Financial Regulation – A Banker’s Perspective

As I mentioned to all of you a couple of weeks ago, this busy season will sometimes leave me with little time to research and offer a quality article of my own making. On those nights I will sometimes not have anything at all, but on other nights I will offer something written by someone else. Tonight I give you the latter. We have had plenty of discussion here about the roles of Wall Street and the big banks in the current economic situation. I was over at the Huffington Post reading around, and I found this article from a banker, who offered his perspective on the situation we face. It isn’t very often we are going to sit around and watch the finance committee hearings to hear what the bankers have to say. So I thought it appropriate that on the day when the President brought the bank CEO’s in and “laid the smack down” on them, we get a little bit of opinion from someone on the other side of the issue.

The author of this article is Robert Diamond. His bio from the site: Robert E. Diamond, Jr. is President of Barclays PLC and Chief Executive of Corporate and Investment Banking, and Wealth Management, comprising Barclays Capital, Barclays Corporate and Barclays Wealth. He is an Executive Director of the Boards of Barclays PLC and Barclays Bank PLC and has been a member of the Barclays Group Executive Committee since September 1997. He joined the firm in summer 1996.

A native of Concord, Massachusetts, USA, Mr. Diamond received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Colby College in Maine (1974) and an MBA from the University of Connecticut, where he ranked first in his class (1977). He was awarded Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Connecticut in 2006 and Doctor of Laws from Colby College in 2008. His external affiliations include: Chairman, Board of Trustees of Colby College, Waterville, Maine; Chairman, Old Vic Productions, Plc; Trustee, The Mayor’s Fund for London; Member of the Advisory Board, Judge Business School at Cambridge University; Board Member, The Diamond Family Foundation; Member of International Advisory Board, British-American Business Council; Life Member of The Council on Foreign Relations; Member, The Atlantic Council; Trustee, The American School in London.

It sure is an impressive sounding resume. What I was interested in was substance. The article I am pulling from is about twice as long as what I have posted here. I urge all those interested to jump over via the link at the bottom and read the entire article at the Huffington Post. I found it to be an interesting read, but also have some thoughts and questions. I will interject those in as I see fit. So here is what Mr. Diamond had to say:

Too Big To Get Wrong

by Robert Diamond

My career in financial services spans 30 years and three different geographies – the US, the UK and Asia and for me, this is an especially important time to talk about what’s happening in the industry, particularly in respect to regulatory reform. As regulators around the world formulate their response to the near collapse of the financial system the potential outcome is so important that I’ve chosen the title “Too Big to Get Wrong.”

“Too Big to Get Wrong” also symbolizes the purpose of the Whitehead lecture. Transatlantic relations are “too big to get wrong.” Margaret Thatcher once said that “the Anglo-American relationship did more for the defence and future of freedom than any other alliance in the world.” It’s a strong assertion and it’s underscored by President Obama’s reference to “a link and bond that will not break.”

Our economies are deeply and closely interlinked: we each provide the largest source of foreign investment into each other’s country, in trade and finance our relationship is well balanced, and there are strong cultural connections too: our fashion, design and music industries are major influences on each other and globally popular brand names fill each other’s stores.

But just as our relationship is “too big to get wrong” so is the challenge now facing London and New York, the two largest financial centers in the world. They have a special interest in getting regulatory reform right. No city in the world has been more central to international trade flows and trading than London over the centuries and no city has benefited more than London either, a point which should not be lost in the debate.

But this subject is not just “too big to get wrong” for London and New York. It’s also “too big to get wrong” for the world as a whole. We need reform that provides a safe and sound financial system – one that people can trust and rely on but we also need reform that fosters economic growth and job creation which are the most pressing issues we face today.

Striking that balance is critical for all of us – and I mean for all of us because a healthy and strong financial sector that’s willing and able to take risk, in particular cross border risk, is key to trade and economic growth. The banks have a vital role to play in this.

If we get regulatory reform wrong now – if it stifles the willingness and ability of banks to take risk, it’s not just the UK and US, London and New York, that will suffer: If we get it wrong, we risk a halt to economic recovery around the world. If we get it wrong, we limit our ability to sustain long-term growth.

I know it sounds controversial to suggest banks need to be able and willing to take risk, in the wake of a near collapse of the financial system so let me explain why risk is so important: Let’s start with what banks do at their most basic and I make no apologies for starting here, not least because a lot of comment appears to be based on misunderstanding. Banks hold deposits – $61 trillion of deposits – entrusted to them by consumers and companies worldwide they put that money to work, helping consumers and businesses invest in new homes or factories they help governments and central banks around the world to earn a safe return and finance their expenditure they provide domestic and international payment mechanisms, facilitating 730 million non-cash payments every day and they allow corporates, governments and investors to better manage their risks by providing products and services which allow the transformation and transfer of that risk.

What does risk taking have to do with this? Let me give you some examples: Every time a bank lends an individual money to buy a house they’re taking risk in a number of ways:

  • credit risk – will the individual be able to pay it back?
  • interest rate and duration risk on the loan,
  • market risk on the value of the property and the economic stability of the community.

Every time a bank lends to a small business that needs capital to grow, they’re taking similar risks. And it’s by taking these risks that banks support and encourage business innovation.

It is at this point that I take my first break to interpret what he is saying, and to ask that those of you knowledgeable in economics and economic theory begin to contemplate how to answer this article. Because I have a questions. I think that I accept that the UK and the USA are the two big financial centers of the world. And I accept that they are inextricably linked at this point. For lack of a better way of putting it, they are so in bed with each other that they each must ensure that the other doesn’t fail or ruin would come to both, and according to Mr. Diamond, to the entire global financial system.

For those that follow, is that final part an accurate statement. It seems likely, but I don’t want to accept anything at face value. If the US and the UK are linked, does failure in one mean failure in the other? And does the failure of those two financial markets that occupy the leadership position in global economics mean that the entire global system fails? As I said, it makes sense, but I am programmed to question everything. Is he being honest so far? What about the statement that this is “too big to get wrong.” Is that accurate as well? The next couple of paragraphs from this point that I didn’t post here discussed the absolute need to get it right and the fact that managing risk for large corporations and governments (he says that Barclays is the Number 1 provider of liquidity to the Government in both the UK and the US) can only be accomplished by these large global banks. I guess my question there is whether this is true, or whether there is any such thing as a free market system that could do what the big global banks do.

Because if he is being honest, and the banks like Barclays are the only entities able to manage this risk, and that without managing this risk everything falls apart, then the big banks are a necessity and it would seem, at least to me, that this is one area where we would be awful foolish to expound that government regulation is a bad thing in general. We certainly want to make sure that regulation is effective, efficient, and allows for growth, but we certainly couldn’t go without government regulation in a situation like this. I understand I may get torn apart with a statement like that, but I have to ask, or I will remain ignorant to the realities.

Yes we made mistakes

This doesn’t mean to say that the banks have not made any mistakes. There’s no bank and there’s no banker that hasn’t made mistakes in recent years, including me. We recognize our responsibility.

There’s also no bank that hasn’t benefited from fiscal and monetary stimulus and the actions of governments and regulators around the world to mitigate the crisis, even those of us who took no direct government money. We recognize those benefits and the obligations that go with them.

It’s because of that recognition that we’ve made changes. We’re already doing many of the things which regulators are currently looking at: Since the start of the crisis we’ve been operating with more capital, less leverage and stronger liquidity buffers. Barclays, for example, has almost doubled its core tier 1 ratio from just under 5% to 9%, it’s brought adjusted leverage ratios down from the high 30’s to the low 20’s, and its liquidity position is significantly stronger now than in 2007. We’re also implementing the G20 guidelines on remuneration. And Barclays is not alone in taking these actions – in other words – the banks get it.

Our objectives are better aligned with those of consumers, taxpayers and regulators than commentators would have you believe. It’s in everyone’s interest that we have a safe and sound financial system.

Those who got it wrong didn’t manage their risks well

But at the same time we have to recognize that if banks don’t take risk they’re not doing their job. So risk isn’t something to avoid but it does need managing. That means having a clear understanding of risk appetite across the institution at an aggregate level, whether it’s credit risk, market risk or operational risk. It means having that understanding built into decision making across each of the businesses. It means having a strong risk management function, independent of the businesses, that holds people in the businesses accountable. It also means having a clear understanding of exposure by geography, by sector, and by asset class.

Most institutions that failed during the crisis, did so as a result of poor risk management.

OK, not as many questions at this point. First, is it accurate to say that the banks get it and that they are already implementing policies and changes that will help mitigate the risk of a similar result to what we saw over the last five years? In what you are reading do they really get it? In what you are reading are they truly becoming better aligned with consumers, taxpayers, and regulators? One thing that I have always understood is that there are two sides to every story. Our media has a vested interest in making the banks into outright villains. The media is in bed with politicians, and politicians stand to gain a great deal of power by stripping private industry of their rights and sovereignty. So I already feel that the media has demonized banks far more than is probably actually true. But how far off is the media? Mr. Diamond seems to insinuate that they are far off reality, while I tend ot believe that they are probably halfway between the truth and what is needed to get voters to capitulate.

4 broad themes for regulators

So in the interests of achieving the right balance between a safe and sound financial system and economic growth, what should regulatory reform look like? There are four main themes I want to draw out.

My first broad theme is that the rhetoric around trading and capital markets activities – dismissing them as casino banking – is both factually untrue and misses the point.

Research shows that 98% of losses in the last 2 years started with loans and poor risk management and had little to do with trading. Trading didn’t cause the near collapse of the financial system but it does serve an important function ensuring that banks can make markets for capital and risk to be traded. If trading is penalised, we risk damaging market liquidity and the companies and investors who need it.

Nor can the global economy grow without capital markets activity. Capital markets provided $146 trillion to the public and private sector globally. That’s one and a half times more than the collective assets of the global banking system. And demand for capital isn’t going away: US Treasury debt raised in the first half of this year was more than the total of the same period for the previous three years combined so we need deep and liquid capital markets to provide the funding necessary for economic growth.

There’s also a view that we should regulate against structured derivatives products but our clients, whether they’re corporates, pension funds or governments, continue to need sophisticated derivative products for raising capital and managing their risks.

