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Old August 9th, 2010, 07:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The U.S. is Falling Apart

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/09/opinion/09krugman.html?_r=1&th&emc=th August 8, 2010 America Goes Dark By PAUL KRUGMAN The lights are going out all over America - literally. Colorado Springs has made headlines with its desperate attempt to save money by turning off a third of its streetlights, but similar things are either happening or being contemplated across the nation, from Philadelphia to Fresno.

Meanwhile, a country that once amazed the world with its visionary investments in transportation, from the Erie Canal to the Interstate Highway System, is now in the process of unpaving itself: in a number of states, local governments are breaking up roads they can no longer afford to maintain, and returning them to gravel. And a nation that once prized education - that was among the first to provide basic schooling to all its children - is now cutting back. Teachers are being laid off; programs are being canceled; in Hawaii, the school year itself is being drastically shortened. And all signs point to even more cuts ahead. We're told that we have no choice, that basic government functions - essential services that have been provided for generations - are no longer affordable.

And it's true that state and local governments, hit hard by the recession, are cash-strapped. But they wouldn't be quite as cash-strapped if their politicians were willing to consider at least some tax increases. And the federal government, which can sell inflation-protected long-term bonds at an interest rate of only 1.04 percent, isn't cash-strapped at all.

It could and should be offering aid to local governments, to protect the future of our infrastructure and our children. But Washington is providing only a trickle of help, and even that grudgingly. We must place priority on reducing the deficit, say Republicans and "centrist" Democrats. And then, virtually in the next breath, they declare that we must preserve tax cuts for the very affluent, at a budget cost of $700 billion over the next decade.

In effect, a large part of our political class is showing its priorities: given the choice between asking the richest 2 percent or so of Americans to go back to paying the tax rates they paid during the Clinton-era boom, or allowing the nation's foundations to crumble - literally in the case of roads, figuratively in the case of education - they're choosing the latter. It's a disastrous choice in both the short run and the long run. In the short run, those state and local cutbacks are a major drag on the economy, perpetuating devastatingly high unemployment.

It's crucial to keep state and local government in mind when you hear people ranting about runaway government spending under President Obama. Yes, the federal government is spending more, although not as much as you might think. But state and local governments are cutting back. And if you add them together, it turns out that the only big spending increases have been in safety-net programs like unemployment insurance, which have soared in cost thanks to the severity of the slump. That is, for all the talk of a failed stimulus, if you look at government spending as a whole you see hardly any stimulus at all. And with federal spending now trailing off, while big state and local cutbacks continue, we're going into reverse. But isn't keeping taxes for the affluent low also a form of stimulus? Not so you'd notice. When we save a schoolteacher's job, that unambiguously aids employment; when we give millionaires more money instead, there's a good chance that most of that money will just sit idle.

And what about the economy's future? Everything we know about economic growth says that a well-educated population and high-quality infrastructure are crucial. Emerging nations are making huge efforts to upgrade their roads, their ports and their schools. Yet in America we're going backward. How did we get to this point? It's the logical consequence of three decades of antigovernment rhetoric, rhetoric that has convinced many voters that a dollar collected in taxes is always a dollar wasted, that the public sector can't do anything right.

The antigovernment campaign has always been phrased in terms of opposition to waste and fraud - to checks sent to welfare queens driving Cadillacs, to vast armies of bureaucrats uselessly pushing paper around. But those were myths, of course; there was never remotely as much waste and fraud as the right claimed. And now that the campaign has reached fruition, we're seeing what was actually in the firing line: services that everyone except the very rich need, services that government must provide or nobody will, like lighted streets, drivable roads and decent schooling for the public as a whole. So the end result of the long campaign against government is that we've taken a disastrously wrong turn. America is now on the unlit, unpaved road to nowhere.

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Old August 9th, 2010, 07:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It is in a decline at the moment but optimistic it will pick up again in a few years. It's not like America isn't making any money and has no chance of rebounding. People got careless and now we are paying for it. Apparently people forgot about the Depression and deregulated policies that prevented such disasters only to have it happen again. Hopefully to learn our lesson for this century or longer if possible.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 08:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Old August 9th, 2010, 06:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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youre probably gonna want to provide links or indexes for graphs like that............ since for example according to the graph (without index) the population will grow in the US by less than 1 million people over the next 40 years and has increased by less than 1 million over the previous 60 years......... the graph is in Millions.......

its probably meant to be Billions..... but since its a UN graph Im not surprised... they either dont know the difference between a billion and a million.......... or they just dont know a billion has 10 digits as opposed to 7''

if the graph appears how they intended it to.......... then I have to agree with you..... it really is quite alarming....... that they think total global population is going to increase by less than 3 million over the next 40 years
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Old August 10th, 2010, 01:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Old August 19th, 2010, 12:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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In all fairness, the way most americans have chosen to live during the past 60 odd years has largely been wasteful and unsustainable. A country where everyone has a few cars, lives in a large suburban house, and spends more than it makes eventually faces the reality of it's choices. I don't know that the US is falling apart. IMHO what is happening is more economic reality is forcing us to reevaluate our choices and make decisions that should have been made long ago. I strongly believe that in my lifetime and that of my children, you will see a re-urbanization of America and an expansion of infrastructure services in more compact and limited areas, while at the same time seeing a drop in rural and suburban populations as the costs of living that life style continue to increase.

