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 Post subject: Re: Please dont put another Moron in the White House
PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:31 am 
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Quote:
"since ever"


"since ever" as an answer on its own makes perfect sense even though "forever" would be the "correct" answer, "ever since" would be an alternative as well but is also not a "correct" phrase.

I assume that if it were to be translated into Italian "since ever" would be more correct than "ever since" due to the word ordering in Classical languages like Italian vs English.

Either way this is way off topic and I will not complain as English is not your first language, and many people who use English as their first language use the phrase "since ever" as an answer on its own anyway, so you are forgiven :wink:


Andy

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 Post subject: Re: Please dont put another Moron in the White House
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:12 am 
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telling people from other countries to mind their own business when it comes to US politics is the ultimate example of the pot calling the kettle black. all we do as americans is stick out fat noses in other countries business and insist its our way or the highway.

with the US somehow being the defacto world police, (and world currency for now) other countries should get to vote in our elections and should not be told to stay out of our decisions or discussions.

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 Post subject: Re: Please dont put another Moron in the White House
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:59 am 
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xan_user wrote:
telling people from other countries to mind their own business when it comes to US politics is the ultimate example of the pot calling the kettle black. all we do as americans is stick out fat noses in other countries business and insist its our way or the highway.

with the US somehow being the defacto world police, (and world currency for now) other countries should get to vote in our elections and should not be told to stay out of our decisions or discussions.

I would disagree with that. The US is often criticized for supporting dictatorships, when all we are doing are respecting the current government. Obviously, when a dictatorship gets out of control and threatens other nations, then that becomes everyone's problem and interference is sometimes required. Often we are dammed if we do, and dammed if we don't. It is a difficult tightrope.

I do think that the US gets in involved in the politics of democratic countries, especially in Europe. However, I as a citizen may not want to buy goods made in some other country (as is often the case when others look at US made goods), but that is not same as getting involved in other country's politics. Interestingly, the left wing anti-globalization people feel the same way about global trade.

Not wanting to do business with someone, or not wanting to give them free gifts for some reason, is not exactly the same as getting involved in their politics IMO. If anyone in Europe wants to give the US substantial foreign aid (or even pay their fair share of funds to the UN and other organizations) then I will drop my objections to them getting involved in US politics.


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 Post subject: Re: Please dont put another Moron in the White House
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:45 am 
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m0002a wrote:
If anyone in Europe wants to give the US substantial foreign aid (or even pay their fair share of funds to the UN and other organizations)

You'll be surprised to know it's already happened many times since Bretton Woods (1944)... if just you may ever trust anything you don't already know...

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 Post subject: Re: Please dont put another Moron in the White House
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 4:10 pm 
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Quote:
telling people from other countries to mind their own business when it comes to US politics is the ultimate example of the pot calling the kettle black. all we do as americans is stick out fat noses in other countries business and insist its our way or the highway.


I am glad that the above quote is from an American who is simply being honest, rather than someone from another country making a point - that my friend makes a lot of difference, and I thank you for your brutal honesty.

The only difference between America's grip on the world vs the UK's grip on the world a few hundred years ago is the way things were/are conducted and the rapidness of communications and all of the things that stem from these important differences, the evolution of military brutality has changed over the years and different problems have come and gone in the intervening centuries - but one thing has not changed, the country with the power still wants to look after its own interests far more than it does the general interests of the people of this planet - this is evolving slowly as we have seen by the action taken in Libya.

If we take a look at the vast difference between the American involvement in Libya vs almost any recent American military involvement in another country we can say 2 things with certainty, America has not got a bad name from this and as a result has not created thousands of anti-American terrorists - that is a massive plus, and the situation was different and handled very differently from previous military campaigns on foreign soil.

The most fantastic thing about the Arab spring has to be that foreign powers helped the people of Libya free themselves, and it was done in such a way that saved thousands of civilian lives, was pretty cheap financially for those involved, and at the end of it the people of Libya are thankful and grateful to those foreign powers, there are now many citizens within Syria who also want a similar military intervention. If that were to happen I would expect to see the same outcome in Syria as well.

America, and its people must surely feel that their grip on world power is slipping constantly, and just like the break-up of the British Empire this will eventually lead to America being as less important country that has less might to throw around compared to other countries, however if America is still viewed by the rest of the world as "bullies" this will only harm it further when it is seen as a less important country vs if it was seen as true and fair, and stopped supporting dictatorships to serve its own purposes. Britain by comparison has not had a particularly rough time of handing back its many colonies to their rightful owners...... will America bow down as gracefully over the next 100-years.?

I am not a fortune teller, but I can tell you that it should start right now by building bridges with the people of Afghanistan and Iraq that feel they have been wronged by America, just as Britain wronged India, Africa, Australia and many other places, the earlier America starts to make apologise the sooner people will start trusting America again. Also stopping the constant use of the word "God" by American politicians will help a massive amount as this only helps to feed the the ignorant and brainwashed masses of Muslims in third-world shitholes - many of these people see America as a "Christian invading force" which is a far worse thing than simply an "invading force".

Anyway back on subject, are there any decent Presidential candidates that have a reasonable change of getting into power.? Also as a side question of great importance whats the chances of both houses and the President being on the same team so that things actually get done.? I don't care a great deal what the team is, but as we have seen over the past few years a stalemate gets nothing done so I don't really care who gets in, so long as they get things done to sort out the economy, and do it ASAP.

I cant imagine Obama getting back in, or even his party getting either of the houses judging by the fact that very little has happened that is positive since Obama and co have been in power (mostly due to the stalemate) and that the conservatives have played a very evil game to get back in power come the next election by deliberately obstructing everything that Obama and co look have tried to do making them look useless, but no-doubt it will work and the Conservatives will get back in power again - which is why I am so concerned about another Bible-Bashing, History Denying, Science-Ignoring, Gun-Toting Idiot in the Whitehouse.

And before anyone says keep your nose out I would like to remind them to do the same.


Andy

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 Post subject: Re: Please dont put another Moron in the White House
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:16 am 
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andyb wrote:
The most fantastic thing about the Arab spring has to be that foreign powers helped the people of Libya free themselves, and it was done in such a way that saved thousands of civilian lives, was pretty cheap financially for those involved, and at the end of it the people of Libya are thankful and grateful to those foreign powers, there are now many citizens within Syria who also want a similar military intervention. If that were to happen I would expect to see the same outcome in Syria as well.

America, and its people must surely feel that their grip on world power is slipping constantly, and just like the break-up of the British Empire this will eventually lead to America being as less important country that has less might to throw around compared to other countries, however if America is still viewed by the rest of the world as "bullies" this will only harm it further when it is seen as a less important country vs if it was seen as true and fair, and stopped supporting dictatorships to serve its own purposes. Britain by comparison has not had a particularly rough time of handing back its many colonies to their rightful owners...... will America bow down as gracefully over the next 100-years.?

I am not a fortune teller, but I can tell you that it should start right now by building bridges with the people of Afghanistan and Iraq that feel they have been wronged by America, just as Britain wronged India, Africa, Australia and many other places, the earlier America starts to make apologise the sooner people will start trusting America again. Also stopping the constant use of the word "God" by American politicians will help a massive amount as this only helps to feed the the ignorant and brainwashed masses of Muslims in third-world shitholes - many of these people see America as a "Christian invading force" which is a far worse thing than simply an "invading force".

The Arab Spring is 100% the result of US removing Sadam from Iraq. Would have been nice to do it peacefully, or nicer if it had been done back in 1991, but it didn't turn out that way.

Since conservatives do not believe that government should be the primary force in solving domestic problems, they certainly don’t believe that the government intervention in other countries is any more appropriate. George W. Bush (and most conservatives) are basically isolationists who have little interest in solving anyone else's problems unless it gets to the point of threatening or attacking (like 9/11) the US. Many in the US wonder why we got involved in WWI and WWII, since US interests were not directly affected, but the Democrats got us into both of those very costly wars, as the Democrats did in Korea and Vietnam. Most conservatives believe that it is ridiculous that the US subsidizes the UN beyond its fair share, and spends excessive amounts on foreign aid, and has to pay for the defense of Europe, Japan, and Korea. All US troops should be removed from Europe and Japan/Korea should wither pay the US having troops on their soil, or tell the US to leave.