Take one of our utility clients for example: a company in a highly regulated sector, one of the first to expand into alternative energy, and today one of the largest developers of windfarms in the world. It was only through the use of structured over the counter derivatives that they were able to hedge out and monetise the forward energy prices to fund that investment.

Then take a look at oil prices: In the last couple of years they’ve risen to $145 a barrel, crashed back down to $40 and now they’re at about $80 a barrel. If you’re an oil producing country or an airline how do you manage that kind of volatility?

In the case of the government of Mexico, helping them to hedge the oil price before it fell enabled them to preserve their credit rating and their budget, including their education program.

Of course we need much greater transparency in derivatives markets so that regulators understand the kinds of instruments being used and know where there is excessive concentration. And exchanges have a very important role to play in providing this transparency but that doesn’t mean that we should put all derivatives on exchanges. We still need room for customized products that cater for the needs of clients.

That’s why over 35 of our large clients testified to the US Congress, the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission this year. They wanted to emphasize just how important structured derivatives markets are to them. In time we expect a similar process to take place in Europe because these markets are as important for clients as the underlying stock, bond and commodity markets. This issue goes right to the heart of economic stability and growth.

So our clients need trading, they need access to capital markets and they need structured derivatives. This is not about casino banking. It’s about enabling clients to access funding and manage risk in order to run and grow their businesses more effectively.

My second broad theme is that bank’s capital requirements should be set out as part of an agreed and transparent framework. Banks have dramatically increased both the quality and quantity of capital they hold – as I told you earlier, Barclays has almost doubled its core tier 1 ratio from just under 5 to 9%. Meanwhile regulators continue to add capital charges on certain trading books and certain asset classes. New capital directives known as Basel III for example, are due to be implemented in Europe in 2011, doubling the capital charges on many trading books. At the same time regulators are redefining what counts as capital. We have to clearly recognize the cumulative impact of these measures.

Of course we also have to balance the government’s call for more bank lending with the regulator’s call for banks to hold more capital. We’re managing through this: gross lending at Barclays in the UK during the first nine months of this year, for example, amounted to £25 billion. But it’s not possible to do both over the medium term without significantly increasing the cost of credit and without significantly impacting the prospect of economic growth.

My third broad theme is the need for an international level playing field – with regards to capital, accounting and compensation. I told you about the Basel changes which double capital charges on many trading books in Europe in 2011. It’s not at all clear that this will apply outside Europe and in fact the US has yet to implement Basel 2 which was introduced here 4 years ago. Accounting rules also differ. Mark to market and balance sheet netting are two good examples of this: banks are required to report gross assets in Europe and net assets in the US. As a result, if Barclays reported under US GAAP, its balance sheet would be over £500 billion smaller.

Why does a level playing field matter? Because financial capital and human capital are highly mobile in a global world so it’s in the best interests of everyone that the major economies work in concert. But it’s not just about being able to compete. It’s also about minimising risk because differences in capital and accounting rules led to the creation of off balance sheet vehicles which fed the bubble in credit assets.

What’s more, when level playing fields have not been maintained it’s led to poor risk management. Whether you look at the Landesbanks in Germany or federal agencies in the US the ability to take advantage of cheap, government guaranteed funding led to sub optimal credit decisions, driven by the desire to deliver returns for shareholders.

A network of single national regulators operating within a consistent global framework can prevent this kind of regulatory arbitrage and provide a level playing field for all. We’ve seen a good start with G20 and the Financial Stability Board.

My fourth and final theme is that the notion of breaking up banks that are “too big to fail” is over simplistic. The world in which we operate is global and our clients require and demand global services.

But more than that, it’s not appropriate to attack big banks on the basis of size. Big banks can have better business models and better risk management than small ones. 130 small federal banks in the US have collapsed this year, for example, with six additional names confirmed just last weekend. In the UK, lots of small building societies have either failed or been forced to merge. Some of these failures proved to be systemic, so systemic and big are not synonymous.

Nor is it a forgone conclusion that investment banking activities should be separated from retail and commercial banking and that narrowly defined banks are safer. We should remember that all the banks I’ve just mentioned were retail banks and that Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, and Bear Stearns were all stand alone investment banks.

So there you have the four broad themes as he lays them out. How accurate is his approach? I wish I was as well versed in economics as some of you folks so I could offer my own analysis, but I am not. So the point of this article is to offer some ability for us to discuss the economics around the regulatory push we are seeing today and perhaps allow the rest of us to learn, at least at a basic level, enough to understand whether to support something being offered by the government, or to rail against it as a futile effort that will cost us greatly.

I think that what I learned in reading what Mr. Diamond presented, was just how much I don’t know about the global economic game and how it is played. I think I have a better understanding than a lot of folks, but I certainly have found an area that I am not well enough educated to offer an opinion on my own.

I think it is far too easy for those of us unhappy with the way our federal government is run to sit back and take a purist stance that no government regulation or control is needed or good. I am a firm believer in the power of the free market. I certainly have far more faith in it than some of our folks like Charlie Stella and Ray or Todd. But they have argued that there are simply places where it isn’t just convenient to have government regulation and control, but instead that in some places it is absolutely necessary. In some areas I maintain that they are wrong, but in others I am smart enough to admit that I am not all knowing. This is such an area. Because it would seem, at a minimum, that some of the ultra-risky practices of some banks who were chasing nothing but profit, put the entire global economy in jeopardy. And if that is the case, how can we make a rational argument that no government intrusion is good? And if that is the case, where do we draw the line, or even identify it?

Read the entire article at the Huffington Post by clicking this link: Robert E. Diamond, Jr.: Too Big To Get Wrong

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Comments

  1. Posting for comments. I look forward to reading the posts on this subject.

    G!

  2. Ray Hawkins says:

    Just a quick note on one point (the accounting angle) – many U.S. companies with global operations are or have adopted IFRS so they can simplify and streamline accounting and reporting. Problematic is how or even whether all other companies would need to – it is an expensive proposition.

    Have an interesting sidebar on Barclays will need to write up and post later.

    Thanks,

    Ray

    • Ray,

      Can you explain in simple terms, what IFRS is?I have a feeling that the majority of folks don’t have any clue what you are talking about. Excellent observation by the way.

      USW

  3. USW….now ya gone and done it. I was late getting my answer written to your article of yesterday and I guess with good reason. The one today fits quite nicely to the one yesterday and I think I want to alter it to fit both. I had previously read the Diamond article. I think that the two dove tail quite nicely so forgive me sir for doing the Obama thing…..promising and not delivering. However, I will deliver today and tie both together.

    Hope your day is going well and I am sending this “yankee” weather back North….it is 29 degrees here with a 24 MPH wind. This is Texas….I want 105 degrees with a 20 MPH wind. Ok…nuff of that.

    TTYL

    D13 (Brother in arms and getting them out to clean once again)

    • Trade my -5 degree weather for your 29 degrees !

      • It’s in the 40’s here-guess I’ll quit complaining about being cold. 🙂

        • I won’t rub it in…..

          🙂

          • Judy Sabatini says:

            Morning girls

            Ellen, I’ll take your minus 5 degrees over our cloudy, foggy, with the possibility of more snow and rain any day.

            Hi V

            We’re suppose to be about the same in temps here as you’re having.

            Hey Cyndi

            Yes, please by all means, don’t rub in your nice warm, tropical weather, makes me envious.

            Hope you gals are having a great day other wise.

            Judy

            • Hi Judy,

              Ask me about that great day later. The boss has me tasked with something that I don’t usually get involved in and its kicking my ass 😉 He rides me pretty hard sometimes but he’s just trying challenge me and improve my skills, so I’m okay with it. If he didn’t think I had it in me, he wouldn’t waste his time with me. Still, it stresses me out a bit. I’m looking forward to this weekend. The Christmas slow down begins and I’ll be able to chill out and relax. My boyfriend is headed to the States for three weeks so I’ll have plenty of time for myself. I’ll miss him but it means more time hanging out with my girlfriends!

              • Judy Sabatini says:

                Hi Cyndi

                Sorry, I didn’t get back to you sooner, but my boys came over to pick up their snowboarding equipment, and stayed for a little bit..

                I bet you boss picked you to do what it is he’s having you do because he sees something in you to be able to do it is, where as maybe there is somebody else that wouldn’t be able too.

                That’s just like when my son was in the Marines. He thought the drill SGT. was picking on him all the time, when in fact he wasn’t. He told us at the graduation, that he wasn’t picking on him he just saw somebody with potential and he was one of the best cadets he had in his squad. Turns out he was right, because my son ended up running the supply unit and was to be able to handle everything under pressure, where nobody else could.

                Even the Cols. and the LTS and even Generals couldn’t figure things out. They depended on him so much, that when he got out, they asked, how the hell are we going to function without you here. My son had to train about 3 different guys to take his place. Heck, they even called him when he was home on how to do things.

                Guess, that’s what I’m saying about your boss picking you. He must have seen something in you to pick you like he did.

              • I think its partly that but the incentive is that the nice young man who normally does it has a spot of trouble showing up on time if at all. I’m very punctual and take very little time off. But, yes, I agree that the boss thinks I’m able. This is a predominately male dominated field, so its a ice change for me to have this opportunity. Normally I get passed over for the higher level stuff but not here. I’m very grateful for that. This job is a wonderful opportunity for me to learn.

              • Judy Sabatini says:

                Cyndi

                Sounds to me like that nice young man didn’t take his job serious enough, where as you most likely do.

                Bet it’s nice not to be looked over this time, and to get the job.

                I wish you all the best in your job, and I have all the confidence that you will get the job done.

                About your boyfriend that’s going to be gone for 3 weeks. Hey, enjoy the peace and quiet while you can, but it’s only natural that you’re going to miss him terribly though.

                My husband is going to Hawiaww with his brother and his wife on the 1st of Jan. Circumstances prevented me from going, nobody available to stay with my mom.

                But he said, when he got back, I could go anywhere I want all by myself. Problem is, is trying to figure out where. But that won’t be until spring when it warms up.

                Not going to go anywhere where it’s cold.

