Sunday, June 29, 2008

Debt Rattle, June 29 2008: Deafened by silence

Dorothea Lange Grandmother October 1939
Soper grandmother, who lives with family. Farm Security Administration borrower. Willow Creek area. Malheur County, Oregon

Ilargi: We’re taking a bit of a break today. The lull before the storm, that sort of idea. It gives the rest of the world a chance to catch up with us, and with what we've been proclaiming for so long. Sometimes we tend to forget it's all still new and unexpected for most people.

The time has come for the cheerleaders to get off the field.

The game is on. And it's over before the opening whistle.

But you must play.

American ‘Meltdown’ Reason for Capital Raising - Fortis
Fortis expects a complete collapse of the US financial markets within a few weeks.

That explains, according to Fortis, the series of actions by the bank of last Thursday to raise €8 billion.

“We have been saved just in time. The situation in the US is much worse than we had thought”, says Fortis chairman Maurice Lippens.

Fortis expects bankruptcies for 6000 capital-starved American banks.

But also with Citigroup, General Motors, a complete meltdown in the US is beginning.”


Anonymous said...

here's another one from Texas. It doesn't really fit what you usually post (except the Dorothea Lange photos), but it's a perfect
illustration of what's going to happen and how hard it is to find
anybody to take responsibility for it.
dave m
original at:

Seizure of belongings leaves new homeowners baffled, angry
By M.B. Taboada, Shonda Novak
Saturday, June 28, 2008
A Nigerian couple who immigrated to Austin a decade ago thought they

had finally made it in America. On May 7, they closed on their first

home in the States, buying a $283,000 Cedar Park house that had been

headed for foreclosure.
It seemed like a good deal to Bobo and Joy Dickson. They did

everything right, they thought. They got a mortgage lender, signed

the papers, had the title put in their name .
But on May 14, they came home from work at their janitorial services

company to find that all their furniture, family heirlooms, personal

photos, clothes, even their daughter's piggybank, had disappeared.
After filing a theft report with the Cedar Park Police Department,

the Dicksons were given the news. In a mix-up over whether the home

was still facing foreclosure, Field Asset Services was hired to drill

open the doors and seize the belongings.
Last week, Bobo Dickson, who owns the janitorial services company,

said the family felt "violated. ... My family has gone through a lot,

especially the kids, (who are 7 and 3). I don't have an answer to

give them that would comfort them."
Cedar Park police officials said Field Asset Services told them that

it carried out orders from a mortgage firm and that the Dicksons'

belongings had been donated to area thrift shops. But a search of

such shops turned up nothing.
On Friday, after hiring a lawyer and getting no apology or

acknowledgment of responsibility for weeks, the Dicksons finally had

a breakthrough.
EMC Mortgage Corp., the Lewisville bank that the Dicksons' lawyer

said held the first and second mortgages on the house, issued a

statement saying: "There was a mix up, and we apologize to the family

because they were, indeed, caught in the middle. We will make it

right with the family by reimbursing them for their losses." The

statement came from Debbie Krznarich, senior vice president of

communications for EMC.
But the size of the reimbursement is unclear, as is what will happen

Trevor Hance, the Dicksons' lawyer, said Friday that the response was

"encouraging, but bittersweet in that it has taken this long to get

an apology after such an obvious error."
Next, Hance said, he'd like to see "a firm offer and good-faith

negotiation" on EMC's part.
"We're hopeful we can resolve it without a lawsuit, but we will

follow through to make sure that the Dicksons' interests are

protected," Hance said.
He said he has yet to hear from EMC about a formal settlement offer.
Hance said he has sent EMC two demand letters, and said he received a

response only after the American-Statesman contacted the company.
"I've not threatened them," Hance said. "I laid it out there very

vanilla and said, 'Give us a call. Do the right thing.' "
Hance said he and the Dicksons have arrived at what they consider a

"fair value amount" for their claim. He declined to say what that

that figure is. Hance said the claim would involve not only

compensation for the loss of their property, but also for the

sentimental value that may be attached, and the hardship and anguish

the family has faced.
"They're good people," Hance said. "What a shame it is that something

like this had to happen to a family like the Dicksons, who have done

everything by the book and who literally are inches away from the

American dream."
Hance said the family hopes to gain American citizenship.
Hance said that, despite EMC's apology, "there are still a lot of

questions that are unanswered about the breakdown that led to this

He said he thinks the problem might have been related to the house

continuing to be listed as a foreclosure, until and through the sale

and closing. He said he thinks EMC's foreclosure wheels were in

motion, "and they just sort of forgot about it."
The owner of the home was a California investor, Timothy A. Tucker,

whose address is listed as Valencia, according to Williamson Central

Appraisal District records.
"Unfortunately, in a big company setting, sometimes one department

doesn't know what another department is doing," Hance said. "And

while we still don't know for sure exactly what happened, that

certainly could have been the case here."
EMC has declined to comment beyond its statement.
It has been 61/2 weeks since Field Asset Services cleared out the