So long as the most crucial worldwide resources remain limited and demand for them continues to grow, at some point basic economics will force us to adopt new ways of doing things.
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Old August 19th, 2010, 03:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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In all fairness, the way most americans have chosen to live during the past 60 odd years has largely been wasteful and unsustainable. A country where everyone has a few cars, lives in a large suburban house, and spends more than it makes eventually faces the reality of it's choices. I don't know that the US is falling apart. IMHO what is happening is more economic reality is forcing us to reevaluate our choices and make decisions that should have been made long ago. I strongly believe that in my lifetime and that of my children, you will see a re-urbanization of America and an expansion of infrastructure services in more compact and limited areas, while at the same time seeing a drop in rural and suburban populations as the costs of living that life style continue to increase.

So long as the most crucial worldwide resources remain limited and demand for them continues to grow, at some point basic economics will force us to adopt new ways of doing things.
yea this is a basic summary of what could possibly happen. There is definitely room for more error in this country, but with the self realization that the U.S. now has over its own behavior only allows for the people that are going to be most effective for the due changes to rise up.
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 04:31 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Whats wrong with America can be summed up by saying 8 yr's of Bush and 1 1/2 Obama and 9 1/2 of the rest of those out of touch jackwagons in Washington DC who patronize the big $ self serving lobbyist who could care less about whats good for America.
In the real world America is already bankrupt and has been for several yr's,why because because we the the citizen did not stand up against those who allowed our took our jobs overseas.The New World Order comes to mind,a hand full of rich & powerful who dictate the direction of the all our lives throughout most of the world.It's not even about greed anymore,it's beyond that and beyond what used to be good about our country and the other civilized parts of the world.All that and I used to be an optimist until reality set in.
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Old September 4th, 2011, 08:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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"Inequality: A Significant Hazard to Growth Sustainability
The key result from the joint analysis is that income distribution survives as one of the most robust and important factors associated with growth duration. As Figure 3 demonstrates, a 10-percentile decrease in inequality—the sort of improvement that a number of countries have experienced during their spells—increases the expected length of a growth spell by 50 percent. Remarkably, inequality retains a similar statistical and economic significance in the joint analysis despite the inclusion of many more possible determinants. This suggests that inequality seems to matter in itself and is not just proxying for other factors. Inequality also preserves its significance more systematically across different samples and definitions of growth spells than the other variables. Inequality is thus a more robust predictor of growth duration than many variables widely understood to be central to growth."

"The measure of inequality is the Gini coefficient, which varies from 0 (all households have the same income) to 100 (all income received by one household)."
http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/sdn/2011/sdn1108.pdf

Per this IMF paper inequality is not the only factor which effects the durability of growth, but is a significant factor. It appears it is more important over time, say 20-30 years. Income equality need not be perfect, but a GINI coefficient of 46 and above appears to be the tipping point (Figure 2). In 2007 GINI index for the US=45.0
http://www.photius.com/rankings/economy/distribution_of_family_income_gini_index_2011_0.ht ml
(SOURCE: CIA World Factbook 2011)
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Old September 4th, 2011, 11:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The U.S. is falling apart due to Keynesians like Krugman. He is the problem, not the solution. It's great to see the austrian economic models start to finally gain some traction thanks to people like Tom Woods and Peter Schiff. I'll take the teachings of Ludwig von Mises, Murray N. Rothbard or Friedrich von Hayek over Paul Krugman everyday.

For anyone interested, this is a great site that explains austrian economics:

What is Austrian Economics - - Mises Institute
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Old September 5th, 2011, 01:03 AM   #11 (permalink)
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The U.S. is falling apart due to Keynesians like Krugman. He is the problem, not the solution. It's great to see the austrian economic models start to finally gain some traction thanks to people like Tom Woods and Peter Schiff. I'll take the teachings of Ludwig von Mises, Murray N. Rothbard or Friedrich von Hayek over Paul Krugman everyday.

For anyone interested, this is a great site that explains austrian economics:

What is Austrian Economics - - Mises Institute

Which is

The Ludwig von Mises Institute is an American libertarian think tank specializing in Austrian school economics and libertarian social philosophy. It was established in 1982 with the approval of Margit von Mises, the widow of the Austrian school economist Ludwig von Mises. It publishes several journals on political economy, economics, and philosophy, and has also published several books. The Institute offers fellowships to students of economics. It also gives awards to those who have made (in their opinion) exceptional contributions in the field of economics.
The Institute is against statism, socialism, communism, left-liberalism, and pretty much anything else that deviates from libertarianism, which is hardly surprising, since their founders were libertarians. It publishes articles from a libertarian viewpoint, and supports the Austrian School. The Institute leans toward anarcho-capitalism and tends to view more soft-line libertarian think tanks like the Cato Institute with some disdain as compromising Beltway insiders.
It has been accused of racism due to the head of the Institute writing some rather interesting things about black people (see the external links) In addition, it has a rather interesting interpretation of the American Civil War, viewing President Abraham Lincoln as the statist villain who sought to drastically expand the power of central government at the expense of state's rights rather than keep the Union intact, or (later) free the slaves. On that last, they feel that compensation for slave owners (as some had proposed back then) would have been better, preserving states' rights and averting war, though Murray Rothbard has quipped that it was more the slaves who deserved compensation than their owners, at least. Some also point to various banking conspiracy theories as causes of the conflict. Ironically Lincoln himself feared the rising power of banks and industrial capitalism (as Thomas Jefferson did) while conspiracy theories of his own assassination often name international bankers as susp

Ludwig von Mises Institute - RationalWiki
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Old September 5th, 2011, 05:03 AM   #12 (permalink)
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All of the "isms" being talked about as solutions to issues here in the U.S. have something in common that makes me uneasy: an abandonment of the principles that the country was founded upon.

