While the Bankers Burn it Down, Pokemon Go and Signing Bonuses!

by William Skink

I applaud Netflix for recently adding The Big Short to its list of available titles to watch and shout profanity-laden diatribes at while the kids are outside, playing. I can’t tell you how many times I had to pause this educational film as the kids filtered in, doing their kid stuff, which is basically being loud and destroying shit. Eventually I finished the second half of the movie while neglecting my babysitting duties and, all mad about the fraud that never went away, I stewed like I’ve been doing lately over the inescapable clusterfuckedness of it all.

It’s weird, waiting for the next catalyst to spark the next cataclysm. The savvy bastards who shorted the mortgage market were a motley crew who came to understand how deep the corruption has metastasized, and nearly a decade later what has changed? Nothing that will stop Bancopalypse 2.0:

One of the major issues in the 2008 crisis was that banks were over-leveraged and had very thin levels of capital.

In other words, the banks’ rainy-day reserve funds as a percentage of their overall balance sheets were extremely low, so even a small loss in their investment portfolios would cause financial Armageddon.

That’s precisely what happened.

Lehman Brothers famously had a capital ratio of less than 3% of its assets. So when the value of its assets fell by more than 3%, the bank was finished.

Well-capitalized banks are supposed to have double-digit capital levels while making low risk investments.

Deutsche Bank, on the other hand, has a capital level of less that 3% (just like Lehman), and an incredibly risky asset base that boasts notional derivatives exposure of more than $70 trillion, roughly the size of world GDP.

Even the IMF has stated unequivocally that Deutsche Bank poses the greatest risk to global financial stability.

Europe is a shitshow in slow-motion collapse. If Deutsche Bank is truly this fucked, then what can the EU do to keep its ship afloat?

The Brexit was brilliant. It can now be deployed as a sort of magical incantatory haze cast on what has always been a perpetuation of ponzi-fueled crony capitalism papering over big bank insolvency with quantitative easing and, coming up next, helicopter money.

And what is the response from a western world populace sliding into totalitarian dystopia? Pokemon Go.

Um, Pokemon No:

And it’s not like Pokémon Go itself doesn’t already have a direct(-ish) line to the CIA. After all, Pokémon Go was created by Niantic, which was formed by John Hanke.

Now, Hanke also just so happened to help found Keyhole. What does Keyhole do, you ask? I’d tell you to go to Keyhole’s website—but you can’t. It just takes you straight to Google Earth. That’s because Keyhole was acquired by Google back in 2004.

Before that, though, Keyhole received funding from a firm called In-Q-Tel, a government-controlled venture capital firm that invests in companies that will help beef up Big Brother’s tool belt. What’s more, the funds In-Q-Tel gave Keyhole mostly came from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), whose primary mission is “collecting, analyzing, and distributing geospatial intelligence.”

The above quote is from a Gawker piece, truly a quality news source that also reported on the possibly off-wagon antics of former Prez, George W. Bush by writing this:

Today in Dallas, the city held a memorial service for the five officers killed by Micah Johnson last week. The service was attended by Barack and Michelle Obama, among others. It was, as you would expect, a somber affair for everyone—everyone except George W. Bush, who was ready to fucking party.

The video above captures a choir’s rendition of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” You’ll notice that everyone onstage is bowing their heads respectfully—everyone except George W. Bush, wearing a royal blue suit, who bopped along quasi-maniacally like the one person at a music festival set who clearly took too many drugs. Clasping his hand in quiet but abject horror is Michelle Obama, bless her soul.

It’s a good thing George W. Bush is white, because if he was a half-black president, well, that kind of jovial enjoyment of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” at the funeral of a dead cop fueling what could erupt into a race war before the summer is over would be an inflammatory incident possibly used to depose the alien Muslim from his perch on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Just sayin’.

Now, for a totally random pivot to a fun local issue, let’s collectively marvel that incoming VP Tom Crady got a $70,000 dollar bonus just for accepting the job of director of resurrection for UM’s lifeblood, students:

The University of Montana has offered a $70,000 signing bonus to its new vice president, hired to boost enrollment at the Missoula campus.

The Montana Board of Regents will hold a brief telephone conference meeting July 19 to approve salaries for a handful of administrators and spending up to $500,000 for new turf at UM’s Washington Grizzly Stadium.

UM announced in April the hiring of Tom Crady as the new vice president for enrollment and student affairs, with no mention of salary or bonus. He was vice president for enrollment management at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota, for six years and succeeds Teresa Branch, who retired from UM after 13 years.

Don’t worry, Tom Crady, if you royally fuck this up I’m sure the golden parachute will be waiting for you.

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About William Skink

I'm a poet and political cynic living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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2 Responses to While the Bankers Burn it Down, Pokemon Go and Signing Bonuses!

  1. Big Swede says:

    Robert Gore wades in.

    “Anything but free market economics is a redistributive shell game with a sell-by date. Government debt, spending, and programs, redistribution, and central bank debt monetization and interest rate suppression have passed their expiration, leaving mountains of IOUs that will never be repaid and prostrate economies in the first thralls of a deflationary contraction that will be one for the ages. Particular rancid: illusory, credit-based wealth has gone to a small, well-connected coterie who access microscopic interest rates for financial engineering and speculative fun and games. Left behind: honest producers and savers, who have seen their incomes shrink and the economy wither.”

    Interesting read. If you dare.

    https://straightlinelogic.com/2016/07/12/bring-it-on-by-robert-gore/

    Like

  2. Olde Virginian says:

    So W really gets into duper’s delight — what’s wrong with that?

    Like

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