Things That Make You Go “Hmmmmmm”

I spoke with a friend whose husband is an executive in one of those too big to fail banks. They’re having a big family get together/vacation in Europe, and the reservations for the dinner party one evening alone for the family members costs more than my annual salary* (rueful grin).

I was very happy to hear about it. “GREAT!” I said. “If y’all are over there, it means that your husband doesn’t think the banking system has any chance of implosion this summer!” That would be good news indeed, and I could maybe forego a summer of hard labor with livestock and gardening in preparation for the harder times that I can see coming and instead warm my cellulite at the beach with the grandkids.

“Why EVER would you think THAT?” she demanded.

“Well, if your entire family is over there, he would hardly be worried about TSHTF HERE leaving y’all stranded.”

“The reason we’re vacationing in that country is that my husband has extensive contacts and friends there as well as open job offers. If TSHTF and we’re stranded there, we’ll be okay.”

Well, crap. That wasn’t exactly reassuring. Looks like the cellulite will be covered with bug bites and scratches again this year instead of being tenderly baked in the warm beach sun while listening to the mellifluous cries of the grandkids being stung by jellyfish.

*It might sound like it, but I do not envy her at all. She wears beautiful clothes and high heels all day. In order to preserve her youthful figure, she barely eats, sometimes going days on end fueled with a skimpy midday salad, no dressing, and coffee, black. She’s an intensely private person and socializing, which she can do quite well, is actually quite uncomfortable for her. I’m a person that is waaaaay more comfortable puttering around in jeans, T-shirts and running shoes, and the Mexican restaurant and local BBQ joint knows what I want to eat when I get there, and it ain’t no salad.


7 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    no2liberals said,

    It would seem patriotism isn’t a word that gains much purchase in the minds of your friend and her family.

    Interesting post from Ann Barnhardt

    1. I got a call from a contact in central Illinois this afternoon. The last time we visited was late last year – so probably about six months ago. At that time he reported that a parcel of farmground adjacent to his property had just sold for $8500 per acre, which was jaw-dropping at that time. We marveled at how incredibly fast farmground prices were inflating and even agreed that $10,000 per acre was certainly POSSIBLE. As with most of the farmground purchases, this plot of ground sold to big money from back east – fast food chain heirs. They were clearly being advised by money managers to buy up farmground as a hedge against inflation.

    Well, this afternoon, the same contact reported that farmground close to him has sold within the week for . . . $13,000 per acre, and that you couldn’t buy the very worst plot of ground now for under $10,000 per acre. People, look at the inflation that has happened in farmground prices just within the past 6 months. It is in excess of FIFTY PER CENT in six months. I won’t even tell you what the same land was going for the day Obama was inaugurated. Oh, yes I will. Try $5000 per acre. But there isn’t any inflation. Nope. Nothing to see here. Moving right along . . . .

    2. Courtesy of ThirdWaveDave, there is news this afternoon that the CME Group, which is the consolidated entity which owns the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange is announcing that it is considering moving its operational headquarters out of Chicago and Illinois due to the oppressive taxation being levied by the Marxist-Thug state and local governments.

    Chicago Tribune citation here.

    And why shouldn’t they? The pits are all but dead. The vast, vast majority of the volume is now electronic. There is no longer any need for a physical meeting space or hub. Why should the exchanges stay and get taxed to death? And just you watch. If the CME Group bolts, all of the FCMs and clearing houses will also bolt to more tax-friendly states. Keep your eye on Dallas as the next major financial center of the U.S. Heck, in a few years, the only business going on in Chicago might just be Trump’s casinos. He can hire all the ex-pit brokers to be cocktail waitresses.

    3. Another VERY interesting phone call this afternoon. One of my way-back ag finance contacts called this afternoon to tell me that he has officially given up on ag banking. He said that the regulations and bureaucratic crap coming down the pike are going to make ag banking as we know it impossible, and he is getting out now. This is a middle-aged guy with an empty nest who is walking away from a decades-long, very successful career in ag finance and is ready to start over solely because of the jackboot of the Federal Government. One might even characterize this as “Going Galt”. Anyone who is looking for a highly experienced, executive-level Christian man who can do both finance and/or management in the cattle industry, let me know and I’ll put you in contact with him. He is willing to relocate.

    • 2

      swampie said,

      That’s pretty much the info that I’m getting from what few friends I have that haven’t been forced to shut down their business. The Federal regulation is the pits and, if they complied, they’d have to shut down, too. In the past, I found that the Feds aren’t that good at actually checking the paperwork so I just made shit up to put in the paperwork to keep ’em happy. They were all happy to get the paperwork all filled out. I was all happy because they were too lazy to actually stand in the sun all day with a stopwatch to see how much time an employee spent at each task and to note that I wasn’t actually there with my stopwatch and paperwork because I was all busy working. Doesn’t that sound like a great thing to put on a resume? Executive In Charge of Making Shit up to Keep the Feds off Our Damn Backs So We Can Get Our Work Done.

    • 3

      swampie said,

      Thanks for the link! I’ve added her to my favorites. Like her, I’m a big fan of Temple Grandin’s.

      • 4

        no2liberals said,

        Glad to oblige. I check her site each day. Unfortunately, she has her site set up where you can’t directly link to one of her posts.

  2. 5

    swampie said,

    Heh. The big family get together is because of a joyous family event, long anticipated, occurring within the U.K. which causes well-heeled families to pay through the nose. I said “vacation”, because I didn’t want to be too specific. Yikes. Glad I’m not well heeled! Patriotism ain’t gotta thang to do with it; these are very conservative folk.

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