Piano World Home Page
Posted By: Steve Cohen Buy a Piano For America! - 02/12/09 11:13 PM
Patriots:

Now is the time to come to the aid of your country. Our economy needs stimulus. Now you can make a difference.

Go to your local piano emporium and buy a new piano. Not tomorrow...now! And take money out of savings to pay for it.

A chicken in every pot, a piano in every foyer.

Do it for your family. Do it for your country.
Posted By: Mocheol Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/12/09 11:30 PM
Thats a funny posting.
Surely you mean buy an American made piano.
Anyone buying a non-American made piano is merely shipping money out of the country
Posted By: U S A P T Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/12/09 11:45 PM
Hey. I have a grand piano, a console organ and a full-sized theatre organ with four monstrous external speakers all in a one-bedroom off-campus APARTMENT. I don't think anyone in these parts know even knows what a foyer is. I certainly don't have one.

Come to think of it, I once sold a piano to a lady who put it in her "foyer." Her neighbor's hubby was the CEO of "X" mega corporation and her hubby was a successful brain surgeon. So they each had to have what the other had.

When I called the neighbor and suggested she come and buy a piano as well because her neighbor bought one for her foyer, she scoffed into the phone and said "foyer? that's not a foyer! It's a hallway!"

To which I replied "well you have a giant bay window facing the street that frames a ficus tree. Don't you think a large grand would look better?"

"I don't play."

"You don't have to. Come in and let me show you some of our pianos that can play music for days on end via remote control. Why, you can even have singers and orchestras accompany the piano through your home entertainment system. I have an appointment open this thursday at 2 or this saturday at 9:30 a.m. Which time works for you?"

A few weeks later there was very large Japanese grand in ebony polish with a full-blown player system looking out at the street.

Never hurts to call the neighbors to let them know there's a new piano in the neighborhood.

laugh
Posted By: TheSockPuppet Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/13/09 01:03 AM
Now is the time NOT to buy a piano or anything you do not absolutely need. In these uncertain economic time, now is the time for you to worry about your bank account, not the piano salesman's. As a piano consumer, or consumer of any kind, you never should worry about the welfare of the salesman. The consumer and salesman have opposite interests. Only a salesman would tell you otherwise. That would be clear on a piano consumer oriented website.
Posted By: Rod Verhnjak Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/13/09 01:04 AM
Quote
Originally posted by Mocheol:
Thats a funny posting.
Surely you mean buy an American made piano.
Anyone buying a non-American made piano is merely shipping money out of the country
thumb
Posted By: Diaphragmatic Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/13/09 01:22 AM
I agree! Buy yourself a piano and save yourself a bunch of money by staying at home and enjoying your new instrument instead of going out and spending money on things that wont be worth anything in a few years.

If you ask me, every home should have a piano 3hearts
Posted By: ChatNoir Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/13/09 01:31 AM
A house without a piano is no home.
Posted By: Starting Over Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/13/09 01:45 AM
Steve, I'm damn tempted! If I had done that a year ago I'd have the piano I want now instead of devalued investments. mad
Posted By: Norbert Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/13/09 02:02 AM
Steve:

There's no way your Estonia has 'devalued', quite the opposite actually.

Just stay tuned a bit....

Norbert wink
Posted By: Diaphragmatic Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/13/09 02:15 AM
Quote
Originally posted by Starting Over:
Steve, I'm damn tempted! If I had done that a year ago I'd have the piano I want now instead of devalued investments. mad
A few weeks ago during a recital at our store I noticed a man standing in front of a Steinway model M. He stood there with his arm folded for a few minutes just looking at the piano.

I walked up to greet him and asked if their were any questions I could answer for him.

He told me that about 5 years ago he was extremely close to purchasing a brand new model M for his young, talented daughter but decided against it and purchase a used piano from a private seller.

He said that not only had the piano's cost increased by nearly $15,000 over that period but he could have purchase more than one Steinway with the money he had lost in investments over the past year.

