Lizardfolk

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305 posts. Alias of Louis Agresta (Contributor).


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You just listed a bunch of titles I've never heard of before -- that's awesome. I loves me some planetary romance, and I will definitely check it out.

As for Moorcock, I can recognize his work as quality and influential, just not my kind of quality.

No sweat on a disagree, all a matter of taste after all, but Piper's Cosmic Computer is on my perennial re-read shelf. I adore that book and would LOVE to see it in Planet Stories.

And I hear you on Howard. I tried. I really tried. Elephant was one of the best S&S short stories I've ever read, but I just couldn't do it. I had to put the anthology down. I'm going to disagree and argue that Howard was racist and, further, that his work is racist. Not a popular stance, I get that, because the stories are so darn good. Sodarngood. Nonetheless, that's what I think.

Let's hear it for the Worm! What about it, Erik, Eddings The Worm Orobus in Planet Stories?


Lilith wrote:
Lou wrote:
Then I found a copy in that giant used book complex in Portland OR (name escapes me)...
That would be that shrine of the written word, Powell's. Truly a destination for anybody that loves books, and a not-insignificant rack of gaming materials for perusal.

Yes, thank you!


Blue Tyson wrote:
Lou wrote:


Here's a little fantasy gem that I bet no one has heard of: Darkworld Detective. My brother and I read this to each other on a trip cross country almost 25 years ago. Then I found a copy in that giant used book complex in Portland OR (name escapes me), and re-read it with trepidation. Many things of towering childhood memory are not as good the second time 'round.

It was better! No dissapointment.

John Shirley's Kamus stories, you mean?

J. Michael Reaves, Kamus of Kadizar.

Darkworld Detective

Did John Shirley do something with this character? Or is Reaves a pseudonym? Or did Reaves pick it up from Shirley? Because if there are more Kamus of Kadizar books, I'd devour 'em.


Seldriss wrote:

I also recommend this book, for the variations it brings on the theme of lycanthropes.

Curse of the Moon is good too, and i recommend it as well.
The two books are different in contents and styles, and thus complement each other.

Awesome! *runs off to buy both*

*remembers he already owns Curse of the Moon*


538

Electoral projections (and polling study) done right.


Tina Fey, hands down.


Lovecraft is odd. I think of him as a brilliant sylist capable of shaping mood despite a propensity for literary curlicues, but utter poop at characterization and plot. But for ambience and evoking the style of an earlier time? Marvelous. Clearly, his world building makes him a seminal figure for its impact on future authors. Still, I'd rather read Derleth. For me, who reads for character and plot, Lovecraft is a slog.

Despite the power of Tower of the Elephant, I had to put Howard down. I couldn't take, what I percieve to be, the racism. Every model woman is "ivory" or "alabaster" skinned. Every villain is dark skinned. The more evil, the darker the skin. For real. Every sexually promsicuous evil woman is "dusky". If anyone ever did a count I guarantee on a per page basis, Howard has used the word "dusky" more frequently than any author in history.

Gor - poop. Fun for some, I'm sure, and not to knock anyone's fun. As William James said, we're all entitled to moral and mental vacations. Still, for me, it's poop.

Merrit and Moore are marvelous.

Love me some Poul Anderson.

For some reason I've just never gotten into Moorcock. Never worked for me. Not Elric. Not any of it. Too fever-dreamy for me at times, and there's a sparseness to his prose that prevents me from immersing myself into the book. Don't know why, but he just leaves me flat. Loved his critical book, Wizadry and Wild Romance, though.

I think I suggested this one once before: H. Beam Piper's The Cosmic Computer. Goofy title, rocking tale!

What about the, arguably, first western fantasy novel, Eddings' The Worm Orobus? We're talking late 19th century, IIRC. That's a cool one. Saw it in print not long ago, so I don't know what the deal is.


Aberzombie wrote:

This seems like as good a place as any for this:

My wife's grandmother (87 years old) was recently put in a home. As they were cleaning out her house (where she has lived since around 1940), they foudna box full of her husband's old sci-fi books. I never met the man (he died when my wife was a kid), but he seems to have been a big genre fan.

Anyway, my wife's family asked me if I wanted the books, and I agreed to take them all. The only thing I know about the books so far is that they were likely printed during the 60's and 70's (maybe a few from the 50's). We are driving down to New Orleans for Christmas this year, and I'll be picking up the books and bringing them back to Philly with me.

After I go through the books, I plan to post a list of them here.

Neat. I look forward to the list. Sorry about your wife's grandmother. Taking care of our elder familiy members can be so tough on everyone.


Blue Tyson wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:
Christian Johnson wrote:

Poul Anderson -- The Broken Sword

Poul Anderson -- Three Hearts and Three Lions

I must confess that I am not a huge fan of Poul Anderson. His work just doesn't sing to me, but then I will admit that I have not read Three Hearts and Three Lions and I've mostly focused on other stuff like Virgin Planet, which I found disappointing.

I am not the biggest fan of Anderson's fantasy, either, does lack that primal something.

What would probably fit best is the adventures of Terran Super Agent Dominic Flandry - but I am pretty sure Baen will be doing those with the rest, too. If you haven't read one, those are worth a go.

Never got into the Flandry stuff and, agreed, Anderson is uneven. But when he's hot he's the hottest. His, The High Crusade, remains an all time favortie of mine. The High Crusade


Blue Tyson wrote:
delabarre wrote:

Hmm, also how about Tully Zetford's "Ryder Hook" series -- Whirlpool of Stars, The Boosted Man, Star City, and the Virility Gene.

Also Mark Ramsay's "Falcon" (Draco de Montfalcon) series -- The Falcon Strikes, The Black Pope, The Bloody Cross, and The King's Treasure.

I've read a couple of those Ryder Hook books. Right sort of crazy stuff, but they don't deserve republishing, ever. :)

I've never come across one of the Falcon books, would like to.

Finally found one of David C. Smith's Sword and Sorcery books a while ago. Anyone else read these?

I have, and they were quite interesting if I recall. Somehow, though, I think I read 2 parts of a 3 part series. Must...jog...memory.


groovista wrote:

Some other notions:

Philip Jose Farmer's excellent Burroughsian works "Hadon of Ancient Opar" and "Flight from Opar", which DAW published many years ago with luscious Roy Krenkel covers and some cool maps.

Stanley G. Weinbaum - EVERYTHING...

What about a groovy eye-candy book of the Pulp Solar System?

