Page 9 of 10 FirstFirst ... 45678910 LastLast
Results 161 to 180 of 182
  1. #161  
    Quote Originally Posted by moderateinny View Post
    Not being argumentative, but from a purely academic standpoint - has there ever been a text book communist state?
    It depends on your definition of 'state.' If you merely mean a politically autonomous group of people, then the answer is qualitative yes. The Amish and Hutterites could be said to be communist.

    Communism is tough to say you've attained, though. Even the Amish and Hutterites have a "governing" council...though all property is communally owned.
    -Joshua
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  2. #162  
    An explanation of the subprime market:
    -Joshua
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  3.    #163  
    Quote Originally Posted by ****-richardson View Post
    An explanation of the subprime market:
    leave it to the British -- that's one of the better explanations I've heard.


    (BTW -- BARYE's previous post has been rewritten for clarity -- should anyone have found it confusing...)
    Last edited by BARYE; 10/07/2008 at 03:32 AM.
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  4. #164  
    Quote Originally Posted by ****-richardson View Post
    It depends on your definition of 'state.' If you merely mean a politically autonomous group of people, then the answer is qualitative yes. The Amish and Hutterites could be said to be communist.

    Communism is tough to say you've attained, though. Even the Amish and Hutterites have a "governing" council...though all property is communally owned.
    I think the point was that there is no text-book definitions of communist or socialist states in existence - they are all variations of them. I merely pointed it out to Toby in an effort to highlight the fact that he and I were probably debating semantics and largely in agreement otherwise.
  5. #165  
    Quote Originally Posted by moderateinny View Post
    I think the point was that there is no text-book definitions of communist or socialist states in existence - they are all variations of them. I merely pointed it out to Toby in an effort to highlight the fact that he and I were probably debating semantics and largely in agreement otherwise.
    And I was just answering the question.
    -Joshua
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  6. #166  
    Quote Originally Posted by ****-richardson View Post
    It depends on your definition of 'state.' If you merely mean a politically autonomous group of people, then the answer is qualitative yes. The Amish and Hutterites could be said to be communist.
    I think you mean 'qualified yes'. That being said, while they qualify as communist, they don't quite rise to State level.
    Communism is tough to say you've attained, though. Even the Amish and Hutterites have a "governing" council...though all property is communally owned.
    Having a council wouldn't disqualify them so long as the community retained the ultimate control and ownership.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  7. #167  
    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    I think you mean 'qualified yes'.
    I did, originally, but the word was on the tip of my tongue. By the time I remembered it, I'd already come up with qualitative and thought it fit better due to the fluidity of the term 'state.'

    That being said, while they qualify as communist, they don't quite rise to State level.
    That would qualify it. One definition of 'state' is: "a politically organized body of people under a single government." Sovereignty is also mentioned. The question then becomes, are the Amish and Hutterites sovereign? Who grants them sovereignty? Under our laws, they are free men who pool their rights and property into a commune - making U.S. legislation difficult to impose. As such, they are generally regarded as autonomous...though exceptions have been made.

    Having a council wouldn't disqualify them so long as the community retained the ultimate control and ownership.
    This is where I have a tough time, coming from a US-centric view of property rights. If you have "communal" property and a ruling council and the ruling council decides to sell some portion of property, does the community as a whole not have to agree to the sale to be truly communal? Let's pare the council down to a single, ruling patriarch/matriarch. If (s)he has final say on property sales and purchases, doesn't (s)he ultimately own them?
    -Joshua
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  8.    #168  
    I was surprised that what I wrote (below) in the California thread got no reaction from anyone.

    I'm worried. More so than I've been during any other time during this catastrophic descent. (and if anyone has kept up with what I've previously written in this thread, you know I've been worried for a while).

    I don't know how at this point there can be an orderly restitution of the financial system -- without there first being a massive gutting of our and the world's, economy.

    I'm frightened by the effect the credit freeze is having on the even the short term credit markets -- the ordinary lending and credit lines that enterprises big and small -- and even states like California -- rely on as a normal lubricant of business.

    So much of america's personal wealth is tied up in their home's value. What scares me especially now is my fear that the bottom in home valuation may yet have a considerable ways to go -- in part because of the effect of buyers inability to get a mortgage is having on demand.

    The contraction in personal wealth that is the product of housing depression will multiply the damage being separately done to the economy and business by the credit squeeze.

