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9/25/11

https://occupywallst.org/article/A-Message-From-Oc...

Day 8 - The Over Hype of the Century

So these clowns are complaining of "the man" violating their rights and all. I mean they have been protesting for 8 days, which is 8 days longer than Syria or Iran would deal with. They piss and moan about being "caged in" yet fail to realize that peaceful protesting doesn't mean blocking the sidewalk in a busy part of town and forcing people to walk in the street and endanger themselves.

Police stopped them from protesting into another area which they didn't have a permit for. I guess they equate protesting with violating other peoples rights. A few got maced, as compared to shot as in the middle east.

End of the day these guys are clowns. You really never realize that society is separated until you see clueless people protesting something they don't really understand and then complain that police try and force them to respect other people (which they clearly do not).

Why is it that socialism only benefits the people who put the least effort in life and punishes those who put the most effort in? Why do we worry about the underachievers at the expense of those who achieve? Why am I not seeing hard working Americans who have lost their jobs, who have lost their houses, etc protesting? Instead I see young kids with god knows what kind of educational background complaining?

Go long mace and cattle prods.

Comments (367)

10/2/11

Solidarity:

My solutions to ending too big to fail:

1.) Reinstate Glass-Steagall. This seemed to work for 70 some-odd years and will allow IBanks to take as much risk as they want

2.) Repeal the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000

Problem is, as long as big money plays such a major role in politics, I don't see how this happens. This is why I'm just fine with the protests. Even if they're not all super informed...were the tea party protestors all super-informed? No, not even remotely. But, in both cases, one can understand the spirit and general ideas of the protests. Nothing wrong with that (unless you're a bank lobbyist, I suppose.)

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In reply to TheKing
10/2/11
TheKing:
ANT:

King, please tell me how traders and other people in the financial sector didn't pay the price for their mistakes? Two major banks failed completely and many others were merged. I wasn't working in IB at the time, but my who division got axed when I was with my previous bank.

Many, many people paid for those mistakes.

And yes, never, ever vote for a Democrat. Republicans are not perfect, but they are the closest thing you can get right now. Lower taxes, less nanny state, pro business and free enterprise. Elephant power all the way.

ANT, a fuck ton of people who had nothing to do with the crisis got screwed by jackasses at the top who were running their firms, and the economy, into the ground while laughing all the way to the bank. Guys like Angelo Mozilo, Joe Cassano, the CDO traders who made millions in the lead-up to the crisis (while fueling the bubble), these types that made millions and millions of dollars while turning their companies into ticking time bombs that blew up and fucked everyone else over.

Obviously Joe Schmo in M&A or whatever isn't responsible, and I'd say that 95%+ of the employees at the banks and lending houses weren't responsible, but the guys at the top who were leading their firms made millions while driving the economy into a ditch, destroying their companies, and got bailed out in the end!

No firms should exist such that their failure will destroy the global economy. We need to ensure that it never happens again, and unless you have smart regulations or are willing to NOT bail out a TBTF firm, I dont see how we fix our problems.

No trader should EVER be penalised for doing his job. If stuff is legally purchaseable and sellable, you should be able to do so unabated. It's INSANE that there is this attempt at completely removing any sense of responsibility and caveat emptor. Nowadays if you lose money on stocks it's "because of Wall Street". Well, we still make money trading against banks, so I don't buy that. It also helps to, you know, try. And work hard, that helps too. And outsmart the idiot on the other side of your trade.

Sorry, just throwing some more red herrings. Herrings ARE tasty. Especially pickled in Democrat resentment :P

In reply to EURCHF parity
10/2/11
EURCHF parity:
Solidarity:

The European banks were much more conservative and look at them now...

No they weren't (and aren't), they loaded up on Greek junk like there was no tomorrow, in part because "sovereign debt is risk free" (just like "house prices never go down") and in part because of Brussels directives and manipulations of regulation forcing them to buy whatever Brussels needs bought in order to fulfill their ratio requirements. I consider the European politicians to be much finer manipulators (and thus EU banks much scarier to own) than their US counterparts - they did, after all, have several millenia more time to practice screwing their populations. I just hope the Swiss don't chuck out the foreigners when they close their borders.

That's exactly my point, they were stuck in the paradigmatic mindset that "sovereign debt is risk free." You can't argue that they weren't more conservative in terms of capital markets and underwriting practices, however.

10/2/11

Ok.

1) To say a firm is TBTF is to admit that a bail out was warranted.

2) If you think bail outs are bullshit then no firm truly is TBTF

3) Agree that a few people at the top fucked a lot of other people, but how to you place exact blame. This isn't like Enron where you can say "XYZ did it, he is to blame". Many times the guys at the top had no clue what these products were or how they could collapse. Also, they took insurance out on these. Little did they know that everyone else was going through AIG and that the risk was if everything went bad all at one.

I agree that there is blame, but this wasn't like what Madoff did. These guys took what they thought was intelligent and prudent precautions. Traders, bankers, executives, etc all got fucked. Many of these guys lost fortunes as well as their job.

I don't know King. The economy sucks, but the whole globe is feeling the hurt. Even in the USA, unemployment is largely focused on unskilled labor. College educated people have like 5% unemployment.

In reply to TheKing
10/2/11
TheKing:

Solidarity:

My solutions to ending too big to fail:

1.) Reinstate Glass-Steagall. This seemed to work for 70 some-odd years and will allow IBanks to take as much risk as they want

And the 4,000 years before that, short of nationalizations for political reasons, there was no TBTF strangely enough. In 1907 Morgan managed a private sector bailout. Weird uh?

But no it was a complete coincidence. Fueled by evil bankers. Here's one for you: http://kloris.typepad.com/.a/6a00e5502640718833012...

Don't forget 9/11 was planned by the Bush administration too.

10/2/11

Last time I checked the Tea Party had some defined goals and objectives. What is the goal of these protesters? Until they come out with some objective and a plan they are just jealous little hippies pissing and moaning that someone else has more than they do.

In reply to EURCHF parity
10/2/11
EURCHF parity:
TheKing:

Solidarity:

My solutions to ending too big to fail:

1.) Reinstate Glass-Steagall. This seemed to work for 70 some-odd years and will allow IBanks to take as much risk as they want

And the 4,000 years before that, short of nationalizations for political reasons, there was no TBTF strangely enough. In 1907 Morgan managed a private sector bailout. Weird uh?

But no it was a complete coincidence. Fueled by evil bankers. Here's one for you: http://kloris.typepad.com/.a/6a00e5502640718833012...

Don't forget 9/11 was planned by the Bush administration too.

Are you fucking shitting me with this?

Yeah, saying I want to separate commercial and investment banks = I am a conspiracy theorist. Get the fuck out of here.

10/2/11

Also, why is the answer always more regulation? I mean it didn't work before so why double down?

In reply to TNA
10/2/11
ANT:

Ok.

1) To say a firm is TBTF is to admit that a bail out was warranted.

2) If you think bail outs are bullshit then no firm truly is TBTF

3) Agree that a few people at the top fucked a lot of other people, but how to you place exact blame. This isn't like Enron where you can say "XYZ did it, he is to blame". Many times the guys at the top had no clue what these products were or how they could collapse. Also, they took insurance out on these. Little did they know that everyone else was going through AIG and that the risk was if everything went bad all at one.

I agree that there is blame, but this wasn't like what Madoff did. These guys took what they thought was intelligent and prudent precautions. Traders, bankers, executives, etc all got fucked. Many of these guys lost fortunes as well as their job.

I don't know King. The economy sucks, but the whole globe is feeling the hurt. Even in the USA, unemployment is largely focused on unskilled labor. College educated people have like 5% unemployment.

ANT, you are right in the idea that I wanted no bailouts. However, because the concept of TBTF exists and is accepted at large, the idea of not bailing out banks will not be accepted, therefore we have TBTF banks.

Therefore, let's do something to prevent that. I really don't see why people argue so vehemently against the two proposals I've put forth. I don't even really think you are against them at all.

As to your argument that the Tea Party has put forth real principled proposals...I don't think that's true at large. I think after the movement grew, some more powerful interests came in and gave the movement true principles. Give this time, people who have more sway that feel the way people like I do can emerge and give it a true voice.

In reply to TNA
10/2/11
ANT:

Also, why is the answer always more regulation? I mean it didn't work before so why double down?

The answer isn't more regulation, it's the old regulation. It worked for decades (there was no global financial crisis on par with this or the great depression while we had Glass Steagall in place.) So, I'm proposing we go back to what worked. Come on, man!

I think Dodd Frank is a mess because it's just a complicated jumble of rules and regulations that don't effectively, and simply, address the true problems.

10/2/11

Personally I am not against bringing back GS.

With that said, I don't know if it would of done anything with the past crisis. I'm not too sure if people would be smart enough to see investment banks failing and realize that commercial banks are fine. All it takes is a lose in confidence and a run on the banks and even pure commercial banks will fall. The thing that fucked BOA was Contrywide which wasn't involved with trading or banking.

Walk me through how GS would of made a difference in this crisis?

10/2/11

It's a political calculation. Basically, politicians will feel more comfortable letting a bank go if it doesn't take several million retail customers (and voters) with it. People also confound misalignment of incentives by dreaming about the good old days pre-Milken when the oligopoly was tighter, the corporate world smaller and more American, and most derivatives didn't even exist.

