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Financial Meltdown 101

Getting a grip on the economic catastrophe that rocked the country during the fall of 2008 is no easy feat, what with so many players, back-room deals, bills, upswings and meltdowns to consider. To that end, Truthdig, once again in collaboration with Capzles.com, has put together a comprehensive multimedia timeline that explains how we got into this mess and how we might avoid repeating history in the near future.

This is a work in progress, and we’ll be adding updates and pointers in coming weeks, so check it out and leave your feedback in the comment section below. We’ll also be including some audio commentary to highlight key turning points along the story line to make this complicated narrative easier to understand, even for those of us who fell asleep during Econ 101 (or avoided that whole scene altogether).

Update: As of 10/19/2011, this Capzle is updated with several new articles and book excerpts.

 

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Dig last updated on Nov. 24, 2008


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By Thepeacenik, December 4, 2008 at 1:18 am Link to this comment

By FENWICK

One thing that got me was that it begs the question of who was ultimately behind this? 

_______________________________________

All of Congress, the corporate giant insiders, the military,  stock, bond, and future markets are behind it.

Most of the politicians, with the exception of a few like Waxman or Kucinich.

Information is power; and all they seek is to gain and advantage in the game. With the right — insider— information they get from the secret congressional hearings; they can then use it to manipulate the market economy (make themselves billionaires).

While giving lip-service to democracy—and the people.

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By TAO Walker, December 3, 2008 at 2:35 pm Link to this comment

The ancient Chinese recognized way-back-when that “Where riches are piled-up, robbery is sure to occur.”  How is it that “modern” domesticated people, so slap-happily enthralled with their own sophistication, have been so easily set-up for “global” larceny on such a grandiose scale?

The “Give Away” traditions of many Native Peoples worked as genuinely preventive Medicine in this area.  Making sure that every person and family had at-least the necessities, certainly served to lessen the temptation to “enrich” oneself by stealing from others in the community.  Of course, with the bounty of Nature there for all to access freely, it was pretty much impossible, as well, to set-up “power” structures based on control of “resources.”

A hallmark of “civilization,” on the other hand, is cutting-off the masses’ free access to Life’s bounty so they can then be compelled to “work” for the interests of their de facto captors.  Here on Turtle Island that process has effectively concealed from the lower orders, at least until fairly recently, the ugly truth of their actual condition.  Keeping theamericanpeople constantly amused and swamped with industrial waste-products has kept them blissfully ignorant until now of just how UN-free they really are….how utterly dependent for their day-to-day survival on the whims and appetites of a privateering class over which they have no influence, even, nevermind “control.”

Still, americans are convinced “there’s a little bit of larceny in everyone,” which not only deprives them of any bona fide standing to go after the mega-thieves, it leaves us all with a textbook example of the flip-side of the “can’t fool an honest person” adage.  Even a “little bit of larceny” opens a person up to being robbed rather easily of “gains” such a one can never be quite sure are not “ill-gotten.”  Take “property owners” here, for instance.  We all know damned well no real “rights” can go with stolen goods.

Maybe that’s why tame two-leggeds here in the Wild west get so rabidly reactionary at suggestions that Natives like Buffalo, Wolf, and Indian (to name but a few) look like making a come-back, as farming and ranching and “resource extraction” become increasingly not-for-profit activities.  The domesticated peoples, meantime, stumble around lost and frightened in a crumbling “world” that is in its origens a lot more “alien” than any of ‘em want to face.

No wonder then, even as she slipped beneath the waves, the Titanic’s band played on.

HokaHey!

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By Skruff, December 3, 2008 at 8:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Anarcissie, December 2 at 6:06 pm #

“All right—why is this relevant at this point?  Was FDR a show-er, rather than a leader?”

FDR would have been a zero, nothing, without a mandate first from the people of New York, then from the majority of the Nationa voters. Same truth for all government officials.

We (those not in government) are the leaders (at least the majority of us. Politicians are our employees. Had people been thinking like employers, rather than as scared sheep, we would not be in the fix we are in, and wouldn’t need some “savior” to deliver us.

I’m an old fart without an investment beyond the next 20 years (If I’m lucky) I already had the best this Nation had to offer, I just hate to see the old country so debased.

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By Lee A., December 2, 2008 at 10:39 pm Link to this comment

leilah:  “That’s it exactly.  Your earlier response, the two or three factoids from the Daily ‘Publican Talking Points are all you can render.  That final rhetorical response speaks volumes of your empty, repetitive response.”

So we all say “‘Publicans” here?  How cute!  It makes you seem so, I don’t know, trivial and airheaded.

Kidding aside, when you say “factoids” I guess you mean facts.  I’m someone who cares about them.  Others don’t—they just want to amuse themselves saying foolishly egregious things about “‘Publicans.”  But please note:  No one said my facts were wrong. You and Fenwick just became abusive when I cited them.  That’s fine of course - you have every right to say what you want.  Still, facts are facts no matter how much you want them to be otherwise.

If you want to impress serious people, you should learn to care about facts.  And when I say “facts” I mean information that is subject to neutral, independent verification.  Try it some time!  You might find it helps you.

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By Anarcissie, December 2, 2008 at 7:06 pm Link to this comment

Skruff: ‘We are in disagreement. “leading” has nothing to do with “Showing”

speak in happy terms, and get happy replies.’

So if I show you the door, I am not leading you to the door, and if I lead you to the door, I am not showing you the door.  I can lead a horse to water, but I can’t make him see it (or drink it). 

All right—why is this relevant at this point?  Was FDR a show-er, rather than a leader?

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By leilah, December 2, 2008 at 6:11 pm Link to this comment

Leea A.
“My earlier remarks, and the facts, speak for themselves.  Fenwick’s style of response likewise speaks volumes about Fenwick.”

That’s it exactly.  Your earlier response, the two or three factoids from the Daily ‘Publican Talking Points are all you can render.  That final rhetorical response speaks volumes of your empty, repetitive response.

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By Blackspeare, December 2, 2008 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment

There is a rather easy way to resolve the mortgage crisis.  Under existing law, bankruptcy courts cannot modify the terms of home mortgages.  Homeowners are the only ones who cannot modify the terms of their secured debts under bankruptcy laws where as Corporate America flock to bankruptcy courts to do precisely this — to restructure and re-amortize loans whose conditions they find onerous or can no longer meet.

Airlines are still flying and automobile parts makers still operating because they have used this powerful tool of the bankruptcy process.

But when the bankruptcy code was adopted in 1979, the mortgage industry persuaded Congress that its market was so tightly regulated and conservatively run that it should be exempted from the general bankruptcy rules permitting modification.  How far we have come!

It is time to remove this ban on home mortgage modification to help stem the increasing number of foreclosures.

Allowing modifications is a solid solution. The homeowner, using bankruptcy proceedings can restructure their loans to terms resembling those of a conventional mortgage. If the court finds that the market value of the home has fallen below what is owed, the secured portion that must be repaid in full would be reduced to the house’s actual value; otherwise, the amount to be repaid would stay the same.

Such a solution is better for everyone. Obviously, it is good for the homeowner and the community. Instead of another abandoned house tied up in foreclosure, the house would be owned by a taxpaying citizen.

More important, it is better for the lender. Whatever mortgage company hold this loan, they are never going to get their inflated return. Instead, the total recovery will be limited to the proceeds from a foreclosure sale in a depressed market.  Allowing the homeowner to declare bankruptcy is a better option.

No one has been able to explain to me why it is not better for mortgage holders to get a fair return of principal back, albeit at a lower interest rate, than to take a lump sum through foreclosure that is probably much less than the value of the note.

There is a simple answer to the frequent, hyperbolic assertion that such a process would be abused: Chapter 13 is no walk in the park. It requires public disclosure of every aspect of your life, examinations under oath by a trustee and creditors, allowing creditors to haul you into court on any objection, and relinquishment of control of your financial life for up to five years.

If you falter, your case will be dismissed and you will lose the entire benefit of the bankruptcy law, including having your original contract terms reinstated.

That is precisely why allowing mortgage modifications is such a good approach. It would elegantly separate those homeowners who desperately need to stay in their homes and have sufficient incomes to make reasonable payments from those investors who bet on lax regulation, easy credit and an appreciating market in buying residential properties.

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By Paracelsus, December 2, 2008 at 1:34 pm Link to this comment

Yellowbird2523:  “remember, the USA runs by putting chemicals in everything to cause medical harm to all people everywhere to make $ for Pharma who gets 600,000 xs cost of med; (EACH & every single one of them!) all with Politicians full knowledge & consent.”

I think it is interesting that there are so many chemicals in modern living that cause sterility in men. I saw something on Canadian TV called the disappearing male.

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By Lee A., December 2, 2008 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment

Fenwick:  “Yes, since Tom Delay left, the progressive Democrats have held their sway.  It was Barney Frank and another Democratic Senator in cahoots with few o’ them thar shrewd african Americans and other worldly types that blew it right by them poor, naive ‘Publicans without their knowing it.”

This is intended to be sarcastic but as sarcasm it misses the mark since it misrepresents my earlier remarks.  And of course the faux hillbilly accent and grammar are intended to be offensive.  My earlier remarks, and the facts, speak for themselves.  Fenwick’s style of response likewise speaks volumes about Fenwick.

