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"however, why should I be worried about million dollar bonuses, most of which are pre-negociated terms of compensation to individuals years old, when the Dems are throwing around BILLIONS in ridiculous non-essential earmarks? I understand the PR aspect of the bonus thing but it really isnt relevant to the stimulus package in my opinion. I really have no desire for public opinion or government politics to have a say in the compensation of any employee not employed by a government agency. its really none of their business."


I don't think you fundamentally understand what we're talking about here. The financials wizards out of Hardvard, Princeton, and Chicago created out of thin air the capability to pump the residential market to the moon. They got fantastically rich doing this. They continue to get fantastically rich with taxpayer money. At the same time, what they are hoping to avoid doing is having the worthless CDS and MBSs marked to market. Why? Because they are so complex that there is a good chance no one, literally no one, can value them. If you can't assign something a value, it has no value. This will bring their house of cards tumbling down.

So what is their play? To hope the buddies they have donated tons of money to (with promises of more in the future) will take these assets off their hands and shove them onto the taxpayers dime, saving their careers. The taxpayer will take huge losses (as we already have on the first round of TARP) because the value we have had to pay for these worthless MBSs are more than the underlying property will return to in any reasonable time frame (if ever).

The stimulus plan, on the other hand, if it is properly oversighted will at least go into the country in some fashion. I don't agree with all the pork, but the majority of that bothers me less than the bought and paid for government calling the shots from Wall Street.

2/2/2009 9:49:24 AM

DaBird
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I dont fundamentally disagree with you.

many of the pointy heads on wall street screwed the pooch because they were greedy fucks. in no way am I advocating the further lining of their pockets. our government, particularly Barney Frank, failed us miserably and unfortunately, we had to bail out some of them for our own good. not for theirs. I am not saying those individuals should be compensated. we elected d-nozzles like Frank, therefore we, as taxpayers, are also somewhat responsible for what happened.

I am saying that we have to stop lumping the whole of "wall street" into the same "bonus outrage." lots of people on Wall Street deserve and are owed their compensation. lumping them in with the crooks is unfair and is a knee-jerk PR reaction. whining about some guys collecting their bonuses is exceedingly silly when the focus SHOULD be on the billions and billions of dollars disguised as a 'stimulus' package that is unnecessary spending at a time when our government has no money!

2/2/2009 9:56:28 AM

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It must be a fierce internal conflict for a good Republican like yourself to want to keep free market and no regulation in place despite all the cronyism and borderline illegal activities that happens to make those guys rich.

Quote :
"
I am saying that we have to stop lumping the whole of "wall street" into the same "bonus outrage." lots of people on Wall Street deserve and are owed their compensation. lumping them in with the crooks is unfair and is a knee-jerk PR reaction. whining about some guys collecting their bonuses is exceedingly silly when the focus SHOULD be on the billions and billions of dollars disguised as a 'stimulus' package that is unnecessary spending at a time when our government has no money!"

Did you read what I wrote? These guys get to keep their bonus, their fiefdom, their status, their livelihood, while the taxpayer gets stuck with worse terms than a private investor (buffet) was able to negotiate on his own. Do you get that? The American taxpayer, supposedly wielding more productive power, more purchasing power, and a checkbook FAR greater than a private investor got worse terms by about half. The stimulus bill is probably half baked and misguided, but what is going on behind the scenes at the hands of those on Wall Street is vastly more corrupt and wasteful than giving 50 million to an art museum.

[Edited on February 2, 2009 at 10:08 AM. Reason : .]

2/2/2009 10:05:23 AM

agentlion
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"lets not bend over to pick up the pennies while the dollar bills fly over our heads."

Funny - that was pretty much McCain's entire economic policy. We're facing trillion dollar deficits and all he could talk about for months was overhead projectors and basic science research

2/2/2009 10:10:06 AM

DaBird
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did you even read what I said?

you are implying that every single company, every single private entity on wall street is corrupt. I am saying that they are not. I am agreeing there are some who deserve absolutely nothing for what they have done, and still some more that probably deserve some sort of criminal charge.

