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What About the Renters?

Oh no they dit-nt. This morning FOX News reported that another bank took the TARP handout and partied on us. Did we have fun yet? Reportedly, the bank had the appreciation event planned long ago, so in other words, how could they call the wedding off, despite that the in-laws didn’t have the money? They’d just borrow it from us. But it’s okay they say, because the party money came from the operating fund. Turns out the report came from TMZ, God save me.

A bank that received $1.6 billion in bailout money just spent a fortune last week in L.A. hosting a series of lavish parties and concerts with famous singers … and TMZ cameras caught it all.

Northern Trust, a Chicago-based bank, sponsored the Northern Trust Open at the Riviera Country Club in L.A. We’re told Northern Trust paid millions to sponsor the PGA event which ended Sunday, but what happened off the golf course is even more shocking.

I was raised in WLA and Santa Monica, CA, and I can tell ya The top places were booked for this junket: The Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Loew’s Santa Monica, The Ritz Carleton. Events included performances by Chicago for $100,000, rental of the Santa Monica Airport hanger for a dinner followed by a performance by Earth, Wind, and Fire. Plus chauffeuring everyone everywhere. Sigh. Oh, and I almost forgot, Sheryl Crowe did a concert at the House of Blues, which was rented for $50,000. Yay, we’re supporting the arts.

It seems to me that the fiddling at others’—OUR—expense while our country burns is a moral failure. What is going on?

Me. I’m personally in dire straits. It was about this time during the seventies that I went underground, moved to the country, and lived like a third world peasant. I actually know how to do that.

Subsequent to that and prior to this, I rented then owned a home and sold it while the market was still good, but turning the corner. I lived there for thirteen years as a single mom then empty nester—I owned it for eight years. It was a lot of work and responsibility to have the American dream.

When I started, I knew nothing about real estate, property, property taxes, loans, mortgages, refinancing, house maintenance and systems, nor the city and county systems that supported mine—but it was all on me, and I learned. I was well aware of what I was getting into, because I had to read it to sign and asked questions. I became aware of the fudging that was going on by the loan officer after he quoted what the previous one had written. And yes, I went along. Was it right? No. But I was stuck. I had borrowed against my home to do maintenance and emergency system repairs and replacement, and also train in a new career. When I saw a few For Sale signs begin to creep up in my area, where for years there had been none, I decided to sell, despite multiple advisers saying that housing was not a bubble fixing to burst.

Although my place was beautiful, gave me, my family, and friends many happy memories, and I planted and grew absolutely beautiful perennial gardens, which were beloved and painful to leave, I’m happy to rent. Right now I prefer it—to be able to focus on my work and writing.

But what about all the people who rent? Renters are people, too. Who’s talking about them/us and what happens after they lose their jobs or can’t find work. Or the self-employed? They don’t get unemployment benefits. How many Americans are in that boat? Or in the boat whose benefits ran out long ago?

Now that I rent again, how come I can’t get help to pay my landlord? I don’t think I should, but why can some segments of society get help and not others? If I can’t pay my rent next month, I can’t get a waiver for a year or an adjustment on the amount. I can’t not pay from one month to the next, yet people who can’t pay their mortgage can, and they are rewarded. Because they hold the property, I know. And the whole domino thing, I know. In the end, we all need shelter, food, and clothing at the least.

After this admission, it’s with moral certitude that I do my coaching, writing, and healing work, with the knowledge that it’s helping to save and enhance the lives of others. It’s the light work I must do in a time of moral decline and an abundance of fear.

It is The Fear that is helping to propel things in a downward spiral, which is what Bill Clinton meant last week, when he suggested that Obama needs to convey that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. That’s what Bill did as Prez: he, not Obama, was the original man from Hope. But Bill’s schtick worked, because his actions and the mood he conveyed matched it. He buoyed people’s hopes, as opposed to Obama’s chastising Americans after he staged multiple gigantic events for a year while picking our pockets, and now picking them again and again, and those of our kids and grandkids. This is different than Bush?

It is imperative for entrepreneurs, creatives, and real light workers (haters, bite me) who offer a compassionate, helpful, truthful, empowering solution to anything to re-up. It’s time to use the technology that I learned for the cause to disseminate my professional message, which is about living healthfully and powerfully. Although my passion for real Democracy trumped my professional efforts during the past year, once again I’m reminded that my professional is political. As usual following a spiritual or an ethical path is not the easy road, but it is the only one in the end, underneath it all. Doing so, hoping once again, against all “hope”—that I don’t become Queen of the Road in the process.

76 Responses

  1. I rent. And in NYC renting is very expensive. I’d love to own my own apartment, but who can afford it?!

  2. Indeed, DYB. Maybe rates will be going down around here. Word is they already are a bit, for rentals. My realtor friend tells me that property owners are making offers to get new rentals, of the first few months for free or reduced rent for a period of time.

