stupid consumerism

Not one penny!

That’s what the staff of investment banks that invested in risky mortgage securities should get in bonuses.  Before we spend a dime of taxpayer money bailing out these banks because they bet and lost, every penny that has been paid in bonuses to anyone involved in these transactions should be returned to the banks and used to pay off  their debts.  Sure it’s probably only a tiny fraction of what is owed, but if we are going to spend the money it’s the least that they can do.

British bank Barclay’s that agreed to buy the bankrupt Lehman Brothers last week has apparently committed to paying out up to $2.5 billion in bonuses to the top 200 staff at Lehman as part of the acquisition.  I’m sorry but anyone who would pay out that kind of cash to the people that created this mess in the first place does not deserve a bailout.

I say if we are going to spend any taxpayer money, the only thing we should do is buy the foreclosed homes from the banks at current market values minus a discount for our troubles and then sell or rent them back to the occupants at a reasonable price and affordable terms.  This would allow people to potentially keep a roof over their heads, keep homes occupied so that communities aren’t abandoned and allowed to rot and allow the government to eventually recover some of the initial expense.

These terms would of course be substantially less than what the banks are currently owed, but that is simply the price they need to pay for their foolish investments in the first place. I wrote about this more than three years ago and I hate to say it but I was spot on.  This whole mess was easy to see coming and completely avoidable were it not for the greed of the bankers and their confidence that the Republicans would bail them out if they messed up.  They need to pay up now, and anyone who was involved in this should be permanently barred from ever working in the finance market again.  Perhaps if we let the geniuses who created this debacle rot on the vine for once future generations will learn a lesson. Or not.

Black Friday

Today is “Black Friday” and I’m celebrating it by ignoring it. In some past years I’ve made that early morning trek out to try and snag some insane bargains. However, I’ve come to realize that it’s just insane. No bargains are that great that they’re worth the hassle, especially when they’re made up of mostly mail in rebates. I’ve decided that I will no longer participate in the ridiculous rebate game and if I can’t get a good deal out the door I simply won’t bother. As for today, I looked around at what I have and what I need, determined that my time would best be spent today, sleeping in a bit, getting up and drinking some coffee, dropping off my car at the dealer for service and then sitting down to read and write. We’ll probably go see a movie later, and on top of it all, I can just reflect on how lucky I am even when things aren’t so perfect.

Are these people nuts?

camping out for ps3In case you’ve been living in a cave for the last few weeks, the Sony Playstation 3 is finally going on sale tomorrow, followed by the Nintendo Wii on Sunday. Every year this kind of thing seems to happen when some hot new product comes out. What is the obsession with having to be the first to having the next shiny new gadget? It’s just a damn game machine people! You can live quite nicely without one. Who the hell would camp out in front of a Best Buy store for a week to get an over-priced-(at least for the PS3) over-hyped game machine? Listen up people! If this thing is really any good (and that’s definitely debatable) , it will be around for a while. Sony will not build a single run of these and then shut off the tap. They will keep building them as long as their is demand. So why must you have one now instead of two months from now? I know supplies of the PS3 will be very limited because Sony came up with a hardware design that they can’t actually build, but eventually supply wil catch up with demand. Those who don’t want to camp out are paying over $2000 on ebay for a $600 toy. It’s no wonder this country is fucked up, with shit like this going on.