He was clearly upset and regretted not purchasing a Steinway when he had the chance.
Posted By: U S A P T Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/13/09 05:17 PM
Quote
Originally posted by TheSockPuppet:
[QB] Now is the time NOT to buy a piano or anything you do not absolutely need.
Ever heard of the paradox of thrift? If not, google it. Banks have been infused with billions of dollars. Are they hoarding it or sitting on it? Heck no. They are buying distressed assets right and left. They aren't loaning it out like they were supposed to, but they are taking advantage of the biggest buyer's market in half a century. You should too.

Quote
In these uncertain economic time [sic], now is the time for you to worry about your bank account
Why? Money in the bank is like a pile of firewood. It does little or nothing unless you do something with it. You can stare at it and worry about it and watch it rot, or use it (metaphorically speaking) to fire up a furnace and start an industry.

Quote
not the piano salesman's.
The piano salesman doesn't want you to worry about him. He exists to help you solve your problem. If you walked into my store, I'd probably sit you down and teach you a bit about what money is and is not before I tried to sell you a piano. If you worry about money, you don't understand it. When you convert your money to assets that work for you, the peace of mind that comes means that you've made an informed decision.

Quote
As a piano consumer, or consumer of any kind, you never should worry about the welfare of the salesman.
Can I take that a step further? You need to strike the word "worry" from your vocabulary. Worry is, simply, "fear of the unknown." If you don't understand money, then money owns you. You are frozen and you pick up the herd mentality. You hoard it when everyone else is hoarding it and it loses value faster.

In a herd mentality, never do what the herd does. During the bubble, the herd was motivated by greed. Now, during the panic, the herd is motivated by fear -- advocating just the advice you are dispensing. When everyone hoards enough cash, the value of cash will plummet. A deer caught in headlights usually gets run over.

Quote
The consumer and salesman have opposite interests.
I agree. My interest would be to help you make an informed decision based on knowledge of the facts. Your interest would be solely in price, perpetuating the illusion that your problem gets solved at the moment you pay for something. However, the transaction is only the beginning. It's the return that makes you wealthy. Wealth can't always be measured in dollar terms. Sometimes the return comes in inspiration, which would make you an entrepreneur.

Quote
Only a salesman would tell you otherwise.
Yep. Can't agree more. You are all about price paid. If you buy a cord of firewood but don't know how to make fire, then you better not pay too much for it.

Even though I am no longer in sales, I always felt that a piano was an investment in peace of mind. Peace of mind (freedom from worry) is in really short supply these days. Buying a big wooden three-legged box that requires no electricity to operate seems like a wise investment to me because each time I use it it forces me to be creative. The notes I hit or the interpretation I express through my fingers is the definitive act of problem solving.

I can also help you with your golf game.
Posted By: ScottM Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/13/09 05:19 PM
I think I'd help the economy more if I had my old upright completely restored. laugh
Posted By: scharlott Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/13/09 05:41 PM
Buying a foreign-made piano helps our trading partners and thus helps the US manufacturers that export to those countries. But the multiplier effect of your purchase of a foreign-made piano also helps the US economy more directly also - the dealer you buy from can pay his bills, and pay his sales staff (rather than going out of business and laying off everyone), and the sales staff can go out and make purchases, and the dealer's distributor can likewise pay his bills, etc. - the net effect of a multitude of such purchases (not just pianos) is to break the downward spiral.

Going out and making a big-ticket purchase right now would be a very patriotic thing to do. I purchased a new piano six weeks ago. I think I am going to get a new flat-screen TV soon - in part to help the economy - not just of the US, but the world.

Brad
Posted By: U S A P T Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/13/09 05:55 PM
I also plan on buying an HDTV in the next few days.

Sooner or later, hoarding cash will fall out of fashion. The trick is to buy the big-ticket items now while everyone is desperate.
Posted By: Norbert Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/13/09 07:09 PM
I agree with much of what has been said above.

There's a fine line between over-extending yourself and hoarding increasingly worthless cash in droves.

Some of my most recent customers seem to appreciate the value of something like a piano that stays and is neither going up or down.

Especially if they make some of the smarter choices out there right now....

