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Old 2010-11-13, 19:56   Link #9841
Bri
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
However, you aren't really defending the Fed as being all that helpful or not in the pocket of particular interests rather than the overall economy in the last 20 odd years, are you?
Heh no, I'm not that naive.

Still regardless of the influence of Wall Street and other lobby groups, the fed is pretty effective on the operational side of things and I do not believe the current policy of the Fed is wrong based on what I know of economics. (Nor do I think that Bernanke is a nitwit as he is one of the foremost academics on systemic failures, together with Swartz and Friedman. Making him currently about the most qualified person around for the job, not that this should be confused with infallibility).

In direct response to your question: I think uncontrolled financial deregulation, partly induced by private interests, created an environment that allowed financial institutions driven by very short term profit motives to lead the economy to ruin. The fed, the government and (the lobby from) the financial sector all share blame for this mess. The reinterpretation of the Glass-Steagall act by the Fed in 1986 can be seen as the start of this development so no I don't think they have been the most positive or neutral influence in recent decades on the development of the financial system. What is often forgotten is that congress forced the dual mandate on the fed in the 1977 amendment of the FR act ( in contrast to the ECB which only has to worry about price stability). Unfortunately nuance is often lost in this type of discussion.

For the interested:

http://www.openthegovernment.org/otg...ne-2009-07.pdf gives a fairly neutral comment on the developments in financial deregulation that lead the post 2k economic crises.
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Old 2010-11-13, 20:00   Link #9842
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bri View Post
Heh no, I'm not that naive.

Still regardless of the influence of Wall Street and other lobby groups, the fed is pretty effective on the operational side of things and I do not believe the current policy of the Fed is wrong based on what I know of economics. (Nor do I think that Bernanke is a nitwit as he is one of the foremost academics on systemic failures, together with Swartz and Friedman. Making him currently about the most qualified person around for the job, not that this should be confused with infallibility).

In direct response to your question: I think uncontrolled financial deregulation, partly induced by private interests, created an environment that allowed financial institutions driven by very short term profit motives to lead the economy to ruin. The fed, the government and (the lobby from) the financial sector all share blame for this mess. The reinterpretation of the Glass-Steagall act by the Fed in 1986 can be seen as the start of this development so no I don't think they have been the most positive or neutral influence in recent decades on the development of the financial system. What is often forgotten is that congress forced the dual mandate on the fed in the 1977 amendment of the FR act ( in contrast to the ECB which only has to worry about price stability). Unfortunately nuance is often lost in this type of discussion.

For the interested:

http://www.openthegovernment.org/otg...ne-2009-07.pdf gives a fairly neutral comment on the developments in financial deregulation that lead the post 2k economic crises.
In all seriousness, I don't see anything to dispute there. Also, I keep in mind the two bears are being used for satire and that the scripts have many sources (some better some not).
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Old 2010-11-14, 00:05   Link #9843
ganbaru
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Obama tells Medvedev vote on nuclear pact due soon
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle1798231/

If some republicans vote with the democrates ...
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Old 2010-11-14, 02:17   Link #9844
TinyRedLeaf
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Aung San Suu Kyi released
Quote:
Yangon, Myanmar (Nov 13): Pro-democracy hero Aung San Suu Kyi walked free on Saturday after more than seven years under house arrest, welcomed by thousands of cheering supporters outside the decaying lakefront villa that had been her prison.

Her guards effectively announced the end of her detention, pulling back the barbed-wire barriers that sealed off her potholed street and suddenly allowing thousands of expectant supporters to surge towards the house. Many chanted her name as they ran. Some wept.

A few minutes later, with the soldiers and police having evaporated into the Yangon twilight, she climbed atop a stepladder behind the gate as the crowd began singing the national anthem.

"I haven't seen you for a long time," the 65-year-old Nobel Peace Prize Laureate said to laughter, smiling deeply as she held the metal spikes that top the gate. When a supporter handed up a bouquet, she pulled out a flower and wove it into her hair.

Speaking briefly in Burmese, she told the crowd, which quickly swelled to as many as 5,000 people: "If we work in unity, we will achieve our goal.

"We have a lot of things to do. I want to hear the voice of the people. After that, we will decide what we want to do."

The charismatic and relentlessly outspoken woman has come to symbolise the struggle for democracy in the isolated and secretive nation once known as Burma. Myanmar has been ruled by the military since 1962.

But while her release thrilled her supporters — and also clearly thrilled her — it came just days after an election that was swept by the ruling junta's proxy political party and decried by Western nations as a sham designed to perpetuate authoritarian control.

Indeed, the very fact that the generals have decided to release her is an indication of how little they think they have to fear.

