The Economy


Normally open July 4th only---the one day a year when partisan politics, religion, etc. are acceptable topics on this Board (within reason). The forum is now closed.

Postby tandfman » Thu Oct 02, 2008 2:27 am

Pego wrote:My understanding of statistical definition of savings is having money in the saving (possibly checking with interest) account in a bank or some savings/loan institution. Having it invested in the market, even conservatively, does not count.

I don't know if that's really how "savings" is defined, but if it is, it's hopelessly out of date in an era when so many individuals invest in mutual funds, rather than in individual stocks and, more important, when legislation has created vehicles specifically, designed for retirement savings, that a very suitable for long term equity investments (401(k)'s, IRA's, etc.). Every responsible financial planner will advise that some portion of one's savings be "in the market."
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Postby jazzcyclist » Sat Oct 04, 2008 1:43 am

On Monday, 9/29, Congress voted down the bailout bill because they said it was too much money. Yesterday, 10/03, Congress passed the bailout bill after $110 billion in pork was added to it. It would make you laugh, if it didn't make you cry. :cry:

I would like to see the list of the congressmen who voted against the $700 billion bill but for the $810 billion bill, because they give doublespeak a bad name.
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Postby paulthefan » Sat Oct 04, 2008 7:07 am

jazzcyclist wrote:On Monday, 9/29, Congress voted down the bailout bill because they said it was too much money. Yesterday, 10/03, Congress passed the bailout bill after $110 billion in pork was added to it. It would make you laugh, if it didn't make you cry. :cry:


The american people were probably polling 70% against the $700b bill but were too busy working from January to May to pay their taxes to actually study it. They were rewarded by their representatives with the inclusion of June. Would be an interesting report (that the media will likely not pursue) regarding where exactly is the couple of billion dollars in cash bonsuses that banking execs were giving themselves over the past 10+ years. Cash dollars subtracted off the ledger, into the pockets of multi-mllionaires, in return for heaps of bad debt placed on the ledger and insured by americans earning 60k per year. Where are those billions stashed/invested, what banks are they stored in?

Your local bank teller would not dare to do with 25 cents what the executives routinely did with 25million.
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Postby Vince » Sat Oct 04, 2008 7:45 am

jazzcyclist wrote:On Monday, 9/29, Congress voted down the bailout bill because they said it was too much money. Yesterday, 10/03, Congress passed the bailout bill after $110 billion in pork was added to it. It would make you laugh, if it didn't make you cry. :cry:

I would like to see the list of the congressmen who voted against the $700 billion bill but for the $810 billion bill, because they give doublespeak a bad name.


The ones who voted for either version need to return to a job not paid for by the tax payers. One thing about doublespeak. It seems 'pork, or earmark spending' now includes a tax reduction. We hear all the networks saying 110 billion in "spending" was added, but much of that was possible tax reductions, not spending.
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Postby lonewolf » Sat Oct 04, 2008 10:16 pm

I don't know if the basic "rescue" legislation was necessary. I do know those congress people who loaded the bill with last minute pork should be drawn and quartered on the capitol steps at high noon. :evil: Unless someone can come up with a more severe punishment. :)
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Postby Daisy » Sat Oct 04, 2008 11:27 pm

lonewolf wrote:I do know those congress people who loaded the bill with last minute pork ........


There is a list of them?
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Postby Pego » Sun Oct 05, 2008 5:16 am

All those amendments attached to bills, pork, ideology, whatever, make them either dead, bloated, impractical, or simply bad legislature.
Every president asks and many governors have a line item veto. For obvious reasons, the Congress does not like it, therefore won't legislate it.
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Postby lonewolf » Sun Oct 05, 2008 8:33 am

Daisy wrote:
lonewolf wrote:I do know those congress people who loaded the bill with last minute pork ........


There is a list of them?


I'm sure there is but we are more likely to get the formula for Coca Cola or KFC than that list of charlatans.
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Postby Daisy » Sun Oct 05, 2008 10:40 am

lonewolf wrote:Coca Cola

There's a formula? I thought it was just carbonated, caffienated, coloured sugar water? I guess the nuance is lost on me. :lol:
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Postby lonewolf » Sun Oct 05, 2008 1:28 pm

Daisy wrote:
lonewolf wrote:Coca Cola

There's a formula? I thought it was just carbonated, caffienated, coloured sugar water? I guess the nuance is lost on me. :lol:


Reportedly the Coca Cola formula is so secret no one person knows it all...don't know how they wind up with the final product.
KFC recently publicized the transfer of its secret herbs and spices recipe to a more secure repository.
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Postby bad hammy » Sun Oct 05, 2008 4:46 pm

lonewolf wrote:I don't know if the basic "rescue" legislation was necessary. I do know those congress people who loaded the bill with last minute pork should be drawn and quartered on the capitol steps at high noon. :evil: Unless someone can come up with a more severe punishment. :)

The Senate (I beleive) was the side that loaded it with pork, and one prominent Senator who is looking for a job upgrade and is running on an anti-earmark campaign voted for it along with most of the rest of the Senate.