Norbert
Posted By: kluurs Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/13/09 07:41 PM
Quote
Originally posted by Diaphragmatic:
Quote
Originally posted by Starting Over:
[b] Steve, I'm damn tempted! If I had done that a year ago I'd have the piano I want now instead of devalued investments. mad
A few weeks ago during a recital at our store I noticed a man standing in front of a Steinway model M. He stood there with his arm folded for a few minutes just looking at the piano.

I walked up to greet him and asked if their were any questions I could answer for him.

He told me that about 5 years ago he was extremely close to purchasing a brand new model M for his young, talented daughter but decided against it and purchase a used piano from a private seller.

He said that not only had the piano's cost increased by nearly $15,000 over that period but he could have purchase more than one Steinway with the money he had lost in investments over the past year.

He was clearly upset and regretted not purchasing a Steinway when he had the chance. [/b]
Many years ago when I was coming through a divorce that destroyed my finances, the first thing I did was buy a new Steinway M. I'm sure that Nancy Orman would have shouted "NO!"

It was a wonderful piano and gave me hope and joy for the future. I couldn't afford much else for a while. I was driving a car that cost me $175. But I had a piano that I enjoyed so much that even in the middle of the night, I would sometimes walk by and play a single note - and savored the tone. I enjoyed knowing that piano was sitting there waiting for me.

Never postpone joy!
Posted By: ChatNoir Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/13/09 08:19 PM
Quote
Originally posted by kluurs:Never postpone joy!
Well, I don't know about that.
In Norway, the saying goes like this:

" Hver gledesstund du har på jord, betales må med sorg"
(Every happy moment here on earth, must be paid for with sorrow)

frown
Posted By: Furtwangler Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/13/09 08:24 PM
I would probably think that, too - if I lived in Norway!
Posted By: scharlott Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/13/09 08:40 PM
Congress is about to pass a nearly $800B stimulus package. Let's think of a proposal to get some of that money that would help the domestic piano industry. A new piano in every school!!!!
Posted By: scharlott Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/13/09 08:42 PM
That's worth its own thread . . . so . . .
Posted By: ChatNoir Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/13/09 08:49 PM
Quote
Originally posted by Furtwangler:
I would probably think that, too - if I lived in Norway!
Why do you think I am here in Southern California? laugh
Posted By: kluurs Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/13/09 09:01 PM
I can't think of any Norweigan piano manufacturers either...
Posted By: Mocheol Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/13/09 11:42 PM
I thought the purpose of this post was to help America.

I,m not an American.

But clearly the best way always to help your own country in troubled times is to buy your own countries native products and not buy imports.

Scharlott is wrong to imply buying imports helps the native economy.
For every dollar spent on an import a large % will go out of the country.
For every dollar spent on native goods then the greater % of that dollar remains in the country and can be re-invested.
This is just simple economics.

I believe ,aside from top end Steinway, that there are many other excellent piano manufacturers in USA. They have not marketed
themselves very well in Europe and this is a pity.

We are fed up with Kawai & Yamaha and would love to see the Yanks coming over and marketing their pianos .
I was certainly impressed with Kohler & Campbell but would like to see more suppliers.
Posted By: Rod Verhnjak Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/13/09 11:47 PM
Quote
Originally posted by Mocheol:


We are fed up with Kawai & Yamaha and would love to see the Yanks coming over and marketing their pianos .
So how many Charles Walters can I send you laugh
Posted By: Steve Cohen Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/14/09 01:21 AM
Quote
Originally posted by Mocheol:
I thought the purpose of this post was to help America.
WRONG!

The purpose of the post was humor...and to help piano DEALERS.

I'll leave helping the American economy to others.
Posted By: DarkGreenChocolate Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/14/09 01:26 AM
Those who advocate a "spend away!" strategy may be forgetting how many people don't actually have any savings in the sense of cash or bank accounts, once you subtract credit card debt, mortgages, student loans, car payments, and so on. These people, at least--who are, in fact, the overwhelming majority--would certainly be wise to consider "saving," i.e. paying down debt, rather than spending. I'm still waiting for politicians to acknowledge this uncomfortable truth.