Those Opar books rocked! I'm not sure if it's in or out of print, and its not pulp era, but Farmer's Three Hawks from Earth was also an excellent goes-to-other-worlds, pulp-style work.


Shade wrote:

A buddy of mine just loaned me Lyndon Hardy's "Master of the Five Magics". This is a pretty good fantasy read with an interesting take on magic, and it appears to be out of print since 1988. He wrote two follow-ups, "Secret of the Sixth Magic" and "Riddle of the Seven Realms". I haven't read them yet, but they also appear to be out of print for over a decade.

Those were great!

Here's a little fantasy gem that I bet no one has heard of: Darkworld Detective. My brother and I read this to each other on a trip cross country almost 25 years ago. Then I found a copy in that giant used book complex in Portland OR (name escapes me), and re-read it with trepidation. Many things of towering childhood memory are not as good the second time 'round.

It was better! No dissapointment.


roguerouge wrote:
A comedy.

Comedy is hard. Great idea!


Eric Hinkle wrote:

Just asking -- has anyone actually bought this book? I mean to get a copy for myself, and I'd like to know just what it's like.

I am intrigued by the inclusion of some very obscure werewolf lore in it (the Benandante, the Vargamor wolf-witches, the vaguely Roman cult of Lupercus, etc.) but I would like to know if it covers the use of werewolves as PCs, and if so, then how good a job does it do?

It'd also be interesting if Sean Reynolds weighed in because I know he was working up some killer werewolf stuff himself.


For me, the opportunity to live the books I love so much and to craft such stories with friends. What can I say? Love it.


What Darrin said! I love this software.


Charles Evans 25 wrote:

Interestingly, the stock markets today seem more concerned about splits in Europe than that US the bailout plan was voted through, and continue to fall. I can't say if the fall would have been worse, however, if the US bailout hadn't gone through.

Edit:
*Link to BBC news item*

Next stop? Dow 8000!


Lou wrote:
CourtFool wrote:

IBT

Oh, and while I am here, I might as well mention how disappointed I am in both campaigns for going down this path.
Ditto. It's stupid and disgusting.

And PS, according to Wikipedia, the discussion in this thread mischaracterizes this Ayers dude.

Wiki on Ayers and Ayers-Obama

And really, Obama was 8 years old (or thereabouts) when Ayers was being a crazy radical. Whether or not you believe in personal redemption, and whether or not you believe this Ayers person has become a more reasonable adult who regrets his past actions -- if not the desire to end the Vietnam War -- are you really going to attack Obama because they were on a few Illinois philanthropic boards together, had coffee, and an early Obama campaign accepted a $200 donation?

Look, I know for some of you Obama represents the pinnacle of antithesis to every principle you hold dear, and those are just the colored glasses you wear.

But really, this is just silly. Silly, desperate, and dirty politics.


CourtFool wrote:

IBT

Oh, and while I am here, I might as well mention how disappointed I am in both campaigns for going down this path.

Ditto. It's stupid and disgusting.


James Jacobs wrote:

Below: You'll never look at manta rays the same. Also notable for being a submarine movie that doesn't steal every plot point from Das Boot.

Rogue: Best humans vs. crocodile movie ever.

Black Water: Second best humans vs. crocodile movie ever.

Awesome! My wife loves "water animal vs. man" and "mass panic" movies. We're constantly being bamboozled by the sci-fi channel as a result. Can't ever find enough good ones.


houstonderek wrote:

income level doesn't determine the risk level, per se. the groundrules for sound lending are as follows (for mortgages): can you afford 20% down up front? does the property you wish to buy exceed three times your annual income? will the mortgage payments + property taxes exceed 35% of your monthly income?

if the prospective borrower cannot say yes to #1, and cannot say no to #'s 2 and 3, they should not qualify for a home loan. the problem wasn't poor people buying homes, the problem was lenders approving loans for houses they couldn't afford. the same happened at higher income levels, as well. speculators getting loans for $750k homes when they only earned $60k a year. and, yes, legislation passed under carter and clinton exasperated this by forcing banks to make unwise loans (fannie and freddie were the most aggressive about this, btw).

the problems arise when politicians use income level and ethnicity as weapons (class and race warfare) to keep other politicians from pushing unpopular, but fiscally sound, legislation, and from keeping private enterprises from practicing fiscal responsibility.

I understand the loan underwriting criteria. And what you're saying here is part of what I'm getting at. Some people on these and other threads have stated that giving loans to poor people, the inherently risky people, caused this problem.

The fact that risky loans were written to all different income levels is exactly what I'm getting at. I don't think any legislation forced banks to make unwise loans. I think they were incentivized to do so. Are you sure they had to make bad loans or be in violation of the law? If so (and it may be), that's also a reason supporting at least a partial bank bailout: if we the people, through congress, forced them to make bad loans, then we the people, through congress, should help them face the consequences.

I strongly doubt anyone was forced to practice fiscal irresponsibility. I rather suspect they were enticed to, and they put their desire to earn money ahead of their fear of loosing it. Maybe I'm wrong. Do you have a specific law in mind?


David Fryer wrote:
David Fryer wrote:


3) What is the most important American value? (By value, I mean what parts of the American ideal should we promote?)

4) What should be the focus of American Foreign policy?

1) Which is more important for a fair society, an equal starting point or an equal outcome? (I define fair as everyone getting an equal chance)

Hopefully that should clear up the vaugness, I should never post and watch football at the same time, especilly when the Bears are trouncing the Eagles.

Hate to do this to you, my man, because I feel your spirit of open inquiry here, but what does "promote" mean? I'm not sure it would be ethical to promote values on anyone.

The focus of American Foreign policy should be national security through membership in good standing with the international community, first, and other methods second. Since we're all in this 'living on the planet' thing together, healthy, fair, win-win relations with all our neighbors are a priority. Not that you don't hunt criminals down like dogs when necessary, either, and not to say you don't defend yourself from assault with as much force as needed.


pres man wrote:
Lou wrote:
The 'poor' make a convenient scapegoat, especially when the alternatives might reflect on ourselves.
Talk about a gross oversimplification. LOL

Did you make a gross oversimplification that I called you on? I'm guessing yes. IIRC.

Dude - the paragraph begins with "I suspect...", throws out some speculation, identified as such, and asks what people think of this.

Your contribution is that you consider it a gross oversimplification. Ok. Noted. Not sure what's so funny, though.


Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
Well, we're all doomed. I'm going to stock up on tinned food.

And get a carry permit and a few shotguns.