    Things are breaking down. junior had hoped it would hold together until after the election. They are not.


    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    California is the canary in the coal mine.

    The blood that has kept alive the american economic system for generations is flowing out.

    And its not just California. Its companies like GM, MacDonalds, even GE.

    Things that needed to be done last summer, problems that could have been addressed then with modest action -- for ideological reasions, were not.

    Things now are breaking down. I think (and fear) it may already have gone beyond the point of no return.

    Collectively we are all bleeding to death...



    October 4, 2008
    California, Short of Cash, May Ask U.S. for Loan
    By RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLD NYTimes

    LOS ANGELES — With the credit crisis cutting off access to short-term financing, California officials said the state may be forced to ask the United States government to lend it $7 billion, warning that the state could run out of money in a few weeks without it.

    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in a letter Thursday night to Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. said that with credit markets essentially frozen, the state, like a slew of others and local governments nationwide, had no access to the short-term financing that normally support day-to-day operations.

    “California and other states may be unable to obtain the necessary level of financing to maintain government operations and may be forced to turn to the Federal treasury for short-term financing,” Mr. Schwarzenegger said in the letter, which was first reported by The Los Angeles Times...

    As the nation’s most populous state, California’s precarious finances underscore the depths of the financial crisis. The emergency handout, the equivalent of $192 for each resident, would rival the federal government’s bailout of New York City in 1975 as it teetered on bankruptcy...

    ...on Wednesday ... as Congress debated the rescue plan, the state has been locked out of credit markets for the past 10 days. “The credit market is frozen because financial institutions are afraid to commit capital amid enormous uncertainty,” he said...

    ...the state’s cash reserves would drain completely near the end of the month, jeopardizing payment for teachers’ salaries, nursing homes, law enforcement and an array of other state-financed services. California’s 5,000 cities, counties and school districts, he added, would face the same fate...

    the state gets routine short-term loans in the fall to cover its bases until state coffers refill in the spring from tax revenue and other sources. But the shuttered credit market has upended the budgeting, he said, adding that even if the credit markets loosen, it could cost more to borrow. He noted that in the weeks leading up to the crisis borrowing terms had increased substantially...
    Last edited by BARYE; 10/06/2008 at 11:41 AM.
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  9. #169  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    I was surprised that what I wrote (below) in the California thread got no reaction from anyone.

    I'm worried. More so than I've been during any other time during this catastrophic descent. (and if anyone has kept up with what I've previously written in this thread, you know I've been worried for a while).

    I don't know how at this point there can be an orderly restitution of the financial system -- without there first being a massive gutting of our and the world's, economy.

    I'm frightened by the effect the credit freeze is having on the even the short term credit markets -- the ordinary lending and credit lines that enterprises big and small -- and even states like California -- rely on as a normal lubricant of business.

    So much of america's personal wealth is tied up in their home's value. What scares me especially now is my fear that the bottom in home valuation may yet have a considerable ways to go -- in part because of the effect of buyers inability to get a mortgage is having on demand.

    The contraction in personal wealth that is the product of housing depression will multiply the damage being separately done to the economy and business by credit the squeeze.

    Things are breaking down. junior had hoped it would hold together until after the election. They are not.
    It's a stark reality and one that neither Presidential candidate (and no other candidate) will be able to deal with in one or maybe even two terms. So we have one guy who I think will try to change things but is faced with insurmountable odds and another that has no clue how to change things and has voted in support for the failed policies we're all "benefiting" from now.
  10. #170  
    Quote Originally Posted by ****-richardson View Post
    That would qualify it. One definition of 'state' is: "a politically organized body of people under a single government." Sovereignty is also mentioned.
    Generally, there are going to be geographic boundaries and certain structures required to constitute a 'government', though.
    This is where I have a tough time, coming from a US-centric view of property rights. If you have "communal" property and a ruling council and the ruling council decides to sell some portion of property, does the community as a whole not have to agree to the sale to be truly communal? Let's pare the council down to a single, ruling patriarch/matriarch. If (s)he has final say on property sales and purchases, doesn't (s)he ultimately own them?
    It depends on whether the ruling (p/m)atriarch can be ousted from 'office' and replaced by a community process, I suppose.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  11. #171  
    I think blaming either political party for this problem, either in its very very long and deep roots, or in the tip of the iceberg represented by the acute crisis, is wrong.