I prefer the scenario where politicians don't have much of a say in it, personally.

10/2/11

WHY is the government putting up more regulation??? It's the government that thought every citizen "deserved" a home. The government incentivized Wall Street to act the way it did. Regulate government to stay the fuck out of the economy. Maybe we'll have fewer bubbles then.

In reply to TNA
10/2/11
ANT:

Personally I am not against bringing back GS.

With that said, I don't know if it would of done anything with the past crisis. I'm not too sure if people would be smart enough to see investment banks failing and realize that commercial banks are fine. All it takes is a lose in confidence and a run on the banks and even pure commercial banks will fall. The thing that fucked BOA was Contrywide which wasn't involved with trading or banking.

Walk me through how GS would of made a difference in this crisis?

First of all, your first sentence here warmed my heart. Really happy to hear you say that.

Countrywide provided the fuel for the CDO machine through its subprime mortgage business (which was driven by Mozilo's leadership and their desire to grow and expand margin, irresponsibly and without any foresight or care for the future.)

Your argument that a purely speculative run on teh commercial banks would happen even while they are separate is just that...pure speculation. With Glass Steagall, commercial banks would do commercial banking activities and not be involved in the CDO money machine, not making speculative bets, they'd be doing traditional bank activities. Investment banks would be taking all the risks, while not being connected to traditional banking activities or customer deposits. It's really as straightforward as it sounds.

If there is another solution, I'm open to hearing it, but removing the risk and speculative activities from commercial banks seems to be the best solution...and one that worked for 70 some-odd years.

10/2/11

The S&L proved that one needs not be an IB to destroy retail capital.

Oh I forgot, we didn't have a banking crisis until 2008.

In reply to wadtk
10/2/11
wadtk:

WHY is the government putting up more regulation??? It's the government that thought every citizen "deserved" a home. The government incentivized Wall Street to act the way it did. Regulate government to stay the fuck out of the economy. Maybe we'll have fewer bubbles then.

Dude, read the Levin-Coburn report on the financial crisis. It has source docs you can read from inside WaMu (one of the top subprime lenders) that explain very clearly how WaMu decided on their own to lend irresponsibly to "grow revenue and expand margin." They knew exactly what they were doing and were not coerced. They set up incentives to salespeople to push as many subprime loans out as possible so they could ship them out to Wall Street firms for securitization. They purposefully shifted their loan portfolio from 75% 30-year mortgages to 75% subprime. They did anything they could to lend to shitbag people and were well aware that they were often selling people irresponsible mortgages or even fraudulent ones. The government did not put a gun to their head forcing them to do this.

I know it's hard to actually study a subject and become informed, especially when it goes against your worldview. It's tough to find out that the beliefs you hold are wrong, I understand that it's not easy. But, if you, and people like you, want to fix things and make our economy better for the long-haul, you're going to need to be informed and intellectually honest.

In reply to EURCHF parity
10/2/11
EURCHF parity:

The S&L proved that one needs not be an IB to destroy retail capital.

Oh I forgot, we didn't have a banking crisis until 2008.

Was the global economy completely destroyed by the S&L crisis?

Furthermore, what are you proposing we do? What are your solutions? I think my solutions are pretty common sense and will go a long fucking way to making things better. What is your solution?

10/2/11

I believe in power of capitalism, I truly do. I am with theKing on this, with Glass-Steagall. I don't want more regulations, I want BETTER regulations. Investment firms seems to have done very well with themselves before the whole financial super-market paradigm came about.

Let's be realistic. The new Dodd-Frank will be watered-down so much and become so convoluted by the time all interest parties are done, that it'll be a mess.

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In reply to Ari_Gold
10/2/11
Ari_Gold:

I believe in power of capitalism, I truly do. I am with theKing on this, with Glass-Steagall. I don't want more regulations, I want BETTER regulations. Investment firms seems to have done very well with themselves before the whole financial super-market paradigm came about.

Let's be realistic. The new Dodd-Frank will be watered-down so much and become so convoluted by the time all interest parties are done, that it'll be a mess.

Exactly. Not asking for anything crazy here, not for a government takeover and for your bonuses to be controlled, just for sensible, smart, and simple regulations. Not a frankenstein bill of confusing rules and jumbled crap a la Dodd-Frank.

In reply to TheKing
10/2/11
TheKing:
wadtk:

WHY is the government putting up more regulation??? It's the government that thought every citizen "deserved" a home. The government incentivized Wall Street to act the way it did. Regulate government to stay the fuck out of the economy. Maybe we'll have fewer bubbles then.

Dude, read the Levin-Coburn report on the financial crisis. It has source docs you can read from inside WaMu (one of the top subprime lenders) that explain very clearly how WaMu decided on their own to lend irresponsibly to "grow revenue and expand margin." They knew exactly what they were doing and were not coerced. They set up incentives to salespeople to push as many subprime loans out as possible so they could ship them out to Wall Street firms for securitization. They purposefully shifted their loan portfolio from 75% 30-year mortgages to 75% subprime. They did anything they could to lend to shitbag people and were well aware that they were often selling people irresponsible mortgages or even fraudulent ones. The government did not put a gun to their head forcing them to do this.

I know it's hard to actually study a subject and become informed, especially when it goes against your worldview. It's tough to find out that the beliefs you hold are wrong, I understand that it's not easy. But, if you, and people like you, want to fix things and make our economy better for the long-haul, you're going to need to be informed and intellectually honest.

You kidding me? Take a look at "Closing the Gap: A Guide To Equal Opportunity Lending" published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and then tell me that the government did not provide the tools necessary for banks to make these loans. I never said the put a gun to their head. I said that they incentivized them. Typical liberal twisting words. There have been numerous statements by government officials which indicate that banks were encouraged and pressured to loosen their lending standards so that more people could qualify for mortgages.

Maybe if the Fed had stoped fucking with interest rates and encouraging mal-investment of capital, banks wouldn't have lent to these people. The solution is really easier than you think, my friend.

Solve the problem from the source. You don't seem to get that.

I encourage you to read Capitalism and Freedom, Free to Choose.

In reply to TheKing
10/2/11
TheKing:
ANT:

Personally I am not against bringing back GS.

With that said, I don't know if it would of done anything with the past crisis. I'm not too sure if people would be smart enough to see investment banks failing and realize that commercial banks are fine. All it takes is a lose in confidence and a run on the banks and even pure commercial banks will fall. The thing that fucked BOA was Contrywide which wasn't involved with trading or banking.

Walk me through how GS would of made a difference in this crisis?

First of all, your first sentence here warmed my heart. Really happy to hear you say that.

Countrywide provided the fuel for the CDO machine through its subprime mortgage business (which was driven by Mozilo's leadership and their desire to grow and expand margin, irresponsibly and without any foresight or care for the future.)

Your argument that a purely speculative run on teh commercial banks would happen even while they are separate is just that...pure speculation. With Glass Steagall, commercial banks would do commercial banking activities and not be involved in the CDO money machine, not making speculative bets, they'd be doing traditional bank activities. Investment banks would be taking all the risks, while not being connected to traditional banking activities or customer deposits. It's really as straightforward as it sounds.

If there is another solution, I'm open to hearing it, but removing the risk and speculative activities from commercial banks seems to be the best solution...and one that worked for 70 some-odd years.

I wouldn't call it pure speculation. I mean WaMu was a pure commercial bank and there was a run on it (luckily JPM stepped i).

People here the word bank failing and they get antsy. That's all I am saying. The commercial banks failed in the 30's, the 80's and they could fail again. Not saying GS wouldn't break TBTF up, just saying that it isn't a silver bullet to prevent a financial sector failure.

In reply to wadtk
10/2/11
wadtk:
TheKing:
wadtk:

WHY is the government putting up more regulation??? It's the government that thought every citizen "deserved" a home. The government incentivized Wall Street to act the way it did. Regulate government to stay the fuck out of the economy. Maybe we'll have fewer bubbles then.

Dude, read the Levin-Coburn report on the financial crisis. It has source docs you can read from inside WaMu (one of the top subprime lenders) that explain very clearly how WaMu decided on their own to lend irresponsibly to "grow revenue and expand margin." They knew exactly what they were doing and were not coerced. They set up incentives to salespeople to push as many subprime loans out as possible so they could ship them out to Wall Street firms for securitization. They purposefully shifted their loan portfolio from 75% 30-year mortgages to 75% subprime. They did anything they could to lend to shitbag people and were well aware that they were often selling people irresponsible mortgages or even fraudulent ones. The government did not put a gun to their head forcing them to do this.

I know it's hard to actually study a subject and become informed, especially when it goes against your worldview. It's tough to find out that the beliefs you hold are wrong, I understand that it's not easy. But, if you, and people like you, want to fix things and make our economy better for the long-haul, you're going to need to be informed and intellectually honest.

You kidding me? Take a look at "Closing the Gap: A Guide To Equal Opportunity Lending" published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and then tell me that the government did not provide the tools necessary for banks to make these loans. I never said the put a gun to their head. I said that they incentivized them. Typical liberal twisting words. There have been numerous statements by government officials which indicate that banks were encouraged and pressured to loosen their lending standards so that more people could qualify for mortgages.

Maybe if the Fed had stoped fucking with interest rates and encouraging mal-investment of capital, banks wouldn't have lent to these people. The solution is really easier than you think, my friend.

Solve the problem from the source. You don't seem to get that.