              • Judy Sabatini says:

                Meant to say Hawaii, sorry for the misspelling.

              • Thanks! My co workers will be in Hawaii same time as your hubby. Small world, eh?

              • Judy Sabatini says:

                Hope they enjoy their time there, and yes, it is a small world. Got to run an errand, will be back in a bit.

      • It is gonna warm up to the 40’s today but the winds will still be howling…however, a low of 28 in the morn but up to 65 tomorrow PM….65 still a blizzard for this Texas boy…but I can handle a lot of that. I love to snow ski but that means that I can visit it, leave my money, and come back here.

  4. Anyone reading this self-serving blubber from Mr. Diamond has to place Diamond into a context.

    He sits at the table with the elite, and he eats very well.

    He is most interested in doing one thing: Maintain the status quo of his cartel.

    Do to this he needs to do two things:

    1) Prevent the public from understanding how badly the game is rigged against them.

    2) Dissuade government from removing the cartel and nationalizing the banks.

    Between the choice of the cartel and government, by far and away, cartel is a better choice.

    But that does not make the cartel anywhere good at all.

    Cherry pick of comments:
    We need reform that provides a safe and sound financial system – one that people can trust and rely on but we also need reform that fosters economic growth and job creation which are the most pressing issues we face today.

    A banks’ job is not to create growth or jobs. It is a place where someone stores their cash.

    The precise problem of the cartel is in its Faustian deal, it became the economic tool by which governments manipulate the economy.

    By fostering artificially interest rates and printing dollars, the government’s created an illusion of prosperity, when in fact, the productive capability of the USA/UK was falling.

    This mis-task of banks, in league with the goals of government and the elite, is precisely the reason of the economic collapse.

    He not only totally refuse to acknowledge this, he by direct statement enshrines it as a primary goal.


    Striking that balance is critical for all of us – and I mean for all of us because a healthy and strong financial sector that’s willing and able to take risk, in particular cross border risk, is key to trade and economic growth. The banks have a vital role to play in this.

    Banks have no role in risk. They are supposed to be as risk-free as possible. As the guardians of our free cash and savings, they are to be as close to perfectly non-risk.

    A banker who feels his job is to indulge in risk is a contradiction. If he wants to play with risk, start a business.

    But playing with other people’s savings – trusted to the bank to be as risk-free as possible – is an obvious breach of trust.

    I didn’t post here discussed the absolute need to get it right and the fact that managing risk for large corporations and governments (he says that Barclays is the Number 1 provider of liquidity to the Government in both the UK and the US) can only be accomplished by these large global banks.

    Yes, the centralization of banking is key for the funding of large government. One stop shopping. Can you imagine the difficulty government would have in going to 2,500 small banks to beg for one big loan?

    Impossible.

    Now, it can talk to exactly one man, and get trillions.

    I do not believe that is a good thing for an economy.

    I guess my question there is whether this is true, or whether there is any such thing as a free market system that could do what the big global banks do.

    What part?

    Fund large government war and welfare? No.

    Fund large corporate mercantilism? No.

    Provide a safe haven for cash? Yes.

    Provide an avenue for risk-adverse investors to lend money? Sure.

    Provide an ability for international letters of credit? Sure.

    Print money out of thin air? No.

    Because if he is being honest, and the banks like Barclays are the only entities able to manage this risk, and that without managing this risk everything falls apart, then the big banks are a necessity and it would seem, at least to me, that this is one area where we would be awful foolish to expound that government regulation is a bad thing in general.

    Again, what is your goal?

    They are not the only entities able to manage risk. In fact, they are completely the wrong entity to manage risk.

    They are supposed to be risk-free as theoretically possible.

    We certainly want to make sure that regulation is effective, efficient, and allows for growth, but we certainly couldn’t go without government regulation in a situation like this.

    Why do you believe growth is the key and most important measure?

    Do you believe growing a chicken – that nature made to grow in 95 days – but by drugs can be grown in 22 days…is a good and healthy chicken?

    Sustainability is pretty at the top for an economic system to survive and thrive. One-shot-wonders do nothing for an economy, and more often then not, damage it.

    But because most people are overly result orientated and measure their success by the more number of digit dollars in their pocket this year than last, are mis-directed in their economic understanding.

    What ‘regulation’ needs to provided that sheer market forces couldn’t provide?

    Simply withdrawing one’s savings from an errant bank would more than ‘shake up’ the bank to its core.

    “Efficient” regulation is a contradiction. Regulation, by definition, must impede an action. Thus, it increases inefficiency as systems are devised to avoid and mitigate the damage.

    And because it impedes, there is nothing more devastating then an effective regulation. The gears stop.


    Barclays, for example, has almost doubled its core tier 1 ratio from just under 5% to 9%, it’s brought adjusted leverage ratios down from the high 30’s to the low 20’s, and its liquidity position is significantly stronger now than in 2007.

    What utter crap!

    Instead of a 20 to 1 leverage, it is at 11 to leverage.

    Simply put, for every 11 dollars in the economy, they made out of thin air 10 of them!.

    Fractional reserve banking is a counterfeiting fraud.

    It says two different people have first right on the same dollar at the same time. Since this cannot be, the system is fraudulent. It promises what it cannot deliver.

    It also says that the banks can create money out of thin air based on deposits. By pretending ‘air’ money is the same as ‘real’ money is counterfeiting.

    The entire system of banking and the boom/bust and economic collapses it creates can be placed at the feet of the bizarre, fraudulent concept of fractional reserves.


    We’re also implementing the G20 guidelines on remuneration. And Barclays is not alone in taking these actions – in other words – the banks get it.

    The banks got it a long time ago. They are now moving to hide what has been exposed.

    “Don’t peek behind the curtain, boys and girls!”

    • I’m in the process of reading Liberal Fascism-and in this book it basically says that big companies like the financial institutions actually want regulations because it gives them what amounts to a monopoly over small companies and that the government actually lets these big business’s write the regulations.

      • Exactly, V.

        Regulations operate with equity upon all in the economy regardless of size.

        So the small suffer the same velocity of pain as the large – but cannot sustain the damage at the same level.

        Thus, the large live and the small die.

        This is not just a banking phenomena but a whole systemic issue in the economy.

        The small business – devastated by the unbearable weight of regulation – fail. Yet, it is the #1 source of jobs and growth.

        Thus, the big get bigger, the small die, economy stagnates and unemployment climbs.

        Welcome to government.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Flag – and others

          For years my wife and I banked at First Financial Bank – a small community based bank where we live. Pervasive was the ‘get to know you’ factor – all the tellers knew us and they were proud to be associated with a management structure that emphasized community over size and expansion. Over time the bank became an attractive target to others – a good balance sheet with a loyal customer base will do that. Eventually they were bought by another local but much larger community/regional bank – Willow Financial. Immediately you saw some turnover in management and eventually in the tellers. Service became inconsistent, even bad in some ways. It was losing that community feel.

          Willow, for all its aggressiveness in expansion and becoming bigger, did indeed become bigger. As no one was watching their balance sheet took on more risk than the leaders at First Financial may have taken on, and soon enough the regulators and auditors realized they had a potential bust on their hands. Willow could no longer hide their crappy decisions and messy books. So – at the encouragement of regulators Harleysville Bank stepped in a bought Willow. Soon enough, at the local branch, we recognized no one. Service with a smile and a cup of coffee was replaced by turnstile type service – get you in and get you out as fast as possible. After a year or so, Harleysville (who was also a larger regional player) realized how toxic Willow really was. Soon, we all read in the news how another bank was to buy them – some conglomerate from up North.

          So – gone is my community bank – replaced by another ‘big box’ bank branch that will change hands and names 5-6 more times I am sure, in the coming months and years.

          Surely there was regulation in place – but I call bullshit on anyone that insists Community Bank A is assessed/regulated/audited the same way Big Bank X is – they are not. I know this for a fact. I used to work with/for those regulators. Often – the regs are ‘interpreted’ or right-sized to the operation and risk involved.

          To suggest otherwise is wrong.

          I think the case I relayed was a combo of insufficient regulation and oversight and improperly applied existing reg/oversight. They grew alright – a lot of people I know personally where able to retire early, but they were able to walk away with nary a scratch on their behinds.

      • V.H.

        The only thing I would add is that all the competing interests do the same. Those who hate the banks team up with congressional staff who hate the banks to write anti-bank legislation. Greenies find the greenie staff to write anti-industry legislation and the industry lobbyists get with staff sympathetic with industry to write pro-industry legislation.

        Lobbyists of all sizes, shapes, and colors help write the legislation and then monitor and work to affect the implementing regulations.

        But in the end, even while govt puts the screws to business that business and govt are acting to impede open competition. Regulations by their very nature impede competition because they greatly increase the cost of market entry.

        Goldberg’s book was a revelation for me. The information did not surprise me as I had been searching for years. But it was the way he put the whole story together. Linking the geneology of the progressive/socialist/fascist movements.

        I am curious what your thoughts on the book are once you have finished.

        Best to you this fine day V. Holland
        JAC

        • v. Holland says:

          I suspect I’m gonna have to read the book twice to really grasp all the information but I agree the historical info. is extremely interesting and eye opening to what has been going on in this country since it’s very beginning. I have been,in the past, under the illusion that all this stuff was relatively new-how wrong and naive I was and still am I suppose..

    • Morning Black Flag,

      Well at least for me anyway. As I was sipping my first cup of coffee and reading what Diamond wrote, I had similar feelings as you. In short form of course 😉 I kept thinking ‘this guy is just telling me what he thinks I want to hear. The whole system is designed to transfer wealth from folks like me to folks like him.’

      This is the best I can articulate at 0420…….

    • Thanks for the input BF. After reading his article I began to fall into the trap, even though my mind was telling me not to. That trap being believing anything Mr. Diamond said.

      I am still on the fence about regulation in the economic sectors, mostly because of the way things have become. I can agree to the premise that it could all be done without government regulation. But given how far down the path we are with government intervention, is there any way to pull back now?

      USW

      • USWep,

        But given how far down the path we are with government intervention, is there any way to pull back

        Yes, in our dreams, on the other side of the rainbow, way way way up in the sky.

