Long before all this guff with the bank blew up out of all proportion, I had an idea about a novel I wanted to write, I wasn’t sure how to approach it but I thought the idea was worth playing with. Life on a farm is always busy, even for non-farmers running a farmstay, so there it stayed, on the backburner. But I always thought about how to tell the story, would this point connect with that point, was this event too far a reach for the protagonist … I was just starting to think I could tell the tale when … well, you all know what happened next (and who wants to write a fictional tale of corruption and cover up when life decides to throw you smack bang in the middle and fighting a real-life foe? Not this little black duck ).
Anyway, my ongoing project with exposing the corruption involving banks has once again hit a lull – so while I have to wait for this mob to get around to finishing all of their due diligence (you know, check under the hood to see if this thing has legs to run ) I thought I may as well get back into this little story of mine.
So yesterday I got up to yet another bit of fact-checking and after a week of playing connect the dots I’m sitting here thinking just how odd it is that a story I thought about writing all those years ago links into events that have happened not only to us but people who have contacted me through the blog. I guess the answer to my question from years ago is … truth is stranger than fiction, there is no reaching involved in making connections – they are already there, out in the public view for anybody to see.
Here’s hoping I manage to find the right wordage to do the story justice …
[Words by The Bee Gees - words are all I have to …. ]
[The Never ending Story by Limahl … let’s hope this banking one ends pretty soon for all our sakes eh? ]
Anyhow, take care out there in banksterland
Today I’m feeling just a little bit lost – not in a bad way, it’s just that today is the first day in a long time that I have nothing urgent to deal with, no studying to do, it’s just me and … me.
Yesterday I finished my final assessment for my degree …. WOOT , but this also means that my routine of the last two years is now redundant – and that’s causing me to feel somewhat lost.
I thought about launching myself straight into updating my LinkedIn profile and getting a current CV on there seeing as I am now going to be looking for a job (oh heck, I want a career LOL). So although I am still going to be applying for that graduate law degree for a mid-year start and I will still be writing here and working on the big exposing-the-corruption project – needs dictate that I find a job. Hey, I did say we got a crap settlement from the bank … right?
I can’t afford to just study and write about this stuff – there’s bills to pay, a mortgage to pay off and a retirement fund to create …. ah, the joys of having your life savings taken from you in a shonky legal manoeuvre eh?
But I haven’t updated the old CV … and here’s why.
How do you put into words all that you have learned about business because your business was destroyed? Short and succinct probably, but how do you make a failure that wasn’t of your own making look good?
If my degree had been a project, I would have brought it in early and under budget (remembering that time is money) – so can I put that in it? – and talking about projects I finished reminds me ….
… how do I put information on other projects that I wasn’t officially involved in but was a major contributor to? As part of trying to help us achieve our goal of selling the subdivision and getting out from under the bank’s tentacles I set up a website. At the time there were people paid to do this but they hadn’t actually produced a website (it seems like I went to a lot of meetings where the town was promised said website but well, it just didn’t seem to show up). In sheer frustration I wrote a very basic website, got some information about the town on it, and published it. The whole thing took 2 days out of my life; I sent the link to someone involved with the project. It wasn’t much later that the people who were supposed to have published a website got around to doing so …. and they literally took all of my content and republished it on a flasher website. In hindsight I should have sued for breach of copyright – but all I wanted was the town built and our subdivision sold. ( I still have the screenshots of the original website content they took without permission or attribution – it would have been nice if my work had been acknowledged) – so that one can’t be put on a CV – bugger .
Then again, the same person took credit for talking to the WA Government about the town; after I had done so (and suggested the person to talk to). And I also can’t put the fact that the plan that I proposed to the Government for our little town was announced four weeks later as the solution for another country town (admittedly the other country town had been in desperate need of help for 20 plus years, so no grumbles from me about that … but again, acknowledgement of my contribution would have been great – it would have been nice to have added that to my CV ).
Of-course the one thing I can prove as being done by me is the fact that I had the tenacity to stay in the fight with the bank and ended up coming out on top, I had a win – despite everybody advising me to walk away as I would never win. But how do I put that in a CV? I’m sure I can, I just haven’t figured out how to give the facts without coming across as a litigious idiot who would sue my employer at the drop of a hat (legally there have been a few instances where I could, in fact, have sued people, but I’m not so inclined – suing the bank was a matter of survival, I would have much preferred them to have sorted it all out without lawyers).