Quote :
"It must be a fierce internal conflict for a good Republican like yourself to want to keep free market and no regulation in place despite all the cronyism and borderline illegal activities that happens to make those guys rich."


what world are you living in where there is no regulation or oversight? further, what world are you living in that doesnt have corrupt people sometimes doing illegal things? "cronyism" is not limited to wall street. you are picking the wrong battle by getting so fired up over private companies compensating their employees. even with the bailout, it is essentially none of your business how much people get paid. government money did not make it your business. get fired up over something you can control and that is your elected officials spending your money with a complete disregard of any budgetary restraints. that includes propping up some of these bastards.

2/2/2009 10:13:52 AM

DaBird
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"Funny - that was pretty much McCain's entire economic policy. We're facing trillion dollar deficits and all he could talk about for months was overhead projectors and basic science research"


yes I thought that was exceedingly silly and it really undermined his credibility.

2/2/2009 10:14:43 AM

Fail Boat
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"you are implying that every single company, every single private entity on wall street is corrupt. I am saying that they are not. I am agreeing there are some who deserve absolutely nothing for what they have done, and still some more that probably deserve some sort of criminal charge. "

Come on. Do you understand hyperbole or context? I'm not at all implying that everyone on Wall Street is corrupt. You also still don't get the concept that people already profited in a massive way while this bubble was being blown up. They have already made their bonuses. AND WE'RE GIVING THEM MORE. AIG, a failed company, wants to give CDS "experts" 1 million in bonuses - attached to no performance metric that wa know of - to over 450 of their staff. Nearly half a billion dollars in bonuses to the very same people that created this mess. The moral hazard here is mind boggling.
Quote :
""cronyism" is not limited to wall street."
Never said it was

Quote :
"
what world are you living in where there is no regulation or oversight?"

Tell me which regulator figured out the Madoff scandal? Tell me which one figured it out AFTER a private citizen sent a 20 page dissertation about how he knew Madoff was a crook. Tell me which regulators investigated the CDS system to make sure it made sense. Tell me which regulators relaxed historic 12:1 leverage rations that allowed now busted i-Banks to go up to 40, 50, 75:1? Tell me which regulators are forcing these toxic assets to market and forcing failed banks into the FDIC?

Quote :
"you are picking the wrong battle by getting so fired up over private companies compensating their employees."

The GSEs, including AIG, and several others (including the automakers) are nearly de facto nationalized as it is with as much stake as the taxpayer has in them. I most certainly have a right to take my outrage to whatever level I want it.

Quote :
"get fired up over something you can control and that is your elected officials spending your money with a complete disregard of any budgetary restraints. "

I can't be upset about both? It's one thing for a bunch of boobs in congress to try and do something they think will benefit the economy. Keep in mind, the theory of this stimulus bill goes back to Keynes. We aren't really sure if it will work. We are pretty sure however that the financial alchemists will be back to their chemistry sets sooner rather than later if we let them off the hook for their capitalism run amuck.

2/2/2009 10:35:29 AM

DaBird
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"Come on. Do you understand hyperbole or context? I'm not at all implying that everyone on Wall Street is corrupt. You also still don't get the concept that people already profited in a massive way while this bubble was being blown up. They have already made their bonuses. AND WE'RE GIVING THEM MORE. AIG, a failed company, wants to give CDS "experts" 1 million in bonuses - attached to no performance metric that wa know of - to over 450 of their staff. Nearly half a billion dollars in bonuses to the very same people that created this mess. The moral hazard here is mind boggling."


keep in mind we are posting on a f'ing message board so all I can comment on is what you post. I started about ranting against the PR talking points of 'bonuses on wall street' and you took the other side of the point. I thought you were commenting in generalities.

its hard to comment on a specific situation...I dont know much about this AIG thing so its hard to form an opinion specifically on that. however, on the surface that seems to be one of the ones that I agree should be withheld.

Quote :
"Tell me which regulator figured out the Madoff scandal? Tell me which one figured it out AFTER a private citizen sent a 20 page dissertation about how he knew Madoff was a crook. Tell me which regulators investigated the CDS system to make sure it made sense. Tell me which regulators relaxed historic 12:1 leverage rations that allowed now busted i-Banks to go up to 40, 50, 75:1? Tell me which regulators are forcing these toxic assets to market and forcing failed banks into the FDIC?"


cant tell you that...but I can tell you about how much pressure our government-elected officials have applied to the mortgage-banking industry as a whole over the past 4 years to give loans to people who didnt deserve them. this caused some outrageous loan to value amounts because those people didnt have anything to put down and simply could not afford it. government pressure was a huge factor in this.