Now, if you happen to have a huge wad of bills under your mattress, or a bulging bank account, or a chest of dubloons buried in the back yard, by all means, go bargain-hunting for pianos and whatever else catches your eye.
Posted By: ChatNoir Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/14/09 01:35 AM
Quote
Originally posted by kluurs:
I can't think of any Norweigan piano manufacturers either...
Knudsen
Brødrene Hals
Julius Berg
P.C. Brantzeg
Martin Bredesen
Emil Cappelen
J. Eilertsen
John Enger
Forenede Pianofabrikker
Grøndahl
Hellström

.....just to mention a few....
Posted By: scharlott Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/14/09 01:38 AM
Mochoel,

We now have a big, interdependent world economy. Protectionist thinking by all countries such as you are recommending that Americans engage in hurts all countries - it would be kind of like saying that I should help Kentucky's economy by buying only things made it Kentucky - such thinking would hurt the national economy. The reason why all countries benefit from unfettered buying and selling with each other is the principle of comparative advantage, which is taught in courses on world trade. It's a foundation principle of economics.

Brad
Posted By: Mocheol Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/14/09 02:21 AM
Steve Cohen

What the heck is WRONG with you.
Your initial posting was a clear rallying call to your flag.
If your just advertising pianos why not say so at the start.
Posted By: Mocheol Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/14/09 02:36 AM
Scharlott.

Yes indeed this unfettered buying and selling which has caused the global financial crisis originated in USA.
No country has benefited in this crisis and many countries, but mainly USA, are in deep deep financial doodoo because of precisely your so called foundation principle of [voodoo]economics.

Im not advocating protectionism.
If you took the trouble to read my posting properly you would understand that what Im advocating is old fashioned patriotism of support your own country first when its in trouble.
By all means trade with others,but imposition of external trade tariffs is not what I advocated.

I,m Irish and buy Irish when I can.

Were I American I,d buy American when I could.

Any self respecting patriot could do no less
Posted By: portmanteau Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/14/09 02:59 AM
Quote
Originally posted by Steve Cohen:
Patriots:

Now is the time to come to the aid of your country. Our economy needs stimulus. Now [b]you
can make a difference.

Go to your local piano emporium and buy a new piano. Not tomorrow...now! And take money out of savings to pay for it.

A chicken in every pot, a piano in every foyer.

Do it for your family. Do it for your country. [/b]
The banks would prefer that you keep the money in the bank, and use a loan to finance the piano. At
least this would expand the money supply.
Posted By: portmanteau Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/14/09 03:05 AM
Quote
Originally posted by U S A P T:
Quote
Originally posted by TheSockPuppet:
[QB] Now is the time NOT to buy a piano or anything you do not absolutely need.
Ever heard of the paradox of thrift? If not, google it. Banks have been infused with billions of dollars. Are they hoarding it or sitting on it? Heck no. They are buying distressed assets right and left. They aren't loaning it out like they were supposed to, but they are taking advantage of the biggest buyer's market in half a century. You should too.

Quote
In these uncertain economic time [sic], now is the time for you to worry about your bank account
Why? Money in the bank is like a pile of firewood. It does little or nothing unless you do something with it. You can stare at it and worry about it and watch it rot, or use it (metaphorically speaking) to fire up a furnace and start an industry.

Quote
not the piano salesman's.
The piano salesman doesn't want you to worry about him. He exists to help you solve your problem. If you walked into my store, I'd probably sit you down and teach you a bit about what money is and is not before I tried to sell you a piano. If you worry about money, you don't understand it. When you convert your money to assets that work for you, the peace of mind that comes means that you've made an informed decision.

Quote
As a piano consumer, or consumer of any kind, you never should worry about the welfare of the salesman.
Can I take that a step further? You need to strike the word "worry" from your vocabulary. Worry is, simply, "fear of the unknown." If you don't understand money, then money owns you. You are frozen and you pick up the herd mentality. You hoard it when everyone else is hoarding it and it loses value faster.

In a herd mentality, never do what the herd does. During the bubble, the herd was motivated by greed. Now, during the panic, the herd is motivated by fear -- advocating just the advice you are dispensing. When everyone hoards enough cash, the value of cash will plummet. A deer caught in headlights usually gets run over.

