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  • Sarah Palin's Shocking Animal Cruelty | | AlterNet
  • Wall Street Welfare Queens

    To stave off the complete collapse of A.I.G., we, the American taxpayers, have generously loaned the insurance behemoth $85 billion of our national treasure. We refuse to finance universal health coverage for all of us, but we certainly don’t mind bailing out greedy scumbags who willingly gambled their investor’s money in stupidly risky ventures knowing that Uncle Sam would socialize their risk.

    And may I remind you that the biggest supporters of free market economics are now the ones on their knees begging to be saved from themselves by the evil and inefficient government they’ve been badmouthing for thirty years. That’s right: these Wall Street Welfare Queens have been the champions of free market economics and deregulation for the last 30 years, but now these government haters are gladly going on the government dole to save their asses.

  • Ten Striking Parallels Between Microsoft and John McCain — RoughlyDrafted Magazine
  • Secular Philosophy
  • Dr Who exterminates Rowling cameo. Who's next? | Books | guardian.co.uk
  • Deseret News | Rocky's parrot campaigns with Nader
    Ralph Nader can't seem to get the national media to pay attention to his latest presidential run, so he's seeking advice from someone known for ruffling feathers throughout his eight years in the Salt Lake City mayor's office.
    Cardozo, former Mayor Rocky Anderson's parrot, stars with the perennial presidential candidate in a new campaign video that mixes humor with politics on Nader's YouTube Web site, youtube.com/user/votenader08.
  • tn.jpeg

    Josh, what were you thinking? Putting lipstick on a turtle is just mean.


 

Comments

Ralph Nader can't seem to get the national media to pay attention to his latest presidential run

He's 74 and has never held public office. Maybe he should run for mayor of Wassilla.

Good idea! Apparently, then he would be more qualified then Biden, Obama or McCain...

Did people hear the Carly Fiorina interview where she said Palin couldn't run HP? Later in the day Fiorina tried to cover by saying the other three couldn't either but we already knew that because they don't have Palin's executive experience.

Carly Fiorina, the woman John McCain sent out to defend Sarah Palin and rip anyone who calls her a tabula rasa on foreign policy and the economy, admitted Tuesday that Palin was not capable of running Hewlett-Packard. That’s pretty damning coming from Fiorina, who also was not capable of running Hewlett-Packard.

Maureen Dowd, The New York Times, 9/17/2008

admitted Tuesday that Palin was not capable of running Hewlett-Packard.

Surrogates that think they are a gift from God will always fuck up eventually.

That whole shooting wolves from a plane thing is seriously fucked up. I never even knew such a thing existed until Sarah Palin came on the scene.

Taking also into account her shocking position on womens issues and I gotta say, I find her to be just a tad on the barbaric side.

To think about all that bitching I did over Hillary Clinton....Oy veh - I would take 10 Hillary's over 1 of this horrid succubus.

To stave off the complete collapse of A.I.G., we, the American taxpayers, have generously loaned the insurance behemoth $85 billion of our national treasure. We refuse to finance universal health coverage for all of us, but we certainly don’t mind bailing out greedy scumbags who willingly gambled their investor’s money in stupidly risky ventures knowing that Uncle Sam would socialize their risk.

This is the kind of ignorant simple-minded kind of thinking that makes people like Palin appeal to dimwitted citizens.

The market lost faith in AIG, and the government was forced to save it. A major reason is that AIG is one of the creators of credit-default swaps. What are those, you ask? They're pixie-dust securities that supposedly offer insurance against a company defaulting on its obligations. If you buy $10 million of GM bonds, for instance, you might hedge your bet by buying a $10 million CDS from AIG. In return for that premium — which changes day to day — AIG agrees to give you $10 million should GM have an "event of default" on its obligations.

But as a way to make sure that swap meisters can make good on their obligations, they have to post collateral. If their credit is downgraded — as was the case with AIG — they have to post more collateral. What put AIG on the brink was that it had to post $14 billion overnight, which of course it didn't have lying around. Next week, the looming downgrades might have forced it to come up with $250 billion. (No, that's not a typographical mistake; it's a real number.) Hence the action. If AIG croaked, all the players who thought they had their bets hedged would suddenly have "unbalanced books." That could lead to firms other than AIG failing, which could lead to still more firms failing, which could lead to what economists call "systemic failure." Or, in plain terms, a financial death spiral in which firms suck one another into the abyss.