    Both parties are actually responding to the demands of financiers, lenders, business and the general populations for easier and easier credit.

    Yep -- George Bush, Nacny Pelosi. John Boehner and Barney Frank are less to blame for this then you and I.

    As a culture we are over consuming and under investing. We steer the changes in our political and economic culture to feed our habit. The parties simply respond
  12. #172  
    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    It depends on whether the ruling (p/m)atriarch can be ousted from 'office' and replaced by a community process, I suppose.
    werks fer me
    -Joshua
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  13.    #173  
    Quote Originally Posted by bclinger View Post
    It is amazing that we insist upon blaming someone else for our mistakes. Incidentally, this is a cycle thing - the housing market and related industries have their ups and downs regardless of who is running the ship. We say the housing market was great under Clinton, but we were entering a slight depression. The economy under Bush has never been stronger. Cycles.

    Ben
    What do you say now, Ben ??
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  14. #174  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    What do you say now, Ben ??
    I bet he says by "cycles" he meant the American worker.
  15. #175  
    Fundamentally strong, still the powerhouse of the world and yes, it has its problems and look who has the dirtier hands - it is not Bush. It is not McCain.
  16. #176  
    Quote Originally Posted by bclinger View Post
    Fundamentally strong, still the powerhouse of the world and yes, it has its problems and look who has the dirtier hands - it is not Bush. It is not McCain.
    Oh c'mon Ben...I made a bet...you were supposed to call the American workers "cycles".

    And since you've finally come clean on our nation's two laziest Presidents, now lets talk about which party was in control of both houses from 1996-2006? And which party held the White House from 2000-and with any luck-2008? And when did Hagel write the Fannie Mae bill again? And when did McShame add his name to it? And did that bill ever go to the floor for a vote? Who could have put the bill on the floor for a vote? What party could not even muster enough votes to pass the bill even if it had made it to the floor for a vote?

    Don't make me light your pants on fire again Ben. Take responsibility.
  17.    #177  
    I'm a little mystified that there hasn't been more discussion here of the coming of the apocolypse -- the rapture -- the end of times.

    The world's economic system is crumbling -- and we and that one -- are instead talking about a radical from the 60's.

    The international banking system is collapsing -- and that one is talking about earmarks.

    Rather odd.

    This morning junior is to again tell us that america's economy is fundamentally strong and to not worry. He's in charge, he's the decider -- and everything is alright.

    He wants to reassure those of us who are worried that he's about to lose his job, his home -- that he will be alright, to not worry.

    Remember he's got a vacation home in Texas where he can stay after he's evicted from his current home...
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  18.    #178  
    Quote Originally Posted by logmein View Post
    ... Not only has acorn played a large role in creating this subprime mortgage mess by encouraging lending to those who can't afford mortgages...
    there's plenty of justification to be enraged at this economic meltdown.

    And yes mortgages were at the heart of it.

    But if you knew more about how this catastrophe came to be, you'd understand that activists like Acorn, and even shady mortgage broker- promoters -- played only a tiny part in this multi-trillion dollar scandal.

    In effect you are apportioning as much responsibility about what a factory manufactures to the workers on the assembly line -- as to their bosses.

    In free capitalist fashion, mortgage brokers were incentivized to make as many sub prime mortgage deals as possible -- irrespective whether these deals were predatory, fair, or could ever be afforded by their "customers".

    As a community based group, Acorn saw part of its mission to be helping disadvantaged people become homeowners. These are people who historically were denied decent loans even when their credit histories were good. These were people from communities that had been historically discriminated against by banks -- victims of a something called redlining.

    But the overwhelming power behind the explosion of these loans came not from below, not from these activists or the brokers -- the irresistable force behind the mortgage explosion came from above, from Wall Street.

    It was Wall Street's insatiable demand for these mortgage based deals that created this problem. Had there not been this voracious demand from above there would have been NO force from below that could have made these loans happen.

    Wall Street created a process where they conglomerated dubious mortgages together in a process known as securitization, a process that manufactured securities that could then be traded like conventional stocks or bonds.

    These securities (which were ostensibly paying higher than comparable interest rates) were often graded by securities rating companies as investment grade -- and were therefore bought by almost every bank, investment house, and hedge fund around the world. They were even bought by companies looking to earn extra returns on their cash hoards.

