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Old 2008-09-24, 03:25   Link #101
yezhanquan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kang Seung Jae View Post
Well, I pretty much got out of the investment banks when the sub-prime crisis started up. Also, my bars of gold have exploded in value.



All in all, a good year for me.
Good for you, man, although it's now not so good for them.
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Old 2008-09-24, 07:13   Link #102
SeijiSensei
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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
As far as the average American knows, the banks gave out loans they shouldn't [have] to people who were not capable of paying them off. Now the financial institutions got bit in the ass and the whole public suffers for their greed.
A major reason why financial institutions made those loans was that none of them actually hold mortgages any more. Instead we had mortgage brokers who made commissions when they got people to sign a mortgage with a financial institution. Then the financial institution turned around and sold the mortgage to another entity and also collected a fee. These entities repackaged the mortgages into equity securities (think "stocks") and sold them into global markets.

In this system no one has any incentive to conduct "due diligence" and confirm that the mortgagee actually had the resources to pay off the mortgage. They all bet on the expectation that property values would continue to rise so that the soundness of the mortgages themselves would never come into question. When values started falling, the whole structure collapsed like a house of cards.

In the past, banks actually held the mortgages they wrote, so the banks had a much greater incentive to make sure that the mortgagee could cover the payments. Until we start requiring mortgagors to hold a substantial share of their mortgage portfolios I fail to see how we're going to create incentives for good behavior.

Especially if we bail them out for making bad decisions without much of anything in return.
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Old 2008-09-24, 07:43   Link #103
Tri-ring
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It all boils down to what is known as "Money Game".
Stocks, commodities, future Indexes, even mortgage.
It had strayed away from it's original purpose and people who participated are now paying the price.
Capitalism at it's purist is as dangerous as pure Socialism because both do not factor in Human Greed nor laziness.

As for federal money being injected, although it may seem as a bail out, but if you study the last depression caused by president Hoover deciding not to use federal fund it was the main factor causing a downward economic spiral due to no confidence to finacial institutions by the public.
To tell you the truth injecting tax money should be a good lesson to all US citizens. Look at the present US household savings rate, it is below zero. In a way it is every USA citizen's fault, borrowing money thinking lightly of the consequences whether it be credit card or sub-prime morgage.
Don't just blame it on a few wallstreet gambling junkies since at the end you were providing funds expecting high return rate to pay off whatever loan you had made.
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Old 2008-09-24, 12:13   Link #104
Vexx
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The main hilarity in this mess is watching aggressive "free market" "anything goes" "anti-regulatory" CEOs, finance tough guys, and speculators all running and screaming from the consequences of "getting what they wanted".....

Listening to some idiot harumphing that consequences for these buffoons is a "deal breaker" just makes you want to pelt him with poo.

I mostly agree with you Tri-ring other than the average American was just emulating what they saw the "big guys" in America doing --- leveraging current and future anticipated assets way past the lunatic point. Every time the economy dipped the last 8 years .... Bush was on his podium encouraging Americans to "shop our way out of the dip". Before that we had the "greed is good" nonsense which got amplified in the late 80s by a number of changes in policy and regulation in the finance/banking sector.
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Old 2008-09-24, 13:01   Link #105
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FBI probes finance giants for fraud
Quote:
WASHINGTON (Sept 24, 08): The US Federal Bureau of Investigation confirmed today that it is investigating allegations of fraud by 26 Wall Street firms, without naming investment giants believed to be under investigation.

"The director and others have confirmed the number of investigations that we currently have, but we haven't named any of the companies," an FBI spokesman told AFP. "The director last week indicated that there are 24 corporate fraud investigations involving the sub prime industry," he added.

The FBI probe aims to determine whether company executives had any responsibility for the institutions' financial woes through "misinformation or material misinformation", CNN said.