And that is of course what's been happening here in both major political parties, as well.

The isms, libertarianism, socialism etc would be seen by the Founding Fathers as rather strange ravings, I'm nearly certain. They wanted the people here to keep watch on things and then to move against any form of "solution" to social/economic issues that sought to make us all think alike, behave alike, worship alike and talk alike. It was about diversity and freedom, at its ideal core.

When hording occurs on a mass scale (think billionaires, not millionaires, but billionaires, that's thousands of millions in the hands of one person), the masses at large gradually end up with very little of the resources of the country. That is what has happened in the United States on a scale that would have frightened the Founding Fathers deeply. They would likely have recommended revolution along the lines of the stipulations that have been used to break up monopolies; a very difficult proposition when the lawmakers are those doing the hording of resources.
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Old September 5th, 2011, 09:01 AM   #13 (permalink)
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From Wikipedia - George III
Although George's accession was at first welcomed by politicians of all parties,[27] the first years of George's reign were marked by political instability, largely generated as a result of disagreements over the Seven Years' War.[28] George was perceived as favouring Tory ministers, which led to his denunciation by the Whigs as an autocrat.[2] On George's accession, the Crown lands produced relatively little income; most revenue was generated through taxes and excise duties. George surrendered the Crown Estate to Parliamentary control in return for a Civil List annuity for the support of his household and the expenses of Civil Government.[29][30] are disputed by historians who say such claims "rest on nothing but falsehoods put out by disgruntled opposition".[31] Debts amounting to over 3 million over the course of George's reign were paid by Parliament, and the Civil List annuity was increased from time to time.[ Claims that George used the income to reward supporters with bribes and gifts

Does this sound familiar? This is what the founding fathers' ancestors fled from. Abuses from the aristocracy, persecution for different religious beliefs, debtors prisons, etc.

The taxes included our Stamp Act.
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Old September 5th, 2011, 02:00 PM   #14 (permalink)
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The U.S. is falling apart due to Keynesians like Krugman. He is the problem, not the solution. ...
Don't believe Keynesian has had a major influence in U.S. economic policy for the last thirty years or so, believe something called the Reagan Revolution occurred.
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Old September 5th, 2011, 04:23 PM   #15 (permalink)
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It is in a decline at the moment but optimistic it will pick up again in a few years. It's not like America isn't making any money and has no chance of rebounding. People got careless and now we are paying for it. Apparently people forgot about the Depression and deregulat policies that prevented such disasters only to have it happen again. Hopefully to learn our lesson for this century or longer if possible.
If we elect a strong conservative president and if that president is able to get smart and sensible things through the Washington gauntlet and passed into law, things will improve. We have suffered problems in the past and we always persevere and improve.

Many of the things our current president and congress wants to do and has done, are not constitutional. This should be of great concern to everyone. This needs to stop and hopefully, in a year or so, we will elect someone that does his job.

Unfortunately, our leaders have forgotten that we are a country governed by the will of the people as well as the Constitution. Unfortunately, many people do not seem to remember that the politicians we elect can be replaced.

The political animal knows he or she can BS and finesse us to vote for them and somehow, they forget their promises and it often becomes more of the sale old same old. When "We the people" decide to hold elected officials to their word and we promptly vote the bad ones out of office or recall them in some cases, they quickly learn because they want to keep their job.

And lest we forget, when we end up with a liberal Supreme Court, many of our freedoms are in trouble. They cannot be fired, after all, so the damage is very real.
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Old September 5th, 2011, 05:28 PM   #16 (permalink)
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"It goes without saying that conservatives and liberals don't see the world in the same way. Now, research from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln suggests that is exactly, and quite literally, the case."

Politics and eye movement: Liberals focus their attention on 'gaze cues' much differently than conservatives do
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Old September 5th, 2011, 06:07 PM   #17 (permalink)
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In all fairness, the way most americans have chosen to live during the past 60 odd years has largely been wasteful and unsustainable. A country where everyone has a few cars, lives in a large suburban house, and spends more than it makes eventually faces the reality of it's choices. I don't know that the US is falling apart. IMHO what is happening is more economic reality is forcing us to reevaluate our choices and make decisions that should have been made long ago. I strongly believe that in my lifetime and that of my children, you will see an re-urbanization of America and an expansion of infrastructure services in more compact and limited areas, while at the same time seeing a drop in rural and suburban populations as the costs of living that life style continue to increase.

So long as the most crucial worldwide resources remain limited and demand for them continues to grow, at some point basic economics will force us to adopt new ways of doing things.
OK, so do you favor laws that say one car per family, homes limited to 2,000/sq.ft, no credit cards or charge accounts, and so forth?

If not, then I am free to own several cars, a 22,500 square foot house and ten CC accounts. If that is something you believe to be wrong, then you must have a law to prevent it and any such law is un-American. See where I am going?
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Old September 5th, 2011, 07:17 PM   #18 (permalink)
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New laws are not the only way to change the system of waste/sloth/hording by corporate executives, etc.

