While I was in New York, not long time after the two towers had collapsed, my host explained me her financial model and how she financed her life. She was a widow of 3 men and near her 60ties. She was a nice lady, no doubt about that, a frequent of visitor of Harvard Club and charming. She lived in a condo on the East Side close to the Guggenheim and not too far away from Jefferson Park, which I loved since a watched Spike Lee’s “The 25th hour”. She had no money at all.
She had no frequent income, did not inherit anything worthwile mentioning on a balance sheet, she in fact also had a low education. Entrance to Harvard Club was something she inherited from her huspend who died 10 years ago. But she had a loan which financed the condo. You may wonder, how she got the appartment, these days you do not wonder how she got the loan for it. And that loan, it was not paid back by money she had. She used the assessed value of the appartment to frequently get credit from the credit card companies, who basically financed her life based on a real estate bet. And therefore, they financed the appartment too, which was the only reason why they were able to give her higher credit every month.
She did not think that anything was really wrong with that except she knew it was quite a odd and also risky way to live. Upps and downs, she said, that’s the American way. Up then meant really up to the top of the world as down meant so low down you can get living under a bridge. She also thought it was funny, since she wondered why she went to work as a secretary in her young years. Actually she didn’t care too much about that all, it was not her thought of the day at all. Nowadays I realize that it may not have been just her own, single crazy idea that she only shared with herselves, but a lifestyle shared with too many. I really wonder where she lives now and for how long the credit card companies can buffer this crazyness.