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 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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Postby Marlow » Wed Oct 22, 2008 5:17 am

catson52 wrote: Interesting to note "history does not repeat itself ...".

Yes, history does repeat itself, but garbed in the mufti of the day, so we rarely recognize it.
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Postby bad hammy » Thu Oct 23, 2008 10:43 am

The subprime mortgage meltdown totally explained: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJH2CcpXztE
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Postby lonewolf » Thu Oct 23, 2008 7:35 pm

bad hammy wrote:The subprime mortgage meltdown totally explained: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJH2CcpXztE


NOW THIS IS AN EXPLANATION I CAN UNDERSTAND....

Forrest Gump Explains Mortgage Backed Securities:

Mortgage Backed Securities are like boxes of chocolates.
Criminals on Wall Street stole a few chocolates from the boxes and replaced them with turds. Their criminal buddies at Standard & Poor rated these boxes AAA Investment Grade chocolates. These boxes were then sold all over the world to investors. Eventually somebody bites into a turd and discovers the crime. Suddenly nobody trusts American chocolates anymore worldwide.
Hank Paulson now wants the American taxpayers to buy up and
hold all these boxes of turd-infested chocolates for $700 billion
dollars until the market for turds returns to normal.
Meanwhile, Hank's buddies, the Wall Street criminals who stole all the good chocolates, are not being investigated, arrested, or indicted.

Mama always said: 'Sniff the chocolates first, Forrest'.
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Postby Marlow » Fri Oct 24, 2008 5:23 am

lonewolf wrote:Hank Paulson now wants the American taxpayers to buy up and hold all these boxes of turd-infested chocolates for $700 billion dollars until the market for turds returns to normal.


Um . . . I think I see a flaw in this strategery.
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Postby gh » Fri Oct 24, 2008 7:35 am

Wow. Greenspan now questions if his long commitment to free-market theory may have been wrong all along?

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... 002&sc=978
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Postby lonewolf » Fri Oct 24, 2008 8:01 am

Marlow wrote:
lonewolf wrote:Hank Paulson now wants the American taxpayers to buy up and hold all these boxes of turd-infested chocolates for $700 billion dollars until the market for turds returns to normal.


Um . . . I think I see a flaw in this strategery.


Um..that quote is attributed to Forrest Gump, a fictional character. I cannot vouch for the origin, authenticity, validity or wisdom. Early on, I DQ'd myself as not competent to calm the currently troubled economic waters.
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Postby AthleticsInBritain » Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:40 am

gh wrote:Wow. Greenspan now questions if his long commitment to free-market theory may have been wrong all along?

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... 002&sc=978


I believe the universal reaction has been "no shit, Sherlock!"

I've noticed that a lot of exponents of free-market theory (which is a fallacy as there's no such thing) seem to have no problem with government subsidy or tax breaks. Strangely, that's not interference in the free market.
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Postby Per Andersen » Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:22 pm

gh wrote:Wow. Greenspan now questions if his long commitment to free-market theory may have been wrong all along?

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... 002&sc=978

Ayn Rand must be spinning in her grave.
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Postby paulthefan » Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:38 pm

Per Andersen wrote:
gh wrote:Wow. Greenspan now questions if his long commitment to free-market theory may have been wrong all along?

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... 002&sc=978

Ayn Rand must be spinning in her grave.


Not a chance, both she and Greenspan understand that the free market works when participants assume responsibility (losses) for their actions (risks). That is Rand101. Im sure a true Rand disciple could tell us how we could have stopped the looting of the banks over the last 10 years as executives sucked them dry of cash while filling the till with bad debt.
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Postby sprintblox » Sat Oct 25, 2008 3:42 am

paulthefan wrote:Not a chance, both she and Greenspan understand that the free market works when participants assume responsibility (losses) for their actions (risks). That is Rand101.

They wrongly assumed that the participants would assume responsibility. In a regulatory environment where there is little or no accountability, they aren't held responsible. Executives rape the company and walk away with millions, and the shareholders can't do anything to stop it (because the board can ignore shareholder resolutions). If you get paid 5 or 10 years of salary for screwing up in your job, where is your incentive to perform with competence and responsibility?
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Postby tandfman » Sat Oct 25, 2008 4:25 am

paulthefan wrote:Im sure a true Rand disciple could tell us how we could have stopped the looting of the banks over the last 10 years as executives sucked them dry of cash while filling the till with bad debt.

sprintblox (on the AIG thread) wrote:insurance companies are tightly regulated ... it's not likely they would have been allowed to invest any big money into those crazy mortgage securities.