I note that my Representative, one of the most liberal in the land - the only member of Congress to vote against the 9-15-2001 resolution authorizing Bush to use "all necessary and appropriate force" against anyone associated with the terrorist attacks of September 11 - switched from a no vote on the bailout to a yes. Her quoted reason: "We should be honest about the fact that we don't know whether or not this bill will work. And we must be honest about the fact that we can't afford to risk the potential consequences of inaction. I spoke with our California state treasurer this week (before California asked for a $7 billion hand from the Feds to cover a short term credit crunch) and he assured me that people will suffer greater pain, including cuts to critical state-funded services, if we don't do something to stop the hemorrhaging. That is why I will support this bill today."
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Postby tandfman » Sun Oct 05, 2008 6:04 pm

lonewolf wrote:
Daisy wrote:
lonewolf wrote:Coca Cola

There's a formula? I thought it was just carbonated, caffienated, coloured sugar water? I guess the nuance is lost on me. :lol:

Reportedly the Coca Cola formula is so secret no one person knows it all...don't know how they wind up with the final product.

Here's wiki on this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coca-Cola_formula
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Postby paulthefan » Sun Oct 05, 2008 6:45 pm

bad hammy wrote:I note that my Representative, one of the most liberal in the land - the only member of Congress to vote against the 9-15-2001 resolution authorizing Bush to use "all necessary and appropriate force" against anyone associated with the terrorist attacks of September 11 - switched from a no vote on the bailout to a yes. Her quoted reason: "We should be honest about the fact that we don't know whether or not this bill will work. And we must be honest about the fact that we can't afford to risk the potential consequences of inaction. I spoke with our California state treasurer this week (before California asked for a $7 billion hand from the Feds to cover a short term credit crunch) and he assured me that people will suffer greater pain, including cuts to critical state-funded services, if we don't do something to stop the hemorrhaging. That is why I will support this bill today."


allow me to paraphrase: This bill has as much to do with saving the economy as the iraq war does, but since we as a state can use it to get a handful and delay real necessary action Im going to press the easy button.
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Postby lonewolf » Sun Oct 05, 2008 9:57 pm

The wiki reference to the New Coke experiment in 1985 reminded me of a semi-humorous incident involving Coca Cola.
In my pre-diabetic days I drank copious amounts of Coke. I was sorely vexed when Coke dropped it for the new procuct. In those days, I was wandering the USof A photographing courthouses. I stumbled on a cache of Old Coke at a remote, remote general store/gas station in North Dakota hard by the Canadian border. I bought all the Old Coke I could cram in that Lincoln.
When I got home, I stashed it at the front of my garage under sundry stuff and meted it out sparingly, figuring it had to last until Coke came to their senses.
One fine weekend, my teenage daughter threw a pool party for a few hundred of her closest friends. Good bye Old Coke.
I am proud (and relieved) that was her biggest teenage transgression and forgave her as soon as I stopped laughing.
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Postby Double R Bar » Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:30 pm

Some economists are now saying the market will rebound around October 23. Of course it won't gain everything it has lost, but at least will not drop. Can you imagine the market going under 5,000? Let's hope not.
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Postby cullman » Fri Oct 10, 2008 2:17 am

Wakey, Wakey...things are going into the tank in Asia and Europe. Fascinating stuff...almost as good as night baseball. It's been a lively few hours.

3:15 AM PDT...I'm off to bed.

"Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night!" - Bette Davis, "All About Eve"

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Postby tandfman » Fri Oct 10, 2008 3:30 am

OK, cullman, I'm awake. The Nikkei closed down 10%, European markets are currently down 7%, and Dow futures are down 250. Enough to make one want to go back to bed and stay there. :(
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Postby catson52 » Fri Oct 10, 2008 3:56 am

bad hammy wrote:
lonewolf wrote:I don't know if the basic "rescue" legislation was necessary. I do know those congress people who loaded the bill with last minute pork should be drawn and quartered on the capitol steps at high noon. :evil: Unless someone can come up with a more severe punishment. :)

The Senate (I beleive) was the side that loaded it with pork, and one prominent Senator who is looking for a job upgrade and is running on an anti-earmark campaign voted for it along with most of the rest of the Senate.

