Thursday, December 13, 2012

Greenspan's Body Count: 69667 Northhampton Avenue, Cathedral City

Cathedral City is near Palm Springs, an oasis in the desert east of California's Inland Empire, the #2 most depressing place in America.

And it was the last place three people saw yesterday. AP:
Three people were found shot to death in a Riverside County home and investigators suspect a double murder-suicide.
Cathedral City Police Lt. Charles Robinson says officers were called to the house in Cathedral City late Wednesday morning.

They discovered a woman and her adult daughter shot to death in a bed. In another bedroom, the body of the older woman's common-law husband was found with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The home was purchased in March 2003 for $170,000, was Zillowed up to $399,000 in the bubble, and is now back to $175,000.

But lookie here.  The tax assessment jumped by $106,000 in 2007.  Because of California's Prop 13, you only get a jump like that if you make major improvements to the house.  It looks like these guys did a major remodel, likely funded with a home equity suckout.  That would have left them deeply underwater after the crash.

And it looks like this double-murder-suicide came down to a broke man angry over not getting enough of his dying wife's assets.
Investigators say the woman had been recently diagnosed with a terminal illness, and her common-law husband was upset over her plans to divide her assets after her death.

The daughter was visiting from Florida to help put her mother's affairs in order.
Killing over the assets of the dying, murdering for the last scraps in a desperate America.  That's what the  Greenspan-Bernanke Fed have brought us to.

Greenspan's Body Count stands at 233.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Greenspan's Body Count: Chris Lighty

Damn, it ain't easy bein' a gangster living beyond your means.

Today's episode of Greenspan's Body Count is superstar hip-hop manager Chris Lighty.  New York Daily News:
Law enforcement sources said Lighty’s wife of seven years told police he was facing financial woes that include a $5 million debt to the IRS. However, The Associated Press reported that Lighty paid off most of what he owed by selling a Manhattan apartment for $5.6 million in October.

Lighty still owed more than $330,000 in state and federal taxes, the AP reported. And in April, he was sued by City National Bank for not paying them after he had overdrawn his account by $53,584.
HT: IPFreely

A friendly tip from W.C. Varones: if you suddenly find yourself enjoying incredible financial success, don't party like it will last forever. Pay your taxes, don't take on debt, and put aside at least 20% just in case you hit tougher times later in life.

Greenspan's Body Count stands at 228.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Greenspan's Body Count: Daryl Benway and Abigail Benway

Alan Greenspan is 86 years old, yet still one of the most prolific killers in history.

Today's episode of Greenspan's Body Count comes from Oxford, Massachusetts:
A 9-year-old boy is fighting for his life after a weekend shooting in Massachusetts at the hands of his father, who police say also killed his 7-year-old daughter before committing suicide.


Authorities say the children's father, 41-year-old Daryl Benway, separated from his wife just weeks before opening fire Saturday at the family's home in Oxford, 60 miles south of Boston.


The late 7-year-old Abigail Benway was to start second grade soon at Chaffee Elementary School.


Friends and neighbors tell The Boston Globe that Daryl Benway recently lost his job and feared foreclosure.
Greenspan's Body Count stands at 227.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Greenspan's Body Count goes to college: Jason Yoder

When we think about Greenspan's Body Count, we usually think of homedebtors and real estate speculators.

But many of the unsung victims of Alan Greenspan's bubbles are education speculators instead. And they are largely young and naive:
One evening in 2007, Jan Yoder of Normal, Illinois noticed that her son Jason seemed more despondent than usual. Yoder had been a graduate student in organic chemistry at Illinois State University but after incurring $100,000 in student loan debt, he struggled to find a job in his field. Later that night, Jason, 35, left the family's mobile home. Concerned about her son's mood, Jan Yoder decided in the early morning hours to go look for him on campus, where a professor she ran into joined her in the search. The two of them discovered his body in one of the labs on campus and called campus police at 8:30AM. 32 minutes later, Jason was declared dead due to nitrogen asphyxiation.
Student loan debt is far more deadly than housing, consumer, or business debt because you can't go bankrupt on it. It will haunt you until your dying day. If you must use debt to pay for education, put it on your credit cards so you can go bankrupt immediately after graduation.

Greenspan's Body Count stands at 225.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Greenspan's Body Count: Michael Marin

Alan Greenspan is still concentrating his killing spree in the sand states.

Phoenix, Arizona:

A horrified court room looked on today as a man who had just been convicted of burning down his $3.5 million mansion collapsed and died in front of them.