Quote :
"The GSEs, including AIG, and several others (including the automakers) are nearly de facto nationalized as it is with as much stake as the taxpayer has in them. I most certainly have a right to take my outrage to whatever level I want it.
"


de facto, maybe. reality, not. fundamental difference chief. you are right, you are free to be mad at anyone you want. you want to do something about it? get mad at Washington. otherwise, type angrily.

Quote :
"let them off the hook for their capitalism run amuck."


LOL

if it were truly capitalism run amuck they would be bankrupt and not exist anymore. your government has intervened and kept free hand of capitalism from bitch-slapping these very entities you are railing on. while probably not a realistic option, they would no longer exist if we had left them alone.

2/2/2009 11:13:09 AM

Fail Boat
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"cant tell you that...but I can tell you about how much pressure our government-elected officials have applied to the mortgage-banking industry as a whole over the past 4 years to give loans to people who didnt deserve them. this caused some outrageous loan to value amounts because those people didnt have anything to put down and simply could not afford it. government pressure was a huge factor in this."


This is generally a misinformed opinion and I know it has been covered on this website. The GSEs have had the lowest default rates of all the subprime lenders in the industry. I'd suggest taking your partisan glasses off and understand that the pressure applied on the GSEs was a relatively small piece of this puzzle.

Quote :
"its hard to comment on a specific situation...I dont know much about this AIG thing so its hard to form an opinion specifically on that. however, on the surface that seems to be one of the ones that I agree should be withheld."

So you are saying my rage is misplaced about Wall Street bonuses, but you aren't even informed about the most egregious case of moral hazard?

2/2/2009 11:29:12 AM

DaBird
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So you are saying my rage is misplaced about Wall Street bonuses, but you aren't even informed about the most egregious case of moral hazard?"


I am saying you are misplaced for being upset at what private companies are doing, when the ones who have fucked up have your elected-politicians supporting them. your anger is misplaced. I am now saying you are a douche for singling out one specific case that I admit I havent read enough about to form an opinion on, in order to discredit my entire opinion, which is simply that its not your place or anyone else's place (especially the government's) to tell a private company how they compensate their employees. PERIOD. even a fucked up mess like AIG has the right to do whatever it wants. if the government doesnt like how they are spending the money they gave them they shouldve put restrictions on it in the first place instead of playing monday morning QB in the media.

especially when said government is spending billions on bullshit earmarks and shoving it down our throats. its whiny and illogical to bitch about wall street and ignore the bigger deal.

morality and PR is one thing. reality is quite another. be mad at your reactionary government.

2/2/2009 11:42:35 AM

Fail Boat
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Quote :
"I am saying you are misplaced for being upset at what private companies are doing, when the ones who have fucked up have your elected-politicians supporting them. your anger is misplaced. "

This is simply mind blowing. So, once we have given these failed companies heaping piles of taxpayer dollars and have agreed to backstop losses over 10% on our dime, you don't want to have a say in how they pay bonuses? Really?

Quote :
"
I am now saying you are a douche for singling out one specific case that I admit I havent read enough about to form an opinion on, in order to discredit my entire opinion, which is simply that its not your place or anyone else's place (especially the government's) to tell a private company how they compensate their employees. PERIOD. "

I can't help it you aren't informed about that which you are trying to speak. It isn't just one case, it is THE striking example of moral hazard. I also heard you the first 10 times you tried to invoke the "private" company label. It's like, you aren't even hearing me when I am pointing out to you that they are anything but private.

Quote :
"even a fucked up mess like AIG has the right to do whatever it wants. if the government doesnt like how they are spending the money they gave them they shouldve put restrictions on it in the first place instead of playing monday morning QB in the media."

Oh. I see. We're talking in absolutes here. Once the public's money is given over because these companies HAVE TO HAVE IT NOW OR ELSE THEY'LL FAIL, the discussion on how those funds should be used or accounted for is dead. Is that right? Can't revisit it?