Quote
The consumer and salesman have opposite interests.
I agree. My interest would be to help you make an informed decision based on knowledge of the facts. Your interest would be solely in price, perpetuating the illusion that your problem gets solved at the moment you pay for something. However, the transaction is only the beginning. It's the return that makes you wealthy. Wealth can't always be measured in dollar terms. Sometimes the return comes in inspiration, which would make you an entrepreneur.

Quote
Only a salesman would tell you otherwise.
Yep. Can't agree more. You are all about price paid. If you buy a cord of firewood but don't know how to make fire, then you better not pay too much for it.

Even though I am no longer in sales, I always felt that a piano was an investment in peace of mind. Peace of mind (freedom from worry) is in really short supply these days. Buying a big wooden three-legged box that requires no electricity to operate seems like a wise investment to me because each time I use it it forces me to be creative. The notes I hit or the interpretation I express through my fingers is the definitive act of problem solving.

I can also help you with your golf game.
This is extraordinarily irresponsible advice. The banks will lose their shirts, and get more government
money later. How much government help do you think individuals who overextend themselves can expect.
They may be committing financial suicide.
Posted By: portmanteau Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/14/09 03:13 AM
Quote
Originally posted by scharlott:
Mochoel,

We now have a big, interdependent world economy. Protectionist thinking by all countries such as you are recommending that Americans engage in hurts all countries - it would be kind of like saying that I should help Kentucky's economy by buying only things made it Kentucky - such thinking would hurt the national economy. The reason why all countries benefit from unfettered buying and selling with each other is the principle of comparative advantage, which is taught in courses on world trade. It's a foundation principle of economics.

Brad
In my opinion protectionism is overrated. Look at the baltic dry index. International shipping fell
off a cliff last year. Right now currency exchange volatility and lack of letters of credit has
done as much to hamstring international trade as smoot-hawley ever did.
Posted By: portmanteau Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/14/09 03:20 AM
Quote
Originally posted by DarkGreenChocolate:
Those who advocate a "spend away!" strategy may be forgetting how many people don't actually have any savings in the sense of cash or bank accounts, once you subtract credit card debt, mortgages, student loans, car payments, and so on. These people, at least--who are, in fact, the overwhelming majority--would certainly be wise to consider "saving," i.e. paying down debt, rather than spending. I'm still waiting for politicians to acknowledge this uncomfortable truth.

Now, if you happen to have a huge wad of bills under your mattress, or a bulging bank account, or a chest of dubloons buried in the back yard, by all means, go bargain-hunting for pianos and whatever else catches your eye.
This is the problem. It is the debt. There can be no recovery until the debt overhang is either
directly repudiated or inflated away.
Posted By: portmanteau Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/14/09 03:25 AM
Quote
Originally posted by Mocheol:
Steve Cohen

What the heck is WRONG with you.
Your initial posting was a clear rallying call to your flag.
If your just advertising pianos why not say so at the start.
I believe he was joking. I, for one, enjoy tongue-in-cheek humor.
Posted By: scharlott Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/14/09 10:09 AM
Mocheol,

By "protectionist thinking" I meant if individuals in all countries (without any government intervention) chose only domestic products when possible, international trade would be harmed and the benefits to the world economic system that that derive from the principle of comparative advantage would be to some degree negated. Ireland especially is dependent on there being a robust international economic system based on flourishing world trade.

Brad
Posted By: tjbsb Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/14/09 01:35 PM
Quote
Originally posted by Mocheol:
Thats a funny posting.
Surely you mean buy an American made piano.
Anyone buying a non-American made piano is merely shipping money out of the country
Except for the profit made by the U.S. dealer, the money that goes to the truckers that brought the piano to the store and to the end customer's home and all the other bits and bobs that end up in American hands.
Posted By: Mocheol Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/14/09 03:05 PM
scharlott,

The internationalist argument will only work on a level playing field.
This is not the case because of self interest . Both EU and USA artificially distort, by state intervention, subsidy or tax relief, all fields of economic activity.

This is a music forum and I dont want to digress too much.
I still hold the view broadly speaking that national self interest is best served by purchasing goods made in ones home state.

Anyway,best remedy for recession is go out buy a brand new piano ,especially one that you cannot afford.
This will dispell all gloom and lift the economy , therby enriching you to clear the repayments on that grand piano more quickly.