- AFP
A mildly interesting development, but a quick check with other news reports reveals that it's highly unlikely that the FBI would unearth damning evidence against the fattest cats in Wall Street. The FBI director has, however, publicly vowed to pursue anyone suspected of financial fraud.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tri-ring
Capitalism at it's purist is as dangerous as pure Socialism because both do not factor in Human Greed nor laziness.
Actually, I think capitalism is a lot more cynical than socialism. It assumes that humans are greedy, and harnesses that greed to produce economic profit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Tran View Post
I'm far from being all that knowledgeable about finances, but I'll try to summarize the three points in that video:
1. Everyone must list their assets, and give instructions as to how they valued those assets.
2. Everyone must make contracts based on what they own.
3. All leveraging is capped at a 12:1 ratio.
The first two points basically address accountability, which is the necessary first step towards long-term solutions for this crisis. Every financial institution needs to come clean about how much bad debt they hold. Right now, investors are unsure about whether they've seen the worst, and the lack of confidence is harming efforts to clean up the problem.

I highlighted the third point because I see it as an essentially pointless suggestion. How much leverage is safe leverage? That's virtually impossible to say in advance. It all depends on an organisation's risk appetite. It doesn't change the simple fact that if you owe more than you can pay, you'd still be bankrupt, no matter how little you owe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Solace View Post
The problem is that the economy has changed a lot since my education 15 years ago. The average American has about the same grasp on the system as I do, maybe a little worse. We didn't all go to college to continue such studies so we're relatively uneducated on the complexities and changes of the system as it has become today.

This is why we're struggling to understand what all of this means.
I agree totally. It's becoming increasingly clear that ordinary people are in dire need of financial education. But we don't need to understand all the arcane complexities behind financial instruments to have sound finances.

Even simple things like learning fiscal discipline, how to calculate simple and compound interest, how to read basic financial statements and so on, can go a long way towards improving an individual's financial literacy.

Most of all, people ought simply to learn how to save. Consumers have been suckered by commercials about easy money for so long that they've forgotten that cash in hand is worth a lot more than all the "future money" you haven't actually earned.

Rule No. 1: Credit doesn't make you richer. It only makes you poorer the longer you hold on to it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Tran View Post
If anything, the government probably should have been taking more of a wait-and-see attitude than this wild flailing about. So far, there have already been huge amounts of oftentimes weird regulations placed on the market, and there's so much flux in the rules that massive swings are inevitable. It's awfully hard to figure what's up when the rules that were in play at the opening bell have been thrown out the window by the closing bell.
I don't fully agree. If anything, I believe the Fed and the US Treasury should have acted a lot sooner rather than sitting on the problem, hoping that the market would eventually sort itself out. As long as the bad debt continued to sit on every financial institution's books, the problem will never be completely solved.

Someone has to pay the price. It's very unfortunate, however, that he ends up being the American taxpayer. I'd much rather see every chief executive of failed investment banks and insurance companies surrender their pay cheques instead. It is galling that ordinary people should foot the bill for a mess that they've created, and earned millions while doing so.

Meanwhile, regarding Green2's assertion that the bailout would weaken the US dollar, he is right. In the long term, the US Treasury will have to print more money to pay for all the debt it is proposing to buy.

That would eventually lead to the devaluation of the US dollar, which would make imports more expensive. That would curb consumption, and if this happens severely enough, it could trigger a US recession. On a wider scale, the world might be tempted to abandon the greenback on global forex markets, which would further destablise the US economy. A weaker dollar also makes US dollar-denominated financial instruments less attractive to foreign investors, making it harder for the US government to raise cash to pay for the bad debts.

On the other hand, a weaker dollar could help boost US exports, and in a best-case scenario, that could help the US close its trade deficit. It would also make US assets more attractive to foreign buyers. Of course, Americans would be leery about letting foreigners buy various national institutions, but then again, beggars can't be choosers.
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Old 2008-09-24, 19:01   Link #106
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
I highlighted the third point because I see it as an essentially pointless suggestion. How much leverage is safe leverage? That's virtually impossible to say in advance. It all depends on an organisation's risk appetite. It doesn't change the simple fact that if you owe more than you can pay, you'd still be bankrupt, no matter how little you owe.
To be honest, after watching that video, I'm not convinced that it's necessarily going to solve this particular issue. Nouriel Roubini's plan seems to be quite a bit better. That said, all the video is saying is that the maximum leverage should be set to the original limit. I can definitely see a little leverage being a useful tool, but it needs to be used in an environment that's much more transparent than it currently is. Whether a 12:1 ratio is a good idea is completely beyond my ability to determine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Most of all, people ought simply to learn how to save. Consumers have been suckered by commercials about easy money for so long that they've forgotten that cash in hand is worth a lot more than all the "future money" you haven't actually earned.
Part of the problem is that there are a lot of people who don't want to learn. What's really scary is that these people are allowed to vote.