Michael Marin, 53, was found guilty of arson by a jury in Maricopa County Superior Court. He appeared shocked and closed his eyes as the verdict was read before appearing to put something in his mouth and wash it down with liquid in a plastic water bottle.


Prosecutors claimed Marin set fire to his house in desperation because he could no longer pay the mortgage.


Marin, a father of four and grandfather of two, attended Yale Law School. He was an ex-Wall Street trader who enjoyed collecting art including Picasso sketches and described himself as a 'careful thrill seeker' to the Phoenix New Times after scaling Mount Everest and trips into the jungles of south-east Asian [sic].

Jackass. I'd love to climb Mt. Everest but I've got the little problem of paying my f-ing bills.

Greenspan's Body Count stands at 224.

HT: IP Freely.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Greenspan's Body Count: Michael Chiantella

Still prowling the sand states, serial killer Alan Greenspan strikes in Venice, Florida:
Venice attorney Michael Chiantella died May 30 of an apparent suicide amid accusations of malpractice and the loss of more than $3 million in questionable investments.

Venice attorney Michael Chiantella died May 30 of an apparent suicide amid accusations of malpractice and the loss of more than $3 million in questionable investments.

Chiantella owed approximately $900,000 to one of his former clients, a Venice man who had sued him for malpractice over business deals that went sour.

A week before Chiantella's death, a $2.25 million claim in federal bankruptcy court was denied by a judge, meaning that Chiantella and others involved in the firm Marshall & Curry would not recover the money.

Court records show that Chiantella was swamped in debt and legal troubles for more than a year before his death.


Also licensed as a real estate and mortgage broker, Chiantella was providing investment advice and services to Venice resident Russell Cooke.

In his lawsuit, Cooke alleged that Chiantella had told him that his investment of about $500,000 was secured by mortgages on property when it was not, according to allegations in court records.

Cooke's lawsuit accused Chiantella of breaking conflict of interest rules by representing both Cooke and the person who was borrowing his money.

Chiantella later signed promissory notes pledging to repay the $900,000 — which included $348,000 that was lost in a Charlotte County mining venture.
At least he didn't kill the wife and kids like so many victims of Greenspan's bubbles do.

Greenspan's Body Count stands at 223.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Greenspan's Body Count: James Butwin, Yafit Butwin, Malissa Butwin, Daniel Butwin, Matthew Butwin

Another sand state GBC:

Tempe businessman James Butwin carefully planned the final hours of his life, leaving behind detailed suicide notes before he killed his family and took his own life, according to Tempe police.


On Thursday, the Pima County medical examiner identified the charred remains of James and Yafit among the five bodies discovered in a burned-out SUV found in the Pinal County desert Saturday. Tempe police on Tuesday said two guns were found in the Ford, which belonged to the Butwin family. Authorities are still working to identify the children.

At the time of the deaths, James Butwin was negotiating with creditors over millions in debts, managing a divorce and battling a brain tumor, according to records and interviews with those who knew him.

Butwin, a commercial property developer who Tempe police say murdered his family within hours of his 47th birthday last week, had debts that had spiraled to more than $18 million as the Great Recession unraveled his business.

Butwin and his partners were negotiating a delinquent $18 million construction loan, sources familiar with the matter said. Though others shared in the debt, Butwin could have been on the hook for the entire amount if they failed to settle the debt.

Additionally, Butwin owed on a home-equity loan and another loan that collectively were worth $1.5 million.

Sure, you may say, his brain tumor may have contributed to his depression and its violent finale. But how often have you read about a dying cancer patient massacring his family compared to how often you've read about someone drowning in debt doing the same?

No contest. This is GBC all the way.

Greenspan's Body Count stands at 222.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Greenspan's Body Count: Dennis and Merna Koula

Greenspan goes to Wisconsin:

Eric Koula’s 20-day trial for the 2010 shooting deaths of his parents begins today, when prosecutors will try to prove through a circumstantial case that he was motivated to kill.

The investigation is the largest in La Crosse County’s history with more than 15 local and state investigators dedicating hundreds of hours.

Much of the state’s case will focus on what prosecutors believe was the motive: The nearly broke West Salem day trader and heir to his wealthy parents’ estate killed them for the inheritance.


Koula called his parents’ home twice the day after they were killed to thank them for an anniversary present.

That same day, he deposited a forged $50,000 check drawn from his father’s investment account, reports stated.

Koula said his father gave him a blank check on May 20 when he stopped by his parents’ house for 10 minutes.

