Who Loves a Good Mystery? The Death of King Ludwig II Reconsidered by a Forensic Economist, Part 3

His Sexuality

Many historians regard Ludwig II as a curious figure from a family with many eccentricities. As a number of personality traits tend to distort the essence of the case, let us begin by discussing and dismissing the best-known elephants from the room. At age twenty-one, Ludwig was engaged to his cousin Duchess Sophie Charlotte. Sophie was the favorite sister of Elisabeth (aka Sissi), Empress of Austria. Ludwig and Sophie were engaged for eight months in 1867. However, Ludwig cancelled the engagement. He never married and never had any known mistresses. From this chain of events, entries from his diary, private letters, and other surviving personal documents, many historians and muckrakers suggest that that the young king had “strong homosexual desires.” Since homosexuality had not been punishable in Bavaria since 1813, such claims did not have a great deal of bearing under Bavarian law. However, homosexuality was punishable under severe Prussian law.

Furthermore, let us keep in mind that marriages of state at that time did not require love between the couple. They merely demanded the production of a suitable heir and attendance together at required state functions. Couples were free to pursue whatever other personal life pleased them, as long as they remained suitably discrete. Nevertheless, Ludwig wrote to his former fiancĂ©e using a mutually understood quote from the opera Lohengrin by Richard Wagner: “My beloved Elsa! Your cruel father has torn us apart. Eternally yours, Heinrich.” As the marriage of Ludwig and Sophie would have been a cousin-marriage repeated for a second generation within a family that had challenges from inbreeding, one might suggest that Sophie’s father, Duke Maximilian Joseph, may have intervened to halt the marriage due to concerns over further inbreeding. With these matters laid out, let us set aside the assertions that Ludwig was murdered because of his sexuality.

His Finances & Bavaria’s Economy

King Ludwig has been characterized as a spendthrift who bankrupted both himself and the Bavarian treasury. However, Ludwig wanted Bavaria to become a cultural center of Europe. To do this, he built the Bayreuth Festival Theatre in Munich that opened in 1876. Ludwig built the theatre as the patron of composer Richard Wagner, whose works were performed there. After visiting Versailles and other major palaces that expressed the character of their respective countries, Ludwig drew the original sketches for and oversaw the construction of three “fairytale” castles in the southern Bavarian countryside and made additions to the Residenz Palace in Munich.

Today, we know that Ludwig paid for these “public-works” projects largely with his own inherited funds, supplemented through personal debt that increased to 14 million marks ($211 million in current U.S. dollars) by 1885. There is a lesser-known financial fact that may be relevant to this case. Ludwig, along with other heads of state throughout Europe, drew an income from the Welfenfonds (aka Guelph Funds). These funds came from the confiscation of property that concurred with the annexation of the Kingdom of Hanover in the German War of 1866. Ludwig drew 270,000 marks per year from 1873 to 1885 (about 3,375,000 marks in total–$50.9 million in current U.S.). This annual draw covered 10% of the cost of building the three castles.

Therefore, let us put the economics of Ludwig’s projects in perspective. The Neuschwanstein castle, built atop a mountain, is the most famous. However, it was the least expensive of the three castles built by King Ludwig. This castle took twenty years to construct and cost 6,180,047 marks ($93.2 million in current U.S.). Over the two decades, the Neuschwanstein project was the primary employer in its vicinity, with 200 to 300 craftspeople employed at any given time. These artisans used materials harvested and brought by lesser-skilled labor and local businesses from this region, which is located fifty miles southwest of Munich.

The other two castle projects, Linderhof (located ten miles east of Neuschwanstein) and Herrenchiemsee (located forty miles southeast of Munich), were the more expensive ones. Linderhof cost 5.8 million marks ($128 million in current U.S.). Herrenchiemsee came in at just under 16.6 million marks ($251 million in current U.S.). Together, these three projects cost $471 million, current U.S. In perspective, the cost of the Freedom Tower at the site of the World Trade Center cost $4 billion, paid for by an insurance settlement of a near-equal amount.

The three castles opened to the public shortly after the death of Ludwig. Since then, their number of annual visitors has grown into the millions. Neuschwanstein alone receives 1.3 million visitors per year. If we were to measure the economic impact of these projects to their local vicinities in terms of admission fees, food and lodging, and a multiplier for the value of increased employment and local spending, we would determine that the castles have recouped their cost many times over. Today, one could argue that Ludwig II was the father of modern tourism in Bavaria. Although, his contemporaries may not have shared the same foresight, the spending of public funds perceived as excessive was continually approved over the two decades of construction and could have been curtailed easily by means other than murder.