Your entire theory about American power, comparing it to the English, French, etc colonial power, is upside-down and back-ass-wards. The colonial powers conquered other countries to for economic gains, and resisted moves toward independence in almost all cases. The US, naively, and often with poor results, sometimes intervenes to try and keep the world from blowing up, not to control it. We have enough problems with people streaming into our borders from other countries without worrying about people in other parts of the world.


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 Post subject: Re: Please dont put another Moron in the White House
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:46 am 
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Just curious: do you people make it up as you go along or is there a consistent propaganda source I can check out to find out about your world, like an alternative Wikipedia?


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 Post subject: Re: Please dont put another Moron in the White House
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:59 am 
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HFat wrote:
or is there a consistent propaganda source I can check out to find out about your world, like an alternative Wikipedia?

There ain't no such things as a free lunch, I mean.

But above all any hefty bill still won't help: mit (der) Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens...

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Last edited by quest_for_silence on Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Please dont put another Moron in the White House
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:03 am 
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m0002a wrote:
The Arab Spring is 100% the result of US removing Sadam from Iraq.

Is it such of your own original thought, or did you learn it somewhere?

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 Post subject: Re: Please dont put another Moron in the White House
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:17 am 
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I see we're wondering the same thing but, try as I might, I don't think I understand your comment.

quest_for_silence wrote:
There are no such things as a free lunch, I mean.

But above all any hefty bill still won't help: mit (der) Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens...

Are you saying that even if we paid them they couldn't document their propaganda in a consistent manner?
If that's what you mean, I think you underestimate them... just like whoever created this thread underestimates Dubya and Perry.


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 Post subject: Re: Please dont put another Moron in the White House
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:40 am 
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Hello,

m0002a wrote:
The Arab Spring is 100% the result of US removing [Saddam] from Iraq.


I think you are giving waaaaay too much credit to the Iraq War. The initial trigger was actually food shortages and high cost; much of which is being caused by global climate change and rising oil prices and stupid energy policies in places such as the USA that hurt the food supply in favor of fuel.

The basic underlying cause is the brutal dictators and the long term policy of dealing with them in the name of "stability". That and the growing gap between the Haves and the Have Nots; both countries and people within any given country.

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 Post subject: Re: Please don't put another Moron in the White House
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:49 am 
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It seems this "Arab Spring" is quite the Rorschach. Any other theories?


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 Post subject: Re: Please don't put another Moron in the White House
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:30 am 
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Quote:
The Arab Spring is 100% the result of US removing Sadam from Iraq.


I am looking forward at laughing at your evidence.

Quote:
George W. Bush (and most conservatives) are basically isolationists who have little interest in solving anyone else's problems unless it gets to the point of threatening or attacking (like 9/11) the US.


2,605 American's were murdered in the September the 11th terrorist attacks, 1,644 American's have been killed in Afghanistan + 1,834 in Iraq, and what does America (and the world) have to show for it.? Afghanistan and Iraq is still claiming American lives (not to mention other nationalities including the Afghans and Iraqi's).

Afghanistan is still a total shithole and will rapidly become much worse as soon as foreign troops pull out, Iraq is doing much better in many ways but the huge quantity of inter-Muslim fighting still continues. Has terrorism been stopped in its tracks in these countries, of course not, now there is more animosity towards America, the UK and every other country that has been involved in these "wars on Terror", and if anything they will likely become recruiting grounds for terrorism as soon as the foreign troops are gone.

So what has been achieved in the long term.? And has it been worth all of the additional American (and others) lives to take us back to the same situation we were in 15-years ago.? They are tough questions, and I will reserve judgment at the moment.

Quote:
Many in the US wonder why we got involved in WWI and WWII, since US interests were not directly affected, but the Democrats got us into both of those very costly wars, as the Democrats did in Korea and Vietnam.


WW1, Korea and Vietnam I don't know a great deal about so I will skip them, as for WW2 - if you didn't then you would be speaking Deutsch (oder vielleicht Italienisch, Japanisch oder Russisch), nicht zu vergessen, dass, wenn Sie ein bisschen von Juden in die Sie haben, haben dunkle Haut, sind homosexuell oder einfach verpissen die falschen Leute sie tot sein würde - oder noch nicht einmal geboren - so dass, wie Sie sehen können, ist eine ganz einfache Frage zu beantworten.

Quote:
Most conservatives believe that it is ridiculous that the US subsidizes the UN beyond its fair share, and spends excessive amounts on foreign aid


Yes the US does seem to pay way over the odds into the UN and I don't know why.

Quote:
and has to pay for the defense of Europe


Really..... go on, tell me more.

Quote:
Japan, and Korea. All US troops should be removed from Europe and Japan/Korea should wither pay the US having troops on their soil, or tell the US to leave.


I am not so sure about Korea, but the majority of the Defense of Japan comes down to a treaty that was signed in the mid to late 40's, and as far as I am aware (although I could easily be wrong) Japan actually pays America for this.

Quote:
Your entire theory about American power, comparing it to the English, French, etc colonial power, is upside-down and back-ass-wards. The colonial powers conquered other countries to for economic gains, and resisted moves toward independence in almost all cases. The US, naively, and often with poor results, sometimes intervenes to try and keep the world from blowing up, not to control it.


Which is what I said.

Quote:
The only difference between America's grip on the world vs the UK's grip on the world a few hundred years ago is the way things were/are conducted and the rapidness of communications and all of the things that stem from these important differences


The way that things were conducted is different from how they are currently conducted, The British Empire was essentially the Crown/Government doing everything to make lots of people rich, where now its the Government doing everything for Business, and I will agree, to set some kind of order in the world which is exactly what the British Empire used to do, it set order by killing everyone who didn't give in, and then ruled over everyone that it could.

As I say, there are more similarities than differences.

Quote:
We have enough problems with people streaming into our borders from other countries without worrying about people in other parts of the world.


Say that to the next Native American that you see.


Andy

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Last edited by andyb on Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:23 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Please dont put another Moron in the White House
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:52 am 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
I think you are giving waaaaay too much credit to the Iraq War. The initial trigger was actually food shortages and high cost; much of which is being caused by global climate change and rising oil prices and stupid energy policies in places such as the USA that hurt the food supply in favor of fuel.

The basic underlying cause is the brutal dictators and the long term policy of dealing with them in the name of "stability". That and the growing gap between the Haves and the Have Nots; both countries and people within any given country.

It was absolutely and categorically the objective of the Iraq invation to promote activities like the Arab Spring. These objectives were clearly defined by the Bush Administration before the invation as part of an effort to reduce long term violence in the Middle East. Other efforts, such as putting pressure on the Saudi's, etc to expand democratic processes also contributed.

This is not merely a "observation," it was a stated objective of the Iraq invation, the Arab Spring happened, so credit must be given where it is due. Of course, it is too early to say that Arab Spring is a step forward, but these things take years to sort out.

The documentation that the Neocon strategy heavily influenced Bush as part of justification for Iraq invation is pervasive. You can start with these links and google the rest:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoconservatism
Neoconservatism in the United States is a branch of American conservatism. Since 2001, neoconservatism has been associated with democracy promotion, that is with assisting movements for democracy, in some cases by economic sanctions or military action.

"Democracy promotion is supported by a belief that freedom is a universal human right and by polls showing majority support for democracy in countries with authoritarian regimes. Democracy promotion is said to have another benefit, in that democracy and responsive government are expected to reduce the appeal of Islamicism. Neoconservatives have cited political scientists who have argued that democratic regimes are less likely to start wars. Further, they argue that the lack of freedoms, lack of economic opportunities, and the lack of secular general education in authoritarian regimes promotes radicalism and extremism. Consequently, neoconservatives advocate the democracy promotion to regions of the world where it currently does not prevail, notably the Arab nations of the Middle East, communist China and North Korea, and Iran.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bush_Doctrine
Democratic regime change
In a series of speeches in late 2001 and 2002, Bush expanded on his view of American foreign policy and global intervention, declaring that the United States should actively support democratic governments around the world, especially in the Middle East, as a strategy for combating the threat of terrorism, and that the United States had the right to act unilaterally in its own security interests, without the approval of international bodies such as the United Nations. This represented a departure from the Cold War policies of deterrence and containment under the Truman Doctrine and post–Cold War philosophies such as the Powell Doctrine and the Clinton Doctrine.

