Dan Kennedy

In December alone, 640,000 jobs reportedly disappeared. This number only slightly inflated by all the elves laid off at North Pole Enterprises on the 26th. There’s a secret reason for these losses, never mentioned in the media.

When I was a kid, you got toys if you were a good boy, and only a lump of coal if you were bad.

Our politicians have always enjoyed playing at being Santa Claus, but about the middle of 2008, they decided that should be their full-time job. They quickly filled up their sack with $700 billion of gifts and just as quickly emptied it out. President Obama promises to re-fill it with another $800-billion or $1-trillion or some unknown, larger amount. The number seems no longer to matter.

But now Santa is giving out goodies to all the bad boys and girls, and only lumps of coal to the good ones. Santa has been kidnapped and replaced with an evil twin Santa who’s working all year. Overtime.

For example, there are lots of bad boys and girls who lied on mortgage applications, who knowingly bought homes far more expensive than their incomes justified, who re-financed and re-financed in order to extract cash to buy themselves toys, and now they can’t pay their mortgages. There are also a lot more good boys and girls who’ve made responsible decisions, worked two jobs, paid their mortgages on time and even paid extra to pay them off sooner and create equity in their homes.

Santa’s promising those good boys and girls lumps of coal. For the bad boys and girls, he promises to re-write their mortgages, wipe out lots of interest they owe and give them lower interest and lower payments.

Most recently, Santa has promised to let the bankruptcy courts even wipe away principal owed, so no sane individual will ever again invest in single family homes and provide seller financing for real fear of having Santa’s mob just confiscate their property value and hand it to bad boys and girls. (Incidentally, seller financing, based on investors’ certainty they will either get paid the agreed-on price in the contract or be able to foreclose, fuels the real estate business and makes it possible for hundreds of thousands of people to buy homes who can’t meet stricter bank mortgage requirements. Take this out of the equation and you have mass fire sale by exiting investors, no investors coming in, and a bigger real estate crash than the present one.)

Dan Kennedy

Dan Kennedy is a serial entrepreneur and contributor to the Business & Media Institute.