In a moment of surprising clarity this morning (or perhaps driven by simple ulterior motives as his favorite bank may well be unprepared to cover even this moderate cash payment from existing reserves, as we warned back in January) perpetual bank optimist Dick Bove had some harsh words for the now finalized bank settlement, which he called the "mortgage deal from hell" - "Those people lucky or smart enough to stop making payments on their homes may get their loan balances reduced. Other beneficiaries of the agreement may be homeowners who have seen the value of their houses drop below the size of their mortgages. They get a freebie that other homeowners who have paid their mortgages down will not get....Homeowners who made large down payments on their homes or made the terrible mistake to pay down the principal on their mortgages do not qualify. Homeowners who made minimal or no down payments will get the windfall benefit of a lower principal repayment or a cash payment." And the true bottom line: "There is no sanctity of contracts in the United States. Only fools meet their financial commitments. The non-payers are the truly enlightened." And that is the summary of modern US society in a nutshell, and explains why despite all the deleveraging, inflation still remains a potent threat as the bulk of a household's mandatory continues to be merely discretionary, with everyone else footing the bill. Finally, as Rick Santelli pointed out subsequently, the banks are paying for this settlement using cash proceeds from previous bank bailouts which have not yet been paid out. So to be even more blunt than Dick and Rick -the US taxpayers bailed out the banks, which are now using the balance of said proceeds to pay a settlement which amounts to the tune of $2,000 per every person foreclosed on in the past 3 years, in order to assure their vote for Obama, while in the process trampling contract law, as no longer will anyone in America honor anything printed and signed.