So the government should not intervene and just let company after company and the entire financial industry crash???

kill -

You are absolutely correct, even the dim-witted McCain got that through his thick skull after saying the opposite the day before.

Given your apt description of credit-default swaps, I suspect you will agree that AIG - the manager of millions of retirement portfolios - should never have gotten itself - and Ii>us into this swamp in the first place. Think of it - one of AIG's biggest subsidiaries offers an array of retirement options to people trying to set up a balanced retirement nesteggs and they charge fees for for providing those options. How can a company fail to make money in that business? They collect fees whether stocks or bonds rise or fall. What kind of morons deregulated this business so that companies like AIG had anything to do with this crap?

It's the hypocracy that kills me.

You lost health care? Sorry, free market can't help you, it might impede on profits.

You lost your pension? Sorry, can't force companies to provide pensions even after your paycheck has been going into it month after month.

Your employer doesn't provide sick days? I'm sorry, find a new job.

You only make 77 cents on the dollar of a man? Go get more education, we don't want to allow you to go to court over such frivolous things.

Oh, this company made bad investment/insurance decisions, GET THE FIRE HOSE!

Next time someone even Whispers "free market" to me, i'm going to laugh in their face.

One more thing..

If AIG croaked, all the players who thought they had their bets hedged would suddenly have "unbalanced books." That could lead to firms other than AIG failing, which could lead to still more firms failing, which could lead to what economists call "systemic failure."

This is mostly because CDS are valued by agencies that Wall Street pays to value them. So, you go to an agency, they say it's only worth 70 cents, not good enough, you take it across the street to the other agency, and they say it's worth $1.20, That agency is now paid by AIG (or whomever) for their work. So the evaluation agencies were paid on the basis of overvaluing the CDS's, which are not regulated.

The problem with this, is that now when regulation starts, and a real agency (who isn't paid by wall street to evaluate these things) finds that these CDS's are worth .07 instead of .70, anyone with CDS's will collapse instantly. So, you can't let this cancer breakout. It's in remission, and by allowing one of these companies like AIG to fail, you expose the cancer to sunlight, and nobody really knows how far the cancer has spread.

copying from an economist article:

Can regulation [stop manias]? The criticism that this crisis is the product of the deregulation of finance misses an important point. The worst excesses in the securitisation mess are encrusted precisely where regulation sought to protect banks and investors from the dangers of untrammelled credit growth. That is because regulations offer not just protection, but also clever ways to make money by getting around them.

(i.e. Existing rules on capital adequacy require banks to put some capital aside for each asset. If the market leads to losses, the chances are they will have enough capital to cope. Yet this rule sets up a perverse incentive to create structures free of the capital burden—such as credits that last 364 days, and hence do not count as “permanent”. )

The financial industry is likely to stagnate or shrink in the next few years. That is partly because the last phase of its growth was founded on unsustainable leverage, and partly because the value of the underlying equities and bonds is unlikely to grow as it did in the 1980s and 1990s. If finance is foolishly reregulated, it will fare even worse.

And what of all the clever and misused wizardry of modern finance? Mr Greenspan was half right. Financial engineering can indeed spread risk and help the system work better. Like junk bonds, reviled at the end of 1980s, securitisation will rebound, tamed and better understood—and smaller. That is financial progress. It is a pity that it comes at such a cost.

Is that from an article in March 2008? I wonder if they would say the same thing now? And - I don't understand the argument that, because there are loopholes in the regulation that companies will try and game, regulation itself is a bad idea. I agree - if it is "foolishly" reregulated - that won't be a good thing.

Obviously there are different viewpoints on the economy (although everyone seems to be coming to regulation right now). Who are your economists of choice?

From the Chicken Little comment, I take it you don't think this is serious? Again, who are the economists you follow? I'm curious to read their take on all this.

I just read that whole ridiculous 'sky is falling' essay on that guy's site. Funny how Chicken Little reads one instance of crisis and set-back as a sign of some inherently fundamental flaw with the entire global economic system. We've ridden out junk-bond and other financial crisis and well ride out this one.