I encourage you to read Capitalism and Freedom, Free to Choose.

I have always said that government played a role. However, it does not excuse the lenders and teh banks from what they did. The big subprime lenders were knowingly lending to major credit risks and pushing out as much crap as they could for purposes of growth and margin expansion, regardless of the long-term consequences. The government did not mandate this, period. Also, just because something is legally possible, does not mean it should be done, nor does it excuse grossly irresponsible behavior.

It's outrageous. People like you will condemn welfare cheats till the cows come home, even though they're really just milking the system. You'll call them lazy leeches, and what have you. But when the banks do something analogous on a monstrous, global scale, it's all the government's fault and the banks just did what they were allowed to do.

The complete inability of so many people, like yourself, to self-reflect and take responsibility is staggering and troubling.

10/2/11

ANT:

I'm not saying it's a silver bullet, but it goes a long way towards preventing crises on this scale. There might not be a perfect solution, but it's a big step.

Again, I'm open to any other suggestions, I just don't hear any of any note.

10/2/11

Also, wadtk...how the fuck am I a liberal? What a fucking joke.

In reply to TheKing
10/2/11
TheKing:

It's outrageous. People like you will condemn welfare cheats till the cows come home, even though they're really just milking the system. You'll call them lazy leeches, and what have you. But when the banks do something analogous on a monstrous, global scale, it's all the government's fault and the banks just did what they were allowed to do.

The complete inability of so many people, like yourself, to self-reflect and take responsibility is staggering and troubling.

I agree! It is the governments fault for incentivizing individuals to not work. It IS the fault of the Greek Gov't that it is defaulting. Not its people (unless you want to fault them for voting them in). They're just doing what rational people should do if the government is going to give them $$. Again, read what I said in my last post. I said that I'm interested in fixing the source of the problem--the government.

What do I have to take responsibility for? Oh, yeah. For me. Time to stop paying my taxes (at least those which go to welfare).

Self-reflection- I deserve to keep 100% of every dollar I earn.

10/2/11

wadtk:

If you want to fix the source of the problem, "government," then how do we do that? Don't just vaguely blame government and not provide a solution. How do we stop TBTF banks from bringing down the global economy? I've put forth ideas, you've just complained about welfare.

In reply to wadtk
10/3/11

wadtk:
TheKing:

It's outrageous. People like you will condemn welfare cheats till the cows come home, even though they're really just milking the system. You'll call them lazy leeches, and what have you. But when the banks do something analogous on a monstrous, global scale, it's all the government's fault and the banks just did what they were allowed to do.

The complete inability of so many people, like yourself, to self-reflect and take responsibility is staggering and troubling.

I agree! It is the governments fault for incentivizing individuals to not work. It IS the fault of the Greek Gov't that it is defaulting. Not its people (unless you want to fault them for voting them in). They're just doing what rational people should do if the government is going to give them $$. Again, read what I said in my last post. I said that I'm interested in fixing the source of the problem--the government.

What do I have to take responsibility for? Oh, yeah. For me. Time to stop paying my taxes (at least those which go to welfare).

Self-reflection- I deserve to keep 100% of every dollar I earn.


Yeah, brilliant conclusion. The Greeks had the same thought.
WSJ Article:
"Greece Grapples With Tax Evasion - Country's shadow economy hurts attempts to rein in huge budget shortfall; a EU50 receipt for a EU40 taxicab ride"
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100014240527487041...


Notice which countries had the largest shadow economies: (1) Greece, (2) Italy, (3) Spain, (4) Portugal, (5) Germany [I guess not all Deutschland people are frugal and honest saviors]. Regardless, I see a pattern emerging.

Once again, I iterate, I don't like welfare nor taxes, but it is a necessary "burden" we pay to live in a civilized society. Trust me, I am very good at taking advantage of our convoluted tax code. The government has it's problems, I know personally. But imagine if it's your job to set policy and agenda that affect 300 million people and have a secondary affect on roughly 6 billion people. It's truly impossible. I couldn't do this in our student government back in the day that satisfied most people.

Revolutions (not saying we're anywhere even remotely near that) all start with the poor and disenfranchised. Look at Russia during the Bolshevik or October Revolution, the recent Arab in Egypt and Tunisia with disenfranchised youth initially leading the vanguard, European protests, etc. A bad economy mixed with rising Gini coefficient, perceived favoritism for the elites (be it lords, generals, bankers, etc.) have a direct correlation to a lot of civil unrest (might not be causation, but there is a lot of correlation). I am much more concerned about this than I am about welfare this or that.

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10/3/11

There's nothing in common between Greece (who has spent over 50% of the last 100 years in default and usually in brutal civil war too) and the USA. The Greeks are crooks through and through. Tax evasion and cheating the law is routine in most Southern European countries - see for example the Spanish who "work" legally only long enough to renew their claim on unemployment benefits, and otherwise work for cash (hence sky high official unemployment).

Re: bailouts, personally I cannot justify them ideologically other than to say state intervention is OK if during an emergency (for example, it is OK for the Army to temporarily take over New Orleans if the place is a chaotic mess post flooding, and for taxpayer money to pay for the rescue of thousands). For me as a trader who has seen a few smaller liquidity crises since, 2008 was clearly such an emergency. The failure of the state was, as for the last XX centuries of financial crises, to encourage and ignore the boom (and its epic fraud wave) whilst it went on, only to then frantically look for solutions as it came off brutally. Lehman showed politicians didn't have the balls to see through a bankruptcy, and the liquidity crisis that followed showed nobody cared about a well functioning financial system, only about preserving whatever little capital they had (we got pretty scared lately when several US banks phoned us saying "by the way we can no longer novate with European banks, well we can't give you a list but let's say don't do it with the French"). The issue was in the previous 60 years and specifically the last 10 or so (this is not a Rep vs Dem issue, since both sides were in power and both sides encouraged it) which is when the root causes of the crisis could have been addressed by, for example, enforcing the law and letting money price itself.

The fraudsters like Mozilo should go to jail, and I also think there should be more shareholder suits such as the one BoA is being under for acquiring Countrywide and disguising its associated write-downs to shareholders whilst raising capital. It does not make a case for banning investment banking prop trading any more than an increase in car accidents makes the case for banning cars. I would love to see a world where banks advertise themselves on the basis of their lack of dangerous speculative activity; then, if retail wants a higher yield and doesn't think beyond the number, they can screw themselves up by investing in Iceland. It's a matter of letting people have responsibility for their own actions, as used to be the case in the US.

I personally look forward to the day my net worth is high enough that I can bank with the Swiss institutions like Pictet; sure a single digit return/annum does not look glorious but these guys survived centuries of crises and they really know how to preserve wealth in the long run. There are no rainbows and unicorns in wealth management, nor is there a guaranteed 20% return in the long run, and it would be good if the American public realized this.

10/3/11

1. Go back to the time when the governments' responsibilities were to enforce law (contracts etc.) and to provide for a strong national defense.
2. Tax "goods, wares, and merchandise, imported into the United States." Internal taxes were frowned upon by the Founders, especially when a national revenue could be had by requiring foreigners to pay for the privilege of doing business on American soil!
3. Get rid of the Dept of Educ, FEMA, Dept of Energy etc.

Read Capitalism and Freedom if you want to learn more. Better yet, watch some of Milton Friedman/Phil Donahue on youtube.

[quote=EURCHF parity]Re: bailouts, personally I cannot justify them ideologically other than to say state intervention is OK if during an emergency (for example, it is OK for the Army to temporarily take over New Orleans if the place is a chaotic mess post flooding, and for taxpayer money to pay for the rescue of thousands). [\quote]

This. Piper Jaffary would have become the new GS/MS/Citi had GS/MS/Citi failed.

10/3/11
In reply to Edmundo Braverman
10/3/11
Edmundo Braverman:

Roseanne Barr: Behead Bankers, Rich Who Won't Give Up Wealth:
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/10/01/...

This is why we can't have nice things.

In reply to Paulson
10/3/11
Paulson:
Edmundo Braverman:

Roseanne Barr: Behead Bankers, Rich Who Won't Give Up Wealth:
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/10/01/...

This is why we can't have nice things.

ROFLMAO. +1

10/3/11

EURCHF all of the reading you have done and "knowledge" you think you have aquired has culminated into producing the foolhardy person you are today. You actually think your wealth is your own and have learned absolutely nothing about history.

When the people decide they want their money and items back; trust me they will have it. Because the world belongs to the mindset of the majority, whether that mindset is based in ignorance or logic is of no consequence and the population must be satisfied.

Clearly you have read about every economist in history judging from your earlier arrogant comments, now go read some Russian history to start, read Voltaire and grab a history book to supplement. When men recognize the ruling power and feel oppression setting in they will revolt. You would be wise to appease them, but it seems you would prefer to advise them to eat cake.

I'll just make sure to stay clear from you and the other drones with your mindset in the years to come.

In reply to jktecon
10/3/11
jktecon:

EURCHF all of the reading you have done and "knowledge" you think you have aquired has culminated into producing the foolhardy person you are today. You actually think your wealth is your own and have learned absolutely nothing about history.

When the people decide they want their money and items back; trust me they will have it. Because the world belongs to the mindset of the majority, whether that mindset is based in ignorance or logic is of no consequence and the population must be satisfied.