Dickson house.
Cedar Park police and the Dicksons have questioned Field Asset to

find out where the belongings were taken.
Both said they were told that the Dickson property was split up among

various area Goodwills, but police officers were unable to verify

that claim, said Capt. Mike Harman of the Cedar Park Police

The police officer on duty spoke to operations supervisor Ashley

Nipper at Field Asset, and according to the report, she said she

didn't understand "what the big deal was," and that the company had

an order from the mortgage company.
The Dicksons searched five area Goodwills but came home empty-handed.
Field Assets' human resources manager, who declined to give her name,

said the company would have no comment. Hance said Field Asset

Services has not responded to his two demand letters.
In an e-mail Thursday, Nipper said: "I am not at liberty to comment

to the press on any matters concerning our clients or our company. I

apologize for the inconvenience."
When told of Nipper's initial comments to the police, Hance responded

Friday: "A month and a half into it, the silence is especially

frustrating because if they (Field Assets) would have understood 'the

big deal' from the beginning, and told the Dicksons where their

belongings had been taken that night, this entire thing could have

been avoided."
The Dickson family said they doubt their things will ever be

Before the settlement offer Friday, Bobo Dickson said the family felt

"violated, and the people who did this are not being forthcoming at

After a month of the children sleeping on the floor, the Dicksons

have started to buy some furniture, including beds and pillows for

their children, Grace, 7 and Ebubechi, 3.
The clothes they wear were bought at garage sales, they said.
The Dicksons said some of their belongings were irreplaceable: the

trunk of traditional African wedding attire and jewelry that had been

passed along to Joy when she became Bobo's bride; the original

scripts that Joy, a screenwriter, had created. Then there was a

dollar bill that was tucked inside Grace's piggybank.
The bill was sentimental because Grace wanted a laptop computer and

offered to give the dollar to her mother, wondering if it would help

in the purchase. Joy said she was touched and wrote on the bill:

"Trust God for more." Then she slipped the dollar back into the

piggybank. Later, they were able to purchase that laptop.
The Dicksons did, however, get back three of their photos. Hance and

the Dicksons said a Field Asset truck driver called the Dicksons'

title company and arranged to meet and give back framed wedding

photos. The title company then called the Dicksons' lawyer to return

the photos.
"We're just trying to get by," Joy Dickson said last week. "We feel

horrible. ... words cannot describe."
As the weeks have dragged on, Hance said, he has become increasingly

"You have a couple of options when you do something wrong," he said.

"You can hide from it and pretend it didn't happen, or you can step

up and do the right thing."
Brad Burnie, a mortgage originator with Amerinet Mortgage, the lender

on the Dicksons' loan, said the couple's case is "a classic American

dream story" gone awry.
When the Dicksons closed on the house, they were ecstatic, Burnie

said. "It was the best closing I ever had. These people were beaming.

They were saying in the parking lot, 'America is wonderful.' "
Days later, Burnie said, he got a call about what he said was a "huge

Harman said the district attorney's office does not expect to file

criminal charges and that the case will probably be handled as a

civil matter.
The Dicksons' real estate agent, Elizabeth Bradburn, said, "It's

shocking. I never imagined that something like this could happen."
Bradburn said she "never felt so helpless that I could do nothing for

my clients when someone has done them wrong in this business."; 912-2942.; 445-3856

Anonymous said...

Well dave m, if that house is still listed under foreclosure (lucky stars still are out there) maybe they will have someone will buy it out from under them and end up cash heavy and ready for the day!

Anonymous said...

Am new to this blog/site, so do not know if most know/understand the "Debt Rattle", play on words, let alone ever experienced an actual
Death Rattle

Anonymous said...

Anonymous #2

Many of us are old here! Go away!


Anonymous said...

Anonymous #2,

Anyone who doesn't get the double entendre of the site title is precluded from locating the URL by mystical forces.

I experienced my last death rattle when my late black lab died in my arms. I have had more pleasant experiences.

Bigelow said...

The Whitehouse Coup
“The coup was aimed at toppling President Franklin D Roosevelt with the help of half-a-million war veterans. The plotters, who were alleged to involve some of the most famous families in America, (owners of Heinz, Birds Eye, Goodtea, Maxwell Hse & George Bush’s Grandfather, Prescott) believed that their country should adopt the policies of Hitler and Mussolini to beat the great depression.”