Kruelaid wrote:
Ubermench wrote:


I hope I'm wrong but my model says without a bailout we're heading for Great Depression 2 by next year.
Well... all you need is a major drought in the breadbasket and you're good to go.

Actually the Great Depression 2 comment was me.


Lord Fyre wrote:
Lou wrote:
Aubrey the Malformed wrote:

Fundamentally, there was a failure of risk management. Fannie and Freddie went down because they were grossly undercapitalised (and allowed to be by a supine regulator and a Congress subject to fierce lobbying), as indeed were the investment banks. The investment banks failed to account for the potential losses on their portfolios and were highly geared, amplifying the problems. A system of incentives made an industry of writing loans for anyone who might come along, so they could be repackaged into securitised assets and then sold on, generating fees for those selling the loans and packaging them. And Joe Public went and borrowed like there was no tomorrow. (It is all well and good blaming banks, and they certainly have a lot of blame rightfully coming their way, but ultimately these loans have gone bad because individuals took them out without really assessing properly if they could actually pay them back.)

That's pretty spot on. I'd just add in that had the 1999 congress not passed legislation permitting the investment banks to buy up commercial bank mortgages and securitize them, we'd never have started walking down this path.
Historical question: Which party controlled Congress at the time? And did President Clinton sign or veto the legislation?

Republicans, AFIK. Clinton couldn't have vetoed or it wouldn't have happened, I'm thinking. So he must have signed it.


Vigil wrote:
Nicolas Logue wrote:

Here's some food for thought: If you divided that bailout among every American citizen of age 18 or older, it shakes out to over $250,000 per person.

f*@# the banks. Give us the f*@#ing money.

I think that's a little high.

Lets see... $700,000,000,000 / 225,746,456 (estimated US pop over 18 as of 2006) = $3,100 per person by my math.

Damn. I was hoping for $250k. Why'd you get my hopes up Logue? Damn you!

Gah - most Americans probably would have just bought trinkets and booze with that anyway.


Nicolas Logue wrote:

Here's some food for thought: If you divided that bailout among every American citizen of age 18 or older, it shakes out to over $250,000 per person.

f%~& the banks. Give us the f%~&ing money.

You know what, I could pay off a mortgage with that. Good f$%!ing idea!


NPC Dave wrote:

The Bloomberg article I mentioned about how Goldman Sachs benefited from the AIG bailout is here.

Link

Ok, I see what you mean, and I get the conspiracy angle, but I'm not really buying it. The reasons for bailing out AIG are the same for a bailout period. I have a hard time criticizing the insurance company for working like an insurance company once it could afford too to do so.

The crisis is a confidence crisis in large part. The collapse of the insurance arm would have been disastrous. It's the worlds largest insurer of such securities, with many clients. I'm sure quite a few peopel were hoping propping up AIG would be all it took to avoid this mess.

I could explain that more, but I'm going to pass. Just because someone benefits from an action doesn't mean they were behaving criminally or colluding with officials. Not that that doesn't happen either, of course.

Goldman was among the least exposed because they did things like insure what bets they made. As opposed to, say, WaMu which now doesn't exist.

Later.

Later.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Ubermench wrote:
In the 20's the banks weren’t as interconnected as they are today thus the delayed collapse also the president wasn’t allowed to close the stock market. Today the if the with the banks interconnected a total collapse would be felt immediately.
I worry a lot less about the stock market than I do about the credit market. If credit becomes hard to get, and stays that way, businesses can't borrow and end up contracting -- which means layoffs. That was the worst part of the Depression -- unemployment rates of like 80% at the peak. And that situation would mount gradually, not come all at once. A year or two from now, if we all still have jobs, we can re-convene here and breathe a sigh of relief that it was all just fear-mongering.

Bingo. Not to mention hordes of homeless folks. Haven't any of you seen Grapes of Wrath?


Ubermench wrote:
Dragnmoon wrote:
Ubermench wrote:

yet the only indication of financial melt down was the NY stock market fell about 200 points. 200 points off the stock market equates to a bad weekend of trading not the worldwide collapse of the American free market system.

It Dow fell 778 points, worse one day loss ever... About a 7% Decline, There have been higher Percentage drop before.

I stand corrected. but still not a death knell to the economy.

Thank you for the update Dragonmoon.

Any disaster that results will be lagging as the effects permutate through the economy over the next 6 months. I hope I'm wrong but my model says without a bailout we're heading for Great Depression 2 by next year.


NPC Dave wrote:
Hope you don't mind if I answer...

Nah, I don't mind. But FYI, WaMu is gone. Poof. All the assets were outright seized after a $16.9 billion bank run by people who didn't understand their deposits were/are insured up to $100k. Then the gov't sold the assets to JPMorgan Chase for $1.9bil. There are no more share prices to prop up. The stock is just a shell. The company no longer exists. It's just pending delisting and final dismantling. All the shareholders are out their investments.

Including me. :(

Here's a question: who handles FDIC insurance? Do they use AIG to underwrite that?


Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
Lou wrote:
Here's where you and I definitely agree, though: allowing the banks to think they could escape the risk of writing sooooo many s&%@ loans by selling those loans off to Fannie/Freddie and/or other securitizing buyers was a big mistake.

Fundamentally, there was a failure of risk management. Fannie and Freddie went down because they were grossly undercapitalised (and allowed to be by a supine regulator and a Congress subject to fierce lobbying), as indeed were the investment banks. The investment banks failed to account for the potential losses on their portfolios and were highly geared, amplifying the problems. A system of incentives made an industry of writing loans for anyone who might come along, so they could be repackaged into securitised assets and then sold on, generating fees for those selling the loans and packaging them. And Joe Public went and borrowed like there was no tomorrow. (It is all well and good blaming banks, and they certainly have a lot of blame rightfully coming their way, but ultimately these loans have gone bad because individuals took them out without really assessing properly if they could actually pay them back.)

That's pretty spot on. I'd just add in that had the 1999 congress not passed legislation permitting the investment banks to buy up commercial bank mortgages and securitize them, we'd never have started walking down this path.


There is a sacred cow -- or at least an assumption -- that keeps popping up, and I'd like to poke it.

The assumption is poor = bad credit risk. Specifically, poor = bad credit risk on mortgages = significant contributor to the current fiscal crisis.

I suspect this is incorrect. I haven't done the research, so I could be wrong, but here is why I'm suspicious.