  3. I wonder why Northern Trust received $1.6B from TARP – only 0.33% of its holdings were non-performing in 2008.

    Article from Barron’s:

  4. I am a renter. I am moving out on saturday and have no place to go. I am going to end up at my mother’s in MI eventually, but getting there with no money, my landlady on my ass every minute to “barrow the money” before I move out…
    I am at the end of my rope.
    Put that together with the fact that there is nothing for women specifically in this bill when women are the most likely to be poor and underemployed under insured… life sucks.
    The guy I have been seeing expected me to stick around here for months so I could nurse him through surgery he has to have, but as for asking me to move in.. that he kept saying he was thinking about but never ended up doing.

    So yeah, thanks for leaving me out….

    • Tie a knot in that rope and hang on here at TC, teresa. Sorry to mix metaphors, but it sounds like you’ve got a tough row to hoe ahead of you. I suppose this is little consolation, but many post-Katrina New Orleanians have faced what you are now facing: a sudden loss of not only a place to live, but an income – or most of it, and a home of however many years. In short, a life’s context. We former (and continuing) New Orleanians, as an entire category, were pretty much left out in the cold. We got squat, unless you count a few bucks from FEMA here and there. But almost all of us survived. As Dear Leader would say, I won’t lie to you – starting over hasn’t been at all easy. But it’s doable, employing the one foot in front of the other dynamic.

      Katrina changed everyone damaged by her, in fundamental ways, and the current recession/depression will have much the same effect. Millions of Americans will find out exactly what they are made of. The great majority of them, just as with post-storm New Orleanians, will survive on the strength of their own wiles. And you’ll undoubtedly be among them.

      • thank you Kat. I do not know how I have survived this long. So many people I trusted have exposed themselves as having their own agenda. I have a sister who I gave a car too several years ago and she decided that because she had to do repairs she would never pay me for it… she is totally ripping me off now for some money I owe her and forgetting the 1k she said she would pay me for my car.
        It is unbelievable. I will be surprised if our relationship survives.
        But at the very bottom of everything I have seen who I can trust and who I can not.

        • Ohhhh, crisis and the trust issue. That can be a really painful one, especially when family is involved. (I’m speaking to the latter from very hard experience.)

          But you will survive, teresa, you will. If only because the alternative is counter to our every instinct. Human adaptability is a truly amazing thing to behold (especially when it looks out at you from the mirror, after the fact).

          • yes, I am almost looking forward to the change where just a month ago I dreaded moving away from where I have lived for so much of my adult life. I have friends and several arts related groups I sing with etc.. But it may not be forever. You never know what might happen.

          • Ah, you definitely have the survival knack, and the survivor’s mantra internalized: “it may not be forever”. Exactly so.

    • Teresa you are so right about there being nothing for women in this bill. I doubt if many women will benefit from the home mortgage assistance, if it ever really happens, because so many women rent, and women who are lucky enough to own are more likely to have small condos, not overpriced mcmansions. This is a bill to bail out bank execs, and Wall St speculators, any way they spin it. The only reason they might throw a little to some people to avoid foreclosure is that it will help the banks. That’s why there’s no money for renters. Oh, and we are not immune from being hit by the problem. Many renters are being evicted because the owners are in foreclosure.

      I am so sorry this is happening to you..I hope you make it to your mother’s soon and can regroup.

  5. lehigh — good research and good question.

    TeresaInPA — wow! big woes! I’m so sorry this is happening to you. I’m glad you’ve got somewhere to go, And good riddance to the guy. One “bright spot?” I heard today about women is — wait for it — because women earn eighty cents on the dollar (when did it get up there, I thought it was still .74?) — so they are more likely to be kept on the job, whereas men who are making more would be laid off first. I have no idea if this layoff narrative is true, but thought I’d spread some cheer.

    • Hi LB!

      I hope you still have a garden, even if it’s on a windowsill.

      Renters absolutely should get some sort of tax deduction. And personal interest should be deductible again.

      The homeowners have ALL the federal deductions..

  6. It is bad all over and I shall spend mardi gras at dinner withthe Obots

  7. Fuzzy, why aren’t they staying home to listen to Obama?
    Is anyone going to live-blog? Not sure I can watch..

  8. Happy Fat Tuesday to everybody.
    I won’t be watching the Speech because there’s a Housewives double header on Bravo tonight.
    I’ll be waiting -panting-to hear your critiques.
    Special shout out to our N’Awlins co-respondents.

  9. As far as I know, we will be liveblogging, catarina.

    fuzzy — laissez les bon temps rouler!

    • why not? the bankers are doing it on our money!!!

      • Dak, if you’re still here- what did you think about Bernanke’s speech today, vis-a-vis the possibility of getting out of the recession within the year (or is that taking the most optimistic kernal out of context)?

  10. I’m looking forward to Bobby Jindal. I’ve never heard him speak.

    He looks sort of ike a rat.
    Not that Obama is the stuff that dreams are made of.

  11. no I am sure I will have my appitite ruined by it (the pampers in chief our “dear reader” bestest speach eveh!) at the restraunt….

    I will revolt if they do not at least caption it!

    Catrina when does it start?

  12. I would love to give the “Real Democrat Response” to Pampers silly state of O-merica Address….

    I hope rachel maddow does not climb up to the podium and fellate him right there in front of everybody.

    • Well, that would be a first in many ways.