AP, AFP, THE TELEGRAPH
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Old 2010-11-14, 03:24   Link #9845
MeoTwister5
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An obvious ploy to appease the rest of the world and get a bit of glam and recognition, but yeah there's going to be chaos if they go back on this action, not even taking into account how the action itself will empower her movement.
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Old 2010-11-14, 03:30   Link #9846
MrTerrorist
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Viewpoint: How urban-rural divide sways US politics

So many parties, so little time
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Old 2010-11-14, 07:46   Link #9847
TinyRedLeaf
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Joy and peace as Pacman lifts Pinoy spirits
Quote:
Manila (Nov 14, Sun): From air-conditioned shopping malls and hotels to packed parks and covered public halls across the country, Filipinos erupted in celebration as boxer Manny Pacquiao, aka Pacman the Destroyer, won his record eighth world title last Saturday in Arlington, Texas.

Pacquiao, a congressman and widely regarded as the planet's best pound-for-pound fighter, won a unanimous points victory over Mexican Antonio Margarito, adding the WBC super-welterweight crown to seven previous world titles.

"Manny made all of us proud by punishing Margarito with body punches and jabs to his face," Mr Pedro de Jesus, a 62-year-old taxi driver, told Reuters as he left a park in Manila's slums after the bout, which took place yesterday afternoon in Philippine time.

"He is not only a great boxer but also a very humane fighter. He asked the referee to stop the fight because he didn't want to hurt Margarito further."

Philippine President Benigno Aquino's aide told reporters that he watched the bout at a hotel room after attending a leaders' meeting at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Yokohama, Japan.

Soldiers in military bases across the archipelago also took a break to watch Pacquiao fight, granting an unofficial truce to Maoist guerrillas and Islamic militants. Army spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Arnulfo Burgos said troops resumed patrols and security-related operations after the bout.

Police have also said the crime rate drops every time Pacquiao climbs into the ring.

The same was true yesterday as millions of Filipinos thronged around television sets and radios at homes, restaurants and cinemas to witness the 31-year-old southpaw make boxing history.

REUTERS
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Old 2010-11-14, 08:33   Link #9848
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeoTwister5 View Post
An obvious ploy to appease the rest of the world and get a bit of glam and recognition, but yeah there's going to be chaos if they go back on this action, not even taking into account how the action itself will empower her movement.
I am more inclined to think that her life will be ended by an assassination.
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Old 2010-11-14, 09:05   Link #9849
TinyRedLeaf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
I am more inclined to think that her life will be ended by an assassination.
If that were going to happen, it would have transpired long ago. The generals may be loony, but they aren't so dumb as to create a martyr unnecessarily.

There is also the complicated history between the military and the Aung San family. No, the junta may imprison Daw Suu Kyi, but they aren't likely to ever harm her directly.
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Old 2010-11-14, 09:11   Link #9850
MeoTwister5
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Yeah the last thing you want to do is make a martyr out of someone. These people are more powerful and inspirational dead than alive. Look at Ninoy Aquino and Jose Rizal for instance. Philippines history might actually be radically different if those two didn't die.
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Old 2010-11-14, 09:12   Link #9851
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
If that were going to happen, it would have transpired long ago. The generals may be loony, but they aren't so dumb as to create a martyr unnecessarily.

There is also the complicated history between the military and the Aung San family. No, the junta may imprison Daw Suu Kyi, but they aren't likely to ever harm her directly.
There are so many covert ways to kill her, one of which is running over her with a car and claiming an accident, another is an OD of a muscle relaxant to an artery causing a heart failure, under the premise of a medical checkup or operation.

I don't exactly know the history behind the junta vs Aung San because there aren't many unbiased sources (even the NLB) in the form of proper text - and I don't trust Wikipedia when it comes to politics; thus I need you to tell me something about that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MeoTwister5 View Post
Yeah the last thing you want to do is make a martyr out of someone. These people are more powerful and inspirational dead than alive. Look at Ninoy Aquino and Jose Rizal for instance. Philippines history might actually be radically different if those two didn't die.
It would be highly dependent on the paradigm of the people. Park Chung Hee had his own KCIA plug rounds into him yet not many of the Korean youth actually give a shit about it today.

Martyring on both sides is a very hit-or-miss thing when it comes to changing histories. Sometimes it can have major effects, while others nobody bother.
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When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2010-11-14, 09:18   Link #9852
Azumanga Davo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
I am more inclined to think that her life will be ended by an assassination.
I dunno, far too high a public profile. One bullet there, and the whole system will just collapse into anarchy. The military know they have to look good without giving too much away to keep everyone happy.
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Old 2010-11-14, 10:18   Link #9853
einhorn303
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I just saw this on the NY Times and I thought it was fascinating. It's an interactive thing which lets you try to solve the US Federal Deficit by cutting the budget in different ways:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2...raphic.html?hp
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Old 2010-11-14, 12:51   Link #9854
Azumanga Davo
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Some bloke called Sebastien wins the F1 title.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/motor...ne/9188023.stm

