observation that the people are feeding the system and allowing it to continue to function. If you want to confront a drug problem, rather than fight the drug dealers get people to stop using.  

Imagine a world where people did not live beyond their means. Would the banks be selling all kinds of exotic products. Would we need socialists programs.  Imagine if people took responsibility for their own actions versus blaming someone else. Imagine if people focused on what makes them happy and what they have in their lives versus wanting what their neighbor has. People are so caught up in a false sense of security.  Money is the key to happiness too many believe and will do whatever they must to get it. There are all kinds of problems in the system and I'm not naive to think otherwise.  

In reality what is going to play out is the system is going to crash. The great depression that emerges will force people to lose almost everything and then realize what they are truly missing.  They will realize money is nothing but a false sense of security. That doing work that is rewarding is more important than the financial gains associated with it. People will be happy with what they have, not what they want. That is a society that will make it hard for the current system to survive. And that is a society I hope to leave for my two girls. 



Sun, 06/26/2011 - 02:50 | 1402461 ViewfromUnderth...
ViewfromUndertheBridge's picture

Your post stirred up "emotions"? It appears to me more like a lot of people object to what you wrote. Expect that when you attempt to shift blame.

One example, housing. Let's examine the mechanism by which one person's strategic default affects their neighbour, as you point out.

Before TBTF the bank that condoned fraud eventually went bust. The stock-holders suffered the loss, as did management, (Google Bill Black). Assets were written down and became an opportunity for the next owner buying at cents in the dollar. Creative destruction, (Google Schumpeter).

In 2003/2004 the FBI were warning of massive mortgage fraud...they were re-assigned. It occurred at every level, up to and including control fraud. The Mortgage Bankers Association strategically defaulted...but, all would be well if John Q. Citizen sucked it in and kept paying his underwater the last responsible person in the system.

Yep, the system needs a reset. Yep, ultimately people will be better off by being forced to accept responsibility at every level...and that is the bit that you missed out and why you got so many objections. If the elite have gamed the system to their advantage you can expect everyone else to do the same.

I am surprised you are a trader. But, you sound like a nice guy just grappling with a dying system that has been hi-jacked for the benefit of a few... the objections are that it comes across as a you. Good luck. 

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 04:48 | 1402515 dolly madison
dolly madison's picture

For your kids and mine we need to get those banksters out of power.

I am already there on the how people will be after the next great depression.  The great recession was enough to get me there I guess.  I live very simply now, cooking all our food because we figured out how poison the consumer chow is, running a small at-home business and a mini-farm.  I found out I don't care about stuff anymore.  I discovered it is not so hard to get what you need.  It is what you want that enslaves you. 

Actually the beginning of my discovery that want enslaves you was the day I had my first child and had to go back to work 6 weeks later.  I got myself out of that lifestyle because I so wanted to be with my kids, but I saw many others who complained that they wanted to be with their kids who kept buying more and more and ruined their own chances of getting to be with their kids.


Sun, 06/26/2011 - 11:24 | 1402921 chunga
chunga's picture

America, the patient, is very weak and very Ill, to the extent she now requires intensive care. While she lay dying on the operating table it is becoming painfully apparent that the environment in the operating room is septic. There are those who wish to see her survive and there are those who do not. In this medical metaphor, you are the surgeon, your understanding of how to treat the patient and the tools you use are not scalpels and sutures. The tools you use are laws and your ability to articulate them.

We have an epidemic on our hands. A plague. While the specific individual steps required to cure each patient may differ from the next, the pathogen is the same. Just as it would be irresponsible of a Chief Medical Officer at a hospital to realize a deadly plague exists, and to deny to all his surgeons their need to be aware of it – so it would be if a judge were to deny the fact we are suffering from a financial plague brought about by widespread deliberate indifference to the Law. Confining each individual case to the issues in the instant matter without considering that millions are succumbing to this plague, in increasing numbers, creates a negative value when searching for a cure.

Those that do not wish to see the patients survive either the financial plague or my imaginary medical plague are at every crack and crevice of the operating room, relentlessly and remorselessly pumping pathogens towards the patients in an effort to further add to the sepsis. The surgery still needs to be performed individually - but it must be acknowledged that the waiting room is full of new patients.

