Tag Archives: Chehalis bankruptcy lawyer

Bleak Midwinter – The Economist reports on unemployment

Many economic downturns have been accompanied by a good dose of anti-immigrant sentiment, as I have reported in this blog on other posts.

It looks like more anti-immigrant sentiment is "on order"…

December 18, 2010, The Economist reported that unemployment remains high. Unfortunately, as of today Saturday, October 29, 2011, nearly 10 months later, very little has changed.

I don’t really see wages going up; I don’t see housing prices increasing and I don’t see evidence of much increase in job creation. If you expect positive changes to the economy to radically improve your ability to pay off your debts, please reconsider. You may wish to consider lightening your load with a bankruptcy reorganization and debt discharge.

Here is where we were on December 18, 2010 and the economy is not any better.

Where were you at financially with paying off your debts on December 18, 2010? Have you substantially reduced your debt or paid down big chunks of your mortgage? Do you need my help?

Snapshot of December 18, 2010:

Fifteen million Americans are unemployed as of December 18 2010, with the rate edging up to 9.8%.

But there is something even more grim to the story: 6.3 million or 42% of those unemployed have been jobless for more than 26 weeks, effective 12/18/2010.

Even worse, these December 18, 2010 numbers do not include 2.5 million people who want a job but who have not looked for a month or more, or the 9 million people who want full-time work but can only find part-time openings.

COBRA is becoming a problem as of 12/18,2010, as that has an 18 month time limit for contining insurance, and 99 weeks is the longst that anyone can get unemployment compensation.

Once unemployment compensation is exhausted, little remains, except for food stamps for households that do not exceed 130% of the federal poverty guidelines, for example, $26,668 for annual income for a family of four. Usually, food stamps are only available for three months in a three year period for an unemployed able bodied worker.

Health care is a big problem. To receive Medicaid, a family of four would have to have a monthly income of less than $1,654 monthly.

TANF doesn’t provide much relief (TANF replaced Welfare in 1996), as for example a family of four in Ohio would receive only $536 monthly cash assistance on TANF.

I have had the humble and sobering experience of being of assistance to families and singles as far north as Snohomish County and Whatcom County, and as far south as Clark County, Washington and Skamania County, Washington. I have with pleasure helped many stressed-out people in Aberdeen, Hoquiam and Gray’s Harbor County, along with the Kitsap County area and the Key Penninsula; Tukwila, Washington; Lakewood, Washington; University Place, Washington; Puyallup, Washington; and Olympia, Washington; Federal Way, Washington; Bremerton, Washington; Gig Harbor, Washington; Silerdale, Washington; Bangor, Washington; and Tacoma, Washington.

I have helped thousands of people since the mid-1990s.

It doesn’t matter where you are in Western Washington. I regularly help stressed-out people in a diverse number communities in and around the Puget Sound area of Washington, including but not in any way limited to Seattle, Washington, Everett, Washington; Renton, Washington, Kent, Washington and Auburn, Washington.

Please don’t hesitate to give me a call if you find yourself in trouble with a home or investment property. We can set a brief no-obligation in-person consultation.

Don’t forget that it does not matter where you live in Western Washington, be it Bellevue, Olympia, Chehalis, Aberdeen, Olympia, Lacey, Graham, Puyallup, Orting, Fife, Milton, Edgewood, Pe Ell, Raymond, Onalaska, Tenino, Tumwater, Chehalis, Centralia, Gig Harbor or Tacoma., I can often be of foreclosure and/or short sale assistance. I offer a brief, thirty minute no obligation/no cost obligation. You have nothing to lose!

