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  1. #321
    veteran attention whore Jeffster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YourLocalJesus View Post
    I'm still in awe over the Republican side of the debate. It's just ridiculous.

    The economical stuff only makes me facepalm a couple of times a day...
    It's the views on people that really scares me/makes me want to vomit.
    In some regards, it's even less people-friendly than Nazism.
    "Christian" Right my ass. They give a good nation a bad name.
    Jeffster Illustrates the Artisan Temperament <---- click here

    "I like the sigs with quotes in them from other forum members." -- Oberon

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  2. #322
    Senior Member Lethal Sage's Avatar
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    Pharma wins in the US: Europeans confused
    ...

  3. #323
    heart on fire
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lethal Sage View Post
    Pharma wins in the US: Europeans confused
    Gotta love INTP simple truth.

  4. #324
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    Gotta love INTP simple truth.
    I second this.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  5. #325
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fecal McAngry View Post
    Of course it does. The problem is not WS. WS is a symptom of the problem. Trying to regulate WS in order to avert a recurrence of artificially inflated bubbles bursting is a bit like trying to improve the health of an AIDS patient who is suffering from lipodystrophy by injecting fat under his skin.
    You don't see how the ability to use computers to make split second trades has changed the fundamental nature of investing on Wall Street? Your lack of vision is astounding.

    The primary function of any stock exchange is to aid businesses in raising capital. We have the cart before the horse.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  6. #326
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    You don't see how the ability to use computers to make split second trades has changed the fundamental nature of investing on Wall Street? Your lack of vision is astounding.

    The primary function of any stock exchange is to aid businesses in raising capital. We have the cart before the horse.
    Apologies for the incredibly long post to come.

    Good point. The entire nature of the stock market since 1980 has been the equating of contracts to raise capital with the capital itself. Before 1929, that was known as buying on margin. We should have learned the lesson in 1987, but instead, through the repeal of Glass-Steagall, we simply set the system up to where the ones who were purchasing the contracts to buy capital were the ones who were supposed to supply the capital in the first place.

    You can't borrow money from yourself. As much as people like to bash the Fed, it does not exist independently from the banks themselves like a Bank of England does; it's much more of a coordinated banking trust. The capital itself came from the banks, which makes sense in the context that the system was created. That's because industrial capital comprised the vast majority of the nation's wealth in those days.

    When a nation's wealth consists primarily of "information capital" (a contradiction in terms if there ever was one) and financial services, the entire system's bound to collapse, because like I said, you can't borrow money from yourself. Once you spend it, it's no longer yours, and any more money you print only devalues the unit of currency itself (because all currency is based on the ratio of currency units to the capital base that backs it up).

    The internet bubble burst should have brought the Second Great Depression, because all the dollars that had been printed and locked within non-convertible "information capital" disappears once that capital is devalued (I call this "real deflation" - the value of a dollar relative to that item increases, or the price of the item decreases, because real demand for it simply decreases). This is an endemic risk to a credit system, the engine for the growth of capital, and traditionally banks hedged against this through collateralization of a borrower's existing capital. However, in the "information economy", there is no existing capital, nor collateral - it's entirely speculation.

    However, the zeitgeist of the superboom demanded that dollars be supplied, risk be damned. Of course, this violates the sole empirically true law of economics: there ain't no such thing as a free lunch. We've heard the mantra repeated over and over: "the economy is not a zero-sum game". Of course it's a zero-sum game - if you have something, that means someone else doesn't have it. The only way this isn't the case is if things are owned in common, which creates its own set of concerns. Economies expand not because of the cleverness of humans, but because we extract more material goods from the Earth and make them useful. This is why the pre-1980 industrial economy genuinely did make all of us richer, while real wages have stagnated since then.

    This was the impetus for Gramm-Leach-Bliley; rather than some grand scheme to defraud the nation, banks naturally wanted some options for risk management in an environment where collateralization was fundamentally impossible, and securities inherently insecure. That's why they created things like credit default swaps and the like - because when the venture goes south (and most invariably do), the banks didn't want to be left holding the bag.

    The problem was that they were playing with capital that didn't exist in the first place - the "bezzle" (as Karl Denninger, a man who knows his finance and economics, even if he remains completely blind to policy implications - a modern Karl Marx if you will) simply shifted from market to market. The junk bond bezzle of the late 1980s and the fake money it created shifted to the Internet bezzle of the 1990s, where it grew into an absolute monster.

    When the whole thing began to capitulate on itself in late 2000, the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve knew that it needed to stabilize this tenuous system through material recapitalization. Reindustrialization would be difficult because of the unique nature of American corporations, which would lead either to low wages or high unemployment once again (the Long Depression model). As such, the decision was made to encourage the purchasing of the largest material asset most people ever own in this country: that is, their homes.

    I've got work to do, but I'll keep going later.

  7. #327
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    But these people are crooks. It's not like they're being mischaracterized. Those responsible for the accounting fraud at these banks should be sent to prison, but nothing is happening.
    No, some of them are crooks, others are regular people serving a vital function.

  8. #328
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    No, some of them are crooks, others are regular people serving a vital function.
    Wall Street can only blame itself for this. If these companies were to turn over those responsible for the accounting fraud, perhaps we could actually prosecute them. But that's not what is happening.

    If I were to harbor a fugitive, as an individual, I would also go to prison. But that doesn't happen with corporate crime. They almost never face the consequences of their actions. It is unfair and people are absolutely justified in their anger at Wall Street, as a whole. This is not a case of a couple bad apples, it's a cultural problem.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  9. #329
    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    I've got work to do, but I'll keep going later.
    More, more!

  10. #330
    Courage is immortality Valiant's Avatar
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    By the way... Who is this Health Care Bill, really?
    And why doesn't he stay? Title says he passes.
    I googled for a bit. Is this Health Care Bill, the friendly neighborhood superhero?


    Mightier than the tread of marching armies is the power of an idea whose time has come

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