To think otherwise requires a certain degree of genuine insincerity.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 04:25 | 1402503 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

     Did anyone? read that chart?

    YE N    Bitch     [slap}

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 04:52 | 1402513 i-dog
i-dog's picture

Are you still using this board as a coded message drop?

Please stop. It's annoying.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 08:44 | 1402630 ViewfromUnderth...
ViewfromUndertheBridge's picture

Good point...suspicious activity...I made his junk bigger, maybe the TSA will notice

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 04:33 | 1402507 honestann
honestann's picture

Bottom line?

Humans have chosen to be slaves.
Humans have chosen to be dishonest.
Humans have chosen to be abject failures.
Humans have chosen to support the predators.
Humans have chosen to be obey the predators.

Humans are an abject failure.

Not to forgive the human predators of course.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 04:37 | 1402508 dolly madison
dolly madison's picture

Doesn't work for me either. Right before the crash I had $500,000 in total debt and $1,000,000 in real estate assets.  I was being fiscally sensible and still I nearly lost it all and only kept from losing it all by defaulting on my unsecured debt without going bankrupt.  If I'd have went bankrupt, my assets would have been sold for pennies on the dollar and would have all been lost to me probably without my debts even being fully paid off.  I've got 4 more months until the statute of limitations on my defaults are up.  Wish me luck that I am not sued before then.

I lost plenty from what they did.  One property was foreclosed upon and the others lost value.  But the banks got bailouts to cover their losses.  I'm glad I was able to keep them from taking it all from me.

The banksters did a bad, that hurt good people.  If you expect the people to be honorable to the banks, you're out of your mind.  It will only encourage the banksters to do more bad.  They must pay, and if the government won't make them pay the people should do strategic default and the people should quit using the banks.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 05:30 | 1402530 DrunkenMonkey
DrunkenMonkey's picture

Amen to that.

As a famous screenwriter once wrote "You're not your job. You're not how much money you have in the bank. You're not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet. You're not your fucking khakis. You're the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world."

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 06:58 | 1402567 Glitch
Glitch's picture
Spot fucking on writer. None of the bullshit we are facing would be possible without the complacency and contribution of the American populace. Ben Bernanke is not the problem, absolutely spot fucking on. This consolidation of weath and power has been going on long before Bernanke came on scene. While I have no right to judge any individual, the cause of our terminally screwed up society can only be found in the mirror. Reminds me of that flee or stay and fight article on ZH not long ago. Where exactly are you going to aim that hunting rifle? A good portion if not most of the population would die to defend what some of you would die to defeat. I don't have even the smallest solution of how to get back what we gave away by billions of tiny desicions over generations. The whole fucking thing is too big to fail now and it sure as hell didn't get that way over the last few years. "Never again", never again my ass. People don't seem to think such evil still exist. They think they can give that much power to the few and it will be used responsibly. Well ring the fucking bell because we will soon be relearning that lesson. Best of luck to each of you. rant off
Sun, 06/26/2011 - 08:07 | 1402607 hardcleareye
hardcleareye's picture

Nice rant... lol

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 07:53 | 1402604 ISEEIT
ISEEIT's picture

Nice Glitch.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 08:41 | 1402627 css1971
css1971's picture

It's all simply a misunderstandng of the concept of freedom. Freedom is responsibility. You cannot have one without the other.

Unfortunately our entire society, since the 1960s anyway is predicated on the belief and the sincere desire to have the freedom but without the responsibility. It overshadows all of the major trends.


Sun, 06/26/2011 - 09:56 | 1402703 DOT
DOT's picture

As we all have experienced "Reality Rules" .

Those with the desire to seek the truth, aknowledge this.

There are those with a desire to deny the truth and seek hope and refuge in illusions

Reality, forsaken in favor of Hope, is an hallucination.


Sun, 06/26/2011 - 14:50 | 1403356 ISEEIT
ISEEIT's picture

- junk.

The most eloquent solution is the most simple as well. Responsibility and honesty go hand in hand.

Morality never died, it was just ignored.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 09:25 | 1402673 rsnoble
rsnoble's picture

We know the problems and the solution?  Ok, get rid of DC and wallstreet. LOL.

I'll admit I took full advantage of the system to either pay off and/or default out of 90% of my debt.  I don't feel guilty one bit as my job was ruined in all of this.  Can't get another one that pays anywhere near what I was making so I had no choice.