Remember, in Western, Washington, I am here to help you, regardless of where you are facing financial problems, be it Federal Way, Washington; Lakewood, Washington; University Place, Washington; Puyallup, Washington; Graham, Washington; Orting, Washington; Spanaway, Washington; Lacey, Washington; Burien, Washington; Seatac, Washington; Des Moines, Washington; Bremerton, Washington; Silverdale, Washington; Tacoma, Washington; Renton, Washington; Auburn, Washington; Tukwila, Washington; Federal Way, Washington; Renton, Washington; Auburn, Washington; Tukwila, Washington; Kent, Washington; Bremerton, Washington; Silverdale, Washington; or Olympia, Washington.

Hiring a lawyer for your business: NY Times December 30, 2010 “In the New Economy, Use New Strategies To Hire Law Firms”

A recession has changed the business side of law.

"…you are really hiring an individual lawyer. ‘Make sure that the chemistry works…ask about the attorney’s experience and the law firm’s prior cases in that area of law. Ask for an estimate of what the costs are likely to be.’" reports James Flanigan, of the NY Times, pursuant to an interview with Brian Davidoff, managing director of Los Angeles law firm Rutter Hobbs and Davidoff.

There is recognized to be a traditional distrust of lawyers by many entrepreneurs, says Sanford I. Millar, a Los Angeles tax attorney: "They see the lawyer as saying ‘no’ to daring business moves. THe truth is, lawyers are there to advise on what has been posible and not been possible in law. No business owner wants to be ignorant on that score."

Last fall, according to the NY Times article, page B6, December 30, 2010, "In the New Economy, Use New Strategies to Hire Law Firms", Concord Law School (Kaplan affiliated) is reported as recognizing that lawyering in small business practice needs some fine tuning, and thus began to offer a two year degree course in busines practice, focusing initially on comercial real estate and employee benefits.

The course "will teach about succesion issues anda bout taxation and protecting intellectual property" with the goal of helping lawyers offer small businesses the services they really need at a price they can afford, according to M. Ellen Murphy, director of the program.

Fields of Tears: Two of Two: Reflections on unemployment and the Illegal immigration “problem”.

Many economic downturns have been accompanied by a good dose of anti-immigrant sentiment.

I ask that before you say, write, post, preach or ponder things for which you may some day be embarrased, that you take a short moment to pause about the reasons for and origins of immigration. Economics is the key driver of immigration, it seems.

Yes, immigrants do adapt and I do not suggest that immigrants need not adapt a bit and become multi-lingual…but "we" can adapt, too. America his hispanicizing, like it or not. You can’t stop it, I can’t stop it, the government can’t stop it.

With immigration comes a great opportunity. If you offer a good, skill or service, consider learning the immigrant’s language and reach out. You may be enriched both personally and financially. If you speak Spanish and English as an Anglo, I doubt you will ever be unemployed again with such a foreign language skill.

This second of two blog posts focuses on The Economist artice at page 39 of the Decembert 18, 2010 edition covering the time period 12/18/10-12/31/10, entitled "Field of Tears". Economist articles are written and published without author attribution. However, whoever wrote these articles "gets it".

The story focused on the journey and life of Teresa Vega and Marco Lopez, a married couple from Oaxaca, Mexico. They came to the United States illegally in 2005 when their oldest son died after a flood contaminated their town. They wished for a better and more sanitary life with health longevity for their family. I provided a summary of this story in the earlier post.

Now, on to the "meat" of this post.

Many Americans are convinced that undocumented workers take jobs that American nationals would otherwise perform.

To disprove this notion, the United Farmworkers Union ran a promotion called "Take Our Jobs".

In the "Take Our Jobs" promotion this past summer of 2010, Americans were invited to work in the fields harvesting fruit. In the following three months of the promotion, 3,000,000 people visited the website www.takeourjobs.com. But 40% of the visits/postings resulted in hate mail.

Only 8,600 people expressed an interest in working in the fields reports Maria Machuca, the United Farm Workers’ spokesperson.

As of late September 2010, only seven American applicants in the "take our jobs" campaign were actually out picking crops.

Perhaps the failure of the "Take Our Jobs" program may mute some of the complainants who deride hispanic immigrants as "taking" jobs away from Anglos.