A financial expert determined Eric Koula was in debt and behind on his mortgage at the time, according to the complaint.

Greenspan's Body Count stands at 217.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Greenspan's Body Count: Florence and Susan Beran

Greenspan goes to Connecticut:
Two weeks ago, police discovered the bodies of Florence, 85, and Susan Beran, 57, on Friday, May 11 in the home. Investigators concluded that Susan Beran, a longtime caregiver for her elderly mother, killed Florence with her late father's shotgun and then used the weapon to take her own life some time later. Neighbors hadn't reported any gunfire that week. Police suspect the murder-suicide occurred sometime in the 48 hours before police discovered the gruesome scene, less than a month after the house was auctioned off as part of a tax foreclosure.

Florence Beran owed the city $52,364 in back taxes as of this past March. She also owed $6,136 to CL&P [Connecticut Light & Power], which won a legal judgment against her in January, and $12,358 to a debt collection agency called Midland Funding. A CL&P spokesman did not return calls for comment Friday.

Susan Beran, a former nurse, couldn't afford to hire full-time medical care for her mother, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease. She also couldn't leave her alone long enough to find her own job, according to Deborah Gebhard, a friend of Susan's who lives in Michigan.
Greenspan's Body Count stands at 215.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Greenspan Limerick Contest

Murphy's Law, 2012 edition: If Alan Greenspan can kill someone, he will.

Limerick, Ireland:
LIMERICK people are penning suicidal letters at a rate of three a week after being driven to despair by debt, it has been revealed. And a Limerick advocate who provides free advice for people with financial problems is pleading with people to seek advice rather than take drastic action. One lone parent who wrote to the Life After Debt organisation, said she has already tried to commit suicide because she has no way of paying her mortgage, making ends meet and sometimes cannot even put food on the table for herself and her child.

“We have no heat in the house, no food in the fridge and I cannot buy new shoes for my little girl. My electricity is about to be cut off again. “The money I get as a lone parent only lasts a couple of days as I’m always trying to pay bills that are in arrears and I never make any headway. I can’t cope anymore,” one Limerick city woman wrote in a letter to  Seamus Sherlock, founder of the Life after Debt organisation in the city.

I got your limerick right here.

There once was a Maestro celebrated
His ego became quite inflated
He could see no bubble
Nor sign of bank trouble
His Body Count climbs unabated!

Please submit your limericks in the comments.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Greenspan's Body Count: Norman Rousseau

Norman Rousseau and his wife Oriane bought their house at 580 Wilshire Place, Newbury Park in 2000 for $225,000 with 30% down.

According to a lawsuit filed by the Rousseaus, in 2002, 2006, and 2007, during Greenspan's bubble, they were solicited by World Savings / Wachovia, now a unit of Wells Fargo, to refinance into dangerous Pay Option ARMs. The final 2007 loan was an egregious negative-amortization, 7.2% interest, $368,000 weapon of financial mass destruction.

Read the Rousseaus' lawsuit against Wells Fargo here.

On Sunday, as foreclosure loomed just two days away, Norman Rousseau went into his garage and shot himself to death.

Greenspan's Body Count stands at 213.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Greenspan's Body Count: Woodrow Wilson Hall Jr. and Barbara Ann Hall

Greenspan's Body Count today returns to the great bubble state of Florida.


Barbara Ann Hall, 66, was shot four times in the head with a .38 revolver by her 68-year-old husband Woodrow Wilson Hall Jr., who placed a .44 Magnum in his mouth and pulled the trigger, according to a report released Wednesday.


The couple's daughter told the detective her parents argued over finances and said her mother wanted to move closer to her in Jacksonville because she was having a child, but her father did not want to move.

The daughter and son-in-law told Diaz the couple were behind in their mortgage payments by $5,000 and that Barbara Hall had suggested that her husband sell his Corvette, which was "a hot button topic" since he loved the car.
The Halls appear to have bought the property in 1998 for $95,000.  If they'd put 20% down and got a then-prevailing 7% rate on a 30-year mortgage, they'd pay $506 a month and would now owe less than $60,000 on a house worth more than $100,000.

But it must have been pretty tempting to suck out some "home equity" when Greenspan's bubble floated that house value over $200,000.  Daddy needs a new Corvette!

I think Bernanke may get an assist on this one. Hall was a retired superintendent from Michigan schools, so he presumably had at least a modest pension in addition to his odd jobs. But Bernanke's food, gas, and utility inflation has been brutal on retired folk -- to say nothing of 0% interest on their savings.

Greenspan's Body Count stands at 209.