Now I have a pile of cash sitting on my desk and very few bills and am much happier.  I will say the banks certainly haven't learned anything as credit card offers and filling up mailboxes around here for weeks now.  They're right back at it.  I can't throw them in the trash fast enough.  I have a completely different mindset now and the banks aren't going to like it.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 10:31 | 1402787 j0nx
j0nx's picture

While I agree with the sentiment of this piece, any change like the author advocates will come at the end of yet another law passed that will only apply to the little guy and will be enforced at the end of a gun. The MBA will still walk away from their obligations, GS will still pay $100M fines on crimes that netted them $2B in profit and the little guy will be the one left holding the bag, only this time with debtor's prison or something like it keeping him from making the same choices as his corporate masters. Sure are a lot of 'Star Trek' feel good pie in the sky type articles on ZH today...

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 11:03 | 1402840 SuperRay
SuperRay's picture

Well, let's see...I contend that any form of investment that is not directly tied to the performance of a tangible asset is illusory and manipulable.  For instance, derivatives.  All derivative trading (vs hedging by the actual producers of tangible goods) is illusory and should be outlawed.  When it is not tied to the real world (tangible goods) it then becomes a gambling tool, an illusion that can manipulated by psychopaths like michael milken, ivan boesky, and every hedge fund manager in existence today.  so, yes, the party's over....


btw, readers of this blog are not just a random collection of everyday people.  get off your asses and get your heads out of your portfolios and actually do something..

our best chance - Nullify Now - give them some of your money.  We are either going to have decentralized government or total fascism.  

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 11:13 | 1402899 Nobody
Nobody's picture

In a businesss class back in college, we were taught about a major injury lawsuit that changed business liability forever:

One afternoon two brothers were drinking beer and decided that the hedge needed trimming.  Having no hedge trimmer they went and cranked up a lawnmower to do it.

Reaching down to pick up the mower they both inserted their fingers under the cowling.  Resulting loss of digits was a given.

They sued warning sign affixed to cownling 

They won.  The rest is history.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 20:07 | 1403958 James
James's picture

Here's another "product liability" case.

This old retired man was cruising down the road in his Winnebago RV.

He got hungry so he puts it on "cruise control" and got up to make a sandwich.

Of course the RV crashed and he sued Winnebago successfully for not warning him he could'nt get up while moving.

Mon, 06/27/2011 - 09:01 | 1405060 spooz
spooz's picture

I am all for tort reform and in fact dislike lawyers enough that I think we should limit the number that can practice in this country, but a quick Snopes search proves that particular lawsuit is an urban legend.

Here it is on a list of other lawsuit hoaxes supposedly receiving the "Stella Award".  Apparently the mainstream media didn't do any fact checking and helped spread some of them:



Sun, 06/26/2011 - 11:15 | 1402903 PulauHantu29
PulauHantu29's picture

Must See

Video:  The Daily Show's Wyatt Cenac

"The Mortgage Bankers Association strategically defaults, walks away from the commercial loan on their headquarters after shaming and ridiculing homeowners who do the same.

The hypocrisy from John Courson, MBA's CEO, oozes from the camera as he lectures homeowners for choosing to walk away instead of pay.  The interview with the head of the Vegas MBA Chapter is the best part -- comes somewhere in the middle."


More and mmore house owners AND commercial enterprises are "Just Walking Away."

Hey, why not follow the's called "trickle down economics!"

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 15:25 | 1403209 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture


I hear Mr. Palotta saying that the collapse will arrive, and it will be an opportunity.  It is already here.

The moral hazard of bailing out Wall Street is that one at a time millions upon millions are not paying bills. 

I think this is why Bernanke is nervous.

I'm convinced that for every ramp in food stamps there are an equivalent number of formerly responsible citizens who are saying "fuck it" and not paying bills.  Medical bills, credit card, mortgage, fees, whatever they can skip.

I got a blood draw the other day, yearly physical.  This year they asked me for photo I.D.  I declined.  Why would I not be me?  That shit costs enough as it is.  Then they asked if they could take my picture.  WHAT?

"Why?" I asked.  "For your protection" they said.  BULLSHIT! 

"No, I'm not o.k. with that" is what I said.  Then it was "initial here, initial there, sign here."