I have had the humble and sobering experience of being of assistance to anglo and hispanic families and singles as far north as Snohomish County and Whatcom County, and as far south as Clark County, Washington and Skamania County, Washington. I have with pleasure helped many stressed-out people in Aberdeen, Hoquiam and Gray’s Harbor County, along with the Kitsap County area and the Key Penninsula; Tukwila, Washington; Lakewood, Washington; University Place, Washington; Puyallup, Washington; and Olympia, Washington; Federal Way, Washington; Bremerton, Washington; Gig Harbor, Washington; Silerdale, Washington; Bangor, Washington; and Tacoma, Washington.

I have helped thousands of people since the mid-1990s.

It doesn’t matter where you are in Western Washington. I regularly help stressed-out people in a diverse number communities in and around the Puget Sound area of Washington, including but not in any way limited to Seattle, Washington, Everett, Washington; Renton, Washington, Kent, Washington and Auburn, Washington.

Please don’t hesitate to give me a call if you find yourself in trouble with a home or investment property. We can set a brief no-obligation in-person consultation.

Don’t forget that it does not matter where tyou live in Western Washington, be it Bellevue, Olympia, Chehalis, Aberdeen, Olympia, Lacey, Graham, Puyallup, Orting, Fife, Milton, Edgewood, Pe Ell, Raymond, Onalaska, Tenino, Tumwater, Chehalis, Centralia, Gig Harbor or Tacoma., I can often be of foreclosure and/or short sale assistance. I offer a brief, thirty minute no obligation/no cost obligation. You have nothing to lose!

Remember, in Western, Washington, I am here to help you, regardless of where you are facing financial problems, be it Federal Way, Washington; Lakewood, Washington; University Place, Washington; Puyallup, Washington; Graham, Washington; Orting, Washington; Spanaway, Washington; Lacey, Washington; Burien, Washington; Seatac, Washington; Des Moines, Washington; Bremerton, Washington; Silverdale, Washington; Tacoma, Washington; Renton, Washington; Auburn, Washington; Tukwila, Washington; Federal Way, Washington; Renton, Washington; Auburn, Washington; Tukwila, Washington; Kent, Washington; Bremerton, Washington; Silverdale, Washington; or Olympia, Washington.

Fields of Tears: One of Two: Reflections on unemployment and the Illegal immigration “problem”.

Historically, it seems that many economic downturns have been accompanied by a good dose of anti-immigrant sentiment.

I ask that before you say, write, post, preach or think things for which you may some day be embarassed, that you take a short moment to pause about the reasons for and origins of immigration.

People migrate. Every continent except Antarctica had natural migration. From wherever the craddle of homo sapien is ever found to be, we have moved and dispersed. Humans are very adaptable. As immigrants come to the United States, no amount of hate, border security or legislation is likely to dislodge them. Yes, they can adapt…but we can too.

With immigration comes a great opportunity. If you sell or marke a good or service, consider learning a little of the immigrant’s language and use this to reach out. You may be enriched personally by the mental challenge and financially by an increase in revenue. You might even make a new friend.

Spanish is probably the most common immigrant language at present. Spanish is a beautiful language, and just a fun blast of a language to speak. Learn a little of it…and embrace the inevitable hispanicization of America. Try it Mikey, you might like it!

This post focuses on The Economist artice at page 39 of the Decembert 18, 2010 edition covering the time period 12/18/10-12/31/10, entitled "Field of Tears". Economist articles are written and published without author attribution. However, whoever wrote these articles "gets it" about what is going on demographically in North America.

The story is of Teresa Vega and Marco Lopez, a married couple from Oaxaca, Mexico. They came to the United States illegally in 2005 when their oldest son died after a flood contaminated their town. They had no money to hire a doctor, so they watched their two year old son die as he vomited, got diarrhoea and ran a high fever. They left a child behind with his grandfather (little Erminio), as that child was too small to make the journey. It has been nearly six years since either Ms. Vega or Mr. Lopez has seen Erminio.