Then there is the matter of my very public profile … what on earth will HR make of that if they do decide to give me a go? I mean, I have proven that I can achieve anything – I managed to get a degree while spending most of my time in stressful litigation with an intimidating opponent. But, because I have been blogging about it and voicing my opinion on some corporate ideologies and so on … is there a way to give it the positive spin it deserves?
Someone who recently started talking to me about legal matters confessed that the only reason he ended up contacting me is because I did have a win against the bank. He’d read the website and blog earlier and decided I was an absolute nutter (no arguments here – in my defense a lot of that was written while I was still traumatised and well, angry isn’t quite the right word eh?). He doesn’t think I’m a nutter anymore by the way hahaha. Hmmm, how to put that on a CV? (that despite some evidence to the contrary – I am not a nutter, I am, rather, knowledgeable about some dodgy dealings in corporate Australia)
I sit here today and I know that back when it would have made a difference, when I had major developers willing to build the town if the right people got on board – had I been given the opportunity back then, the town would have been built then, it wouldn’t have dragged out over years. I have proven that I can finish big, stressful projects, I can learn, I know how to network. But I didn’t have the right support, wasn’t given any authority to act on behalf of anyone, so it’s a sad case of stiff cheddar … bugger – it would have looked great on a resume .
There is so much I know today, and I know I have great personal assets that would benefit any business – my cynicism makes me question everything. I’ve heard so many stories from executives whose businesses were taken down because of underhand dealings that I don’t take things at face value anymore. How do I put my particular skillset into a CV without sounding too aggressive or negative (since I am neither aggressive nor negative I’d hate to give someone the wrong idea ). I’d also hate anyone to think that because I intend to keep writing about this (and getting a law degree to boot) that I wouldn’t give 100% to the job – I’ve proven that I can prioritise things. During the time I was studying I went on overseas holidays, had legal matters to deal with, was at death’s door with a number of flus (okay, slight exaggeration on the death bed thingy but it felt like it at the time – must have been manflu?), and even had whooping cough … and I didn’t ask for a single extension on assignments. That’s got to be in my favour … right? Oh dear …
I’ve had a pretty steep learning curve in the last eight years – I reckon the company that employs me (obviously a mob with discernment) will appreciate having hired the best of the best sir*
Oh well, while I think about what I’m going to do about getting a great career started, here’s a song I listened to to celebrate finishing my current studies … and yes, I’m a winner bahahahaha …….
[if the channel has disappeared, it’s Hot Chocolate “Everyone’s a Winner” ]
Meanwhile, take care out there in banksterland
* sorry no prizes for figuring out the movie haha
Life is funny and awkward sometimes isn’t it? You’re cruising along, with all your plans in your backpack, some decent company and music for on the way when … bam – you get waylaid.
Because I decided that I really needed to understand the law the same way lawyers understand it, I figured out quite a while ago that I really needed to be doing a law degree to keep writing about this bank fraud stuff. If I can understand the culture and language, I figure I can see the pitfalls that await the weary traveller (read bank customer schmuck being taken for a ride). But I also wanted to finish the degree I was working on … so thought I’d do extra units each study period to finish it earlier. This extra workload also meant I couldn’t give as much time and effort to the blog as I wanted (I’ve been working on stuff in the background, just not blogging about it all). Next week I sit my final test and will have completed the degree in just a smidgeon over 2 years … woot .
Last week I started thinking that as soon as I have submitted my last assignment and sat my last test … well, that would be a good time to start picking this up again. The universe must have heard me and must definitely have been waiting for me to finish, because the information for a number of angles I’d been looking into has suddenly come at me in a rush again.
… I thought the universe might know I’m still finishing off those last couple of things?
So it looks like I’ll be really busy getting to the bottom of a couple of mysteries that presented themselves earlier that are peripherally connected to our case – how exciting is that? From my perspective, knowing there’s something ‘suss’ and having the evidence are totally different but the problem has always been that there’s an abundance of wild geese to chase (apparently). I’m trying not to get my hopes up but maybe, just maybe, one of the puzzle pieces that has presented itself is the one? Too bad I still have to write this report for uni … I’d really rather be chasing down this stuff – but ya gotta do what ya gotta do – right? Just because you can’t always get what you want … but maybe I’m getting exactly what I need just now?