DEFINITION
1. Credit risk is a relative measure, not absolute. If I lent a person who makes $10k per year (or any earnings below the poverty line) a million dollars for 30 years at 5%, that's a pretty clearly a bad risk. If I lend that same person $5.00 for 2 months, (a) it may or may not be a bad risk, but (b) it sure isn't in the same league for risk, by any measure.

QUALITY
2. How many of the mortgages made during the housing boom (or since, say, 2003) currently going into default were made to people with incomes below the poverty line? I don't know the answer. I haven't even tried to do the research, but I'd be suprised if it was a significant enough number to be the driver of the crisis and not just an amplifier.

EMOTIONAL INCENTIVE
3. I suspect there is a psychological motivation for blaming the poor; namely, its more comfortable to blame the poor than it is to blame the class of persons of which we may be a member (the middle class). I sometimes feel like this reinforces the tendency to just make assumptions about the kinds of people that poor people 'are'. The 'poor' make a convenient scapegoat, especially when the alternatives might reflect on ourselves.

And please, no statistics about crime and poverty, etc. etc. Poverty sucks. Poverty incentivizes a range of awful behaviors. Yes. But just because poverty implies an increased chance of, say, crime doesn't mean that every poor person is a criminal. Nor does it mean that the rest of us get a pass. Not poor does not imply not an increased chance of crime.

To invalidly generalize past the bounds of one's immediate experience is, by definition, just functional prejudice.

Thoughts?

PS David, this is also in earnest of giving you insight into at least one liberals underlying mindset.


Sure, I'll bite. And I'l be 100%, from the heart honest.

David Fryer wrote:

I have a few questions I would like people to answer. It might help us each understand where the others are coming from.

1) What do you see the purpose of government as being?

I'll assume you mean all three branches, collectively: to secure the public safety, defend the liberties of all citizens, and to uphold the constitution of the United States.

David Fryer wrote:
2) Who is best equipped to make decisions for the American people?

People puttering about in their gardens who are too sane to go near politics. The question as written doesn't make sense for me.

There is a legal process of representation and three branches of government which are the way decisions are made for the American people. I uphold that system as well as the established process for revising that system. I decry instantiations of that system if and when it is bent out of sync with spirit of the law or run in an illegal fashion and would look to the courts to challenge illegal or poorly written and thus abused laws.

Not sure if that answers your question, because I don't think your question conveys enough information as written.

David Fryer wrote:
3) What is the most important American value?

Define value. Seriously, I'm not sure if we define it the same way. That said, I'll answer anyway, "I may not agree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it," Which is a British paraphrase of a dead French guy, I know. So maybe something like "Freedom from all tyranny, including tyranny of the majority..." or even just "Equality before the law."

David Fryer wrote:
4) What should be the focus of American policy?

Foreign or domestic? Not that those two aren't intertwined. What kind of American policy do you mean. Sorry, really not getting the question as written. You could mean too many different things.

David Fryer wrote:
And three follow up questions for the more liberal members of our group:
David Fryer wrote:
1) Which is more important for a fair society, an equal starting point or an equal outcome?

An equal starting point, but I'm bettin we don't define 'equal' the same way.

David Fryer wrote:
2) What makes the government the best suited to handle major programs, like health care?

I'm not certain government is best suited, any more than it is 'best' suited to maintain roads; yet handled any other way, it would be a crapshoot whether our infrastructure in any given local was sound. Best is kind of a loaded word. Best of a bunch of bad to mediocre options might be more accurate. Bottom line -- because the alternatives on the table are economically incentivized against universality and equality of coverage. Everyone won't get it and it won't be fair if the federal government isn't significantly involved.

David Fryer wrote:
3) Why does raising taxes on the wealthy and buisness make good sense?

Because trickle down economics is b~$*!@~#. Because artifically bottle-necking the velocity of money in a limited segment of society through effectively over-taxing the middle and lower classes reduces inefficienies in the system thereby making wealth generation less and less possible over time. In short, not fairly taxing the wealthy kills the goose that lays the golden eggs and creates generational social stagnation, killing innovation and eventually robbing us of the benefits of capitalism. Overtime, it ceases to be capitalism, let alone free market.

Why do I say that the wealthy (however we're defining that) and businesses are taxed unfairly? Because, frankly, I own businesses and some people consider me well off (I don't), but I pretty much guarantee you that I legally and appropriately pay much, much less tax (both as a percentage and in many cases in real dollars) than many of my fellow W2 wage-earning Americans in the same economic zone.

David Fryer wrote:
I am sincerly interested in the answers, because as of now I don't understand the liberal viewpoint. My hope is that by reading your answers I will be better able understand where you are coming from, even if I don't agree with it.


David Jackson 60 wrote:
NPC Dave wrote:
You are correct that the Federal Reserve doesn't control how the money gets lent out or how it gets spent. But the business cyle you refer to, the boom and bust cycle, is caused by fractional reserve banking. Fractional reserve banking precedes the Federal Reserve, and you can trace just about every single big bust/crash in economic history since the 17th century to fractional reserve banking, with a notable exception being the Dutch tulip mania. That exception had other causes but those causes duplicated in some ways the effects of fractional reserve banking.

Would it be fair to say that Fannie and Freddie do control how the money gets lent out?

Here's a small article on how fannie and freddie might have been part of the problem. It's fairly politically charged and doesn't mention the contributing factors the republicans made to this problem, but I think the assessment of fannie and freddie, and how they helped drive the bubble is fairly accurate.

I don't know, dude. It's a reasonable thesis. But effectively underwriting an additional 12% of affordable housing crap into the mortgage market (assuming all 20% is crap, which even at, say 19%, would remains an innaccurate assumption) strikes me more like an amplifier and not a driver. The driver seems to be all the crap Fannie and Freddie bought into its portfolio, regardless of whether it was connected to affordable housing or not.

I'd have to plug numbers into a working model to be more definitive, but I don't think that the 20% of its portoflio supporting affordable housing initiatives can really be the core cause of the problem.

Here's where you and I definitely agree, though: allowing the banks to think they could escape the risk of writing sooooo many s++& loans by selling those loans off to Fannie/Freddie and/or other securitizing buyers was a big mistake.

EDIT: I take that back, I misread. Your article says 20% of all loans in the US were subprime or alt-a by 2006. Is that right? It seems low.

Anyway, does anyone have real figures on what percentage of the loans Fannie and Freddie purchased and securitized were subprime/alt-a by definition? And further what % of those were in turn tied to houses and buyers that are properly categorized as coming under "affordable housing" initiatives? And lastly what % fannie/freddie represent of the total mortgage backed securities market?

