Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My Schadenfreude

According to the New York Times, the median FICO score is 720. That's a good SAT math score, but a score at that level may cause some problems as lenders get more strict. My FICO score is currently 712.

Ohhhhh...cr&p. I'm below the median and this means I'll have difficulty obtaining loans during this credit crisis. Not that this really matters since I don't intend to take on any more debt than I already have. But it still sucks to know my credit score is below 50% of everyone else.

Rather than getting depressed, I'm going to relish a bit of schadenfreude during this credit crisis.

Schadenfreude [shahd-n-froi-duh]
def: Satisfaction or pleasure felt at someone else's misfortune.
[Origin: 1890–95; G, equiv. to Schaden harm + Freude joy]

Schadenfreude #1
My credit is better than AIG's. None of my debts have interest rates over 6%. AIG, on the other hand, is going to pay 11.5% interest on the $85 billion bridge loan it obtained from the federal government.

I don't feel guilty about this schadenfreude because AIG insured derivative contracts without having adequate reserves to cover the potential default on those securities. Who cares whether they were required by law to have those reserves in place for these securities? AIG's primary business is in insurance so they should have known the importance of having adequate reserves to cover potential future claims. Otherwise, they were taking on extreme risk at the expense of equity owners and now, taxpayers, and they knew it. Shame on them.

Schadenfreude #2
Just like me, media mogul billionaire, Sumner Redstone, recently had to sell some company stocks to "pay down debt". The difference, though, is that I sold my company stocks on the upswing. Redstone, had to dump $400 million of nonvoting B shares in Viacom and CBS when shares were trading at a fraction of what they were a year ago. If Restone is unable to renegotiate his company's debt, he may be forced to sell additional shares.

Normally I wouldn't relish the misfortune of others, but Sumner Redstone isn't a likeable or sympathetic person. This is a guy who promotes his own daughter, Shari Redstone, to president of National Amusements and vice-chairwoman of CBS/Viacom, only to publicly disparage her to Forbes magazine. No wonder he's estranged from his son as well. Since this guy's been known to brag about his financial acumen, he can eat some humble-pie now and then.

Schadenfreude #3
Escape Brooklyn found this gem of an article, Laid Off Bankers Having Trouble Getting Laid. An excerpt:

One of the most trying aspects for [the laid off bankers]... was the loss of “perceived prestige” with women. “A lot of my dude friends when they meet a girl in a bar, they’ve stopped talking for once about what they do,” [the interviewee] said. “If you tell a girl you work at an investment bank, that gets you a sympathetic pat on the back. That’s not the response you’re looking for.”

Ahahahahhahahahha! What's the matter, dudes? Pity-sex not good enough for you? HA!

Hmmmmm... I thought all this schadenfreude would make me feel better. But not so much. I'm feeling a bit dirty. :-(


Sallie's Niece said...

Ha, that's one way to look at it. I think people make too big a deal of credit scores. I don't want to get more debt so I don't care so much that my score is bad. And trust me, mine is lower than yours!