        So, no.

        The People have absolutely no understanding of what is being done to them. They actually believe all of this exists to protect them. They are fully drunk with the Koolaid.

        There is zero will to change, politically in Congress or in the consciousness of the voters.

        Therefore, the situation is completely hopeless.

        So, what can a person do?

        Prepare thy self – ignore the rest.

  5. Wholesale energy prices jumped 6.9 percent in November, the biggest surge since August. Gasoline prices rose 14.2 percent, while the cost of home heating oil jumped 18.3 percent last month

    Keep an eye on this metric. If this large inflation increase continues for 3 months in a row, you will know inflation has arrived.

  6. Bottom Line says:

    I don’t know enough about economics to argue details of Mr. Diamonds assertions. BF just did that(#4), And from what I can tell, destroyed him.

    My uneducated educated guess is…

    It’s not really about economics. Economics is just the catalyst.

    This is one more example of power players using economics to blur the geo-political “imaginary lines” in the interest of globalization.

    Mr. Diamond is a CFR lifer that writes an article in the Huffington Post advocating international financial regulations for a level playing field.

    Mr. Diamond – ” My third broad theme is the need for an international level playing field – with regards to capital, accounting and compensation. ”

    ” Why does a level playing field matter? Because financial capital and human capital are highly mobile in a global world so it’s in the best interests of everyone that the major economies work in concert. ”

    ” A network of single national regulators operating within a consistent global framework can prevent this kind of regulatory arbitrage and provide a level playing field for all. ”

    This guy is so full of it that it’s coming out of his ears.

    • Buck The Wala says:

      I’m not nearly as well versed in economics as I would like (or should) be. But on the face of it, Diamond is correct that financial and human capital are highly mobile and that we are living in a global world, where national economies do intersect and where a collapse in London could have dire impacts on NYC.

      Wouldn’t it then make sense for some form of multinational regulatory scheme? Not necessarily to create a ‘level playing field’, whatever that even exactly means, but more to provide some level of protection to the rest of us.

      • But why, Buck?

        Are you not able to buy something from China, right now?

        Are you not able to sell something to someone in France, right now?

        All of this happens without any ‘international regulative body’.

      • Buck:

        It actually works in reverse of what we all instinctively believe is true.

        OK, its a global economoy therefore we need global regulation. But first think hard about what the ACTUAL effect of regulation has been at OUR scale. Has it really protected us? Has it really added to our wealth, and I mean true wealth? Has it really increased our efficiency and thus productivity?

        Now apply it at the grandest scale possible, at least here on earth. Mixing it with litteraly hundreds of countries who’s cultural heritage is one of Statism, Oligarchy and Cronyism. Is the United Nations working the way you think it should? Now you want to place these folks in charge of developing global rules for banking?

        Buck, I can move money anywhere in the world to invest. Well to the extent the USA govt. will let me move my money. It is incumbant upon me to know the rules of the country I choose to invest in. I do not need any uniformity between countries.

        Not unless I am the banker who wishes to make millions on nothing but the fees for moving that money as fast as I can.

        And the more regulations I have to work under the greater the cover for my eventual failure. When I am summoned to account for my failure I will confidently proclaim “It was the Governments fault!! They didn’t have the right regulations in place!”

        Those who decide they want to play together can certainly sit down and develop what ever rules they wish for the game they choose to play. But it does not require government’s involvement.

        Hope all is well in the Walla household today.
        JAC

        • Buck The Wala says:

          Things are okay in the Wala household – Mrs. Wala is sick, though I’m sure she’ll have a speedy recovery.

          Just to clarify my point, I am not suggesting for an overarching international government agency to regulate all things banking. But I do feel that purely national regulation will not have as large effect as it would have had in the past. Rather, some form of global regulation could be much more effective in providing certain basic protections to consumers. This does not necessarily need to be in the form of governmental regulation.

          I like your idea of global players sitting down together and hashing out some basic rules on their own. I believe though, that government should have a role to play in this arena. But that is where you and I disagree as to the proper role of government.

          Hope your enjoying your day.

          • Buck:

            Just how would the many governments be involved and for what purpose?

            If the players can make the rules then why is govt needed?

            Can you explain what global rules would protect the consumer?

            You see, once you’ve accepted the paradigm that govt has a role you always get that answer first.

            Try starting with, govt is NOT necessary, then work to make it work. Then, and only then, does govt become a LAST RESORT instead of the first option.

            • Buck The Wala says:

              The players are of course essential to help come up with the rules. But the players are playing a game where they are not the only beneficiaries/losers of the game, as the case may be. Or better yet, as can easily be the case, the players are the beneficiaries when everyone else are the losers.

              Also, there needs to be a body of regulators.

              Hence, government invovlement.

      • Bottom Line says:

        I believe that globalization and a one world system is inevitable as it is just part of our natural human evolutionary course. We’re already half way there.

        Globalism isn’t bad. Bad globalism is bad.

        I’m not necessarily arguing against good regulations that would benefit everyone, but pointing out that Mr. Diamond is an influential globalist ideologue that espouses something I am suspicious of.

        Are they really good regs? And who are they good for?

        Globalism that turns our system upside down and only serves to benefit the filthy rich is bad.

        Folks like Mr. Diamond and his associates(CFR) don’t look out for folks like you and I. They have a globalist agenda and I think that it’s safe to assume that they aren’t including our best interests in their decisions regarding trillions of dollars and all that power.

        I suspect he is full of shit and has some kind of ulterior motive when he makes the case for international regulations.

        • There can be no one world system that has been designed.

          That is the danger – a belief that it can.

          The only ‘world’ system is the Free Market.

          • Bottom Line says:

            Sure it can be designed.

            That doesn’t mean it’ll work.

            You can “DESIGN” an expressway paved with bricks, or a high-rise made out of cotton candy.

            Maybe you should E-mail Mr. Diamond a link to Hayek’s Nobel Prize speech.

            • Diamond is a through and through Keynesian.

              He would ignore anything Hayek or any Austrian Economist would say.

              Not because he is evil or stupid.

              But because he simply would be unable to understand any of it at all.

              He starts at a core premise that is precisely opposite of Mises.

              Thus, when he tries to interpret the meaning of the sentences coming from someone like Hayek, it sounds like Swahili to him.

  7. First I will say I am not real educated on the ins and outs of this system by any means. But here is how I feel on it.

    I do feel that the small banks and business are the ones that get smacked when the regualtions are put in place. Which as I see it makes the bigger banks have more power in the end.

    I think that banks are going to protect their own, I have a hard time believing that this man has our best interests in mind. It came across to me that he is protecting his interests and the banks interest.
    No question that fraud in large amounts occurred in this mess, and now that has been exposed in some degree to people. Banks and politicans want to put up some regualtions to say they have fixed the problem. I have a harder time swallowing that one.
    How did you fix the fraud, when noone really has been held accountable for it. Are we in such a rush to put things in place to hide more fraud that might be hiding.

    Just my two cents on the topic.

  8. 1. I am more interested in having a thought provoking article than whether its written by USW. For the most part, your concerns and interests are very similar to my own.

    2. Smoke and mirror’s. Obama calls bankers “fat cats”. MSM gets to report that and skip coverage of health care.

    3. What ever happened on reforming Freddie/Fannie? They got their $210 million in bonuses last year, how much do they get this year?

    4. The government FORCED the banks to lower their lending standards. What has been done to stop the government from forcing an agenda driven policy on “private” businesses?

    5. An agreement between London and the US on accounting principals makes sense.
    I wonder if that could not be done without either government being involved?

    6. I agree with Flag, the government wants big banks, that are easier to control. With the number of former Goldman Sachs employee’s in government positions, is there really any difference between big business and big government?

    • Cleveland’s Foreclosure Mess: Plain Dealer Reporter Finds the Enemy, and Learns That It’s Their Government

      By Tom Blumer December 14, 2009

      If there’s a Ground Zero for America’s foreclosure mess outside of much of California and metro Las Vegas, it’s probably Cleveland, the Northeast Ohio city known in most of the rest of the state as the Mistake on the Lake.

      The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Mark Gillespie got out from behind his desk, committed some good old-fashioned journalism, and went looking for the mistakes that exacerbated the town’s breathtaking home foreclosure rate. Lo and behold, he found that city government itself contributed mightily and extraordinarily negligently to the debacle. Go far enough into Gillespie’s report, and you will also find an implicit admission that the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) also played a pivotal role (bold is mine):

      How Cleveland aggravated its foreclosure crisis

      The city of Cleveland has aggravated its vexing foreclosure problems and has lost millions in tax dollars by helping people buy homes they could not afford, a Plain Dealer investigation has found.

      The city provided mostly low-income buyers with down payment loans of up to $20,000 through the federally funded Afford-A-Home program, but did little to determine whether the people could actually afford to keep their homes.

      That lack of oversight persisted for years, even as hundreds of loan recipients defaulted on mortgages, many within two years, the newspaper found by analyzing property and loan records covering the period between 2000 and 2007.

      For example, nearly half of 584 homes sold by the top three for-profit companies that tapped into the program over the eight years have gone into foreclosure. More than one-third of those homes have sold at sheriff’s sale or sit abandoned because banks did not take them back.

      ….. The loss in Afford-A-Home dollars from failed purchases from Cresthaven Development Corp., Rysar Properties Inc. and Pebblebrook Properties Inc. thus far totals more than $2.3 million.

      Presented with the newspaper’s findings, city officials acknowledged problems with the Afford-A-Home program and ordered tighter eligibility standards for buyers and sellers.

      ….. The program is primarily driven by companies that buy, renovate and resell houses. The companies typically seek city approval to sell properties using Afford-A-Home loans before renovations are completed. They are responsible for sending the buyers’ Afford-A-Home applications to the city.

      A Plain Dealer review of more than 50 Afford-A-Home files found borrowers who, according to their applications, earned as little as $15,000 a year when the city — and mortgage lenders — gave them loans.

      One woman, according to a letter in her file, was homeless and living in a car with her children when she got $10,000 from the city. Another couple received food stamps and were jobless when they got an Afford-A-Home loan.

