OT: Iceland

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On 3/7/2010 1:09 PM DGDevin spake thus:

Amen.
And please please *please* don't forget that it was the *Clinton* administration that made perhaps the biggest (and worst) change in the financial system since the Depression, which was overturning Glass-Steagall. We're now suffering the consequences of that reckless action.
[Although I do agree that Obama is desperately trying to reinflate the bubble, which is the wrong thing to do.]
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Not exactly, the legislation was written by Republicans, although Clinton signed it and defends doing so until this day. As with media consolidation Clinton signed the legislation rather than vetoing it, but that legislation was the work of Republicans.
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/08_40/b4102000409948.htm
"MARIA BARTIROMO Mr. President, in 1999 you signed a bill essentially rolling back Glass-Steagall and deregulating banking. In light of what has gone on, do you regret that decision?
FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON No, because it wasn't a complete deregulation at all. We still have heavy regulations and insurance on bank deposits, requirements on banks for capital and for disclosure. I thought at the time that it might lead to more stable investments and a reduced pressure on Wall Street to produce quarterly profits that were always bigger than the previous quarter. But I have really thought about this a lot. I don't see that signing that bill had anything to do with the current crisis. Indeed, one of the things that has helped stabilize the current situation as much as it has is the purchase of Merrill Lynch (MER) by Bank of America (BAC), which was much smoother than it would have been if I hadn't signed that bill.
[MB] Phil Gramm, who was then the head of the Senate Banking Committee and until recently a close economic adviser of Senator McCain, was a fierce proponent of banking deregulation. Did he sell you a bill of goods?
[BC] Not on this bill I don't think he did. You know, Phil Gramm and I disagreed on a lot of things, but he can't possibly be wrong about everything. On the Glass-Steagall thing, like I said, if you could demonstrate to me that it was a mistake, I'd be glad to look at the evidence. But I can't blame [the Republicans]. This wasn't something they forced me into. I really believed that given the level of oversight of banks and their ability to have more patient capital, if you made it possible for [commercial banks] to go into the investment banking business as Continental European investment banks could always do, that it might give us a more stable source of long-term investment."

Given that the other candidate for President proposed similar measures only on a somewhat smaller scale I find the hysteria over Obama's economic policies to be bitterly amusing. And next November there is a good chance the clowns in control of Congress for a decade when all the shit was being piled up in front of the fan will be in the majority again. Oh boy, we're going to re-appoint the same officers to run Titanic II, that should get things fixed right up.
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snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

Ah, don't forget the government MANDATING risky loans via the Community Redevelopment Act. The risky loans were demanded by the government and the banks actually had to hunt down people to give them money. It was that or the bank was out of business.
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And then the banks (whose execs were paying themselves handsome bonuses) took loans likely to default and bundled them into arcane securities and sold them after getting the rating companies like S&P and Moody's (whose people were also getting record bonuses) to rate them triple-A by the cunning trick of paying them an average of half a million bucks a pop to do so. And then the especially cunning investment firms like Goldman Sachs (more mind-boggling bonuses) actually laid bets that those securities would end up being worthless thanks to defaulting mortgages, and companies like AIG were happy to take those bets because the guys running their financial products division were making multi-million-dollar bonuses on that action too. Imagine that, executives of powerful financial firms put their own income ahead of the long-term health of their companies, and thanks to deregulation there was nobody to step in and announce the party couldn't continue unless somebody paid off the bar tab.
But to this day whenever this issue comes up the usual suspects announce it was all because those &^%^$! Democrats forced the banks to write mortgages to, well you know, those people on the wrong side of the tracks, but the hands of the banks and investment houses and rating agencies--they're clean as can be.
What a dark and bitter comedy this is.
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On 3/7/2010 2:14 PM, DGDevin wrote:

Uh no. Classic "Acquanted With Reality" rhetoric. You might step away from your moveon.org talking points and do just a bit of research here. The root causes of all this were in *three* areas:
1) The regulators created an environment that encouraged insane lending practices because all all the upside went to the borrower and the downside belonged to the government. In effect, they socialized any losses. This is NOT deregulation, it is fraud. And we have people like Barney Frank and Chris Dodd to thank for it.
2) The banks - realizing there was no downside (to them), did exactly what you might expect - the produced insane lending models, derivatives no one could understand, and used rating agencies that were anxious to please even if the cost was overly optimistic ratings. After all, you're going to Vegas on someone else's money if you lose, and you get to keep whatever you win.
3) The greedy sheeple decided to use homes as speculation instruments rather than places to live. Sure, they had to lie on their mortgage applications, but who's checking anyway.
Notice that NONE of this is "deregulation". All of it is *fraudulent* AND the that door got opened not by relaxing the lending rules. It got opened by government guarantees on Fannie/Freddie (and later AIG, Citi, et al). This is also why the real estate market is coming back so slowly. With all the phony government money pouring into the system (can we PLEASE start printing $3 bills with Obama's picture on it?) no one can figure out what the real price of property is.
'Good think the big government advocates managed to get their various "Houses For 'Hos" programs in place, though. "Social Justice" is its own reward ...
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There we go, somebody disagrees with Timbo so it must be because they read moveon.org (which I hold in about equal esteem with the Jerry Springer Show). Meanwhile the financial industry that lobbied long and hard for the deregulation that (among other things) dissolved the boundary between investment banks and insurance companies and kept credit default swaps off-limits to regulation and so on are now paying their lobbyists overtime to prevent re-regulation. But according to Tim deregulation had nothing to do with this. Uh huh.

