Did Shylock Have the Right Idea?

In the Merchant of Venice, Shylock (the alleged villain) is portrayed as a loathsome character (Shakespeare shows how Anti-Semitic the times he lived in were) who wants to exact his vengeance on a “hero”, Antonio, by making the terms of a loan include a pound of flesh if money loaned by Shylock is not paid back by Antonio. Spoiler Alert when Antonio defaults on the loan Shylock never gets his payment, however, I have to wonder, did Shylock not have the right idea?

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Currently if I have a credit card, I can borrow money with very few physically painful consequences, other than adding more to my current debt load. Eventually I could get to a point where the credit card company might call a collection agency, and I might have to see a credit councillor or even worse, declare bankruptcy.

Still doesn’t really seem as bad as a pound of flesh, does it? Yes, it’s a terrible thing to live through, but let’s ask the question would anyone use credit as easily if the consequences were as severe?

In the horrible days that were the 1980’s loans were at 19% ¬†and that was for a mortgage, not for silly things like credit cards (which weren’t being handed out like condoms during Frosh week). Would higher interest rates cause a less loosey goosey attitude towards borrowing in the 21st century? Maybe, but 15% for a mortgage and a threat of losing a toe if you miss a payment would certainly lance any housing bubbles quite quickly, and cause most folks to really figure out if they can afford the $500K condo they think they can afford.

Shylock’s only short coming was that he didn’t specify that he wanted a pound of flesh ,”… organs, blood, bone and all”, then again, if you are writing a contract where you are attempting to maim your customer, would the wording really matter that much?

Am I being facetious? Perhaps, but it will be quite interesting to see if (and when) interest rates finally return to a more normal level.


A valid question, can you actually repair your credit (and good name) after you have “gone off the rails”? I think the answer (as usual) is maybe, but it will most likely never be like your original credit profile.

Not The Best Thought Out Plan

I guess that is Kind of Repaired?

If you have had your identity stolen, or some other nefarious event happen which has caused your good name to be dragged through the muck and slime, it may be possible to get back to a relatively clear name (again, I am not positive on this one), however, if you have simply gone off the rails, and let things get away from you, Credit Repair won’t get you back to “good as new”.

Much like with your car, if you have a major accident you can repair your car so that it works again, but it will not be like the car you first bought, and if there is lethal damage that just cannot be cured (at least not in a short time), much like a bent frame in a car can rarely be repaired.

If you have declared bankruptcy, you are not getting your Credit Rating or Good Name back to Lilly White in a long time.

Is it worth paying to get credit repair? I suppose it depends is an answer on that as well, but if you have had everything “go pear-shaped” in terms of your credit (by your own hand), then maybe what you need to do is figure out how to live without credit for a while. If you have somewhere to live, then living on cash and what you make might be better than trying to get your “Credit Rating” back in line. My guess would be that Credit Repair is something you do (if at all) a good while after you start living within your means.


Bruised Credit and Nicefications

Yet another fun bit of phraseology from the folks who want to lend you money at a higher rate, because your credit rating might not be AAA (or even C-). I heard bruised credit used in a radio commercial here in Ottawa. I assume this is going to be one of the new nice ways to describe folks with bad credit.

The sarcastic side of me thought out loud when I heard the phrase, “When did your credit rating become like a banana or apple?”. Why is there a need to dumb down and nicefy the concept of bad credit? What is next, people who have been convicted of impaired driving being described as Reformed Dreamy Drivers?

A real Bruise on L’il C8j’s Head! Doesn’t look like it has anything to do with Credit, now does it?

Someone in the advertising world has figured out that no one wants to run ads that say, “If your credit stinks” or “if your credit has been turned down”. If they nicefy the whole thing, radio and TV folks won’t feel as awkward running the ads .

If you have had credit problems, or have had a rough patch financially (or as I might say, You Screwed up Financially) it is going to be harder to get credit.  The rate of interest you will end up with is not going to be very good. It will be good for the lender, but that is because you are a Risk to them.

These badly written sentences explain why you can’t get cheap loans with bad credit ratings.

Bruised Credit ?

What’s with all this nicefication that is going on these days? You can’t say someone Screwed Up. You can’t say someone made a mistake and you mustn’t ask nasty questions like “Why did you screw up?”. Embarrassment is a great motivator for me to not screw up again, maybe for others, there is a need to be much nicer, I suppose.

Yes, feel free to point out how adding fications to a word doesn’t make it a word. I actually meant to use the term that George Carlin made famous, however, I will keep this at a Suitable For Work level, however if you wish to see the NSFW George Carlin Clip that explains the term, there it was.


The Khan Academy and Wealth Destruction

A friend knows that I am always on the look out for interesting sites where folks do lectures explaining things and he suggested that I check out the Khan Academy since it seems to have a plethora of information on pretty much, everything. I have included a two-part video on Wealth Destruction from Housing Bubbles, which is at least thought-provoking (I will open the floor to others to discuss whether it is correct or not) (go to the bottom of this post to find the videos).

I strongly suggest you check out my Twitter Feed, I have been told it is quite entertaining, and I will be attempting to add my own personal commentary on life in there as well. What did you miss if you haven’t subscribed yet? Here is a taste of some of the OBG (Oldie but Goody) gems I posted:

  •  In my early days I used to brag about my prowess (at installing computer crap), as I did here with Investment: High Tech (spoiler alert: has nothing to do with investing).
  • I have sat on both sides of the hiring “experience” and a pet peeve I have is folks thinking “business casual” means shorts and flip-flops (for an interview) thus I ranted Job Hunting Hints: Dress for the Job Fair.
  • I do have a sister blog (where I write occasionally) where I write about the business of blogging, thus Guest Posts: Please Stop the Madness addressed those who wish to write a guest post on this esteemed tome.
  • In 2009 One in Seven of us Was a Senior Citizen, that number is decreasing (quickly) (i.e. we are all getting older).
  • The Quarterly Financial Status Report is an old idea of mine, where you publish (to your spouse usually) a quarterly financial status report to force yourself to figure out where you stand, it will help you feel more in control of things (financially).
  • One of my most brutally honest posts is my Top 5 Investing Regrets which you should read just so you don’t make the same dumb-ass moves I have done in my life.
Part 1: Wealth Destruction
Part 2: Wealth Destruction


End of Week

Another week in May the year of our Lord 2005 ends and what have we found out?

  • I should divorce my wife for tax reasons? My wife wants to know when this might happen and she claims the bed as hers (that’s worrying).
  • There are no new taxes in the budget but we still aren’t sure what the $2M for Democratic Renewal Secretariat (maybe it’s for a racehorse). Oh, and Ontario pays $9.8B to service its debt.
  • I have a nice credit rating (according to my credit report), that cost me $20 to see (better than bad credit, I guess) (no not Fico Report, we haven’t got that in Canada)
  • Lowering or canceling credit cards is a real “bear” to do, but is important to fight identity theft.
  • CIBC doesn’t like taking charges off your credit card
  • Paying bi-weekly bills gives you bill vacations and helps pay down debt.

Yes, another interesting week. In the coming weeks you will hear me rant about the price of:

  • Replacing a roof on your house
  • Replacing the furnace and A/C in your house
  • Finishing a basement
  • How it ISN’T cheaper to just buy a new house instead of doing those previous three things.


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