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657809 Posts in 9259 Topics by 3396 Members Latest Member: - vlozan86 Most online today: 72 - most online ever: 494 (Jul 01, 2007, 02:59:53 PM)
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Author Topic: "I Have a Gay Friend": VP Debate Smackdown  (Read 12220 times)
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dieblucasdie
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Posts: 24493


« Reply #225 on: Oct 06, 2008, 01:41:13 PM »

its funny though, that democrats would so virulently oppose regulation of fannie and freddy, the only regulation or deregulation that has anything to do with the current financial mess.

Dave, Richard:

pwn pls
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DCDave
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« Reply #226 on: Oct 06, 2008, 01:44:23 PM »

Why bother? 


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dieblucasdie
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« Reply #227 on: Oct 06, 2008, 01:45:42 PM »

I'm just sick of being the one to have to do it.
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DCDave
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« Reply #228 on: Oct 06, 2008, 01:53:52 PM »

Your brother has demonstrated over and over again that he won't let facts get in the way of his opinion.  To state that we're in this economic mess because of regulation/deregulation is to buy into a simplified version of macroeconomics, something that your brother has shown no interest in whatsoever. 

 McCain's stance on regulation may have little to do with the causes of the current economic crisis (too many stupid consumers), but his attitude about macroeconomics in general (I.E., willfull ignorance) will do nothing to solve it.  People shouldn't have been buying assets they couldn't afford, but for several years the growth of the economy was predicated on it.  McCain plan of giving more money to the highest % will not do much to spurn investment in this country, or to improve efficiency.  Obama's tax cut for the middle class and overall structural improvement of the economy will. 


A brief quote from today's post

Quote from: Washington Post
Gramm's piece de resistance came on Dec. 15, 2000, when he slipped into an omnibus spending bill a provision called the Commodity Futures Modernization Act (CFMA), which prohibited any governmental regulation of credit default swaps, those insurance policies covering losses on securities in the event they went belly up. As the housing bubble ballooned, the face value of those swaps rose to a tidy $62 trillion. And as the housing bubble burst, those swaps became a massive pile of worthless paper, because no government agency had required the banks to set aside money to back them up.

Clearly, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were the only actors in this who took on too many liabilities.
« Last Edit: Oct 06, 2008, 01:56:00 PM by DCDave » Logged

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Andrew_TSKS
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« Reply #229 on: Oct 06, 2008, 01:55:19 PM »

I love it when I see McCain surrogates on TV talking about the economic situation and they start ranting about how the only way out of it is to give EVEN MORE tax breaks to businesses and the rich. It blows my mind. It's like they're saying "The only way out of this hole is to keep digging!"
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DCDave
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« Reply #230 on: Oct 06, 2008, 01:57:44 PM »

Also, if you're going to point fingers, more of this crisis has to do with Greenspan making capital too easily available by keeping interest rates low.  There was no real place to invest the money (because Bush didn't try and make the economy more efficient at all, he just tried to make his buddies richer), so people invested in what they thought were tangible assets that were appreciating at inflated prices (real estate).   I've been waiting for home prices in DC to crash for at least 5 years now and investing my money in European firms (mostly Irish), biology firms, telecom, and alternative energy firms.  Because those are areas where the rate of growth should have been higher than the average rate of economic growth. 
« Last Edit: Oct 06, 2008, 02:00:31 PM by DCDave » Logged

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DCDave
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« Reply #231 on: Oct 06, 2008, 02:00:57 PM »

I love it when I see McCain surrogates on TV talking about the economic situation and they start ranting about how the only way out of it is to give EVEN MORE tax breaks to businesses and the rich. It blows my mind. It's like they're saying "The only way out of this hole is to keep digging!"