However, there remains one significant support to the assertion of an economic motive for murder. Historians have noted that Ludwig maintained the loyalty of the Bavarian people and the military, who voiced their desire for independence from the Reich; of course this loyalty was not shared by most of the government ministers. Also, given the past history of property confiscation that included the Welfenfonds by the Kaiserreich, Ludwig may have had the sense to empty both the Bavarian treasury and his own pockets as much as possible out of fear of the slow but eventual takeover by von Bismarck and the Reich. The castle projects broke ground in 1869, two years after the formation of the North German Federation of 1867 (the year of Ludwig’s engagement) but before Bavaria reluctantly joined the German Empire in 1871. If Ludwig stalled for time against the inevitable, a slow annual flow of marks to the people of Bavaria provided two decades of consistent employment as well as a wide disbursement of wealth among the populace.

In the end, this left the state of Bavaria with land, buildings, and people but not much in the way of portable wealth. After the death of Ludwig, the inevitable finally happened during the Regency Era. Prince Otto, the younger brother of Ludwig and the next in line for the throne, was in an asylum at the time of his brother’s death. Although he was technically the new king, Otto was deposed quickly by his paternal uncle, Prince Luitpold, who assumed the regency. Given this event on top of the actions of the Culture War, which came to a head at that time, one might ask if some interests decided to put an end to the subtle resistance promulgated by Ludwig and his loyalists once and for all.

12 Step Program to Stop the Foreclosure Tsunami

Here are twelve ways the Federal Reserve and the banks can slowly and eventually stop the foreclosure tsunami. These actions will be uncomfortable for most everyone involved but the result will change the course of American history for the better.

I am not going to get into whose fault the near collapse of the banking system was because now it doesn’t matter. Lenders are panicking because of mortgage resets (increasing interest rates) are coming and because of the number of new foreclosures that will result. They have a right to be concerned, by most estimates 14,000,000 Americans are upside down on their mortgages, not yet in foreclosure and their homes are not for sale simply because the values have declined so sharply.

Many are considering what is known as a “strategic default”, or simply walking away from their homes because they choose not to make payments on a property that they can never get any money out of. This walk-away strategy is a business decision which is, ironically, the same type of simple business decision the banks make when they decided to over-finance homeowners in a hot real estate market. Possibly the banks were thinking if they got the homes back in foreclosure they could re-sell them at higher prices than was due on the mortgages – don’t know, don’t care, all that is past.

I see the very fabric of the American people being shredded every day by politicians and greedy banks who only seem to promote their own personal agendas. I have to believe they see the devastation on our society, but it doesn’t affect their world so they just keep doing the same old stuff that makes no common sense at all.

It appears that even Presidential intervention hasn’t gotten anything but lip-service from the banks. The bankers are probably thinking the government (FDIC) saved the banks once so why not again. The banks have little to lose other than the jobs of the highest ranking officers – who can move on to another bank or retire on their mufti-million dollar bonuses.

So here is what I believe (personal opinion only) needs to be done and should be done as soon as possible:

1. Stop any and all interest rate resets that are coming in the future.
2. “Mark to the Market” all loans that are currently upside down. The large equity loss by the banks is already being absorbed by the FDIC and bail-out monies.
3. Transfer common/preferred stock ownership of all lenders to the government with repurchase options to include not only the banks’ ability to repurchase the stock but also to fulfill a laundry list of benefits to the public and its mortgage borrowers.
4. Install a Board of Directors for each bank that is controlled by the Federal Reserve Chairman.
5. Make loan modifications mandatory that include interest rate and principal reductions.
6. Have a National Lottery for homes that are taken back by foreclosure with ticket prices that are in the $100 area. Only persons who will be living in the properties are eligible and must remain for a number of years (5 – 10) or the deed reverts to the Fed Reserve or whatever subsidized agency it chooses.
7. Treasury should guarantee and issue mortgage loans instead of short-term treasury bills unless there is a disparity in the interest rate market that will make more sense to issue longer-term bonds.
8. Pass and enforce legislation that makes all lender loan fraud and mortgage fraud a Federal crime punishable by stiffer criminal penalties and required jail time.
9. Make lender employees accountable for lending requirements and policies that are in place and make changes that will insure more conventional loans coming into the market place.
10. Reduce credit requirements on loans since the credit scores do not reflect the ability of the borrower to pay.
11. Become user friendly with real estate investors who target the re-development of existing single family homes including low-interest short term rehab loans instead of new development funding where developers get their projects funded completely.
12. Stop the bankers’ attitude that they are in control of the universe by holding the officers accountable with severe criminal penalties if they do not uphold the guidelines of the “new” Board of Directors installed by the Fed.

While some of these actions may seem far-fetched, the reality is that the very fabric of American society has been possibly irrevocably damaged by the actions of our own citizens who have had little or no respect for the welfare of the country. These individuals have put their own personal greed ahead of all else. Now a vast multitude of homeowners have suffered loss of their homes, credit status, medical benefits, divorce and even their family members. As someone once said, “When will the insanity stop?”