In his 2003 State of the Union Address, Bush declared:

“ Americans are a free people, who know that freedom is the right of every person and the future of every nation. The liberty we prize is not America's gift to the world, it is God's gift to humanity. ”

After his second inauguration, in a January 2004 speech at National Defense University, Bush said: "The defense of freedom requires the advance of freedom."

Neoconservatives and the Bush Doctrine held that the hatred for the West and United States in particular does not exist because of actions perpetrated by the United States, but rather because the countries from which terrorists emerge are in social disarray and do not experience the freedom that is an intrinsic part of democracy. The Bush Doctrine holds that enemies of United States are using terrorism as a war of ideology against the United States. The responsibility of the United States is to protect itself and its friends by promoting democracy where the terrorists are located so as to undermine the basis for terrorist activities


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 Post subject: Re: Please don't put another Moron in the White House
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:25 am 
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Quote:
just like whoever created this thread underestimates Dubya and Perry


I don't underestimate them, they frighten me with their stupidity and power.


Andy

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 Post subject: Re: Please don't put another Moron in the White House
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:28 am 
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andyb wrote:
Quote:
just like whoever created this thread underestimates Dubya and Perry


I don't underestimate them, they frighten me with their stupidity and power.

Andy

I would bet my life that they are a lot more intelligent than you are.


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 Post subject: Re: Please don't put another Moron in the White House
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:39 am 
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Quote:
“ Americans are a free people, who know that freedom is the right of every person and the future of every nation. The liberty we prize is not America's gift to the world, it is God's gift to humanity. ”


I never trust the words from anyone when they use the word "God" in a sentence, especially not when they are as arrogant as to insinuate that "Liberty" is even a gift, let alone an American gift - Liberty like many other things is a basic right that a great deal of people do not have, or even understand its true meaning because they have never seen it for themselves.

Quote:
I would bet my life that they are a lot more intelligent than you are.


Bushisms.

"I promise you I will listen to what has been said here, even though I wasn't here." --at the President's Economic Forum in Waco, Texas, Aug. 13, 2002

"We spent a lot of time talking about Africa, as we should. Africa is a nation that suffers from incredible disease." --Gothenburg, Sweden, June 14, 2001

"You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test." -Townsend, Tenn., Feb. 21, 2001

"I am here to make an announcement that this Thursday, ticket counters and airplanes will fly out of Ronald Reagan Airport." --Washington, D.C., Oct. 3, 2001

"Tribal sovereignty means that; it's sovereign. I mean, you're a -- you've been given sovereignty, and you're viewed as a sovereign entity. And therefore the relationship between the federal government and tribes is one between sovereign entities." --Washington, D.C., Aug. 6, 2004

"I couldn't imagine somebody like Osama bin Laden understanding the joy of Hanukkah." --at a White House menorah lighting ceremony, Washington, D.C., Dec. 10, 2001

"You know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror." --interview with CBS News' Katie Couric, Sept. 6, 2006

"The same folks that are bombing innocent people in Iraq were the ones who attacked us in America on September the 11th." --Washington, D.C., July 12, 2007

"I'm the commander -- see, I don't need to explain -- I do not need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being president." --as quoted in Bob Woodward's Bush at War

"Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties." --discussing the Iraq war with Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson in 2003, as quoted by Robertson

"I hear there's rumors on the Internets that we're going to have a draft." --presidential debate, St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 8, 2004

"I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family." --Greater Nashua, N.H., Chamber of Commerce, Jan. 27, 2000

"Do you have blacks, too?" --to Brazilian President Fernando Cardoso, Washington, D.C., Nov. 8, 2001

"I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees." --on "Good Morning America," Sept. 1, 2005, six days after repeated warnings from experts about the scope of damage expected from Hurricane Katrina

"I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully." --Saginaw, Mich., Sept. 29, 2000

"For every fatal shooting, there were roughly three non-fatal shootings. And, folks, this is unacceptable in America. It's just unacceptable. And we're going to do something about it." --Philadelphia, Penn., May 14, 2001

"I know what I believe. I will continue to articulate what I believe and what I believe -- I believe what I believe is right." --Rome, Italy, July 22, 2001

"See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda." --Greece, N.Y., May 24, 2005

"Goodbye from the world's biggest polluter." --in parting words to world leaders at his final G-8 Summit, punching the air and grinning widely as those present looked on in shock, Rusutsu, Japan, July 10, 2008

"The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him." --Washington, D.C., Sept. 13, 2001

"I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority." --Washington, D.C., March 13, 2002

"There's an old saying in Tennessee -- I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee -- that says, fool me once, shame on --shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again." --Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 17, 2002

-----

You must be suicidal to think that Bush jnr is at all clever, let alone any cleverer than me, he must have an IQ in the realm of an 7-12 year old AKA a MORON.


Andy

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 Post subject: Re: Please dont put another Moron in the White House
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 3:13 pm 
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HFat wrote:
I see we're wondering the same thing but, try as I might, I don't think I understand your comment.

You can't understand probably as I tried to be lapidary...
...the results probably is more confusing than lapidary, even due to my too basic english.

As indirectly noted by mr m0002 himself, there's a widespread ignorance among US people about what really happened in the world (to be fair, there's a comparable widespread ignorance about USA in the world).

TANSTAAFL is referred to the absence of an "alternative Wikipedia": there's no such a repository for misinformation, nor any repository to dismantle that absurd pile of prejudices.

Therefore discussing over such odd standpoints is time and resources consuming: this is the useless hefty bill, the Schiller quotation.
As a matter of fact, sometimes it may worth to debate about the lacks of information and its roots: and then the World goes ahead.
Sometimes, as prejudice/ignorance/misinformation is deliberately cultivated, it doesn't worth: this time it doesn't worth (IMVHO, of course).

I say so as it's plainly evident when a "quisque de populo" insist to educate you about any Fanny Mae or Freddie Mac of the world, forgiving to mention that the lenders of the vast majority of delinquent sub-prime mortgages were privately held institutions (namely: Ameriquest, Countrywide Financial, First Franklin, Fremont, Lehman Brothers, New Century, Option One, RFC, Washington Mutual, WMC Mortgage and others, collateralised by Barclay's, Bear Stearns, Citigroup, Countrywide Financial, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman-Sachs, JP Morgan, Lehman Brothers, Merrill-Lynch, Morgan Stanley, RBS and others). We're talking of more than USD 300 billion of sub-prime loans from those institutions.

Our educated host forgets to inform us that those mortgages were defaulted for 1/5 already in 2007, but even so they gave a steady flow of revenue to the every involved CEOs up to the last days of glory (mr. A. R. Mozillo of Countrywide Financial approached a total compensation of over USD 500 million from 2001 to 2008, USD 270 million in stock options from 2004 to 2008, during the housing bubble; also New Century's ones got USD 40 millions just before the bubble exploded, while in last year Citigroup's ones got USD 25 millions, and Merryll-Lynch's ones about USD 50 millions).

Where are the leftist Democrats here? I just a see a wild bunch of crappy, greedy managers of private investing companies who ruined the entire World for the sake of their deep pockets. But don't tell these things to our educated host, please: he won't ever accept them even after reading any relevant SECC document or the relevant issues of the New York Times.

So, "Arab Spring"? AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Please dont put another Moron in the White House
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:04 am 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
(to be fair, there's a comparable widespread ignorance about USA in the world).

Well yeah but most of the world doesn't have the access to information that people in the US have. If we compare not with the whole world but with Europe, Japan, South Korea, Canada and Australia, ignorance seems a lot more widespread in the US.
The aforementionned countries (especially the English-speaking ones) are bombarded with US cultural products. And political, economic and social developments in the US affect them a lot more than what happens in any other country.

quest_for_silence wrote:
there's no such a repository for misinformation, nor any repository to dismantle that absurd pile of prejudices.

How do you know? There are such repositories about other topics. Here's a notable example: http://www.skepticalscience.com/argumen ... percentage

quest_for_silence wrote:
Sometimes, as prejudice/ignorance/misinformation is deliberately cultivated, it doesn't worth: this time it doesn't worth (IMVHO, of course).

