December 01, 2008
Just another Sordid Real Estate Tale

Here is another sordid real estate tale, this one ending in suicide and occurring before the current wave of real estate failures. And although the newspapers have not made us aware of suicides that have occurred in the current wave of failures caused by the heartless men who manage our money supply, we can be sure that, human nature being what it is, that probably hundreds or thousands have already occurred and perhaps many more are to come. I realize this is just speculation, but Americans take pride in their successes and feel shamed by their failures, which I suppose is part of the essence of capitalism and capitalist economies. I often wonder if this price is worth paying, because every suicide invariably trickles down through the generations and the pain is felt by successive generations when a loved one becomes so overcome with depression that he feels it necessary to leave these mortal shackles and travel on to whatever comes beyond. The Catholics would tell me that my great-grandfather is burning in hell, but I take offense at that. My great-grandfather was a kind man who cared about how others were treated and if there is indeed a God, a man like my great-grandfather would most assuredly be welcomed into the community of God and not the community of the evildoers like George Bush who only claim to be Christians.

Evil men like those whose greed caused the greatest real estate calamity in modern times. I know very little about my great-grandfather because his son, my grandfather, never spoke of him after he died. It was too painful for him.

But my great-grandfather's story is a simple one. He came to America, suffered hardship for a period of time, but was able to turn hard work into a successful business enterprise. The business was so successful that he sold it for a handsome sum and then began looking for fruitful land for growing beautiful flowers that men could give to their loved ones, especially their wives, floral arrangements that could add grace and dignity to funerals, roses that could allow romance to blossom and turn into love and eternal commitment by two souls. But all that was ruined when he bought land in Florida through a man named Ponzi or one of his surrogates. The Florida land boom did him in. My mother tells me when he traveled to see this glorious piece of land that could add more grace and honor and pleasure to thousands more people who appreciated the gift of flowers that he had a special gift in cultivating, that all that was there was swampland. He had been hoodwinked.

Were there prosecutions? Very few. I’m one who believes that the proper method in dealing with the current scandal is to require the offenders to give community service to their communities after prosecution by picking up trash, by culling through garbage and taking out the recyclables, and by being seen in the community paying for their crimes. However, defining who the offenders were would be difficult. Personally I'd start with the top, a man named Greenspan, and move down the ladder. The prosecutions should trickle down like manna from heaven so that the lesson of greed and miscalculation would never be forgotten by those at the highest levels of income and power. But I’m a realist and know that our laws are not set up to prosecute all of those who caused the problems that have set our economy in a tailspin and caused countless millions to suffer incalculable losses. Nevertheless, I am firmly of the belief that prosecuting the smaller players in this saga will not prevent the problem from recurring. We must start at the top and move down the ladder. I am not hopeful this will occur.

Without further ado, here's a business writeup about my great-grandfather in his glory years, before the Charles Ponzis arrived on the scene. Men who were able to get away with their scheme because we had no regulation in place and men in power who did not believe in regulation. The parallels to today are uncanny.

I apologize for the ragged condition that this document is in; however, it has been kept for many years and likely looked at many times over the years, so reading it might be a little difficult, but you should be able to read most of it. And of course, as noted in the article, my grandfather was a committed socialist. If that evil tyrant, Alexander Mitchell Palmer, who created the Palmer Raids and was almost as evil a tyrant as Michael Mukasey and George W. Bush and many of their subordinates, was also responsible for my great-grandfather’s suicide, I'm not aware of it, but there is much that I do not know as this was not a subject that was talked about in our family except in whispers when my grandfather was not around or working. I guess the lesson in all of this is that when government officials fail to do their jobs by properly regulating industries and individuals, which history tells us that many will resort to greed at the first opportunity, the pain goes on not for just the next business cycle, but for generations. If we fail to heed this lesson, we will repeat it over and over and over again, as we have so many times before. If we have any more opportunities. George Bush has practically bankrupted the nation by celebrating and rewarding greed. If the Democrats won’t stop the greed and attempt to loot the nation and its people again, it will truly be time to leave the nation for other shores. The statue of liberty would then become a useless pile of copper that would best be scrapped and sent to China.

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Posted by Buck Batard at December 01, 2008 08:15 AM
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