On an unrelated note, I was also disappointed that there was no broadcast of the ASIC inquiry … I really wanted to see it, I’d gotten my hopes up that I would be able to see some squirming going on. But alas, it was not to be. Hopefully one of the attendees will update us all on what happened today, and hopefully it is all good.
And just because I can, here’s another song to inspire
[if the video gets blocked … it’s Shirley Bassey The Impossible Dream – I did go looking for an official version, but no luck ]
Anyway – take care out there in banksterland
PS – there’s been another senior banker suicide, hmmmm, might there be a LOT more to those than we can imagine? (note – I can imagine a lot haha )
Last year I did a post on why I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day … but despite still having a downer on the celebration, well, I’ll live .
So today I’m busy finishing off assignments – another week and a bit and this degree is officially done and dusted – but I’m keeping busy so I don’t have to think about today ….
I am looking forward to next week’s broadcast of the Senate Inquiry into ASIC (details to follow) – today I have high hopes that there will be a lot of uncomfortable squirming going on. Yes, I know this is more symptomatic of the optimism induced by my happy bubble than any likely hard questions being asked of bureaucrats who think it’s their job to protect the banking elite, but a woman can dream can’t she? It’s not like I’m dreaming of roses, candles and whispered “I love you”s … just a bit of justice would be nice .
Anyway, I hope there are still a lot of hopeless romantics in the world who need to believe today has magic powers – the cynic in me needs you . It’s not that I’m against love, I may not express my love often enough, but when I love someone I tell them, and it’s not a frivolous thing either – falling in love isn’t easy and falling out of love is hard. At least that’s been my experience.
The problem with the day itself is the date – it’s the anniversary for a few nasty things – so it’s not an anti-love thing, love is grand – it’s more a defence against remembering anniversaries I would rather forget.
And what does love have to do with bank fraud? Well, how about the stress of fighting a bank can kill love? Ah, well, today is not the day for me to think about that ….
Oh well, if I had the time to find “the” song to post here that would say it all in one go I would, but I’m just gonna go with a favourite.
[if the YouTube channel hosting it gets deleted … it’s “Let it Be” by the Beatles ]
oh and stay safe out there in banksterland
meme downloaded from International Business Times http://www.ibtimes.com/anti-valentines-day-2014-memes-photos-1549044
Apologies for my tardiness in writing updates at the moment – it’s not that I don’t have a lot to say, I’m just a bit peeved, worn-out and well, I won’t use the language I want to to describe how I really feel about the continuing Federal support for bank malpractice, malfeasance and outright fraud.
I was going to approach this post from the groupthink perspective, where groupthink is defined as the limited thinking engaged in by some workgroups where they see all of their actions as infallible and fail to see the bigger picture (and believe their own bulldust that what they’re doing is not a crime). To back up this thought I was going to add links to stories where banks failed to realise that there was something wrong in their actions (Google bank’s groupthink and see the stories pop up … i.e. this one). The problem with the groupthink theory, of-course, is that the banksters don’t just think they are above the law, the current system that supports them ensures they really are above the law.
Then I thought I’d do the post about the ASIC inquiry, and since I’ve submitted a supplementary submission I had fair reason to mention it. Whilst my submission was once again published, the proof of the bank’s wrongdoing was not published, I would hate to suggest that this was to protect the guilty, but well, you could possibly infer that if you were so inclined. What remains of my submission though, is the published stories of ASIC pursuing brokers who did exactly the same thing the acting bank manager did to us – I may be dumb (actually, I’m not but the assumption remains that I am, indeed, “dumb”) but I fail to see the distinguishing factor that means ASIC apparently relentlessly pursues brokers whilst ignoring the exact same fraud committed by bank staff. Could it be as simple as protecting the banks at all costs? Of-course it could ….
I also included my solution to the problem (see A plan to fix the system), although in hindsight, what really annoys me is that I forgot to talk about the very, very flawed mediation system. I know from Patricia Thirup that the NSW mediation process is as flawed as WA’s – I can’t speak of other states but can’t imagine it being different.
What we went through in mediation still pisses me off. I’m a pretty resilient type of person, but when the bank first started really hounding us and putting numerous obstacles in our way to ensure we couldn’t fix the problem – well, I got to the point where suicide seemed a perfect solution (I guess for the bank it would have been). There was one moment during mediation where the registrar was so full of it that I literally got back to that dark point – I even said it out loud – if that’s what the ultimate outcome is then I’ll kill myself …. fuck – people wonder why we settled for a pittance? When the person who is supposed to be neutral is so aggressive as to push a genuine victim of crime to that dark place? Anyone who thinks our legal system is there to protect the innocent – no, it’s not. I hope that woman gets a truckload of Karma raining down on her (and I’m not usually vindictive – but gee, she took me straight to hell and I’d love to see her live it, even just for one day).