I note that my Representative, one of the most liberal in the land - the only member of Congress to vote against the 9-15-2001 resolution authorizing Bush to use "all necessary and appropriate force" against anyone associated with the terrorist attacks of September 11 - switched from a no vote on the bailout to a yes. Her quoted reason: "We should be honest about the fact that we don't know whether or not this bill will work. And we must be honest about the fact that we can't afford to risk the potential consequences of inaction. I spoke with our California state treasurer this week (before California asked for a $7 billion hand from the Feds to cover a short term credit crunch) and he assured me that people will suffer greater pain, including cuts to critical state-funded services, if we don't do something to stop the hemorrhaging. That is why I will support this bill today."


Interesting posting. I can guess who your Representative is, but would welcome clarification here. As with something like the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution (1964 ?), history makes a note of a person having the guts to say "no" to handing over too much power, without seeing full (proper) evidence.
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Postby catson52 » Fri Oct 10, 2008 4:02 am

Double R Bar wrote:Some economists are now saying the market will rebound around October 23. Of course it won't gain everything it has lost, but at least will not drop. Can you imagine the market going under 5,000? Let's hope not.


What's special about Oct. 23 - did Nostradamus predict this? We are all keeping our fingers crossed, but right now it seems like some more fall is just around the corner. I hope I am wrong, but suspect the DJIA will stabilize somewhere around 7500. This is what Paul Krugman said on The Newshour some years back, and was my first confirmation, that I was not totally off base in some of my thoughts.
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Postby bad hammy » Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:24 am

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Postby jazzcyclist » Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:43 am

bad hammy wrote:I note that my Representative, one of the most liberal in the land - the only member of Congress to vote against the 9-15-2001 resolution authorizing Bush to use "all necessary and appropriate force" against anyone associated with the terrorist attacks of September 11 - switched from a no vote on the bailout to a yes. Her quoted reason: "We should be honest about the fact that we don't know whether or not this bill will work. And we must be honest about the fact that we can't afford to risk the potential consequences of inaction. I spoke with our California state treasurer this week (before California asked for a $7 billion hand from the Feds to cover a short term credit crunch) and he assured me that people will suffer greater pain, including cuts to critical state-funded services, if we don't do something to stop the hemorrhaging. That is why I will support this bill today."

One of the most liberal? :? I thought that fact was incontrovertible. That's like saying that Eugene, OR is one of the most track friendly cities in the land. Hasn't she in the past written letters to people in which she has addressed them as "comrade"? I'm not saying that liberal is a bad thing, because I am one myself, but if she's not the most liberal, who is?
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Postby Conor Dary » Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:51 am

Double R Bar wrote:Some economists are now saying the market will rebound around October 23. Of course it won't gain everything it has lost, but at least will not drop. Can you imagine the market going under 5,000? Let's hope not.


Hey, it might happen today. It is already under 8000 and dropping fast.
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Postby paulthefan » Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:56 pm

I was on record last year that we were headed for 8k, we have a 50-50 chance of being below 6k one year from now. but be advised paulthefan has been paulthebear all his life.
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Postby lonewolf » Sat Oct 11, 2008 7:53 am

paulthefan wrote:I was on record last year that we were headed for 8k, we have a 50-50 chance of being below 6k one year from now. but be advised paulthefan has been paulthebear all his life.


Now, this is interesting. I have been lonewolfthebull (forgive the mixed metaphor) all my life and it has worked out pretty well. Maybe the secret is to have a long, long life because in the long, long run the US economy recovers.

Closer to home, the lead article in todays local newspaper revealed that one of our few local high-profile billionaires, literally a "self-made" success, famous for investing in his own company and for his philanthropy was forced to sell "most" of his three billion dollars worth of company stock, which turns out was bought on margin. The 60% drop in stock price last week precipitated a margin call he could not meet.
As Gomer Pyle used to say, "Surprise, suprise, surprise."

I know, a sad story but since he "earned" 25 mill last year, do not expect to see him on the soup line anytime soon.

Please understand, I am not gloating. He is genuinely a "nice guy" that I have known since he was a young landman hustling oil leases trying to make five bucks an acre. Just an example of stuff happens.
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Postby Double R Bar » Mon Oct 13, 2008 7:05 am

This might be the week the market levels. Let's hope for more good economic news around the world.
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Postby observer2 » Mon Oct 13, 2008 10:06 am

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Postby tandfman » Mon Oct 13, 2008 11:13 am

I am a big Paul Krugman fan and I was delighted to hear the news today. But I don't know that his winning the Nobel Prize is going to convince anyone who isn't already convinced that his view of things is right.
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Postby Daisy » Mon Oct 13, 2008 12:40 pm

tandfman wrote:I am a big Paul Krugman fan and I was delighted to hear the news today. But I don't know that his winning the Nobel Prize is going to convince anyone who isn't already convinced that his view of things is right.