The other day my wife and I were talking about all the (young) people we knew who were losing their homes because they couldn't afford their adjustable-rate mortgages, and guess what, none of them were black. But you go on believing it was all "Houses For Hos" if that appeals to you for some reason.
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On 3/8/2010 6:32 PM, DGDevin wrote:

It was just a turn of phrase. The point remains that the people who are losing their houses clearly did not plan very well for their financial future. I know any number of currently unemployed people that are NOT losing their houses. Gee, I wonder why?
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*ADJUSTABLE* rate? ...and you're arguing that they were doing a good job of planning their financial future? They made a (stupid) bet and lost.
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Robatoy wrote:

The Government of Iceland provided banking deposit garentees for its banking system as a requirement of being able to trade in the UK and Holland
This was done on the behalf of the Icelandic people , they then renaged on paying out when the system collapsed , the icelandic nation made vast sums of money prior to its demise .
Why should the British taxpayer be expected to take the hit on behalf of the Icelandic government and its people .
The Icelandic government allowed the institution to trade , they allowed the bank to trade when it was obvous it was not in a position to meet its tradeing requirements
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wrote:

And THAT should have been obvious to the bankers that Iceland was in no position to underwrite 5 billion in guarantees. The Dutch and British bank did the same thing a supplier does when they stock a store with goods. They would like to get paid and make a profit when the stuff sells. Those two banks thought the 'store' to be credit worthy. THEY were wrong. THEY eat their bad judgement. In this analogy, the store went bankrupt, no remaining inventory, the supplier is SOL. It is not as if the Icelanders were running some kind of scheme.
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Robatoy wrote:

The Icelandic government underwrote the debts , the bankers were icelandic bankers not british or dutch who advised the icelandic government .
At the end of the day the icelandic government should have realised that they couldnt cover the potential losses and declined to legislate the garentee scheme into law , unfortunatly all they saw was a large influx of foriegn currency entering the country
In essence its very much like the USA with oil transactions being performed in dollars , the US government holds trillions of dollars at any one time on behalf of foriegn governments , if the oil states decided to trade in Euros overnight your economy would go bust

They were not british banks , it was an Icelandic bank trading in the UK to do so they have to have a deposit protection plan in place
THEY were wrong. THEY eat their bad judgement.
The british banks did not make a judgement

Stupid anology

Actually they were
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wrote:

Something Sadam Hussein wanted to do and is, by some, one of the big reasons to invade.
Iran wants to trade in Euros as well...... guess what?
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Robatoy wrote:

They are slightly better armed than iraq and thier armys are much larger .
Sadam was a pain in the arse for the muslim world , the Iranian president isnt , many listen to him .
If America goes into Iran they will end up getting a bloody nose , economically , its quite possible the oil produceing countries could switch currencies , make the dollar worthless overnight .
Something Russia has been trying to encourage for some time , Russia is also a big supplier to Iran and one of the countries with large amounts of oil and gas
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On 3/8/2010 11:28 AM, steve robinson wrote:

Don't get your anti-yank panties in a orgasmic twist just yet, Bubba. With only 5% of the world's crude production Iran is in no position to impose _anything_.
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"Swingman" wrote

Iran and will step up production to cover any shortfall. They would love to see Iran fall.
Also, any attack on Iran would be measured and very high tech. Iran only has old weapons that don't work well. Their military forces are inept. That is why they want nukes. They are not a threat otherwise.
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On 3/8/2010 12:34 PM, Lee Michaels wrote:

Oil producers and traders want/require, above all other factors, s-t-a-b-i-l-i-t-y ... and an historical track record in an established "rule of law" in the global trading capitals that insures same, along with an infrastructure, economic and physical, that will guarantee global "delivery" of the commodity ... something Iran can not provide, at this at this time, or until they fulfill their wish to nuke the rest of us into submission.
And, as for going to the Euro ... never say never, but the downside and disruption in global energy trading to effect a change in currencies will require a more dire economic collapse of not only the US, but most its trading partners, than is being seen today.
But, WTF do I know, eh? Otherwise I wouldn't be posting here on a day too rainy to do something more productive, obviously.
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the Euro without some objections. <G>
The sun is out, 52F 57% humidity, very light, cool, clean breeze off Lake Huron, ice-floes heading down river, somewhere near here a woodpecker is trying to put paid to his new home. I'll be cleaning my 410 this weekend in case he likes one of my trees. (Just a little rocksalt, you unnerstand.....)
Spring is gonna be farking AWESOME!!!
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Indeed, they helped finance Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war because they feared the spread of Islamic revolution from Iran more than they feared Saddam the dictator (most of them being dictators themselves). That was one reason Saddam wanted to invade Kuwait, he owed them many billions they had loaned him during his war with Iran.

Towards the end of the Iran-Iraq war the Iranians were using human-wave attacks with unarmed troops against Iraqi fortified lines. They've improved somewhat since then (they're making many of their own weapons now to avoid international sanctions) but while they would be a tough nation to invade they would be in trouble if they tried to project convention force outside their own borders.
On the other hand the U.S. needs another war like any of us needs to fall off a ladder. According to the CBO the cost of the war in Iraq so far (including interest) is two and a half trillion dollars--the phrase Pyrrhic victory comes to mind.
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On Mon, 8 Mar 2010 13:34:56 -0500, the infamous "Lee Michaels"

I don't think they're quite as bad off as you think, Lee. ;) http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/iran/airforce.htm
-- Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate. -- Chuang-tzu
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