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By Lee A., December 2, 2008 at 11:37 am Link to this comment

Yellowbird2523:  “remember, the USA runs by putting chemicals in everything to cause medical harm to all people everywhere to make $ for Pharma who gets 600,000 xs cost of med; (EACH & every single one of them!) all with Politicians full knowledge & consent.”

Wow, and I just accused Fenwick of being silly.  I guess there is a different standard of preposterousness for wild claims on this site.

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By yellowbird2525, December 2, 2008 at 11:34 am Link to this comment

And India banned Pepsi from several places after found with extremely high levels of pesticide & the USA said: we will cut off aid! (remember, the USA runs by putting chemicals in everything to cause medical harm to all people everywhere to make $ for Pharma who gets 600,000 xs cost of med; (EACH & every single one of them!) all with Politicians full knowledge & consent)& if you think the FDA is there to protect YOU it is NOT. It is a “front” to make you BELIEVE the DECEPTION that is called “democracy”; like the USA is “a force for good’ when in reality THEY train the torturers, & cause the civil unrest like India started seeing 2 days AFTER they refused to sign the World Trade Agreement the USA wanted them to. NOTICE: the USA Gov REFUSES to even acknowledge INTERNATIONAL LAW: so they feel THEY are the “rulers” of the world. Interesting that all the laws fell by the wayside; like USURY laws re interest rates. Oh, and the ‘loans” made to “folks” who didn’t have the funds to pay for them????? THINK AGAIN. According to the Pres of Responsibility for Loans: the PEOPLE all qualified for BETTER LOANS, LOWER interest rates, & all kinds of “added bogus fees” were added to them; all coming out in the “bankruptcies”; Just like the “student loans” were bogus: the heads of the colleges were bribed to “promote” citibank & others as “being the best”; the “authorities” steered students towards them as “being the best”; gave them credit cards with the schools logo on them: and SURPRISE! addl fees, higher interest rates: oh, and Congress KNEW all about it & was just aok with that! WAKE UP AMERICANS! Ask NOT what your country can do for YOU: cuz you are SLAVES working to make folks WEALTHY ONLY! The Gov in the USA works on PUBLIC PERCEPTION: claiming “they are good” is all lies!

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By Lee A., December 2, 2008 at 11:06 am Link to this comment

Fenwick:  “I am sure you’ve watched the Congress operate.  The ‘Publican wrecking ball with its media noise machine could derail anything they wanted to.”

Now you’re just being silly.

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By Lee A., December 2, 2008 at 9:39 am Link to this comment

There surely were warnings about the housing-price bubble, fueled as it was by massive lending to weak borrowers.  But speculation that those circumstances were encouraged by the Bush Administration has it exactly backwards.  The Administration tried to do what it could in subjecting the mortgage lending and mortgage securitizing GSEs to tighter controls but was rebuffed by Congress.

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By Skruff, December 2, 2008 at 7:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By Anarcissie, December 1 at 7:14 pm #


We are in disagreement. “leading” has nothing to do with “Showing”

speak in happy terms, and get happy replies.

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By Anarcissie, December 1, 2008 at 8:14 pm Link to this comment

Skruff—Economics is about value, and value is ultimately how people feel about things.  Some values arise out of biological need (bread) but some are mostly mental (gold).  One problem I see in the New Deal formulation is that people are waiting around for the Great Leader to lead them out of the darkness into the light.  But as Eugene Debs noted, “If I could lead you out of the darkness, someone else could lead you back in.” (Or something like that.)  Another is that most of the capital that exists is under the control of a few people, not the masses who are encouraged by the WPA or the CCC.  These few people have different needs, like $700 billion bailouts, before they start to feel better.  And even 700 billion wasn’t enough.  Hence I say that theater—the poor folks’ theater—doesn’t do much besides give people something to talk about.  (Which may not be a bad thing, if it averts civil war, I suppose.)

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By Lee A., December 1, 2008 at 2:22 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie: “. . .  I thought you were going to come up with some previously overlooked facts, especially something which would connect FDR’s New Deal with Obama’s supposed potential pseudo-New Deal.  At this point I don’t see much connection.  I suppose one could say they’re both theater, but that’s not the interpretation you favor.”

It would certainly be difficult for any of us to be concrete about the connection at this point, since the details of Obama’s recovery plan have yet to be announced.  So, perhaps I’m mistaken in fearing that it will have at least broad similarities to the unsuccessful (as we agree) New Deal recovery plan.  As an aside, I’m mindful of Skruff’s post regarding the psychological benefits of the New Deal although I think that actual, practical benefits would have been preferable.  After all, the subjective experience of well-being generally follows the reality and is less desirable when merely resulting from the placebo effect.  My reasons for fearing that Obama intends to follow the New Deal as the precedent for an economic recovery plan arise from comments about anticipated spending on infrastructure, health care/health insurance and industry bailouts.

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By Anarcissie, November 30, 2008 at 7:25 pm Link to this comment


Lee A.: ‘Anarcissie, how odd.  I wrote that FDR’s policies extended and deepened the Depression.  You challenged me to provide factual support.  When I did so, you might have acknowledged a response that was intended to be helpful. ...’

You gave an alternative interpretation of the known history—indeed, a very familiar and popular one.  I thought you were going to come up with some previously overlooked facts, especially something which would connect FDR’s New Deal with Obama’s supposed potential pseudo-New Deal.  At this point I don’t see much connection.  I suppose one could say they’re both theater, but that’s not the interpretation you favor.

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By Ham-Archy, November 30, 2008 at 5:05 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie: Here are some other links to info that can help to figure out just who holds the Treasury Debt:
http://www.treas.gov/tic/mfh.txt
What can happen to bond holders:
http://www.uncle-scam.com/Breaking/jan-04/br-7.html

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By Lee A., November 30, 2008 at 2:20 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie, how odd.  I wrote that FDR’s policies extended and deepened the Depression.  You challenged me to provide factual support.  When I did so, you might have acknowledged a response that was intended to be helpful.  Instead, you say you always knew the New Deal didn’t end the Depression and that you’re “not tremendously interested in this sort of argument.”

If you’re not interested, then next time don’t ask.

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By Skruff, November 30, 2008 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By Anarcissie, November 29 at 5:46 pm #


“Lee A—I am well aware that the New Deal did not end the Depression.” 

“...Yet another argument is that the New Deal didn’t really do anything at all, but it gave people something to talk about—it was theater.”


Don’t mistake “recorded history” for reality. There are still a few people who vividly remember the depression. My 91-year-old mother says “The new deal gave us hope, a light in the darkness, so to speak when it looked to us at the time that light had vanished from the world.”

Maybe the “idea” is what is really important, maybe the economic recovery is a “side effect” of a hopfull people?

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By leilah, November 30, 2008 at 8:22 am Link to this comment

Paracelsus,
For a good article, check out,

http://www.logosjournal.com/xenos.htm

The statement distilling what Strauss was actually after was taken from Webster Tarpley’s book on Synthetic Terrorism.  Someone put a link to it in this thread.  It’s free.  If you print it, it’s in pdf and the pages are not numbered.

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By Ham-Archy, November 30, 2008 at 8:00 am Link to this comment

The Federal Reserve is an important part of this question. There are lots of different ideas about this monster:
http://www.barefootsworld.net/fs_m_ch_01.html
http://mises.org/books/fed.pdf
http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/FederalReserveSystem.html
http://www.federalreserve.gov/
Some other links where this question is discussed:
http://www.nworeport.com/
http://www.gao.gov/
http://www.urban.org/

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By Ham-Archy, November 30, 2008 at 7:25 am Link to this comment

Gurfinkle adds some important detail to this debt question. The Fed just creates the money, some people say ‘out of thin air’. I guess that makes just as much sense as ‘end of the rainbow’. Anarcissie, I like your story, sounds about right. Don’t you just love that there is a profit on magic money? One of my thoughts about this deficit problem is that it might be good to nationalize natural resources. Especialy mineral types, and oil. I feel that what the earth provides belongs to everyone. Not the corporations. It seems like the gain from drilling and mining, taken by corporations, is stealing from the people.

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By Paracelsus, November 30, 2008 at 12:53 am Link to this comment

@ leilah

In the “10,000 tears of civilization will be obliterated while we whimper”, I meant to say years, not tears.  This was Leo Strauss’s solution to the advances of society; simply undo them, by war, by famine, by any means available to reduce the population to around 50bn and start over. I shit you not!

What you have said is very intriguing, especially undoing the advances of society. Could you quote more Leo Strauss on that? Could you also cite what you post? Thank you.

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By Anarcissie, November 29, 2008 at 8:21 pm Link to this comment

Ham-Archy:
‘Anarcissie: Perhaps if your question was stated a little more clearly you would find an answer. My first reaction is this: When there is a budget deficit, if the government does not meet it’s obligations, then it is in DEFAULT. If the government does meet it’s obligations then it goes into debt. Now that debt, as apposed to default means that the government MUST have borrowed. The standard practice is to sell Treasury Bonds to the Federal Reserve, which in turn places the dollar amount of the Bonds it has purchased into the U. S. Treasury.’

This stuff is sort of confusing.  Let me conflate the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve Bank for a moment.  We’ll call it the Kitty.  Let’s say the King decides that all the citizens would be happier and better-behaved if each had a nice, new, fresh one-hundred-dollar bill.

“Well,” says the Head Bagman, “there’s nothing in the Kitty, so we don’t have any of those $100 bills.”

