I'll work on putting up an official biography, but for the time being consider me an internet super-nerd. I've spent around 12 hours a day on the web for the past 10+ years and I don't see any stopping point. SEO, SEM, PPC, LOL ... I'll coin an acronym one of these days.
After the Golden Age of Capitalism had begun in America, more and more people were ready to pursue and spread the idea of capturing the American Dream. The theory was simple and happened relatively quickly. Start by graduating high school, move on to surviving college, then acquire personal transportation, become successful in a career you share some interest in, marry the girl (or guy) of your dreams, and finally buy a home to shelter your family in order to pass on the dream to your children and start the cycle all over again.
*Click to enlarge
What most people didn’t mention were the financial hardships that were involved in this bold pursuit. Many young and naïve Americans signed up for their first credit card at 18 and thought little of the responsibility that came along with it. Once they made it to a college of their choice they were forced to deal with financial aid and student loans. After college, they again retreated back to the banks in order to get an auto loan so they can make it back and forth from their entry level job. Once they got fed up with being bossed around they took on the title of entrepreneur and learned what it’s like to file their own taxes, normally resulting in a tax loan. At this point most people would consider loan consolidation to crawl their way out of debt! Once their income became stable enough it was time to find that perfect lady (or man) but little did they know their wedding would cost more than their first car! Once they’ve enjoyed their happy marriage for long enough it’s time to consider settling down, buying a house and raising a family. But before all this could happen they would have to visit a mortgage broker who assured them it was a sound financial choice to sign for an adjustable rate mortgage which ended up putting them further into unexpected debt. See for yourself:
The infograph above gives a visual depiction of accruing debt compared to the average Americans annual income. Follow the graph to get a good picture of how most Americans feel when they are struggling to pursue the American Dream and ask yourself; should the pursuit be reconsidered as “The American Nightmare?”
Sick of hearing about our national debt being higher than ever, and not understanding how?
Take a look at how President Obama has been using tax payer dollars since coming into office. We believe the best way to illustrate this is a statement from the Federal Reserve indicating the amount of credit card debt (national debt) we have generated in just the past 6 months.
Be sure to note that we are less than 10% away from our maximum allowed national debt, and we just gave $2 Trillion to Banks and Wall Street…
You knew that the U.S. just gave AIG $160B dollars, but did you know that $90B of it went to the same banks who created the housing bubble?
The same banks that are putting the U.S. further in debt are loaning money to the Treasury in order to pay themselves back.
$700B - Federal Reserve issues $700B in debt to US Treasury for Bailouts (TARP)
$160B - US Treasury Provides AIG with $160B of the $700B Bailout
The Fed Causes Housing Bubble
The Federal Reserve lowered the cost of borrowing money to 1%, which made mortgages very available to consumers and a lucrative investment for banks.
Due to bad lending practices, and deregulation of the banking industry in 1992, the housing bubble collapsed in August 2008.
The AIG “Insurance Bailout”
Housing Bubble Burst = Mortgage Investments Go Bad
The bad mortgages that investment banks owned were insured by AIG, who were giving faulty insurance quotes, so when the investment banks wanted to make claims on these bad mortgages, they could not pay up.
The lowering of AIG’s credit rating triggered the payouts to these financial institutions. Oddly enough, these credit agencies are influenced by the same banks that received money from AIG.
$90B - AIG Makes Investment Banks “Whole” - Pay 100 cents on the dollar.
Banks Pay Themselves
The Federal Reserve issues $700B to the US Treasury Congress voted to provide AIG with $160B from the $700B. AIG Paid $90B to the banks.
In an unusual decision, these banks were paid 100 cents on the dollar for their investments. Usually they would be paid pennies on the dollar.
The close relationships between banking executives, the Federal Reserve, the US Treasury, and members of congress - many of whom benefited from this taxpayer funded bailout - gives rise to concerns about the integrity of our financial system.
Banks - Total of $90B from the $160B spent to bailout AIG
These banks are Primary Dealers (investors) in the Federal Reserve. This means these banks make interest on the money that the Treasury borrows from them.
Due to this debt obligation from the Treasury ($700B) to the Fed, each taxpaying American will owe an estimated additional $2,295 + compounded interest.1 Comment »
Normally I wouldn’t even notice this, but I’ve been spending a lot of time on making sure the SSL certs on my sites are good. I just visited http://bankofamerica.com and was trying to log into my account, and was presented with an critical error.
The certificate date appears to be valid, but the non www. version of the URL results in an error. If you put the www. in front, the site works fine. If you check the Certificate Status you see a Expiration date of 12/09 so it seems to still be active, but the URL in the certificate is in fact the www.bankofamerica.com URL. It seems secure based on the actual certificate validation, but to your average user this would cause a great deal of confusion. I wonder how many people type in the domain without the www. in front every day?
This kind of thing can happen from time to time, but usually on a impactful site. I’m surprised VeriSign doesn’t already have a system in place to take care of this, considering the level of security required for Bank of America and other clients they have.If you want to learn more about the security these sites use to manage your information check out Transport Layer Security on wiki.
A 301 redirect of all the non-www. versions of the bankofamerica.com URLs into the www. version.
(example http://bankofamerica.com would automatically reroute you to http://www.bankofamerica.com) would fix the issue. Learn more about canonicalization issues. Side effects of a bad 301 redirect. (based on personal experience.)
I’m sending an email to BoA to let them know (probably just a link to this story) so if you have any thoughts feel free to leave a comment.
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So you’ve heard the hype on going green, wouldn’t you like to know how the internet fits into the big picture of saving energy? Every time you search Google you could power an 11-watt light bulb for an hour… Think that’s bad? Wait until you put that into perspective including sites like YouTube and every other bandwidth hog on the web…70 Comments »
The internet and the environment directly affect each other and most of us don’t even realize it. The servers responsible for the internet as we know it put off massive amounts of heat, and with the overall climate changes and heat on the rise, what are the possible implications? Well let me tell you… Read the rest of this entry »No Comments »
I was interviewed at SMX and it went live on YOUMoz last Friday. Figured I would link over to it, maybe someone wants to see my nerdy pictures.
“Tyler Shears is a bright search marketer working at Databanq, which specializes in the financial services game. We met at SMX West after my local panel (on which note you should read this fresh, enlightening, and generally awesome interview with Brian Gil of Yahoo, who was a co-panelist), which was great because I don’t often get to meet people in search who aren’t really active in the blogosphere. Tyler and I did an interview by email, and he was kind enough to share insights on the hyper-competitive space that is financial services (which comprises credit cards, loans, mortgages, and any kind of financing/line of credit you can imagine). Enjoy :).”
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We’re making some modifications so some things are moving around, others are not complete. We are doing this in our spare time, so just hang tight!1 Comment »
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