Clearly you have read about every economist in history judging from your earlier arrogant comments, now go read some Russian history to start, read Voltaire and grab a history book to supplement. When men recognize the ruling power and feel oppression setting in they will revolt. You would be wise to appease them, but it seems you would prefer to advise them to eat cake.

I'll just make sure to stay clear from you and the other drones with your mindset in the years to come.

Yes, appease those that desire more...Churchill is that you?

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

In reply to wadtk
10/3/11
wadtk:

1. Go back to the time when the governments' responsibilities were to enforce law (contracts etc.) and to provide for a strong national defense.
2. Tax "goods, wares, and merchandise, imported into the United States." Internal taxes were frowned upon by the Founders, especially when a national revenue could be had by requiring foreigners to pay for the privilege of doing business on American soil!
3. Get rid of the Dept of Educ, FEMA, Dept of Energy etc.

Read Capitalism and Freedom if you want to learn more. Better yet, watch some of Milton Friedman/Phil Donahue on youtube.

I don't see how 1, 2, or 3 fix the problem of too big to fail. I'd like a smaller government as well, but that has nothing to do with stopping financial institution failures from bringing down the global economy.

You just basically laid out a conservative wish list which does nothing to address the actual problems.

wadtk:
EURCHF parity:

Re: bailouts, personally I cannot justify them ideologically other than to say state intervention is OK if during an emergency (for example, it is OK for the Army to temporarily take over New Orleans if the place is a chaotic mess post flooding, and for taxpayer money to pay for the rescue of thousands).

This. Piper Jaffary would have become the new GS/MS/Citi had GS/MS/Citi failed.

In reply to jktecon
10/3/11
jktecon:

EURCHF all of the reading you have done and "knowledge" you think you have aquired has culminated into producing the foolhardy person you are today. You actually think your wealth is your own and have learned absolutely nothing about history.

When the people decide they want their money and items back; trust me they will have it. Because the world belongs to the mindset of the majority, whether that mindset is based in ignorance or logic is of no consequence and the population must be satisfied.

Clearly you have read about every economist in history judging from your earlier arrogant comments, now go read some Russian history to start, read Voltaire and grab a history book to supplement. When men recognize the ruling power and feel oppression setting in they will revolt. You would be wise to appease them, but it seems you would prefer to advise them to eat cake.

I'll just make sure to stay clear from you and the other drones with your mindset in the years to come.

My friend, in Switzerland we have 3 million weapons in private homes and the ammo to last decades. We've mined our bridges and built underground, nuke-proof bases under every home, building and in the mountains. We also have tanks and fighter bombers to tackle crowds. So it is with this in mind that I tell you and your "there is no such thing as property" chaotic, insane brethen, if ever you do raise your fat asses from the couch and try to infringe our rights: MOLON LABE.

In reply to happypantsmcgee
10/3/11
happypantsmcgee:
jktecon:

EURCHF all of the reading you have done and "knowledge" you think you have aquired has culminated into producing the foolhardy person you are today. You actually think your wealth is your own and have learned absolutely nothing about history.

When the people decide they want their money and items back; trust me they will have it. Because the world belongs to the mindset of the majority, whether that mindset is based in ignorance or logic is of no consequence and the population must be satisfied.

Clearly you have read about every economist in history judging from your earlier arrogant comments, now go read some Russian history to start, read Voltaire and grab a history book to supplement. When men recognize the ruling power and feel oppression setting in they will revolt. You would be wise to appease them, but it seems you would prefer to advise them to eat cake.

I'll just make sure to stay clear from you and the other drones with your mindset in the years to come.

Yes, appease those that desire more...Churchill is that you?

As oppose to the average banker who is not greedy at all; right. I don't see how a disillusioned population who just paid a trillion dollars to bail out men who are overcompensated and still failed at their jobs is considered greedy.

In reply to EURCHF parity
10/3/11
EURCHF parity:
jktecon:

EURCHF all of the reading you have done and "knowledge" you think you have aquired has culminated into producing the foolhardy person you are today. You actually think your wealth is your own and have learned absolutely nothing about history.

When the people decide they want their money and items back; trust me they will have it. Because the world belongs to the mindset of the majority, whether that mindset is based in ignorance or logic is of no consequence and the population must be satisfied.

Clearly you have read about every economist in history judging from your earlier arrogant comments, now go read some Russian history to start, read Voltaire and grab a history book to supplement. When men recognize the ruling power and feel oppression setting in they will revolt. You would be wise to appease them, but it seems you would prefer to advise them to eat cake.

I'll just make sure to stay clear from you and the other drones with your mindset in the years to come.

My friend, in Switzerland we have 3 million weapons in private homes and the ammo to last decades. We've mined our bridges and built underground, nuke-proof bases under every home, building and in the mountains. We also have tanks and fighter bombers to tackle crowds. So it is with this in mind that I tell you and your "there is no such thing as property" chaotic, insane brethen, if ever you do raise your fat asses from the couch and try to infringe our rights: MOLON LABE.

Sorry it took me an extra 3 minutes to write this post after laughing uncontrollably. I'll never forget seeing an interview of a Swiss "soldier" who said he refused to fire his weapon and he could not imagine ever shooting at a human being. Were you being serious? You guys are the biggest cowards on the planet outside of France, like I said read a history book.

And this is the true pathos to your logic. If truly the hard times come, you who is of questionable wealth, will rely on those poorer than you to defend your property. Good luck.

10/3/11

Ah ok, you must certainly fully understand Swiss society, since you have watched an interview of a Swiss soldier. I gained most of my understanding of the workings of American society from watching that Dallas episode where Ewing gets shot. I was confused for a while but eventually it made sense. These days I make sure to wear my cowboy hat whenever I meet an American for business!

In reply to jktecon
10/3/11
jktecon:

You guys are the biggest cowards on the planet outside of France, like I said read a history book.

Not one invasion in 600 years. Beat that.

In reply to jktecon
10/3/11
jktecon:

You guys are the biggest cowards on the planet outside of France

The Swiss are many things, fucking weird for one, but cowards they are not.

10/3/11

Who says companies are TBTF????

Again, Piper would have become the new MS had it failed. The only thing propping up bad companies does is encourage mal-investment of capital. Let them go, man.

In reply to wadtk
10/3/11
wadtk:

Who says companies are TBTF????

Again, Piper would have become the new MS had it failed. The only thing propping up bad companies does is encourage mal-investment of capital. Let them go, man.

I'm in the camp that we should have let them fail. The issue is, is that the majority and those in power will NEVER allow that to happen. So, we have de facto TBTF banks. Hence my rationale for re-enstating Glass-Steagall and eliminating "Too Big To Fail."

In reply to TheKing
10/3/11
TheKing][quote=wadtk:

Who says companies are TBTF????
I'm in the camp that we should have let them fail. The issue is, is that the majority and those in power will NEVER allow that to happen. So, we have de facto TBTF banks. Hence my rationale for re-enstating Glass-Steagall and eliminating "Too Big To Fail."

Nice. So what do you think about Ron Paul 2012? ;)

In reply to jktecon
10/3/11
jktecon:
EURCHF parity:
jktecon:

EURCHF all of the reading you have done and "knowledge" you think you have aquired has culminated into producing the foolhardy person you are today. You actually think your wealth is your own and have learned absolutely nothing about history.

When the people decide they want their money and items back; trust me they will have it. Because the world belongs to the mindset of the majority, whether that mindset is based in ignorance or logic is of no consequence and the population must be satisfied.

Clearly you have read about every economist in history judging from your earlier arrogant comments, now go read some Russian history to start, read Voltaire and grab a history book to supplement. When men recognize the ruling power and feel oppression setting in they will revolt. You would be wise to appease them, but it seems you would prefer to advise them to eat cake.

I'll just make sure to stay clear from you and the other drones with your mindset in the years to come.

My friend, in Switzerland we have 3 million weapons in private homes and the ammo to last decades. We've mined our bridges and built underground, nuke-proof bases under every home, building and in the mountains. We also have tanks and fighter bombers to tackle crowds. So it is with this in mind that I tell you and your "there is no such thing as property" chaotic, insane brethen, if ever you do raise your fat asses from the couch and try to infringe our rights: MOLON LABE.

Sorry it took me an extra 3 minutes to write this post after laughing uncontrollably. I'll never forget seeing an interview of a Swiss "soldier" who said he refused to fire his weapon and he could not imagine ever shooting at a human being. Were you being serious? You guys are the biggest cowards on the planet outside of France, like I said read a history book.

And this is the true pathos to your logic. If truly the hard times come, you who is of questionable wealth, will rely on those poorer than you to defend your property. Good luck.

Who is going to be revolting in the USA? These sit ins and protests are liberal dominated. Who do you think has the means to actually revolt? Some hippie 20 year old? Get real. The people who have the physical means to do anything are also the ones who would never side with east coast liberals.

Also, FYI, the USA had a revolt once. The South was put in its place.

10/3/11

I think you're underestimating the diversity in all this. On a countrywide scale you're right it has always been difficult for the USA to coordinate a revolt but already these protests are atypical since they have caught on(regardless of how small) in other places.

You're also forgetting all the riots this country has gone through on a basis of race. Race, however, is a division. Class warfare is a unification process. Downplay it if you want to but I have a career I enjoy and prospects I look forward to as well but first and foremost I'm a realist.

