Frank will be at the Grey Eagle library on Saturday, October 14, 10:30 to 11:30, speaking on Murder Book, and signing and selling books. Frank will also be in the Carleton building at the St. Paul Arts Crawl Friday 6:00-10:00, Saturday 1:30 to 8:00, and Sunday 12:00 to 5:00 (October 13, 14 &15). I have greatly enjoyed talking to people about forensic work and Murder Book. The sequel is coming along, but due to my obsessiveness, I don’t want to publish it until it is exactly right. I will continue to update people. I may share some ideas for potential book covers in the next month.
The Weber music get together was a blast! Typical Weber event, too much food, enough beverages to keep everyone hydrated and lots of music. We had to play some Tom Petty, in tribute. George played great keyboards on Thunder Road and we did most of the Desperado album. It was a fun time.
Puerto Rico is a physical mess with the hurricane and was a financial mess prior. Most people don’t realize this, but Puerto Rico tried to claim bankruptcy in May of 2017, due to their large debts. The territory is about $74 billion in debt, mostly to Wall Street hedge funds, who I believe were banking on a government bailout. While we need to help them through the hurricane, I am hoping Donald Trump stands strong on not bailing out these firms. I’m still not over the way some of these very same firms robbed taxpayers in 2008. The crash started during the Bill Clinton presidency, when he eased the rules on Wall Street and repealed the Glass Stiegel Act (which established deposit insurance). The problems were amplified during the George Bush presidency when he hired the CEO of Goldman Sachs, Henry Paulson, to head the Department of the Treasury. This was like putting a fox in charge of the henhouse. Paulson's acceptance of this job saved him $50 million in tax revenue, and allowed him to cash out at Goldman Sachs before the crash.
Prior to the rules changing, banks could only make money on the interest they collected when they sold a home. So they were careful about giving loans. When Brenda and I bought our first home, I had a state job, but still needed to have her parents cosign so we could get a house loan. However, with new rules, Wall Street brokers used something they referred to as derivatives (called credit default swaps). It was like taking out an insurance policy on a loan, and they were allowed to take out as many derivatives as desired. Previously, if they sold a house for $100,000 and had 6% interest they made $6,000. Now imagine taking out 5 insurance policies on a $100,000 house. If the owner couldn’t make the payments, they received $500,000 - the $100,000 cost of the house = a profit of $400,000 (plus they got the house back). So the rules now changed. They gave loans to everybody, because there was greater profit in bankruptcy. When my daughter graduated from college she was given a house loan, with no cosigner, before she had a job. All of these brokerage firms knew it had to crash, so they paid Harvard and Princeton Professors to make public statements that they were financially solid. Ultimately, the brokerage firms (like JP Morgan Chase, Godman Sachs and Lehman Brothers) knew the taxpayers would bail them out, because since the Great Depression of the 1930’s our government has bailed out failed banks. The result was immoral brokers making a fortune, while taxpayers bailed them out to the tune of $700 billion dollars. If this isn’t bad enough, it’s actually worse. Congress allowed a one-time audit in 2011 of the Federal Reserve which revealed the bailout was $7.7 trillion dollars in taxpayer money. Forbes economist, Mike Collins, states that even this is a low estimate, indicating the government commitment is $16.8 trillion dollars, with $4.6 trillion already paid out. To put it in perspective, there are 323 million people in the U.S. This means that every man, woman, and child will pay $52,000 in taxes to pay off that debt. I completely get it why people are frustrated with government, all parties.
I was listening to an interview with Chris Rock about comedy. Chris commented that, “While political humor gets you quoted, this type of comedy never has an audience larger than 1200 people. Relationship humor fills stadiums.”
“A banker is a fellow who lends you an umbrella when the sun is shining, but it wants it back when it starts to rain.” Mark Twain
“If bankers are great at numbers, why do they have 8 windows and only 2 tellers?”
Albert Einstein is in a waiting line to get to heaven and begins a conversation with the people next to him. The 1st person says, “I have an IQ of 180.” Albert begins talking to him about math. The 2nd person says, “I have an IQ of 150,” so Albert begins talking to him about physics. The 3rd person says, “I have an IQ of 120,” so Albert begins talking to him about the theatre. The 4th person says, “I have an IQ of 80,” so Albert asks, “So what are interest rates?”
Thanks for listening,
Pierz tennis had another great year and after a victory over Pequot Lakes in playoffs are headed to Virginia (MN) on Monday.
Frank Weber is a forensic psychologist whose award winning forensic and clinical work includes assessment and expert witness testimony for homicide, sexual assault, and physical assault cases. From this real life world comes his first work of fiction Murder Book from North Star Press. “A convincing piece of fiction that pulls you into a heart-breaking human experience with unpredictable and jolting twists.”