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Has America reached an "Oh Sh!t" moment?
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5356

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never have thought that the large banks should have been allowed to fail. Moderates from both parties agreed, and TARP stopped the bank panic. The problem with very large corporations, such as those same banks, is that the last ten years (since de-regulation) have taught us:

1. Accumulation of more capital means accumulation of more power, which tilts the political field to allow deregulation, bail-out, and subsequent largely successful resistance to any meaningful re-regulation.

2. The larger banks (really investment firms and banks) were able to take advantage of low interest government lows well beyond TARP and make a mint, still handing out insane bonuses.

3. The accumulation of capital and political power allowed banks to corrupt the auditing business and present high risk sub prime loans to teachers unions, among others, as top grade securities for their pension funds. Banks have still not written all of their bad loans to their market value, but recovery seems to be taking hold.

While OSW is flailing about, and has as many flakes as the Tea Party, if not more, I think it represents a strong resentment to policies that favored only the top echelon of society while the rising unemployment rate was ignored. Obama was part of this problem. The more interesting thing is, with the disenchantment in the Tea Party and deadlock in Congress starting to show up in polls, will we end up re-electing Obama and a more progressive Congress? To be determined.
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coboardhead



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 1960

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have always been a critic of the way the banking industry behaved, with government aid, during the housing and pension bubble building.

I have also been a steadfast critic of the oil industry.

But, I am also a private investor. I have no choice, really. My personal retirement plan is one of the "bad guys" that the OWS is protesting! The same corportion, that ships jobs overseas, provides my financial security.

Some days, I want to join the protesters and say enough with this system. Other days, I like to dream of my time on the beach, living on my dividends and bonds!
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stevenbard



Joined: 11 Nov 1993
Posts: 4228

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

boggsman1 wrote:
Cautious, US Large cap dividend , long/short Hedge Funds, short duration corporates, dipping toes into Europe.


Yes, I agree. I also like junk bonds because they've fallen so far. I like to buy in a week before dividend and sell a few days later if there's a quick gain, or just collect dividend, and sell a month later. Definitely yes on the large cap dividend. But this game will end I fear.
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stevenbard



Joined: 11 Nov 1993
Posts: 4228

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool and Mac, there should be no disparity between corporate and government pensions. They need to lower public payrolls so the turnover in govt equals the turnover in the private sector.

As for letting the banks fail, that is why I wanted limited or modified bailouts that supported the more responsible banks, and axed the risky ones. It would not have hurt the economy in THE LONG RUN, to let more banks fail. The money (bailout) could have been lent to the remaining banks to pick up the pieces and quickly unwind the mess. Now I'm afraid the chickens are only starting to come home to roost.

This volatility in the markets is very un-nerving.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5356

PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 2:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bard--you must be on your meds tonight, rational comments. But you can't lump all pensions together or ignore the salary structure. Public employees in professional categories generally make less money than private sector employees, but in exchange get greater job security and a more reliable pension. That has been in place for 60 years, and may be ripe for change, but not without some thought. The pay scale for some, but not all, government jobs has crept up. The Federal pay scale is, I think, overly generous compared to State salaries for people in the environmental arena, which I know well. In California, employees in local government, particularly administrative (managers, city managers, city engineers) and safety--cops and firemen--are paid, I think, too much with overly generous salaries compared to State workers. A serious mistake was made in the pension program about 15 years ago when Calpers was making big returns. But where a contract is in place, as it is for an employee who has put in 30 years with a promise of a pension, it cannot be abrogated.

Remember that Bush proposed a one page bill with no conditions for TARP, and it was Obama and the Dems that negotiated the accountability that was in the bail out. No doubt it could have been done better, given more time and more constructive Republicans. But the speculation in housing and housing loans did huge damage to the underlying soundness of the economy, and the Republicans simply tried to delay Keynsian solutions to make Obama a one-term president. Hard to think of anything more un-patriotic than to sacrifice economic recovery for the general public in order to try get back in power and cut taxes even more for the well off.