Sorry, paulthefan, but you don't need to be a Rand disciple to know how we could have stopped the looting of the banks. Quite to the contrary, sprintblox told us the answer, and it's one that is anathema to Rand disciples. Effective government regulation. It's that simple.
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Postby paulthefan » Sat Oct 25, 2008 7:42 am

tandfman wrote:Sorry, paulthefan, but you don't need to be a Rand disciple to know how we could have stopped the looting of the banks. Quite to the contrary, sprintblox told us the answer, and it's one that is anathema to Rand disciples. Effective government regulation. It's that simple.


we have the largest government and one of the most regulatory that the world has ever known and it did not legally prevent those crimes and some would argue that the regulatory state caused and aided them. So far we have not recovered one dime from the robbers.

Im sure Randites (Objectivism) could easily tell us how their philosophy deals with these issues, Im not an adherent. Greenspan would not be qualified to represent them. I would suggest that general moral decay in a society is the cause. When a democratic society is morally strong its representatives do not tolerate those kinds of crimes.

lonewolf is right in part, but before the wallstreet guys like Lehman bros. execs stole millions and passed on that debt to solemn faced Paulson who would sell it to Joe the Plumber, there was first the millions of dollars that realtors and developers made first . That was set in motion by the actual INCREASE in regulation of banking that demanded that they bring more unqualified buyers into the market. Barney Frank must be lauging his ars off with his wealthy friends at Fannie Mae /Freddie Mac.

Seems like our govt consists of DEMS who make boneheaded policy based on wishful thinking void of reality with more than a bit of self-interest, and then the GOP (think realtors and developers) thinks of ways to, not stop it , but actually profit from it . Of course the DEMS profit wildly too(think Fannie Mae and numerous bank execs). All this points in one direction, a nation with a diminished moral compass.
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Postby tandfman » Sat Oct 25, 2008 9:23 am

paulthefan wrote:I would suggest that general moral decay in a society is the cause. When a democratic society is morally strong its representatives do not tolerate those kinds of crimes. . . . . All this points in one direction, a nation with a diminished moral compass.

You'll get no argument from me on that.
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Postby Marlow » Sat Oct 25, 2008 10:52 am

tandfman wrote:You'll get no argument from me on that.

You say that as though something has changed in the last 200 years . . . not so much. That has been man's nature everywhere, at every time. The need for regulation at all is proof of this. And the fact that the regulation is used for amoral ends is further proof.
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Postby paulthefan » Sat Oct 25, 2008 11:55 am

Marlow wrote:
tandfman wrote:You'll get no argument from me on that.

You say that as though something has changed in the last 200 years . . . not so much. That has been man's nature everywhere, at every time. The need for regulation at all is proof of this. And the fact that the regulation is used for amoral ends is further proof.


Quite the contrary, Just because the nature of man never change does not mean that people can afford not to be vigilant in the basics of civility and moral law. Mankind is unchanging, mans understanding of his nature, and appreciation of the implications, is changing. Cultures can decay as this understanding diminishes and is lost in the population. Cultures thrive when the common man has the moral compass of a Euclid.

A govt is first and foremost an imparter of basic principles of moral and civil conduct. A country's arcane and particular regulatory functions are secondary. A country's leadership needs first to enforce basic moral codes such as "thou shalt not steal" and needs to foster in the society those institutions that build the mores and attitudes of citizens that allow them to recognize thefts and other wickedness.

If a people reach the point of not being able to recognize grand theft of the US treasury on the order of billions, no regulation is possible that can stop it, regulation can actually be used to cause it. A free and moral people could never fall for the shell game of bankers and regulators and attendant hand wringing that just bilked them post facto out of billions. Prosecution against those crimes of theft could serve the country once there is confiscation of the ill gotten gains of the bankers. Fed prosecutors must move to seize their assets. Even if only a small portion can be regained, the first function of government is served. I dont know what statutes could be used but racketeering laws come to mind..
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Postby sprintblox » Sat Oct 25, 2008 12:39 pm

paulthefan wrote:That was set in motion by the actual INCREASE in regulation of banking that demanded that they bring more unqualified buyers into the market.

No regulation did that. The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 and its revisions did NOT force or encourage lending to unqualified borrowers. It stopped qualified borrowers from being rejected simply for living in a given neighborhood, even though they had good enough income and credit. If that Act is the cause of this meltdown, the meltdown would have already happened long long ago.