These are the numbers wer really need to start getting a true handle on how much a the political drive to provide affordable housing really contributed to the collapse.

My gut has no doubt there was a contribution, but without those numbers anyone (not David Jackson 60) claiming either that affordable housing 'caused' the collapse, or, conversely, that it had no role is just blowing smoke.


pres man wrote:
LOL, do some reading up on what actually was the root cause of the situation. It wasn't "Conservative Free Marketeers", it was the socialist "Let's put everyone in a house, even if they can't afford it" legislation. It is funny that you seem to try and blame the conservatives for the bail out when it is house republicans who are fighting it, against the president and against the democrats.

Please dude. This is such a gross oversimplification, I almost don't know where to begin. Big, big posts on this over here:

$700 Billion


NPC Dave wrote:
Lou wrote:


6. The fact that the fed reduces the fed funds rate on any given day, incentivizing banks to inject more money in to the economy doesn't dictate how that money gets leant or spent. To say the Fed caused a tech stock bubble is, to my mind, a drammatic oversimplification and an innacurate blame-shifting to a (by and large) poorly understood but essential financial oversight agency.

7. 'Fiat' money is one of those terms that raises my eyebrow. It reads to me like loaded jargon that helps beg the question. Just because more credit is available, doesn't automatically mean it will be poorly invested. Nor does it necessarily mean businesses will overborrow, which term by the way would be circularly defined if 'overborrow' means 'borrow in a way that is bad borrowing'. Borrowing is and has been the fundamental driver of GDP growth for decades. It can only be bad after the fact, if indeeed an investment decision was poor. Lots of borrowing by businesses helps businesses expand and create jobs.

8. Increased credit is an inflationary pressure, but that's not always a bad thing. Sometimes it is. Sometimes its not. It's more like surfing than binary switches.

9. Here's where I really disagree with your characterizations: managing the business cycle by throttling open credit and throttling back credit in response to the economies changing need isn't, to my mind, 'papering over'. It's one of the primary tools used to prevent the economy from overheating or collapsing. Keeping the business cycle narrow, manageable, and not overly inflationary or deflationary is one of the primary functions of the fed. Not some game they're pulling off or wool that they're yanking over our eyes. To say, perjoratively, that they are 'papering over' a problem when they use their primary tool for coping with such problems seems flat out wrong to me.

10. The business cycle, so far in modern economic history, is an ongoing, recurring thing. It'll get bad and it'll get worse, to say that they successfully managed things in...

Hey NPC Dave, I'm going to drop this thread of discussion. I almost completely disagree with you and the articles you cited on the origins of the business cycle. In short, the depository structure, in my model, acts as an amplifying factor at certain threshold junctures. Even a runaway amplifying factor, but within structured parameters there are no significant problems. In my model, depository structure is not the driving cause of the business cycle.

But I think you gathered by now we don't subscribe to the same economic paradigm.

That said, I don't think a debate on the origin of the business cycle would be useful for this thread -- or something I have the time to pursue.

So, without conceding the point, I'd like to agree to disagree.

Later!


David Fryer wrote:
Satan 666 wrote:

Bet nobody's been talking about this...

...and this....

Hmmm... not getting my vote!

Let me ask this. How does this differ from the pastors that supported Obama and the racist anti-American statements that they made? You cannot put Palin in that Church when he said those things, so she should be given a pass, just like Obama was given a pass on Jeremiah Wright.

What do you mean? The video shows her in the church as he says Jesus will repudiate witchcraft of every kind...make a way for Sarah..."

I'll consider giving her a pass when she repudiates him. And yes, like Obama, she can take her sweet time about it.

Wright is an evil bastard in my book, and Obama's refusal to repudiate him sooner the biggest reason I have not to vote for him. Palin, however? Oh. My. God.


houstonderek wrote:
P.H. Dungeon wrote:
We get taxed pretty high in Canada, but I don't begrudge the taxes I pay. I work in the education system and I see the benefits of having it sufficiently funded. Having a strong education system and strong social programs builds a strong and healthy community and society, and to do that I feel we all have to contribute.

i get the impression, though, that your government may be a bit more discriminate in how it spends and is mindful of waste, unless i'm quite mistaken. in the states, however, much of our tax revenue is pi$$ed away by bureaucracy and waste. i don't mind kicking in a few bucks for roads and cops and helping kids and stuff, but i really DO mind wasteful spending.

and i'm still waiting to hear from the american lefties on the tax refund/deductions challenge. if you think high taxes are such a great idea, volunteer your money first. i'll respect you and your positions more :)

Damn. There I was all up on my high horse, and you had to go and post something reasonable like this. Gah. What's a liberal to do these days without an unreasonable straw man?!

Damn, you man!

:)


houstonderek wrote:

i have a question. with all of the talk of government funded programs going around, why do people, especially politicians, think they have a right to my money?

and a serious question to liberals who think taxing me to fund your programs is a wonderful idea: will you put your money where your collective mouths are and forego tax refunds for the rest of your lives? and tax deductions? show me with YOUR money that you're serious about your programs.

I do put my money where my mouth is. I pay taxes. I'm willing to pay more taxes if the money will tend (since 'tend' in the American system that's all we've got) to go toward what I believe. That's why I back certain candidates and not others. What's this stuff about foregoing tax refunds and deductions for "the rest of my life"? Who ever suggested that? That's just hyperbole.

As far as having a 'right' to your money, in a (relatively) democratic society that has a process to impose tax that involves elected representatives, I'm not sure precisely what it is your upset about.

Afterall, I don't hear you complaining about roads, clean water, police departments, fire departments, and all the other things on which taxes are spent -- as levied by the same processes -- and from which you benefit.

If you've got a different pardigm for taxation in mind, dude, then trot it out (probably in its own thread), but to look at the national taxation process, vilify some class of people who advocate for programs you don't, and declare that its all about this sort of subclass (the kind that won't put its money where its mouth is) feeling it has an (incorrect) right to your money -- don't you think that's a gross mischaracterization of the way taxation works?


The Runner wrote:
Fatespinner wrote:
Okay, so you're looking to run NEW WoD Werewolf (Forsaken) set in the Old West, not OLD WoD Werewolf: The Wild West, correct? That should be interesting.
Yeah, and it's definitely something that I still want to do, but for the time being I got talked into running serenity RPG instead. (nWoD)WW:WW is still a project I definitely want to do but has been demoted to back burner.

ohmigod. I want to play this. Then I want you to run New WoD Werewolf (Forsaken) set in the serenity universe.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Brent wrote:
Good stuff!
Yes! I'm not the only one who sees absolutely no conflict between evolution and a God (or gods, if you prefer).