Oh, Max Hodges (killtheego), I noticed you've plagiarized Andy Serwer and Allan Sloan's Time magazine piece in your first comment above without citing the source; I know, we're just in some blog's comments section, so no big deal, but, really, without citing your source (from which you lifted verbatim), it makes you seem much more articulate than you really are.

It's a minor complaint on my part, but since it's my essay you've criticized, perhaps you could have at least attempted to state the "brilliant anaysis" of the A.I.G. crisis you present contained not a single word, phrase, or sentence that was your own.

I might be "ignorant and simple-minded," but I'm not a fraud. Are you?

Wow - I don't think I've ever seen anyone do that before in a comments section (at least and get caught). That's absolutely strange. What's the point? Better to cite a source if you are trying to make a point...Wow -- Not a minor complaint, I don't think. I think it speaks to credibility and makes all comments from them suspect. What an odd and useless thing to do.

Well, when I first came across his comment I was taken back about being called "ignorant and simple minded," but I was impressed by "his" analysis of the A.I.G. crisis, so I thought, well, at least he's intelligent and articulate, so I let the insult pass. Then later I am reading the Time piece I linked above, and lo and behold I find that the guy stole every word in his comment from that piece except the first and last paragraphs.

PS--I only say this because the next commenter, Tim, compliments your "apt description of credit-default swaps," which provided you an excellent opportunity to tell Tim, "No, No, I lifted that verbatim from Time Magazine Online, apt though it is," but I noticed you didn't.

Splitting hairs? Maybe. Still.

No, NOT splitting hairs.

When you allow willfully dishonest people equal voice in your conversations, they corrupt the dialogue. People like killtheego, Syngas, and calligraph really should be frozen out of the conversation since they not only spread lies and deception, but refuse to admit it when they're caught.

These are petty, self-serving, childish antics, and their perpetrators should not be treated with equal respect. When they can behave like big boys, then they should have a seat at the table.

We've ridden out junk-bond and other financial crisis and well ride out this one.

If by “ride out” you mean that our government has been forced to step in with a massive bailout or if you mean that millions of people with money in stocks have been defrauded, then I suppose this is true. The tech stock crash in 2001 is a fine example where weak regulation allowed a lot of people to basically scam investors. Most of the companies that went in the toilet had no need for capitalization because they had no need to add any scale to their lame ideas.

And just so everyone here knows, Max used the same plagiarized words in MY blog comments to further chastise me there, once again not citing the source of his purloined analysis. To his credit he does cite the stuff he took from The Economist, as he did here.

I don’t believe I ever said the bailout was a bad idea or not necessary (in fact in the next essay I wrote I support it heartily); I was merely pointing out the irony (tinged with bitterness for me) that our government is bailing out these bastions of anti-government, “free market” ideology; seriously, isn’t it the least bit infuriating that government had to come rescue people and organizations who don’t give two shits about government, taxation, and civic responsibility, and who have spent millions supporting the politicians, think tanks, and lobbyists who are trying to dismantle it?

"it makes you seem much more articulate than you really are."

I'm spluttering mad...

fphlztbhfft...

Along with the 1996 communications act, "Th'era of Big Govvamint is over" Clinton signed, with enthusiasm,...

the Glass - Steagle Act.

.

.

As One who jus' "works with his hands" ( as a "piano tuner to the stars"), my sentiments, at the time of the bodies floating in the water of Katrina has been to move toward one good center of gravity out somewhere between communism, socialism, and, well...an unfashionable eco-fascism, with libertarian free speech/personal (NOT corporate/group) action as an optional upgrade.

With The Egg-laid/A.I.G. Humpty Dumpty sitting pretty messed up, up on the Wall "street", or where ever the hello? all the King George's horses and all the King George's men have got him (and Alan Greenspan propped up), I am moved, full circle, to my original "fuck you Mr. Cheney" position.

At some point, some 100% American aviation buff, she might jus' reconsider the merits of simply pulling a Mohammed Atta, if she gets mad enough, angry mad. Crazy mad. Woman fly upside down, crack-up, hysterical humpty dumpty maid mad.

"the Glass-Steagall Act of 1932"

Or Clint Billion rePEALED the Glass-Steagall ACT, whatever, I'm apo ape over it.

In the late words of Sagan, Carl;

"billions and billions"

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