No doubt. I looked at some of the comments associated with his most recent colomn (>800 online last I looked) and many are critical.
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Postby bad hammy » Tue Oct 14, 2008 9:26 am

Just a few reasons this latest plan to have the government buy bank stock may not be such a good idea:

Jeffrey A. Miron wrote:In any event, government ownership of banks has frightening long-term implications, whether or not it alleviates the credit crunch.

Government ownership means that political forces will determine who wins and who loses in the banking sector. The government, for example, will push banks to aid borrowers with poor credit histories, to subsidize politically connected industries, and to lend in the districts of powerful members of Congress. All of this is horrible for economic efficiency.

Government pressure will be difficult for banks to resist, since the government can both threaten to withdraw its ownership stake or promise further injections whenever it wants to modify bank behavior. Banks will respond by accommodating government objectives in exchange for continued financial support. This is crony capitalism, pure and simple.

Government ownership of banks will not be a temporary expedient. Politicians can swear they will unwind the government's position once "economic conditions improve," but no one can enforce this promise. The temptation to use banks as a political tool will be permanent, not temporary, so government ownership will continue for decades, or forever.

Worse yet, government ownership of banks sets a precedent for ownership in every industry that suffers economic hardship. Some might argue that banking is "essential," but many industries -- autos, steel, computers or agriculture -- will make similar claims when it is their turn to demand a bailout. Thus banking will be only the first victim in an enormous expansion of the government's role. This again will have disastrous consequences for economic efficiency.



http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/10/14/ ... index.html
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Postby gh » Thu Oct 16, 2008 1:49 pm

The Ayn Rand people think this is "The Road To Fascism"

(hey, I don't ask for their e-mails, but I'm somehow stuck on their list!)

<<The Ayn Rand Institute


The Road to Fascism
October 16, 2008

Washington, D.C.--The government has announced that it plans to use $250 billion to buy ownership stakes in various U.S. financial institutions. According to the New York Times, nine major U.S. banks have already been forced into the program. “The chief executives of the nine largest banks in the United States . . . were each handed a one-page document that said they agreed to sell shares to the government, then Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. said they must sign it before they left. . . . ‘It was a take it or take it offer,’ said one person who was briefed on the meeting, speaking on condition of anonymity because the discussions were private. ‘Everyone knew there was only one answer’”--even though at least one institution, the relatively healthy Wells Fargo, wanted to say no.

According to Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights, “In herding banking executives into a room and making them an offer they couldn’t refuse, the Paulson regime took its latest and most disturbing step yet on the path to state control of the economy.

“If fascism means coercive state control over nominally private property, then there is no more chilling sign of creeping fascism in America than government’s encroachment on the lifeblood of the U.S. economy--its financial institutions. While the government assures us it will be a ‘passive investor,’ merely funneling cash into the banking system rather than dictating how banks function, this is a lie. Not only does the money come with strings attached--such as restrictions on executive compensation, dividend payments, and the types of investments banks can make--but politicians are already promising a web of further controls. As John McCain recently noted, ‘We will not merely inject billions of dollars into companies and walk away hoping for the best. We will require that those companies be reformed and restructured until they are sound assets again, and can be sold at no loss--or perhaps even a profit--to the taxpayers of America.’

“The Paulson shakedown is the latest in a rapid-fire series of government bailouts and interventions over the last several months. Our leaders claim that this virtual takeover of markets is economically necessary. But it was government control of financial markets that spawned the financial meltdown in the first place: an inflationary boom brought on by the Fed’s easy-money policies, a campaign to promote home ownership that encouraged risky loans, regulations that pushed banks to become dangerously over-leveraged, etc., etc. The response to the crisis should be to restore freedom and to disentangle government from the economy. Instead, the same mentality and the same central planners that created the financial crisis are being given far wider reign to manipulate and distort markets. We must tell our government to reverse this fascist course--now.