Sure but it'd be worth a look for me, mostly out of morbid curiosity.
I'm glad you understand that it's deliberate rather than some kind of intellectual deficiency but if that's how you see it, why the Shiller quote? Dummheit is not deliberate. Calling people Dummkopf is unhelpful.

@m0002a: thanks for the explanation by the way! But you didn't tell if someone told you this (and who).

quest_for_silence wrote:
forgiving to mention that the lenders of the vast majority of delinquent sub-prime mortgages were privately held institutions ... We're talking of more than USD 300 billion of sub-prime loans from those institutions.

The sub-prime aren't the issue. 300 billions in loans for the whole of the USA is a marginal amount. You're making it sound like it's a big deal.

quest_for_silence wrote:
I just a see a wild bunch of crappy, greedy managers of private investing companies who ruined the entire World for the sake of their deep pockets.

How much power are you attributing to these managers? This is crude scapegoating.
Worse, you're implicitely taking responsibility away from those who were put in charge of this mess. And your distractions prevent people from looking at the real issues.
I can see how you got the idea and it's not outlandish like some of the stuff in this thread but that doesn't make it accurate or helpful.
It's not as dangerous as saying the greedy Jews ruined this or that of course but it is nevertheless similar to the fascist way of thinking.


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 Post subject: Re: Please dont put another Moron in the White House
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:10 am 
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HFat wrote:
quest_for_silence wrote:
there's no such a repository for misinformation, nor any repository to dismantle that absurd pile of prejudices.

How do you know? There are such repositories about other topics. Here's a notable example: http://www.skepticalscience.com/argumen ... percentage

Well, there's a misunderstanding: I meant that there isn't any wide, comprehensive repository EXACTLY LIKE Wikipedia about all the several arguments touched upon in his writings by m0002a.
However, I stand corrected: I'm not aware of any of such repository.

HFat wrote:
I'm glad you understand that it's deliberate rather than some kind of intellectual deficiency but if that's how you see it, why the Shiller quote? Dummheit is not deliberate. Calling people Dummkopf is unhelpful.

I haven't talked about any Dummkopf. Or so I think.
Neither I think that being Dummkopf is sort of genetic or unemendable condition, like being sort of "minus habens".
I talked about Dummheit, and I think that Dummheit is a cross disease which affect everyone during life: no one is immune, each of us suffering of his own "15 minutes as moron" many, many times (at best).
Some people could be more affected for several reasons, or for a longer time for several reasons, or even illiterate people may be a bit more prone than educated ones, but there's no rule of thumb, no general scheme.
This is probably the main reason why the "God Themselves" contend in vain.

HFat wrote:
The sub-prime aren't the issue. 300 billions in loans for the whole of the USA is a marginal amount. You're making it sound like it's a big deal.

It was my mistake, due to hurry while reading: that sum was the sub-prime loans granted by those companies in the sole 2007.

At anyway, even if I grossly misrepresented that data, I would also point out that not often people were aware of the *real* reality and so, sometimes, even such a not big deal can heavily affect the whole scenario.

Just for example, right now in Italy we're facing the so-called sovereign debt crisis: I see lots of educated people talking about that 120% of our national debt over our GDP, blaming this enormous percentage.
At the same time I see very few pointing out that actually Italy doesn't have any liquidity problem right now, that the vast majority of that debt is own by italian themselves, that our debt with reference to absolute figures is decreased since 2006, or that just the savings of italian private citizens are several times higher than our national debt. Not to mention that other well respected economies (USA, Japan, to name a few) are probably in a worst condition if we look solely at the sovereign debt amount or incidence over GDP.
So, again in history, a relatively not decisive figure is represented as one of the major problem or cause of the current european economics turmoil and we have to pay an additional 5% of interest rate over (a slice of) that debt (not to mention some probably wrong policies requested to our government).

However, if you want to loan me some 2-300 billions, I would be very glad (especially because at the moment I could not return it to you).

HFat wrote:
How much power are you attributing to these managers? This is crude scapegoating.
Worse, you're implicitely taking responsibility away from those who were put in charge of this mess. And your distractions prevent people from looking at the real issues.
I can see how you got the idea and it's not outlandish like some of the stuff in this thread but that doesn't make it accurate or helpful.

No, you have misunderstood my words.
I do not think and I don't say those are the "real", the "one and only", definitely "the" culprits.
As I said to m0002a, in the complex scheme of things it is just a matter of correlations, and not of causations.
At the roots of sub-prime crisis there are a wide series of irresponsible behaviours or uncontrollable facts, starting from Greenspan's decision lo lower the interest rate down to 0,75%, which leaved the banks with too much money and the need to lend it. I've not the necessary language proficiency to deepen those arguments, at anyway.

Eventually, it was just a joke: m0002a blamed public agencies as the two "FM", but what about those (un)regulated people? What had they been doing?

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Luca


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 Post subject: Re: Please dont put another Moron in the White House
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:47 pm 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
I haven't talked about any Dummkopf.

No, you didn't... but look at thread's title.

quest_for_silence wrote:
I would also point out that not often people were aware of the *real* reality and so, sometimes, even such a not big deal can heavily affect the whole scenario.

In this case m0002a was talking about much larger amounts. Yeah, little things can matter but it makes some sense to focus on the big deal first. And the government-sponsored enterprises m0002a talked about are a bigger deal than all the sub-prime stuff.

quest_for_silence wrote:
other well respected economies (USA, Japan, to name a few) are probably in a worst condition if we look solely at the sovereign debt amount or incidence over GDP.

Unlike Italy, these are nations which do not need to service very large foreign debts because they have their own "fiat" currencies.
Italy signed on to the Eurozone and there was a 60% target. It was an arbitrary target but the Italian government accepted that number and not 120%. So it has a special significance.
The bigger problem for Italy is that it's a real debt owed ultimately to the other governments of the Eurozone. As long as Italy doesn't default, Germans can pay their taxes with the debt payments of the Italian government. So Italy needs to sell stuff to Germany to make that possible. The USA on the other hand pays back its debts in dollars, money that the US government can create without selling anything to foreigners if it chooses to.
I don't know if your figure for the savings of Italians are accurate but they're only useful to the government if it's able to seize those savings to pay back the debt. Can the Italian government prevent rich Italians from evading taxation by moving to Luxembourg or something?
You've got a real problem. Maybe some people in Italy do not want to accept responsibility for yielding to the German demands over the Eurozone but, because they gave up some of Italy's sovereignty, this 120% is a special problem Italy shares only with Greece and some third-world countries.

quest_for_silence wrote:
starting from Greenspan's decision lo lower the interest rate down to 0,75%, which leaved the banks with too much money and the need to lend it.

There was no such need. It made it cheaper for banks *as well as other corporations and even individuals* to raise money. That was the whole point!
Do you think that was 15 minutes of stupidity on Greenspan's part? It was the decisions of the committee anyway but do you think that 1% would have been better... or maybe 2%? How high do you think interest rates would have needed to be exactly? Do you know what the mandate of the Fed is? It's not to prevent housing bubbles. And that's a good thing because Greenspan was not a magician!

quest_for_silence wrote:
I've not the necessary language proficiency to deepen those arguments, at anyway.

Maybe. But I think you're proficient enough. English-speaking economists, journalists and so on make essentially the same arguments you do.
I think the problem is not language but that, like m002a, you've bought into politically-motivated arguments which make little sense.


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 Post subject: Re: Please dont put another Moron in the White House
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:02 pm 
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HFat wrote:
quest_for_silence wrote:
I haven't talked about any Dummkopf.

No, you didn't... but look at thread's title.

Maybe: but do you remember the quote: "Momma says stupid is as stupid does"? I think it's not just a matter of giving "names".

HFat wrote:
In this case m0002a was talking about much larger amounts. Yeah, little things can matter but it makes some sense to focus on the big deal first. And the government-sponsored enterprises m0002a talked about are a bigger deal than all the sub-prime stuff.

Really? I don't see your point, if you may argue it could be easier to understand you. HUD target (AFAIK not reached) for the two agencies mentioned by m0002a is the 52% of sub-median incomer loans, a fraction of the whole sub-prime mortgages (currently 7.1 trillion IIRC).

HFat wrote:
quest_for_silence wrote:
other well respected economies (USA, Japan, to name a few) are probably in a worst condition if we look solely at the sovereign debt amount or incidence over GDP.

