Monday, May 9, 2011

Milking the system

Moral: Wherein we promise to use subjects other than Big Ben for awhile as there are other things of more importance.


Retirement? What does it mean? Yahoo Finance had an article today (there is a regular series) about 10 issues that need attention. We'll look at a couple of these later on.


Mostly, though, let's look at some of the comments.

In particular, there was this ('pa' denotes new paragraph) that relates to milking the system:
  • Yep, I saved nothing. I will be living of the taxes produced from your savings. Your savers are suckers. I got to enjoy my life with my fancy cars, large houses and exotic vacations every year. When I retired at 62 I took my SS and declared bankruptcy. I was able to wipe out nearly 300k of credit card debt and a 550k home loan. (pa) Now I sit here in a nice condo that I bought using credit off the cash advances using a shell company. I paid nothing for my 1 bedroom condo near the beach on Hilton Head, and live very comfortably on my SS check. I sit back and enjoy life and all those goodies I bought on the credit cards that I stored for retirement. I have a 60 inch flat screen tv, surround sound, leather couches, brand new furniture oh and a 2004 BMW all paid for with cash and funneled through the shell company I set up in 1995. It was a long planed out process with lots of credit card shuffling and using all of my income just to pay the minimums. When they raised the minimums I was easily able to file bankruptcy. When the judge asked why I was so irresponsible, I blamed the CC companies for continuing to send me cards. (pa) Play the system people. I now have a fully funded retirement on SS, with no real expenses going out each month I enjoy my life walking the beaches and playing golf with friends. (pa) I have since met a nice lady whom I now live with, between my $1,803 a month and her $2,249 we live a really nice life. She also was one who saved about $100k and so we have a really nice emergency fund. We eat out 3-4 times a week, enjoy movies, golf, and the clubs. It is such a pitty you guys all seemed to struggle and not enjoy your life, only at the end of it to still be suffering due to debt. (pa) My advice to the young. Spend every cent you earn and then work on a plan to expand your Credit. Once you have racked up as much as you can and your income no longer supports the minimum payments, file for bankruptcy and start the process all over again. (pa) Keep on putting some nice purchases in storage for your later years. Then keep it all off the books buy opening up a shell company and hiding from your creditors, as they are too stupid to look much further than your own SS number when filing for Bankruptcy. USE THE SYSTEM TO YOUR ADVANTAGE....
Was that tongue-in-cheek? Wait, before replying, see below.

Makes one think about those who took money out of their houses, in the just past days of malfeasance'd finance (from which we have not recovered), for profligate living. Then, when the houses went underwater, many just walked away leaving a mess for those who had to handle unwinding the mortgage-related paperwork.


Ben, tell me, since you sack the savers (your guys are into our pockets deeply), is this the type of economic behavior that you want to reward with your easy money (realize - there are those who put their lives on the line for these types)?


Now, the above comment raised some discussion, including a reply from the original commenter.
  • You sound like a thief.
  • Yes, you sound like a mini-Madoff. Perhaps someone who is in law enforcement will take your logon and start an investigation and you will be living in a one-bedroom 'condo' overlooking the prison yard. And who knows, perhaps someone who really likes you (I mean really, really likes you -- you know - wink, wink) will share your living space and you can flip flop instead of wearing flip flops. But sadly, you will still be living off the taxpayers.
  • (original commenter) Nope just somebody who works the system to my advantage. It is totally legal to file bankruptcy... You sound like a jealous person...
  • Bay Boomer? Right?
  • You took advantage of the system! It's people like you that put us in the debt situation that we are in! Living off the taxpayers. I hope you drop dead!
  • Amoral, scum ... and probably also lied in the OP.
  • You're obviously a former [snipped slur]
  • This guy brags about having no morals whatsoever!! This may be a good reason to reinstate debtors prisons.
It's good to see that most of those who responded noted a problem with this logic.


Yet, one has to think that this might very well be what the best-and-brightest are taught (tell me otherwise, Professor).


In fact, much management effort is just this: getting something for nothing by sacking the suckers and the doers.


Folks, this is one example of why near zero needs to be better understood (yes, even you can learn this lesson, Warren).


12/22/2012 -- Fair and open actually used in a WSJ article.

09/21/2011 -- On Wealth and the CEO MVP.

05/17/2011 -- Golden sacks, by Rolling Stone.

05/13/2011 -- Yahoo Finance says that the sheriff is back. Good. Too bad that Spitzer had feet of clay.

05/11/2011 -- Insider trading conviction. Some say that this won't hamper anything as the money to 'too big.' Well, how about changing the context, and use, of trading? Matt Nesto somewhat suggests this. We all know that what has evolved is merely ca-pital-sino, essentially. Other panelist (the cynic), Minyanville.

05/10/2011 -- Not picking on Warren, but this is a nice little analysis. One thing to note is that there are other connotations of 'intrinsic' value which we'll have to get to at some point.

05/10/2011 -- As of 1338 EDT, now there's 14 replies to the comment. The reply above, that was snipped, was removed. The overall number of comments is 122 with this comment hitting the button and getting the most replies. Nice little piece of prose, even if fictional.

05/10/2011 -- On milking, is this not what the Street does daily? Are not those who run the system those with their hands deepest into the pot? ... Even if this were fiction, its threads represent real occurrences. That is, an interesting task might be to find events that are similar to what was written. ... But, back to milking, this would be an example of the little guy's take. Our reality is that those who can take do so in very much larger amounts than this story relates.

05/09/2011 -- Out of 15 replies to the comment, as of 6 pm EDT, about four mentioned that this story cannot be true (will the real commenter please stand up). But, this diversion does raise some interesting issues. For one, how illegal is any of the described? How many have seen themselves behind bars (other than Made-off) due their actions over the past 4 years? How many walked away from homes without any lasting mark (what business head saw justice?)? The mention of debtor prison points back to times when morals were supposedly definable and enforceable. Are we not now in an era where anything goes (if you're not caught), since the basis is gaming without much oversight (ruthless winners adored - Warren, et al)? For two, the commenter is bragging about $4k per month with a cushion of about $100. As we all know, a serious medical problem could eat into that cushion quickly. Too, all of the collectibles would require some type of maintenance (or replacement) in the future, causing another set of payouts that could be huge. ... Even if this was sham comment, it was a nice little aside. ... By the way, registering guests is one way to control little fictions such as this one may have been.

Modified: 12/22/2012

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