Ditto!


David Fryer wrote:
Here is one thing to consider. Chris Dodd, the chairman of the Senate Banking Comittee is pushing for big bailouts for homeowners. Who holds most of those mortgages right now? Freddie and Fannie. Chris Dodd is also the biggest recipent of donations from Freddie and Fannie. Of course with Freddie and Fannie's bailout, the government is now the major stockholder in those bad mortgages, so the majority of the mortgage bailout money will go to Freddie and Fannie, which in turn means the money goes back to the government. If you thought the bailout package was convaluted before, wait until the government starts paying itself money to cover bad mortgages.

Damn skippy. And its tough because that complexity needs to be hit head on. Oversimplification and those who would use it to take advantage of an under-informed electorate (and hell, lets face it - most of us are uniformed when it comes to this stuff, and I include myself of course) could ruin our lives for decades to come.

Especially if we allow [i]anyone's[i] sound bite renditions prompt us to get vocal on our congresspeople. Not that anyone here has been dishing out soundbites. Its just so difficult and so hard to be informed on such a complex topic -- that, as David pointed out, continues to grow more complex while we watch -- and so vital that we advocate through our representatives on an informed basis.

I also agree that economics and finance should absolutely be a part of our high school curricula, nation wide.


Moff Rimmer wrote:
QXL99 wrote:
Driving this past weekend, I've heard ads from a mortgage bank offering sub-prime home loans. Proof that people don't learn...
Lou wrote:
Maybe, maybe not. 'sub-prime' technically just means below the prime rate (typically the WSJ Prime Rate). It doesn't necessarily mean they are offering below prime rates to people who are sh*tty loan risks. That's become kind of a slang usage for 'sub-prime' since many banks, in the past, did just that.

Not as far as I know. I've been in mortgage lending for 10 years so this topic hits very close to home for me.

"Sub-Prime" loans have pretty much nothing to do with the Prime rate. For that matter, Prime rate almost has nothing to do with mortgage loans (directly) aside from HELOCs. Prime rate is a (somewhat) arbitrary number that the Federal Government comes up with that is directly related to the rate at which they lend to financial institutions. Mortgage rates are much more determined by the popularity (plus or minus) of Mortgage Backed Securities on Wall Street. "Prime Loans" are essentially "A-Paper" loans or loans that can be sold directly to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and/or GNMA (FHA and VA loans). There are certain things that they look for to approve these loans -- years employed at the same job, debt to income ratio, financial reserves, etc. -- pretty much anything outside of those guidelines became "sub-prime". (Jumbo loans are kind of outside this.)

Subprime loans aren't necessarily "bad" -- they are just higher risk. Someone with a financial disaster with medical bills, a self-employed borrower, etc. Part of the problem with this whole thing is that these loans were serious money makers -- in (at least) two ways. 1) Because they are higher risk, the interest rates can be higher -- often times much higher -- so investors were very interested in getting a higher return on their dollar. and 2) Because they weren't as highly regulated as standard FNMA and Freddie products, it was easier to get people qualified...

You're dead right. I had my terminology mixed up. Thanks!


NPC Dave wrote:
Lou wrote:
NPC Dave wrote:

There certainly is plenty of blame to go around for both Democrats and Republicans. But keep in mind that more so than a political point of view, it is the underlying system that is the problem.

So even though "politicaly correct" mortgage law was passed around 2003 to require more bank loans to people that were more likely to be poor and more likely to default, political correctness was not the sole motivation.

What law are you talking about? Are you talking about expansion of the FHA?

I am talking about the Community Reinvestment Act, which was changed in 2005, not 2003 as I guessed earlier.

Lou wrote:


NPC Dave wrote:


The essential motivation was that the Federal Reserve was desperate to paper over the last big bubble, which was the tech stock crash in 2000. During the late 90s the Federal Reserve created a stock market bubble which eventually crashed. At that point, the economy was poised to tip over into a recession. Greenspan cranked out even more fiat money, and managed to get the economy racing again, but at the cost of creating an even bigger bubble, this time in real estate.

Bunch of things in here, I don't get NPC Dave.

How did the fed create a stock market bubble?

Why does the fed care about a past bubble?

Why do they want to 'paper' it over? What does that even mean?

The federal reserve isn't on the hook for stock market performance, nor are they politically accountable in that way, AFIK.

Fiat money? What was that? Do you mean treasury bonds?

No, I am not talking about treasury bonds. I am talking about the Federal Reserve either printing money for nothing, or issuing electronic digital money to banks, which can then loan it out. Fractional reserve lending makes money multiply through borrowing.

In the 1990s, the internet and tech stocks were the hot thing. This newly created money was lent to capital investment groups and funds which began bidding up prices for these...

Great. Thanks NPC Dave. That was a much more cogent statement of your position. I still disagree on various aspects of your intepretation, but it doesn't sound like hoo-ha to me any more.

Here's where I'm not fully on board with your analysis (Spoiled because it got stupid long again):

Spoiler:

1. I don't think the Community Reinvestment Act funneled enough money to be significant contributer to this problem; so the characterization of 'politically correct' laws favoring the poor as the root cause of the meltdown still strikes me as grandstanding at worse and a misconception at best. I'm looking at congressional deregualtion of investment banks in 1999 as the contributing regulatory cause. Stupid big post early explaining why I think that.

2. AFIK, the Federal reserve doesn't print money.

3. The Federal reserve, as we both discussed, sets the overnight and fed funds rates. Here's a link to the full deal for those who are interested: The Fed

4. The Federal Reserve also manages and participates in an open market around reserve balances, usually lending to banks overnight so they can make their reserve requirements levels. Here's the details for the mentally hardy: Fed Lending. The Fed also trades in securities to keep the reserve market essentially a 0 sum game.

5. Nothing makes money multiply. I find your word choice confusing, sorry. I'm in total agreement that lowering the fed funds rate (using a variety of tools) gooses the banks in the sense that they will lend more if they know its cheaper to cover their bets with central bank loans at the end of the day. And yes, this in turn is an inflationary pressure because it increases the money supply. We agree on that.

Fed Funds and Reserve lending does not increase the money supply on its own; though, again, I agree it can affect the velocity of money and have an inflationary effect.