Unlike Italy, these are nations which do not need to service very large foreign debts because they have their own "fiat" currencies.

As a matter of fact I wrote "solely", meaning "only to": do you want to make it up that way as I go along with any descriptive metaphors/examples?

HFat wrote:
quest_for_silence wrote:
starting from Greenspan's decision lo lower the interest rate down to 0,75%, which leaved the banks with too much money and the need to lend it.

There was no such need. It made it cheaper for banks *as well as other corporations and even individuals* to raise money. That was the whole point!

Raise money to do what?

The house bubble, is like the internet bubble, like the junkie bonds bubble, like any episode of "Mission Impossible" (the TV series): the classical "too good to be true" fraud scheme.

HFat wrote:
Do you think that was 15 minutes of stupidity on Greenspan's part?

No, and I never said so: just to be precise, when I talked about Dummheit I was referring to the arguments and their arrangement as carried out by m0002a, not to Perry, Greenspan, Mozilo or Bush.

From the later, those Greenspan moves were (just) a part of the mechanism: without the other parts, that problem wouldn't have been so.
There was the 1999 deregulation, which definitely increased liquidity, there was the community reinvestment act, which helped to open riskier mortgage market, and so on (there's a panoplia of arguments, some dear to Democrats, some to the Republicans)...

HFat wrote:
quest_for_silence wrote:
I've not the necessary language proficiency to deepen those arguments, at anyway.

Maybe. But I think you're proficient enough. English-speaking economists, journalists and so on make essentially the same arguments you do.
I think the problem is not language but that, like m002a, you've bought into politically-motivated arguments which make little sense.

I hope that mine is a language problem, as sometimes you look like to me as just offensive, HFat.
At anyway, it's a language problem: very often I cannot even understand the exact meaning of a controversial discussion (see above your "whole point"), let alone if I can validly contradict that point.

And eventually, I don't understand if you think that any politically-motivated arguments make little sense ever, while there are some somehow "different" (unpolitical?) arguments which on the contrary make sense.

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Luca


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 Post subject: Re: Please dont put another Moron in the White House
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:15 pm 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
Really? I don't see your point, if you may argue it could be easier to understand you. HUD target (AFAIK not reached) for the two agencies mentioned by m0002a is the 52% of sub-median incomer loans, a fraction of the whole sub-prime mortgages (currently 7.1 trillion IIRC).

You've got it all mixed up.
7.1T is the ballpark for the stuff blessed by the GSEs, not subprime.
The 52% figure is not about the amount of money, is not about subprime and would be too new to matter even if it had been reached.

My point is simple:
GSEs = big, relevant to the core of the problem which has never been sub-prime but the housing bubble (there is no such thing as sub-prime housing anyway)
sub-prime = small, politically-motivated distraction
conclusion: focusing on the GSEs and not on private sub-prime lenders ain't such a bad idea

On the other hand, as I've argued in another thread, looking only at the GSEs as some kind of aberration (as m0002a does) is dinsingenous.

quest_for_silence wrote:
Raise money to do what?

Employ people. Produce goods and services. See the mandate of the Fed.

quest_for_silence wrote:
those Greenspan moves were (just) a part of the mechanism: without the other parts, that problem wouldn't have been so.

Yes, only a part. But a necessary part?
These weren't Greenspan's moves but the committee's. Greenspan was also replaced by someone willing to go much farther so who's to say that without Greenspan there would have been less liquidity?

quest_for_silence wrote:
I hope that mine is a language problem, as sometimes you look like to me as just offensive, HFat.

I don't think it's a language problem. I don't mind being offensive. If I was to avoid that, it would be dishonest. And for what purpose? I might as well shut up.
I try to be more than "just" offensive however. If you can't see that, let's simply stop talking. Tell me and I'll avoid addressing you in the future.

quest_for_silence wrote:
I don't understand if you think that any politically-motivated arguments make little sense ever, while there are some somehow "different" (unpolitical?) arguments which on the contrary make sense.

That's an oversimplification but politicos are well-known for misleading people. And followers tend not to care if the arguments make any sense (see Goebbles' famous quotes). So politically-motivated arguments are more likely to make little sense than others, yeah. Obviously. Definitely.
One doesn't need to be unpolitical to avoid getting into politically-motivated arguments. Those who avoid being offended will struggle avoiding that trap however. One needs to be willing to leave one's comfort zone and to come to terms with one's errors to become less wrong. Being offended is perhaps not the only way but I think it's usually a good sign as well as an opportunity.


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 Post subject: Re: Please dont put another Moron in the White House
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 3:36 am 
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HFat wrote:
quest_for_silence wrote:
Really? I don't see your point, if you may argue it could be easier to understand you. HUD target (AFAIK not reached) for the two agencies mentioned by m0002a is the 52% of sub-median incomer loans, a fraction of the whole sub-prime mortgages (currently 7.1 trillion IIRC).

You've got it all mixed up.

I was quite, quite imprecise, yes, and added some grammar errors. And there was consequently some misunderstandings too.
First of all as I'm using almost as synonims facts which are each other's consequence, corollary, or part of (housing bubble, subprime crisis, mortgage crisis, financial crisis, or "Greenspan" to point out the "Fed").
Then because I can't recollect right now where I read some data, so I cannot try to explain better (I'm referring to those 7.1 trillions).
Moreover I've over estimated the subprime share over mortgages, mainly as I've bundled together subprime and alt-A mortgages.
The grammar error is referred mostly to the 52% figure: I wanted to say that US HUD set that target for GSEs in 2005 or 2006, as the percentage of loans coming from borrowers whose income is under the median in their area, over the whole mass of purchased/blessed loans in the year.

HFat wrote:
My point is simple:
GSEs = big, relevant to the core of the problem which has never been sub-prime but the housing bubble (there is no such thing as sub-prime housing anyway)
sub-prime = small, politically-motivated distraction
conclusion: focusing on the GSEs and not on private sub-prime lenders ain't such a bad idea

Yes, it's crystal clear: but who gave those loans to GSEs? From who they purchased, what they blessed or securitised?
GSEs partecipated but they followed and not led private lenders (aka Wall Street firms and the likes) into risky lendings (either speculative, alt-A or subprime ones).

At anyway, worldwide financial losses were made mostly by fear and greed, not by a local - even if big - real estate market shrinking (I think that I've read that total default/foreclose should be around 12%: so did a relatively small thing make huge "collateral" damages?).

HFat wrote:
quest_for_silence wrote:
Raise money to do what?

Employ people. Produce goods and services. See the mandate of the Fed.

This is a political thought. Ok, I am joking.

As far as I know private investors as commercial or investment bank raise money to make lots of more money, and an (a too much) easy way to make money led to irresponsible behaviours (of various subjects), and definitely to this (as well as all the previous ones) worldwide crisis.

HFat wrote:
quest_for_silence wrote:
those Greenspan moves were (just) a part of the mechanism: without the other parts, that problem wouldn't have been so.

Yes, only a part. But a necessary part?

From a later perspective a necessary part: we may discuss about how much is it noticeable.

HFat wrote:
These weren't Greenspan's moves but the committee's. Greenspan was also replaced by someone willing to go much farther so who's to say that without Greenspan there would have been less liquidity?

No one, I mean: but the fact is that under Greenspan it was so, and as he was the chief, he had to share its part of responsibility.
Alongside with the Committee, ok.

HFat wrote:
quest_for_silence wrote:
I hope that mine is a language problem, as sometimes you look like to me as just offensive, HFat.

I don't think it's a language problem.

If it weren't a language one, it might be as well a cultural problem by my side.

Personally I don't think to have bought some other's thoughts: but I may be biased, of course.
This is the reason why discussing may be useful, as being short-sighted is a synonim of stupid doing, very often.

HFat wrote:
One doesn't need to be unpolitical to avoid getting into politically-motivated arguments. Those who avoid being offended will struggle avoiding that trap however. One needs to be willing to leave one's comfort zone and to come to terms with one's errors to become less wrong. Being offended is perhaps not the only way but I think it's usually a good sign as well as an opportunity.

I meant "political" as "culturally oriented", whether or not sort of a "neutral" thought can even exist.
Being offended - as you note - is not the only way: usually I tend to prefer other ways, and this is why sometimes I ask you the reasons for the way you express yourself.