Ms. Vega and Mr. Lopez failed three times before finally being able to cross the border on their fourth try. Ms. Vega endured the hardships of trying to cross notwithstanding her pregnancy.

On one try they were intercepted by bandits and stripped naked. Ms. Vega’s fear of rape was great, but with great relief, it never came to pass.

The hostile vastess of America provided its own challenge. 80% of America’s crop workers are Hispanic, and more than half are undocumented workers.

In contrast, however, Rob Williams director of the Migrant Farmworker Justice Project (which represents farmworkers in court) estimates that 90% of farmworkers are undocumented "illegal aliens".

It is not against the law in a criminal sense to be an illegal alien, so that term "illegal alien" is syntactically incorrect. It is a crime to cross the border illegally, but to be in the US without visa or "papers" is actually just a civil infraction, not a criminal act, according to The Economist.

Many Americans are convinced that undocumented workers take jobs that American nationals would otherwise perform.

To disprove this notion, the United Farmworkers Union ran a promotion called "Take Our Jobs".

Read the next blog post to read about "Take Our Jobs"….it will suprise you! I will post the "Take Our Jobs" blog post on Friday, June 3, 2011.

Local police are not supposed to enforce immigration laws (that is what all the fuss is about in Arizona, where a state law was enacted directing that local police had to enforce federal immigration law). The Arizona law has been at least partially suspended by a federal court order.

Nevertheless, for the Vegas/Lopez family, any brush with the law is potentially disasterous. Mr. Lopez was pulled over by local police while in his car and his car was impounded for lack of a drivers’ license. The fine was $1,580 and the car was impounded and seized. Mr. Lopez had to buy a replacement car for $1,500. These expenses set the family’s finances back by years, according to The Economist.

Mr. Lopez indicated to the corresponent that the mood in America has grown darker and more hostile this past year 2010.

Crop workers (documented and undocumented) earn so little that many farm workers, even as they spend their waking hours picking food for other people, can sometimes barely afford to eat. Grape picking pays about $8.00 per hour, and on a good day, one can earn $65.00, but there is child care of about $50.00 per day to consider for the Vegas/Lopez family.

Also, not every day is a work day as there is substantial "off time" between seasons.

I have had the humble and sobering experience of being of assistance to families and singles as far north as Snohomish County and Whatcom County, and as far south as Clark County, Washington and Skamania County, Washington. I have with pleasure helped many stressed-out people in Aberdeen, Hoquiam and Gray’s Harbor County, along with the Kitsap County area and the Key Penninsula; Tukwila, Washington; Lakewood, Washington; University Place, Washington; Puyallup, Washington; and Olympia, Washington; Federal Way, Washington; Bremerton, Washington; Gig Harbor, Washington; Silerdale, Washington; Bangor, Washington; and Tacoma, Washington. ; I have even had clients in and around Port Townsend, Jefferson County.

I have helped thousands of people since the mid-1990s.

It doesn’t matter where you are in Western Washington. I regularly help stressed-out people in a diverse number communities in and around the Puget Sound area of Washington, including but not in any way limited to Seattle, Washington, Everett, Washington; Renton, Washington, Kent, Washington and Auburn, Washington.

Please don’t hesitate to give me a call if you find yourself in trouble with a home or investment property. We can set a brief no-obligation in-person consultation.

Don’t forget that it does not matter where the property is located in Western Washington, be it Bellevue, Olympia, Chehalis, Aberdeen, Olympia, Lacey, Graham, Puyallup, Orting, Fife, Milton, Edgewood, Pe Ell, Raymond, Onalaska, Tenino, Tumwater, Chehalis, Centralia, Gig Harbor or Tacoma. I can often be of foreclosure and/or short sale assistance. I offer a brief, thirty minute no obligation/no cost obligation. You have nothing to lose!