6. The fact that the fed reduces the fed funds rate on any given day, incentivizing banks to inject more money in to the economy doesn't dictate how that money gets leant or spent. To say the Fed caused a tech stock bubble is, to my mind, a drammatic oversimplification and an innacurate blame-shifting to a (by and large) poorly understood but essential financial oversight agency.

7. 'Fiat' money is one of those terms that raises my eyebrow. It reads to me like loaded jargon that helps beg the question. Just because more credit is available, doesn't automatically mean it will be poorly invested. Nor does it necessarily mean businesses will overborrow, which term by the way would be circularly defined if 'overborrow' means 'borrow in a way that is bad borrowing'. Borrowing is and has been the fundamental driver of GDP growth for decades. It can only be bad after the fact, if indeeed an investment decision was poor. Lots of borrowing by businesses helps businesses expand and create jobs.

8. Increased credit is an inflationary pressure, but that's not always a bad thing. Sometimes it is. Sometimes its not. It's more like surfing than binary switches.

9. Here's where I really disagree with your characterizations: managing the business cycle by throttling open credit and throttling back credit in response to the economies changing need isn't, to my mind, 'papering over'. It's one of the primary tools used to prevent the economy from overheating or collapsing. Keeping the business cycle narrow, manageable, and not overly inflationary or deflationary is one of the primary functions of the fed. Not some game they're pulling off or wool that they're yanking over our eyes. To say, perjoratively, that they are 'papering over' a problem when they use their primary tool for coping with such problems seems flat out wrong to me.

10. The business cycle, so far in modern economic history, is an ongoing, recurring thing. It'll get bad and it'll get worse, to say that they successfully managed things in 2001 by staving off a recession and that those "staving off" actions a return of recession later? Nah. Not buying it. One can over throttle credit and under throttle credit. One can over regulate the use of credit and under regulate it. But the recessionary cycle is coming round, regardless.

I might be more inclined to agree with the statement that excessive availability of credit made this recessionary cycle more difficult than anticipated to counter. However, the active deregulation of the use of that credit, allowed components and agents within the financial
system to compromise the integrity of the entire system.

11. The fed doesn't issue money when they make a loan. The fed moves the pile of deposits, that banks put into it, from bank to bank, usually on an overnight basis. It's not new money.

Banks who know its cheaper to cover their (usually overnight) loan reserve requirements by borrowing from the central bank will tend to lend more money instead of retaining it. Sometimes lots of lending. This is not new money. It's an increase in circulation/velocity and available supply but not 'new'. Not 'new' in the "the mint printed more" sense. Also the money released into circulation by the Fed creating a more favorable lending spread usually goes into low-liquidity applications -- like houses or factories. For example, moving it from a bank vault to a house. But not leaving it circulating around the economy. This tends to minimize inflationary effects. Not elimintate them, sure, but its easy to overstate the issue.

Now, when commercial banks allow instruments like HELCs or 'financing out' we can see inflationary problems. And yes, if the feds response is to lower again and this really was the primary driver of inflation, that can be a mistake and a bad cycle.

But the factors affecting inflation at any one time are multitude. And they push both up and down. To talk as if the fed funds rate and commerical bank lending are the only factors in balancing inflation -- or even the most important -- is just innacurate, because the weighted significance of the various important factors changes month to month.

It requires ongoing management, not a snapshot.

12. I don't see Goldman's and Morgan's becoming commerical banks as a bailout, at all. Also the article didn't say anything about either institution swapping 'bad investments'. If you've another article around, I'd like to see that, too. Also, Goldman and Morgan are stil laround because they don't have that kind of bad investment exposure.

And just pointing to an increase in the stock price as proof of collusion is, I think, not enough. The stock took a hit because the whole finance sector took a hit. Any company that gets a new source of revenue will see its price go up. So what?

There are lots of other reasons it makes sense to have Goldman and Morgan become bank holding companys. Ways that are good for the US financial system but outside both banks investment models. Including the fact that they'll then be regulated in their ability to invest or handle mortgages related lending and mortgage backed securities. I'd have to check my news files but I'm pretty sure of the two Goldman has never wanted to be a commercial bank and Morgan has.

It's hard to tell from the Bloomberg article precisely which kinds of 'direct loans from the central bank' G & M now have access to. Some of it sounds like standard depository overnight lending. It also sounds like some of the temporary emergency loans for commercial banks may now be on the table for them. Which makes sense if they are becoming commercial banks (in part).

You may be right in that this was just an illegal move to prop up Goldman's stock price at worst, or a 'kill two birds' move (one of which is illegal) at best. But neither firm was suffering in a way that required a bailout, and making the two institutions that didn't buy into this MBS/subprime mess take on the task of keeping standard deposit banks alive and well, may also not be a bad thing for we average Americans. I don't think the Bloomberg article alone gives enough information to say, definitively.

13. AFIK there is no law that says the Fed must be the 'lender of last resort'. That has simply been the practice, by and large (though not always -- S&L, for example). The Feds mandate (to oversimplify) is to protect the health of the American financial system. If the health of the financial system is at risk, stepping in before bankruptcy is exactly what the Fed is mandated to do, because bankruptcy is precisely the risk to the health of the system.

I don't think one can fairly make generalized statements like this. The particulars of any given threat must be assessed on their own merits. Problems like this always have strongly unique and specific components.

14. I just don't see Paulson trying to prop up prices. Prices of what? Milk? Share prices in companies? Morgan and Goldman definitely hadn't lost trillions. Lehman went into the tank. Poof. Bear Sterns is gone, acquired. Nothing there to prop up. WaMu is on the block.

15. Once again, what's this 'taxpayers' throwing money anywhere? Where is the plan that says, "hey you, living over there, pay more taxes?" I haven't heard concrete word one on a plan to finance this with taxes.

What I have heard is Bernacke (sp?) tell congress he has the powers to write up to $800 billion ($100 billion over the bailout amount - $20 billion over if you take out the AIG commitment) in Treasury bills. I have heard about putting Goldman and Morgan in a position to maintain deposit accounts, buy up failing banks, etc. -- which probably involves a conflict of interest for Paulson but certainly benefits the average American and lightens the pressure on the fed.

And I have heard the speculation that if the government buys the mortgage backed securities and housing prices never come back, then the government will have spent, say, $10 for something that winds up being worth $5. Then they characterized that $5 loss as a money the American taxpayers lost. On which I call BS, since we only lost it if we paid for it with tax money as opposed to, say, t-bill money (t-bill interest payments being covered by treasury investments of a portion of the principal).