This argument cannot be contested.
Posted By: scharlott Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/14/09 06:31 PM
I would rob a bank to buy a grand, but my bank has only toxic mortgages.
Posted By: portmanteau Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/14/09 10:17 PM
Quote
Originally posted by Mocheol:
scharlott,

The internationalist argument will only work on a level playing field.
This is not the case because of self interest . Both EU and USA artificially distort, by state intervention, subsidy or tax relief, all fields of economic activity.

This is a music forum and I dont want to digress too much.
I still hold the view broadly speaking that national self interest is best served by purchasing goods made in ones home state.

Anyway,best remedy for recession is go out buy a brand new piano ,especially one that you cannot afford.
This will dispell all gloom and lift the economy , therby enriching you to clear the repayments on that grand piano more quickly.

This argument cannot be contested.
Just one piano?

I think we can do better than that. Here is how we can jump start the piano economy. We will
start as a humble piano storage company that provides a nice climate controlled home for pianos
temporarily. In addition to storing pianos we also have units that we lease out. Let us call
our new company The Piano Bank. We can sell stock to fund our initial round of pianos. But
storing and leasing pianos doesn't pay enough to satisfy our shareholders. They demand 10%
growth a year and the piano market is not large enough to accommodate it.

In order to continue growing we decide to start buying pianos directly to expand our units
instead of waiting for demand from clients. To fund this venture we will sell bonds and slip
the ratings agency a big bribe so that we have a AAA rating. But now there is a small problem.
Pianos are in high demand, mostly because of us, and we end up paying up to 3 times list for
them.

Free from the constraints of demand our piano facilities grow rapidly, and we use this asset
base to borrow ever increasing amounts of money to fund our expansion. We then use much of the
fresh capital to begin buying our competitors, and convert them over to our business model.
Soon there are only a few large piano banks, since the only companies that can afford to compete
with us are doing the exact same thing.

We are growing even faster than before. We buy pianos by the container full. It becomes well
know in the industry that we don't even look in the containers and soon they are filled with all
sorts of rubbish. Some are even empty, but we are making a fortune on paper and so we do not
care. The shareholders are thrilled and our stock skyrockets, and everyone is happy. But there
is a problem. What do we do with all the pianos? We know we over paid for them and some don't
exist. We might even face criminal proceedings for fraud if it is found out. So we go to
congress and have them make pianos exempt from normal mark to market rules. So we never sell
any pianos, we just keep them on the books at 3 times their value.

This works well for a while but at some point we cannot get any more loans for expansion.
Perhaps a raise in the interest rate, or maybe one of our bond issues fail to sell. We can no
longer finance our continued expansion and the share price peaks. Shareholders start asking
questions. The SEC launches an investigation which we manage to delay indefinitely due to our
influence. Then the unthinkable happens. A rumor starts that our pianos are over valued and
that some of the pianos in storage for clients have been sold or lent out to make ends meet.
Whispers abound that many of our pianos unplayable or nonexistent. There is a run on the
piano bank as everyone rushes to take their piano out at the same time.

We call the government to intervene and they shut down the piano market for a few hours, and then
guarantee the value, and existence of all the pianos on our books. Now we are insolvent and
everyone knows it, but it doesn't matter since we have the backing of the government. In panic
federal regulators send in piano techs to evaluate our pianos, and to their horror they are in
terrible shape. In fact many have been damaged irreparably and cannot be sold at all. Other
pianos are completely fictitious and the containers are empty. To make matters worse we have
taken out huge insurance policies that have been sold to all the other leading piano companies.
If we go under the insurance policy chain will unwind and bankrupt the entire industry. We
have become too large to fail.

The government calls the heads of all the major piano companies together to decide what to do.
They then blackmail congress in order to pass an emergency bill in order get us enough cash to
ward off bankruptcy for a few months, but everyone knows its only a matter of time. At this
point the government kindly steps in and offers to set up a quasi government entity. Lets call
it The Bad Piano Bank. At the taxpayers expense the bad piano bank takes all the pianos off
our hands for a little more than we payed for them. Their charter is to hold the pianos until
the market recovers enough to sell them. Unfortunately, it proves too expensive to evaluate
each piano to see if it is salvageable and so all pianos are trucked off to an abandoned salt
mine. The Piano Bank, on the other hand, is made whole. To celebrate our huge windfall We
will take the corporate jet to a spa and spend the government money on golf and booze.