Remember, in Western, Washington, I am here to help you, regardless of where you are facing a foreclosure or short sale, be it Federal Way, Washington; Lakewood, Washington; University Place, Washington; Puyallup, Washington; Graham, Washington; Orting, Washington; Spanaway, Washington; Lacey, Washington; Burien, Washington; Seatac, Washington; Des Moines, Washington; Bremerton, Washington; Silverdale, Washington; Tacoma, Washington; Renton, Washington; Auburn, Washington; Tukwila, Washington; Federal Way, Washington; Renton, Washington; Auburn, Washington; Tukwila, Washington; Kent, Washington; Bremerton, Washington; Silverdale, Washington; or Olympia, Washington.

Am I going to be outsourced to Mumbai? Thomson Reuters sells BarBri and buys Pangea3

I think I am safe for now, but we will see!

Here are the players: Thomson Reuters is a large legal publisher. They own the dominant "Westlaw" computerized legal research program. They print lots of materials used by lawyers such as guides and manuals and annotated code books.

BarBri charges money to help new law graduates pass the bar exam to get a legal practice license. I took a BarBri course for about $500 or so (maybe it was $750, can’t remember precisely) back in June and July 1993. It worked. I passed all portions of the bar exam on the first try!

Pangea3 is a company that has lots of lawyers in Mumbai. Some companies like American Express, GE, Sony, Yahoo! and Netflix have used Pangea3’s Mumbai based legal staff for some routine document review and tasks with repetitive elements.

The Economist December 18, 2010 article "Offshoring your lawyer" page 132, reports that some large companies are approaching their lawyer’s directly and demanding that the American based law firm work with Pangea3’s Mumbai based staff.

Legal outsourcing to India is still small. Of the estimated $180 billion spent on lawyers each year by Americans, only about $1 billion goes to outsources, but it is growing at the rate of 20-30% per year according to The Economist.

It is reported that big law firms’ hourly rates have jumped by 65% per hour between 1998 and 2009.

Anti-immigrant pogroms – be careful of what you preach – you may regret it in the future.

Historically, it seems that many economic downturns have been accompanied by a good dose of anti-immigrant sentiment.

I ask that before you say, write, post, preach or think things for which you may someday be embarrassed, that you take a short moment to pause about the reasons for and origins of immigration.

People migrate. Every continent except Antarctica had natural migration. From wherever the craddle of homo sapien is ever found to be, we have moved and dispersed. Humans are very adaptable. As immigrants come to the United States, no amount of hate, border security or legislation is likely to dislodge them. Yes, they can adapt…but we can do.

With immigration comes a great opportunity. If you have a good or service, consider learning the immigrant’s language and reach out. You may be enriched both personally and financially.

Spanish is beautiful, and just a fun blast of a language to speak. Learn it…and embrace the inevitable hispanicization of America. Try it Mikey, you might like it!

This post focuses on The Economist artice at page 39 of the Decembert 18, 2010 edition covering the time period 12/18/10-12/31/10, entitled "Field of Tears". Economist articles are written and published without author attribution. However, whoever wrote these articles "gets it".

The story is of Teresa Vega and Marco Lopez, a married couple from Oaxaca, Mexico. They came to the United States illegally in 2005 when their oldest son died after a flood contaminated their town. They had no money to hire a doctor, so they watched their two year old son die as he vomited, got diarrhoea and ran a high fever. They left a child behind with his grandfather (little Erminio), as that child was too small to make the journey. It has not been nearly six years since either Ms. Vega or Mr. Lopez has seen Erminio.

Ms. Vega and Mr. Lopez failed three times before finally being able to cross the border on their fourth try. Ms. Vega endured the hardships of trying to cross notwithstanding her pregnancy.

On one try they were intercepted by bandits and stripped naked. Ms. Vega’s fear of rape was great, but with great relief, it never came to pass.