There was a story online the other day about a series of mysterious suicides around the world – why did it make it into the news? (okay, I don’t think I saw it in the MSM haha) Because it involved a bunch of banksters … now ‘conspiracy theory Rosie’ thought this might be one of two things … someone damaged by banks deciding on a bit of payback or, and this is my favourite – the banks are removing those in the know. Whistleblowers can’t blow those whistles if they’re dead now can they? I love a good conspiracy theory, and at least with this one I can feel some compassion for their families and perhaps mourn the loss of people that may have, in reality, been “good guys”. My happy bubble has to believe that there are a lot of good bankers, lawyers, judges and so on … to believe that every single profession is totally corrupt is not only disrespectful to the many good people who happen to work in those professions, it’s also a dark, dark place to be.
But that’s just my humble opinion, anyway back to the flaw in mediation …
What do I think should have been the minimum the bank had to pay at settlement? For starters, the contract was voidable because the bank knew it was based on lies told by their manager, we did not have access to this information – the law states that we should have been put back into the financial situation we were in before the contract was executed. I believe on top of that, the money we paid in rent should have been used in accounting for the state of our mortgage (if we paid the money in rent, we could have paid it out on the mortgage, it was also a cost we wouldn’t have had but for the dodgy loan) – and FYI – what we paid in rent in the 3 years of exile in Perth would have almost paid out the mortgage in full. Then we should have been able to have all costs associated with the loan reimbursed, since we would not have had any of these costs but for the existence of the loan. None of these things were taken into consideration – and this is a major flaw in the system.
Add into the equation non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements and the secrecy surrounding these tactics ensures no ordinary citizen stands a chance – only the banks win. I know of someone who just got back what it cost him in legal fees – legal fees he wouldn’t have had to pay but for the bank fraud. Go figure!
I hope things change, change for the better for people not corporations. It’s a shame corporations have more rights than living, breathing beings … maybe change is coming? I’ll keep polishing my happy bubble so that I can keep fighting for change in a real way.
In the meantime … take care out there in banksterland
Copyright acknowledgement: House meme by Kyle McCollum http://kylemccollom.com/post/39605490824/time-changes-everything-thats-what-people-say
Money doesn’t love you back, money might buy you “things” and I’ll be the first to admit I’d rather be miserable in style than on the bones of my arse … but money isn’t the most important thing in the world – people are (right alongside the rest of the natural world, you know, the birds and the bees and everything that makes the planet inhabitable). Isn’t it time for corporations to stop messing with the really important stuff just so they can get more of that concept that is “money”?
How many golf clubs can you possibly own and how many cars can you drive at once? When are executives going to be grown up enough to realise that accumulating ‘stuff’ is more like a pissing contest – or a “my d*ck is bigger than yours” competition; is it boobs for female execs? shoe contests? sorry, I really don’t understand the accumulation thing (for any gender come to think of it). When is enough really enough?
And then you think about it and corporations in and of themselves have zero need for money – they don’t need food on the table, they don’t have to educate their kids, they don’t have to worry about hospital bills.
“Banks” in and of themselves don’t rip customers off – but the people who work inside them certainly do. It is the people who break the rules and then claim to be “just doing my job” who are the problem. The people who use the financial resources of the corporation to get away with crime. How about we stop giving them this protection? You can’t jail a corporation … but you should jail every criminal employee they have. And if the people in charge don’t ensure the corporation acts within moral and ethical boundaries to ensure its existence does no harm to people or the environment? Disband it, get rid of it, kill it, de-register it; however you want to put it – end its reign of terror and throw out the trash. Too big to fail my arse.
I’m a believer in humanistic management (although of necessity there are times when democracy within the workplace is probably inappropriate). I’m a people person despite not liking crowds. I understand that not every employee of corporations is aware of the criminal activities being carried on within the organisation. Decent people get bad reps simply working for dodgy corporations – I do have a problem with that. I’m a believer in justice in the workplace, and not just for employees, but for customers too – when justice is denied to customers in the courts, repeatedly, and there are employees who abuse the court system because they know the corporation’s reputation must be protected at all cost ….
