Category Archives: generally embarrassing events

Cash or Credit: A Stuffing Under the Mattress Vs. A Hiding in the Closet

It took longer than usual to take up the pen today. Probably because it was imperative to check out the “Every Single Outfit Catherine Wore on the Royal Tour” feature in the Huffington Post.

Having done that, I now turn to more important matters.

Like this cash-or-credit debate taking place in the papers. Financial vigilantes are urging consumers to cut up their credit cards and throw them away. One article in SmartMoney actually sounded the shibboleth: “I’m going all cash!”

To which readers had a range of emotional responses. Two encapsulating these:

“This is simply an irritating article. I am willing to bet $1000 that the author
is lying and in fact is still using his credit cards and not wandering around
paying for everything with cash. If you’re going to write an article, at least
please be intellectually honest. Do you think we are that stupid?’

And:

“Already living this dream. In fact it is a great reality to know that you owe nothing to anyone. We do not have credit cards either, we have covered that with an emergency fund. We own a house (no mortgage) and we have paid cash for all of our vehicles (no financing). As far as I’m concerned, living within your means and being debt free is the NEW AMERICAN DREAM.”

The most compelling reason for getting rid of your credit cards is obvious: ordinary folk have to pay 14% interest on average for them. Yet banks pay less than 1% whenever they feel like borrowing from the government (yes, that includes JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America — even Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, which received “bank holding company” status during the credit crisis).

Kind of annoying that the Big Banks get to play with money for almost nothing, but not us Little People, isn’t it? Continue reading Cash or Credit: A Stuffing Under the Mattress Vs. A Hiding in the Closet

TSKing and DSKing

The whole Dominique Strauss-Kahn affair looks like it’s coming to a painful close (with even the close itself looking painful in some such terms as, when will it close?).

As we look askance, I am trying to ask myself…what have we learned? Not much. Except perhaps that Americans still believe the French to be rutting perverts (and rutting-pervert enablers) and the French still believe ugly Americans are ugly and…well, American. Not necessarily an oxymoron.

File the 20 minutes of DSK-maid time in Room 2806 of the Sofitel New York next to the 18 and a half missing minutes from Nixon’s “Watergate Tapes,” Jimmy Hoffa’s burial ground and Lord Byron’s lost canto.

Slow curtain, the end.