A few kids disturbing the peace is one thing but after continuously hearing people attack me for my profession even in jest I can see this not ending so quietly. Only thing on our side is the fear citizens have of the power in the name. I don't have any affiliation or vested interest in any investment bank so in all honesty if the people want their money back I hope they get what they are looking for.

Willing to die for their cause? I don't think too many have become that fanatical. Ready to go to prison? Clearly they've been getting hauled off and they are not detered. Many Crimes can be committed that would only warrant jail time especially with large groups. So yes I'd prefer they are appeased, anything else is just a battle of ignorance.

10/3/11

Dude, so you think racial riots are going to be the tipping point? Yeah right.

Riots gain strength when they have a small, unified enemy. The rich is too vague because unlike in old Europe, many people are well off or have a vested interest.

50% are lower income, but maybe only 20% of those are truly poor. The other might be transitional or have kids in college. Even then, that 50% is broke up racially, geographically, etc.

Poor southern people are not going to unify with inner city blacks.

And once again, what is there to riot against. Because people are jealous of rich people. Get real. The more we listen to the users instead of the producers the closer we get to going down the tubes.

Please tell me why there are riots in Europe? They tax the rich to death, have countless social programs, yet still massive riots. The lesson is that people never can get enough free shit. You need to draw a line in the sand and hold people accountable.

We have a Democracy. The liberals spoke and Obama was elected. Two years later the conservatives spoke and we took the House.

10/3/11

You see this as illegitimate because you are not realizing that by all means the people had their tax dollars used for something they did not approve of. The minute you admit that the population should not make the decisions on how their capital should be spent is the same breath that dictates that democracy can not be upheld.

I also think most people would agree that financiers would fall under the category of users =).

10/3/11

jktecon, are you serious? Bud, these protests are taking place in liberal strongholds. Let them come to a conservative stronghold. Hell, I'll invite them down here to Houston.

In reply to jktecon
10/3/11
jktecon:

You see this as illegitimate because you are not realizing that by all means the people had their tax dollars used for something they did not approve of. The minute you admit that the population should not make the decisions on how their capital should be spent is the same breath that dictates that democracy can not be upheld.

I also think most people would agree that financiers would fall under the category of users =).

1) We are not a true Democracy. People elect representatives and they do the bidding of the people.

2) Since 50% pay no Federal taxes I hope you adjust your calculations of what "the people" are.

I do agree that tax PAYERS don't agree with what the government spends their money on. Entitlements, wasteful spending, bankrupted SSI, Medicare/caid.

So we should restructure, reduce, eliminate waste and reduce taxes for those who pay. We should eliminate deductions and simplify the tax code. We should make the government smaller and allow states and localities to decide more since they are closest to the will of the people.

FYI - The financial sector pays a ton of taxes to this country and state as a whole.
http://www.newyorkfed.org/research/current_issues/...

A study of New York City's tax system finds that over the past three decades, the system has become less reliant on property and general sales taxes and more dependent on corporate and personal income taxes. This shift has made the city's tax revenues less stable than the revenues of the 1970s and more sensitive to cyclical swings.

Corporate and personal income. Bankers paying 35% and much more. Companies with record profits paying for the city.

NYC and this country is not funded on the banks of the poor buddy. The hard working and successful pay for everyone else.

10/3/11

Occupy Houston -> http://occupyhouston.org/

Hey y'all. Thanks for the response to my earlier post. There's a lot here I actually agree with. There's some here I disagree with - not really that I think its wrong, but that its more a miscommunication. Like I said, I won't pretend to speak for all the occupiers, but I have a pretty good finger on that pulse. I've been there since Sept. 20th.

But I will say the educational efforts of myself and our committee have been quite successful. We've been getting good turnout and decent discussions - similar to this one. Tomorrow Dr. Richard Wolff from WBAI will be speaking at 6 PM on the roots of the crisis. (There is a different open forum every day at 6 PM actually.) I don't totally agree with his economic theory, which is mostly marxist, but I'm sure that discussion with be good. I'll be under what is being called "The Weird Red Thing" on Broadway, southeast corner of the park at about quarter to 6 if anyone wants to come.

I can't respond to the issues here tonight though. I'm really beat. I 'm stopping in now so as not to be rude. Besides organizing educational efforts for the protesters, I'm still working on job hunting. I also have to shuttle a partially disabled husband to physical therapy early tomorrow and bring my sweet ol' hound dog to the vet. I'm also doing an ass load of laundry tonight so our occupation will smell slightly less moldy and offensive (see, don't say I'm not thinking of y'all!)

But if you are in NYC come out tomorrow, I'll buy you a drink after. I'll come back in the afternoon anyway and clarify my post, and some of the responses, in the context of what is going on (at least what I think is going on) at Zuccotti park. Until then, good evening everyone. :)

10/3/11

You're acting like people need all these trivial similarities to act in tandem with each other. When natives in Venezuela fought the spaniards the British came in and took land in the confusion. Many cases of this that you should be aware of.

Do your people in Texas actually give a damn about wall street? Perhaps they are a little more unaware or a little more distanced but either way the average country person (from my general assumptions from only knowing a few) would be apathetic at best.

Normal people don't give a damn about glass steagel, Dodd frank, volcker rule, TARP, too big to fail, and all the other talking points. They're losing work and all these Michael Moore types have made bankers out to be 21st century Scrooge types with the persona of gilded age barons. And that is not me. I don't want to be associated with that, nor do my friends. And some of us do still take pride in our background.

10/3/11

Oh and in case I didn't add this piece before, I really think this is the best piece I've read and sums up how I feel quite well. From the financial media no less...go figure right? Ha!
http://www.bnet.com/blog/financial-business/why-82...

In reply to jktecon
10/3/11
jktecon:

Normal people don't give a damn about glass steagel, Dodd frank, volcker rule, TARP, too big to fail, and all the other talking points.

i wonder if this is why shit will continue to repeat itself...

10/3/11

How did we get a fucking protester on this site. Makes me sick.

10/3/11
10/3/11

It is a cognitive block I have I suppose. People who most likely pay very little in taxes, complaining tax money (which they didn't pay) being used to stop banks from failing (which would of hurt the middle class even more if they did) and then being all anti corporate (which employs millions of people).

Everyone wants a Greek system of benefits, but no one wants to pay for it. Can liberals at least agree that someone has to pay for entitlement programs. Obviously the rich are who the liberals want to pay for everything. Why are you protesting banks, places that pay employees a lot, who in turn pay out the ass in taxes?

Cutting the nose off to spite the face.

In reply to TNA
10/3/11
ANT:

How did we get a fucking protester on this site. Makes me sick.

How did we get a neocon on this site? Makes me sick.

10/3/11

Also, I think it is safe to assume that the people protesting are all about equality, not hurting poor, developing nation people, etc.

How are you going to get jobs back in the USA without fucking poor, developing nation people?

Maybe they think companies will all of a sudden decide to lose money, altruistically. Unfortunately, any company that just says "fuck investors, we are going to cut prices and donate to charity" will soon find themselves getting taken over by someone else when their stock tanks.

Basic economics. So friggin simple. God, how people can be so dumb.

10/3/11

Yeah, a neo con on a wall street site. Who would of thought.

I am not the one advocating taxing a group of people simply because I THINK they don't deserve it. Sorry that I am not about forcing others to live by my opinions and beliefs.

I see a lot of preaching and forcing people to do things in the Occupy Wall Street declaration. Not much liberty or freedom of choice.

10/3/11

Keep sweating my posts bro. I am loving the love.

In reply to TNA
10/3/11
ANT:

It is a cognitive block I have I suppose. People who most likely pay very little in taxes, complaining tax money (which they didn't pay) being used to stop banks from failing (which would of hurt the middle class even more if they did) and then being all anti corporate (which employs millions of people).

Everyone wants a Greek system of benefits, but no one wants to pay for it. Can liberals at least agree that someone has to pay for entitlement programs. Obviously the rich are who the liberals want to pay for everything. Why are you protesting banks, places that pay employees a lot, who in turn pay out the ass in taxes?

Cutting the nose off to spite the face.

What really gets me is that I think most reasonable people don't want a greek system of benefits, but rather some common-sense, simple solutions that will prevent future catastrophes.

I think I've outlined, at length, the reasons why it's worth protesting the banks.

The way you cheer-lead for the banks is honestly disgusting.

10/3/11

Dude, what the fuck are you talking about. You agree that some banks are TBTF. You agree that if they failed people would be suffering far more than they are now.

Where the fuck are we disagreeing. Did I not say I was for GS? Are you telling me that Occupy Wall Street is trying to get GS back? If that is their only ask, I would support it.

C'mon dude.

10/3/11

"Sweating your posts." You're a fucking turbo.

10/3/11

If you live in NYC you sure as fuck better at least realize how much the financial community contributes to the city. Corporate and personal income taxes pay for NYC. Waiting tables isn't keeping the engine of NYC running.

How many posts do you see where people bitch about their bonus being jacked during tax season. Where do you think that money goes?

Take the blinders off.

10/3/11

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=tur...

Turbo

HAhahahahahhahahaha

Thanks for the new word, that is great.

You still sweat me, its cool though. Everyone needs a fanboi

10/3/11

Right, I understand where the bulk of NYC's taxes come from. I fail to see what that has to do with anything. Does that mean the banks should be coddled and that corporate socialism is justified? Does it mean that we shouldn't want to fix structural issues?