One of the biggest regulatory (or more accurately, deregulatory) drivers of this mess is this change in 2004 that allowed the banks to significantly increase their leverage and risk (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/03/business/03sec.html). With that newfound freedom, they went haywire with zero-down loans, crazy ARMs, and couldn't bother to check out borrowers properly. They just wanted to lend, lend, lend so they can package the loans into securities and sell them. Executives didn't have to care about the risk, because as long as they could trade them they could book short-term profits and boost the stock price and get bonuses and cash in their stock options, and if it ever came crashing down they'd walk away with a golden parachute. Like how Stan O'Neal from Merrill Lynch got $161 million.
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Postby sprintblox » Sat Oct 25, 2008 12:47 pm

A snippet from the NYT article:

In loosening the capital rules, which are supposed to provide a buffer in turbulent times, the agency also decided to rely on the firms’ own computer models for determining the riskiness of investments, essentially outsourcing the job of monitoring risk to the banks themselves.

Over the following months and years, each of the firms would take advantage of the looser rules. At Bear Stearns, the leverage ratio — a measurement of how much the firm was borrowing compared to its total assets — rose sharply, to 33 to 1. In other words, for every dollar in equity, it had $33 of debt. The ratios at the other firms also rose significantly.

The 2004 decision for the first time gave the S.E.C. a window on the banks’ increasingly risky investments in mortgage-related securities.

But the agency never took true advantage of that part of the bargain. The supervisory program under Mr. Cox, who arrived at the agency a year later, was a low priority.

The commission assigned seven people to examine the parent companies — which last year controlled financial empires with combined assets of more than $4 trillion. Since March 2007, the office has not had a director. And as of last month, the office had not completed a single inspection since it was reshuffled by Mr. Cox more than a year and a half ago.
Last edited by sprintblox on Sat Oct 25, 2008 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Marlow » Sat Oct 25, 2008 12:48 pm

paulthefan wrote:A free and moral people could never fall for the shell game of bankers and regulators and attendant hand wringing that just bilked them post facto out of billions.

You had me till there. The present-day USA is as 'free and moral' as you're going to see in the near or long-term future. (not we are THAT moral, but relatively speaking, yes we are). All the regulation (or deregulation) and all the vigilance in the world, and all the negative consequences for misdeeds, will not prevent what just happened from happening again. Human nature is ingrained and everyone's id is just as anxious to amass the pelf as ever.
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Postby paulthefan » Sat Oct 25, 2008 1:20 pm

sprintblox wrote:No regulation did that. The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 and its revisions did NOT force or encourage lending to unqualified borrowers. It stopped qualified borrowers from being rejected simply for living in a given neighborhood, even though they had good enough income and credit. If that Act is the cause of this meltdown, the meltdown would have already happened long long ago.


funny that you should skip 25 years of regulation from 77 to today. Does it not prick your curiosity at all that a person could get a loan for a home with not a single penny in his savings account. Compare this with the era of the 80s and before, when one would need 10 % down. Only the most unscrupulous bankers in the 80s would give a loan on a property to an applicant who had no money to invest in it himself. You are excused though sprintblox as you were probably born less than 30 years ago.


sprintblox wrote: Executives didn't have to care about the risk, because as long as they could trade them they could book short-term profits and boost the stock price and get bonuses and cash in their stock options, and if it ever came crashing down they'd walk away with a golden parachute. Like how Stan O'Neal from Merrill Lynch got $161 million.


Those bonuses were tied to percentages of "business produced" and it is that number which exploded upward as mandates for more loans came from congress. All of the subprime mortgages paper was produced with congress' will. The Execs made 100s of millions in cash exactly because there were billions in loans to show for it. Congress created through regulation a much bigger problem than banker thrift of the 70s ever could have.
Last edited by paulthefan on Sun Oct 26, 2008 6:11 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Mennisco » Sat Oct 25, 2008 1:24 pm

Marlow wrote: The present-day USA is as 'free and moral' as you're going to see in the near or long-term future. (not we are THAT moral, but relatively speaking, yes we are). All the regulation (or deregulation) and all the vigilance in the world, and all the negative consequences for misdeeds, will not prevent what just happened from happening again. Human nature is ingrained and everyone's id is just as anxious to amass the pelf as ever.


Sounding more and more libertarian these days! And relative to what/whom are your people "THAT moral" , or free? Such statements quickly gag in the quicksand pit of your "sucking arguments...."

Having seen the jolting demarcation in places south of Canada, where torment and misery slam up quick and hard against the golden bricks of ostentation , I know you can only define "moral" and "free" from within the confines of your {particularly special} glass house. When have you had to hunt for pennies, scavenge for bread crusts, or wonder where your dreams/hopes went so awry that death will be welcomed with grateful arms and a gutteral "Thank God!".......in some vicious Hobbesian state of nature, which being subject to laws made within civil society, is an abomination and an anomaly so absurdly tragic it defies further contemplation/existence.
Last edited by Mennisco on Sat Oct 25, 2008 1:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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