2/2/2009 11:48:22 AM

DaBird
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"This is simply mind blowing. So, once we have given these failed companies heaping piles of taxpayer dollars and have agreed to backstop losses over 10% on our dime, you don't want to have a say in how they pay bonuses? Really?
"


no. I dont. not when we did not make it a provision of accepting the money in the first place, because that would be a choice they made. I am not for the government changing the rules as they play.

Quote :
"I can't help it you aren't informed about that which you are trying to speak. It isn't just one case, it is THE striking example of moral hazard. I also heard you the first 10 times you tried to invoke the "private" company label. It's like, you aren't even hearing me when I am pointing out to you that they are anything but private."


I know I am not informed on that specific situation which is why I didnt offer an opinion!

What company is no longer private? Or are you speaking "de facto" again?

Quote :
"Oh. I see. We're talking in absolutes here. Once the public's money is given over because these companies HAVE TO HAVE IT NOW OR ELSE THEY'LL FAIL, the discussion on how those funds should be used or accounted for is dead. Is that right? Can't revisit it?"


no you cant change the rules six months after the game has started. our elected officials fucked up. again, be pissed at them.

OBAMA should have learned from W's fuck up. this stimulus bill needs to be properly defined in the public and by the institutions that are going to receive funds so people like you arent bitching months later when the restrictions that werent placed on the money werent followed. do you understand that at all or is it just to easy to be mad at rich people?

2/2/2009 12:22:09 PM

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"no. I dont. not when we did not make it a provision of accepting the money in the first place, because that would be a choice they made. I am not for the government changing the rules as they play."

Unreal. You're bitching about taxpyer money going to pork but don't care to have a say how it is being allocated to failed private enterprises? Like I said

Quote :
"It must be a fierce internal conflict for a good Republican like yourself to want to keep free market and no regulation in place despite all the cronyism and borderline illegal activities that happens to make those guys rich."

I simply don't understand how you resolve that internal conflict. Look, if the private firms don't want to be privy to our rules when we've bailed them out, they can give it back and say goodbye to their kingdoms. So far, I haven't seen too many of them signing up for that. Instead, what they have tried to do is say no to the money on those terms, hoping at a later date the situation will be worse and they can get the same money with less restrictions.

Quote :
"no you cant change the rules six months after the game has started. our elected officials fucked up. again, be pissed at them."

They fucked up once, but I am to be pissed at them for wanting to actually get some terms on how my tax dollars are being allocated after the fact? The only thing I can figure, is you know I have you backed into a corner but you're sticking to your position no matter how lunatic it is because of ego. You're essentially saying that you are pro Wall Street crook at this point over your tax dollars because our congress fucked up 3 months ago and we shouldn't have another look at that? Ummm...damn.

Quote :
"this stimulus bill needs to be properly defined in the public and by the institutions that are going to receive funds so people like you arent bitching months later when the restrictions that werent placed on the money werent followed."

I haven't looked at all the details top to bottom about the bill, but I think they are going to do just that.
Quote :
"do you understand that at all or is it just to easy to be mad at rich people?"

Now I am mad at rich people?

[Edited on February 2, 2009 at 12:43 PM. Reason : .]

2/2/2009 12:37:15 PM

DaBird
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"I simply don't understand how you resolve that internal conflict. Look, if the private firms don't want to be privy to our rules when we've bailed them out, they can give it back and say goodbye to their kingdoms. So far, I haven't seen too many of them signing up for that. Instead, what they have tried to do is say no to the money on those terms, hoping at a later date the situation will be worse and they can get the same money with less restrictions.
"


you are dense.

I will try to say it as simply as possible for you. The government fucked up and did not place any conditions on the 700 billion dollar bail out. You cannot reasonably expect for them to go and do so after the fact, especially when there were several entities trying to refuse money. That money is spent and it went to basically balance out a lot of company's ledger statements, which likely included future compensation of employees to be paid, including contractual bonuses.

I am pissed about it. I am just pissed at the right people.

Quote :
"The only thing I can figure, is you know I have you backed into a corner but you're sticking to your position no matter how lunatic it is because of ego. You're essentially saying that you are pro Wall Street crook at this point over your tax dollars because our congress fucked up 3 months ago and we shouldn't have another look at that? Ummm...damn."


well you have officially railroaded the topic and now I am backed into a corner because I dont agree with you? straw meet man.

can we please get back on topic? do you have any input in regards to Obama?