### ### ###

Yaron Brook is executive director of the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights. He is a regular contributor to Forbes.com and a contributing editor of The Objective Standard. His articles have been featured in major newspapers such as USA Today, the Houston Chronicle, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Providence Journal and the Orange County Register. Dr. Brook is often interviewed on radio and is a frequent guest on a variety of national TV shows, having appeared on the new Fox Business Network, FOX News Channel, CNN, CNBC, and C-SPAN. Dr. Brook, a former finance professor, lectures on Objectivism, capitalism, business and foreign policy at college campuses, community groups and corporations across America and throughout the world.

For more information on Objectivism’s unique point of view, go to ARC’s Web site. The Ayn Rand Center is a division of the Ayn Rand Institute and promotes the philosophy of Ayn Rand, author of “Atlas Shrugged” and “The Fountainhead.”

  

Copyright © 2008 Ayn Rand® Center for Individual Rights. All rights reserved.

ARC's press releases are solicitations sent to addresses obtained from commercially available databases and from Web sites that have an apparent interest in publication material. 


The Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights, 555 12th Street NW, Suite 620 N, Washington, DC 20004  >>
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Postby bad hammy » Thu Oct 16, 2008 2:34 pm

gh wrote:The Ayn Rand people think this is "The Road To Fascism

Cool - fascist socialism (or socialist fascism).

I read that the reason for the forced sale of stock amongst the nine banks was to remove any 'stigma' associated with the program, which would in turn prompt smaller banks to enter the program if their financial situation so dictated.
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Postby Pego » Thu Oct 16, 2008 2:57 pm

Anybody that equates some state controls and regulation with a totality has no idea, what a real totality is like.
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Postby Mennisco » Thu Oct 16, 2008 3:45 pm

Pego wrote:Anybody that equates some state controls and regulation with a totality has no idea, what a real totality is like.


http://www.theodoresworld.net/pics/1006 ... _freak.jpg
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Postby bad hammy » Thu Oct 16, 2008 3:45 pm

Pego wrote:Anybody that equates some state controls and regulation with a totality has no idea, what a real totality is like.

Actually, I do not know what you mean by totality.
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Postby Mennisco » Thu Oct 16, 2008 3:51 pm

bad hammy wrote:
Pego wrote:Anybody that equates some state controls and regulation with a totality has no idea, what a real totality is like.

Actually, I do not know what you mean by totality.


The totality is coming.......

Image
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Postby Pego » Thu Oct 16, 2008 5:51 pm

bad hammy wrote:
Pego wrote:Anybody that equates some state controls and regulation with a totality has no idea, what a real totality is like.

Actually, I do not know what you mean by totality.


A totalitarian regime (fascism, communism).
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Postby bad hammy » Thu Oct 16, 2008 7:10 pm

Pego wrote:
bad hammy wrote:
Pego wrote:Anybody that equates some state controls and regulation with a totality has no idea, what a real totality is like.
Actually, I do not know what you mean by totality.
A totalitarian regime (fascism, communism).

Of course we do not live in a pure totalitarian regime. However, we have developed certain totalitarian characteristics since 9/11. The federal government forcing banks to issue and sell shares to the government might fall into that category. I'm not sure this is a good idea or not, but it is on the surface rather heavy-handed.
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Postby sprintblox » Fri Oct 17, 2008 3:10 am

bad hammy wrote:Of course we do not live in a pure totalitarian regime. However, we have developed certain totalitarian characteristics since 9/11. The federal government forcing banks to issue and sell shares to the government might fall into that category. I'm not sure this is a good idea or not, but it is on the surface rather heavy-handed.

The only banks being forced to do anything are those close to insolvency. Those banks have billions of dollars in obligations to their account holders and other lenders, so of course the government should intervene ... just like the courts would intervene if somebody owes you thousands of dollars and won't pay up, possibly forcing him to sell assets or garnish wages to pay you. Pumping billions of dollars into the troubled banks might be a bad idea, but that isn't a totalitarian measure.

The other banks that aren't quite in such bad shape have the option to accept the government's money or not. If they don't like the terms they can refuse the money.

But I agree that some totalitarian measures have been adopted since 9/11, like the warrantless wiretapping of phone conversations.
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Postby bad hammy » Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:44 pm

A good look at the difference between 1929 an 2008: http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/10/21/klein. ... index.html
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Postby catson52 » Wed Oct 22, 2008 4:27 am

bad hammy wrote:A good look at the difference between 1929 an 2008: http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/10/21/klein. ... index.html


A good article and spells out some of the similarities and differences between these two times of "financial distress". Interesting to note "history does not repeat itself ...". Who first said "history repeats itself" - Thucydides? What did Hegel say about it and what did Marx (Karl not Groucho) do to that statement? (I recall an article by Stephen Gould about 10-15 years back, talking about some of this).
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