History has shown that the people will take so much and then no more. The banksters should remember their history … from ancient revolutions to more recent acts of people taking back what is theirs (look up Iceland … I really liked their solution).
Mortgage fraud did not just happen in the United States – it happened globally and yes, it happened right here in Australia. The Government knows it happened, has known for a long time about the corruption that is rife within our financial institutions. I’m not sure my happy bubble is capable of continuing to hold out hope that the fraud is exposed, the banks held accountable for the damage they have inflicted on their customers – not if we’re to rely on the Government and regulators to reign in these ‘financial terrorists’.
But here’s the thing – the people are coming …
Take care out there in banksterland
… and so 2013 is gone, done, dusted and a shiny, bright, as-yet-untarnished 2014 is here offering a new start, a new hope and …
Well, you get the picture, right? With only a few short weeks left until I complete my degree, thoughts turn to my ‘to-do’ list. What next for this little black duck who managed to get a settlement with the bank, not because there was a system in place to support customers as they face bank malpractice (being polite here), but through that quirk of fate … luck.
So, as I start to gear up for the next phase of the “great plan” I have to contemplate this thing called “luck” – it was bad luck that made me call the bank that fateful day back in 2006 …. or was it? Was it fate? I have to question this because despite all that has happened there is something else going on – at every turn, at every moment when we were dead in the water, beaten, goneski, kaputt, our case over, hand the keys over to the bank and walk away – every.single.time when it was the last moment, up popped luck and more information came out, more time was given, always more time, more information – the story unfolded piecemeal. Not because of the law, not because the legal system did its job, not because I had a good legal team (I had a crap team that I believe to this day was corrupt and I hope to one day prove it – but that might take some more luck – but apparently I have a lot of that so who knows?). The only reason I ended up getting a settlement with the bank in the end and a minor payout for all that we lost was that I got lucky. I got lucky in finding the new lawyer with integrity and nouse, lucky that my husband had a great job that could pay the legal fees as they arose, lucky in so many ways.
I have people asking me how to fight their bank all the time, they ask what I did, they need a formula, a blow by blow, some plan they can adapt and follow. These people need help but I can’t give it to them for the simple reason that other than never giving up … all I had was luck – and a lot of it. That’s the reason I’m still in this thing, that’s the reason I’m studying and keeping this blog going – because getting justice should be everybody’s natural right – luck should have NO part in this. Yet luck is the only thing I had plenty of. If there is one thing the average customer who has fallen foul of bank malpractice/fraud/outright theft has in short supply it’s luck.
So, my new year’s resolution? To finish what I started all those years ago … and take luck out of the equation. 2014 is only the beginning – but don’t ever doubt me – I do finish what I start, I always have. Some projects take a long time to complete but I do finish them. When I finish this study period I will have completed a 3 year degree in just over 2 years. Some might say tenacity is my middle name – my husband reckons it’s Sheer Bloody Stubbornness but well, he always calls a spade a spade (language modified because I’m trying to keep it clean today ).
And I’m not alone – during this journey I have met some incredible people, all working towards the same goal – trying to expose the corruption that is letting the banks get away with it all. So do yourselves a favour, read this article by Evan Jones.
Have a happy and safe 2014 and take care out there in banksterland
I’ve had this story up on my browser since it was published, and really, really want to write about it -
but you know, I just don’t want to get bogged down in the murkiness that is telling people defending the indefensible that they are nothing but oxygen thieves and should just do the world a favour. After all, it’s Christmas and a time for peace and love for all man(kind) – although these days I have a hard time accepting that some people are actually a part of the human race, and tend to exclude them from my thoughts at this time of year.
I’ll do a part 2 to this story, where I give my interpretation of where the bankster is wrong in their assessment – if anyone would like me to quote them for the post – I’m sure swear words will be allowed – but I will edit out bank names – after all, all the banks really are the same so it doesn’t matter about naming and shaming does it? But yes, I’m really p’d off because I know the bank knew by 2007 that our loan was dodgy and that it was an internal problem, nothing to do with us; and instead of working with us they … well, you all know what happened – but yes, ASIC relied on the banks to regulate themselves – I mean, it’s not like they have a $400m plus annual budget to keep corporate Australia in check is it? … oh, hang on a cotton-pickin’ minute …
Meanwhile I’ll be listening to my mediation tape to relax
take care out there in banksterland