What we should do is stop providing incentives for people to invest in real estate more than they invest in any other area of the economy.
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C of heartbreak
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« Reply #232 on: Oct 06, 2008, 02:02:40 PM »

Yeah, I would love to live in a bond.
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DCDave
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« Reply #233 on: Oct 06, 2008, 02:05:39 PM »

Gary: http://matthewyglesias.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/03/the_trouble_with_homeownership.php

I would love to live in my depreciating investment that I can't get rid of.
« Last Edit: Oct 06, 2008, 02:07:31 PM by DCDave » Logged

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C of heartbreak
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« Reply #234 on: Oct 06, 2008, 02:14:48 PM »

I think most of the perceived incentives to invest in a home are inherent and not provided by the government, so unless you want to start subsidizing rent payments or otherwise radically alter the country's housing system (which I am all for), it's going to be pretty hard to move the focus away from real estate.
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DCDave
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« Reply #235 on: Oct 06, 2008, 02:15:54 PM »

You shouldn't subsidize either.  The government shouldn't incentivize home-ownership at all.  It structurally weakens the economy.
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C of heartbreak
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« Reply #236 on: Oct 06, 2008, 02:16:30 PM »

Stealth edit there, dave Wink

Edit: I meant in my post. But you can't expect people who don't understand their mortgage agreement to consider the state of the economy/housing market years down the road, which is why I don't think people are going to stop buying homes any time soon, incentive or not.
« Last Edit: Oct 06, 2008, 02:20:45 PM by C of heartbreak » Logged

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DCDave
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« Reply #237 on: Oct 06, 2008, 02:26:51 PM »

I wish people would understand their mortgage agreement before they signed it. 
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Andrew_TSKS
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« Reply #238 on: Oct 06, 2008, 02:32:19 PM »

There are really obvious reasons why they aren't going to, though, Dave. The fact is, people used to not really have to understand their mortgage agreements, because banks understood their mortgage agreements, and the bank wouldn't agree to the things unless it was a profitable investment for the bank. What flipped the script on everybody was that banks, due to actions you mentioned by Greenspan, others by Gramm, and others that I don't even fully understand to this day, started being able to make money off of loans that previously would have been unprofitable to them. The reason they could make this money was because other factors besides the consumer being able to pay back the loan became more paramount than the consumer's ability to pay back the loan. The consumer, still working on an old-economy understanding of their loan, thought "well, if I couldn't afford to pay this loan back, the bank wouldn't give it to me", not knowing that the broader economic situation had changed to make that no longer true. So they took the loans, because they figured banks knew the business of being banks better than they did. And they got fucked. And the reason they got fucked was largely out of their control, because they were operating on common-sense principles that, unbeknownst to them, had been rendered obsolete through collaboration between rich bankers and pro-business/anti-regulation government officials.
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Mike24
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« Reply #239 on: Oct 06, 2008, 04:44:22 PM »

I love it when I see McCain surrogates on TV talking about the economic situation and they start ranting about how the only way out of it is to give EVEN MORE tax breaks to businesses and the rich. It blows my mind. It's like they're saying "The only way out of this hole is to keep digging!"

NO NO, DIG UP STUPID
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DCDave
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« Reply #240 on: Oct 06, 2008, 05:35:28 PM »

There are really obvious reasons why they aren't going to, though, Dave. The fact is, people used to not really have to understand their mortgage agreements, because banks understood their mortgage agreements, and the bank wouldn't agree to the things unless it was a profitable investment for the bank. What flipped the script on everybody was that banks, due to actions you mentioned by Greenspan, others by Gramm, and others that I don't even fully understand to this day, started being able to make money off of loans that previously would have been unprofitable to them. The reason they could make this money was because other factors besides the consumer being able to pay back the loan became more paramount than the consumer's ability to pay back the loan. The consumer, still working on an old-economy understanding of their loan, thought "well, if I couldn't afford to pay this loan back, the bank wouldn't give it to me", not knowing that the broader economic situation had changed to make that no longer true. So they took the loans, because they figured banks knew the business of being banks better than they did. And they got fucked. And the reason they got fucked was largely out of their control, because they were operating on common-sense principles that, unbeknownst to them, had been rendered obsolete through collaboration between rich bankers and pro-business/anti-regulation government officials.

