If you are paying down your debts or saving money, you are a problem

obama-falling-money1Despite all the  rosy studies  done by  all those Journals of Pointless Academic Research, consumer confidence is lower this month than it was last month.  The Prelminary Index of Sentiment  dropped from 73.5 in September to 69.4 in October.  That means people aren’t exactly swiping those credit cards.

All of this is rather amusing considering credit card companies have arbitrarily and, I might add, rudely cranked up interest rates on their best customers, thereby pissing them off enough not to even use their plastic. The word “Doh” comes to mind. I mean how stupid are these credit card companies to actually imagine that people who have great credit any pay their debts regularly are going to just smile and tolerate an arbitrary  interest rate hike? Among all those insulted customers, consumer debt has declined in October….again……for the seventh month in a row. Not only are people not willing to pay off losses for debt they didn’t personally incur, but they are also not bothering to add any new debt of their own to the mix.

 Savings are up, and borrowing is down –

There’s also another problem that’s holding up the economic recovery. People are doing something radically stupid: They are saving money and they are not buying things they can’t pay for. As a matter of fact, plenty of them are also not buying what they CAN afford.  They sure have a lot of nerve!

The recession is only over if you ask the right people. While  some sectors are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, consumers remain concerned. It may be tempting to listen to the experts over the average Joe, but the former don’t control 70% of the U.S. economy. So, as long as people are worried about unemployment (which continues to rise), the levels of debt they carry and whether they’re at risk of foreclosure, the recession will live on in the hearts of those who write checks and swipe credit cards.

I’ll bet you didn’t know that the Middle Class that got so rudely screwed in the past year actually control 70% of the economy. Over all, I would say they are not only lacking confidence in the economy and job market, but those who have been responsible borrowers are also royally pissed off at the way they have been treated — and they are fighting back.

e3rGee, this has got to be rough on Bank of America and Capital One and all those other thieving SOBs.  And that is why I am personally playing the world’s smallest violin for the whole lot of them.

They are not only stuck with the customers that can’t pay off their debts, but they don’t have to hire an economist to tell them that the rest of the country isn’t about to pay off their losses for them in the form of ludicrous arbitrary rate hikes mid-stream.  The horns not only remain pulled in, but consumers are hoarding what they have left that hasn’t been stolen from them already by the Goldman Sachs and Federal Reserve Wall Street crowd.

70% of the economy is controlled by just regular working people. Now that’s power.  Suddenly, the Middle Class is  starting to look awfully important to the same people who have crapped on them for the past year. Just food for thought.

So, we’re now more dependent than before on the average Joe’s open wallet to guide us out of the recession.

Atta way. Screw us and then blame us for not being willing to bend over again to do the same thing that brought this economy to its knees to begin with: Buy what we can’t afford and charge it at exorbitant rates.

The words We Don’t Trust You Any Longer come to mind. Middle America isn’t going to Play. People are storing up their staples, hunkering down and living as though there is a depression, whether the economists say so or not.

Go ahead and laugh, but I predict that in six months, the credit card companies will be cutting interest rates to the bare bones and begging people with zero balances to use their cards. I also predict that plenty of  those same people are going to refuse to do it. As it stands already, use of debit cards attached to checking accounts are on a major upswing. And for those who have been burned or insulted by the Capital One, Chase Bank and Bank of America, the memory isn’t going to be leaving the consumer anytime soon.

The mills of the gods grind slowly but they grind exceedingly fine.

4_bab_02 Cry me a river, Bank of America. Cry me a river.


81 Responses

  1. You nailed it Uppity. I find it interesting that once again it is John & Suzy Q. Public who are taking the blame of a stalled recovery. Truth is the Banks aren’t loaning to anybody ( especially entreprenuers….) And although I’m just a humble artist I can see how freezing the flow can cripple the meat & potato businesses as well as the bigger companies wanting to expand or invest. Heard a very interesing story on the radio about AA and how instead of repairing/maintenance of aircraft outside the country, they do it here in the US at OK City. ( although they are still in trouble over recent FAA inspections and cleaning that up….) It was still encouraging news….apparently they save boucoup $$ for other smaller airlines who shop their planes there. The union made reasonable concessions & they are trying to make it work….Could be a good sign? a constructive thing to hope for?

  2. Uppity and All….speaking of Crying A River…

    How about this insulting headline (with deep ramifications) from today’s NYT…

    “Financial Giants Donating Little to Obama Party
    The Wall St. giants that got a financial lifeline from Washington are reluctant to deliver “thank you” gifts to President Obama and Democrats in the form of political donations.”