The hostile vastess of America provides its own challenge. 80% of America’s crop workers are Hispanic, and more than half are undocumented workers.

In contrast, however, Rob Williams director of the Migrant Farmworker Justice Project (which represents farmworkers in court) estimates that 90% of farmworkers are undocumented "illegal aliens".

It is not against the law in a criminal sense to be an illegal alien, so that term "illegal alien" is incorrect. It is a crime to cross the border illegally, but to be in the US without visa or "papers" is actually just a civil infraction, according to The Economist.

Many Americans are convinced that undocumented workers take jobs that American nationals would otherwise perform.

To disprove this notion, the United Farmworkers Union ran a promotion called "Take Our Jobs".

I have had the humble and sobering experience of being of assistance to families and singles as far north as Snohomish County and Whatcom County, and as far south as Clark County, Washington and Skamania County, Washington. Some of my clients speak Spanish. I have with pleasure helped many stressed-out people in Aberdeen, Hoquiam and Gray’s Harbor County, along with the Kitsap County area and the Key Penninsula; Tukwila, Washington; Lakewood, Washington; University Place, Washington; Puyallup, Washington; and Olympia, Washington; Federal Way, Washington; Bremerton, Washington; Gig Harbor, Washington; Silerdale, Washington; Bangor, Washington; and Tacoma, Washington. I have even had clients in and around Port Townsend, Jefferson County.

I have helped thousands of people since the mid-1990s.

It doesn’t matter where you are in Western Washington. I regularly help stressed-out people in a diverse number communities in and around the Puget Sound area of Washington, including but not in any way limited to Seattle, Washington, Everett, Washington; Renton, Washington, Kent, Washington and Auburn, Washington.

Don’t forget that it does not matter where the property is located in Western Washington, be it Bellevue, Olympia, Chehalis, Aberdeen, Olympia, Lacey, Graham, Puyallup, Orting, Fife, Milton, Edgewood, Pe Ell, Raymond, Onalaska, Tenino, Tumwater, Chehalis, Centralia, Gig Harbor or Tacoma., I can often be of foreclosure and/or short sale assistance. I offer a brief, thirty minute no obligation/no cost obligation. You have nothing to lose!

Remember, in Western, Washington, I am here to help you, regardless of where you are facing a foreclosure or short sale, be it Federal Way, Washington; Lakewood, Washington; University Place, Washington; Puyallup, Washington; Graham, Washington; Orting, Washington; Spanaway, Washington; Lacey, Washington; Burien, Washington; Seatac, Washington; Des Moines, Washington; Bremerton, Washington; Silverdale, Washington; Tacoma, Washington; Renton, Washington; Auburn, Washington; Tukwila, Washington; Federal Way, Washington; Renton, Washington; Auburn, Washington; Tukwila, Washington; Kent, Washington; Bremerton, Washington; Silverdale, Washington; or Olympia, Washington.

What are “bounce” loans?

Bounce loans are something to avoid. Be particularly aware if your bank uses a "high to low" system detailed below.

Overdraft or "bounce" loans are a form of overdraft coverage whereby banks or credit unions charge penalty overdraft fees when consumers overdraw their accounts by check, at automated teller machines or using a debit card.

Unlike traditional overdraft protection, these services do not require consumer consent and do not provide cost of credit disclosures under the federal lending laws, and do not guarantee that the bank pays the oerdrafts.

The bank pays the amount of the overdraft and charges the customer a fee that ranges from $20 to $35. Some banks also charge a daily fee until the "loan" is paid in full.

These high fees are triggered regardless of whether the overdraft his $5.00 or $500.00, and the bank will generally not notify the customer of the overdraft nor give the option to cancel the transaction.

Borrowers pay triple and even quadruple digit interest rates as a "real" effect of these "bounce" loans.

From the National Consumer Law Center’s publication "Foreclosure Prevention Counseling", pages 68-70, here is an example:

For example, if teh overdraft loan fee was calcualted as an Annual Percentage Rate, a $22.50 fee for an $80 overdraft loan translates into a 1,467% APR for a loan paid back in a week and a 733% APR if the loan is repaid in two weeks.