Wow - I disagree.  Regardless of the "old economy" way of doing things, a mortgage is a contract.  If you are not aware of the terms of a contract before you enter into it, you don't really garner my sympathy.  There is some accountability on behalf of the consumer that I think you're ignoring.  People were buying houses well out of their means, and maybe you didn't see it down in Richmond, but I was seeing it all the time up here in DC.  The plan was never "I will eventually pay off my mortgage" it was "This is an investment I am making where I will double my money in five years and sell it to the next person without putting a dollar towards the principal on the loan."  If you're INVESTING in real estate and then get burned then you should have been a more savvy investor.
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Andrew_TSKS
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« Reply #241 on: Oct 06, 2008, 06:17:28 PM »

Hmm, I can see merit to your point re: investors. It was a really dumb idea for people to just assume that real estate would rise in value forever. I have a lot more sympathy, though, for lower-middle-class people who were just trying to buy a place in which to live, not planning to invest for the future by tying up their net worth in that of their houses. Those are the type of people whom I think were preyed upon by predatory lending practices. The house-flipper investor types were engaging in hubris and now they're paying the price.
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kyle
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« Reply #242 on: Oct 06, 2008, 06:59:53 PM »

Concerning the continued use of "nucular":

Perhaps the Republicans are, instead of inherrently correcting Bush by pronouncing it correctly, pushing forward with "nucular" in hopes that they can convince their supporters that it is the correct pronounciation. Thus, Bush isn't dumb, everyone else is.


...well it's possible right?
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andronicus
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Posts: 6515


« Reply #243 on: Oct 06, 2008, 07:05:05 PM »

The narrow solution to both the problems Andrew and Dave raise are quite easy to resolve -- complete Federal restructuring/stronger oversight of mortgage origination and broker accreditation practices, and banning of all negative amortization loans. 

I'd imagine we could pay for the whole program by removing one mid-sized earmark per year destined for Alaska, as the blood price for inflicting Sarah Palin on the rest of the electorate.
« Last Edit: Oct 06, 2008, 07:09:43 PM by andronicus » Logged
DCDave
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« Reply #244 on: Oct 06, 2008, 11:15:29 PM »

The narrow solution to both the problems Andrew and Dave raise are quite easy to resolve -- complete Federal restructuring/stronger oversight of mortgage origination and broker accreditation practices, and banning of all negative amortization loans. 

I'd imagine we could pay for the whole program by removing one mid-sized earmark per year destined for Alaska, as the blood price for inflicting Sarah Palin on the rest of the electorate.

Si.
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milesofsparks
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Posts: 5200


« Reply #245 on: Oct 06, 2008, 11:39:28 PM »

The way in which you pronounce 'nuclear' is indicative of nothing beyond where you're from.

jumping back to say:  I never heard anyone pronounce it like whats-her-name when I was growing up.  though to be fair I never spent much time in Wasilla.
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Andrew_TSKS
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« Reply #246 on: Oct 07, 2008, 01:54:07 AM »

The narrow solution to both the problems Andrew and Dave raise are quite easy to resolve -- complete Federal restructuring/stronger oversight of mortgage origination and broker accreditation practices, and banning of all negative amortization loans.

No clue what that means, but thank you for your explanation nonetheless. I'm gonna google some of those phrases later and teach myself how to parse that sentence, which I'm sure will teach me some things about economics.