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 Post subject: Re: Please dont put another Moron in the White House
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:51 am 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
I tend to prefer other ways

They don't seem to be working well so I recommend being offended more as well as being less defensive in order to benefit from it.

quest_for_silence wrote:
First of all as I'm using almost as synonims facts which are each other's consequence, corollary, or part of (housing bubble, subprime crisis, mortgage crisis, financial crisis

These facts are different. You're using an analysis (consequence, etc.) as a filter which diminishes your understanding of the facts on which your analysis is supposed to be based. It can't work. Here's how you're supposed to do it:
step 1: learn the facts without assuming causal links and proxies
step 2: determine what causes what and what can be reduced to what

quest_for_silence wrote:
GSEs partecipated but they followed and not led private lenders (aka Wall Street firms and the likes) into risky lendings (either speculative, alt-A or subprime ones).

Telling following apart from leading is fairly advanced analysis. Get solid basics before going there.

You are making a fudamental mistake. You are confusing a measure of how risky an individual loan is with the aggregate risk.
With mortgages there is a large systemic risk because individual failures are correlated (like the risk of fire in different appartments which are part of the same building). Not only that, lending activity affects the risk of individual so that loans which were supposed to be prime according the the metric used to assess individual loans can effectively become sub-prime because of broader market downturn.
You need to understand that systemic risk and how the private sector was dealing with it in order to understand what role the GSEs had.

quest_for_silence wrote:
real estate market shrinking (I think that I've read that total default/foreclose should be around 12%: so did a relatively small thing

Again mixed up...
The real estate market is separate from the forclosure rate. The link between the two doesn't warrant using numbers about one to describe the other.
The delinquency as well as the foreclosure rates were low around 2005 when prices were higher than they are now. Then the real estate market got even "bigger" while the rates were increasing.
And you've apparently confused the foreclosure rate with the deliquency rate (12% is in the ballpark for that one).

quest_for_silence wrote:
As far as I know private investors as commercial or investment bank raise money to make lots of more money, and an (a too much) easy way to make money led to irresponsible behaviours (of various subjects), and definitely to this (as well as all the previous ones) worldwide crisis.

The same fundamental mistake is displayed here: assuming some kind of aggregate of individual behaviors determines the systemic outcome. Crises do not require individual irresponsibility. Individuals are supposed to act in ways which would ultimately create crises without active regulation.
One of the things investors and businesses (not only banks) are supposed to do is to raise money to "make" more money. Ultimately our lives depend on that kind of greed.
Active regulation requires an agent not only responsible for the management of the system but bestowed with the necessary authority and the ability to act in ways which would seem irresponsible to people who do not understand the task.

quest_for_silence wrote:
under Greenspan it was so, and as he was the chief, he had to share its part of responsibility.

The general responsibilty, yes. But that does make the specific decision you mentionned a contribution to the crisis.
The Fed does not have the authority to prevent crises and since you didn't answer my earlier question I guess you have no idea what interest rate would have been best. If the Fed is to do its best, it can not be guided by what you have been taught.

quest_for_silence wrote:
whether or not sort of a "neutral" thought can even exist.

Neutrality is useful for arbitration, not for understanding.
Neutrality is provided by propaganda as a substitute for reason. Even with the best of intentions, it leads to more errors because it does not remove political motivation as a source of errors. Instead it compounds and averages errors from different political motivations.


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 Post subject: Re: Please don't put another Moron in the White House
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:42 am 
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Here in the USA we gravitate to the lowest common denominator. Stupidity and phoniness rule. Sometimes I laugh. Sometimes I cry.


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 Post subject: Re: Please dont put another Moron in the White House
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:45 am 
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HFat wrote:
quest_for_silence wrote:
First of all as I'm using almost as synonims facts which are each other's consequence, corollary, or part of (housing bubble, subprime crisis, mortgage crisis, financial crisis

These facts are different. You're using an analysis (consequence, etc.) as a filter which diminishes your understanding of the facts on which your analysis is supposed to be based. It can't work. Here's how you're supposed to do it:
step 1: learn the facts without assuming causal links and proxies
step 2: determine what causes what and what can be reduced to what

Well, as something similar to those steps I've already done, maybe it will be more useful to argue about the facts.
From what would I had to start? In my thought I started right after the internet/dot.com financial crisis (and consequent look for alternative investments).

HFat wrote:
quest_for_silence wrote:
GSEs partecipated but they followed and not led private lenders (aka Wall Street firms and the likes) into risky lendings (either speculative, alt-A or subprime ones).

Telling following apart from leading is fairly advanced analysis. Get solid basics before going there.

This is what US institutions and several economist like Krugman, said after (2008-2011) the financial crisis.
Probably I've not the instruments to understand the reported affirmations: so what I've to look at to better understandings, according to you?

HFat wrote:
You are making a fudamental mistake. You are confusing a measure of how risky an individual loan is with the aggregate risk.
With mortgages there is a large systemic risk because individual failures are correlated (like the risk of fire in different appartments which are part of the same building). Not only that, lending activity affects the risk of individual so that loans which were supposed to be prime according the the metric used to assess individual loans can effectively become sub-prime because of broader market downturn.
You need to understand that systemic risk and how the private sector was dealing with it in order to understand what role the GSEs had.

What/where I have to do learn about "systemic risk"?

What I know is that by 2006 (peak of bubble) the privately issued asset-backed securities that did not go through GSEs represented 20% of all outstanding home mortgages and that GSEs formally didn't securitise originally risky lendings.

HFat wrote:
quest_for_silence wrote:
real estate market shrinking (I think that I've read that total default/foreclose should be around 12%: so did a relatively small thing

Again mixed up...
The real estate market is separate from the forclosure rate. The link between the two doesn't warrant using numbers about one to describe the other.
The delinquency as well as the foreclosure rates were low around 2005 when prices were higher than they are now. Then the real estate market got even "bigger" while the rates were increasing.

I was referring to the period which followed the explosion of the crisis, when real estate market value decreased from 13 to 8 trillion, furtherly speeding up those rates.

However, I wanted just to point out that a local problem (the declining value of the US RE market) has been reflected around the world through the collateralised MBS, and that the actually defaulted MBS were a small fraction of their total outstanding.
Obviously I'm not taking into account that "systemic risk" quoted above.

HFat wrote:
And you've apparently confused the foreclosure rate with the deliquency rate (12% is in the ballpark for that one).

This is how usually MBA and other association give those data to the public, and this is why I wrote "default/foreclosure", to point out that any mortgage which payment was past due it has taken into account (I've not distinguished between delinquent, serious delinquent, et c.). I used this cumulative data to grossly estimate the assets surely in danger (for those who owned the collateralised securities).

HFat wrote:
quest_for_silence wrote:
As far as I know private investors as commercial or investment bank raise money to make lots of more money, and an (a too much) easy way to make money led to irresponsible behaviours (of various subjects), and definitely to this (as well as all the previous ones) worldwide crisis.

The same fundamental mistake is displayed here: assuming some kind of aggregate of individual behaviors determines the systemic outcome. Crises do not require individual irresponsibility. Individuals are supposed to act in ways which would ultimately create crises without active regulation.

Since this seems to me similar to what I think I have said, I must conclude that it in fact I do not understand your point: could you repeat/explain me with other words?

HFat wrote:
One of the things investors and businesses (not only banks) are supposed to do is to raise money to "make" more money. Ultimately our lives depend on that kind of greed.
Active regulation requires an agent not only responsible for the management of the system but bestowed with the necessary authority and the ability to act in ways which would seem irresponsible to people who do not understand the task.

When a Merrill-Lynch enter the sub prime market without knowing anything really useful to carry out that business is an irresponsible behaviour.
When a bank sell a loan without ensuring its credit merit just to do another similar loan with that selling price, it's an irresponsible behaviour.
When a private firm securitise an unensured credit merit loan (and the firm knows it's so) to sell it on the open market, it's an irresponsible behaviour.
In an highly leveraged environment, like financial and banking ones, when you literally play with other people's money, it's an irresponsible behaviour.
When a Government and relevant agencies don't put themselves any question about these facts over years, it's an irresponsible behaviour.
And so on.