    Now read it again and just think about the Headline.

    Perhaps if I could stomach the story, it would be good. But the headline tells me all I need to know.

  3. and another thing….

    They don’t say “Obama’s Party”

    They say “Obama Party”

    Now you know.

  4. FF: I saw a clip of him speaking to the ‘Giants’ and as is his custom so often these days, he was lecturing them.
    Lecturer In Chief

    or nag!

  5. Pamela – He lectures because his words are written for him. He reads. Were he to speak his real thoughts and beliefs – and speak contemporaneously, he would first be laughed at for his lack of knowledge, then, run out of town on a rail for his beliefs.

  6. Just look at the Reuters tag line on the right…

    Obama SCOLDS Wall Street.

  7. In the WTF?? category….Have you seen this….Voting Machine Company hacks itself in the foot? ( for all to see and learn )


  8. Great post. People aren’t stupid. I just hope that people are equally careful with those debit cards tied to checking accounts. If you don’t have overdraft protection, they’re lethal with the over limit fees.

    Yesterday I was with my daughter at BOFA trying to get them to reduce part of the $210 over limit fees she was slapped with when she used her debit card over and over after she had already depleted her checking account funds. Of course it was my daughter’s fault for not keeping tabs or checking her account balance. But the fees are outrageous.

    In speaking with the BOFA “manager” my contention was that at all times my daughter had sufficient funds in her BOFA savings account to cover all the charges. BOFA could just have easily taken the money from her savings; or they could have denied the transaction. Instead they created a fiction where the money she got when she had no funds in her checking came from them; thus allowing them to charge her $35 for each transaction. She had six such transactions in 3 days. One of the transactions was for $2.16; another for $11, another for $16.

    Turns out the “manager” in the branch is not empowered to cancel any fees. We wound up closing the account.

  9. Boo-hoo. He oculdn’t get enough $30,000 a plate diners? $30,000 could feed a family of four for years.

  10. Re: Voting machine source code….
    There was a major Diebold source code link before the2004 election and the source code files traversed the internet. It was a link direction to the file names and files. I saw it myself and was horrified. It was a huge scandal but that the huge majority of America didn’t even understand it. 99 percent of America doesn’t even know or care what “source code” is.

  11. Barack Obama is the Rodney Dangerfield of American Presidents. He’s got no respect and he problably isn’t going to get some anytime soon. Wall Street already sucker punched him as did the Big Three. Just goes to show you we ought to be more careful to whom we give power over America’s money.

  12. I for one have been very conservative with spending most of my life. I do not have fine fancy furniture even though I could and do not spend much on clothing etc even though I have the dough.
    I am and always have been a saver. Now it truly angered me to no end when our President was giving the bailouts to these banks and calling me and people like me the dead beats ! I am still angry over that. I will never forget that. My entire life I never used a credit card I did not pay off weeks after I used it. No matter what unless you have a credit card with 0% interest rate the interest on the cc exceeds the interest they pay you for your money sitting in an account in their bank for their use. It just always made sound sense to withdraw from saving and pay it off. I have a Bof A cc, Wells Fargo, Capital one, Discover and AMMEX.
    Well two of the above this year basically gave me a nasty gram telling me about it’s lack of use and trying to boost it’s interest rate. My answer, since it has a lack of use you idiots do you think boosting the rate will get me to use it ? No what it will get me to do is to dump your sorry ass bank and shop for one that welcomes me. I have money stashed in several banks Bof A and Wells fargo holding the bulk. Wells Fargo and Bof A have been placed on notice that I no longer care to do business with them.
    Now these banks have had me as a customer since 1968 ! Not once in that time have I had an over draft or any thing other then checks running trough them and $ 500.00 per month each going to savings automatically. Each ! I paid cash for my autos so as to not have to pay interest. I did what I thought many Americans did and saved and lived within my means. Credit cards were used for emergency’s only and the following week paid off.
    Lately I have seen interest increases to my credit cards, changes to my checking accounts and nothing that was geared to add money to my accounts because they were happy I banked with them all these years and have a good deal saved within their banks that they use freely to make more. Add to that , I get to pay for the bailout. Where is my return on my investment in them ?
    I got it , it was a good old fashioned screw you job yet again.
    Investing in gold and piss on all of them and looking for a bank that seems to want to reward my good habits and welcomes me as a customer. To date I have found none but the hunt continues. Mean time I refuse to add one more dime of my earnings into their greedy slap me in the face hands and have a smaller independent getting my income now and watching to see how they handle it. I trust my banker as much as I trust my government . That says a lot so all I can say to Joe Q America is that they had better not get comfortable leaving money laying around in any accounts right now.