Moni, You Are Dear

She is by birth an American
And I am an Indian citizen
We came in contact from Naijapal
She showed her excellence on arrival

She knew pulse by pulse and bit by bit
The danger and where likely to hit
She was not afraid but stood her ground well
She never preferred her agony or pain to tell

I cursed myself for not being rushing to her rescue
It was needed but could offer only words which were due
It was valiant effort on her part to stand firm
She was facing each and every crucial term

She stood for nice friendship and proved very true
I did everything possible to stay with her and woo
She was magnificent in her approach with attitude
I always praised her with nice words of gratitude

She was elegant in look and emerged as fresh rose
I wanted to see her in original form and nicely compose
Words of praise in the memory of her friendship
And to know exact feeling for the companionship

She was down with unknown disease
This made her uncomfortable and kept at unease
She was torn out financially and under tremendous pressure
I could do nothing except to give her moral support and reassure

What was she expected to perform under critical situation?
I asked repeatedly to self as I had in real sense infatuation
I could not open my self as it was not right moment
She sustained the onslaught and emerged strong with movement

She perfected her argument on current political scene
She opined “such denigration in level was never seen”
It was her presence of mind and strong will power
It kept her intact did not allow her to lower

I don’t know what will be my message to her
I was not sure whether it will add to her worry or bother
It was my deepest love and feeling
I wanted to go along with her and absolutely willing

She was very blunt in her presentation
This showed her strong resolve with indication
I loved her from bottom of my heart
She had given me feeling with very good start

She has emerged from long absence today
I think it was for her a superb shining day
She was on line with all her past elegance
I felt so elated in her presence

She was there like fresh rose flower
All glitter and shine which only may be had by fewer
I was stunned to see a powerful female friend
I dreamed of her to bring road to an end

Is This the Right Time to Apply For a Grant?

We all know that we have a new President, who is a Democrat, and this is a first in 8 years. Historically, Democrats are known for a willingness to fund social programs, and since Obama was known as a liberal senator, he probably won’t be any different as President. If you are being challenged by the tough economy, and looking for ways to survive it, this may be the perfect time to consider looking into grant money.

There are numerous government grants available for various needs, the most common ones being to help further education, start a new business, and, of course, healthcare. Be aware there are a lot of different grants attainable for a great variety of needs and they are not limited to the ones just mentioned. However, we’re not talking about you just being handed money for free. You have got to qualify to receive any of this grant money, and it can be tough.

Be aware that government grants have been out there for decades, but very few people seem to really understand what they’re about, or even how to use them to their advantage. There are billions of dollars available in grants that the United States Government gives out every year that almost anyone has the right to apply for. This may be the time to start researching how to apply for a grant if you’re having a tough time and would be interested in receiving some of the available grant monies.

It’s important to remember grants are like scholarships – you are not required to repay them. To receive one you start by qualifying, and then present a proposal describing why it should be given to you. Just because you are currently in a rough financial situation at the moment doesn’t mean you won’t qualify. There is no better time than right now to do whatever is necessary to get through this, and a federal grant may be something you should consider applying for.

A major part of the problem is the extreme debt that most Americans are currently in. Because so many are living paycheck to paycheck, the possibility of losing their job puts them in deep trouble. If they end up not being able to pay their mortgage, they are facing the likelihood of having their house foreclosed on. While debt relief can take different forms, it’s entirely possible the only relief in the stimulus bill will apply to major companies. Obama needs to pay attention to what the regular people need, along with corporate America.

The Monies There – And I Am Going to Show You Were and How to Get It

I am not going into details. Why? Simple, I am not going to do it for you. But later I will give some ideas that are proven. I know this works. I am sure you have all seen the get rich people out there that are trying to sell you everything from selling apples to selling zebras. Well maybe not zebras but you get my point. And the fact of the matter is they are get rich ideas, but only for them. Do you really think that if they had the secretes of the money gods they would really show you and tell you how to do it. Granted, yes there are some kind hearted people that very well may share the where abouts of the fine art of sitting on your butt and having money thrown at you by the bucket full.

But I alas no none of these people. Who am I you may ask your self? I am nobody. Well no one that you would know anyway. Or maybe you would. You know that guy thats always thinking and not really paying attention to the masses because he knows that they are like cattle that just follow there leader? Or the kid that instead of being worried about being the bright one, he would rather be the smart one. I have done my home work on a lot of things and i have learned the hard way that no one is going to do it for you. There are many things that I would like to share. Things that are going to be strange to some and just out right dumb to others. But there are going to be those of you that are going to say to them selves. I am going to try this. What have I got to lose. The answer is nothing.

So lets see how many people out there really want to learn what I have found to be true in making money. And those that are waiting on the money gods to bless them with great fortune.