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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
I don't fully agree. If anything, I believe the Fed and the US Treasury should have acted a lot sooner rather than sitting on the problem, hoping that the market would eventually sort itself out. As long as the bad debt continued to sit on every financial institution's books, the problem will never be completely solved.
I think that you're misinterpreting my point. What I'm saying is that a $700B solution that grants unprecedented powers should be studied extremely carefully, and that those making the decision shouldn't be rushed into doing so.

As to your tangent about how the government should have addressed the problem months ago, apparently they have. It appears that the Paulson plan has been in the works for eight months, and that they were just waiting for an opportune crisis to unleash it on the rest of the country. I really hate conspiracy theories, but the people in charge seemed to be aware of an imminent disaster, and instead of doing anything about it, they seem to have been trying to figure out how best to gain from it. Even worse, they did so while constantly bleating out the "fundamentals are strong" mantra.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Meanwhile, regarding Green2's assertion that the bailout would weaken the US dollar, he is right. In the long term, the US Treasury will have to print more money to pay for all the debt it is proposing to buy.
They'll probably end up just borrowing the money instead. That's how the Iraq war and the Bush tax cuts were paid for. Doing this too much would probably blow up the bond market, but I don't think the Treasury will resort to devaluing currency. That's going to be especially true in the likely even that the U.S. enters into a recession.

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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
That would eventually lead to the devaluation of the US dollar, which would make imports more expensive. That would curb consumption, and if this happens severely enough, it could trigger a US recession. On a wider scale, the world might be tempted to abandon the greenback on global forex markets, which would further destablise the US economy. A weaker dollar also makes US dollar-denominated financial instruments less attractive to foreign investors, making it harder for the US government to raise cash to pay for the bad debts.
One of the big unstated goals of the bailout is to reassure foreign investors and central banks that their investments are safe, and that the U.S. remains a good place to do business. Any action that threatens that may well do more damage than if the government did nothing. That's one of the big reasons why foreign corporations are potentially allowed to receive bailout money.

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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
On the other hand, a weaker dollar could help boost US exports, and in a best-case scenario, that could help the US close its trade deficit. It would also make US assets more attractive to foreign buyers. Of course, Americans would be leery about letting foreigners buy various national institutions, but then again, beggars can't be choosers.
I doubt that American exports are going to go up by much on the basis of a weaker dollar. In fact, it's probably a really bad idea right now because it will drive commodity prices sky-high. And (even more) sky-high commodity prices, oil prices in particular, will cripple the American economy.

http://www.forbes.com/home/2008/09/2...23bailout.html
Quote:
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill seem determined to work together to pass a bill that will get the credit markets churning again. But will they do it this week, as some had hoped just a few days ago? Don't count on it.

"Do I expect to pass something this week?" Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., mused to reporters Tuesday. "I expect to pass something as soon as we can. I think it's important that we get it done right, not get it done fast."

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, says his office has gotten "close to zero" calls in support of the $700 billion plan proposed by the administration. He doubts it'll happen immediately either. "I don't think it has to be a week" he says. "If we do it right, then we need to take as long as it needs."

The more Congress examines the Bush administration's bailout plan, the hazier its outcome gets. At a Senate Banking Committee hearing Tuesday, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle complained of being rushed to pass legislation or else risk financial meltdown.

"The secretary and the administration need to know that what they have sent to us is not acceptable," says Committee Chairman Chris Dodd, D-Conn. The committee's top Republican, Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby, says he's concerned about its cost and whether it will even work.

In fact, some of the most basic details, including the $700 billion figure Treasury would use to buy up bad debt, are fuzzy.