There is the matter of enforcing what is already in place.
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Old September 5th, 2011, 07:22 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Needs moar duct tape

/had to, sorry
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Old September 5th, 2011, 07:59 PM   #20 (permalink)
 
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If we elect a strong conservative president and if that president is able to get smart and sensible things through the Washington gauntlet and passed into law, things will improve.
Name ONE strong conservative president. They have never existed, never will exist.
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Old September 5th, 2011, 08:36 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Name ONE strong conservative president. They have never existed, never will exist.
Theodore Roosevelt and Eisenhower were Republicans and pretty good presidents. I'm not a Republican myself but I don't think they all suck.
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Old September 5th, 2011, 09:09 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Needs moar duct tape

/had to, sorry
We can do it..

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Old September 5th, 2011, 09:35 PM   #23 (permalink)
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The video instructions were a bit too fast for me, are there step-by-step instructions ?
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Old September 5th, 2011, 11:47 PM   #24 (permalink)
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There are a couple of major problems that would solve a lot of issues:

1. Rewarding criminals instead of punishing them. In america we are rewarding illegal immigrants with free housing, food, medical, and education. That is costing us billions to reward these criminals for breaking the law.

2. Over regulation. The government (federal, state, and local) continue coming up with regulations that are preventing economic growth. The government needs to back off and let the economy correct itself.

3. Another regulation issue that hurts the country and pisses me off personally - online poker. The US is knowing violating several international trade laws by not allowing citizens to play poker online. Because of this we are paying millions in fines every year to a few different countries and have been doing so for a few years now. So the government is basically choosing to pay millions in fines to other countries to limit our freedoms instead of regulating and taxing a site that could be based here in America.
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Old September 5th, 2011, 11:59 PM   #25 (permalink)
 
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Theodore Roosevelt and Eisenhower were Republicans and pretty good presidents. I'm not a Republican myself but I don't think they all suck.
Thank you, but I disagree.

Theodore Roosevelt was an example of the republican party? Then I need to change parties. His very first act as president was a 20,000 word speech asking congress to limit and destroy the rights of large corporations.

In 1902, he interceded into a union strike, forcing the company to pay the union works more money for less hours worked.

In 1906, he passed the meat inspection act and the pure food and drug act, which create the current FDA.

He also started the first environmental movement, setting of the way for national parks and the dreaded EPA.

He elected oliver holmes to the supreme court. Which is one of the more librial judges, and I qoute "we should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe and believe to be fraught with death." When would a republican say that?

He also elected William Moody, that was, for all purposes, against strong state rights.

As for Eisenhower, he more or less created modern social security and medicare. And google Military Industrial Complex.
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Old September 6th, 2011, 11:04 AM   #26 (permalink)
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There are a couple of major problems that would solve a lot of issues:

1. Rewarding criminals instead of punishing them. In america we are rewarding illegal immigrants with free housing, food, medical, and education. That is costing us billions to reward these criminals for breaking the law.

2. Over regulation. The government (federal, state, and local) continue coming up with regulations that are preventing economic growth. The government needs to back off and let the economy correct itself.

3. Another regulation issue that hurts the country and pisses me off personally - online poker. The US is knowing violating several international trade laws by not allowing citizens to play poker online. Because of this we are paying millions in fines every year to a few different countries and have been doing so for a few years now. So the government is basically choosing to pay millions in fines to other countries to limit our freedoms instead of regulating and taxing a site that could be based here in America.

If your premise in point 1 is that they are breaking the law and therefore criminals then should we send federal troops to secure the highways and streets from the people that are speeding, texting and drunk driving? Personally I think we should charge these people a few thousand dollars for legal entry since many will pay a coyote to bring them in we could use that money to alleviate the problem.

Point 2 is what i hear from tea partiers more and more and im not sure these people even know what they are talking about since they cant articulate it any more than regulations suck and the government needs to get out of the way. Many regulations are there for a damn good reason like safety or health.

I agree on point 3 no real reason it should be illegal
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Old September 6th, 2011, 06:09 PM   #27 (permalink)
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There are a couple of major problems that would solve a lot of issues:

1. Rewarding criminals instead of punishing them. In america we are rewarding illegal immigrants with free housing, food, medical, and education. That is costing us billions to reward these criminals for breaking the law.

2. Over regulation. The government (federal, state, and local) continue coming up with regulations that are preventing economic growth. The government needs to back off and let the economy correct itself.

3. Another regulation issue that hurts the country and pisses me off personally - online poker. The US is knowing violating several international trade laws by not allowing citizens to play poker online. Because of this we are paying millions in fines every year to a few different countries and have been doing so for a few years now. So the government is basically choosing to pay millions in fines to other countries to limit our freedoms instead of regulating and taxing a site that could be based here in America.
Per item 3. The US hasn't paid a dime. I've read the WTO has fined the U.S., but no payments have been paid. This doesn't distract from your position that the ban violates trade rules as governed by the WTO.
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Old September 6th, 2011, 08:16 PM   #28 (permalink)
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If your premise in point 1 is that they are breaking the law and therefore criminals then should we send federal troops to secure the highways and streets from the people that are speeding, texting and drunk driving? Personally I think we should charge these people a few thousand dollars for legal entry since many will pay a coyote to bring them in we could use that money to alleviate the problem.

Point 2 is what i hear from tea partiers more and more and im not sure these people even know what they are talking about since they cant articulate it any more than regulations suck and the government needs to get out of the way. Many regulations are there for a damn good reason like safety or health.

I agree on point 3 no real reason it should be illegal
Wrong. When gambling goes mainstream, it creates problems. People that cannot afford it will play and get into trouble. People cannot control their urges and if legal, people will decide they can beat the house.