  13. Hi Joanie, wow, sorry to hear about that two hundred bucks. The 35 fee is about standard these days in all banks. The fees have always been high to discourage overdrafts. Banks don’t tie checking accounts to savings. They are considered separate transactional accounts and a bank can’t do a transfer, withdrawal, or move money without permission from the owner, so you could see where those instant electronic overdrafts would not be covered. Banks are making a fortune in fees but they always did. The idea is to never do an overdraft. I’ll bet your daughter will never do that again, though.

  14. Confirmed….infants in majority…..

    “Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) locked Republicans out of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee room to keep them from meeting when Democrats aren’t present.

    Towns’ action came after repeated public ridicule from the leading Republican on the committee, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), over Towns’s failure to launch an investigation into Countrywide Mortgage’s reported sweetheart deals to VIPs…..”

  15. Socalannie and Mary I left you a note at the bottom of the medical MJ thread about H1N1. Sorry to hear it has exploded in your areas.

  16. Suze Orman was kind of scary the other day. Usually the first rule is to pay off your high interest cards. She said this current crisis calls for new rules, stash your cash and just make you minimum payments. Yikes, it’s was as if she had practically said, draw as much money out of your credit cards as possible and head for Belize.

  17. The thing is yttik, these financial advisor pimps on TV have no skin off their noses. You never know whose paying them to pimp their wares. I don’t trust them. They all remind me of carnival barkers.

    Besides, as I said, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that the very people who got stabbed by this economic robbery are the people they are depending on to pay it off. Of COURSE they want you to pay the minumum …….and lots of interest…..it’s profit to the gods. I say screw em. They took it all and now they want the same people they bilked to give them more.

  18. Debt is NEVER good. Orman should be indicted for pulling that shit so the market can rally and those of her ilk can make more money off of you.

    One of Uppity’s Life Rules: Never make a decision based on the input of someone who has something to gain or lose.

  19. Never make a decision based on the input of someone who has something to gain or lose.


  20. Like a Realtor.

  21. Listen I have no issue what so ever with banks charging high $$ for bouncing a check and never have had. It is called being responsible. I also have no issue and never have had charging high interest rates to people who live on charge cards and pay the minimum payment for ever and a day or who are always late with their payments.
    What I have an issue with is upping the interest rates to those who have used cards wisely and charging fees to ones who
    kept checking accounts in the black a maintained a growing savings account. This is just morally wrong and then as they are spanking the very customer who has allowed them to make a profit and grow they seem to think that we will take this spanking and be damned happy to do so. Man are they off their rockers. No longer does Bof A have my saving but a bare minimum and no longer will they. Wells Fargo is going to lose a good amount of $$ when I pull my $$ from them as well. I will be damned if they use my money to make money and lend to dead beats and make bad business choices and charge me to do it.

  22. Yo Mary! You gotta be hating this.

    Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan said the H1N1 flu vaccine was developed to kill people, UPI reported.
    “The Earth can’t take 6.5 billion people. We just can’t feed that many. So what are you going to do? Kill as many as you can,” Farrakhan reportedly said during an event in Memphis, Tenn. “We have to develop a science that kills them and makes it look as though they died from some disease.”
    The 76-year-old added that many wise people won’t take the vaccine, according to UPI.
    His comments were made during an event to observe the group’s Holy Day of Atonement, and also marked the 14th anniversary of the Million Man March in Washington.

  23. Bank of America actually collected more in fees, penalties and overdrafts charges than it paid out in interest in the past year or two. But Chase Bank is closing in!

  24. of course they do it.s business

  25. “Banks don’t tie checking accounts to savings. They are considered separate transactional accounts and a bank can’t do a transfer, withdrawal..”

    The Answer: CREDIT UNIONS

  26. DE,
    See my comment at your place. It concludes that even that mofu Farrakhan acknowledges, albeit Indirecty, that oilsoc is the anti-Christ, opening wide the stabe door for the Pale Rider (wasn’t that Nancy you placed on the White House Horse?.

  27. 48th wedding anniversary. In two more years, I can haz medal?

  28. Yes you gits medil!

    Today, they go OH WOW if it’s fifteen years. You go girl!

  29. You go Mary! Us youngens are impressed. I guess you have the Mr. well trained.

  30. JinBklyn: the higher uppers don’t give the locals any chance to mess with their income by cancelling any fees. The biggies at the top need to “eat” their customers.