    Despite assurances that these securities were absolutely safe, investors wanted some form of insurance in case problems developed.

    Had conventional insurance been issued to protect these securities, by regulation that insurance would have had to have had a certain minimum of reserves behind that insurance, to insure a given amount of risk.

    To increase profits, companies like AIG created these UNREGULATED Credit Default Swaps to maximize their leverage, their returns, and their profits by writing policies without backing those policies with real collateral
    .

    These Credit Default Swaps eventually metastasized into trillions and trillions of uncovered risk held against securities around the world.

    When this contagion really began to catch fire in 2003-2005, junior's administration almost certainly could have have contained the fire by regulating these Credit Default Swaps, by insisting that they be treated as insurance, and by demanding that the same level of collateral underly the "policies" as they must in a normal insurance policy.

    They did not.

    Almost all the fault lies at the top of the pyramid -- not with the peons who had no control over anything ...

    (btw as a disclaimer, I confess that the depth of my understanding in regard to everything about these "credit default swaps" is not at all deep -- but apparently in this, I'm not alone ...)
    Last edited by BARYE; 10/12/2008 at 01:00 PM. Reason: extensively rewritten for clarity
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  19.    #179  
    CBS News has a very good description of the Credit default swap (CDS) problem -- and the truly scary danger that it represents ...



    The Next Banking Bomb?
    October 10, 2008
    Kim Lengle CBS News Investigative Unit

    “This bill will, in my judgment, raise the likelihood of future massive taxpayer bailouts. …"

    That was North Dakota [Democratic] Senator Byron Dorgan’s statement on the floor of the Senate ... back in 1999.

    Four years later in a [2003] letter to shareholders, billionaire investor Warren Buffett followed with his own warning, calling derivatives “weapons of financial mass destruction” controlled by “madmen.”

    Dorgan and Buffett were focused on what many now believe may be the next big shoe to drop - the credit derivatives market, better known as credit default swaps.

    What worries financial insiders most is the $54.6 trillion of risky credit derivatives concentrated among the few banks left standing.

    Credit default swaps (CDS) are the cornerstone of the credit derivatives market accounting for more than 98 percent of all credit derivatives. They are difficult to understand, ignored by regulators and poorly reported on balance sheets. In simplest terms, CDS are insurance policies on things like bonds, loans and corporate debt. But there are two big differences: the seller of a CDS doesn’t need to have the money to cover losses if the security defaults, and the buyer doesn’t need to own the asset it wants to protect.

    It’s as if hundreds of people could buy insurance policies on houses they didn’t own yet still collect the full value if it burns down.

    The danger comes when the company defaults and the seller - because he’s not required to - doesn’t have the money to pay out on the default.

    Investment firms that traded various derivatives, such as CDS, collected an average of $2 billion in fees each quarter over the past two years. And traders who spoke to CBS News said these transactions were the largest cash cows on Wall Street, even more profitable than mortgages. The newfangled transactions were seen as easy money and many traders had the attitude that when it blows up, it’s someone else’s problem.

    Today, the same commercial banking heavyweights thought to be the most safe, JPMorgan, Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America, hold 92 percent of all the disclosed credit derivative contracts...

    ...that number is merely an estimate because the overwhelming majority of these contracts are unregulated - private, mostly undisclosed and difficult to measure.

    “There is no question we are at the edge of the cliff and someone is going to fall off,”...

    Back in 1999 when the legislation was being debated Senator Dorgan opposed the consolidation of commercial and investment banks. In fact, he sponsored two amendments to prohibit these new mega-banks from …investing in derivatives.

    Today, Dorgan apparently feels the same way. He was one of 25 senators who voted no on the recent $700 billion bailout.

    “No one knows where [the credit derivatives] are, whose balance sheets they may threaten, or how much additional risk they pose to financial firms. Yet, I was told this plan could not require regulation and transparency of these financial markets because there was opposition in Congress and the White House,” Dorgan said in a statement explaining why he didn’t vote for the bailout...

    “If the market keeps going in the direction it’s been going, you’re going to have lots of defaults which are dangerous things,” said Miller.