Bad idea, I say.
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Old September 6th, 2011, 08:20 PM   #29 (permalink)
 
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Wrong. When gambling goes mainstream, it creates problems. People that cannot afford it will play and get into trouble. People cannot control their urges and if legal, people will decide they can beat the house.

Bad idea, I say.
I can say that about anything. Cars, food, children, guns, and the internet in general, why not ban them?

And you need to answer the question on when we last had a great Republican president/candidate.
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Old September 6th, 2011, 08:48 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Wrong. When gambling goes mainstream, it creates problems. People that cannot afford it will play and get into trouble. People cannot control their urges and if legal, people will decide they can beat the house.

Bad idea, I say.
Are super cars illegal? They are expensive and can be very dangerous...

Is alcohol illegal? People buy it when they have very little money and it kills people all the time...

Is tobacco illegal? Same as above...

I could go on and on. The point is, it is not the government's job to tell us how to spend the money we earn, unless it hurts others. If I gamble money that I can not afford to, I only hurt myself.
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Old September 7th, 2011, 04:24 AM   #31 (permalink)
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I can say that about anything. Cars, food, children, guns, and the internet in general, why not ban them?

And you need to answer the question on when we last had a great Republican president/candidate.
Because cars, food, kids, guns and the net are not evil things. they do not tend to damage people like gambling does in many cases. Please do not spin off the planet into bad comparison land.
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Old September 7th, 2011, 04:27 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Are super cars illegal? They are expensive and can be very dangerous...

Is alcohol illegal? People buy it when they have very little money and it kills people all the time...

Is tobacco illegal? Same as above...

I could go on and on. The point is, it is not the government's job to tell us how to spend the money we earn, unless it hurts others. If I gamble money that I can not afford to, I only hurt myself.
Nope super cars are both legal and cool. They can be costly, that is true. I'll bet most buyers do not cause societal damage. Danger is all about how you drive one. As for tobacco, they are trying to eliminate the noble weed.
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Old September 7th, 2011, 04:38 AM   #33 (permalink)
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I can say that about anything. Cars, food, children, guns, and the internet in general, why not ban them?

And you need to answer the question on when we last had a great Republican president/candidate.
Oh, you were serious about that president thing.

Reagan comes close, we need more Reagan and less liberal demo. Actually, we need a Dick Cheney with a little Rush Limbaugh mixed in, channeling Abe Lincoln and passing laws written by a strong Conservative House and Senate.

We would get a guy that tolerates no BS combined with someone that actually knows his US history, presiding over a government that repairs the damage left behind by a less than ideal president. Ideally, we would have Vice President Palin and first order of business is to drill the holy heck out of Alaska. Or Speaker Palin sounds nice.
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Old September 7th, 2011, 10:03 AM   #34 (permalink)
 
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Reagan comes close..
So we need a republican president that will spend billions of dollars, creating a economic nightmare, destroying the finical sector with miss management, and a un-win-able war. We had that in Bush Jr.

Regan spent billions and billions of dollars and created billion and billions of new debt, that we are still paying off. He created the worst economic nightmare from his time to the great depression. Regan over saw the worst percentage drop in dow jones history, ever, 22% in one day. Regan deregulation and relaxed tax laws allowed the savings and loan crisis, that cost the American people about 100 billion dollars in bail outs. He also over saw the worst unemployment record since the great depression, at 10.1%. When you adjust for work force, Bush and Obama have lost about 1 million jobs in 4 years. Regan, in 1981/1982 lost 1 million jobs a week.

But ignoring all of that, lets focus just on the debt. Regan increased the national debt by 168%. If you toss in bush sr, you get about 217% increase, because bush sr followed the same failed policies.

You got your president. You had him, he was call Bush Jr, he ran the country into the ground. Do we really need to double tap the country with another one.

Bush Jr did everything that Regan did and did it with the same results that Regan did.
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Old September 7th, 2011, 11:07 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Because cars, food, kids, guns and the net are not evil things. they do not tend to damage people like gambling does in many cases. Please do not spin off the planet into bad comparison land.
So are you implying that gambling is evil?
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Old September 7th, 2011, 01:47 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Wrong. When gambling goes mainstream, it creates problems. People that cannot afford it will play and get into trouble. People cannot control their urges and if legal, people will decide they can beat the house.

Bad idea, I say.
It appears you do care about people, even poor people. We may disagree on the means and methods, but at least there is common ground.
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Old September 7th, 2011, 02:07 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Wrong. When gambling goes mainstream, it creates problems. People that cannot afford it will play and get into trouble. People cannot control their urges and if legal, people will decide they can beat the house.

Bad idea, I say.
Are not some of the conservative talking points, small government and personal responsability? I am rather good at holdem. Go to the Turning Stone on a monthly basis. I routinely triple my money. Why should the government tell me I can't do it from my own home? But yet, you are are allowed to smoke "cigars" with "brandy". Both are just as bad, if not worse, than a "game" of skill....
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Old September 9th, 2011, 12:11 AM   #38 (permalink)
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... I am rather good at holdem. Go to the Turning Stone on a monthly basis. I routinely triple my money. ....
Economically speaking, gambling is a zero-sum activity, which most often leads to a transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich. I believe Bob brought out the asymmetrical relationship.