“Tax the peasants,” suggests the King.

“Not much point in that,” says the Bagman, “even a peasant can figure out that if you take $100 away to give him $100 back, he hasn’t gotten anywhere.”

“All right,” says the King, “borrow the money from China.”

“We can do that,” says the Bagman, “but even a peasant might be able to figure out we’ll just have to pay it back, with interest, later.”

“Okay,” says the King, “here’s an even trickier plan.  We’ll just declare that the money exists.  And just to obfuscate things a bit, instead of actually printing the money, I’ll have my left hand write my right hand a check, and my right hand will then cash the check with my left hand, and take the cash as one-hundred-dollar bills.”

“That ought to do it,” concedes the Bagman.  “But we will almost certainly have some inflation,” he warns.

“Sure,” says the King, “but that will happen way later.  And anyway, it will only harm those who work and save their money or have fixed entitlements like pensions, and everyone knows they’re suckers anyway.”

“Cool,” says the Bagman.

So we have three ways for the King to get money he doesn’t have, and my guess is that there is some public record as to which methods are being used to get our bailouts and stimuli.  (Sounds like sex in a canoe!  I knew I should have become an economist!)  It is that public record I would like to see, at least if it is veracious, which I suppose it might not be. 

I will check out the URLs you gave.  If they don’t have the information they might point to it.

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By Allan Gurfinkle, November 29, 2008 at 8:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When the government wants to spend money it doesn’t have, it prints a bond and sells it on the open market.

The bond can be bought by me, you, or a foreign government.  Lately, many have been bought by China.  The bond represents a debt that must be repaid with interest.  However, it is paid for with ‘real’ money so that it does not increase the money supply.

The bond may also be bought by the Fed.  In this case, the Fed prints the money, or increases the balance in the governments account, in effect creating the money from nothing and increasing the money supply.  The bond represents a debt of the government, I don’t think it has to be repaid, as it can be rolled over, but the interest must be paid to the Fed.  However, at the end of each year the Fed pays fixed dividends to its shareholders, the member banks, and what remains of its profit is returned to the treasury, so that the interest pay on the bond is returned.

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By Ham-Archy, November 29, 2008 at 7:26 pm Link to this comment

Correction: This would me M2, not M0.

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By Ham-Archy, November 29, 2008 at 7:10 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie: Perhaps if your question was stated a little more clearly you would find an answer. My first reaction is this: When there is a budget deficit, if the government does not meet it’s obligations, then it is in DEFAULT. If the government does meet it’s obligations then it goes into debt. Now that debt, as apposed to default means that the government MUST have borrowed. The standard practice is to sell Treasury Bonds to the Federal Reserve, which in turn places the dollar amount of the Bonds it has purchased into the U. S. Treasury.
This does not require any physical printing of specie. The Federal Reserve simply loans money against the bonds to other entities. What happens as a result of this, though, is that the amount of money in circulation (M0) increases. This is inflation. Also interest must be paid on this amount of money from a budget that was already in deficit simultaneously devalueing the dollar and exponentially increasing the nations debt. Has this helped with your question?

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By Anarcissie, November 29, 2008 at 7:08 pm Link to this comment

leilah: ‘The Concord Coalition with Pete Peterson is for Right-Wing Capitalists who want to appear to be Moderate Republicans. ...’

That’s all right.  Right-wing capitalists can still be arguing from the facts, regardless of the interpretations they put on them.  My interest at the moment isn’t exactly the budget but in how the government is getting all this money it’s supposedly throwing around.  This is of both theoretical and material interest to me.

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By Anarcissie, November 29, 2008 at 6:46 pm Link to this comment

Lee A—I am well aware that the New Deal did not end the Depression.  However, many different interpretations can be given to this fact.  Besides the argument that Roosevelt was too much the interventionist, arguments have been given that he was not interventionist enough (a problem later cured by World War 2), or that his program wasn’t really supposed to cure the Depression but avert socialist or fascist revolution.  Yet another argument is that the New Deal didn’t really do anything at all, but it gave people something to talk about—it was theater.

I am not tremendously interested in this sort of argument.  I know that Mr. Bernanke is supposed to be a great scholar of the Depression, and it doesn’t seem to have done him any good.  I am more interested in knowing whether the government is borrowing or printing money right now—or just pretending it’s at the end of the rainbow.

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By Ham-Archy, November 29, 2008 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment

leilah: Interesting observation. Well I don’t own a television so who appears on what network means nothing to me. I offer this link to anarcisse because through it you can get the budget reports, which used to have a differnt link. Perhaps this is not a trustworth source, could that mean that the numbers are being skewed, or misrepresented? Nothing would suprise me. I’m not to concerned about their politics, any political leaning tends to distortion. So then one could go direct: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2009/
and get the numbers there. Either way it seems you have to do your own math to determine what part of the deficit will need to be covered by borrowing. Maybe Congress has not even figured it out yet.

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By leilah, November 29, 2008 at 1:11 pm Link to this comment

The Concord Coalition with Pete Peterson is for Right-Wing Capitalists who want to appear to be Moderate Republicans.  They are a Trojan Horse to inject their misrepresentation in the argument in hopes that they will be accepted as sort of the starting point.  Check out Peterson’s claim that the Social Security will be broke in about 30 years.  He was pushing some sort fall-back argument to G.W.s winfall plan for the Wall Street takeover of privatization. 
Rule of thumb: if the guest appears on PBS more than once or twice, he’s a right-wing shill.

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By Ham-Archy, November 29, 2008 at 10:41 am Link to this comment

Anarcisse again; Maybe ... http://www.concordcoalition.org/
could answer your questions, along with some number crunching. The FED does not hesistate to print up money. If you use the circulation figures (Mx), budget, and debt you should be able to get your answer.

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By Ham-Archy, November 29, 2008 at 10:32 am Link to this comment

Annarcise: capzle doesn’t ‘run’ on Vista either. Maybe it runs sometimes and not others. I hope the MSXML thing will work for me but it isn’t now. Oh well, the comments seem to be much better than the ‘capzle’ anyway.

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By leilah, November 29, 2008 at 10:30 am Link to this comment

In the “10,000 tears of civilization will be obliterated while we whimper”, I meant to say years, not tears.  This was Leo Strauss’s solution to the advances of society; simply undo them, by war, by famine, by any means available to reduce the population to around 50bn and start over.
I shit you not!

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By Ham-Archy, November 29, 2008 at 10:19 am Link to this comment

There are past examples of how an industrial economy has evolved to a financial economy. There are also many past examples of economic cycles and their effects. I am currently reading ‘Imperialism’ by J.A. Hobson, written in 1902. How astounding, it could have been written in 2002 and be totaly relevent. Hobson ask the question “When are we goint to learn?”, and is writing his book in hopes that mistakes are not repeated. HA! This book is in public domain and online, and free. If you would like to enrich your knowledge of political economy it is a GREAT READ.

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By Lee A., November 29, 2008 at 9:27 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie :  “All right, but since you’ve complained about Scheer’s facts, where are yours?”

It would be difficult to mention all of the facts in this forum; whole books have been written just to answer the above question.  One of them is Jim Powell, FDR’s Folly: How Roosevelt and His New Deal Prolonged the Great Depression.  Milton Friedman’s monetarist history of the Depression is a classic work in economics.  If you distruct Friedman (although you shouldn’t - he was brilliant) you could also try David Kennedy, who was awarded the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for his book Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945.  Although Prof. Kennedy’s work is more sympathetic to Roosevelt than the others I’ve mentioned, he acknowledges that despite all of the New Deal’s efforts from 1933, the economy was again in trouble in 1937.  In October of the same year trouble even affected the stock markets. The “Roosevelt Recession” was as Kennedy admits “a depression within the depression”. In his conclusions about the New Deal, Kennedy writes that it did not bring the end to the depression (only World War II did).  “Whatever it was, the New Deal was not a recovery program, or at any rate not an effective one.”

From 1934 to 1940, the median annual unemployment rate was 17.2. At no point during the 1930s did unemployment go below 14 percent.  As Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau, an FDR appointee, testified in May 1939 (fully six years after the start of the New Deal) before the House Ways & Means Committee:  “We are spending more money than we have ever spent before and it does not work. … I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started … and an enormous debt to boot.”

That’s Scheer’s role model.  And likely Pres. Obama’s too.  Be very afraid.

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By leilah, November 29, 2008 at 9:05 am Link to this comment

Of the first $350 bn given out in the Treasury bailout, 50% went to bonuses and dividend payments.  Now that’s the modern day Wall St. analog to John D. Rockefeller’s standing on a street corner handing out dimes.
Behind all this is fact that the money men and policy makers never thought the cold war ended.  There is an end to all this, and if it is allowed to happen without anyone putting up any resistance, 10,000 tears of civilization will be obliterated while we whimper.

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By Anarcissie, November 29, 2008 at 8:45 am Link to this comment

Allan Gurfinkle:
’... Financial services had become a major contributor to the US GDP, far outstripping manufacturing.  That ain’t coming back.  What’s to replace it?  This little issue seems to be consistently overlooked.  Instead the govt. appears to be trying to re-inflate the bubble by extending more credit. ...’

That is my perception.  But, after asking around in various forums, I have found that no one can tell me where I can get the facts about government borrowing.  One would think that if the Federal government borrows a certain amount of money there would be regular public notice of it.