Currently I don't think that I need any special knowledge to say that those are irresponsible behaviours.
But you may help me to better understand, as usual.

HFat wrote:
quest_for_silence wrote:
under Greenspan it was so, and as he was the chief, he had to share its part of responsibility.

The general responsibilty, yes. But that does make the specific decision you mentionned a contribution to the crisis.
The Fed does not have the authority to prevent crises and since you didn't answer my earlier question I guess you have no idea what interest rate would have been best. If the Fed is to do its best, it can not be guided by what you have been taught.

I cannot say if the Fed did its best (and I cannot say which were the "right" IR for any single moment in the past for a country I don't know).
In my opinion History, so from a later perspective, apparently says they didn't.
Can you say they did their best? I can learn, slowly, but I can learn.

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 Post subject: Re: Please don't put another Moron in the White House
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:07 am 
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Location: Switzerland
You ask me general advice but I'd need to know a little about you to answer and I don't.
What kind of things do you read regularly in that aera? What kind of a formal education do you have? Do you work in a related field? Even if you never studied economics as such, in IT for instance you need to know some things about risk management. I'd also need to know your motivation like what exactly do you want to know and how much time do you want to spend researching this?
I'll give you a couple of links anyway but I don't know if they're appropriate for you or not.

I should add that if you're serious you should ask professors or graduate students and not an anonymous poster on SPCR. This is the Internet so you could chat with people who could give you much better advice.

quest_for_silence wrote:
From what would I had to start? In my thought I started right after the internet/dot.com financial crisis (and consequent look for alternative investments).
...
I wanted just to point out that a local problem (the declining value of the US RE market) has been reflected around the world

I don't know what you're aiming at but the first thing to do I think would be to forget your assumptions and take in some context. That could tell you when whatever you're interested in started.
I'm saying this because it seems your assumptions are preventing you from seeing the market movements for what they are. It's not a local phenomenon and it's older than you think. The Economist is generally a good magazine to read (it is somewhat political and limited in perspective however so you shouldn't rely exclusively on it) and famously published a number of articles about this over the years. Here's one: http://www.economist.com/node/4079027?story_id=4079027
In general I also recommend reading old material and comparing it with what is written today.

I strongly caution you against the common misconception that falling prices are a problem while rising prices aren't. Both can equally be indicative of distortions and imbalances and what happens when a bubble pops is partly determined by the underlying cause of the bubble which is usually persisting. So one should look at the whole cycle.

quest_for_silence wrote:
This is what US institutions and several economist like Krugman, said after (2008-2011) the financial crisis.
Probably I've not the instruments to understand the reported affirmations: so what I've to look at to better understandings, according to you?

As I said, the matter of who leads and who follows is not a basic fact. I think there is room for disagreement there even if some analyses are demonstrably wrong.
I haven't read Krugman these last few years. Can you provide a specific reference? I'm not sure what you're talking about.
In general I would say that Krugman is worth reading (he's obviously knowledgable and perspective) but that it would be perilous to rely only on him and people who agree. His newspaper articles tend to make arguments which are often politically-motivated and not to give the full picture.

quest_for_silence wrote:
What/where I have to do learn about "systemic risk"?

Strictly speaking it refers to the general situation in which one default affects the risk of other loans. But it's usually used in a more precise sense to refer to a the situation in which such risks can create financial crises which would require government intervention. Here's a couple of random but fairly authoritative links (one international, one from a US institution):
http://www.bis.org/publ/othp08.htm
http://macroblog.typepad.com/macroblog/ ... nyway.html
As far as I know, it used to be most often used in (re)insurance which is part of the GSEs' job. If the private sector feels that the government is going to protect them against the systemic risk (for example through the GSEs), it will behave differently. It's similar to the classic insurance paradox where an insurance which would make individuals safer leads everyone to behave in a risky way (because they think they are protected) and invite disaster, especially if the (re)insurer can't handle the systemic risk. Flood insurance is often used to illustrate the point.

quest_for_silence wrote:
when real estate market value decreased from 13 to 8 trillion, furtherly speeding up those rates.

Your figures are way off. It's not clear what you're talking about but real estate is worth a lot more and didn't fall so much (the Fed's Z.1 which is only a partial figure says 34 to 26 trillions). Maybe you're talking about the aggregate debt for a type of mortgage?

quest_for_silence wrote:
This is how usually MBA and other association give those data to the public, and this is why I wrote "default/foreclosure"

That's not true. You keep bringing up erroneous details so I wonder what's going on. Are you relying on a distorting Italian-language source?
Forget the MBA. If you want US real-estate data, try this: http://www.standardandpoors.com/indices ... y=Economic

quest_for_silence wrote:
Since this seems to me similar to what I think I have said, I must conclude that it in fact I do not understand your point: could you repeat/explain me with other words?

In a nutshell, no one needs to do anything irresponsible or wrong for crises to happen. You keep looking for superfluous scapegoats.

quest_for_silence wrote:
When a bank sell a loan without ensuring its credit merit just to do another similar loan with that selling price, it's an irresponsible behaviour.
When a private firm securitise an unensured credit merit loan (and the firm knows it's so) to sell it on the open market, it's an irresponsible behaviour.
In an highly leveraged environment, like financial and banking ones, when you literally play with other people's money, it's an irresponsible behaviour.

I don't understand exactly what you're trying to say but I don't see anything wrong with that. In principle you can do all that without issues. If you're talking about misrepresenting what one is selling then OK but it looks like you're saying intermediation or markets as such is dangerous. The bit about "playing with other people's money" looks like populist rhetoric. Or is your problem banking as such? It's what all banks do!

quest_for_silence wrote:
Currently I don't think that I need any special knowledge to say that those are irresponsible behaviours.

You always need the relevant knowledge to make such a judgment, in any field. I don't know what knowledge you have but if you think the average guy on the street knows enough to tell banks what they should do, you're thinking like the dupes populists get to follow them.
The average guy on the street is equipped to judge the morality of the punishments (or rewards) bankers get for spectacular failures but not to meddle in technical details which may or may not have anything to do with said failures.

quest_for_silence wrote:
In my opinion History, so from a later perspective, apparently says they didn't.

History doesn't say any such thing. It's your interpretation and you need specific knowledge to come up with a valid interpretation.

quest_for_silence wrote:
Can you say they did their best?

No. But if I wanted to, I'd start by reading the minutes of the meetings. Have you?
Rather than blaming wartime rates which don't seem to have affected prices and are going to be influenced by considerations unrelated to our topic anyway, my guess is that their worst misstep was to raise rates in 2006 and to wait so long to lower aggressively them as real estate was crashing. Their general bias for more than 30 years has been to set the rate too high considering their mandate and their tough attitude late in the game made the crisis more brutal than it needed to be. Check out the minutes and see if they weren't uncomfortable about their image post-Greenspan and if they didn't freak out about stuff they couldn't control like commodity prices...


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 Post subject: Re: Please don't put another Moron in the White House
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:35 pm 
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Now we've got onto the financial markets and the whole subprime market, has anyone heard of this act before?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass–Steagall_Act

Introduced in the 30's to separate retail from investment banking and repealed under the Clinton administration... Interesting.

Going way, way back in this thread to another point, it is possible in the UK for a party that is NOT the largest in parliament to be in government but it would be very weak. This could have happened after the last election if the Conservatives had done slightly worse and Gordon Brown had refused to go. Only a party with a majority can definitely replace a ruling government after an election, otherwise the standing government can continue. The job of prime minister is at 'Her Majesty's Pleasure' so she can intervene. This happened in 1963 when Harold Macmillan was believed to be dying of prostate cancer and the Queen selected Sir Alec Douglas-Home as prime minister.

Also on another point, the US was only involved in the 1st World War after a telegram from Germany to Mexico was leaked asking if Mexico would attack the US. This despite the previous sinking of the Lusitania which had cost many American lives already.

In terms of the second world war one major contributing factor to the US staying out initially was that the US ambassador to the UK (a Kennedy) has been alleged to have a prejudice against the US due to his Irish routes. Ireland never entered the second world war, officially staying neutral and even now WW2 is not a major topic in Irish education, it is often referred to as 'the emergency'. There are known to have been rendezvous between the IRA and the Abwehr and sypmathies to the Nazi cause were not uncommon considering that independence from the UK was less than 20 years previous. There are also files released that reveal discussions at the top level of UK government to invade Ireland and prevent it falling into German hands. Eamonn De Velera did however send fire crews to Belfast after it was bombed seeing them as his own people dying.