Perhaps there is a compromise, require gamblers (punters) to have a license, proving proficiency in statistics, probability, expected value, etc... I know doubt this would be an easy exam for you.
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Old September 9th, 2011, 12:45 AM   #39 (permalink)
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If I gamble money that I can not afford to, I only hurt myself.
Except if, you know, you have a family. I think losing all your money on two-pair hand you thought was a winner is going to hurt them. Then, when you don't have money you try to tap other people for cash or food banks or whatever. Your actions always extend beyond yourself unless you are some weird hermit living in a cave, but even then you still affect others whether you know it or not. Addictions and vices always run their course on people other than yourself.
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Old September 9th, 2011, 02:46 AM   #40 (permalink)
 
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So we need a republican president that will spend billions of dollars, creating a economic nightmare, destroying the finical sector with miss management, and a un-win-able war. We had that in Bush Jr.

Regan spent billions and billions of dollars and created billion and billions of new debt, that we are still paying off. He created the worst economic nightmare from his time to the great depression. Regan over saw the worst percentage drop in dow jones history, ever, 22% in one day. Regan deregulation and relaxed tax laws allowed the savings and loan crisis, that cost the American people about 100 billion dollars in bail outs. He also over saw the worst unemployment record since the great depression, at 10.1%. When you adjust for work force, Bush and Obama have lost about 1 million jobs in 4 years. Regan, in 1981/1982 lost 1 million jobs a week.

But ignoring all of that, lets focus just on the debt. Regan increased the national debt by 168%. If you toss in bush sr, you get about 217% increase, because bush sr followed the same failed policies.

You got your president. You had him, he was call Bush Jr, he ran the country into the ground. Do we really need to double tap the country with another one.

Bush Jr did everything that Regan did and did it with the same results that Regan did.
good post.
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Old September 9th, 2011, 03:46 AM   #41 (permalink)
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So are you implying that gambling is evil?
I do not think gambling for some is evil. I believe I said gambling is evil, so I'll refine my answer.

I occasionally go to Wendover, but I know my limits.

What I think is if Internet gambling were legalized, countless fools thinking they can actually play poker would find themselves in a deep hole with no way out.

These people would be sucked into a big problem.

If Internet poker were legal during these hard times, you can bet many people would look to poker as a way out and they would fail miserably.
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Old September 9th, 2011, 06:16 AM   #42 (permalink)
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Monetarily there are many types of acceptable gambling.

Wall Street is the Grande Casino of the East, attracting players world wide and with deeper pockets than many who go to Vegas. The system in Vegas seems more fairly operated than the Stock Market, but with much less a potential return on your dollar, of course.

But it's a gamble, and the Market players know it.
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Old September 9th, 2011, 06:26 AM   #43 (permalink)
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I do not think gambling for some is evil. I believe I said gambling is evil, so I'll refine my answer.

I occasionally go to Wendover, but I know my limits.

What I think is if Internet gambling were legalized, countless fools thinking they can actually play poker would find themselves in a deep hole with no way out.

These people would be sucked into a big problem.

If Internet poker were legal during these hard times, you can bet many people would look to poker as a way out and they would fail miserably.
Again, what happened to the conservative talking point on personal responsability? Is there a new political group? TBINO, Tea bagger in name only?
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Old September 9th, 2011, 08:54 AM   #44 (permalink)
 
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Even though I can understand that problem that Maxey is stating, I have a hard time understanding why he only stop at the evils of gambling. Why not protect the population from guns, by banning them. Not only can guns hurt those that use them, but they hurt innocent people.

PS. I totally hate a nanny state.
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Old September 9th, 2011, 09:39 AM   #45 (permalink)
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Again, what happened to the conservative talking point on personal responsability? Is there a new political group? TBINO, Tea bagger in name only?
Personal responsibility would be the talking point from free market/libertarian leaning conservatives. Curbing gambling would be the talking point of social conservatives. That's the thing, there are different factions of conservatives and different factions of liberals for that matter with sometimes intersecting but also often opposing viewpoints. I realize that complicates the simplistic binary argument of conservative vs liberal etc, but that's life.
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Old September 9th, 2011, 04:35 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Monetarily there are many types of acceptable gambling.

Wall Street is the Grande Casino of the East, attracting players world wide and with deeper pockets than many who go to Vegas. The system in Vegas seems more fairly operated than the Stock Market, but with much less a potential return on your dollar, of course.

But it's a gamble, and the Market players know it.
To a point, I'll agree with you, Frisco.

When most corporations go public, they want to sell stock. They want investors and their goal is to build a better widget powered mouse trap. They are not out to steal from investors. Granted, some are fraudulent from the beginning, that is a fact indeed. Sometimes they succeed and sometimes, they fail. When you buy Apple stock, you own part of Apple. Own enough Apple stock, and you can have a say in how the company is run. Generally speaking.

Vegas is driven by dollars. It was created in the desert by mobsters with a dream and a theory called "The greater sucker theory." Oddly enough, Mobsters did not like their customers taken advantage of so the large casinos were (more or less) fair. For the most part, they did not need to cheat. Get caught rolling a customer and the dealt with you. No courts, either.

Mobsters had a great run. Sadly, Vegas has become Disneyland and for many, it has lost much.

Math decides which games live or die. The house always has an advantage because it can be no other way. Except for card counters. The good ones if left to run free, can legitimately break the house. This is why you are "asked" to leave the casino if you are a card counter. And your face and name go into a little book so you can't play in any other casino.

Over the long run, eventually, most will loose. This is a mathematical certainty. Even though casinos have a high payout percentage depending upon the game. A casino might tell you they have a 95% payout. Most people think they understand it, and the casinos know that over the long run, the percentage is good enough.