The reason I think this is important is that things will fall apart differently depending on whether the government borrows money or merely prints it.  I’d like to know which they’re doing.  We know for sure that they’re not paying for the current largesse out of taxes.

You’re quite right, though, about the decline of manufacturing.  Caesar can strew his debased alms among the peasants, but all of it is going to flow to places where they make and do stuff, like China, and then we’ll be back where we started.

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By Allan Gurfinkle, November 28, 2008 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We’ve had a perfect storm, with the consumers, homebuyers, mortgage lenders, banks, Fed, congress, and Wall street all playing major parts, and all benefiting handsomely, I think.

However, it has come a cropper, but the financial bubble is only part of the problem; while all this was going on we bought into the idiocy that the US no longer had to produce goods, as our contribution to the world economy was ‘financial services’.

So, the downside to all this is really unfathomable.  Financial services had become a major contributor to the US GDP, far outstripping manufacturing.  That ain’t coming back.  What’s to replace it?  This little issue seems to be consistently overlooked.  Instead the govt. appears to be trying to re-inflate the bubble by extending more credit.  Doesn’t seem likely.

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By GWAndersen, November 28, 2008 at 1:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here is my solution to the “meltdown” of the US Economy that is dragging the rest of the world down with it.

1.)  NO MORE publicly traded companies:  All companies should be private.  No matter what a CEO tells you the number one priority is the share holders(not customers, not employees, not vendors……)  They will do “anything, ANYTHING” to create shareholder value for “TODAY” (screw the future) even if that means producing a crappy product, providing crappy service or screwing vendors, employees, cooking the books…… They still get their golden parachute so why do they care?

2.)  NO MORE should corporations be allowed to outsource American jobs to foreign countries.  They should be taxed or a tariff placed for every employee being exploited in another country.  The tax/tariff should go back into a specific fund to re-train laid off workers due to corporate greed.

3.)  NO MORE lobbyists from corporations having direct access to elected officials:  Corporations are running the country and using the elected officials to do it.

4.)  NO MORE should we allow politicians who loose and election or retire to serve on the board, as a consultant or in the management of any corporation for 5 years after their last day in office “IF” they have received “ANY” money during their campaing or elected period if office.

5.)  No MORE should we allow corporation to hire “illegal aliens” There should be steep fines and prosecution for having anyone on your pay roll that is not supposed to be.

6.)  NO MORE should people who enter our country illegally be treated with dignity.  If they broke the law and entered this country illegally, that means they have not paid taxes on any of the work they do either(another law broken)??  If they have been her in the US illegally for 20 minutes or 20 years; if they are alone or have created a family in the 20 years they have been here, they are to be deported.  If the illegal alien has created a family illegally in the US, that is not our problem.  Blame the illegal alien for this.

7.)  NO MORE is having a baby on the US side of our borders automatically make one and instant US citizen. 

8.)  NO MORE should any bill in Washington DC include “anything” unrelated to the bill.  No more pork, no more ear marks.  100% of funds required for a bill should only be for the infrastructure, the implementation and operation of the proposed bill.  No support, no bill.  No Compromise.

9.)  No MORE should our Commander in chief single handedly send the USA to war.  The wisdom of one man/woman is obviously not enough to commit a nation of 300 million to war.  We must have a consensus or a fool proof mechanism for determining when force is needed.  Bush radically abused “war time” to his ends.

While there are man many “NO More…”

This is a start.

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By Anarcissie, November 28, 2008 at 11:10 am Link to this comment

Lee A.: ’... By the way, Scheer’s praise for Depression-era programs, mandates and prohibitions overlooks the role they played in deepening and extending the Great Depression.  We are very much in danger of making the same mistake now, and Scheer is a cheerleader for doing just that.’

All right, but since you’ve complained about Scheer’s facts, where are yours?

To me, the regulation-deregulation issue is a pseudo-issue.  Financial businesses and markets have been highly regulated from the beginning, because they couldn’t work any other way.  The setup for the present deflation was the decades-long expansion of credit primarily by the FRB, a specific, concrete government intervention.  The collapse of the bubbles generated by credit expansion was inevitable, regardless of whether there was one kind of regulation or another.

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By Lee A., November 28, 2008 at 10:42 am Link to this comment

I’ve spent more time than was worthwhile just to see how close the time line actually comes to warranting Mr. Sheer’s rhetoric. The answer is, “Not close at all.”  Or, to put it in other words, “There’s more ‘dig’ than truth here.”

Scheer is completely unable to forge the promised link between amendments to Glass-Steigel, on one hand, and the current problems in financial markets, on the other hand.  Interestingly, the time line posts numerous reports tying the present-day market convulsion to mortgage defaults.  The time line also admits (through posted news reports) that banks were strongly encouraged to lend to weak borrowers.  That is a reference to the Clinton-era housing policies that pushed markets into making real estate loans which were highly vulnerable to rising interest rates. Federal policy actually demanded that lenders lend to weak borrowers, while government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) jumped into that business with both feet.  The securitization of mortgages would not have been problematic if the loans had been of good quality in the first instance and is unrelated to the repeal of Glass-Steigel.

Thuthdig’s time line thus minimizes the prescriptive role of federal policy in the proliferation of vulnerable (sub-prime and adjustable-rate) mortgages and, worse, deliberately overlooks the participation of the GSEs (“Fannie” and “Freddie”).  To call attention to those influential factors would dissipate the impact of blaming “deregulation.” The reality is that we had plenty of regulation - it was just that regulatory powers were used by politicians to achieve political purposes. This always happens and undercuts the implied contention that regulation is a panacea.

By the way, Scheer’s praise for Depression-era programs, mandates and prohibitions overlooks the role they played in deepening and extending the Great Depression.  We are very much in danger of making the same mistake now, and Scheer is a cheerleader for doing just that.

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By Da Bronx, November 28, 2008 at 7:35 am Link to this comment
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By leilah, November 25 at 12:55 pm #


About 50 years ago, Sen. Everett Dirkson (R-IN) said, “First a billion here and then a billion there.  Pretty soon we’re talking about real money.”


It was 39 years ago, and he said “a million’ not a Billion. both points are extremely relevant!

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By leilah, November 27, 2008 at 8:38 am Link to this comment

It all terrorism all the time here in USA.

http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/488.html

Another round of terror, this time in India, will soften up what is purported to be the American public and get them to overlook the crime that is being committed right in front of their eyes.  A caller said he was from some terrorist group and wanted to be given credit for the attack.  Meanwhile three mercenaries were caught trying to blow up a building in Kosovo to try to bring in the military police.
From Webster Tarpley’s book on Synthetic Terrorism, one could safely point the finger at the rogue governments that have taken over some of the key countries as this ghoulish melodrama is being played out on the world stage.  Marie Cocco’s pieces remind us to keep our eyes upon the scale.  And that is what any of these occurrences of synthetic terrorism should remind us to do as well.  This is a look-over-here trick.  Don’t pay attention to what’s going on with the Fed and Treasury Dept and Obama’s new Cabinet.  For some reason, they still want to feel satisified that they tricked the American people.  It is only fulfilling to their egos if they can smoke their cigars and sip their cognac relishing the feeling that they are shrewd, sophisticated operators.

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By Anarcissie, November 27, 2008 at 7:51 am Link to this comment

I just noticed the “capzle” doesn’t run on my Mac—only on Windows.  Heh.  There’s nothing like aiding and abetting monopoly to help out our economy and politics.

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By Anarpeace, November 26, 2008 at 10:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The stock market is going to continue to fall, and be volatile. There will be a great depression, but it won’t be televised.

The —politicians—know the market is uncontrollable; and,  each person that continues to put money in the stock market motivated by—greed and fear—only favors the insiders (the bankers, politicians, generals and their friends).

The congress knows about it; but they only want to be elected—so they can place bets with a hedge fund manager. If,  Obama was really for change; he would reveal this fact ; to the American public so they could prepare for the worst.

In an open and accountable government—the people would be made aware of the good, the bad, and the ugly.

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By derisible, November 26, 2008 at 3:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Baaa.  Baaaa.  How long am I going to have to stand in this line before I get my sooooup?

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By haroldmh, November 26, 2008 at 2:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here is what $7.6 trillion did for an earlier U.S.A. Bianco Research reports the following inflation adjusted costs of earlier Government spending in trillions as follow: World War II @ $3.6, NASA @ $0.9, Vietnam War @ $0.7, Iraq War @ $0.6, @ The New Deal @ $0.5, Korean War @ $0.5, S&L;Bailout @ $0.3, Race to the Moon @ $0.2, Louisiana Purchase @ $0.2, and the Marshal Plan @ $0.1; $7.6 trillion total.

Congress authorized $700 billion for the Troubled Asset Relief Program.  Yet we are on the hook for more than 10 times that amount. Including the most recent Citigroup bailout, Bloomberg reports the current Wall Street/Financial System bailout commitments from the Federal Reserve, Treasury, FDIC, and FHA at $4.7, $1.5, $1.1 and $0.3 trillion respectively; $7.6 trillion total. By the end of next year, some experts project a commitment exceeding ten trillion dollars.

Assuming we retain a credit worthy status sufficient to borrow what we will need, if we are successful, pumping this kind of money into the economy ultimately must result in a period of very high, if not run-away inflation.  If we are not successful a depression is inevitable.  Either way is not economic collapse likely?