Fuck those people.


Sun, 06/26/2011 - 14:27 | 1403252 Charlie Bravo
Charlie Bravo's picture

After reading through ALL of these comments, I've concluded zerohedge has been successfully hijacked by self-entitled dipshits who would rather subscribe to the latest copy of "Conspiracy Theory" than listen to what folks (such as Macro Story) are trying to convey to others. 

Our society is devoid of personal responsibility and empathy. We've cultivated a deluded sense of self-entitlement and self aggrandization at the expense of each other. We are incredibly lazy, self-absorbed, divided and scared shitless of the future. We went from a nation filled with hard working, responsible citizens who would roll up their sleaves to fix a problem to a nation filled with overweight, irascible sycophants who are quick to troll the blame somewhere else (whilst sucking on a strawberry "flavored" chemical shake from McDonald's).

Then again, that's what I've come to expect from a nation who went from being thankful for what we have to a nation that steamrolls others because we felt entitled to get what we want, whenever we want.

Macro Story made a very good point.... a point, mind you, that has almost been forgotten in an era of instant gratification and uber-selfishness. Come to think of it...a "reset" may not be such a bad thing after all IF it is able to remove the thin shit-stain of excessive greed, complacency and immoral behavior that has been allowed to dominate our nation for more than 40 years.

Charlie Bravo





Sun, 06/26/2011 - 15:27 | 1403310 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Hasten to your nearest place of toil; Washington and Wall Street need your tribute.

Keep up that "good honest American hard working stars and stripes" line of thinking; we (Wall Street, Washington) need more decent people to bleed out while their delusions are extant.

Thank God for all the Christians who so easily render unto Caesar and forgive their slavery in exchange for soda pop, a barbecue, and steroid riddled goons mucking about on wood or grass in post-industrial service/information economy slavery.  Less blood than the gladiatorial games, at least on the courts and fields; the blood is easier to hose off of the streets and street corners and into the gutter.

Yes, please, keep smiling and bowing in your human form, and neighing and whinnying and pulling your wagon - raising your head in pride - with our bridle in your teeth as we whip you onward - as us mammon lusters of Washington and Wall Street, we masters of usury and perfidy, feed on your sweat, your toil, your blood.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 14:35 | 1403312 malikai
malikai's picture

Surely you must know this is the fate of all Empires. We do not have a monopoly on imperial decline. And mark my words. If our species survives long enough, there will be others to eperience this fate as well.

Mon, 06/27/2011 - 22:45 | 1407608 KinorSensase
KinorSensase's picture

I agree with you to a certain extent, but all your assertations regarding the laziness/entitlement/etc. of the common man apply in much greater magnitude to the bankers, politicians, lawyers, judges, etc. who contribute nothing to society.  The rich: they're worthless, good only at exploiting others.  Aim your guns at them first.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 15:01 | 1403376 mkkby
mkkby's picture

This is a terrible post. Yes, personal responsibility is important. But it is disingenuous to ignore the elite advantages over everyone else. The make the rules. They borrow at 0%. They invest risk free and offload their losses on the rest of us. They tax us at gunpoint into their own captive businesses. Individuals and small businesses cannot compete with this. And the author just says, don't blame the Bernanke, and bullshit like that.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 15:19 | 1403410 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

+1 and the % and fees I pay and the rule of law I have to follow the banksters and elites don't.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 16:20 | 1403524 Madhouse
Madhouse's picture

6 year one time terms with random confidence votes for the Pres, Sen, Congress. Constitutional ammendment to balance budget and turn the 16 trillion into a 30 year note with a 1/30th sink each year. Cut the defense budget to 2002 levels, taxes back to 2002 levels, get govt completely out of healthcare (i.e. phase out medicare over 10 years) and stop the fucking war mongering...

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 17:55 | 1403660 dbTX
dbTX's picture

and get back to the gold standard

Mon, 06/27/2011 - 09:35 | 1405152 spooz
spooz's picture

Would that be 2002 levels including all the loopholes that allow multinationals to pay nothing as usual?  And getting government out of health care leaves us at the mercy of the health insurerers, pharmaceutical companies and overpriced healthcare providers.  No thanks. Obamacare is a joke.  National health care, with huge savings would finally give our businesses the chance to compete on an even playing field by not having to provide it as a benefit.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 17:13 | 1403566 sasebo
sasebo's picture

Let's see - ready for some reality Tony? We're suppossed to have leaders & followers in a democracy? And the followers are suppossed to have the right to pick their leaders? But what happens when most of the candidates for leadership positions are lying fascist? What kind of leadership do the followers wind up with? Lying fascists. Which is what we have in America today. So whose fault is that? According to Tony Palotta it's the followers fault.