"It's not based on any particular data point," a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. "We just wanted to choose a really large number."


Wow. If it wants to see a bailout bill passed soon, the administration's going to have to come up with some hard answers to hard questions. Public support for it already seems to be waning. According to a Rasmussen Reports poll released Tuesday, 44% of those surveyed oppose the administration's plan, up from 37% Monday.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who testified before the Senate committee Tuesday, will get a chance to fine tune their answers Wednesday afternoon, when they appear before the House Financial Services Committee.

A spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says she is optimistic that the House will pass a bill this week. But that doesn't mean the Senate, which is by nature more sluggish than its larger counterpart on the other side of Capitol Hill, will be so quick to act.

"They will act first," says Sen. Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. "Many of our members today were just beginning to have interaction with Secretary Paulson."

Dodd proposed his own counter-proposal to Paulson's plan earlier this week. Among other things, it calls for limits on executive compensation at troubled firms and for the Treasury to take a contingent equity stake in those firms. On Tuesday, Paulson rebuffed both ideas, as it might discourage firms from participating in the bailout program.

Those things aside, lawmakers have plenty of other concerns with Treasury's proposal. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., suggested the bailout be doled out perhaps $150 billion at a time, instead of $700 billion all at once. Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., says it has an initial cost of $2,300 for every man, woman and child in the country. Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., calls it a "financial socialism and it's un-American."

Dodd says that in speaking with his Senate colleagues, all are agreed on three issues: that a bailout bill include some oversight accountability for the Treasury, protection for taxpayers and that it address the continuing foreclosure problem.

He also points to one other concern: Paulson, the bill's chief architect, is scheduled to leave office in just four months.

"I'm not about to give a $700 billion appropriation to a secretary I don't know yet," says Dodd.
Ha! It looks like the $700,000,000,000 was completely made up! The sheer gall of the bailout plan's writers is astounding.
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Old 2008-09-24, 20:53   Link #107
Tri-ring
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post

Meanwhile, regarding Green2's assertion that the bailout would weaken the US dollar, he is right. In the long term, the US Treasury will have to print more money to pay for all the debt it is proposing to buy.

That would eventually lead to the devaluation of the US dollar, which would make imports more expensive. That would curb consumption, and if this happens severely enough, it could trigger a US recession. On a wider scale, the world might be tempted to abandon the greenback on global forex markets, which would further destablise the US economy. A weaker dollar also makes US dollar-denominated financial instruments less attractive to foreign investors, making it harder for the US government to raise cash to pay for the bad debts.

On the other hand, a weaker dollar could help boost US exports, and in a best-case scenario, that could help the US close its trade deficit. It would also make US assets more attractive to foreign buyers. Of course, Americans would be leery about letting foreigners buy various national institutions, but then again, beggars can't be choosers.
The US dollar will not be devaluated by US actions alone since the US dollar (till recently) is the sole transaction currency for purchacing oil and OPEC nation's currencies are pegged to the dollar. This can only be maintained if they purchace a certain amount of dollar for every bill they instate.
Most people do not understand the implications this has to the US economy so let me elaborate.
For example, every barrel of oil bought by Japan have to be paid by US dollar so the Japanese company purchacing that barrel needed to exchage Yen into dollar and everytime a currency transaction is made a US Federal Bank made profit through transaction surcharge of 2 percent.
OPEC nations selling oil (after placing some of the dollar into national reserve), is placed into investment to another nation's economy. Keep in mind that the fund is in US dollar so if placed into another nation's economy other than the US then transaction surcharge will be subtracted from the gross amount so OPEC nation's logical choice will be to invest primarly into the US economy.
This was the main driving factor of the US economy.
This was further exceled by the entire oil future index subjagated by WTI prices which consists of only 1 percent of the global oil transaction amount thus making it much easier to manipulate then taking on the entire global oil market.
I believe the original intent of WTI was to maintain oil prices at a low rate to ensure it will not hamper the growth of US economy but this changed substantially as institutional investors came in "investing" into this market.