2/2/2009 1:58:09 PM

Fail Boat
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Quote :
"The government fucked up and did not place any conditions on the 700 billion dollar bail out. You cannot reasonably expect for them to go and do so after the fact, especially when there were several entities trying to refuse money."

OF COURSE WE CAN EXPECT THEM TO DO SO AFTER THE FACT.

Have you ever heard the term "reasonable expectation"? We don't know what was discussed behind closed doors. We can guess that crooks from Wall Street said one thing and did another. Or told half truths. We can assume that the folks that delivered the money had a reasonable expectation that it was going to go toward lending. It didn't. Congress (and the people they represent) has every right to be pissed that crooks said they'd do one thing and then did something else.

Quote :
"That money is spent and it went to basically balance out a lot of company's ledger statements, which likely included future compensation of employees to be paid, including contractual bonuses."

It certainly didn't. Hell, there have been rumors (talked about it today on CNBC) that some of these execs are claiming the TARP money is in one "bucket" and their bonuses are coming out of another "bucket". Privatizing of profit and socializing of losses. I'm pretty much astounded that you have no problem with this status quo.

Quote :
"well you have officially railroaded the topic and now I am backed into a corner because I dont agree with you? straw meet man. "

What more can we discuss when you're on the record as not knowing what you are arguing against and calling me a douche for pointing that out.

Quote :
"can we please get back on topic? do you have any input in regards to Obama?"

It's titled Obama's credibility watch. Not too much has happened since he has been appointed that hasn't already been dead-horse-beaten in various other threads.

2/2/2009 2:46:23 PM

DaBird
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let me know when something factual surfaces and I will be calling for criminal charges like anyone else. until then, I am more focused on what our government will do to prevent this in the future, as well as this 'stimulus' package than what shouldve been done about TARP.

again, if someone is doing something ILLEGAL then they need to have their asses busted for it. if they are using that money frivolously then cancel anymore money being sent.

however, you cant charge in after the fact bitching and whining about what happened 'behind closed doors' or 'intent' because the real world doesnt work on that and it wont hold up in any kind of court. you cant allow the government to make up laws as they go to suit public opinion.

2/2/2009 3:08:16 PM

OhBoyeee
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Barack Obama does not care about white people.

2/2/2009 4:03:22 PM

DaBird
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back on track!

2/2/2009 4:57:52 PM

OhBoyeee
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I know this is way off topic, but I found that Kanye West video. It is just as hard to watch as the Ms. South Carolina "The Iraq" video. I wonder who Kanye voted for?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIUzLpO1kxI&NR=1

2/2/2009 5:12:54 PM

DrSteveChaos
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"It must be a fierce internal conflict for a good Republican like yourself to want to keep free market and no regulation in place despite all the cronyism and borderline illegal activities that happens to make those guys rich."


Or you know, we could have just not bailed them out in the first place. Like anyone who actually espoused a belief in the free market was saying - allowing those who did not over-leverage and take bad risks to grow into the cleared-out market share.

Are the only free-market advocates you've actually spoken to the ones in your head? Because it sure sounds like it right here.

Quote :
"The moral hazard here is mind boggling."


Kind of like the moral hazard of bailing out over-leveraged banks. Oh wait...

2/2/2009 5:54:01 PM

Fail Boat
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In a discussion about ex post facto oversight of TARP, you make relevant points!

2/2/2009 9:11:56 PM

DrSteveChaos
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I find a delicious irony in jerkoffs who screamed about the necessity of a bailout right now! with no time for oversight or public debate now bitching and moaning about what happens when you hand out sackloads of cash with no strings attached.

Surely your points are relevant here. Given the clarity of your prior wisdom.

2/2/2009 9:24:14 PM

Fail Boat
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I was never for a backstopping of all the toxic assets. The aftermath was there in Lehman what would happen to the markets if a big bank was allowed to just fail. A part of me thinks that maybe, if we would have just let it happen, the pain would have been steep and severe, but we'd already be talking about all the good banks that are left and now that the shit is out of the system we can get moving. However, that is an extremely scary proposition The Dow at 3-4000 , you're a fool or have no investments or obligations to not be bothered by that scenario. I have yet to find ANYONE in the blogosphere that has favored zero intervention by the central banks in these matters.