These days, we have lots of people creating financial instruments that defy understanding. For example, Derivatives. Largely unregulated and even hard-core financial professionals do not fully understand derivatives. I recall reading that you can't know at any specific point, what they are worth. I think 60-Minutes did a piece on them and they are scary.

Part of the problem with some mortgages was you could lend money to unworthy borrowers and it did not matter if the loans went bad. You could sell the loans in packages to others so there was no real downside for the lenders.

For many people, stocks can be a gamble, I'll agree. When we went public, everyone was given shares. When the price went up a nickle, people were beyond happy. When it dipped a few cents, they were sad. Some were worried because they saw no movement after the close, not knowing that trading closes every day around 4:00.

I live in Utah and we were once known as the "Penny Stock Fraud Capital of the World." Lots of people seeking fame and riches trusted con men that setup companies specifically to bilk the rubes. Primarily, mining stocks and especially uranium.

Some made a little money, most lost allot of money, promoters bought huge houses.

As an aside, you might look into Charley Steen. He set the bar as far as defining colorful characters. In the hey day of uranium mining and he made and lost millions.

Another aside, I know of a man that made a huge fortune selling busted, closed, useless, worthless, defunct corporations. He bought them and sold them to legitimate corporations that could buy an existing company and avoid the red tape and huge pile of paperwork required during our history when reformers were trying to prevent future frauds. Not illegal, but one artifact of the crazy markets Utah once enjoyed.
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Old September 9th, 2011, 07:02 PM   #47 (permalink)
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Monetarily there are many types of acceptable gambling.

Wall Street is the Grande Casino of the East, attracting players world wide and with deeper pockets than many who go to Vegas. The system in Vegas seems more fairly operated than the Stock Market, but with much less a potential return on your dollar, of course.

But it's a gamble, and the Market players know it.
Hey we get to look a the pretty pictures in the 10q &10k reports.
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Old September 9th, 2011, 09:35 PM   #48 (permalink)
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... Part of the problem with some mortgages was you could lend money to unworthy borrowers and it did not matter if the loans went bad. You could sell the loans in packages to others so there was no real downside for the lenders. ...
It maybe worse than you think. Sorry about the long quote from The Miscreants’ Global Bust-Out (Chapter 21): How a Small Gang of Organized Criminals Wrecked the World | Deep Capture

"... The typical media story reported that “skyrocketing default rates on subprime mortgages” caused the mortgage markets to collapse. This was plainly false.

According to data provided by the Mortgage Bankers Association, default rates on subprime mortgages were above 8 percent every year from 1998 to 2002. In 2001, the default rate on subprime mortgages reached nearly 10 percent. But in those years there was no “mortgage crisis.” And after those years, subprime default rates steadily declined.

The 2006 vintage of subprime mortgages (the vintage of mortgages commonly blamed for the 2007 “mortgage crisis”) defaulted at an average rate of only 6.8 percent. The 2007 default rates were not much higher than that. And even by the second quarter of 2008, long after the mortgage markets had collapsed, the default rate was still only around 8 percent. So the link between default rates (even on the least credit-worthy subprime mortgages) and the mortgage crisis is not at all clear.

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) said as much in its February 2011 report to Congress. According to the FCIC, the “mortgage crisis” was not primarily the result of “reckless” lending to subprime borrowers. It was, rather, largely the result of the 2007 collapse in the market for collateralized debt obligations (CDOs). And the CDO market collapsed because more than half of all CDOs issued in 2006 and 2007 were so-called “synthetic” CDOs.

Regular CDOs are packages of mortgages that trade like securities. So-called “synthetic” CDOs do not contain mortgages themselves. They contain bets against mortgages, usually in the form of credit default swaps. That is, the sellers of these “synthetic” CDOs (more than half of the overall CDO market in 2007) were people who were betting against mortgages and therefore wanted the mortgage markets to collapse.

As the FCIC also made clear, just a few specialist firms (working with no more than fifty short sellers) created all of the “synthetic” CDOs that came to comprise more than half of the overall CDO market. Importantly, those specialist firms did not package these “synthetic” CDOs with bets against average subprime mortgages. They and their short selling clients packaged them with bets against the worst possible mortgages in the nation—a select number of handpicked mortgages that seemed certain to default.

Thus, over half the market was actually comprised of securities that had been designed to implode by people who were betting that they would.

According to the FCIC, the firms that specialized in creating “synthetic” CDOs actually fueled a demand for fraudulent mortgages. Merely crappy (subprime) mortgages were not adequate because they were defaulting at a rate of less than 8 percent–and the short sellers were looking for default rates of 100 percent. The only kind of mortgages that defaulted at a rates of 100 percent were, of course, fraudulent mortgages—mortgages that were taken out by people who had zero intention of paying them back.

As is happened, there were people prepared to meet the demand for fraudulent mortgages. Beginning in early 2005, there was a massive surge in mortgage fraud. In March 2007, the FBI announced that known incidences of mortgage fraud had doubled over the past three years. And those were only the mortgage frauds that the FBI was investigating. It is more than likely that the actual incidences of mortgage fraud tripled or quadrupled between 2005 and 2007, when the mortgage markets collapsed.

This sudden surge in mortgage fraud correlated precisely with the proliferation of self-destruct CDOs. In fact, there appears little question that the creation of self-destruct CDOs could not have occurred without the mortgage fraud."