Bottom line is US federal banks made tons of money out of nowhere by just changing money from one foreign currency into US dollar and then re-investing those dollars as fund by OPEC nation into other investments like sub-prime loans, stocks, and/or commodity future index and everyone was pulled into this money game like a bug attracted to a lamp post at night.
Oil transaction surchage is like heroin to the US economy(especially the federal government) and the nation as a whole should go into rehab of it.
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Old 2008-09-26, 00:20   Link #108
Reckoner
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More bad news for the economy as Washington Mutual goes under, more fuel for the fire!
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Old 2008-09-26, 00:22   Link #109
cors8
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House Republicans alternative plan for the bailout:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080926/...ut_alternative
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Old 2008-09-26, 00:45   Link #110
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Originally Posted by cors8 View Post
House Republicans alternative plan for the bailout:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080926/...ut_alternative
When you know their back up has major problem, something is direly wrong.
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Old 2008-09-26, 09:01   Link #111
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http://www.reuters.com/article/marke...16693720080925
Quote:
BEIJING, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Chinese regulators have told domestic banks to stop interbank lending to U.S. financial institutions to prevent possible losses during the financial crisis, the South China Morning Post reported on Thursday.

The Hong Kong newspaper cited unidentified industry sources as saying the instruction from the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) applied to interbank lending of all currencies to U.S. banks but not to banks from other countries.

"The decree appears to be Beijing's first attempt to erect defences against the deepening U.S. financial meltdown after the mainland's major lenders reported billions of U.S. dollars in exposure to the credit crisis," the SCMP said.

A spokesman for the CBRC had no immediate comment. (Reporting by Alan Wheatley and Langi Chiang; editing by Ken Wills)
Regardless of whatever may happen with a bailout plan, the most serious news might be coming from outside the U.S. If China stops lending to the U.S., other countries will follow suit, and the American economy is toast.

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More bad news for the economy as Washington Mutual goes under, more fuel for the fire!
This really isn't bad news. Everyone already expected WaMu to go down, and it did so in just about the least painful way possible.

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Originally Posted by cors8 View Post
House Republicans alternative plan for the bailout:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080926/...ut_alternative
PDF link for more details:
http://marcambinder.theatlantic.com/...Principles.pdf

This plan looks terrible, and I don't know if any credible economist think that it has any chance of accomplishing anything. If you want to compare, the Dodd plan is much better than both this one and Paulson's original one.

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Originally Posted by Tri-ring View Post
Most people do not understand the implications this has to the US economy so let me elaborate.
For example, every barrel of oil bought by Japan have to be paid by US dollar so the Japanese company purchacing that barrel needed to exchage Yen into dollar and everytime a currency transaction is made a US Federal Bank made profit through transaction surcharge of 2 percent.
I was under the impression that it made little difference what kind of currency oil was traded in, and that any profits gained would be far less than 2 percent. Do you have any information links that talk about this process further?
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Old 2008-09-26, 10:02   Link #112
Tri-ring
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I was under the impression that it made little difference what kind of currency oil was traded in, and that any profits gained would be far less than 2 percent. Do you have any information links that talk about this process further?
To my knowledge Interbank transaction rate is ordinarily set at two percent.

As for transaction currency for oil pegged to the US dollar, it has been that way for so long that lot of people do not understand the significance especially after the Nixon Shock transitioning to floating exchange rate.
As I wrote before all nation purchasing oil from OPEC needs to exchange own nation's currency into US dollars since this is the only currency OPEC will accept.
The federal bank will gain surcharge but there is also a hidden meaning in which it virutually means that the US had exported that much goods to that certain country offsetting the export amount since the transaction is done through US dollar. Therefore that certain nation needs to export back to the US an equal amount in monetary value to maintain balance.
If you look at past US import/export balance with all industrial nations, the US is at deficit with almost of them for the past 20 years and yet the strength of the dollar had not collapsed. That simply can not be possible unless the US dollar was supported by an alternative export source.
That is the power and adictiveness of transaction currency have to a nation.
A nation that controls the transaction currency does not need a substantial export industry to maintain it's currency strength in the global market and all nation relying on oil needs to export whatever they can so to keep balance of their own currency so they can obtain enough oil.