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 Post subject: Re: Please don't put another Moron in the White House
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:20 pm 
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HFat wrote:
I don't know what you're aiming at but the first thing to do I think would be to forget your assumptions and take in some context. That could tell you when whatever you're interested in started.
I'm saying this because it seems your assumptions are preventing you from seeing the market movements for what they are. It's not a local phenomenon and it's older than you think. The Economist is generally a good magazine to read (it is somewhat political and limited in perspective however so you shouldn't rely exclusively on it) and famously published a number of articles about this over the years. Here's one: http://www.economist.com/node/4079027?story_id=4079027

Thanks for pointing it out (it was helpful/informative): however, where are the actual and greatest differences from the Economist and what I said?
Economist said: "Rising property prices helped to prop up the world economy after the stockmarket bubble burst in 2000. What if the housing boom now turns to bust?...it looks like the biggest bubble in history. The global boom in house prices has been driven by two common factors: historically low interest rates have encouraged home buyers to borrow more money; and households have lost faith in equities after stockmarkets plunged, making property look attractive...".

As it's the 2005, they can write that the bubble popped dramatically in the USA and that would have affected (first, directly) the US Financial market.

On the other side I have said: "I started right after the internet/dot.com financial crisis (and consequent look for alternative investments)" including the following Fed/Greenspan affair right just below quoted: do you think there's really a dramatic difference (apart the different english proficiency)?

Up to 2010 the worldwide financial crisis started with the US subprime mortgage crisis, which in turn had its roots in the stock bubble (driven by the dot.com/internet bubble) and in the subsequent Fed decision to lower the discount rate down to 0,75% (now there's also the sovereign-debt affair to complicate the matter, so I would want to set this thing apart). Is this extremely summarized recollection wrong? Are they facts or mine interpretations?

If they were slightly more similar to facts than to interpretations, your objections would sound not easily inteligible by me.

HFat wrote:
As I said, the matter of who leads and who follows is not a basic fact. I think there is room for disagreement there even if some analyses are demonstrably wrong.
I haven't read Krugman these last few years. Can you provide a specific reference? I'm not sure what you're talking about.

It's an interview at NY Times of 14th july 2008, but I have just read excerpts as here (as it's a subscriber-only matter to read those issues right now). Krugman has gone further from that arguments in another 2010 NY Times issue where the GSEs are not taken into account looking for the main causes for the financial crisis.

The other reference is the "Final Report of the National Commission on the Causes of the Financial and Economic Crisis in the United States" (see from page xxvi).

HFat wrote:
In general I would say that Krugman is worth reading (he's obviously knowledgable and perspective) but that it would be perilous to rely only on him and people who agree. His newspaper articles tend to make arguments which are often politically-motivated and not to give the full picture.

Maybe: as already said, perhaps I have no cultural "tool" to discuss his sounding phrases (or similar ones).

HFat wrote:
If the private sector feels that the government is going to protect them against the systemic risk (for example through the GSEs), it will behave differently. It's similar to the classic insurance paradox where an insurance which would make individuals safer leads everyone to behave in a risky way (because they think they are protected) and invite disaster, especially if the (re)insurer can't handle the systemic risk. Flood insurance is often used to illustrate the point.

It's already so, without taking into account GSEs: now the biggest banks know that worldwide governments will protect from bankrupcy.

I'm more concerned about this "moral hazard" (irresponsible behaviours) than the ones actually coming from GSEs.

HFat wrote:
quest_for_silence wrote:
when real estate market value decreased from 13 to 8 trillion, furtherly speeding up those rates.

Your figures are way off. It's not clear what you're talking about but real estate is worth a lot more and didn't fall so much (the Fed's Z.1 which is only a partial figure says 34 to 26 trillions). Maybe you're talking about the aggregate debt for a type of mortgage?

No, I think that they come from Z1 but I have made a bad translation of the "total home equity" expression (which can be even an indicative number, but it isn't at all the figure I pretended to be).

HFat wrote:
quest_for_silence wrote:
This is how usually MBA and other association give those data to the public, and this is why I wrote "default/foreclosure"

That's not true. You keep bringing up erroneous details so I wonder what's going on. Are you relying on a distorting Italian-language source?

Just the last example: "...The combined percentage of loans at least one payment past due or in foreclosure was 12.63 percent on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, a nine basis point increase from last quarter, but was 115 basis points lower than a year ago..."

HFat wrote:
Forget the MBA. If you want US real-estate data, try this: http://www.standardandpoors.com/indices ... y=Economic

Ok...

HFat wrote:
quest_for_silence wrote:
Since this seems to me similar to what I think I have said, I must conclude that it in fact I do not understand your point: could you repeat/explain me with other words?

In a nutshell, no one needs to do anything irresponsible or wrong for crises to happen. You keep looking for superfluous scapegoats.

Or we just have different ethics and crises happen out of the blue.

"HFat wrote:
I don't understand exactly what you're trying to say but I don't see anything wrong with that. In principle you can do all that without issues. If you're talking about misrepresenting what one is selling then OK

Then we're OK.

HFat wrote:
but it looks like you're saying intermediation or markets as such is dangerous.

It may look like but in case you've just misunderstood.
Just for example, you can intermediate on a FOREX market and you are perfectly legitimate to do so, even IMO.
But if you intentionally misrepresent what FOREX actually is (in order to intermediate more, so to make more money), it's a dangerous and not legitimate action, while if you do it not intentionally, it's even worse (because a stupid subject - like me in some circumstances right now - is worse than an evil one, in this case).

HFat wrote:
The bit about "playing with other people's money" looks like populist rhetoric. Or is your problem banking as such? It's what all banks do!

Another misunderstanding: with "playing with other people's money" I am referring to investors (I mean who's bought MBS and similar securities) capital.
You know better than me what "Tier-N capital ratios" mean: the holding capital of a financial firm have to safeguard against unexpected losses, and it was usually a small fraction of total equity (is the term right?), at least for the banks.
So, add your systemic risk to small actual capitals and those inherently high risks securities (for an higher yeld, of course), shake together, put it at the foam of a bubble, and you'll go very close to something nearby the almost perfect disaster.

HFat wrote:
The average guy on the street is equipped to judge the morality of the punishments (or rewards) bankers get for spectacular failures but not to meddle in technical details which may or may not have anything to do with said failures.

Probably that boogey man cannot say them what they had to do, but he more easily can recognize something they shouldn't had done.
Perhaps you are underestimating groundlessly several people: several people know that if you systematically underestimate the safety distances sooner or later you crash into something hard, whether we are talking about traffic and financial markets.
TANSTAAFL is always true.

HFat wrote:
quest_for_silence wrote:
In my opinion History, so from a later perspective, apparently says they didn't.

History doesn't say any such thing. It's your interpretation and you need specific knowledge to come up with a valid interpretation.

Such your judgement looks like useless (not to mention that you give just below your interpretation about what Fed should had done).
The negative interest rates such the ones set by Fed discount rate in late 2002 fast paced the housing bubble: why is this a mere, wrong, not authorized my interpretation?

HFat wrote:
quest_for_silence wrote:
Can you say they did their best?

No. But if I wanted to, I'd start by reading the minutes of the meetings. Have you?

I don't know not even where to pick up them, and once in my hand they still would be written in a language which already creates me problems with expressions like "total home equity".

HFat wrote:
Rather than blaming wartime rates which don't seem to have affected prices and are going to be influenced by considerations unrelated to our topic anyway, my guess is that their worst misstep was to raise rates in 2006 and to wait so long to lower aggressively them as real estate was crashing. Their general bias for more than 30 years has been to set the rate too high considering their mandate and their tough attitude late in the game made the crisis more brutal than it needed to be.

Ok, it sounds enough acceptable: more probably that not your chronological choice (for the discount rate) is better (worse) than mine.

HFat wrote:
Check out the minutes and see if they weren't uncomfortable about their image post-Greenspan and if they didn't freak out about stuff they couldn't control like commodity prices...

I don't know not even to pick up them, bla bla bla... ok point me out the repository, I'll give them a skimming check.

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Luca


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