Re: "nucular"--This is the theory on which I've always operated: Dwight D. Eisenhower used this pronunciation first (or at least, was the first public figure to use this pronunciation in a public manner). His doing so influenced the more conservative, working-class portion of the electorate. I figure that its adoption was an early manifestation of the culture war that started with the civil rights and anti-war movements--the sort of people who adopted it being those more likely to lament the passing of Eisenhower in favor of Kennedy and the social changes that came with his presidency--but that it took hold more widely in the working-class rural areas of the country, specifically because those areas were most likely to identify with the conservative culture-war outlook on politics. These days, it's entered the cultural lexicon of the US less along political party lines and more along geographical lines--hence, as Wikipedia points out, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton both employing this pronunciation, while George H.W. Bush does not. The elder Bush comes from Maine, and has been involved in politics for long enough to likely be aware of the term as it was correctly pronounced long before Eisenhower coined the mispronunciation. Tellingly, his son the current president, born and raised a Texas conservative, does employ the "nucular" pronunciation. So yeah, although it's more of a geographical indicator than anything now, my theory is that it settled into those geographical reasons as a function of a culturally conservative political outlook.

Of course, my evidence for this theory is entirely circumstantial. Nonetheless, I will continue believing it until I hear an explanation that rings truer to my ears.

Someone should get Bill Bryson on the case.
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davy
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Posts: 24822


« Reply #247 on: Oct 07, 2008, 10:20:29 AM »

Someone should get Bill Bryson on the case.

He should definitely be involved in the federal government one way or another. Perhaps as a national science advisor of some sort. He'd be so excited and curious that everything would be fully investigated. Stem cell research would get all the funding it needed.

Did you read A Short History of Nearly Everything? One of the great science books for the layperson ever written, I should think.
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Andrew_TSKS
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« Reply #248 on: Oct 07, 2008, 10:53:23 AM »

No, I read this book:



...which is why I thought of him in this particular case.
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andronicus
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Posts: 6515


« Reply #249 on: Oct 07, 2008, 03:40:37 PM »

The narrow solution to both the problems Andrew and Dave raise are quite easy to resolve -- complete Federal restructuring/stronger oversight of mortgage origination and broker accreditation practices, and banning of all negative amortization loans.

No clue what that means, but thank you for your explanation nonetheless. I'm gonna google some of those phrases later and teach myself how to parse that sentence, which I'm sure will teach me some things about economics.
Mortgage origination is just issuing a mortgage--your bank or whatever does it, and if there were better regulation about forcing banks to do due diligence (research the person you're lending to, to get an idea of what the risk of them defaulting is) and make that information available on down the line to anyone who catches risk liability on that mortgage then it would at least be a step to prevent this situation where banks completely bury the risk inherent to their portfolios with all these tools like collateralized debt obligations, mortgage-backed securities, and credit default swaps.  And then no one knows what is going on, not shareholders, not creditors, no one actually knows what is out there.  Markets with great information and well-defined rules can be pretty stable tools for wealth generation.  Markets with bad information and no oversight are about as stable as blindfolding a bunch of dudes, putting them in a room with Regurgitate blaring, telling each of them that there are between 4 and 38 other guys in the room, all of them have guns and  between 23 and 78 percent of them may (or may not) have bullets.*

Mortgage brokers themselves were the footsoldiers in this little capitalist jihad to extract more surplus from Americans.  Where they had to fudge to get a mortgage cooking, they fudged, and where they had to lie, they lied.  Federalizing mortgage broker accreditation (it's in the hand of the states now) and oversight, and promising mucho grande pound-me-in-the-ass prison time to brokers caught trying to grease the wheels would go a long way toward preventing basically local market bubbles (like those in FL and CA) from choking the national economy. 

Negative amortization loans are loans structured so that the loan recipient pays back less than the real rate of interest of the loan, so the total loan balance actually goes up.  It's structured different ways, Adjustable Rate Mortgages are the biggest category that did in 'subprime', basically they would give the homeowner a low introductory interest rate for say the first year, then the rate resets to amortize (be paid off, i like it because it makes bankers sound like morticians) normally, which if the homeowner could barely afford the introductory payment, have fun holding a mortgage whose interest rate just tripled and also hey you have negative equity in the house.  Oh, and hey home values in your market have dropped 40%. 

*I've submitted a study proposal to the social sciences department ethics panel; it's problematic but I figure if I title it something like 'A foray into the empirical foundations of libertarian paternalism' and promise to cite Gary Becker a lot in the write-up, I should be ok.
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