      Through 2004, the first-lien mortgages for Afford-A-Home buyers typically came from local banks fulfilling federal requirements to lend money in poorer neighborhoods. The loans carried low interest rates.

      http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tom-blumer/2009/12/14/clevelands-foreclosure-mess-plain-dealer-reporter-finds-enemy-learns-its

  9. http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/geraldwarner/100019894/climategate-the-ailing-mainstream-media-are-committing-suicide-by-ignoring-the-scoop-of-the-century/

    A nice flowup piece on my post yeasterday about the destruction of the MSM over Climategate.

    I’m often amused that the next day after I post something, some mainstream blog writes about the same thing!

    I guess the Telegraph reads SUFA!

    • Hope he’s right, and they fail soon. Another interesting article.

      http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/12/uranium_enrichment_us_governme.html

    • Bottom Line says:

      At least he’s faster than FOX.

      It usually takes them about 36-48 hours to echo SUFA.

    • Don’t you know that everyone reads SUFA? I find it humorous that I know there are interns in Congress keeping tabs here. They email me from time to time. That means that members of Congress are paying attention to what is said here. I don’t pretend this is the only political blog they are watching and learning from. But it is nice to know we are one of them!

      I believe that we will find over time, that there are a great number of people out there for whom our message here speaks to their heart. And the site will grow. I only hope it never grows larger than I can handle without keeping the respect factor in place and where I can maintain the personal touch that I am able to do with the readership now.

      I must say I love writing this site, watching the discussions, and working towards preparing ourselves for the future.

      I do often wonder why you are not writing for some large site out there with massive readership. I would imagine you would be a popular writer, albeit a despised one for the loyal statists.

      USW

      • Hi USW,

        You say interns to members of Congress keep tabs here. Are these people from both parties or just one? Do you think that anyting we say here actually sinks in, or do they use this site to see if the natives are getting dangerously restless?

      • I would imagine you would be a popular writer

        Maybe, one day.

        I have a lot to learn about writing.

        My usual style is far too complex for a broad audience – it takes people a bit of time to understand my nuances.

        That style distracts an larger audience – I am not good at the 4-word rhetoric responses that keep an audience entertained.

        Even my daughter complains when she asks me a question about something she is learning:

        “Dad, can you answer this question …. BUT PLEASE, not your usual 3-hour answer?? Just the short version, Please? Please?”

        And, further, my message is not for the masses.

        The masses are brain-less and thought-less.

        They are self-engrossed, principle-less, vain, envious, and weak and are more interested in being entertained by people who pretend to be other people then participating in their own lives.

        These people have been well trained by the government school system.

        My message is for the few – the Remnant.

        The Remnant do not read the MSM for their knowledge. They read the MSM to understand the level of ignorance of the masses so to learn how to avoid them.

        The Remnant will, eventually, find themselves here at SUFA.

        They need to work hard to find this site.

        That work is what they need to do, because it is hard.

        The work filters out the lazy and the thoughtless.

        Only those that have the ability of heavy mental lifting show up here. This is not an easy site to engage. I believe there are many, many more readers than participants.

        And that is just fine.

        Most of the Remnant listen and think and contemplate without any necessity to discuss or debate.

        But they are exactly who I wish to speak my message.

        And, besides, I am still lobbying to change the name of the site anyway to:

        “Black Flag’s Sit Down for America” 🙂

  10. Out of context here….just reported… Austin, Texas, 1103 am….Blue/Cross Blue Shield of Texas worried. As of this date, and the counting began in January of this year, 2009, 412 private physicians and clinics have decided to drop Medicaid/Medicare coverages. Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Texas Medicaid/Medicare Division worried that is just the beginning. When asked, private physicians say the system is bad enough now and more regulation and the added rolls will make it impossible. It is said that the average wait to be paid is 7 months. The Blue Cross management is worried that private hospitals may follow next and that the county hospitals will not be able to handle the influx. County hospitals are mandated to accept Medicaid/Medicare.

    • Oh but D 13, this is why we need the government to step in, with their new electronic medical records, all these problems will be fixed. Now be a good boy, take your Prozac, and keep repeating, “I believe in Obama, mmmm, mmmm,”

      • You left out a mmmmmmmm……..there is supposed to be three…how do you expect me to cope without three?

        Ok..let me try this….

        (Picture staring wide eyed at a twirling color spectrum) Crap…no prozac…ummmm…ok

        Staring…drinking Dr Pepper…. I believe in Obama….mmmmmmm….mmmmmm….mmmmmmm.

        I believe in Obama….mmmmmmmmm.mmmmmmmmmm.mmmmmmmmmm. I believe in Oba….(shot rings out).

      • LOI,

        That borders on blasphemy. Say twenty “Hail Michelles” and seven “Our Savior Obamas” and the Congress will forgive you.

        USW

        • USW:

          Did you not here the shot?

          I fear the Colonel’s wife has killed him.

          LOL
          JAC

          • I was certainly hoping that was not the case. I am hoping that she is not as good a shot as he is, although I fear he has trained her well to handle a weapon over the years. The prognosis is not good should she stumble into a room and find him mumbling Obama chants. I fear she will assume he has lost his mind and put him out of his misery.

            USW

        • No wonder I wasn’t invited to that White House shin dig.
          And I committed a felony this AM. Went to the Post office and forgot about my hogleg. Kinda bothers me it being accidental.

          • Now that’s funny, I post about not being invited to the White House, and I get an invite from the president.

            Help President and Mrs. Bush advance the principles of freedom, opportunity, responsibility and compassion. Become a Charter Member of the George W. Bush Presidential Center today!

            Become a Charter Member Today!

            Dear Life of Illusion,

            I don’t have to remind you how America was tested time and again-at home and abroad-during the eight defining years of the George W. Bush presidency.

            The difficult decisions President Bush made in the face of each challenge were rooted in the core principles he held throughout his years of public service-the fundamental values that have guided America since her founding: Freedom . . . Opportunity . . . Responsibility . . . Compassion.

            Now President and Mrs. Bush-with the support of many patriotic Americans like you-are taking on a new challenge. They are continuing their personal commitment to advancing these enduring principles through the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

            The Center will uniquely integrate the records of a national archive, the thematic exhibits of a presidential museum, and the intellectual capital of a research-based policy institute to transform ideas into action.

            The George W. Bush Presidential Center will continue to advance the ideals and core principles that shaped his presidency during a defining period in America’s history.

            Please accept this invitation to stand with President and Mrs. Bush by making a tax-deductible year-end online contribution now.

            Thank you for your support.

            • I heard they are looking for the next potential crashers at the state dinner. Perhaps you should break out the church clothes and head on to DC. The state dinner would be a lot more fun if you were there!

              USW

      • Side note, I think the medical records is to be used by the government at some time for background checks during firearms purchases. Example, the Virgina shooter could not legally purchase a gun, but medical privacy laws prevented this from being used to deny
        him from buying one.

        Next step, how many drugs warn against driving or operating heavy machinery? Pelosi will have sooooo much fun with this.

        • Excellent observation LOI. I also see this as the catalyst for changing laws to give the government access to medical files prior to gun purchases. At which point, between the blog and any interviews with my first wife, I will be denied the permit to purchase a butter knife.

          USW

  11. He’s “earns” $28 million a year … no doubt by the sweat of his brow …

    They made mistakes? He made mistakes?

    He should be hung for some of those mistakes.

    • Charlie:

      We can’t hang him. Sorry, but capital punishment for financial crimes is prohibited.

      Restitution for his involvment and then stripped of his USA citizenship and deported (ultimate shunning by a free people).

      • Okay, but when we deport him, can we have some of those who lost their homes give him the sendoff (say, from the top of a cliff — he can use a parachute or bungee cord).

        • Charlie:

          How is he resonsible for folks losing their homes?????

          • If you refuse to blame them for the money they gave away to those who couldn’t afford to pay it back, how about all those who lost their jobs because of their “mistakes” and then lost their homes (people who were paying their mortgages just fine but then lost their jobs).

            But please tell me how his hard “work” deserves $28 million in compensation. I’d love to know how anybody can actually “earn” that much money in one year.

            • Charlie Stella said
              December 13, 2009 at 7:56 pm

              You make very good points, LOI … except, just because it’s run badly now doesn’t mean it has to. Also, the progress in China is at the expense of their workers (never mind the shit they send us over here that kills our dogs and kids). They are using our model (and without gov’t restraint) because they don’t care much for human rights.

              I’m saying meld the two (gov’t free enterprise) with some purpose/structure but that would require revamping this fugazy (fake) political system we now have (which is an absolute sham).

              Charlie, America’s greatest growth took place when there was less government. Think about that, when big government came to be, we also got big business, the two are linked because they got into bed with each other from the start. If you want to get rid of big business, big government will have to go as well.

              I have found it to be interesting that Flag has stated a free market will impose its own controls at the local level. I am currently reading
              “A History of the American People”, written by a Brit, who has documented this same thought as the reason for our success as a nation.

              Myself, I do not/cannot think like Flag, but after researching and writing guest articles on Goldman Sachs and Self Reliance, I still come to the same conclusion as Flag. Big government will NEVER result in a greater good for the people, only for the government.

              You want to hang Robert Diamond, why did you not include Fannie/Freddie, Chris Dodd and Barney Franks? Do you really believe they will fix anything but their re-elections?

              • No, I’m an equal opportunity hanger … Hang Barney, yes, please.

                All of them. They’re all useless.

                We have to start over … where gov’t doesn’t work, fix it (make it smaller if you need to) but there has to be regulations or it’s a one sum game. Yes, we grew (as China is) but it wasn’t without some absurd inequalities (like Slavery, for one).

                Can we hang Ralph Wilson, while we’re at it?

              • Hi Charlie!

                I’m not going to push your buttons, because at least we agree on starting over. The curruption is beyond control. While we may disagree on where to go with a new start, at least we have a common goal.

                Merry Christmas!

                G!

              • I’m with you, G!

                Merry Christmas it is!

            • From #8

              One woman, according to a letter in her file, was homeless and living in a car with her children when she got $10,000 from the city. Another couple received food stamps and were jobless when they got an Afford-A-Home loan

              • My wife and I were just talking about this tonight. We know a person who had some gelt, over paid for a house, ran into trouble and got a knockdown (adjusted mortgage, from 11% to 3.5%).