I seem to be missing something, Tony.

Need some examples? GWB was a lying fascist, Obama is a lying fascist, Bernanke is a lying fascist, Geithner is a lying fascist, etc. Don't believe it? You might want to reread the definition of fascism, Tony.


Sun, 06/26/2011 - 17:52 | 1403656 dbTX
dbTX's picture

I'm willing to fork over my pound of flesh, but not a drop of blood.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 18:28 | 1403712 dcb
dcb's picture

of course the elites would prefer you to blame individuals instead of faulty systems that way in theory we can blame the people and they can keep the system. The system also rather makes sure we don't blame their institutions. When I balme the bernank, I also blame the system.the bernank is a creature and product of that system and has it's belief adopts it's belief systems. meaning the federal reserve factional banking system. In my view that is the real blame to it all. you can't have excessive leverage, (which causes all crisis) if you don't have the system that allows it. Since getting ahead within our current system mandates you suspend the belief that there is anything called excessive credit/ leverage I blame it. I blam eht bernan because I see him telling lies each and every day and not get called on it and maintain his position of authority.


The blame of him and goldman sachs are rerpresentations of all that is wrong with the entire corrupt system and hence it is appropriate to "blame" them. It is appropriate to balem people in charge wthat have an economic belief system that has been proven wrong for something like 50 years. I also know I will never see it change regardless if the characters change. they will always pick the elites from the same pool of people with the same beliefs so the outcome/ policy choice is in fact already determined. I have coined the term "conspiriacy of thought" to refer to this process. You don't have to have a conspiracy to have a conspiriacy, ypu only need to have a group of policy makers who believe the same thing.

Now I have to choices. 1) to believe the bernank is really stupid and doing the wrong thing again and again because he believes it is good and right, although it never happens. QE never delivers. flooding the system with liquidity at the start of the financial crisis, QE 1 and QE two drove up commodities (oil and food) and in fact created further slowdown. I have seen it three times yet he will do it again because he believes it works.


Or two: he does it for some other reason and is a sociopathic liar. Since I believe you'd have to be an idiot to think QE is good at this time after three times causing a drop in housing, increased input prices, and slower growth because of the added liquidity. So I pick number two.


We aren't getting out of this crisis because the people are taken from the same pool of group think and keeping the status quo is the single most impt thing for them.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 19:42 | 1403896 WorkOutWellForAll
WorkOutWellForAll's picture

Disconnecting the analysis from the analyzer here is a big mistake -- no different from believing the sincerity of the Federal Reserve Board Chairman -- and we have a nice opportunity here because the pathogen emerged again in the comments section, revealing he is a father of two females.

We find the deceit by ignoring the presumed sincere concern of a blame-the-less-powerful, a conservative, and then looking at the psychological benefit of the ideology in justifying the primary service to the powerful.

Oh, yes, Mr. Full Time Trader, you despise your paymasters while keeping your job in the noble pursuit of Christian Fatherhood. Since you daily inhabit a milieu of cocaine and prostitution -- your work buddies -- you cannot wash away that degeneration with your earnings.

But of course, you've already gladly accepted moral-less calculations as a livelihood -- hence your fatuous stupidity -- which the colleague commenters here too espouse, hidden just like yourself, in the bluster of critical indignation.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 20:13 | 1403980 blindman
blindman's picture


Sun, 06/26/2011 - 23:00 | 1404566 soitis
soitis's picture

I wonder what would happen if the amount of energy expended on this site were redirected towards true revolution? Not just talk.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 23:08 | 1404575 blindman
blindman's picture

don't miss it. talk is cheap until it isn't.

Mon, 06/27/2011 - 10:32 | 1405297 trx
trx's picture

What the fxxx is this? Have you begun swapping brain cells?

Reality is, in fact, the greatest illusion there is....and an extremely subjective one.



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