Look, I realize that a fuck ton of the protestors don't know jack shit and are just a bunch of lefties. But, if it's "wrong" to paint all tea party protestors as retard evangelicals who think that medicare is a private sector program, than it's no better to paint all of these protestors are lefty socialist cunts.

In reply to TNA
10/3/11
ANT:

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=tur...

Turbo

HAhahahahahhahahaha

Thanks for the new word, that is great.

You still sweat me, its cool though. Everyone needs a fanboi

Yeah dude, I sweat another man on a finance forum. Are you retarded? Hard to imagine a tard could amass 8,000+ posts. Do you ever see the light of day?

10/3/11

Hey hey, I have my MA (my booby prize for leaving a PhD program) in Econ from a decent program! I did my stint as an analyst. I got into investigative and compliance research after that before going to the public sector. I've been reading on this site for over a year. And there's really no reason to be angry or sickened. There were some here who were interested in what the protests were about so I added my view of it from what I've seen. That's all.

10/3/11

1) The tax revenue issues is relevant. To make it out that Banks do nothing and bankers are evil is to fail to see how much the do contribute. The tax payer is used as some sort of folk hero without realizing that banks and bankers ARE tax payers and pretty big contributors.

2)You agree that they should of been bailed out. You just think they should of been broken up after. Correct? Fine. I support GS. What I don't like is the fact that all banks are vilified when many of them were perfectly fine and forced to take TARP.

3) Have you seen that declaration from the protesters? It is a kitchen sink of liberal and socialistic ideals. I think painting the movement as basically socialistic is pretty damn fair if you ask me. Go read it and tell me you disagree.

And Turbo? Where the fuck did you hear that shit man?

10/3/11

I have 642 Silver Banana's

That is almost 2K right there.

Don't hate bro. I know you love my posts. Secretly desiring my legitness on this site. I'll mentor you if you want. Free ta boot.

10/3/11

Ant you don't even realize that you are one synapse away from my point of view. Recognize that these people are in large part ignorant and as our protestor friend revealed to us, they are now being "educated". In other words they are being told why they are protesting.

They only came to NYC because they were mad as hell and that is not normal. Ignorance is a devastating weapon when coupled with anger, confusion and encouragement. Would you seriously argue the inner workings of the banking system and its interrelation with government to this lot?

They don't want facts, figures and an enlightened view of reality. They are not even fighting for a better world where truly the best potential candidates receive appropriate employment. Just appease these people for christs sake and be done with it.

10/3/11

Ok, what the fuck are we going to do then? Obama dropped a trillion bucks and the economy sucks. Raise taxes on the rich? Ok cool and what then? More stimulus that might or might not work.

The Fed is one step away from Bernanke in a pick up truck having out hundred dollar bills. The government is doing everything fucking possible.

I mean throw me a solution and I will discuss it.

Blows my mind. Obama gets elected and does nothing the people wanted, yet they still support him. We are basically being held hostage by retarded college kids.

10/3/11

The USA has reached the point where people will absolutely feel no pain. I hope we realize this. Why people are not burning Obama in effigy is beyond me also. He was elected entirely on the change platform. He has a Dem controlled government.

Poof, he completely blew that chance. Now people want another 4 years?? I hope they realize that without a Dem controlled Congress that another 4 years of Obama will be much more main stream and moderate than they want.

I get it that you can't talk or reason with these people. Maslow's pyramid and all. What is the price to by these clowns off so we can go back to supporting the 50% who free ride?

10/4/11

I think Sophie needs to enlighten everyone as to what it is they truly want. I'm not familiar with anyone protesting and god only knows what would encourage them to pack it up. I feel the banks should give them something and allow this to focus on government again. Some people are mad at congress getting life pay and no incentive to get things done. Send them to Washington.

I want to know from Sophie the demographics of the groups. I'm sure some anarchists have mixed themselves in but for the most part I know these are at least semi rational people looking for something and I say just listen. Listen and show them how to get to Washington.

10/4/11

Really, what can we give these people to make them go away. We can all chip in and buy them a new Iphone, that should do it.

10/4/11

Simple way to understand economics, and the protests: winter has come, it's cold, we didn't stockpile enough wood, so the kids are asking to burn the furniture.

10/4/11

I don't think "bankers are evil." I shy away from sweeping generalizations - they are almost always silly and niave. I do however think many of the protestors would find the lack of compassion for others as evidence of "evil." (I don't like that word, I'm just parroting it.) Graduating into a tight labor market did not make me more intelligent or capable than anyone on the labor market now. It just makes me lucky. I personally don't think scolding others for not being lucky is very productive. (That is my general problem with the objectivist world view - I find it inherently irrational.)

I also think its a mistake to regard policy making as something that exists in a neat little box. Just last night I was watching the new Rick Burns documentary argue the 16th amendment got over the top really with a big push by the temperance movment. Thinking an income tax replacing revenues from booze would make a national prohibition on alcohol more likely, they threw their organization weight behind the formula of the 16th amendment to make the income tax constitutional. Policy is made at an intersection of all kinds of thought. Almost a comedy of errors. Reducing things to ideological purity just creates non-existent straw menfor people to argue against. This is true on both the left and right. IBs have tossed what, $5B down the deadweight loss holein the past 5 years by buying most of K street. If you want to consider regulatory capture you have to accept some level of regulatory capture. That would upset the delicately pure understanding of an objectivist, free market philosophy. That calls for less or no regulation but doesnt contemplate a world where the regulated make the regulations.

The reality is, many banks don't pay taxes. Many banks are carrying forward their losses even as they have become wildly profitble. BofA, Citibank...they aren't going to pay taxes for years to come. And honestly if you want to shield profit, Im guessing their are plenty of cheap acqusitions to make to do that. I personally have never been a big fan of the corporate tax as every study that considers capital mobility shows the corporate tax gets passed to workers and consumers and that capital just flees...but the alternative which is to tax the owners of capital is even less palatable. Particularly if the owners are taxed as income vs capital gains which many of the protestors are demanding. And I think everyone can agree there are just rediculous excesses in the tax code such as a carried interest rule that allows a fund manager to avoid taxes and borrow their own money at a rediculously low rate. Obviously banks and bankers and other financial entities and those employed by them. Arguing that ALL of them pay their fair share is a little more tenuious. I think people woud be a little more convinced if some of them weren't still sitting on Fed loan program money (above and beyond what treasury and tarp did) and QE2 money.

Of course jobs raining from the sky would help too - as the argument isn't just limited to the financial sector
institutions.

No one ignores the fact that these institutions, regardless, add a lot to the economy and labor market. As I said, the protestors are for the most part avowedly capitalist and this is very much about reform versus revolution (the glass-steagal sign is one of the most popular ones there...really!) I think the question is more about - is this enough of a contribution that it outweighs the economic consequences of the tax policy changes and regulations being proposed? As someone else pointed out, people and instiutions do crazy stuff when they have essentially the backing of a soveirgn government to do it. Even the healthy banks that didnt need tarp had the implicit guarantee of socialized risk but privatized profits . I believe the entities inquestion still understand this to be their social compact and that Lehman was regarded as the exception that proves the rule. Is this really our most efficient use of capital? Was QE 1 and 2 really more efficient than say paying the kids in Zuccoti park to dig ditches? Hyperbole, but you get my drift.

So the choice which presented itself as don't bail out bad banks and suffer bad consequences or bailout banks and suffer "mild" consequences, has actually somehow manifested into bailout most banks, while most people suffer moderate to bad consequences, and banks restore themselves to profitibility (enough to engage in the capture of the new regulatory process) and avoid taxes. That's the policy reality...and it doesn't fix any of the original problems. When talking about the protests, you have to understand people aren't reacting to the objectivists idealized world of what should have happened, they are reacting to what did happen (or didn't happen as it were.)

The feeling of many of the protestors is that this trade off they have lived with of socialized risk and privitized returns in exchange for some tax revenue to be redistributed and a private sector driven labor market has stopped working in their best interests. The extreme versions of these are conservative axioms people just don't buy anymore. And indeed they may just be right. They believe there are alternatives that will work out better for the long run. I for one am not worried too too much about provoking Ayn Rand's dystopian future as described in Atlas Shrugged if we decide to return to a tax code and a regulatory system we had for many years. Those are just stories to scare college republican boys. Lol. People don't want ideology, they want solutions. I care less about the "size" of government and care more that it is achieving its task of providing public goods, regulating trade and conducting foreign policy competently. I hear "small government" and it sounds like a platitude.Greece has tax collectors that take bribes to not collect taxes. In essence America has tax policy makers that take bribes to not make tax policy. Neither one is effective.

And just to go back to my original point, its just easier and more productive to have a sense of compassion even if it means loosening your grip on your ideology. If we had more people willing to meet each other in the shades of
grey maybe things wouldn't have got this crazy to begin with. Assume just for a moment the plutocracy does have a problem. Acting like a jerk isn't going to make it better right?

10/4/11

Simple example: Switzerland functions basically like the ideal Libertarian/Objectivist state. There is no central government to speak off (the only centralised functions are for e.g. allocating work permits), the cantons have all the power and continuously compete for the wealthiest and most productive residents. There's no minimum wage, but if you are Swiss you will never be unemployed and your effective minimum wage (for e.g. waiting tables) is (according to 20 Minuten quoting a Swiss study) around $5,000/month (4,500 CHF). That's more than a junior trader makes in Paris for the first 3-10 years. The crime rate, except in Geneva (which has good connections with France's welfare ghettos) is extremely low, despite 3 million guns there is one gun incident per quarter million inhabitants per year, and income tax rates to fund the government that doesn't provide any "essential public goods" oscillate between 3% (Obwald) and 25% (Genf/Zurich). Foreign companies are actually encouraged to come set up in Switzerland by slashing their tax rate to half what local companies pay.

