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Bo Peng
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I run a fund based on automated trading and technical analysis. But my favorite pastime is thinking and talking about political economy. I guess I'm George Soros. Writing helps clarifying my thinking. All opinion expressed here is mine, wholly mine, nobody's but mine. And all trading/investment... More
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  • The Good Ol US of A Turning Classy 0 comments
    Aug 19, 2010 10:41 PM

    Banks and other types of corporations have been divided into two classes since the onset of the crisis: the TBTFs that taxpayers are volunterred to bail out, and the rest that are not worthy of government help.

    Financial markets have also devolved into a class society designed by government: those that Fed will buy and pop up, and those left dying a slow death on their own. There's now a new industry trying to frontrun the Fed, buying up the Nobles and abandoning the Untouchables.

    But the transformation would not be complete without private citizens going classy. And so our government has been hard at work. Here is where we stand now -- don't be disappointed by the limited success, bear in mind this is only the beginning.

    1. The Religious Class, aka Sacred Cows.

    These are the noble ones who had tirelessly supported the economy by maxing out the home equity loan before crisis and spending it on vital things like iPhones, $20k barbecue grills and temperature-humidity controlled cigar rooms even though they don't smoke cigar. They flipped houses all over the country, even the world. They owned a plural of condos and houses. Now that their plurals of condos and houses are under water, after selflessly sacrificing their own financial wellbeing for the greater good, the government has no choice but to do the right thing and bail them out -- principal reduction, mortgage mod, costless refi, etc etc. Of course, these are peanuts compared to their monumental contribution to the society, and even more monumental losses. They are unhappy, and they spoke. And the government gave them $50K no-interest, non-resource, subordinated loan. In other words, free money paid for by the lower classes.

    If you're a Sacred Cow and, surely you're not satisfied by such pathetic tokens of worship, no worries. There'll be more.

    2. The Warrior Class, aka I'm Not Paying So Whacha Gonna Do About It.

    These are the principled, morally righteous, brave souls whose McMansions may or may not be under water, and they have enough wealth to go on cash for 7 years until the credit records get wiped clean so that they can continue making great contributions to the society again, and decide just stop paying back their debt as a matter of principle and justice against the banksters who forced them at gun point to take out loans. But the government will make sure their moral righteousness and bravery will be amply rewarded. In this lawful society of arbitrary laws, their debt will be forgiven and they'll get to stay in their McMansions and get new platinum credit cards so as to support the housing market and stimulate economy.

    3. The Worthless Class, aka The Stupid Honest Peeps.

    These are the commoners. Their singular sin is the fact they stubbornly insist on saving money in face of mounting logic as well as empirical evidence against such obscure stupidity. By saving money, they destroy the economy and take everyone down with them. Even further beyond the realm of rationality, they keep paying their debt, for no discernible reason whatsoever. These people are hopelessly beyond reason and persuasion. The only logical thing to do is for the government to punish them. For every pitiful dollar they have tried so hard to save, Fed will print $10, $100, whatever it takes to get them to stop saving.

    But not before their savings are used to pay for the rewards for the two higher classes.

    A second sin is that these people obviously have no faith in the government. They cannot take the leap of faith that, when you spend all the money, the government will step in and help them out. Faithless pigs, they deserve to be crushed and slaughtered.

    Have no despair, though, even if you're in the Worthless Class. The one good thing about this class society is that there's still mobility. All it takes is for you to abandon the irrational, stupid habit of saving money and balancing your checkbook, stop paying debt and start spending like there's no tomorrow.

    Becaue there won't.

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