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By GW=MCHammered, November 26, 2008 at 8:34 am Link to this comment
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“The $4.6165 trillion dollars committed so far is about a trillion dollars ($979 billion dollars) greater than the entire cost of World War II borne by the United States: $3.6 trillion, adjusted for inflation (original cost was $288 billion).

Go figure: WWII was a relative bargain.”

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/11/big-bailouts-bigger-bucks/

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By PatrickHenry, November 25, 2008 at 3:32 pm Link to this comment

We need that vast amount of U.S. currency which exchanges offshore back into our economy.

There are several countries worldwide that have a few hundred billion U.S. dollars to trade in America.

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By leilah, November 25, 2008 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

About 50 years ago, Sen. Everett Dirkson (R-IN) said, “First a billion here and then a billion there.  Pretty soon we’re talking about real money.”  To use a cigarette marketing slogan, we’ve come a long way, baby.

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By Trigger finger, November 25, 2008 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Treasury Robbers

700 Billion - 30 Billion -25 Billion - 800 billion - 600 Billion - 2,000 Billion - 300,000,000 Billion - 900,000,000,000 Billion - 900 Trillion - 250,000,000,000,000 Trillion ?

It’s only money.

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By craig anderson, November 25, 2008 at 11:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How long can a people live in a collective delusion? In 2010 our national debt will be around $13 billion, about equal to our annual GDP (in a recession). The FED rate will be zero…figure it out. We can only live so long on China’s money.

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By mike112769, November 25, 2008 at 6:45 am Link to this comment

The first thing we need to do to take back our country is eleminate the Federal Treasury. How can we ever get out of debt when a PRIVATELY OWNED BANK sells our currency to our government? For every dollar they print, the taxpayers have to pay it back WITH INTEREST. The Fed is ran by a group of bankers. THEY are the ones who are really running America. THEY are the ones who own our politicians. This is (I hate to use this word) a conspiracy to take control of the population by usurping the government. Andrew Jackson knew that a private bank in control of a country’s money was the real master. When Obama named a guy from the Fed to his Cabinet, he openly showed his support to the bankers-in-charge. He will continue this game. The 7.5 trillion they are adding on to the “bail out” will be magically created by the Fed. It will cost the people AT LEAST 10 trillion to pay it back. Where is the sense in that? It only makes sense if you are one of the bankers on the board of the Fed. This was planned a long time ago. It was put into motion in 1913 by Woodrow Wilson. After he left office, he publicly stated he made a mistake in helping create the Fed. The New World Order all the conspiracy people talk about is real. It won’t be a government, it will be a bank who is in charge of our lives. Why are there no good alternatives to oil by now? Because there is no money in it for the powers that be. Why are we in Iraq? Because Big Corporations are making money hand over fist off of it. They don’t want our troops home, because they would lose out on some money. There is no war on terror. It is a war on freedom, and we’re dumb enough to go along with it. Remember the Golden Rule: He who has the gold, makes the rules. The Fed, aided by our so-called government, is making damned sure the American public has no gold. We are wage slaves and sheople. The pathetic thing is that we asked them to do it to us.

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By davidperi, November 25, 2008 at 1:50 am Link to this comment

After watching Obama´s Monday´s “live” on TV…with all the new plans for economic development, jobs, etc…it just leaves me wondering,

“Where is the money coming from?”

There is an estimate that this will add another 7.5 trillion to the other trillions of national debt.  Do you know what, “I am not going to worry about it.”

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By Alan MacDonald, November 24, 2008 at 3:03 pm Link to this comment

The following video rant by Dylan Ratigan on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” this morning beating up Obama economic advisor, Austan Goolsbee, reminded me of the outburst of Howard Beale in the film Network, or of Warren Beatty’s Bulworth.  Dylan is absolutely correct——we are all becoming angered with the issues of fairness and RESTITUTION!:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/27888374#27888374

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By Paracelsus, November 24, 2008 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment

I wish we could be more like the French. If that were so we would have barricaded the streets a long time ago.

If we can do a cover of Dis-Lui, which is just awful, then couldn’t we rise up to the occasion as well, instead of debasing ourselves to it. I am tired of belonging to a race of humiliated belly-piddlers.

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By TAO Walker, November 24, 2008 at 1:18 pm Link to this comment

It’s amazing anyone still takes this monstrous fraud at all seriously….nevermind submitting in a terrified stupor to its hostage-taking proclivities.  The “global” economy is a mirage, tame two-legged Sisters and Brothers, and absolutely nothing else.  You are all like dreamers in free-fall, about to learn once and for all whether finally hitting the ground will actually kill you in your sleep if you can’t wake-up in-time.

Maybe it’s about time this particular one of the “civilized” peoples’ more profound questions about the “mysteries” of Life Herownself gets “solved” once-and-for-all.  Then we can all together get on with Her Song ‘n’ Dance here without having to trip-over the wreckage of yet another catastrophically failed “civilizing” contraption.

O happy day!

HokaHey!

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By yellowbird2525, November 23, 2008 at 2:40 am Link to this comment

and while everyone is focusing on this: “this is their normal way folks: actively underway is the TIME TABLE to deliberatly allow mountaintops of mines to be detonated poisoning millions of gallons of drinkable water: in state after state after state: they are going to create a “drinkable” water which is to replace of course the “oil”; the environment laws everyone “assumed” were in place, are for the books only; not for the “rulers” of the USA who do NOT govern, nor are they for the people at all: rather ran like plantations said one Senator in the 50’s: to make $ for the wealthy; in Oregon: trees are going to be clear cut (already have been out of sight of the people) but even more so: deliberately removing all obstacles to poisoning fresh waters & streams is going to be done; you will not even be allowed to use your own well water; Democracy means the PEOPLE must PAY! You are completely & totally expendable: & our lawless leaders less than dependable; they have been trying to get rid of farmers by forcing them to put “microchips” into all animals; then fail to reimburse them, “claiming no $”; now, they will pay $200 per animal for the “green house” pollution: per month? per year? You will NOT be able to garden, or go organic; you WILL eat genetic modified seeds, complete with agent orange & pesticides; THIS is what the RULERS of the WORLD say: the USA Gov; THIS is “democracy” folks: already in play in Colombia, by force killing the folks wanting a decent wage, by the Corps given complete immunity by lawless Progessive Politicians: at every level, city, county, St & Fed: if you do not pay you will DIE! THIS is the decree from the White House that follows the time line of anyone NOT following & going along with THEIR cruelty to the people has civil unrest until they put dictatorships in who will do it their way. THIS is the “change” they have decreed & declared!

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By yellowbird2525, November 23, 2008 at 2:26 am Link to this comment

Inquiry: How is it possible that with the USA so “broke” and all: that the USA is able to pay $20,000 per month folks: this is more than I make in a year: each & every single member of Black Water? (and this is just for the “average” guy: ) NOT the “big boys”; others get $7,000 a month: the literally hundreds of various other contractors (all paid of course by the “broke” USA: not the first time heard, nor will it be the last, this on http://www.democracynow.org by the AUTHOR & WRITER of the book “Big Boy Rules”; who lived there with them for quite a while. Big scam just like the “oil” scam?

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By leilah, November 22, 2008 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment

Paracelsus,
Someday You won’t Care

I found this paragraph in BR’s Impact of Science interesting:

“...Fichte laid it down that education should aim at destroying free will, so that, after pupils have left school, they shall be incapable, throughout the rest of their lives, of thinking or acting otherwise than as their schoolmasters would have wished. But in his day this was an unattainable ideal: what he regarded as the best system in existence produced Karl Marx. In future such failures are not likely to occur where there is dictatorship. Diet, injections, and injunctions will combine, from a very early age, to produce the sort of character and the sort of beliefs that the authorities consider desirable, and any serious criticism of the powers that be will become psychologically impossible. Even if all are miserable, all believe themselves happy, because the government will tell them that they are so.”

————————————————————————
You should post this in America the Illiterate.  Start up a brouhaha among the swashbuckling intelligentsia.

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By Paracelsus, November 22, 2008 at 8:24 am Link to this comment

Someday You won’t Care

I found this paragraph in BR’s Impact of Science interesting:

“...Fichte laid it down that education should aim at destroying free will, so that, after pupils have left school, they shall be incapable, throughout the rest of their lives, of thinking or acting otherwise than as their schoolmasters would have wished. But in his day this was an unattainable ideal: what he regarded as the best system in existence produced Karl Marx. In future such failures are not likely to occur where there is dictatorship. Diet, injections, and injunctions will combine, from a very early age, to produce the sort of character and the sort of beliefs that the authorities consider desirable, and any serious criticism of the powers that be will become psychologically impossible. Even if all are miserable, all believe themselves happy, because the government will tell them that they are so.”

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By haroldmh, November 21, 2008 at 3:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Manni:

You wrote: I would say go back to Reagan (the original deregulation maven).  Actually you can go one administration further back than that.


From the website “Liberalism Resurgent,” Steve Kangas points out: “As for deregulation, that actually began under Carter, not Reagan. Carter deregulated airlines, trucking, railroads, oil and interest rates, and set up much of the deregulation machinery that Reagan would later use.”

There is plenty of blame to spread thickly on our political duopoly.  Both continue to be owned by the same ologoply of special interests.

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By Maani, November 20, 2008 at 3:49 pm Link to this comment

Fenwick:

Good for you reading Tarpley’s book.  There is no question that 9/11 was a catalyst, but the problem started even before that: most would say Clinton (for repealing Glass-Steagall), but I would say go back to Reagan (the original deregulation maven).

