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A Message From Your Friendly Local Bank*

A Happy Generic Holiday Season's Greeting to all our customers!

As your Friendly Local Bank, you know that we have happily held on to your pitiful bank accounts all these years, provided disappointingly small loans at usurious low interest rates, and provided you with access to credit cards from all major credit companies.  During this difficult time, you know that you can rely on us to take the Government's money and run stand by you.  But, Dear Customers, there is something you can do to help the country recover from this recession.

Start spending.  Yes, that's right, start spending.  If you have money in a savings account, you're stealing bread from the mouths of American corporations!  We don't want to hear any mealy-mouthed excuses like "I just got laid off", or "My house has been foreclosed"; even if you're living out of your car, you can still decorate with new auto accessories!

(Hint:  Most full-size trucks will fit a Queen-sized air mattress in the back; put up curtains, and ta-dah!  You now have a one-bedroom dwelling!)

Heck, buy a second car.  I hear they have some great deals going on these days, since the Big Three automakers are feeling really desperate generous this holiday season!  You can park the second car in a free parking lot on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, and voila!  Oceanfront property! 

(Helpful Hint:  Avoid towing by moving your car to a different parking lot every few days!  And while you're moving it, why not use your credit card to buy a cup of coffee?)

If you have money, you can spend it.  You should spend it.  You need to spend it.  Forget paying rent;  it doesn't boost the economy, and it's downright UnAmerican to spend your Government's insultingly small  tax rebate on paying off bills!   And, if you have a credit card, run it up to the limit - it's the holidays, so you should spend, spend, spend!

(Helpful Hint:  You don't need a penny - or even good credit - to get credit cards.  Be sure to have at least ten or eleven in your wallet at all times!)

Lost your house?  No problem!  You can still get credit card offers in the mail.  Change your address to a PO box so that we, your Friendly Local Bank, can be sure that you will receive the ten Platinum credit card offers we will be sending you this week.  Remember:  As long as the credit card isn't being declined, it can still be used (better hurry, though).

(Helpful Hint:  If you don't have a fridge to keep groceries in, use your credit card for purchasing fast food to feed your family!)

(Helpful Hint:  If you can't get a credit card of your own, apply for one in your neighbour's name; get the credit card offer from their mailbox.  If they're not using their credit, they don't deserve to have it.)

We, your Friendly Local Bank, have always had your best interests at heart.  And we have always given you self-serving good advice, haven't we?  So you should listen to us now when we tell you that your out of control spending habit is America's salvation.  A ballooning credit card debt that you have no hope of ever paying off is the best gift you can give this holiday.

(Helpful Hint:  Good News!  Being in prison can cut your living expenses substantially!  Why not use that extra cash to buy drugs for all the other inmates?)

We, your Overseas Local Bank, thank you.

(Helpful Hint:  Avoid those annoying and scary collections calls by being homeless!)

*Not really.  Everyone's been kind of depressed lately, though, so I thought I'd give y'all a laugh while pushing you completely over the edge.  Note:  This post was inspired by a conversation between Bob and me.



( 51 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )
Dec. 15th, 2008 01:48 pm (UTC)
the sad truth is... it's all too accurate.

Edited at 2008-12-15 01:48 pm (UTC)
Dec. 15th, 2008 01:55 pm (UTC)
Bob and were laughing hysterically as we tried to top each other in the car over this. There was an edge of real hysteria to our laughter.
(no subject) - mstewart - Dec. 15th, 2008 02:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hsifeng - Dec. 15th, 2008 03:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 15th, 2008 01:57 pm (UTC)
I couldnt believe it when I heard some "expert" on the radio saying basically this.

I think I'll stay hunkered down, thanks.
Dec. 15th, 2008 02:01 pm (UTC)
agreed. i'm still paying off my 'young, stupid, and jobless' days.

i'll keep stuffing my cash under the mattress thanks...
(no subject) - attack_laurel - Dec. 15th, 2008 02:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pirategirleee - Dec. 15th, 2008 04:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 15th, 2008 02:06 pm (UTC)

I do hate the whole "Spend! Spend for the good of the economy!" Like, uh, is our economy really based solely on the purchasing of extraneous crap? Good lord, we're in deeper than I thought!

Dec. 15th, 2008 02:19 pm (UTC)
we just bought a new fridge and washer/dryer set....... but we had the nerve to be able to pay for it, what were we thinking? We should have gone credit all the way baby!
Dec. 15th, 2008 02:53 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately, the only way out of a down economy is to stimulate spending. This is typically done by dropping the Fed Funds rate so people are discouraged from keeping their money in savings accounts with low interest and encouraged to take out low interest loans to do thinks like home improvements and increase the value of their homes while providing jobs locally to contractors.

But when there is fear of unemployment to deal with, people shouldn't be spending.

But we've allowed ourselves to slip into an economy that only works if we're all constantly spending and buying more things that break and have to be replaced over and over again.

What we need is companies that make quality products that will last and also a rise in repair shops so we can keep those products longer. Ever notice how there are no tailors, no TV repairmen, no appliance repair shops anymore? It's because we throw everything away when it breaks and get a new one. I don't even want to think of the landfills...

