In a sign of the times the US Government help office has extended it's hours just in time for the holiday season. "With every corporation, from bankers to auto makers, banging at our doors for financial relief, we just had to do something," said Edna Flats of the government's Kind Investment Business Money program. (KIB, or Kiss it Goodbye as some wags have noted.)
"We have CEO's walking in here, we have 'upside down loan' yahoos, we have stock market burn outs, we have credit card extremists, it all boils down to one thing…they need money too continue on their merry way," said Ms. Flats.
Indeed there was a queue of financially strained customers all looking for various Government hand outs.
I asked Edna, what are the qualifications to apply and how does one 'get in line.'
"Well…if your asking for yourself I'd say get at the end of the line, literally. Normal, working folks are not allowed in the line. You work every day? You barely make ends meet? You pay your bills? Ha, fat chance you'll be in this line. But if you invest poorly, squander your money, extend your credit, spend beyond any means to repay back what you owe, then climb aboard the gravy train."
I questioned her further on what seemed like an incredulous policy.
"Look, I don't make policy, I'm glad they extended the hours of application. I can pick up a little OT, ya know, just in time for Christmas and all, but…we've had the same people come in here two, three times…give them a "loan", (as she supplied the quotes with her fingers) and they're back again next week for another. Like look," as she held an applicants documentation up for me to inspect, "see this banker? Millions of dollars invested in loans to highly questionable applicants. Why? So they could whack the new homeowner with higher than unusual mortgage and interest rates…because the applicant is in the high risk pool…what a friggin surprise when that homeowner defaults on the loan and the bank is stuck with a highly inflated loan created to give the applicant the appearance of making an investment, and stuck with the run down property to boot. And this.." she continued, "auto maker, makes friggin shit boxes no one buys, subsidizes all the work to the Chinese, what the hell do they know about auto making, they ride rickshaws…same thing, the car falls apart, no one buys them, they get stuck with an inventory…we give them the "loan", they're in next week, again."
I pointed out to Edna that she seemed overworked, even with the extended hours.
"Well…management policy, no new hires, cost saving measure."
I laughed as to the policy being a little odd.
" Yeah well take it up with the "new vice president in charge of cost saving."