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Old 03-30-2009   #11
caspermike's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,507
helio. i would take my probation and do what i gotta do. im a hard fucker to pin though. i was caught burnn in the dorm while at UW. I got the campus cops for unprofessionalism. therefore getting out of everything. lesson don't be an idiot and if its illegal don't take pictures. or do it where you can get busted.

but back to topic.
i cant really add anything worthwhile that you both haven't said. specifically this nice helio.
"we don't have enough data to draw any meaningful correlation between spending policy and economic stability (let alone recovery)."

nice topic marko. wonder why rip and crew doesn't wander into a topic like this.

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Old 03-30-2009   #12
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Originally Posted by heliodorus04 View Post
You should read this piece in The Atlantic (which to me is the most reputably unbiased publication in the US today, FWIW).
The Quiet Coup - The Atlantic (May 2009)
Helio, that is a great frickin article. Simon Johnson is an expert I would love to see helping our gov't. Here is one of my favorite quotes... short and sweet.
"The challenges the United States faces are familiar territory to the people at the IMF. If you hid the name of the country and just showed them the numbers, there is no doubt what old IMF hands would say: nationalize troubled banks and break them up as necessary."

Crushing the windpipe may be a bit extreme of an example.
Ya, I know... but it brings home the point.

I understand why washington is looking to the 'experts' in the financial sector for ideas: they know the system best, and it's logical to start with those people.
I agree. However, I think that there are many other valid experts who are simply ignored (Dean Baker, Joseph Stiglitz, Michael Hudson... just to name a few) because they go against the oligarchs' interests. The revolving door needs to be boarded up - and tightly!

I am starting to realize that before reading ANY economic analysis it is essential to ask two questions: 1)Who is funding the economist? 2) Who benefits from the economists analysis?

Anyway... thanks for sharing and for the article.

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Old 03-30-2009   #13
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Here's a fun one to read...

It's a NYT's article from 1999 about a new bill that just passed.


Great quotes from the article:

Lawrence Summers: "''Today Congress voted to update the rules that have governed financial services since the Great Depression and replace them with a system for the 21st century,'' Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers said. ''This historic legislation will better enable American companies to compete in the new economy.''

Phil Gramm: ''The world changes, and we have to change with it"

Senator Bob Kerrey: ''The concerns that we will have a meltdown like 1929 are dramatically overblown,''

Senator Byron L. Dorgan: ''I think we will look back in 10 years' time and say we should not have done this but we did because we forgot the lessons of the past, and that that which is true in the 1930's is true in 2010,''

Senator Paul Wellstone:
''Scores of banks failed in the Great Depression as a result of unsound banking practices, and their failure only deepened the crisis,'' Mr. Wellstone said. ''Glass-Steagall was intended to protect our financial system by insulating commercial banking from other forms of risk. It was one of several stabilizers designed to keep a similar tragedy from recurring. Now Congress is about to repeal that economic stabilizer without putting any comparable safeguard in its place.''

But consumer groups and civil rights advocates criticized the legislation for being a sop to the nation's biggest financial institutions. They say that it fails to protect the privacy interests of consumers and community lending standards for the disadvantaged and that it will create more problems than it solves.
The opponents of the measure gloomily predicted that by unshackling banks and enabling them to move more freely into new kinds of financial activities, the new law could lead to an economic crisis down the road when the marketplace is no longer growing briskly.
Man, those pesky and gloomy consumer groups and civil rights advocates sure do have some great insights... I wonder why they were ignored?
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Old 03-31-2009   #14
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Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Man, those pesky and gloomy consumer groups and civil rights advocates sure do have some great insights... I wonder why they were ignored?
Republicans and many Democrats mindlessly embraced the "free market" mantra of deregulation without serious consideration of the potential consequences. It was sold as a boon to consumers because of the benefits of increased competition. Nixon/Ford got the ball rolling, but Carter deregulated the transportation industry, including the airlines... which hasn't worked out all that well in the long run.

Along came Reagan, with his "government is the enemy" talk, and centrist Democrats joined in with the Republicans to embrace deregulation as the answer. Helio has argued that it worked in some industries, which I will concede, but clearly the Phil Gramm "efforts" in the financial industry have been abysmal failures, and one can easily argue helped to cause our current meltdown.

Once the economy stops bleeding, I'd like to see congress repeal both the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (which broke down the barriers between banks and insurance companies, and allowed for the creation of megacorporations that were "too big to fail" like Citicorp and AIG) and the Commodities Futures Modernization Act (that paved the way for unregulated "credit default swaps" that helped ensure AIG's problems).

At least in regards to the financial industry, the doom-and-gloom lefties got it right when they pointed out the dangers of deregulating the financial industry.

You can never step into the same river; for new waters are always flowing on to you. - Heraclitus of Ephesus
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