The car makers and dealers really piss me off. It seems like every other commercial on cable is a car commercial. Who the hell needs all these cars?! I just paid off my car. It's five years old. I won't need another one for at least five years, maybe more. People who buy (or lease) a new car every two years should have their heads examined!
Dec. 15th, 2008 03:08 pm (UTC)
my mother is so cute, she still takes belts and shoes to a cobbler to be repaired, I don't even know where she found a cobbler.........
(no subject) - hsifeng - Dec. 15th, 2008 03:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - eggies_red_dres - Dec. 15th, 2008 04:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - hsifeng - Dec. 15th, 2008 04:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - standgale - Dec. 15th, 2008 10:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - attack_laurel - Dec. 15th, 2008 11:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - attack_laurel - Dec. 15th, 2008 11:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - attack_laurel - Dec. 16th, 2008 03:16 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - attack_laurel - Dec. 15th, 2008 11:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 15th, 2008 03:21 pm (UTC)
That's why I "bank" with a credit union....
Dec. 15th, 2008 03:42 pm (UTC)
Credit unions are a vast improvement over banks most of the time, but they still allow/encourage crazy levels of debt that weren't allowed in past decades. When we applied for a car loan the other month, our credit union offered us a credit card with a limit that is 13% of our gross income. We already have available credit (cards) that are 64% of our gross income - we don't have a balance on any of them, but if we'd have taken the card, we *could* have charged 77% of our annual income tomorrow with no collateral. I was stunned when I added up the numbers, and several of these cards were given to us when we were poor college students when we were barely employed. I was also stunned when I looked online to see how large a mortgage the banks were likely to give us - we based our house-buying decisions on how much we wanted to spend each month rather than on the bank's formulas, but I can see how people could be tempted to take a larger mortgage if that's what would get you the house you really want. . .
(no subject) - lostvirtue - Dec. 15th, 2008 03:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gianetta - Dec. 15th, 2008 03:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 15th, 2008 03:41 pm (UTC)
I am looking at spending $500 on credit to have my cat's cancer surgery. I haven't been the sort of person to spend on a card since I was in my early 20's, so this is really freaking me out.

I love my cat. I had hoped to never be in a situtation where I actually had to freak out over saving one of my animals or risking credit debt. *bleech*
Dec. 15th, 2008 03:49 pm (UTC)
That sounds like a difficult decision. Sometimes you do what you have to do and put it on a card, but if that amount on a card is going to jeopardize your financial welfare, you have to think about whether you'll be able to pay rent/food/utilities or be able to afford it if the cat needs more health care in the future. Remember that regardless of whether you're able to do the surgery, giving your animals a calm, quiet, fed and watered, warm, and comfortable death when that time comes is probably the best thing you'll ever do for them.
(no subject) - hsifeng - Dec. 15th, 2008 04:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gianetta - Dec. 15th, 2008 04:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hsifeng - Dec. 15th, 2008 04:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dream_wind - Dec. 16th, 2008 01:20 am (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 15th, 2008 04:00 pm (UTC)
I rsn across a fabulous website the other day that does a really good job of explaining the complexities behind the current mortgage crisis.


Back in 1994 I was one of the original borrowers under a "creative" mortgage program run by Merrill that bundled mortgages into various bonds and the like. Floating rate interest (based off of LIBOR) only for 10 years and then it converted to a fixed 15 year loan. At the time you had to put at least 20% down though, and they would only lend under this program to people who worked in financial services who understood the risks. Boy, did the banks change their lending criteria. I had no clue that they would structure those bonds so poorly as to leave us in this mess.
Dec. 15th, 2008 04:53 pm (UTC)
We did actually have to purchase a new vehicle this month. We didn't have a choice, our truck was totaled by an uninsured drunk driver while it was sitting out in front of our apartment.
But what we decided to do, rather than using the money from the insurance payout to use as a down payment on the new vehicle, was to use it to pay off the credit cards (at 9% interest) and finance the car through the dealership at 2.9%.
Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do, and make the best decision possible.
Dec. 15th, 2008 05:16 pm (UTC)
Hey - sometimes you have to spend. Doing it responsibly is a civic virtue - nay, a duty in these tough times.

You have my sympathy about the car though - people who drink and drive are scum. I'm just glad you weren't in the car at the time.
drunk drivers - gianetta - Dec. 15th, 2008 05:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 15th, 2008 05:06 pm (UTC)
Dec. 16th, 2008 01:25 am (UTC)
The Australian Government has been giving handouts to pensioners and families (us singles miss out - again). There's a few families been spending the money on plasma TVs, Versace handbags and the like. I don't know that the handouts were a good idea to people like these; however, there was a letter in one of yesterday's paper to say she's spending her money partially to pay off bills, and get a really nice Christmas lunch.
Dec. 17th, 2008 02:44 am (UTC)
On the subject of the Aussie Gov's 'handout' - we spent less on Christmas this year than previous years (and paid cash) and used the extra money provided to pay off some of the credit card debt! It didn't get rid of it completely but at least made a dent! Monthly interest can be a scary thing on those!
( 51 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )

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