Result? USDCHF down to 0.7 prior to intervention, EURCHF at parity (1.004) prior to intervention (which I think was inherently non-Swiss), close to full employment throughout the crisis (strong CHF did cause a few thousand losses due to the rapid appreciation), a thriving economy even today despite all the major clients being hit by the double whammy of recession and a weaker currency.

Imagine if the US was to do this.

But no, for people like you, goods are a finite pie that must be shared, and those who have the most pie are "taking" from those who have the least. The concept that economic growth might be feeding on itself, that a thriving economy creates more wealth and jobs for everybody is alien to those who prefer to feed on the wealth creators. So instead you apply further brakes and control to the economy until it comes to a further and further standstill, justifying further intervention.

For example, your current unemployment rate at 9%+ seems odd compared to your long term average of 4% or so, but is standard for a social democracy as you find in Europe (the 20%+ numbers you occasionally see quoted are because it is usual for people to work on the black market most of the time and pop in and out of employment just long enough to claim benefits and evade tax). It's the first and direct consequence of your election of statist politicians from Clinton (until he was Newt-ered) and Bush to Obama, with the most significant contributors being FDR (who changed the definition of "rights" to enable the poor to stake a claim on the wealthy), Johnson (who implemented FDR's concepts the furthest), Nixon (who destroyed the value of the currency allowing for massive stealth tax) and Carter (who like Obama made a bad crisis worse by increasing statism). I'll add Reagan to this; although his decision to use the cheap Japanese funds to grow America was a good trade in the short term, it has hooked the US on the drug of debt-fuelled growth and by legislating permanent deficits he was an architect of today's demise. I admire the guy's attempts at freeing America, I admire his balls (e.g. firing 11,000 air controllers), although he was really inspired by Thatcher, but it is telling that even he, with a far worse crisis on his hands and a central banker with balls the size of Jupiter, was unable to reverse the tide of welfare entitlements that is currently bankrupting the country, dragging economic growth to a standstill, and turning the US into Europe.

What is crucial to understand, and what you can understand from studying crises for the past 4 millenia, is that the more the unproductive stake a claim on economic growth without earning it, the slower growth becomes, justifying more stake claiming, slowing the growth further, justifying via "crisis" arguments further clamping down on growth, and this vicious circle has ended more than one civilization (the Romans and the Farsi in particular come to mind). This is why I think Obama will win in 2012 (or at the very least Hilary). Socialists ALWAYS get elected after a bubble bursts. It was Obama in 2008, Merkel will be kicked out shortly in Germany, France is about to get Mitterrand 2, Italy is ending a multi decade reign of the right, Greece is turning communist (not that they ever left, unofficially)... Britain was lucky to have had Labour in charge during the good times as it justified kicking them out; if the Tories had coincided with the bubble, Labour would be in charge.

So don't worry, Sophie, you will get your increased regulation and redistribution. Don't worry, us "crazy jerks" and"ideologues" will stay on the sidelines and cynically comment that plus ca change...

10/4/11

Here's a real life example. Might sound similar to modern times.
http://takimag.com/article/the_dawn_of_decadence/p...

Active at the turn of the 6th century, Mazdak preached the virtues of pacifism, though his followers often took part in riots where they'd kill lots of people they didn't like. And like most "highly evolved" people, Mazdak was a vegetarian. He wore various forms of hair shirts, looking like a slob being seen as a sign of dignity in his faith. His faith also required the total abolition of private property.

Mazdak opened the state granaries to the people so they didn't have to work: these were store houses against disaster or for military uses.

And the inevitable conclusion:

Eventually, thousands would die in a decades-long civil war against these avowed pacifists in a nation that had known internal peace for centuries.

In reply to jktecon
10/4/11
jktecon:

You're acting like people need all these trivial similarities to act in tandem with each other. When natives in Venezuela fought the spaniards the British came in and took land in the confusion. Many cases of this that you should be aware of.

Do your people in Texas actually give a damn about wall street? Perhaps they are a little more unaware or a little more distanced but either way the average country person (from my general assumptions from only knowing a few) would be apathetic at best.

Normal people don't give a damn about glass steagel, Dodd frank, volcker rule, TARP, too big to fail, and all the other talking points. They're losing work and all these Michael Moore types have made bankers out to be 21st century Scrooge types with the persona of gilded age barons. And that is not me. I don't want to be associated with that, nor do my friends. And some of us do still take pride in our background.

By wall street it seems to me you are referring to the physical location, then no. If you are saying wall street as it is meant in investment banks, then yes. WE have a few IB's in Texas. Houston is....the energy capital of teh world.

I love the assumption that Texans are the average country folk. WE all have 5 gallon hats, have pistols strapped to our sides, ride horses to work.....Yee Haw!!

In reply to TNA
10/4/11
ANT:

1) The tax revenue issues is relevant. To make it out that Banks do nothing and bankers are evil is to fail to see how much the do contribute. The tax payer is used as some sort of folk hero without realizing that banks and bankers ARE tax payers and pretty big contributors.

2)You agree that they should of been bailed out. You just think they should of been broken up after. Correct? Fine. I support GS. What I don't like is the fact that all banks are vilified when many of them were perfectly fine and forced to take TARP.

3) Have you seen that declaration from the protesters? It is a kitchen sink of liberal and socialistic ideals. I think painting the movement as basically socialistic is pretty damn fair if you ask me. Go read it and tell me you disagree.

And Turbo? Where the fuck did you hear that shit man?

On point 2:

--You do realize that TARP was just a piece of the puzzle, right? You're really tiring me out at this point with your lack of understanding on this. If it were only TARP, it would still be a disgrace, but it wasn't only TARP. The Fed lent billions and billions to just about every major bank in existence in the US and worldwide (we lent to the fucking Bank of Libya), it even lent billions to NON-BANKING COMPANIES. Fucking BMW got a loan from the Fed. This has all been widely reported on by Bloomberg and others. On top of that, there was TALF, switching MS and Goldman to bank holding companies overnight so they could access the discount window, changes in mark-to-market accounting rules, and so-on-and-so-forth. To boil it down to "TARP was forced on healthy banks" makes you sound like an abject moron and a simpleton incapable of understanding things that might not fit into your world view.

--Further, again, this isn't hard. I don't accept TBTF, but realize that the government will never actually allow one of these firms to fail. Hence, we have de facto TBTF institutions. Therefore, I propose we break them up responsibly and institute simple, straightforward rules (that have already worked for decades) to keep commercial banks from getting involved in risky activity.

On Point 3:

--I understand this, trust me, I do. I also recognize that there is going to be a lot of riff-raff involved, as there is with the tea party protests, but if it gets attention put on the problems at hand, it can be a good thing. If the alternative is "do nothing and move forward with the status quo," I'd rather have hippies make some noise.

If the Tea Party protests could bring more attention to the debt and deficits, then the Occupy Wall Street folks can bring attention to structural issues with Wall Street. Trust me when I say this, I'd rather see a million man march on the Capitol building with people holding homemade "We Want Glass Steagall" signs and singing chants about the CDO machine's brutal negative feedback loop...but that's just not going to happen. So, I find myself happy that people are making noise in general.

10/4/11

Sweating me again dude. No homo.

No shit there is more than just TARP. If you are whining about funds going to BMW, GE, European banks, etc then you really should be protesting the government, shouldn't you?

I focus on TARP because it is one of the more clear issues and was CLEARLY forced on healthy banks, commercial banks, etc.

Calling me a simpleton because I try and specify my argument just makes you look like a fanboi hating on me for showing you up all the time. It's cool bro, I will ease off you, don't want to hurt ego's or anything.

In reply to SophieinBK
10/4/11
SophieinBK:

I don't think "bankers are evil." I shy away from sweeping generalizations - they are almost always silly and niave. I do however think many of the protestors would find the lack of compassion for others as evidence of "evil." (I don't like that word, I'm just parroting it.) Graduating into a tight labor market did not make me more intelligent or capable than anyone on the labor market now. It just makes me lucky. I personally don't think scolding others for not being lucky is very productive. (That is my general problem with the objectivist world view - I find it inherently irrational.)

I also think its a mistake to regard policy making as something that exists in a neat little box. Just last night I was watching the new Rick Burns documentary argue the 16th amendment got over the top really with a big push by the temperance movment. Thinking an income tax replacing revenues from booze would make a national prohibition on alcohol more likely, they threw their organization weight behind the formula of the 16th amendment to make the income tax constitutional. Policy is made at an intersection of all kinds of thought. Almost a comedy of errors. Reducing things to ideological purity just creates non-existent straw menfor people to argue against. This is true on both the left and right. IBs have tossed what, $5B down the deadweight loss holein the past 5 years by buying most of K street. If you want to consider regulatory capture you have to accept some level of regulatory capture. That would upset the delicately pure understanding of an objectivist, free market philosophy. That calls for less or no regulation but doesnt contemplate a world where the regulated make the regulations.