                It’s a good country for some (usually rich or dead broke). We in the middle get to work 2-3 jobs (and are grateful for it). I’m down to 2 jobs (counting writing–which isn’t very much). I used to work 6&7 days a week. I’m fine with that. And I don’t want help … but … seeing scumbags like this Diamond character make “mistakes” and still get $28 million a year makes my head explode.

                Ba-da-booom! there it goes again.

              • Note to self! If I can’t control it, don’t let it get under my skin. 🙂

                Makes life less stressfull

      • Bottom Line says:

        Gallows Pole – Led Zeppelin

        Hangman, hangman, hold it a little while,
        Think I see my friends coming, Riding a many mile.
        Friends, did you get some silver?
        Did you get a little gold?
        What did you bring me, my dear friends, To keep me from the Gallows Pole?
        What did you bring me to keep me from the Gallows Pole?

        I couldn’t get no silver, I couldn’t get no gold,
        You know that we’re too damn poor to keep you from the Gallows Pole.
        Hangman, hangman, hold it a little while,
        I think I see my brother coming, riding a many mile.
        Brother, did you get me some silver?
        Did you get a little gold?
        What did you bring me, my brother, to keep me from the Gallows Pole?

        Brother, I brought you some silver,
        I brought a little gold, I brought a little of everything
        To keep you from the Gallows Pole.
        Yes, I brought you to keep you from the Gallows Pole.

        Hangman, hangman, turn your head awhile,
        I think I see my sister coming, riding a many mile, mile, mile.
        Sister, I implore you, take him by the hand,
        Take him to some shady bower, save me from the wrath of this man,
        Please take him, save me from the wrath of this man, man.

        Hangman, hangman, upon your face a smile,
        Pray tell me that I’m free to ride,
        Ride for many mile, mile, mile.

        Oh, yes, you got a fine sister, She warmed my blood from cold,
        Brought my blood to boiling hot To keep you from the Gallows Pole,
        Your brother brought me silver, Your sister warmed my soul,
        But now I laugh and pull so hard And see you swinging on the Gallows Pole

        Swingin’ on the gallows pole!

        • I saw them a few times during their first US tour … Plant always sounded like someone was standing on his nuts … but Page and Bonham could play their asses off.

          I couldn’t listen to them anymore after their 3rd album … yuck.

          But those first two albums … pure gold.

  12. Judy Sabatini says:

    FDIC Boosts 2010 Budget, Staff as Bank Failures Rise (Update1)

    By Alison Vekshin

    Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) — The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., overseeing the dissolution of failed banks at the fastest pace in 17 years, today boosted its 2010 budget 56 percent to $4 billion to manage further shutdowns.

    The total budget will increase from $2.6 billion and the budget for handling bank failures doubles to $2.5 billion from $1.3 billion this year, according to a budget proposal the FDIC board approved in Washington. The agency staff will increase to 8,653 next year from 7,010 for this year.

    The budget “will ensure that we are prepared to handle an ever-larger number of bank failures next year, if that becomes necessary, and to provide regulatory oversight for an even larger number of troubled institutions,” FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair said in a statement.

    Bank failures have climbed to 133 this year, the most since 1992, as soured commercial-real estate loans and mortgage defaults hobbled U.S. lenders. The agency has hired staff to handle the surge, which pushed the deposit insurance fund to an $8.2 billion deficit in the third quarter.

    The additional 1,643 FDIC staff will include 1,559 temporary workers and 84 permanent employees, with a majority of positions added to the division that handles bank failures.

    “What we’re dealing with here, in effect, is an emergency response to the crisis,” FDIC Vice Chairman Martin Gruenberg said during discussion about hiring of temporary staff scheduled next year.

    Replenishing Fund

    U.S. banks will pay more than $45 billion on Dec. 30 covering premiums through the next three years under an agency plan approved Nov. 12 to replenish the fund.

    “Our operating budget does not come from taxpayers,” Bair said during the meeting. “We are completely self-funded in that regard.”

    The FDIC insures deposits at 8,099 institutions with $13.2 trillion in assets. The agency’s insurance fund reimburses customers for deposits of as much as $250,000 when a bank fails.

    The FDIC has 552 banks with $345.9 billion in assets on its confidential problem list as of Sept. 30, a 33 percent increase from 416 lenders with $299.8 billion in assets the previous quarter, the agency reported last month.

    To contact the reporter on this story: Alison Vekshin in Washington at avekshin@bloomberg.net.

  13. Matt:

    Where are you big guy!

    This is your area of expertise. I am interested in a well thought out comment by you on the subject.

    • No time today. Haven’t even read the article yet (probably will get around to it around 6 or 7).

      Given that, my off-the-cuff thoughts: Regulate The Crap Out Of Them. Literally.

      Hedge funds included. If it can impact on large swaths of the economy, regulate it. And good, meaningful regulations with sufficient oversight powers and harsh penalties.

      No more Enrons, no more Madoffs, no more Long Term Capital Management, no more Lehman Brothers. Period.

  14. From FOX

    Boy, 8, Sent Home From School for Jesus Drawing

    Tuesday, December 15, 2009

    TAUNTON, Mass. — An 8-year-old boy was sent home from school and ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation after he was asked to make a Christmas drawing and came up with what appeared to be a stick figure of Jesus on a cross, the child’s father said Tuesday.

    Chester Johnson told WBZ-TV that his son made the drawing on Dec. 2 after his second-grade teacher asked children to sketch something that reminded them of the holiday.

    Johnson said the teacher became upset when his son said he drew himself on the cross. Johnson, who is black, told WBZ he suspects racism is involved. He said he thinks the school overreacted and wants an apology.

    • Judy Sabatini says:

      Hi LOI

      Isn’t that just ridiculous? It’s really getting pathetic when a second grader can’t draw what reminds him of Christmas, and so what if he’s black, green, or purple. And, so what if he drew himself on the cross, maybe it wasn’t him, maybe he thinks Jesus is black.

      Schools are carrying this way too far anymore. Elementary schools can’t have Christmas programs anymore, because it might be offensive to some, but it’s okay for them to teach about Allah. Something is definitely wrong here with this.

      You can’t display the flag, you can’t have Christmas programs, you can’t say MERRY CHRISTMAS, have to say Happy Holidays instead. I’m at the point, why even bother to have these holidays if you can’t express yourself anymore.

      Just plain ridiculous.

      Hope you’re doing well today.

    • Bottom Line says:

      Is it me?, or is something triple wrong here?

      1 Punish a kid for following instructions
      2 Punish a kid for his beliefs
      3 Throw the race card

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        Hey BL

        No, it’s not just you, I noticed it too.

        Seems to me, no matter what the story, or situation, some how the race card always manages to come out in play.

        Hope you’re doing well today also.

        • Bottom Line says:

          I am, and I wish the same to you.

          This story has racial and religious conflicts.

          Hell, why not throw in politics too.

          I’m waiting to hear the teacher say he’s playing the race card because she’s a Demopublican.

          • Judy Sabatini says:

            Thank you, I am doing quite well thank you. Sun is actually shinning today, YAYYYYYYYYYYYYY!

            I always thought politics and religion don’t mix. Kind of like water and oil.

            I’m getting awfully tired of race coming into everything anymore. You can’t can’t say anything, without being called racist. I am not a racist person, don’t care what the color of a person is. That’s not what makes them who they are. Although, there are some exceptions.

            Sounds to me like that teacher has a religious and racial problem, but then I could be wrong on that.

        • My thoughts, the teacher overreacted, and the school backed him/her. Common sense is not allowed.

          Now the parents are seeing they may have won the lottery, and the school will pay rather than fight.

          “School says, we have a zero tolerance policy on violence, so a drawing of a man being tortured requires us to act.”

          • Judy Sabatini says:

            It’s also ridiculous to make that 8 year old boy seek counseling. For crying out loud, he’s only a child, let him draw what he sees what reminds him of Christmas.

            Kids can’t draw what they see what reminds them of Christmas, but it’s okay for schools to teach sex ed to kindergartners. Go figure.

    • v. Holland says:

      I have to wonder if the teacher even bothered to ask the child why he would drew his self on the cross and if she did what he answered.

      • Bottom Line says:

        That question also crossed my mind.

        I think he was identifying with the concept of sacrifice by placing himself in the position of Jesus.

        It’s probably a healthy mental exercise in regards to understanding his religious values as well as the concept of self awareness.

        I wonder…

        When asked to draw something that reminded him of the holiday…What would Jesus do?

        hehe.

        • v. Holland says:

          Yes, it would be nice if they actually tried to understand children instead of just putting the he’s crazy, capital C tag on him. My daughter wrote poetry when she was a young teenager that made me question her mental state but guess what she was just fine, she was just letting out some anger and frustration through the poetry, pretty healthy thing to do-but good grief if a teacher had read some of her poems -they might still have her locked up.

        • v. Holland says:

          Oh, by the way great question and it might have been so enlightening if the teacher had asked herself that question.

          • Judy Sabatini says:

            I think teachers jump to the wrong conclusion too fast, too quick to put a label on everything.

            Maybe sometime down the road, we’ll find out just what he meant with his drawing and who or what it was suppose to be, and why the teacher didn’t question him instead of passing judgment.

    • My first instinct is I want to hear the school’s side of the story. There are always two sides to hear. On the surface this seems bad. But perhaps there was past history the parents are not telling us about. Just a thought.

      USW

  15. Judy Sabatini says:

    Looks like Joe Lieberman caved in. But, I guess it was to be expected.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/12/15/medicare-buy-scrapped-obama-summons-dems/

    • Well, that LA senator got 300 a million payoff, wonder how much Joe’s will be?

      http://www.nationalledger.com/cgi-bin/artman/exec/view.cgi?archive=2&num=7090

      Joe Lieberman’s Pork Defense
      By Robert Novak
      Jul 17, 2006

      WASHINGTON — Facing a Democratic electorate in Connecticut hostile to his pro-war position on Iraq, Sen. Joseph Lieberman is stressing his efficiency in bringing home pork for his constituents the past 18 years. That resulted in an exchange with peace candidate Ned Lamont in their July 7 Democratic primary debate that revealed a lot about how politics and government work in Washington today.

