And your breakfast and your supper! It’ll empty your gas tank, clean out the larder, boil your nest egg, steal your home equity! (probly bring grown kids home to live).

 And your breakfast and your supper! It’ll empty your gas tank, clean out the larder, boil your nest egg, steal your home equity! (probly bring grown kids home to live). Just might bring on depression. Not the kind your hypochondriac sister-in-law whines about. The financial kind. On a scale that’ll bring the world to it’s knees (landing squarely on your back!).
 Since I don’t know if you’ve read the several previous “economics lessons” columns that I’ve written? I’m not sure this one will interest you. (truthfully, I’m not sure what actually interests you?). Ok, Some of you’ve taken time to visit the papers website informing me (and management) what you think (but not enough).
 So I’m gonna write about this “economics” stuff anyway. Maybe (?) several more times in the near future? I’m just that pis..., oops, upset about our countries  “economic situation”! And folks, if you aren’t, yer gonna be soon enough!
 I’m gonna endeavor to make this recent (not really) financial “meltdown” Real for you, because it is! And it’s going to hurt you..., for years to come!
 Why listen to me? First, I’m not shy about speakin’ the truth as I see it. Next, yer wonderin’, how do I know truth here? Well, 20+ years as an (honest) banker and a lifetime of study informs me.
 So, is it the entire financial industry melting down? Yep, just beginin’. Will it actually affect me (you) directly? Yep, in every way that has to do with money (in other words, every way).
 First: Understand, what is the economy? Economy = You (and me) workin’ an’ buyin’ things.
 Add in a few Big banks, a few Big companies (international conglomerates), our congress (regulators and lawyers). Don’t leave out the military, they spend billions (of your tax dollars). Finally a few (mostly small) honest companies. Oh, and lotsa traders (alternate spelling: traitors). Simply outlined, That’s the Economy.
 OK. How did “we” get into this terrible “financial meltdown”? (gittin’ worse right along!).
 Picture a smoke filled room, in a back street bar. Cigar smoke curlin’ up, whiskey glasses on a large, felt-top table. Buncha good ole boys ‘round the table. Fedoras tilted, shadin’ their eyes from the dim light hung overhead.
 A few “ladies” hangin’ around, encouragin’ the boys in the game. Cards bein’ dealt and nuthin’ but “I’ll Raise ya” coming out of each mouth. No one, “Calls” in this game. Everyone’s having the time of their lives!
 This big (mother of all) poker games has been goin’ on since the Clinton presidency’s “deregulation era”. Any fool (or crook) could play. Long as he could throw down bets in the billions. Even you mighta, if you knew yer playin’ (only) with others peoples money, like these guys! (Never their own).
 The game started out with a few guys (lending) mortgage money. Mainly mortgage money, but all kinds began to get lent (wagered). It was so much fun, no one wanted to git left out! Once the lawyers (regulators and congress) joined in, it became an “Anything goes, No Limits game!”
 The game grew so large it moved “uptown”. Suites in high-rise skyscrapers, oak-paneled walls, mahogany tables, crystal chandeliers replaced the smoky rooms. Expensive leather attaché cases replaced the decks of cards. It got “respectable”.
 Mortgages and stocks (entire companies) even oil futures (another column?) replaced the twenties and hundreds previously bet.
 The “players” never let on the things they were wagerin’ weren’t theirs. They never let on, those things were useless (no value whatsoever)! Being mostly mortgages they’d written out for lot’s of people.
 But few regular creditworthy (bill-payin’) people. They were written for people you or I wouldn’t have lent a hundred bucks ‘til payday. The money lent on most of those “mortgages” was to people that (real) banks twenty years ago would never have lent money to at all!
 People with “poor credit” (known to not pay previous bills). People without income enough to pay their mortgage, taxes and insurance (gonna “pay” those by borrowing money against their “ever-rising” equity!?). Last but not least, people without money for down-payment or closing costs.
 Geez-Whiz! Who knew these were “Bad Loans”?!
 Those boys at the game table knew!! So they sold ‘em to other people, who sold ‘em to other people, who sold ‘em to....? This went on just dandy, ‘til someone finally said, “Say fellers, I’d like cash fer mine”. Boom! “Meltdown!”
 “I Don’t Know About You..., But I know Two Things: ALL those good ole boys pocketed millions! And now we (you&me) are gonna pay it back. Wanna learn more? Let me know.
Cal Teeple, On The Web At: Founder of the Observational Cogitation Consortium, he’s also often found three stools down. He may be accosted, ignored or contacted in either place.