So, I can't be too bothered by a group of folks that aren't economists by any means trusting the SoT and the Fed Reserve Head when they advise on situations saying things are urgent. And I am encouraged by them coming in well after the fact and demanding accountability on those tax dollars. The "we shouldn't have bailed them out in the first place" argument is dead in this context.

2/2/2009 9:47:23 PM

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shit, double post

[Edited on February 2, 2009 at 9:48 PM. Reason : .]

2/2/2009 9:48:19 PM

EarthDogg
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Credibility Check...

Quote :
"Obama on lobbysists: "I don't take a dime of their money," he said, "and when I am president, they won't find a job in my White House.""


William J. Lynn III is his choice to be the No. 2 official at the Defense Department. He was a lobbyist for military contractor Raytheon. William Corr nominated for deputy secretary at Health and Human Services has lobbied through most of last year as an anti-tobacco advocate.

"Even the toughest rules require reasonable exceptions," -Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. Ha Ha!

Quote :
"Tom Daschle: "Make no mistake, tax cheaters cheat us all, and the IRS should enforce our laws to the letter.""


Daschle "forgot" to claim the $255,000 income from getting driven around in a chauffeured limousine as a lobbyist for an investment firm for 3 years. He also remembered that he had been paid about $83,000 in consulting fees in 2007...which also didn't get on a tax return.
And, like the tax-cheatin Treasury Sectry, No penalty for Daschle.

Change? This sure looks like politics as usual.

2/2/2009 10:02:53 PM

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I'll admit, I've contemplated making the "Who is having buyers remorse on Obama?" thread for a week or so now...then I remember who he was running against and still consider myself lucky.

2/2/2009 10:04:38 PM

aimorris
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Yeah but mention it and you'll just be called out for "grasping at straws" or bringing up a "non-issue" and then the conversation will shift to how Palin wasn't fit to be vice-president and the state of the Republican party.

2/2/2009 10:06:01 PM

volex
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maybe after you get foreclosed on you can go sleep on the pretty new grass at the mall

2/2/2009 11:15:36 PM

Smoker4
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Quote :
"Sure, lots of people all of a sudden thought they were millionaires around 2006 when the value of their house had doubled and their 401k was booming, but what's happened to all that "wealth" now?"


I don't follow your point. You're saying that when their 401k was up and their houses were worth more, they didn't actually get wealthier? There was no way they could have acted to preserve the wealth they had, because, in your words, it wasn't real?

Let me phrase it this way: I've stayed out of the housing market in California ever since I moved out here because, just like all of my neighbors, I can go on Zillow and look at historical trends of home prices, and see that something was seriously fucking wrong.

Those people could have sold. The people I know who are $150,000+ underwater in their homes after they bought at the peak in 2007, they could have abstained from buying. They could have done their homework.

Let's not pretend that there isn't a certain amount of Darwinism at work in the current "crisis." The wealth is real, but so is the laziness and ineptitude that destroys it.

2/2/2009 11:41:06 PM

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There are probably many people out there that were in your same position 3-4 years ago that are kicking themselves for not getting in (and out) of the market. You now have the benefit of hindsight, but another 2-3 years could have passed before the values really started to come down.

2/2/2009 11:48:03 PM

Toyota4x4
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I can't wait to see how many pages this thread will reach

2/3/2009 12:12:41 AM

agentlion
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Quote :
"There was no way they could have acted to preserve the wealth they had, because, in your words, it wasn't real?"

No, of course that's not what I'm saying.
Obviously if you had sold all your stocks, cashed out your 401k, and sold your house at the peaks of all of those bubbles, then sat on the cash, you would still have that wealth. However, i'm curious to see how you suggest normal people should have "preserved that wealth" to the same levels today. Cash? Gold? If a lot of the wealth was built into a house, where do you suggest people live, if the way to "preserve the wealth" of a house is to sell it?

yeah, those people "could" have sold. We all could sell at the peak and take cash for our houses. But then what? Everyone sells their houses, then moved into an apartment? If everyone is selling their houses, who is buying them? you get my drift.