The reality is, many banks don't pay taxes. Many banks are carrying forward their losses even as they have become wildly profitble. BofA, Citibank...they aren't going to pay taxes for years to come. And honestly if you want to shield profit, Im guessing their are plenty of cheap acqusitions to make to do that. I personally have never been a big fan of the corporate tax as every study that considers capital mobility shows the corporate tax gets passed to workers and consumers and that capital just flees...but the alternative which is to tax the owners of capital is even less palatable. Particularly if the owners are taxed as income vs capital gains which many of the protestors are demanding. And I think everyone can agree there are just rediculous excesses in the tax code such as a carried interest rule that allows a fund manager to avoid taxes and borrow their own money at a rediculously low rate. Obviously banks and bankers and other financial entities and those employed by them. Arguing that ALL of them pay their fair share is a little more tenuious. I think people woud be a little more convinced if some of them weren't still sitting on Fed loan program money (above and beyond what treasury and tarp did) and QE2 money.

Of course jobs raining from the sky would help too - as the argument isn't just limited to the financial sector
institutions.

No one ignores the fact that these institutions, regardless, add a lot to the economy and labor market. As I said, the protestors are for the most part avowedly capitalist and this is very much about reform versus revolution (the glass-steagal sign is one of the most popular ones there...really!) I think the question is more about - is this enough of a contribution that it outweighs the economic consequences of the tax policy changes and regulations being proposed? As someone else pointed out, people and instiutions do crazy stuff when they have essentially the backing of a soveirgn government to do it. Even the healthy banks that didnt need tarp had the implicit guarantee of socialized risk but privatized profits . I believe the entities inquestion still understand this to be their social compact and that Lehman was regarded as the exception that proves the rule. Is this really our most efficient use of capital? Was QE 1 and 2 really more efficient than say paying the kids in Zuccoti park to dig ditches? Hyperbole, but you get my drift.

So the choice which presented itself as don't bail out bad banks and suffer bad consequences or bailout banks and suffer "mild" consequences, has actually somehow manifested into bailout most banks, while most people suffer moderate to bad consequences, and banks restore themselves to profitibility (enough to engage in the capture of the new regulatory process) and avoid taxes. That's the policy reality...and it doesn't fix any of the original problems. When talking about the protests, you have to understand people aren't reacting to the objectivists idealized world of what should have happened, they are reacting to what did happen (or didn't happen as it were.)

The feeling of many of the protestors is that this trade off they have lived with of socialized risk and privitized returns in exchange for some tax revenue to be redistributed and a private sector driven labor market has stopped working in their best interests. The extreme versions of these are conservative axioms people just don't buy anymore. And indeed they may just be right. They believe there are alternatives that will work out better for the long run. I for one am not worried too too much about provoking Ayn Rand's dystopian future as described in Atlas Shrugged if we decide to return to a tax code and a regulatory system we had for many years. Those are just stories to scare college republican boys. Lol. People don't want ideology, they want solutions. I care less about the "size" of government and care more that it is achieving its task of providing public goods, regulating trade and conducting foreign policy competently. I hear "small government" and it sounds like a platitude.Greece has tax collectors that take bribes to not collect taxes. In essence America has tax policy makers that take bribes to not make tax policy. Neither one is effective.

And just to go back to my original point, its just easier and more productive to have a sense of compassion even if it means loosening your grip on your ideology. If we had more people willing to meet each other in the shades of
grey maybe things wouldn't have got this crazy to begin with. Assume just for a moment the plutocracy does have a problem. Acting like a jerk isn't going to make it better right?

I would be more than happy to pay these people to dig ditches. Unfortunately they would expect $20 bucks an hour and free health care.

I'm with JK at this point. Give them something to make them go away. The new Iphone is coming out today and I have important things to worry about.

In reply to TNA
10/4/11
ANT:

Sweating me again dude. No homo.

No shit there is more than just TARP. If you are whining about funds going to BMW, GE, European banks, etc then you really should be protesting the government, shouldn't you?

I focus on TARP because it is one of the more clear issues and was CLEARLY forced on healthy banks, commercial banks, etc.

Calling me a simpleton because I try and specify my argument just makes you look like a fanboi hating on me for showing you up all the time. It's cool bro, I will ease off you, don't want to hurt ego's or anything.

Get over yourself, it's an internet forum. This is why you're a turbo.

10/4/11
10/4/11

Someone asked about the demographics:

About a week ago it was exclusively young people - mostly college educated - but not ivy league. I'd say 85% of them are reformist capitalist, but there's a smattering of central planning advocates and a smattering of anarchists.

Now there's many more older, "professional" lefties. There are more labor unions coming out to support them. There are established left wing groups with papers and websites no one will ever read (including the Socialist Party and others.) There is a group now from Vets for Peace. It looks more and more like an Answer rally every day. But there are TONS of regular New Yorkers who come after work and bring donations. There are also a TON of younger professionals from around the area who come after work when many of the working group and General Assembly meetings are held. I had coffee the other night with a PR rep and accountant at a big 4 firm stuck at entry level.

I'd say most if not all is a reformist capitalist agenda. See the above post for some of the "most" discussed issues of proposed reform. But there isn't a set list of demands, nor is there going to be one. At least I don't think. Every one has their issue and so far everyone has been content to let them have it - Some of them are mainstream thought but politically unrelated to wall street like a public health care option or going back to free university systems or an tying the minimum wage to the CPI or something similar. There's also a large group concerned with environmental issues, particularly global warming and the buildup of of Co2 in our atmosphere. Many people see this as the coming destabilizing economic issue of the next decades.

However, most people are protesting something that could generally fall under shareholder value ideology and the biggest targets are banks and banking reform for sure. Most of the banking reforms being talked about are all the mainstream things we have seen from the economics commentariat in response to our liquidity crisis and every localized crisis that came out of that. Like I said, the VAST majority subscribe to a reformist capitalist agenda rather than a communist or marxist one. Getting industry lobbyists out of Washington is a big issues (ie. campaign finance reform to overturn Citizen's United.) They aren't worried so much about small groups, liberal or conservative - but when groups like the US chamber can come in and are basically outsourced the task of writing legislation - or the US comes damn close to what could have turned into a technical default because people signed a pledge written by Grover Norquist, these things are problems. There's a ton of Ron Paul people at the protests too. Hence all the "End the Fed" signs. I'm still trying to figure that out though.

There's a lot wrong that neither liberals and conservatives like. Its a big tent and basically open to anyone who has any brand of disillusionment with the current nexus of power and politics. Realistically, even if 2 million people marched on Washington with signs that say "reinstate Glass Steagal" it won't happen because Wall Street won't let it. So people are protesting the corrupting influence rather than those corrupted. That's just the ugly reality of the situation.

I personally believe many of the banking reforms that should have been on Congress' plate are not going to get through that Dodd Frank disaster (which is really a few new committees that won't do anything and passing of the regulatory baton from Congress to the SEC.) In my view this is a direct consequence of regulatory capture. Me and many many others want to end TBTF, because like I said the amazing and frightening reality is - this did not happen in the immediate wake of the CDO crisis. If you come down you'll see a TON of pretty funny signs poking fun at TBTF and the CDO crisis. They always show the Free Mumia weirdos on TV. But the jokers selling interest ARM mortgages on the street and "good tranches cheap" are hysterical. Yesterday someone was trying to put a fake Countrywide ad in the Occupied Wall Street journal (the daily newspaper of the plaza.) We were laughing so hard. We have so much donated paint and pizza boxes that we make new signs every day as old ones get wet and tossed. The other day when it was raining so hard someone was holding a sign on Broadway that said "My feet and my mortgage are underwater." Everyone is trying to keep their sense of humor. It helps break the ice with people from the area.

Hope this helps...I gotta run right now. Gotta do the taking care of the family BS. Hope this helps clarify the situation down there. Like I said, if you are in NYC, just go ask questions. People will be totally nice to you and you can hear the gammut of issues for yourself. I've done a ton of this in the last couple weeks. I really like talking to people and answering their questions. Richard Wolff is speaking under the weird red thing on Broadway at 6 PM. All anyone asks is (excuse my language) but don't be a dick to people. Cool?

10/4/11

Sophie. Very informative post once again. Unfortunately, it will fall on deaf ears in this place. Keep up the good work, nonetheless.

10/4/11

Yeah, nice and moderate synopsis. Unfortunately, the stated goals of Occupy Wall Street are not main stream and not going to happen.

Like I said previously, if these people had a focused goal, something reasonable, change could happen. Instead they adopt the entire left wing agenda (and then some).

Obama will pander to this crowd, like the fool he is.

Newsflash to Obama. The left will vote for you NO MATTER WHAT. You need to pander to the moderates if you want to win the election. Duh.

In reply to TNA
10/4/11
ANT:

Newsflash to Obama. The left will vote for you NO MATTER WHAT. You need to pander to the moderates if you want to win the election. Duh.

ANT, I think you might be so far to the right that you don't realize how moderate Obama is, and why that's such a problem with his base. He's losing supporters from the left camp every day because he's not left enough. He's been abandoned by a lot of his big name supporters because he squandered the opportunity to take the country way to the left when he was elected.

Let's face it: in the beginning he could've gotten anything passed just by pointing to a picture of Bush and saying, "I'm not this fucking doofus.". Plus he essentially had a supermajority in Congress.

The right never has, and never will, embrace him. His approval rating is plummeting because he's not a big enough commie and the lefties are pissed off.

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