If for some reason the transaction currency was to change and/or allow other national currency beside the US dollar then the US economy will suddenly go bankrupt since there is virtually no export industry within the US with enough competetiveness in the global market to maintain import/export balance.
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Old 2008-09-26, 19:33   Link #113
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Bravo lady, bravo.
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Old 2008-09-26, 19:38   Link #114
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Bravo lady, bravo.
I don't think it is that simple, I also think she is a bit naive.

*the target is in the other direction*
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Old 2008-09-26, 19:48   Link #115
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I agree in principle, but looking at Newshour tonight, the analysts said it really isn't that simple.

Mark Shields said "we either punish Wall Street or we stablize Wall Street, can't do both".
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Old 2008-09-26, 21:45   Link #116
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Mark Shields said "we either punish Wall Street or we stablize Wall Street, can't do both".
Agreed. The question is a matter of "justice" or "wealth". Can't have both, it seems.
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Old 2008-09-26, 22:27   Link #117
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Originally Posted by solomon View Post
I agree in principle, but looking at Newshour tonight, the analysts said it really isn't that simple.

Mark Shields said "we either punish Wall Street or we stablize Wall Street, can't do both".
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Originally Posted by yezhanquan View Post
Agreed. The question is a matter of "justice" or "wealth". Can't have both, it seems.
Au contraire. It's possible to both stabilize Wall Street and to throw bunches of executives in prison. Then again, I'm not sure if using hundreds of billions of dollars to stabilize Wall Street is a desirable goal. In fact, I think that American taxpayers are sort of lucky that the Republicans rejected the Dodd plan. The longer Congress to work out the different options and fully understand the consequences of what they're doing, the better it is for everyone involved.
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Old 2008-09-26, 23:06   Link #118
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The longer Congress to work out the different options and fully understand the consequences of what they're doing, the better it is for everyone involved.
This, I agree. However, is the delay due to political gridlock or meaningful discussion? That is important.
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Old 2008-09-26, 23:14   Link #119
Tri-ring
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Au contraire. It's possible to both stabilize Wall Street and to throw bunches of executives in prison. Then again, I'm not sure if using hundreds of billions of dollars to stabilize Wall Street is a desirable goal. In fact, I think that American taxpayers are sort of lucky that the Republicans rejected the Dodd plan. The longer Congress to work out the different options and fully understand the consequences of what they're doing, the better it is for everyone involved.
I think it is pre-mature and even naive to think a case can be devloped against the present wallstreet fiasco.
The present investment banking system is based on creating profit on investments and as long as they follow anti-trust rules and regulations they are able to basically invest on what ever they want.
Investing in this case is more like betting utilizing probability models but how ever good the models is it still cannot anticipate dynamic changes that had not happened before.
It's like saying you are using too much carbon fuel AFTER realizing global warming is occuring.
It's too late in pointing fingers. The only thing you can do is repent, learn from your mistakes and develop better regulations so it will not happen again.
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Old 2008-09-26, 23:22   Link #120
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It's deadlock. Only a tiny handful of economists seem to have a clue as to what's going on, and the politicians don't really know who to trust. The Republican plan is direct proof as to the prevailing lack of understanding. However, unlike almost any other situation, deadlock is vastly preferable to a hasty decision. Think of it this way, if an actual plan is push through, Congress will go to recess and not convene again until January. That's four months of suffering under a bad plan.

The other side of the equation is that the chance of Congress passing an effective plan that can deal with the crisis is vanishingly small. There are certain measures that are simply too unpopular to bring up politically. However, the alternative of not doing anything major might well bring about those measures as a result of inaction, and that might be better in the long run.

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Originally Posted by Tri-ring View Post
I think it is pre-mature and even naive to think a case can be devloped against the present wallstreet fiasco.
The present investment banking system is based on creating profit on investments and as long as they follow anti-trust rules and regulations they are able to basically invest on what ever they want.
Hah! This is Wall Street we're talking about. There's almost certain to be something not on the up and up going on, and that the executives can be charged with . At the very least, many of the companies are guilty of hiding how untenable their finances are from their stockholders. And then we've got stuff like ratings agency collusion and the list of possibilities goes on and on.
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