(Who's Sebastien?)
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Old 2010-11-14, 13:15   Link #9855
Kamui4356
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Quote:
Originally Posted by einhorn303 View Post
I just saw this on the NY Times and I thought it was fascinating. It's an interactive thing which lets you try to solve the US Federal Deficit by cutting the budget in different ways:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2...raphic.html?hp
It makes it sound so easy. Raise taxes slightly, reduce troop levels to pre-Iraq war, raise the retirement age 3 years, eliminate some tax breaks to the rich, and the budget is pretty much balanced, with money left over, meaning you could make the individual cuts less painful than the options presented there. The problem is none of those options are politically acceptable.
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Old 2010-11-14, 13:16   Link #9856
ChainLegacy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by einhorn303 View Post
I just saw this on the NY Times and I thought it was fascinating. It's an interactive thing which lets you try to solve the US Federal Deficit by cutting the budget in different ways:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2...raphic.html?hp
Thanks for posting this. It's telling (to me, anyways) how much money is saved by cutting down on military spending. Too bad the reality is more complex than the solutions they provide, though it's fun to poke around with.
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Old 2010-11-14, 15:10   Link #9857
ganbaru
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Join Date: Dec 2007
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British yachting couple freed after held hostage by Somali pirates for a year
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle1798407/
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Old 2010-11-14, 15:20   Link #9858
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
Thanks for posting this. It's telling (to me, anyways) how much money is saved by cutting down on military spending. Too bad the reality is more complex than the solutions they provide, though it's fun to poke around with.
Another invisible 800 pound gorilla is the sheer number of working class that would be negatively impacted by cuts in military spending (support for families, employment for those who can't find work in civil economy, etc).
Yes, it sucks that the ultra-wealthy have trapped people into the military being their only path.
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Old 2010-11-15, 01:50   Link #9859
TinyRedLeaf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
I don't exactly know the history behind the junta vs Aung San because there aren't many unbiased sources (even the NLB) in the form of proper text - and I don't trust Wikipedia when it comes to politics; thus I need you to tell me something about that.
My goodness. It's been a long while since I studied Burmese history. I had to read it along with Siamese/Thai history (starting with the reigns of King Mongkut [1851-1868] and King Chulalongkorn [1868-1910]) for A levels (along with Malayan/Malaysian history). I can't remember the exact details of each country's revolutionary/nationalist history any more.

What I do remember is the sense of pride and debt that the Burmese military feels towards General Aung San, a kind of goodwill that has been passed on to his daughter, Suu Kyi. In its own warped way, the military does believe that whatever it is doing is for the good of the country, a point that doesn't often come across in Western media reports.

Basically, imagine a country ruled by superstitious, red-neck tough guys with a stubborn, somewhat racist pride in their nation. That's Myanmar as it is today.

The one important to note is that, despite her long years of house arrest, Daw Suu Kyi has never been ill-treated by the military. She herself has commented on this on several occasions. I recall one interview from long ago in which she talked about how one of the generals used to play with her when she was still a girl.

In a way, she's like the favoured daughter of a long deceased but still immensely respected mafia don. The generals can't very well harm the child of a man from whom they draw much of their own "prestige". It'll appear almost like blasphemy or sacrilege. They would of course very much prefer that she's put out of the way, hence the house arrests.

But to kill her? That's almost unfathomable. Even if it were done covertly, the suspicion will still fall on the military. So, whether the "killing" is done on purpose or accident, the military would still be big losers. Far better to simply marginalise her as far as possible, as the generals have done. She can still talk all she want, but as long as she is not in government, Daw Suu Kyi wields no real power in Myanmar.
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Old 2010-11-15, 02:20   Link #9860
Azumanga Davo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
My goodness. It's been a long while since I studied Burmese history. I had to read it along with Siamese/Thai history (starting with the reigns of King Mongkut [1851-1868] and King Chulalongkorn [1868-1910]) for A levels (along with Malayan/Malaysian history). I can't remember the exact details of each country's revolutionary/nationalist history any more.

What I do remember is the sense of pride and debt that the Burmese military feels towards General Aung San, a kind of goodwill that has been passed on to his daughter, Suu Kyi. In its own warped way, the military does believe that whatever it is doing is for the good of the country, a point that doesn't often come across in Western media reports.

Basically, imagine a country ruled by superstitious, red-neck tough guys with a stubborn, somewhat racist pride in their nation. That's Myanmar as it is today.

The one important to note is that, despite her long years of house arrest, Daw Suu Kyi has never been ill-treated by the military. She herself has commented on this on several occasions. I recall one interview from long ago in which she talked about how one of the generals used to play with her when she was still a girl.

In a way, she's like the favoured daughter of a long deceased but still immensely respected mafia don. The generals can't very well harm the child of a man from whom they draw much of their own "prestige". It'll appear almost like blasphemy or sacrilege. They would of course very much prefer that she's put out of the way, hence the house arrests.

But to kill her? That's almost unfathomable. Even if it were done covertly, the suspicion will still fall on the military. So, whether the "killing" is done on purpose or accident, the military would still be big losers. Far better to simply marginalise her as far as possible, as the generals have done. She can still talk all she want, but as long as she is not in government, Daw Suu Kyi wields no real power in Myanmar.
For this post, have a rep point on me.
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