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Living with Schizoaffective Disorder

In Which A Giant Asteroid
Strikes Wall Street,
Transforming Manhattan
Into An Undersea Volcano

You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet.

Michael David Crawford, Baritone,

October 11, 2008

Copyright © 2007 Michael David Crawford. All Rights Reserved.

That bad ol' bailout ain't gonna save no one's ass:

And I Quote:

The troubles sound familiar. Borrowers falling behind on their payments. Defaults rising. Huge swaths of loans souring. Investors getting burned. But forget the now-familiar tales of mortgages gone bad. The next horror for beaten-down financial firms is the $950 billion worth of outstanding credit-card debt—much of it toxic.

That's bad news for players like JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) and Bank of America ( BAC) that have largely sidestepped—and even benefited from—the mortgage mess but have major credit-card operations. They're hardly alone. The consumer debt bomb is already beginning to spray shrapnel throughout the financial markets, further weakening the U.S. economy. "The next meltdown will be in credit cards," says Gregory Larkin, senior analyst at research firm Innovest Strategic Value Advisors

Emphasis mine. Ironically...

... because I was such a loyal customer, having had just one credit card since 1987 or so, my card company cut me a huge break when things were at their worst: they froze my interest for six months, requiring to make only a very small payment each month.

After demonstrating that I was capable of making timely and regular payments, they restored my full credit.

It's been at least a couple years since I was late on a payment. I haven't even been over my credit limit. I haven't taken them up on it yet, but they actually offered to raise it!

A policy of theirs which pisses me off to no end, being that it's so unfair, is that if I am under the limit when my statement is issued, but not enough under to make room for the finance charge, the charge will put me over the limit - and they'll charge a hefty penalty.

Back in the day when I wasn't as careful about my finances as I am now, I didn't understand why I kept getting penalized. Now that I'm clued in, if my balance ever gets that close to the limit I'll immediately make a payment to cover it.

Now, I do understand completely that I'm wasting a lot of money by keeping my card completely racked all the time. I am my credit card company's very best customer, in that they collect a tidy fee each month with, as of late, no risk whatsover of me defaulting.

I've already explained why money is so tight for me, despite earning a generous salary. I have too many other debts to service, that really are of higher priority, as well as many expenses - necessary expenses - that most people don't face.

But it's going to get easier for me, and soon. This month I'll be paying off the car I bought here in The Valley. I will have paid $4600 in just one year; we bought our Taurus for I think nine grand in 2001, and weren't able to pay it off until Spring of this year - nearly seven years for a loan that was just twice as much.

I'll have a lot more disposable income starting in January. While I will accelerate some debt payments, I plan to focus more on building savings.

I'll have savings, for the first time in many, many years. Not since before I founded GoingWare in April of '98 have I had anything left of my previous paycheck when my next one arrived.

It's been a long, hard and miserable existence for Bonita and myself - but the end is just now coming into sight. Maybe, someday, I can hope to buy a house again. Stranger things have happened.

If that does happen, quite likely I'll be the only one left - the only one left on Earth - who can actually qualify for a mortgage.

-- Mike

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