Bigelow said...

Know the old saying, those that are ignorant of history are ignorant of history?
An interview with Stuart Ewen author of "PR"
“How has the National Association of Manufacturers greatly impacted our country?

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has been around for about a hundred years, and for much of that time it has been the most powerful organization representing the interests of giant business enterprise in America. Though few Americans are aware of it, and it operates mostly behind-the-scenes, the NAM continues to profoundly affect public agendas in the United States

One of the most colorful pieces of NAM history, one that I discuss at length in my book, was during the Great Depression of the 1930s, when many business leaders felt that FDR and his New Deal programs were turning American minds away from a pro-business point of view. In response, NAM (in league with the U. S. Chamber of Commerce) launched a massive and multi-leveled PR effort entitled "The American Way" campaign. The point of the campaign was to create a mental association between the idea of "The American Way," and the idea of a totally unregulated business system.

Though billboards and other media broadcast this message throughout the nation it had little effect in a society where there was massive unemployment, even among the formerly middle class.

After World War II, however, in a period of economic boom, The American Way campaign gained legs.

With the help of McCarthyism, New Deal ideas, such as guaranteed national health insurance, fell victim to the propaganda. Ronald Reagan,incidentally, was a participant in NAM publicity efforts. The rest is history.

scandia said...

Ilargi, Yesterday you asked us to add any thoughts we may have to your view that " the game is over"....
In that light I've been wondering if yet, in this eleventh hour" a rescuer will appear. A rescuer who will become the New Master of the system and keep it afloat. For instance the hot money flowing around or SWFunds? Or even a foreign power who will occupy/rule with financial clout as oppposed to military clout?
Has anyone else had thoughts in response to Ilargi's request?

EBrown said...

I haven't been able to come up with a plausible answer, which is a big part of the reason I agree with Ilargi's basic premises here at TAE. I've only recently really delved into the workings of teh financial system, and subsequently been flabbergasted by the fraud and deception. We live in a house of cards that is now afire. It will require a magician to put out the fire and keep the house standing at the same time.

peakto said...

Hi Ilargi, Stoneleigh,

I keep getting a sense that 'the fix is in'...if you like.

The timing is all so suspect. Elections in Nov, Secret congressional sessions. Initial stages of SPP and Amero stage set for 2010.

Which seems to be perfect timing for the collaspe of the US financial systems and rebirth from its ashes?

You can take your tin hats off now...but you have to wonder sometimes...and this one makes me wonder.

EBrown said...

Since people on this forum are wise to both energy depletion and financial instability I have an analogy I'd like to run by you because I used it recently and I think it worked to convey my point. I was talking with my wife about energy and money, she is well aware of my concern about the Peak Oil thing, but I needed a way to illustrate the immediacy of the financial crisis and this is the best I could do -

Imagine the economy as a hummer, complex, many moving parts, some redundancy, lots of places without redundancy. One of the qualities of this hummer is that in order to keep it's inhabitants happy it must drive faster and faster (this is the growth imperative). Our economy/hummer has a single tank of dirty gas that clogs the fuel filter at roughly the halfway point. Right now our hummer's fuel filter is clogging such that it can't get enough gas to go any faster - maybe a fleck could shift and a bit more gas will squeak through for a few minutes, maybe a big chunk will soon hit the filter and we'll lurch slower as gas is stifled. Hubbert's curve need not be perfectly bell shaped...

The financial system in this analogy is the motor oil. The plug on the oil pan just fell out (was put in loosely to begin with?) and the oil is draining out. Yes, we have a gasoline crisis in that we can't go any faster, but the bigger issue as far as the passengers are concerned is the lack of motor oil. At some point very soon the engine is going to seize. I don't think there's any more motor oil in the hummer, and even if there were who can climb onto the hood of roaring hummer and dump it in? How long will a gallon or two of oil last in the pan? Minutes?

scandia said...

I don't watch the market, the Dow. I am not an investor. I do track i up or down in relation to what is discussed here on TAE. I am very,very interested to see Monday's market response to the Fortis Bank's comment on financial system collapse.

scandia said...

Thinking of the Russell comment this Monday morning," ...there is something going on at the banks that we don't know about..." Maybe we'll find out this week?!

. said...

Oh, shit. My first good payday in months, and there it sits in the bank, not available until ... the 4th of July. Oh, and they'll likely fiddle with banking days and sit on it until the 7th.

Grrr ....