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        And here all this time, I thought the Dems kicked old Joe of their camp because of disagreements. And threatened to reprimand him if he didn’t go along with them. I also thought he left the party and went independent,am I wrong?

  16. Judy Sabatini says:

    Just one more thing I think they need to do away with. Sorry, but I don’t see any need whatsoever to take somebody else’s property, doesn’t matter where it is.

    But, that’s just MHO.

    Not So Private Property?: Florida Man Takes Eminent Domain Case to High Court

    FOXNews.com

    As much as 40 percent of all land in the United States is already under some form of government control or ownership — 800 million to 900 million acres out of America’s total 2.2 billion acres.

    The government now appears poised to wield greater control over private property on a number of fronts. The battle over private property rights has intensified since 2005, when the Supreme Court ruled in the Kelo v. City of New London case that the government could take property from one group of private landowners and give it to another.

    Outraged over that ruling and a series of recent efforts by government to wield greater control over private property, citizens are fighting back. Fox News’ Shannon Bream takes a fair and balanced look at the controversy in a three-part series.

    When Congress ruled in 1989 to expand the Everglades National Park in Florida, Gilbert Fornatora’s home stood in the way.

    Now, after having his private property condemned and seized by the government exercising eminent domain, Fornatora is appealing his case before the Supreme Court in an effort to prove his constitutional rights were violated.

    Florida landowners claim that the federal government began pressuring local and state authorities in the 1960s and ’70s to change zoning laws so they could more easily devalue and take private property in the expansion zone.

    Congress then authorized the expansion of the Florida Everglades in 1989, igniting a heated feud between the government and Floridians whose homes bordered the national park — a sweeping 1.5 million acre preserve of peaceful wetlands and wildlife.

    The government “also put pressure on the local zoning board to do what’s called ‘down zone’ the property, making it also worth less so that when they eventually did condemn it, they didn’t have to pay as much in just compensation,” said Ilya Shapiro, a senior fellow at the CATO Institute and one of the lawyers working on behalf of the homeowners.

    “We think that this is a violation of the Fifth Amendment takings clause,” Shapiro told Fox News.

    The high court hasn’t decided yet whether it will hear the appeal in the potentially landmark property rights case — 480 Acres of Land and Gilbert Fornatora v. U.S.

    The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled in favor of the government, said landowners like Fornatora could not prove that federal authorities manipulated zoning laws so to devalue the properties in question.

    “A landowner must show that the primary purpose of the regulation was to depress the property value of the land or that the ordinance was enacted with the specific intent of depressing property value for the purpose of later condemnation,” the court wrote in its 2009 decision.

  17. Judy Sabatini says:

    Who Do You Think We Are, Mr. President? Subjects or Citizens?

    By Vince Hayley

    Will President Obama disrespect our Constitution, and all of us, at the climate change conference in Copenhagen?

    Put aside all the serious fights over the climate science, the astronomical costs associated with capping carbon emissions, the endless demands for carbon reparations, compliance and verification, etc., the only question that really matters this week at the Copenhagen Conference on climate change is whether President Obama is really going to end up corrupting the American constitutional system in front of the entire world.

    Who will President Obama heed? The American people and our constitutional system of checks and balances, or the collection of dictators, tyrants, and mostly undemocratic heads of government convened by the United Nations in Copenhagen this week? They are tempting the American president to do what he wants to do and what they mostly do: ignore the will of their own people and sign a political agreement based on an unconstitutional sham.

    Article 2, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution is crystal clear: “He [the President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur.”

    In 1997, the U.S. Senate voted 95-0 to tell President Clinton that it was the view of the Senate that the United States should not sign any international agreement on climate change that either did not mandate all countries to limit emissions or which would otherwise result in serious harm to the U.S. economy.

    Nevertheless, Vice President Al Gore signed an agreement a few months later that did not meet the Senate’s test. Knowing how the Senate would vote, President Clinton never even bothered to submit this Kyoto agreement to the U.S. Senate. It would have been dead on arrival and President Clinton wasn’t interested in political embarrassment.

    Twelve years later the world has moved from Kyoto to Copenhagen but the same dynamics apply. Instead of having taken a formal vote, the U.S. Senate has stalled in its effort to adopt binding cap and trade carbon emission reductions along the lines that President Obama, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the delegates in Copenhagen would have the U.S. do. While not the same as a 95-0 vote, the situation in the U.S. Senate conveys the same message: no cap and trade deal is going to get out of the Senate, either as ordinary legislation or as a part of an international agreement that would require the approval of 2/3 of the Senate.

    Just like Vice President Al Gore before him, President Obama might sign such an agreement with great fanfare and receive the accolades of fawning delegates from around the world, only to return home and be bitterly reminded that his signature, without the Senate’s approval, is meaningless.

    Yet, today, President Obama is asserting that the constitutional principles governing Gore and Clinton in 1997 don’t apply to him in 2009.

    How’s that?

    It seems that our president, a Harvard law graduate and former constitutional law lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School, has discovered an interpretation of our Constitution that had escaped the notice of two centuries of American citizens and lawyers and judges before him.
    President Obama’s apparent view is that the Environmental Protection Agency, one of his executive branch agencies, can claim the regulatory power to impose, on its own authority, a system of taxation akin to what the Congress has so far refused to adopt. And since the executive branch can now implement what the legislative branch has failed to enact, then there is no need to get the Senate’s approval for a Copenhagen agreement.

    This is, to say the least, a most curious interpretation of our Constitution. What’s next? Secretary Sebelius deciding that the Senate debate on health care reform has become tiresome, so she claims power for the HHS to reorder the healthcare economy on her own authority?

    The unilateral assertion of power by the Executive Branch in advance of the Copenhagen Conference caused at least one U.S. Senator from the president’s own party, Jim Webb of Virginia, to write a fairly pointed letter to the President reminding him of the provisions of the Constitution that apply to the powers of the Legislative Branch:

    Dear Mr. President:

    I would like to express my concern regarding reports that the Administration may believe it has the unilateral power to commit the government of the United States to certain standards that may be agreed upon at the upcoming United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties 15 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The phrase “politically binding” has been used.

    Although details have not been made available, recent statements by Special Envoy on Climate Change Todd Stern indicate that negotiators may be intending to commit the United States to a nationwide emission reduction program. As you well know from your time in the Senate, only specific legislation agreed upon in the Congress, or a treaty ratified by the Senate, could actually create such a commitment on behalf of our country.

    I would very much appreciate having this matter clarified in advance of the Copenhagen meetings.
    Sincerely,
    Jim Webb
    United States Senator

    Webb’s letter to the president is cordial Senate-speak for “Are you kidding me?”

    Considering that the president’s February 2009 budget allocated $645 billion for a cap-and-trade system to accomplish its emissions reduction goals, it suggests that the president believes his executive branch has the power to bypass the legislative branch and impose taxes of at least $645 billion on its own authority.

    That’s called “taxation without representation” and the last person who imposed such a system on Americans was named King George III. The first hint King George III got that American colonists weren’t quite happy with his program to impose taxes on tea without their consent was that a small band of our forefathers dressed up like Indians and dumped a bunch of the King’s tea into Boston Harbor in 1773. Two years later we were at war with the British tyrant and didn’t stop fighting for seven years until we defeated his armies on the battlefield.

    Now the president wants to assert his newly claimed power to taxation without representation in Copenhagen to make a climate deal with the mostly undemocratic regimes that the United Nations typically brings together.

    Who does President Obama think we are? Citizens or subjects?

    Vince Haley is vice president for policy at American Solutions for Winning the Future.

  18. Judy Sabatini says:

    Immigration bill backers try again

    By Stephen Dinan

    Democrats on Tuesday begin their new push for an immigration bill, hamstrung by the image of legalizing millions of illegal immigrant workers at a time when the unemployment rate stands at 10 percent — more than twice what it was the last time Congress tried to act.

    “It certainly will confuse the debate a lot more, but at the end of the day what we have to understand is fixing this system will be good for American workers,” said Eliseo Medina, executive vice president of the Service Employees International Union, which is one of the major advocates for legalizing illegal immigrant workers.

    Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez, the Illinois Democrat who has taken over leadership on the issue after the death of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, plans to introduce an immigration legalization bill Tuesday, and backers are planning a strategy to avoid repeats of the failed attempts of 2006 and 2007.

    In a letter to members of Congress last week seeking support for the bill, Mr. Gutierrez and Rep. Nydia M. Velazquez, New York Democrat and chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said their legislation will end the off-the-books economy of illegal immigrant workers and protect American workers by raising labor standards.

    “In these difficult economic times, we must ensure that everyone contributes toward the recovery and prosperity of our nation,” they wrote. “To this end, it is imperative that all individuals and employers pay their fair share in taxes.”

    A draft overview of the bill, circulated with the letter, ends some enforcement tools such as the 287(g) local police cooperation program, calls for an electronic verification system to replace the voluntary E-verify program, argues that there’s no need for more U.S. Border Patrol agents or fencing, and establishes a long-term path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

    That path would require illegal immigrants to pay a $500 fine, pass a background check and learn English and civics to gain legal status. After six years, they could apply for legal permanent residence, or a green card, which is the interim step to citizenship. There is no “touchback” provision requiring them to return to their home countries at some point in the process.

    Republicans are sharpening their attacks and going straight for the jobs argument.

    “With 15 million Americans out of work, it’s hard to believe that anyone would give amnesty to 12 million illegal immigrants,” said Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee. “Even the open-borders crowd agrees that illegal immigrants take jobs from American workers, particularly poor and disadvantaged citizens and legal immigrants. This is exactly why we need to oppose amnesty.”

    His office has calculated that there are 19 states where the number of illegal immigrants in the work force is at least 50 percent of the number of unemployed workers.

    • Bottom Line says:

      If the Republicrats gave a damn about illegal immigration, they would have done something when they had the reigns.

      Actions speak louder than words.

      I call bullshit.

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        This is another subject that gripes me.

