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Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Fourth of Yu-Lie!

That's how my Abuelita, Tias, and most older, Latina women, where English is their second language, pronounce the month of "July".  It's an interesting play on words, because we are celebrating our "independence", as a united nation, from the tyranny of the British monarchy, which happened way back when.  When you look at the way shit is going down now, the @DecIND (Twitter Joke) looks like a big fucking lie.

The words "American Revolution", "Liberty", "Justice", "Freedom", are everywhere in the media.  Even the cuete (fireworks) stands are all named after these words.  I personally always bought my stuff at "Red Devil" fireworks.  It probably says a lot about me.  It's funny, because in Latin nations, they don't need a holiday to light fireworks and party. We just like to light shit up! 

Anyways,  I just want to make clear that I'm not a historian, political scientist (whatever that is), pundit, CNN or MSNBC junkie, etc.  I'm just an average Jose, who loves movies, and wants to make a living by being in them.  (Christopher Nolan: my Wednesday is now free.  Let's reschedule).  Ahem...

The past 3 years has been tough on everyone.  Last year, I got a couple of acting jobs, made some residual money, and also got a "Day Job", because all that acting money wasn't enough to cover expenses.  It's not like I'm leasing an Audi or living beyond my means by clubbing and doing all that Hollywood caca.  Don't have the time or money.  If you saw the car I drove, you would say "Yup!  That's a Mexican's car."  Although, I'm not a Mesican by birth.  Ahuah!

Where am I going with this, and what does have to do with the 4th of "Yu-Lie"?  Our economy se fue a la verga (went to shit) three years ago.  If you get a moment, please watch "Too Big to Fail" on HBO or HBO on demand.  Yes, it was a dramatization about what went on in the week of the financial meltdown.  

The movie did a great job of creating sympathetic characters out of people who are probably selfish pricks in real life.  They're investment bankers.  WTF do you expect?  I'm also not convinced that Henry Paulson's intentions to let Lehman Brothers go down a nasty, "Trainspotting", toilet, were merely to set an example that the government was not going to bail out every investment firm in danger of failing.  Ha!  Remember that Mr. Paulson made un chigon de dinero (fukcking lot of money), at Goldman Sachs- a major competitor of Lehman's. 

The movie successfully showcased how much power these banking firms actually have.  When Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy protection, all of the money invested by people and companies was frozen.  All of a sudden, every investor wants to pull their money out of every firm (Goldman's, Citi, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanely, etc.).  

Companies like GM, who make light bulbs, refrigerators, and airplane parts couldn't get money to continue their operations.  Mickey D's (according to Aaron Ross Sorkin-the author of "Too Big to Fail") couldn't get money to pay their employees.  Can you imagine being the person that has to tell kids flipping burgers at a McDonald's in a poor section of town (where the employees are more than likely minorities) that they "ain't getting paid today"?  Sheeeiiiiiiiittttt!  Wall Street shits on Main Street.

At the end of the movie, the government forces the banks to take capital injections (the TARP program) so that they could loan out to the average Jose and Josefina (let's not be sexist).  What do you think happened?  According to the movie, investment firms had record bonuses for executives last year and loaned out less money.  Hijos de Puta!  

Basically, another financial meltdown will probably happen.  This is when a real revolution or a new "Declaration of Independence" will need to be drafted.  The whole point of the American Revolution was to free the nation from overbearing, power hungry, aristocratic pricks.  Well, we have them in the form of these major investment firms.  What's even scarier is that 7 out of the nine heads of the financial "families" (it's pretty mafia) were all white, males.  John Mack (Lebanese background with a redneck accent) was replaced by James Gorman at Morgan Stanley- Whitey!

If I was white, I'd be freaked out by this too!  Who can you trust?  I don't know what the solution is.  The industry I work in relies heavily on money from these "mafiosos".  With the exception of Warren Buffett, most of these guys are not super-gifted, geniuses.  They make decisions and mistakes like all of us.  Sadly, millions of people pay for their mistakes, while they make out okay.  

Let's keep hope alive, by being strong, and educating ourselves. There are tons of books on economics, history, and finance at the public library. I'm going to try to keep the minimum in the banks and stick with my credit union.  Cause fuck these putos!  When the shit hits the fan again, I want to be ready.

I'll leave you with a quote by Thomas Jefferson, who was flawed, controversial, and contradicted himself a lot.  However, he was crucial to the American Revolution and had this to say about Banking Institutions:

"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.  Already they have raised up a moneyed aristocracy that has set the government at defiance. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs."    Thomas Jefferson

To the People!  Revolution and Integrity for All!

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