Moreover, if it were to come down to it that a portion of t-bill interest on the $700 billion had to be paid for with tax money, then (a) that doesn't need to result in a tax increase. It might. But it certainly doesn't need to be, and (b) that's interest payments over 30 years, a much much easier burden for the economy and the taxpayer to bear and (c) in this hypothetical scenario we're talking about a portion of the interest on a portion of the value, over 30 years; so definitely a much lower figure.

But the notion that housing prices won't go back up in the next 30 years, jamming the Gov't with write-downs is pretty ludicrous. Its part of the exact same thinking that got us into this mess in the first places: replace "prices will always go up" with "prices will never go up". Prices always go up and down.

This is a solution the US government can afford -- without taking a dime out of yours or my pockets.

16. I can't agree with you. Characterizing the situation as choice between letting unspecified company's fail or having a depression/recession is just not correct, IMO. My understanding of the complex American financial system is that letting the company's holding the nations mortgage backed securities out-and-out fail (go bankrupt) is exactly what will cause a depression.


Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
Lou wrote:
a huge post full of fascinating well thought out points
Really interesting. Thanks.

No sweat. Thanks to you for actually reading all that!


QXL99 wrote:
Driving this past weekend, I've heard ads from a mortgage bank offering sub-prime home loans. Proof that people don't learn...

Maybe, maybe not. 'sub-prime' technically just means below the prime rate (typically the WSJ Prime Rate). It doesn't necessarily mean they are offering below prime rates to people who are sh*tty loan risks. That's become kind of a slang usage for 'sub-prime' since many banks, in the past, did just that.


David Fryer wrote:
Here is a site dedicated to liberal evangelicals. Furthermore, I found this quote in an article written about how liberals and evangelicals can and should work together.

Well, now I've read about some. Thanks for the link. It'll be interesting to read more about these folks.


NPC Dave wrote:

There certainly is plenty of blame to go around for both Democrats and Republicans. But keep in mind that more so than a political point of view, it is the underlying system that is the problem.

So even though "politicaly correct" mortgage law was passed around 2003 to require more bank loans to people that were more likely to be poor and more likely to default, political correctness was not the sole motivation.

What law are you talking about? Are you talking about expansion of the FHA?

NPC Dave wrote:


The essential motivation was that the Federal Reserve was desperate to paper over the last big bubble, which was the tech stock crash in 2000. During the late 90s the Federal Reserve created a stock market bubble which eventually crashed. At that point, the economy was poised to tip over into a recession. Greenspan cranked out even more fiat money, and managed to get the economy racing again, but at the cost of creating an even bigger bubble, this time in real estate.

Bunch of things in here, I don't get NPC Dave.

How did the fed create a stock market bubble?

Why does the fed care about a past bubble?

Why do they want to 'paper' it over? What does that even mean?

The federal reserve isn't on the hook for stock market performance, nor are they politically accountable in that way, AFIK.

Fiat money? What was that? Do you mean treasury bonds? They tend to reduce the money supply if bought locally. Greenspan, of course, doesn't print money or issue credit. He did reduce the overnight lending rate so commercial banks could help each other cover any shortfalls in deposit retention compliance. Overnight. And he lowered the fed funds rate, making cheaper credit available to businesses. That was an inflation fighting move and had a tendency to create jobs. But it didn't make credit available to individual borrowers, and AFIK the investment banking world wasn't borrowing from the commercial banking world to finance securitization; so, again, I'm not seeing the Greenspan connection, here.

How do you think treasury bonds caused the real estate bubble?

NPC Dave wrote:


At some point, there was so much credit available that there were no longer enough home buyers to lend to, there was more credit than borrowers that qualified.

The solution, "Well, since we already lent money to everyone who could afford it, let's start lending money to people who can't. They are an untapped pool."

That worked, for awhile, with real estate prices approaching fairyland in some places, until the bubble burst again. Defaults start to knock holes in banks that overlent, and now things are crashing again.

Sort of. A sudden revaluation in prices started to knock holes in everything that had incorporated a mortgage backed security (which means pretty much everything, including retirement funds and 401Ks) and commercial banks started getting holes in the mortgage portfolios they suddenly couldn't sell off. Commercial banks could lend more, not so much because they had more to lend, but because they could (for a time) reliably sell off their mortgages onto the secondary market, thus sidestepping the regulatory restrictions on loan volume and loan quantity put in place, post Great Depression. The commercial banks had a suddenly expanded market to sell off into, in part due to congressional deregulation of investment banking in 1999.

NPC Dave wrote:


Right now Paulson is saying that we can talk reform later, first we have an emergency to bail out. Don't believe him. First, he is obviously making a power grab to bail out his peers(he is the former CEO of Goldman Sachs) without having to answer to the rest of the government. Second, no one wanted to talk reform when Ron Paul raised these issues during the Presidential primaries. If this bailout passes Paulson and the White House will try and kill any reform by claiming the crisis is passed and it is time to move forward.

Goldman isn't in a crisis or getting a bailout, last I heard. In fact, they're one of the two remaining investment banking firms that largely rejected mortgage backed securities as a bad investment, and they are as financially healthy as they've ever been. Paulson being their ex-CEO is a mark in favor of his acumen, in my book. But since Goldman don't benefit from a bailout, I'm not sure what power grab you're talking about.

If you mean his power to finance a bailout to begin with, the fed and treasury have had that power for decades.

Regardless, you seem to want to let the entire US economy go up in flames. possibly dragging the world enconomy down into Great Depression 2s-ville, because the goverment pledging money to shore up confidence may mean no banking reform in the future? In short, hold the economy hostage to future reforms? That doesn't seem right.

No, let me restate - that would be an effing disaster. And we'd all suffer.

NPC Dave wrote:


They make money on the system at the expense of the rest of us. They don't want that system to change, they want to paper things over and get back to bilking us and then cash out before the whole thing crashes again even harder a couple of years or so down the line. Don't let them, call your congressman today and tell them to oppose this.

Which "they" are you talking about?

What criteria are you using to seperate "us" from "them"?

How do you know which Paizoan is a "them"?

How are "they" making an unethical or illegal buck off of "us"? For example the supermarket makes money at my expense every week, so I figure that's not quite what you mean.

What "whole thing" do you mean will crash again in a couple of years?

How is the bailout bilking us, if its funded with fed treasury bonds?

It's likely the new fed treasury bonds will be bought with overseas capital and, if not, act in a deflationary capacity. So what specific provision of the not-yet-finalized bailout should I tell my congressman is "bilking" me?

Not trying to be a d*ck, but I'm having trouble parsing your post.

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