Peace.

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By mike112769, November 20, 2008 at 9:28 am Link to this comment

Inherit the Wind: Hah! Nice one. Yellowbird may be smoking something he’s not “allowed” to, but he has a valid point. Though I do find it hard to feel sorry for people who bring trouble on themselves. Credit cards? Stupid idea. I’ve never even had one. Credit in general is a scam that only benefits the banks. Cash only is my motto. Looks as if that won’t be worth much soon, though. I’m gonna go smoke. Later.

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By Gary, November 20, 2008 at 6:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The people in power in Washington these past few years bragged on the great economy they’d created. It’s because of their grand new ideas: Low Taxes on Wealth, Deregulation of Industry, all leading to Greater Productivity (“Just look at our rising GDP!”)
  The problem, of course, for the rest of us: these ideas are not new.
  In the 1920’s, Andrew Mellon, Treasury Secretary under Calvin Coolidge, worked with Congress to cut taxes for the wealthy because, “…a decrease of taxes causes an aspiration to trade and commerce.”
  W. E. Humphrey, Federal Trade Commissioner under Coolidge, denounced Woodrow Wilson’s FTC, which was established to discourage trusts and monopolies, as, “…an instrument of oppression…and injury…to business.” Instead, Humphrey promoted “self regulation of industry.” (Sound familiar?)
  Herbert Hoover, Commerce Secretary under Coolidge, sat in secret sessions with industry leaders (like Cheney’s meetings with oil executives) and worked out trade association “codes”, which allowed businesses to set prices and evade anti-trust law. This deregulation (like that promised in the “Contract with America”) allowed men like Sam Insull (the Ken Lay of his day) to set up dozens of shell corporations whose sole purpose was to manipulate stock prices.
  The result: In the decade of the 1920’s, profits rose 80%!
  But productivity (output per man hour) rose only 40% while wages only rose 8%. The greedy were hoarding productivity for themselves. Because the labor movement and the farm bloc were systematically weakened (much like today), wages and farm prices were kept low. By 1929, the 60,000 richest families had more in the bank than all the 25,000,000 at the bottom combined. Low incomes meant too many folks lacked the purchasing power to enable them to buy the stuff industry was making and keep the economy going. As consumption slowed, the economy did too.
  There’s a reason the Grand Party of Calvin Coolidge hasn’t been trusted to run all three branches of government in Washington for 70 of the last 76 years: their policies led to the Great Depression. And there’s a reason they’re in power again: most of those who remember and who lived through the wreckage of their “Grand Economy” have passed away and (in most cases) can no longer vote.
  It only took 8 years for the “Grand Olde Party” of Coolidge to wreck our economy. It’s time to remember what they did, because we may not survive another 2 years on this same course.
I believe it’s important again in ‘08 to remember what the Party of Coolidge did to us in the 1920’s because, though now in the minority, they still hold the power to wreck our economy. The senate minority leader has said, “The Senate is defense!” With the filibuster and the veto, they have the power to stop any attempt by the legislature to fix the mess the Grand Olde Party made during their reign, and have shown they have every intension of filibustering to defend the debilitating, financial-crisis-causing deregulations they put in place when they were in power for the sake of their greedy friends. Though the middle class suffered, the very greedy made out very well in the first years of the Depression, and expect to do even better today. I believe the way to stop them from siphoning off the value from our paychecks and our homes and our pension plans is to do what our grandparents did. Send the votes to Washington on election day that will end the filibuster and save what’s left of our economy before it’s again too late.

Gary Andrew S, author of “No Gods Before Me”    (Quotes from Arthur Schlesinger Jr.’s “Crisis of the Old Order”)

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By Inherit The Wind, November 20, 2008 at 4:52 am Link to this comment

“Maani, November 19 at 10:20 am #

Fenwick:

Personally, I want to know what yellowbird is smoking…LOL.

Peace. “
******************

Me, too; otherwise stream of consciousness takes over; ideas flow, but in no coherent order; we wonder if there is a point? yet can be sure of one that’s happening: there will be very long run-on sentences; only broken up by semi-colons; as if to say proper punctuation is counter-progressive plot; after all the neo-cons want to impose their fascist grammar upon us; the grammer of slavery. Later.

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By yellowbird2525, November 19, 2008 at 9:02 pm Link to this comment

site: judiciary.senate.gov; c-span where you see lots of Gov things going on: Michael Calhoun, Pres of Center 4 responsibility lending: PREDATORY loans: what happened: folks were bribed just like at the colleges to say “this is the best, blah blah blah; put into risky, high interest, bad news loans: when they QUALIFIED to be in far better safer loans with lower interest rates. Asked re “voluntary modifications”: reply: will think Snoopy actually gets to kick that football this year; been trying it for 2 years, hasn’t done enough: (reason: like the one man who personally went & spoke with folks: brought all the paperwork, going over it with them, reading to be sure they understood all the “terminology”; spent hours there confirming they understood; they did & signed: unbeknownst to them, the house now belonged to HIM. FBI knew & did nothing; Why? cuz they get their orders from Capitol Hill. reported on M&J;morning show. They showed the man’s face on TV; BEWARE of this man! Still others: modified to a “fixed” interest: failing to state, that just like the credit cards, after 6 months, doubled the amount they were paying before they went in to get help. Instead of paying $1200 (before the change) went down to $800, now after “modification” and “fixed rate” it was $4300 a month; they lost their home of course. Illegal? Of course; Congress know? Of course. THAT is the problem. Nothing is done, because they have Congress’s total approval unfortunately. So sorry for your luck; you are adults.

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By Harold Hellickson, November 19, 2008 at 12:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why not let the Japanese and Korean companies etc take them over.

They will.  The Bush Administration prefers to delay it.

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By MAR, November 19, 2008 at 11:51 am Link to this comment

Q1: Financings such as those planned for the meltdown will result in a 2009 deficit well over 1 trillion, in addition to the normal deficit from operations, including the Iraq war and Afghan wars. When they issue (probably 10 year bonds) in that amount who is going to buy them, who that is that is not already holding a ton of US Bonds - China? Who? What will happen to confidence in US dollar when they don’t sell, and how much will be picked up in a tax increase? All this and goto Mars too?

Q2. Why are the US and Canada thinking of bailing out the US auto companies? Why not let the Japanese and Korean companies etc take them over. Isn’t that what free enterprise is all about?  And then we would not have junk gas guzzling cars.

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By Maani, November 19, 2008 at 11:20 am Link to this comment

Fenwick:

Personally, I want to know what yellowbird is smoking…LOL.

Peace.

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By yellowbird2525, November 18, 2008 at 9:49 pm Link to this comment

Usury laws been around since just about as long as the banks have to protect the people. On top of that there are laws re loan sharking, & predatory. Collection laws, environmental laws: laws against premeditated poisoning & murder. ALL of these Congress has been operating outside of for a # of years; the “truth is relative” means that they believe themselves to be “gods”; whatever they say, is truth, in other words. IN REALITY: woods & areas supposedly protected by law, have been clear cut within where folks are kept out; all over the nation folks; 800% interest; citibank was 1 that went to colleges & bribed them to say that THEY were the best to go to for student loans, & gave them “visas” etc with the college logo’s on it; criminal folks & all with Congress’s full knowledge & approval; other folks tried to get to fill out the form but it wasn’t really a credit check; just so that they would get “free stuff”; checks with the info in bold print ZERO INTEREST! bring your balances HERE for FREE INTEREST when in reality on the line above the last on the 3rd page in small print it said it would charge you 24% on these; all done with Congress’s full knowledge & approval folks; 800% interest on a “pay day loan”; the high interest (predatory folks) and the “home loans” all premeditated predatory folks: with Congress’s full knowledge & consent. And the PEOPLE have NOTHING: and are paying Corporate taxes: those who have it set up so they pay minimum tax far less for ALL in the Corp; than the common man does. TELL ME this is not slavery. LOOK at all the countries who have freedoms as we do; and THEY CHECK the Corps: keep the LAWS IN PLACE that govern them; Oh, I forgot. We are a nation of LAW. (with lawless leaders who work to deceive, mislead, misdirect, & attack us agressively in every single area of our lives. Freedom is not dead: cuz we are fighting back. Take all your $ out of all of your accounts folks: except for $5.00; for the next 3 months. Might go to moneymax or moneynews & find out how you can do banking in England: or put $ in stocks there without being ripped off for “pay” & have solid companies who have given returns for over 100 years. Gosh, a REAL COUNTRY with REAL LAWS that are observed by REAL LAWMAKERS; who REALLY DO benefit the people that THEY represent. Sounds more like FREEDOM to me than what I see in the USA today. My country woe is thee, thy politicians have deliberately poisoned thee, from sea to sea. Slavery & oppression everywhere, politicians say it’s the last days anyway who cares? While families weep as their children die from pesticides & chemicals put into them for profit by powerful politicians; Please remove “and justice for everyone” from the pledge of alliegance”; THERE IS NO JUSTICE IN THE USA.

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By mud, November 18, 2008 at 10:12 am Link to this comment

There is no fix to over consumption and debt based society. Dismantling the wall street pyramid game is the only option. No one wants to do that but it will happen anyway. We will only make the process longer and more painful by pretending we can avoid it with more debt based actions.