By the way, I am well off with a substantial portfolio managed by a firm opposed by OWS. I don't put money in either carbon fuels or pharmaceuticals in this country for ethical reasons. My advisor tells me I could make more money. I tell him that's not the point. I have enough to have retired early and work at whatever I want.
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boggsman1



Joined: 24 Jun 2002
Posts: 3607
Location: at a computer

PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This primary season is a Democrat's dream. This article articulates it perfectly:
http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,800850,00.html
Whose it going to be? A lying rat who will bring out record voters for the dems? or an empty suit who is desperately trying to win over Repub voters, but having no luck with the Fox News crowd?
You know you're in trouble when Peggy Noonan calls it a "freakshow".
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5356

PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For those like bard who think this is a post-racism world:

Quote:
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — When Stella Harville brought her black boyfriend to her family’s all-white church in rural Kentucky, she thought nothing of it.

She and Ticha Chikuni worshipped there whenever they were in town, and he even sang before the congregation during one service.

Then in August, a member of Gulnare Free Will Baptist Church told Harville’s father that Chikuni couldn’t sing there anymore. And last Sunday, in a moment that seems from another time, church members voted 9-6 to bar mixed-race couples from joining the congregation.

The policy has drawn a firestorm of criticism in just a few days and sent church leaders scrambling to overturn it, perhaps as early as Sunday. The executive secretary of the church’s national organization said he has been inundated with angry phone calls, and had an inch-high stack of emails printed out on his desk.

“We are not a group of racist people,” said Keith Burden of the National Association of Free Will Baptists. “We have been labeled that obviously because of the actions of nine people.”
The resolution approved by the Gulnare church says it does not condone interracial marriage and “parties of such marriages will not be received as members, nor will they be used in worship services and other church functions, with the exception being funerals.”

Ballots were cast after the service, attended by about 35 to 40 people, but it wasn’t clear why so few people voted.

Pastor defensive

The church member and former pastor who pushed for the vote, Melvin Thompson, wouldn’t tell AP why he did it.
“I am not racist. I will tell you that. I am not prejudiced against any race of people, have never in my lifetime spoke evil” about a race, Thompson said earlier this week. “That’s what this is being portrayed as, but it is not.”

Thompson stepped down as pastor earlier this year for health reasons, according to Harville’s dad, Dean Harville. He said it was Thompson who told him that Chikuni couldn’t sing at the church, a small, one-story red brick building with few windows and a white steeple.

After giving interviews earlier this week, the church’s current pastor, Stacy Stepp, and several other church members did not return phone calls Friday. One of the members said they were shocked. Stepp said he voted against the measure and would work to overturn it.
The national group distanced itself from the resolution in a statement Thursday, saying it “neither condemns nor disallows” interracial marriage.

It said the church was working to reverse its policy and added, “We encourage the church to follow through with this action.”

Harville, who is now engaged to Chikuni, said earlier this week that she felt betrayed by the church.

“Whether they keep the vote or overturn it, it’s going to be hard for me go back there,” she said.

Gulnare is a small town in Pike County, in eastern Kentucky. The county celebrates its Appalachian heritage in the spring with the Hillbilly Days Festival in downtown Pikeville, the county seat, and
the Apple Blossom Festival in Elkhorn City, according to a tourism website.

Harville is working on her master’s degree in optical engineering at an Indiana college. She met Chikuni, who is from Zimbabwe, at Georgetown College in central Kentucky.

“It’s like we were kind of blindsided,” Harville said of the church’s action.

More than 40 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court knocked down a Virginia statute barring whites from marrying nonwhites, overturning bans in 15 other states. But while interracial marriages have soared since then, many churches remain largely segregated.

The National Association of Free Will Baptists organized in Nashville in 1935 and is now based in Antioch.
The group said in its statement that the denomination has no official policy regarding interracial couples “because it has not been an issue.”


I wonder how there attitudes are to gay people? As the saying goes, the Christian right is neither.
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mrgybe



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Posts: 2714

PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are"

Anais Nin
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feuser



Joined: 29 Oct 2002
Posts: 1395

PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mrgybe wrote:
"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are"

Anais Nin


Thanks for that pearl of wisdom!

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florian - ny22

http://www.windsurfing.kasail.com/
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windoggie



Joined: 22 Feb 2002
Posts: 2406

PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mrgybe wrote:
"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are"

Anais Nin

My dad used to say that! I can guarantee he didn't read no Anais Nin. Maybe she heard it from him.

_________________
/w\
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