  31. Mary, CONGRATULATIONS (early)!

  32. Thanks, my UW family.
    ((( )))

    He heels on command.

  33. Check out Anthony’s newest Litte Anthony vid. Rave reviews!


  34. “If you are paying down your debts or saving money, you are a problem”

    Meet Public Enemy No. 1. Actually, the credit goes to hubby.

  35. utahwoman – it’s horrible that the banks are treating you that way. Small community banks and credit unions are the way to go. These days they give you all the services of the big banks without the headache and hassle.

    — overall —
    I think this post is right on target. I personally don’t care what it does to the economy; prudence and modesty seem to be making a comeback

  36. The powers that be claim anyone who disagrees with them are right wing extremists, and problems if they are not spending up a debt. Savvy are those who protect their own resources.

  37. CONGRATULATIONS MARY!! (& yer guy):

    ….frum won ov dem yung uns, hoo yuust
    tu thynk feal veddy olde!


  38. First congratulations Mary. That is awesome.

    Second yes banks do tie checking to savings and offer overdraft protection by taking from savings to checking. You have to ask for it though they do not openly tell you about it.

    Thank you Blackcommenter. I am in the process of transferring everything to credit union accounts. Well that which I have not purchased gold with. I sincerely believe that by this time next year the green back will be worthless and I do not want to be stuck with a ton of it.

  39. Herr Pay Czar wants to cut pay of executives by 90% at companies that took TARP money. Now, punishing rich people is fun and all, but how in the hell is this country going to get tax money if the governemtn cuts the income of the people who still have jobs?

    I’m also pretty suspicious about this being leaked the day after oilsoc’s disapointing coffers at the big fund raiser last night for big business contributions. More Chicago politics?

  40. Thanks, utah.

    My concern about gold is this: during the Depression, FDR (that obama prototype whom I was taught in childhood was next to God) made private ownership of gold illegal. Seems to me oilsoc, who wants everyone in America except himself and Caroine Kennedy to be reduced to a govt-owned slave, would do the same. What do you think? (In Europe, people buried their gold in the back yard.)

  41. Look Uppity-ites – just in time for the holidays.

  42. Yepper Palin4 – Chicago Thuggery hits Wall Street. Hear Zero is giving away their reserved TARP money to smaller banks now. Bwahaaaahaaaa

  43. Somebody~
    I left a message for you at the end of the previous thread. Thanks for your advice.

    Be back later to read and . . . . . .

  44. Mary

    such good news.

  45. and more Chicago Thuggery against the insurance industry, but, hey, they deserve this one. Does anyone remember this was McCain’s “dumb” idea? lol


  46. Thanks, leslie. See you later.

  47. Another story at USA Today, Iran to send there enriched uranium to Russia for processing. Maybe I’m old school, but this does not make me feel the least bit safer. Anybody else not trust Putin with Iran’s enriched uranium? I need chocolate.


  48. DE,

    What a lame twit that Contessa is. She really does belong at MSHBO.

  49. Mary all I can say is that I hope not. But what I will say it too me is far less a risk then having it in banks at this time.

  50. DE,

    as you can see, my L key requires pounding. Also J. One can of compressed air is on its way meward.

  51. utah,
    You’re right about the banks. I wish I could move to another galaxy.

  52. swell,

    Putin and Abadabajabber–pass the chocolate.

  53. Wow- It took me awhile to get through all these comments. That’s what I get for showing up to the party late.

    First of all…Congrats Mary!

    Regarding people not spending like they used to, like Uppity and everyone else….what did they expect? I’m sure what they’re not counting is the fact that we have pretty close to 10% unemployment in most states and buying shit they don’t need is probably not on their agenda.

    I know that my husband and I aren’t spending as much, except on that damned college tuition we have to pay every semester. Once that’s done, and if we’re still kicking, we’re golden.

    If it were up to me, we’d be spending even less. I can be extremely frugal…much more than my husband.

  54. Thanks, Nunly.

    Seems ike one spouse is usually more $-hip than the other.

  55. DE – LMAO!!! My favorite quote at Hotair comments:

    Geez, c’mon, MSNBC, is it that hard to tell the two apart?

    Al Sharpton: Tawana Brawley
    Jesse Jackson: Hymietown

    Get with it, already.

    malclave on October 21, 2009 at 6:27 PM

  56. Another great read UW and so very right on the “money”!

    Pre-congrats Mary!