Even if we could fix things ” The Paulson way”, no one stupid enough to go along with a plan that loots the treasury simply to enrich Mr. Paulson’s good buddies.

Cancel the ‘blank check’

http://tinyurl.com/67ust7

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By Inherit The Wind, November 18, 2008 at 9:34 am Link to this comment

There is no easy answer to fixing this.  Governments don’t understand how to make a profit and businesses don’t understand how to not destroy everything around them, both ecologically and financially.

It’s up to government to regulate the free-market.

Without regulation, people could sell their organs.  Therefore, corporations could coerce people to sell their organs…do we want that? And Blackwater-type companies could operate (pun intended) in foreign countries and FORCIBLY take peoples’ organs for sale back in the US.  Is this the kind of free market we want?

Ford built a car with an exploding gas tank and rather than fix it, Ford fought regulation with millions and millions.  Do we want this free market?

Drug companies are required to do extensive testing and the results are scrutinized.  Cheating results in jail time and prohibitive fines.  Do we REALLY want to do away with that (and Bush HAS been doing away with it)?

Old-time Republicans like Teddy Roosevelt BELIEVED in Corporate America AND strong regulation: The Sherman Anti-Trust Act had only been applied to unions till TR broke up Northern Securities with it.  Republicans HATED it (Like John D. Rockefeller who believed monopoly was more efficient than engaging in “wasteful” competition).  TR also was behind the Pure Food and Drug Act—so corporations couldn’t sell tainted, poisoned food and make outlandish claims for patent medicine.  He was an environmentalist, too, establishing the National Parks system.  Plus, TR, a devout Christian, not only had the coinage redesigned, he had “In God We Trust” REMOVED from the money.  Plus, TR created a ruckus by inviting Booker T. Washington to dine at the White House.

True, he was an imperialist and jingoist, but domestically, TR was more liberal than most of today’s Democratic Party.  And the GOP would dis-own him.

My point?  Once there were Republicans stalking the landscape who understood that government regulation balanced the public good with the private right to free enterprise.

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By Anarcissie, November 18, 2008 at 8:12 am Link to this comment

Part of Naomi Klein’s leftism was to append 71 pages of citations to The Shock Doctrine.  Annoying, isn’t she?

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By mike112769, November 18, 2008 at 7:06 am Link to this comment

Seems like we are back to being a nation ran by Robber Barons who are telling the politicians how to behave. History ALWAYS repeats itself, and since the Public doesn’t seem to pay attention to history, the Robber Barons are back! Meet the new boss, same as the old boss! We are living in the death of the American Dream, and we can only blame ourselves. The Public allowed all of this to happen and, true to the American way, we wait until it is too late to say we’ve had enough. We can shut the barn door, but the horse has already gotten out. If we want our Dream back, we will have to take it. The people in power don’t care about the Public and they never will. Until we, as a society, realize this the politicians will keep doing this to us. They promise us “change” every two and four years. The only change I’ve seen is they keep getting richer, while my family and I keep finding things that we can live without. The American People are not real to the American government.

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By writeon, November 18, 2008 at 3:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I feel for the American people, I really do. Such a ‘race’ of people, what a history, but led by a donkies? And not just incompetent donkies, but greedy and criminal donkies! It truly beggars belief. How did it happen?

Seen in a panorama perspective from above and outside, the ‘bailout’ is a gigantic confidence trick, a massive, historic, transfer of wealth from ordinary Americans, to the ‘ruling elite’. This is happening for a reason, and now I begin to sound like a ‘conspiracy nut’! Because, as Bush said, this sucker could go down. It is going down in my opinion, fantastic as this may seem.

The rich and powerful, the people who control the government and all the most powerful institutions and vital sectors of the economy, are simply sucking the treasury dry of everything of value and covering themselves, one last payday, before it tanks.

Mainstreet is being sacrificed to ‘save’ or payoff Wallstreet, which is actually only a continuation of what’s been happening for years. The real economy, which employed most Americans, wasn’t profitable enough for Wallstreet so one constructed something that was, the world’s biggest Ponzi scheme.

What’s terrible, in list of horrors barely conceivable, is that ordinary Americans are being screwed in both ends by these criminals. Nothing is going to be left for the many after the few are finished sucking the country dry of everything of value.

It’s not a ‘credit crunch’ we’re observing, as they say in the UK. The financial institutions are effectively engaged in a ‘credit strike’ and are holding the United States to randsome. Give us more, unlimited more, or we’ll not lend to industry and the rest of the country, give us what we want and stay out of our way! And the American people let this happen, but then what are they supposed to do? Head for the castle with their pitchforks and torches? Maybe it’ll come to that, when people realize what’s really happening and how they’ve been had, cheated and robbed of their futures.

What the political establishment, the twin parties, are involved in is not so much a rescue, as desparate, damage limitation, disguising the true scale of the situation for as long as possible to allow the robbery to continue unoticed.

What’s vital is that the people don’t understand why the banks must be saved, and mainstreet or Detroit must be sacrificed on the ‘free market’ alter-stone.

A hidden ‘class-war’ is going on, or ‘class-robbery’. This idea musn’t be allowed to gain traction or ligitimacy or even be thought. That’s what ‘bi-partisan’ really means, and why the Democrats are unwilling to attack the Republicans for their crimes and incompetence. They don’t know how to run the country, but they sure know how to rob it! Roll on the Revolution!

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By MAR, November 17, 2008 at 7:13 pm Link to this comment

Bear in mind that Naomi Klein is a very left-wing Canadian writer who does not go uncontested - go see the writeup on Wikepedia, which think is reasonably correct.

Neeless to say she is not middle of the road.

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By samosamo, November 17, 2008 at 7:03 pm Link to this comment

By davidperi, November 17 at 7:40 am

I watched that democracynow with naomi klein and is this ever getting more and more frustrating. Imagine it, they will steal everything and all of sudden I will not be able to draw social security in about 5 years because these crooks are going to steal all that money and it will prevent any kind of healthcare for the people being set up. And now everything promiseed to improve the faltering economy is going into back rooms in secret meeting and coming out as corporate welfare. And we the people are standing around slacked jawed while the congress does its best to get their share, the w & dick show is still contriving plans for where else to steal the money from and there will be NO ACCOUNTABILITY. And being a democrat or republican makes not one iota of a difference.

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By yellowbird2525, November 17, 2008 at 4:57 pm Link to this comment

this is/was all part of a set up plan with long range terms & goals; watching the hedge plan top folks who make over $1b & $3b a YEAR, without having to pay taxes on it, or much of it; even they stated that the laws & regulations “went by the wayside” & they were well able to travel the road with the the rules/regulations etc there. *****remember folks: Bush went into the war with Iraq CLAIMING (lying) saying “GOD told him to attack!”; God hates liars; Hussain had agreed to surrender to the Swiss; the USA did NOT accept & went in as they had planned to do since 1996; THIS is the reason the 75 retired military folks with pentagon & contractors who siphon trillions of $ out to launder back in to “politicians”; were TRAINED on how to look; what to say; & how they PRACTICED stating “Saddam Hussain” was a threat blah blah blah. ALL MILITARY TERM: PERCEPTION MANAGEMENT folks: they need the PEOPLE to PERCEIVE what THEY say is true. We are “trained” to believe “authority figures”; like the “reports” saying toxins are good which come from the criminal Corps MAKING the toxins; which work hand in hand with Congress: in fact, Congress just passed a law in a blink of an eye to allow them to NOT put ingredients on labels any more! THIS is what they are doing now: using the “bible” they are making THEMSELVES out to be the “righteous”; the citizens of the USA are to blame for all wrongs: and THEY are the wicked & deserve to be done away with; & they are agressively poisoning them with pesticides, agent orange, formaldehyde is in all things; Don Rumsfeld had no problem getting thru FDA & now it’s in all food stuff you eat! FIGURE IT OUT FAST FOLKS! it is a SET UP;

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By Maani, November 17, 2008 at 3:18 pm Link to this comment

I thought it might be approrpitate to provide Obama’s own words here.  This is from his speech at Cooper Union in March:

“I do not believe that government should stand in the way of innovation or TURN BACK THE CLOCK TO AN OLDER ERA OF REGULATION.  But I do believe that government has a role to play in advancing our common prosperity, by providing stable macroeconomic and financial conditions for sustained growth, by demanding transparency, and by insuring fair competition in the marketplace.  Our history should give us confidence that we don’t have to choose between an oppressive government-run economy and a chaotic and unforgiving capitalism.” (Emphasis mine)

Hopefully, recent events have given him pause to reconsider the emphasized language.

Peace.

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By davidperi, November 17, 2008 at 8:40 am Link to this comment

Today´s broadcast on http://www.democracynow.org with Naomi Klein says the clearer it becomes, Washington´s handling of the bail-out for Wall Street is not merely incompetent, but borderline criminal.

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By eireannach, November 17, 2008 at 12:27 am Link to this comment

Welcome one and all!
Todays,Yesterdays and Tomorrows agenda is:
the New Order….er…the New World Order!
yup.
But we don’t have to worry ‘cause 2012 is not so far away.
Did I just say that?
     
