Is it just me or does it feel like the wheels are flying off?
Last week, the experts were saying unemployment had peaked, and that perhaps the economy was slowly turning a corner. Today, not so much.
Just in: Chrysler will close 789 dealerships as part of its bankruptcy plan. That sure as hell doesn’t help the unemployment numbers. And there will be MORE AND MORE layoffs as the auto giants’ layoffs and restructuring efforts unwind themselves all summer. There aren’t enough temporary census jobs in this galaxy to absorb the legions of unemployed men who will be drifting through the long, hot days of the Summer of Pain. (The fact that the last time the United States had a disproportionally high number of men unemployed coincided with a major smothering of the nascent efforts of women to achieve financial, personal, and educational equality (aka the 1950′s) is not lost on me, but is the subject of another post.
Persephone finds THIS news (buried, mostly — no surprise) that the DEMOCRATIC Senate KILLED a bill that would limit to 15% the amount of interest credit card companies can charge people. Now 15% is a pretty damn high interest rate. If a freaking bank can’t figure out how to make money on a transaction where they borrow money at oh, let’s say 2% (Being generous here since the LIBOR (the interest rate banks charge each other to borrow money from each other) is currently at .35%, an unprecedented low.) and then lend it back out at 15% they are either stupid, crooked, or both. (I vote for both.)
Look at it this way. If a bank wants to borrow $1,000 so that it can lend me $1,000 (and it is WAAAY more lucrative for a bank to borrow money in order to lend it out. If they just used the money they have “sitting in their vaults” and it doesn’t get paid back, they lose it ALL. Which means they have lost ALL of some depositer’s money (not their own money, never their own.))
But I digress. If a bank borrows $1,000 from another bank so they can lend it to me, they pay an interest rate of .35% to borrow that money. That’s $3.50 — less than the cost of a double latte at Starbucks. Then they turn around and give me the $1,000 in the form of a credit card with $1,000 limit. I go out that day and spend through the whole $1,000 on Puma PAC bumper stickers to give to all my friends. Now I owe the bank $1,000 at 15% interest. That’s $150 bucks! The bank spends $3.50 and gets back $150! Nice work if you can get it!
And I was just using simple arithmetic. Compounded interest is a whole ‘NOTHER story.
But the real story is WHY the DEMOCRATIC Senate killed the bill:
“The banking industry, which had some heavy-weight representatives monitoring the vote off of the Senate floor, warned that an interest rate limit could cause a sour reaction in the financial markets.”
What a bunch of wankers, wimps, and nitwits. In games of chicken, we can ALWAYS count on politicians to blink. Or, since they’re all on the same team anyway, I guess it’s more accurate to say we can always count on politicians to WINK. Jackasses. Did I mention that the Senate is now comprised of a solid majority of DEMOCRATS??
But that’s not all! It wouldn’t be a new day without a new reversal and fumble by obama:
“Since he’s been inaugurated, Barack Obama has demonstrated a remarkable desire to keep evidence of Bush crimes generally, and Bush’s torture regime specifically, concealed,” said Jane Hamsher, the founder of the Fire Dog Lake blog in an email exchange with the Fix. “Some of his supporters won’t care. But others believe he is betraying promises he made on the campaign trail about transparency, and there is a growing sense that he is becoming complicit in the crimes he is attempting desperately to shield from public scrutiny.” — Jane Hamsher of the liberal blog, FireDogLake.
Gary has a very funny rundown of the inevitable obot responses to yet ANOTHER reversal and unkept promise by their Messiah.
So, the economy in continued free fall (for the little people only. the big shots get to skip this particular roller coaster ride from Hell); the DEMOCRATIC Congress continuing to hand its offices over to Goldman Sachs et al, making Capitol Hill the branch office of Wall Street; a quagmire in Af-Pak-Iraq; a new president who loves torture just as much as the old president; and a resurgence of 50′s era gender stratification.
What’s next? News that the Trillion Dollar Stimuloss Swindle will NEVER make a dime’s worth of difference and we might as well have saved the money in order to improve the federal balance sheet and bring back some integrity to the actual fundamentals of our economy, or even used it to keep Medicare and Social Security safe? Oh, wait.