    Some economic analysts predict even more panic over next few months. As more corporations default and banks find out they can’t make good on their contracts, a new round of losses for funds and financial firms could result and make the recent losses in mortgage-backed securities seem miniscule by comparison.
    Last edited by BARYE; 10/12/2008 at 03:28 PM.
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  20.    #180  
    When junior and company boldly allowed Lehman Brothers to implode into bankruptcy a few weeks ago, they set in motion a series of cascading events which have begun to tear down the house of cards that is the warped financial system they permitted to flourish during these last 8 years.

    Many if not most if the interdependent debts, "insurance" obligations, bonds, etc. etc. etc. that Lehman owed, owned, or was responsible for -- became almost worthless after Lehman filed for bankruptcy.

    The article below does a terrific job in outlining some of the effects this is having on the global credit market as well as the international economy -- while further describing the "credit default swap" scandal

    It is almost universally understood now that the administration's decision to in effect shove Lehman into bankruptcy has been one of the primary current catalysts for the 20% market meltdown and the tilt toward a depression.

    Lehman's destruction broke the chain of faith that ties together the global banking system -- the idea that large institutions can depend on other large institutions to deliver on their good faith and credit -- that loans and obligations are honored no matter what...


    October 11, 2008
    Insurance on Lehman Debt Is the Industry’s Next Test
    By MARY WILLIAMS WALSH NY Times

    ...Nearly three weeks after the Wall Street bank sank into bankruptcy, financial companies and investment funds that wrote what are effectively insurance policies on Lehman Brothers’ debts are being called on to pay hundreds of billions of dollars in claims.

    Whether those claims can or will be paid, and the financial repercussions that could follow if they are not, will signify the biggest test yet for the vast, unregulated market in credit-default swaps.

    The danger is that the claims on the Lehman default are so large — they are estimated at $400 billion to $600 billion — that settling them could leave some companies with large, perhaps even crippling, losses and heighten the turmoil in the financial markets.

    The magnitude of the exposure came into focus on Friday, when the price of Lehman’s bonds was set via a closely watched auction on Wall Street. The debt was priced at a little above 8 cents on the dollar, leaving companies and funds that insured these debts against default on the hook for the remainder.

    The price determined the amount that sellers of bond-default protection would have to pay those who bought their protection, called counterparties. The lower the bonds’ price fell, the higher the payouts were going to be.

    But even now, the total amount coming due is unknown because the market for credit-default swaps is not regulated or tracked through any clearinghouse of data. “The huge value of credit-default swaps on Lehman Brothers, and the low price obtained in this auction, mean there are billions of dollars in obligations,” said Eric R. Dinallo, the New York State insurance superintendent. “No one knows who owes this money, how much each counterparty owes, or whether any of these counterparties will now be in trouble themselves, with further potential problems for the financial markets.”

    ...To the extent there are problems, the world may find out about it only when another financial services company discloses its exposure or perhaps even collapses.

    Mr. Dinallo and Gov. David A. Paterson have said that New York State should regulate credit-default swaps to some extent, because they are similar to insurance, which is regulated at the state level. The regulators pay attention to how much coverage insurers write and how much they charge, to make sure they do not get in over their heads and collapse.

    Swaps, on the other hand, are private contracts between two counterparties, so no regulator keeps track of who is promising coverage to whom, or whether the swap seller can really afford the coverage being promised.

    ...it is possible to buy and sell credit-default swaps without owning the underlying bonds. One trader can both buy and sell protection on the same bonds, too. These complexities make it hard to know exactly how much risk lies in the Lehman Brothers default...

    Market participants were expressing particular concern about the amount of money that the American International Group, the insurance giant that was effectively nationalized, would have to pay as it settled its swap positions on Lehman Brothers’ debt. A.I.G.’s financial products unit was a major issuer of credit-default swaps...

    ...It was billion-dollar obligations falling due under the terms of A.I.G.’s swaps contracts on other issuers’ debt that led to the company’s collapse in mid-September.

    ...the outcome of Friday’s auction was “really extraordinary, in that it’s a large bankruptcy and a small recovery value.”

    She was concerned that some counterparties might have to make payments big enough to deplete their capital, which could lead to possible ratings downgrades. Capital depletion is a serious problem at the moment because the capital markets are largely frozen and companies cannot easily raise new money if they need it...
    Last edited by BARYE; 10/13/2008 at 04:37 AM.
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
Page 9 of 10 FirstFirst ... 45678910 LastLast

Posting Permissions