"One reason to believe this is that many of the same people who were creating the self-destruct CDOs in 2006 had also seized control of major mortgage companies. Once in control of the mortgage companies, the financial operators loaded them with debt that they used to finance fraudulent mortgages, which were precisely the sort of mortgages they needed for their self-destruct CDOs (i.e., their bets against the fraudulent mortgages they had created).

In other words, with one hand they promoted the fraudulence that with the other hand they bet against. This is what is called a “bust-out.”

Indeed, the DOJ says that insiders at some mortgage companies worked in cahoots with organized criminal gangs that descended on cities buying as many homes as they could get their hands on. Often, these criminal gangs (with help from the mortgage company insiders) would take out mortgages valued at twice or more than twice the listed price of the houses they were buying.

Of course, the mortgage company insiders churned out these criminal mortgages knowing full well that the mortgages would never be paid back. That is, the insiders looted their companies—and in many cases the companies, of course, eventually imploded. If these actions were in fact connected, it means that those companies were deliberately destroyed—at great profit to affiliated short sellers who helped put them out of business, and at great profit to the people who used the fraudulent mortgages to create self-destruct CDOs.

Fraudulent mortgages represented only a small fraction of total mortgage lending, but bets against fraudulent mortgages were packaged into multiple “synthetic” CDOs. As a result, the health of the entire CDO market (and therefore the health of the mortgage market, the property market, and the banks that purchased property and CDOs) depended disproportionately on whether a relatively few fraudulent mortgages would, in fact, default. Which, of course, they would.

This must be stressed: a small number of specialist firms and short sellers deliberately created financial weapons of mass destruction that they knew would destabilize the banks and the American economy. As U.S. Senator Carl Levine stated (singling out “synthetic” CDOs as evidence): “The recent financial crisis [of 2007-2009] was not a natural disaster; it was a manmade economic assault.” [the emphasis was Senator Levin’s]

To the extent that the media, regulators, and politicians have picked up on this scam, the focus has been on the banks (especially Goldman Sachs) that worked with some specialist firms and a few short sellers to broker the sale of self-destruct CDOs to unwitting customers. Goldman Sachs and a few other banks are certainly culpable. They knew that some CDOs were (in the words of one Goldman executive) “shitty”—and they sold them as if they were good investments.

However, Goldman’s executives did not know just how “shitty’ they were. They did not know that the CDOs were, in fact, guaranteed to self-destruct. That’s because the specialist firms that created these things “specialized” in hiding the outright fraudulent mortgages in the paperwork describing the CDOs.

Indeed, the specialist firms displayed a perverse sort of genius in admitting to Goldman and others that the CDOs were (in a general sense) “shitty”, but not revealing that they had a 100 percent chance of self-destructing and wiping out the markets, thereby paving the way for a financial crisis that would bring even Goldman Sachs to the brink of collapse.

The paperwork for a given CDO would state (vaguely) that it contained bets against a selection of mortgages that had been given to, say, especially low income people in Michigan. The paperwork (written up by the specialist firms) would also state that these low income people had poor credit ratings and thus a higher than average likelihood of default. The specialist firms then sold the CDOs as investments that were risky (perhaps even “shitty”), but nonetheless had the potential for a big payoff for anyone with an appetite for risk.

What the paperwork did not do was identify the individual mortgages. So while the banks that brokered the sales of the CDOs (and the banks that bought them) knew in a general sense that CDOs contained selections of risky mortgages, they did not know that many of those individual mortgages were outright fraudulent.

Again, only the specialist firms and the short sellers who picked the mortgages (and in many cases created the mortgages in cahoots with organized gangs) knew that they had manufactured instruments that were guaranteed to self-destruct. That’s why they were able to find people who were willing to take the other side of the bets.

The banks, the credit rating agencies, and others deserve blame for not scrutinizing these CDOs more carefully. But all of them genuinely (and not irrationally) believed that even if mortgages defaulted at rates higher than expected—even if there was a historic and disastrous upsurge in default rates—the buyers of these CDOs could still expect to recoup some portion of their investment.

Because they did not know about the organized criminals taking out the fraudulent mortgages that were being selectively inserted into the CDOs, they did not know that these CDOs would be worth nothing.

But the specialist firms and the short sellers knew. And because they knew the self-destruct CDOs comprised half the overall market, they knew what would happen when the CDOs destructed. They knew this would not be a mere correction, or crash, or bursting of a bubble. They knew that the market would be calamitously vaporized—the first time in history that a market for a class of securities would literally drop to zero.

They also knew that the collapse of the CDO market would seriously hobble the banks. Moreover, the creators of self-destruct CDOs and/or closely affiliated financial operators took other steps to ensure that the banks would be crippled. For example, as we will see, they worked with compromised insiders at some banks (notably Lehman Brothers) to get the banks to buy overvalued Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) that would be wiped out once property prices plummeted as a result of the collapse of the CDO market.

Unsurprisingly, these same financial operators and their affiliates perpetrated much of the manipulative short selling that finished off the banks that had been hobbled by CDOs and toxic REITs.

One reason why the banks were so easily induced to buy these toxic assets is that they were drunk with leverage and greedy for commissions. But it must be stressed that the banks did not ultimately collapse simply because of a generalized buying spree. They collapsed because they had bought a specific selection of especially toxic assets from a specific selection of financial operators who were deliberately poisoning the banks and would subsequently perpetrate the short selling attacks that would finish them off."
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Last edited by OutofDate1980; September 10th, 2011 at 02:06 PM. Reason: Format
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