Sitting here in 2009, don't pull the "you should have down your homework" bullshit, condeming people who bought a house in 2006 in reasonable markets like Raleigh or Charlotte, or 62 year olds who didn't cash out the entirety of their IRAs in 2007, which would have been against the advice of any and all reasonable financial advisors or experts.


My overall point was that the wealth was real, of course, at the time, but the basis of that wealth was based on a fantasy (ever increasing home prices and stock markets). As such, most people are back to where they started 10 or 15 years ago, or worse, so for all intents and purposes, the boom might as well never have happened to them.


Quote :
"I've stayed out of the housing market in California ever since I moved out here because, just like all of my neighbors, I can go on Zillow and look at historical trends of home prices, and see that something was seriously fucking wrong."

I agree with this, and I also don't know how or why people making 100k/year would even think they could afford 1M dollar houses. Of course, a lot of this has to do with banks telling people they can afford the house and giving them ridiculous things like interest only loans so they can make payments.
However, you're still just spouting anecdotal evidence - you saved your own ass by not buying into a red hot CA market. But a lot of people didn't, and now they and everyone else have to suffer the consequences.

[Edited on February 3, 2009 at 12:30 AM. Reason : .]

2/3/2009 12:25:14 AM

skokiaan
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How the hell is it hindsight when he saw 2 years ago that it was a bad time to buy?

I did the same thing, actually, and refrained from buying when all of my peers were jumping on the house bandwagon. Now they all have houses that decreased in value at least 10%.

They all followed the cliches about housing being good investments without realizing that the advice really depends on when you buy and when you sell.

2/3/2009 12:28:14 AM

agentlion
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^ Smoker was making 2 points:
1) he didn't buy at the peak. That's good for him, and doens't require hindsight, except to confirm that he made a good decision

2) but what about people who didn't necessarily buy at the peak, but in 2003, 2001, or even in the late 90s? They saw their wealth increase to high levels by 2005-7. So my question is - was everybody just stupid for not selling right at the peak? What if you have a family in a neighborhood you've been in for 10 years, you have kids in the neighborhood schools, and both parents have jobs near by. The value of their house goes to astronomical levels in 2006, i.e. they are "wealthy". Smoker contends they should have "preserved that wealth". How? Sell the house? Then what - move to a small town where houses are cheaper, get your kids into different schools, then find 2 new jobs? Sorry, just not gonna happen for 99% of people. That's what I meant by the "weath wasn't real", because if there is no reasonable way to cash in on the wealth, you might as well not have it at all.

2/3/2009 12:42:07 AM

moron
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^ in a sense, I think you're both right.

Even the money you have now, that you directly worked hard for, could theoretically become worthless given certain situations.

Since our money is not based off of anything material (aka the metals standard), it has no intrinsic value (and even basing it on gold technically is not innately valuable). It's really a bizarre system, if you think about it, and somewhat amazing that it even works.

I can't see money sticking around for more than about another 100 years. I predict a socialist-esque worldwide "banking" system run by artificially intelligent computers.

2/3/2009 12:52:16 AM

skokiaan
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^^Actually, I know several people who bought in 2001, recently sold for nearly 100% increase in value, and moved out to a cheaper area. Probably 10% of my coworkers have done this over the last 3 years.

Believe it or not, not everyone is as tied down as you make it seem. Plenty are young singles, first time homebuyers, people with pre-school-aged kids, or empty-nesters. Honestly, I don't even think it is that rare for families -- why do you think RTP has so many carpetbaggers?

--

I would also say that people with higher income are probably more able to do this than lower income people, but I don't think low income people should be owning houses, anyway. That's why the bubble exists in the first place.

[Edited on February 3, 2009 at 1:03 AM. Reason : .]

2/3/2009 1:00:05 AM

moron
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Quote :
"but I don't think low income people should be owning houses, anyway. That's why the bubble exists in the first place.

"


that's not really true

2/3/2009 1:05:43 AM

bcsawyer
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The problem isn't that low income people bought houses. The problem is that a lot of people bought houses they couldn't afford.

2/3/2009 7:25:31 AM

DaBird
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Quote :
"William J. Lynn III is his choice to be the No. 2 official at the Defense Department. He was a lobbyist for military contractor Raytheon. William Corr nominated for deputy secretary at Health and Human Services has lobbied through most of last year as an anti-tobacco advocate.
"


not to mention Obey adding a billion dollars to the stimulus package for national parks when his son is a leading national park lobbyist.