And, a fitting reward for fraud, our CEO gets a treasury post.
Posted By: ChatNoir Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/14/09 10:36 PM
What does CEO stand for? Chief Embezzlement Officer?
Posted By: RickG Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/14/09 10:46 PM
After Christmas, I used my gift money to buy a HDTV for the kitchen and a DVR to replace my old VCR. I wonder if that counts?
Posted By: scharlott Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/14/09 11:10 PM
Portmanteau,

That is absolutely brilliant satire. You are truly gifted.

Thanks,

Brad
Posted By: U S A P T Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/15/09 05:09 AM
Just to be sure, I feel terrible for people who are up to their eyeballs in debt. They are victims of the highest order and I believe that credit card banks and most other lending institutions should be prosecuted -- and not bailed out AT ALL -- for predatory lending practices that positioned consumer debt as a key to financial freedom.

I'm not rich. I am a full-time student who is broke enough to qualify for grants. I work for the school in the sense that I earn straight A's and they compensate me by paying for my tuition and books. I am purchasing education for myself because I want to continue doing what I've always done: solve people's problems -- but in ways that I need some higher learning to achieve.

No matter what your financial situation is, if this current financial fiasco has caught you in its clutches, may I highly recommend
Quote
"Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money--That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! -- by Robert T. Kiyosaki
It's available in paperback, is a quick read, and will completely upend how you look at money, assets, liabilities and debt and set you on a course for true financial freedom.
Posted By: teachum Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/15/09 05:37 AM
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Originally posted by ChatNoir:
A house without a piano is no home.
Hear, hear!!! But I already blew my wad so I can't help out.
Posted By: jazzyprof Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/15/09 06:23 AM
Portmanteau: Your piece is sheer genius! You should get it published in the Wall Street Journal.
Posted By: Horwinkle Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/15/09 06:35 AM
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Originally posted by U S A P T:
I feel terrible for people who are up to their eyeballs in debt.
Fair enough.

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They are victims of the highest order
Some of them might be foolish with their finances. But they are not victims.

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I believe that credit card banks and most other lending institutions should be prosecuted -- and not bailed out AT ALL -- for predatory lending practices that positioned consumer debt as a key to financial freedom.
What predatory practices are you referring to?
Posted By: U S A P T Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/15/09 08:07 AM
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What predatory practices are you referring to?
You're kidding right?

balloon mortgages, securitization issues (Countrywide comes to mind), negative amortization, single payment credit life insurance, loan flipping (refinance scams), jacking up credit card fees and interest rates and then soliciting the same customer to refinance them through an installment loan through the same bank, requiring people to buy morgage insurance and only allowing them to use the bank's choice of insurer, offering $2000 in credit but charging $1,750 in fees etc., payday loans etc.

Sure I could just say they are all foolish but that doesn't solve any problems. It just causes more.
Posted By: scharlott Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/15/09 03:29 PM
Are people who are going bankrupt today victims or merely foolish? I think in most cases, the truth is somewhere between the polar opposite positions given above. If, two years ago, you felt like a fool for not going into debt and flipping a house in six months because your brother-in-law did it and made a killing - and so you bought a much bigger house that you couldn't really afford - and now you have negative equity in it and may go under financially, who's to blame - you? the lenders? your brother-in-law? the zeitgeist? All of the above?

My wife and I are big-time savers. We're in good shape. But I feel for those who gave in to the get-rich-quick temptation. So I'd like Congress et al to be compassionate when doling out aid to the somewhat foolish/somewhat victimized folks who need help to just stay in their homes.

Meantime, we going to enjoy our new piano!

Brad
Posted By: Horwinkle Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/15/09 04:33 PM
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Originally posted by U S A P T:
balloon mortgages, securitization issues, negative amortization, single payment credit life insurance
Those things are unacceptable. When offered any of those, you just say no. You don't have to purchase a balloon mortgage. You don't have to buy an interest-only loan. You don't have to buy credit life insurance. Those are money wasters.