  57. Hi All,
    Thanks UW for this really interesting column. I enjoyed reading the comments too. I found Suzie Orman’s comments very interesting and got a different take on it. I’ve been reading Karl Denniger at Market Ticker a lot. Here’s the link http://market-ticker.denninger.net/ and he’s been talking for a long time about the banks being over leveraged and that they use all sorts of “artful accounting” methods to appear to be solvent but in fact that the largest banks and many others (as already discussed here in various earlier threads) are insolvent. It appears the FDIC is in the red and will be operating in the red for the next year or two – how reassuring. Like many here I’m preparing for a huge depression and maybe total economic collapse. I actually inferred from the comment posted regarding Suzie O. that she, too, thinks a depression is headed this way and people should hang on to their money and perhaps default on credit card debt.
    I also think OILSOC is the anti-christ. We are certainly living in interesting times. Thanks for the post UW and this wonderful place to be a part of.

  58. Gee Uppity!

    Where did you get that audio of Jack Benny playing the world’s tiniest violin in his bathroom at home? (He did actually practice the violin at home on the bathroom.)

  59. Thanks, NYSmike.

  60. IMO putting your money into a Las Vegas slot machine is safer then the banks right now. Unemployment is a lot higher then is being reported. Much much higher. If the crap and tax bill flies depression is pretty well assured. Heck what am I saying ? I am already depressed as hell now where is my happy pills ? lmao

  61. Can you sue politicians for causing you emotional distress and hardship in your so called golden years ?

  62. Somebody,

    Thanks for the note in the previous thread
    Glad you and little simebody are doing well and that others in your family are ok. Actually, I was not saying that the flu is in my area, but doing what you so kindly advised–reminding soIcalannie to take every caution since it’s in her vicinity. Your advice about clean hands is excellent. I will be sure to follow it on those rare occasions when I venture forth. The disinfctant wipes for doorknobs is a great idea.

  63. Thanks, Fixit Fairy. The can of air has arrived. I’ll blow this sucker clean tonight to unstick my keys.

  64. Senneth said,
    “I also think OILSOC is the anti-Christ.”

    I’ve been saying that since the first nanosecond I saw him, in Jan ’08. Nothing has happened since to change my mind. To the contrary.

  65. FF,

    That Kirkpatrick at the NYT who wrote about the “obama Party” is the stuff of which Moonies and Jonestown were made. He requires professional deprogramming, not a public venue..

  66. Mary congrats……48 years wow it’s almost golden eh? I’m glad hubby is well trained since you’ve kept him around for so long, LOL!

    Sorry about the other post I guess I was confused, somehow I thought it was in your area too.

  67. Happy 48 Mary….in this day and age and in America too….AWESOME….You Rock! ( and the hubby too…. : ) )

  68. Somebody,

    Sorry I caused any confusion. What really matters is your concern and caring for the rest of us. Compassion is a great thing. It seems to be absent from the hearts of those in DC, especialy in the White House.

    “48 years wow it’s almost golden ”
    UW says in 2 years I can haz medal. Hubby’s best trick is “fetch,” without which kindness I could not make it.

  69. Thanks, wca. 😀

  70. Mary

    Congrats!!! May it’ll last another 48:D….

  71. Thanks, joey

  72. HAL,

    I scrolled too fast earlier, but caught your congrats just now. Thank you.


    Thank you for making my 48th a happy and memorable anniversary.

    (in order of comments, above)

    Mary and Hubby
    😀 😀 😀

  74. I got this in an email from a college friend of mine. It’s off-topic but worth reading:

    A HS classmate of mine has a company making TSA screening-friendly bags. I “busted his chops” a bit when I found out they’re made in China. This is what he replied:

    We do have a Made In USA version of the bag but they only sell in Japan. The Japanese refuse to purchase Made in China goods. They are made in Cleveland and sell for $400/each. I’m not kidding. Our leather bags are made in Pakistan and India. Our football jerseys are made at the Nike factory in Manila. I tried for a year to find someone to make jerseys in the USA.
    Maybe if MORE countries REFUSE to buy things made in China, things will turn around!!!!!

  75. (Sorry I’m late…)


  76. Mary, thanks for nice comment on last thread.
    Somebody, ditto and also thanks for h1n1 info. I’m so glad you guys are better.

  77. annie, thank you from both of us.

  78. Congrats Mary and many, many more happy ones.

  79. Thanks Fredster.

  80. 48yrs wow nothing like being stuck to the hip for life.

    ~~Hope you both get a gold medal~~

    Congrats Mary & Hubby.

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