      • that is so true but hey if 2 years ago you told me I would live to see rachel in make up, a bra , and shaved airpits….I would have said no way the chick rides a harley and has a leather jacket that says:

        “If you can read this the B*tch fell off”!

        now she is all girly girl what a sell out!

  13. It starts at 9PM and myiq is planning to put up a live blog at 8:30.

    LB, this is a beautiful essay. I think we all have to think in terms of helping each other in any way we can. Our government has completely abandoned us. They are deliberately shifting the rest of the tax burden from the elite classes to those who work for a living. We are going to have to find ways to resist. One way is to keep our minds free and at peace and to help each other heal. I hope things will look up for you soon.

    • BB you are so brave I couldnt listen to it if I had to to save my mothers life….

      Sorry mom there are things I wont do!

    • I forgot to nest (LOL) — let’s try that again.

      Thanks, BB. I hoped it was not too much of a Debbie downer, nor sound like a whine — but as TeresaInPA and all the news tells us, I’m not alone — and I do think that renters who also lose jobs or are self-employed are forgotten.

      Resistance, remembering that we can have peace of mind even in bad straits, and helping in other in bad times as well as good are all a good antidote. Thanks.

  14. Of course if KO and Tweety try to beat her to the puch we could hava cat fight right their infront of god and every one!

  15. LB,

    At least you are doing work that heals people. You must get some postive energy from that.

  16. LBNYC-Market was up today but bernacke had to jawbone “that the sun rises in the west and sets in the east ” BS to get it to move I would not jump in yet guys and gals or gals and guys….

    This is what they call a suckers rally there is no new news to support a rise in share prices.

    hold tight cash is king!

  17. fuzzy,

    I said I might try. I don’t know how long I’ll last. Someone is going to have to watch if we’re going to have a live blog. But I can’t watch him. I just can’t

    • you have a stronger stomach than fuzzy I appreciate it really ….I should be getting home as Pampers warms up…

      is someone going to count his head turns and eye darts as he follows the telepromter around the hallowed halls of congress?

  18. CBS Evening News is reporting on the Northern Trust junket right now. Says they laid off hundreds of workers beforehand. The PGA tournament contract, they say, was signed a year ago. The bailout money they continue, was used to boost loans, up 31 percent in a year. (Sorry I’m not sure if that’s the correct number–will edit if I get other info.)

    It’s a question of values, and they don’t get it.

    • hey these were the guys tryiing to get my mom to refi her home with an ARM and use the money to by stock in their bank….because banks are a solid investment!

      Crooks every one of them!

  19. well off to dinner wish me luck….

  20. this might be a stupid question, but why is tonight’s speech not the State of the Union address, and is there going to be one this year?

  21. There is no SotU on the first year. That’s what the Inauguration was. IIRC, president’s have their first in their second year of office. His first will be January 2010.

  22. Gary,

    Because he hasn’t been in office long enough. I never noticed if other presidents have addressed a joint session of Congress. I guess they have.

    • Didn’t Bill Clinton give a post-inauguration speech and press conference on the economy? Not sure if it was in front of a joint session of Congress, though.

  23. I thought they just didn’t want him to have to say “The state of the Union is sound”, becacuse despite his Americans are Optimistic! propaganda campaign in the media, I don’t think anyone could take him seriously…..

  24. Just for fun, here is a link to Northern Trust’s philanthropies…


    Some of them may prove very interesting…

  25. and btw, isn’t it funny how they started that propaganda effort just after Bill Clinton recommended it? Or maybe he was just the opening salvo in getting out the message…

    • If Obama and Co. actually listen to the Clintons, Obama might actually succeed.
      Time will tell.

      • Gosh, and to think we could’ve short circuited all this by, gasp, putting another Clinton in the White House!

    • I think they were taking Bill’s advice, because they saw how bad their own MO was doing. Bets on Obama’s attempt to channel Bill tonight, showing that he can be all hopey changey once again.

    • And after all the Obots chastised Bill Clinton for mildly critiqueing Dear Leader?

  26. oh gee I said the R@cist word. I keep forgetting.

  27. Lady Boomer- Your post points out the problem with the stimulus bill and lots of other government inducements. They subsidize certain actions and penalize others. There is no real reason why home ownership should be the gold standard of residences. But look at our tax code and you will see that those that do not have mortgages are at a severe disadvantage.

  28. Honora — Yes! That’s so true. Thanks for getting my gist.

  29. Shtuey’s got a new post up, and I’m going to workout! Late-ah, duckies!

  30. What about the renters?

    “Let them eat cake.” 😡

    In Marie Antoinette’s defense, she never actually said that, but the legend does illustrate how clueless [not evil, just clueless] she was.

  31. […] Random Feed wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptOh no they dit-nt. This morning FOX News reported that another bank took the TARP handout and partied on us. Did we have fun yet? Reportedly, the bank had the appreciation event planned long ago, so in other words, how could they call the wedding off, despite that the in-laws didn’t have the money? They’d just borrow it from us. But it’s okay they say, because the party money came from the operating fund. Turns out the report came from TMZ , God save me. A bank that received $1.6 billion in […]

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