Quote :
"A top House Democrat is under fire about something specific in the stimulus bill — money that goes to the cause for which his son lobbies. The stimulus gives $2.25 billion to national parks. The Washington Times reports Craig Obey — son of House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey — is the chief lobbyist for the National Parks Conservation Association. Republican Congressman Darrell Issa of California says, "It really does beg the question of, is this an earmark, is this a family connection and should it have been disclosed at least in the spirit of what the Democrats said they wanted, and the answer is — it should have been disclosed."


http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,485445,00.html

[Edited on February 3, 2009 at 8:57 AM. Reason : damn! - oh noes fox news!]

2/3/2009 8:54:57 AM

DaBird
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I should add that Obey isnt really affiliated with Obama other than being one of the principle architects of the bill that Obama is pushing...that may or may not have anything to do with Obama's 'credibility.'

2/3/2009 11:03:39 AM

RedGuard
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Quote :
"It's embarrassing for Daschle but that's about it. You'd be surprised how many people owe back taxes in this world....it's alot different than EVADING taxes. Still though, embarrassing. Will be forgotten in a week's time.

Using any little scrap to make it seems like it tarnishes Obama's credibility is stupid. Like picking at straws."


Perhaps so, but it looks like its scuttled Daschle's nomination. The tax part is understandable, but the $2.4 million in pay from healthcare firms appears to have been too much.

A shame though, I really did like Daschle and thought he was appropriate for the job.

2/3/2009 1:24:52 PM

moron
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^ I'm glad Daschle is out, for many reasons.

2/3/2009 5:18:00 PM

agentlion
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I liked what I saw of him on the Transition website videos.

i just can't understand what is wrong with all the rich people and politicians who can't seem to follow the law.....

2/3/2009 5:50:57 PM

kdawg(c)
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Quote :
"i just can't understand what is wrong with all the rich people and politicians who can't seem to follow the law....."


made me chuckle and vomit a little at the same time

2/3/2009 6:28:08 PM

DaBird
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I do give Obama credit for being candid with Mrs. Couric about Daschle.

2/3/2009 6:36:44 PM

DrSteveChaos
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Quote :
"i just can't understand what is wrong with all the rich people and politicians who can't seem to follow the law....."


You can't? Really? You don't understand how there is a class of people out there who believe they are above the law, or that the law can be made to work for their interests?

2/4/2009 12:47:55 AM

SandSanta
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Back when I was in college, my mom was out in San Jose working and looking to buy a house. This a bit after the dot com burst, 2002 or so, and I distinctly remember looking at houses with her and my dad that were something along the lines of 2100 sq ft for 750,000$ + in less the ideal areas. She promptly moved back here.

There should be a point when you're staring at a 40, 50 or 60 year mortage that you think to yourself: wait a second, I might not even live long enough to pay this off.

2/4/2009 1:58:39 AM

agentlion
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^^ i mean, obviously i can see that it happens, but I'm just amazed at how widespread it seems to be. Everybody I know, for example, does their taxes meticulously and doesn't want to get caught on the wrong side of the law for anything. But it just blows my mind that once you reach a certain level of wealth or power that you seeminly decide to just stop following the rules. Is it a conscious decision? Do they rationalize it? Do they turn their lives over to other people and claim plausible deniability when something goes wrong?

2/4/2009 9:03:44 AM

Fail Boat
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Quote :
"Everybody I know, for example, does their taxes meticulously and doesn't want to get caught on the wrong side of the law for anything."

That's because a $1000 fine is a big deal to me and you, but a $50,000 fine isn't shit to someone that pulls down 5 million a year.

2/4/2009 9:53:39 AM

Arab13
Art Vandelay
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is this also the "first 100 days" thread?



just for shits and giggles


Quote :
"a $50,000 fine isn't shit to someone that pulls down 5 million a year."


50k is 50k to anyone, you don't really understand rich folk do you? they would be pissed if they had to pay 1k extra much less 50k

[Edited on February 4, 2009 at 9:56 AM. Reason : s]

2/4/2009 9:55:16 AM

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