Tag Archives: Loans

Real estate is not for you

Here’s how real estate works, though not for you or me, or the millions of Americans losing their homes to foreclosure. The Gazette recorded real estate developer Lars Akerberg, reacting to the foreclosure of the Chidlaw Building which he bought in 1993 for $2 million. “It kind of hurts in a way.” Lars is actually defaulting on a 2006 loan for $14 million, only $1 million of it repaid. The article doesn’t mention how much of that went into the building, to whom it was paid, or the property’s current value, so Akerberg can probably say “It’s a little bit emotional, but what can you do?” because he’s losing $2 million but gets to keep an undisclosed part of the $13m. The Gazette article is a lesson in real estate, banking, and how the media obscures the swindles. Akerberg adds the salt, I think talking to you and me: “But that’s the way things are. You can’t help it.”

IMF pick Christine Lagarde-Obamette updates beau mot Cherchez La Femme

One of the boys, literally
IMF DSK replacement Christine Lagarde assumes leadership of the International Monetary Fund today, the world’s most powerful woman. Will she be the spoonful of sweetness to make austerity cuts go down? How’s your blood-sugar crashing on Obama? My guess is this fairy grandmother gambit will go down in Europe like an Obama Smurfette. To further my sexist analogy, imagine Lagarde the stereotypical bank loan officer, absolutely immovable. But Lagarde is personable, kindly, and maternal, and she’s willing to extend your loan, on the condition that you forfeit your house and all your possessions, and rent them from her. In the end you have nothing, but you don’t starve. By the way, the sheriff outside work for her. The IMF and the paramilitary riot police -that’s whose army. It’s a contract re-up you can’t refuse. That’s “austerity,” larceny with the improbably-legitimated veneer of usury, and it’s her last best offer.

Cherchez la femme or “get the woman”, used to be an investigative phrase meaning, find the extra-marital affair behind the political intrigue. The effect of this strategy was so absolute that it came to mean looking for the obvious. And so, isn’t the appointment of the silver-coiffed woman to front the severely PR-challenged, greed-saturated IMF, the obvious choice for a facelift?

Look at the IMF, an old boys network rivaled perhaps only by the World Bank. The solitary Lagarde is the next best thing to the superior exotic, one black man. They didn’t have one, and that novelty might be playing itself out already across the pond.

Augustin Carstens Fat BastardSpeaking of the New World, with Lagarde, the IMF avoided the challenger touted as the champion of emerging nations, Bank of Mexico nomineee and corpulence personified, Augustin Carstens. You might remember Carstens as the obesity-suited Fat Bastard from Austin Powers, who kept begging to be given Mini-Me for a snack.

What an unfortunately apt personification of the banking system Augusten Carstens would have been. Try to find a single photograph that wouldn’t have made the IMF aims plain: the bankers are licking their chops not only for your last penny, they want your ribs.

Mexicans have to brave illegal status in the United States to flee the economic policies enforced by their Fat Bastard.