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... jacking up credit card fees and interest rates and then soliciting the same customer to refinance them through an installment loan through the same bank
Just say no to credit cards. The proper amount of credit card debt is $0.

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... requiring people to buy morgage insurance and only allowing them to use the bank's choice of insurer
Put 20% down and you won't have to buy any mortgage insurance.

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... offering $2000 in credit but charging $1,750 in fees etc., payday loans etc.
These are perhaps the worst traps for the unwary. Just say no.

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... I could just say they are all foolish but that doesn't solve any problems. It just causes more.
When people accept the unacceptable, they've made a mistake. Blaming the banks won't solve it. Education might.
Posted By: portmanteau Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/16/09 12:47 AM
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Originally posted by scharlott:
Portmanteau,

That is absolutely brilliant satire. You are truly gifted.

Thanks,

Brad
Thanks for the praise. I hope it is as much fun to read as it was to write.
Posted By: portmanteau Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/16/09 12:57 AM
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Originally posted by U S A P T:
Just to be sure, I feel terrible for people who are up to their eyeballs in debt. They are victims of the highest order and I believe that credit card banks and most other lending institutions should be prosecuted -- and not bailed out AT ALL -- for predatory lending practices that positioned consumer debt as a key to financial freedom.

I'm not rich. I am a full-time student who is broke enough to qualify for grants. I work for the school in the sense that I earn straight A's and they compensate me by paying for my tuition and books. I am purchasing education for myself because I want to continue doing what I've always done: solve people's problems -- but in ways that I need some higher learning to achieve.

No matter what your financial situation is, if this current financial fiasco has caught you in its clutches, may I highly recommend
Quote
"Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money--That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! -- by Robert T. Kiyosaki
It's available in paperback, is a quick read, and will completely upend how you look at money, assets, liabilities and debt and set you on a course for true financial freedom.
I would be skeptical about any book that promises an easy way to wealth. Books
like this always seem to raise the same question. If his method is so profitable,
why does this fellow waste his time on the lecture circuit marketing his book?
People like this are rarely altruistic.

I have not read, nor do I intend to, the book rich dad poor dad, but the 3rd or
4th link on google turns up this criticism:

http://johntreed.com/Kiyosaki.html

I have not bothered to evaluate the veracity of these claims, but they do seem
to undermine the credibility of the book.
Posted By: portmanteau Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/16/09 01:03 AM
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Originally posted by jazzyprof:
Portmanteau: Your piece is sheer genius! You should get it published in the Wall Street Journal.
Thanks for your kind words. I doubt they would accept it. If they did they would
probably insist on editing it until it doesn't make sense anymore. What amazes me
is that the parties involved in this still act as if they did nothing wrong.
Posted By: scharlott Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/16/09 01:15 AM
I have a chain letter, which I would like to mail to 20 of you. If you all follow the instructions, which includes sending me $5, I can guarantee you that one of us will be $100 richer. So let me know your addresses.

Thanks in advance,

Brad
Posted By: RickG Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/16/09 03:22 AM
portmanteau, Very Good!!
Posted By: U S A P T Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/16/09 03:42 AM
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What amazes me
is that the parties involved in this still act as if they did nothing wrong.
Well didn't you know? WSJ says it's all Barney Franks and Maxine Waters' fault!
Posted By: Marty Flinn Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/17/09 01:22 AM
OMG, Steve's original post was just a light hearted "call to action." Some need to lighten up a little; starting with TheSockPuppet. Let's all just send a check to to Steve Cohen. He'll know what to do with it!

I find it incongruous on a piano enthusiast's website that folks are saying "for God's sake, don't buy a piano." I've got mine, but you can't have one even if you've got the money.
Posted By: Steve Cohen Re: Buy a Piano For America! - 02/17/09 02:03 AM
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Originally posted by Marty Flinn:
OMG, Steve's original post was just a light hearted "call to action." Some need to lighten up a little; starting with TheSockPuppet. Let's all just send a check to to Steve Cohen. He'll know what to do with it!
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Pasadena, MD 21122

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