```````````````````&&&&&&&```````````````````
I am an optimist…( really I am ) but my vision is somewhat clouded with the fact
that G. Dubya and his cronies still hold office.
They should have been slaughtered at the alter long ago.

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By mud, November 16, 2008 at 10:32 pm Link to this comment

For a fun time - Listen to Max Kaiser

http://karmabanqueradio.com/

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By Richard Bowker, November 16, 2008 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It may be just a glitch. I’ll try later, but I get nothing at all (well, a white square) on the Truthdig site, and when I go direct to Capzles, the number of pauses it so great that it’s too patience-trying.

Maybe UK broadband isn’t all it should be. But it may be worth checking at your end.

Good luck. I love the site and get LRC every week.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, November 15, 2008 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment

Asset seizure 101.

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By leilah, November 15, 2008 at 12:26 pm Link to this comment

I just sat down to watch the President’s address at the G20 meeting.  He stumbled though a few introductory remarks and then he dove right into Credit Default Swaps.  All I can say is, WOW!  His complete ignorance gushed forth. 
Schadenfreude.  I could hardly believe it.  I knew a while back to force myself to watch him anytime he appeared on tv.  It was worth the chance of seeing this guy go on the fritz. 
Then his handlers must’ve realize that this was looking very bad, so they pulled the plug.  The networks called it Technical Difficulty.
From a follow up message, it sounds George needs a little hair of the dog that bit him.

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By samosamo, November 14, 2008 at 10:11 pm Link to this comment

By leilah, November 14 at 4:42 pm

I just viewed paulson’s interview with Jim Lehrer and it just confounds me that this creep thinks he has the answers and the plan to get a handle on the financial industry that got us in this mess to begin with and are continuing to dig the hole even deeper for the people. First of all, this is a corporate welfare bailout, proving beyond any shadow of a doubt that this is NOT a ‘free market’ system that exists here in america. In a free market those instiutions that find themselves going down because of their ‘creative’ financing of mortgages and such would be relegated to going the way of the dodo. A business fails, it goes away, ergo the reality of no free market system because this paulson and bernanke pukes are using a ‘bailout’(which I recall they are trying to stay away from that term) or now the ‘rescue’ which is saving these banks and financial institutions that should be shut down and allowed to die. And people’s money that they lose from no income or using their savings no matter where they have it, should be paid back to them with this ‘bailout’ extravaganza. But no, we the taxpayer will have to pay this money back and because it is so huge and will take soooo long to pay back, most of us will not live through the payback and it will fall down to our children and grandchildren to pay for a bunch of crook’s stealing everything they can without fear of some accountability and punishment.
Already AIG are taking their share to pay bonuses, ceo, fancy vacations, just about anything other that what it was meant for it to be, at least as bitch pelosi stated in her little speech that stopped passage on the first vote. Oh, how I remember her several times stating the the taxpayers would not be responsible for paying for this and how there would be oversight, accountability and prosecution; damn dirt lying bitch. She is definitely part of that grown group of dangerous ‘officals’ that are killing this country for their own personal, political, economic and power gains.
And the poor people, especially the ones who have honestly bought a house with a set % rate instead of the voodoo bullshit the crooks used to increase their financial status, will most likely have the deputy coming out to foreclose when they can’t pay because they have lost their income and used up what little that they may have saved. The wonderful, the beautiful, the marvelous unforgiving american free market system at its shinning best.
Also, it was so easy to tell how much paulson was lying about how hard they were working and how a couple of times he stated how the people were the main concern; all the while turning right around and saying how he needed to get more and more money into these irresponsible and criminal banks and lending houses for the people’s sake. SAKE my ass, just a continuation of their plans to keep the people in continual and increasing debt because they keep giving more and more money to those responsible.
There are a lot of people that need some severe jail time and large fines for what they have done and listening everyday to the newly elected and the re-elected people’s rhetoric, it just doesn’t look good at all.

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By leilah, November 14, 2008 at 6:18 pm Link to this comment

I wonder if William Woosley, Business Professor at Citadel and author of the paper in Gurfinkle’s link, is any relation to R. James Woosley, ex-head of the CIA, right-wing Zionist hawk, and member of the Trilateral Commission?  Maybe his son?

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By leilah, November 14, 2008 at 5:42 pm Link to this comment

After seeing Paulson on the Lehrer Report last night and Kashkari’s, Paulson’s Lieutenant, appearance before the House of Representatives, I can see why Kashkari was selected.  Paulson was tired, inarticulate and unable to answer the questions directly except for the last one, “Do you think you are doing good job?”  His answer was, “Yes.”
Kashkari was no more forthcoming in his testimony, but he looked like a true believer, bug eyed and clear-skinned, and he was spry (he’s 35 years old).
They both came across as company management people who are at home with PowerPoint presentations, talking from bulleted lists and saying empty things like, “We’re moving ahead in a positive direction.”
More revealing was the follow-up interview with the Times Reporter, Duhigg.  He tried to glide by the fact that any interest change will run into trouble because these Securities holders can sue to keep the interest rates high.  Therein lies the nub of the problem.  These Secuities were sold, as it turns out, to keep the economy at ransom.  Either the homeowners pays or the taxpayer does. 
Now, it comes out that European banks are more leveraged than American banks.  I’d be willing to bet that these Securities were disbursed to European banks, Saudi Arabian Banks, and China.  For example, that means that these plunk could have plunked down a $1 for $30 dollars worth of Secuties with guarantee that the US taxpayer is going to cover it.  That’s better than buying Google at the IPO of $100 share and watching it go up to $400 a share.

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By samosamo, November 14, 2008 at 5:05 pm Link to this comment

By FENWICK, November 14 at 8:01 am #


Samosamo,
You mean, my lyin’ eyes?

*****
It is reference to your phrase for what will the people believe, Ferguson or a pull toy(bush) and I added ‘or your own eyes’, other people.
I have been believing what you say Ferguson says about a depression for a while but I am now a little confused about ‘your lyin’ eyes’, does that mean your eyes lie to you or what?

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By Allan Gurfinkle, November 14, 2008 at 4:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

For the record, the problem ain’t the Federal Reserve.  And, sad to say, Ron Paul is a kook on this issue, not to mention probably everything else except the war in Iraq.  Following the bailout I started reading the anti-Fed literature, it does print money, and it does lend it at interest, however, the ownership of the Fed is by the book and most of the ‘profit’ reverts to the Treasury.  The Fed does have have a money faucet, and it can be misused, and now there is Bloomberg ! lawsuit to get the Fed to provide records of its latest doings, but, if it operates in the open it is not inherently a problem.  Once the basics of money creation are understood, google -who owns the fed- and come up with a good site to temper the conspiratorialists…

http://www.libertyunbound.com/archive/2004_10/woolsey-fed.html

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By Maani, November 14, 2008 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment

Hippy Pam:

“It must amount to BILLIONS…”

It does.  And remember that this all started way back with Enron (though it probably goes back even further) - with Ken Lay getting a “golden parachute” in the tens of millions after his company literally wiped out the 401K and pension plans of its employees.  The only word I can think to use for this is “sick.”

Peace.

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By GW=MCHammered, November 14, 2008 at 9:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“The polls reflect many Americans’ negative experiences under the current trade model. Since 1975, when Fast Track was first enacted, the U.S. trade balance has shifted from a slight surplus to an unsustainable $709 billion deficit in 2007.

A net 4.7 million manufacturing jobs have been lost, and while American worker productivity has doubled, American median wages are only 1 percent above 1970 levels.”
Public Citizen News July/August 2008 (print edition)

http://www.citizen.org/pressroom/release.cfm?ID=2667

(I would add that average fuel, food, housing, and education prices have skyrocketed above 1970 levels)

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By samosamo, November 14, 2008 at 7:52 am Link to this comment

FENWICK,

Now who’re you going to believe, Ferguson or a pull toy?, or your own eyes?

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By hippy pam, November 14, 2008 at 7:10 am Link to this comment

I WONDER….How much MONEY could be put BACK in the coffers if all those dishonest conniving CEOs were FORCED to give up homes-bank accounts-golden parachutes-etc…...And how about those HEDGE FUNDS??Put THAT MONEY in to circulation…It must amount to BILLIONS…....

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By thebeerdoctor, November 14, 2008 at 5:13 am Link to this comment

Speaking of the crime scene:
http://www.alternet.org/workplace/107000/

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By dihey, November 14, 2008 at 4:45 am Link to this comment

“Avoiding the repeat of history the next time”

Wasn’t the “New Deal” supposed to do that?

LOL

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By samosamo, November 13, 2008 at 5:12 pm Link to this comment

By SteveL, November 13 at 1:48 pm

Well, I am on your side but here is something to refute your comment, it is titled : ‘bush makes case for the free market’s roll in crisis’ and here is the link from msnbc(you can still find some note worthy items on msm sites):

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27698354/

Here is a quote from this article:
***“The crisis was not a failure of the free market system,” Bush said. “And the answer is not to try to reinvent that system.”***

So, if anyone takes w as the top or head neoconsevative(I damn sure don’t; he couldn’t head anything even his vp dick), these clowns are as a group still trying to make the ‘free market’, ‘unfettered market’ or ‘deregulated market’ seem to be the best thing since their ever present buddy jesus h. christ. And what I gather from the article that gets to me the most is that it is just more corporate welfare and rewards for the pieces of fecal matter that got us into this mess. READ Naomi Klein’s ‘The Shock Doctrine’.
It is a sick sad and damning attempt to justify to the stupid veggable class of america that will believe things would be better by retaining the ‘free’ market when the true intent is to keep it open and free for the benefit of a bunch of crooks.

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