Even worse, some banks ratchet up the fee income intentionally by using a "high to low" method of honoring checks and debits to the account, as opposed to paying them (and applying deposits) in a chronological order. In other words, according to the NCLC, the bank will pay the largest obligation first each day and sometimes apply deposits AFTER debits. This abusive practice can trigger a cascade of overdrafts if the account does not have sufficient funds to cover all of the small checks.

Commercial Real Estate: Looming crisis or are fears overblown? – the John Hancock Tower deal vs. Stuyvesant/Peter Cooper. One worked, one failed.

Boston’s John Hancock Tower, a 62 story glass skyscraper in Boston’s Back Bay was one of the first commercial real estate trophies to run into trouble when the speculative property boom abruptly ended some two years ago or so, according to the NY Times, December 30, 2010, article "A Real Estate Trophy In Boston is Sold", by Charles V. Bagli.

Bought at foreclosure sale 18 months ago for some $660.6 million, it was just recently sold for $930 million.

Commercial buildings have recovered some value.

In 2009, the owner had defaulted on 472.1 million in secondary loans, but the first mortgage remained current. The secondary loans were bought for about 30 cents on the dollar.

At the foreclosure, Normandy/Five Mile were the sole bidders on the second mortgage, paying about $20 million and taking on the senior mortgage.

The Hancock Tower had been valued at $1.35 billion in a 2006 purchase, more than double the 2003 valuation incident to a then sale, at $639 million. 82% of the purchase price was debt in the 2006 purchase.

Not all commercial properties have recovered so well. A similar attempted workout of Manhattan high rise apartments known as Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village failed, and the properties are now controlled by senior lenders through CW Capital. William A. Ackman of Persing Square Capital Management and Michael L. Ashner of Winthrop Realty Trust failed to gain control of the large complex, after investing $300 million in secondary debt for $45 million.

Inflated: How Money and Debt Built the American Dream – The Economist reviews C. Whalen’s book on American Finance

The Economist reviewed Mr. Whalen’s book, "Inflated: How Money and Debt Built the American Dream", in the December 18, 2010 edition.

Here are some sobering thoughts, taken from the Economist review:

America’s financial history is a losing battle against the "twin demons" of debt and inflation.

The gold rush created an alternative to the Puritan notion of hard worka nd saving that had generally characterized the nation’s early days.

The legal-tender act under Abraham Lincoln paved the way for deficit spending by the government.

in the 1920s acceptable mores of financial policy grew looser with an explosion of consumer finance tied to the age of the automobile and speculative debt-fueled investment.

Credit boom and bust cycles have followed one after another.

The instability (and political power) of banks and the fiscal recklessness of individual states is a given.

The state and federal governments refuse to raise enough tax to cover public demand for services and entitlements.

Allowing the public debt to grow faster than the economy dates back to the time of Alexander Hamilton.

Bankruptcy became a "robber baron" means to advance a private agenda in the late 19th century, just as it was used to further political agendas with the recent General Motors and Chrysler bankruptcies.

The huge monetary expansion since 2008 mirors the money printing recklessness of the 1930s.

The Federal Reserve serves the White House and big banks before it serves the needs of individuals under the guise of "stabilizing" financial markets.

By the late 1970s housing had begun to replace defence as America’s engine of growth. Before long, the myth that you could never have enough of the stuff had taken hold.

The author ponders and wonders how the economy will cope without a buoyant and growing property/housing market.

According to Mr. WHalen, the US needs a dollar devaluation to bring down external deficits and stimulate exports.

The US dollar serving as the worlds only significant reserve currency gives America a "free ride" to be less responsible on fiscal discipline.

This would be, he says, a 21st Century Marshall Plan in reverse.

Wow, I think I am going to pick up this book!