        Why should the be given immunity, when all others have come to this country through the proper channels?
        Just because they take jobs that maybe someone else might not? I think given the chance, people would take those jobs that they never would have before.

        They need to close all borders, but then, they would probably find some other way of getting in. I say put the National Guard along the borders and let them handle it. Draw a line, and tell these people, you cross that line, and you will be shot, not to kill them of course, but to give them the idea.

        But, then again, that’s my opinion. Don’t expect anybody to agree with it. Just stating what I think.

        • To play devil’s advocate for a second, why should we punish those who were so willing to sacrifice the life they had in order to provide for their family? Illegal immigrants come here for work, and work at a lower rate than we do. That has a negative impact on our economy for sure. But do we not always have something bad to say about those who draw welfare sitting on their ass and doing nothing to support their families?

          These folks make the sacrifice and take a big risk to do more to support their families than the poor in our own country sometimes do. It makes me feel more grounded when I remember this and thus remember that they are people, not statistics.

          Just a thought, and not meant to demean your position.

          Hope you are having a great week Judy!

          USW

          • USWep,

            That has a negative impact on our economy for sure

            I know you were playing devil’s advocate, however can you explain to be why you believe that if an economic good becomes cheaper to buy, that this is negative in an economy?

            Do you also believe that if your computer gets cheaper to buy every year, that this is a bad thing, too?

            • BF,

              I had a feeling someone would call me on that one. If a good becomes cheaper, it is obviously not a negative on the economy. Where I see the negative impact is in the lowering of wages for American workers due to the cheap labor. That may mean that the net impact is zero. Labor wage goes down, but so does price for good. I will be discussing the issue more in depth soon as I am working on an article on immigration reform.

              USW

              • Most economic novices (of which you are most certainly not!) want to have ever higher wages for doing the same thing, and lower prices in all other goods over time.

                They believe labor (like money) is somehow not an economic good like apples. They believe it is a different class of economic good and thus, follows different economic law.

                With no surprise then, they wholly misunderstand their own economic situation, misapply economic lessons, and demand precisely the wrong economic solutions.

                Certainly immigrant workers increase the supply. Increase in supply lowers the price.

                But this is occurring at jobs of which 98% of Americans simply have no interest in doing.

                How many Americans want to have the job catching in a chicken coop of 30,000 chickens, in the middle of the night, while being bathed in chicken poop?

                Answer: none.

                For a Mexican, the money is unbelievably good for the level of skill he provides….

                The benefits: Americans get cheap chicken meat and the Mexican feeds himself and his family and pays for his kid’s schooling so they don’t have to chase chickens.

                However, the Boobus Americanus (“Bob”, with no reference to any Bob on this site at all) remain confused.

                “Bob” wouldn’t do that job if he was paid to do it.

                But “Bob” isn’t skilled enough to do the job that pays what he wants to be paid.

                So, instead of making himself more marketable, he will rather complain about a man who would do that job under the pretense of that man is ‘stealing’ “Bob’s” job as an excuse for “Bob” not having the job he wants.

                Of course, when the Mexican is arrested and sent home – and chicken prices rise, and “Bob” still hasn’t got a job, nobody will remember Boobus idiocy.

      • v. Holland says:

        If memory serves me, I believe Bush was all for giving illegals amnesty-so was McCain-so I suspect the other republicans and the people stopped it from gaining ground the last time.

        • Judy Sabatini says:

          Honestly, I don’t think anything will be done. But it just pisses me off to think they can come here and expect everything to be given to them on a sliver platter.

          And I getting damn tired of everything you buy has Spanish written on it. If they want to come here, then by God, learn English. It’s the same when we go to these other countries, you have to learn to speak their language, do you not? Then why not make them learn out language and make them learn our rules, laws and regulations.

          I’m nit just talking about the Mexicans, I’m talking about anybody from any country. But it seems that there are more Mexicans than any other who come here illegally.

          There again, am I wrong on this or what?

        • Bottom Line says:

          ¡Ninguna amnistía! ¡Váyase a casa! ¡Salga de mi nación usted los pedazos ilegales que roban de la mierda!

          • Judy Sabatini says:

            WHAT??????

            All I got, were illegals. What’s the rest say? Did I say something to offend you BL? If I did, I apologize.

            • Bottom Line says:

              No Judy,

              Lol.

              You didn’t offend me. What you said was mild in comparison to the way I think about it.

              ¡Ninguna amnistía! ¡Váyase a casa! ¡Salga de mi nación usted los pedazos ilegales que roban de la mierda!

              Translates to:

              No amnesty! Go home! Get out of my nation you illegal thieving pieces of $#@%!

              • Judy Sabatini says:

                Bl

                I was trying to be on the nice side, just in case anybody here might be or get offended.

                Didn’t know you wee cussing in Spanish, See, I don’t know how to speak it, so I wasn’t sure. CAn’t speak Italian either, just a couple words that I learned from my father in law.

                Glad I amused you.

              • Bottom Line says:

                I speak little spanish.

                If I were listening to a conversation in spanish, I would know thier general topic and might catch a couple of comments, but that is the extent of it.

                I used an online translator for the spanish rant.

                and the amusement was in the notion that you could offend me of all people, with an anti-illegal position.

              • Judy Sabatini says:

                That’s how I am with Italian too. Can pick up a word here and there.

                You’d think being married to an Italian for 40 years, I’d learn some of the language.

                I’m just to lazy to learn really.

                Now my youngest son can speak it really well, but not the rest of us. Okay, Itake thatback, myhusband can a little, and so can his brother.

                When they were little, their grand parents with lived with, and every time they parents and grand parents would speak it, all the boys would tell them to speak English. Now, they regret it.

          • v. Holland says:

            Okay, If your cussing me Please do it in English 🙂

  19. Ray, Matt,

    Interested in a Christmas present?

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  20. Hi Ya’ll!

    Reading all the comments and news postings, I can’t help but believe we are far closer to next Revolution than anyone thinks. The entitlement programs are alienating the working class, the government is dragging this country to closer socialism, and our own idiot POTUS is likely to continue to violate his Constitutional Oath of Office. The system has become completely currupt. While I certainly do not want a violent uprising, I’m not to sure it will be avoided if the current path remains.

    What will lead us to this destination? I wonder what event will be the one that “breaks the camels back”?

    This thought has been with me for awhile, what a sucky thought. 😡

    Peace to All!

    G!

    • Bottom Line says:

      Wassup G,

      You’re damn right we’re getting closer.

      All the signs are there.

      We are experiencing similar circumstances that has led to every revolution in recorded history.

      All the predictions of experts, doomsayers, and conspiracy theorist alike are starting to come true.

      I no longer wonder “if”, but rather “when”.

      It could be a number of things that actually trigger it.

      And it wouldn’t necessarily be a hostile takeover by the people. Either way it’ll likely be hella messy.

      I think you were hunting when I explained to BF how fast I can mobilize with survival gear in the case of all hell breaking loose.

      He accused us of being brothers, lol.

      • Hey BL,

        I did read BF’s comment during a quick read, laughed quite hard. All my plans are in place. I can be in a safe, very country place in about 2 hours if all hell breaks loose. We, Dad and I, have enough food in place to go atleast a year, with planty of game to harvest if needed.

        I have one more thing to do, that is to have my departure protected under FMLA, incase it is a short lived problem. This way my job will be protected for at least 12 weeks. With Dad on O2, 24/7, this should not be a problem. If it last more than 12 weeks, the job won’t exist anyway.

        Just some food for thought! 🙂

        G!

  21. The Scientific Manipulation of Our Reality

    Bertrand Russell

    The following quotes are from Bertrand Russell who was a renowned philosopher, a supporter of eugenics and World Government. H

    e has had a huge influence in the scientific dictatorship that we all live in today.

    The following quotes will describe how governments use propaganda in public schools, TV and movies to shape public opinions and beliefs to manage large populations for the benefit of the elite.

    The Scientific Manipulation of Public Thinking

    “Science has given us, in succession, power over inanimate nature, power over plants and animals, and finally power over human beings.”

    “It is the manipulative type of idealists who will create the scientific society. Of such men, in our own day, Lenin is the archetype.” and Mao Zendong.

    “All real power will come to be concentrated in the hands of those who understand the art of scientific manipulation.”

    “Science will be diligently studied, it will be rigidly confined to the governing class. The populace will not be allowed to know how its convictions were generated” in other-words the public will not be allowed to know how it’s beliefs and opinions were scientifically manipulated by the government to think a certain way.

    “Ordinary men and women will be expected to be docile, industrious, punctual, thoughtless, and contented. Of these qualities probably contentment will be considered the most important.

    In order to produce it, all the researches of psycho-analysis, behaviourism, and biochemistry will be brought into play.”

    Children “will spend much time in the open air, and will be given no more book-learning than is absolutely necessary.

    Upon the temperament so formed, docility will be imposed by the methods of the drill-sergeant, or perhaps by the softer methods employed upon Boy Scouts. All the boys and girls will learn from an early age to be what is called “co-operative,” i.e., to do exactly what everybody is doing.

    Initiative will be discouraged in these children, and insubordination, without being punished, will be scientifically trained out of them.

    Their education thought will be in great part manual, and when their school years come to an end they will be taught a trade.

    In deciding what trade they are to adopt, experts will appraise their aptitudes. Formal lessons, in so far as they exist, will be conducted by means of the cinema or the radio, so that one teacher can give simultaneous lessons in all the classes throughout a whole country.

    The giving of these lessons will, of course, be recognized as a highly skilled undertaking, reserved for the members of the governing class.”

    “It is to be expected that advances in physiology and psychology will give governments much more control over individual mentality than they now have even in totalitarian countries.

    Fichte laid it down that education should aim at destroying free will, so that, after pupils have left school, they shall be incapable, throughout the rest of their lives, of thinking or acting otherwise than as their schoolmasters would have wished.

    But in his day this was an unattainable ideal: what he regarded as the best system in existence produced Karl Marx.

    In future such failures are not likely to occur where there is dictatorship. Diet, injections, and injunctions will combine, from a very early age, to produce the sort of character and the sort of beliefs that the authorities consider desirable, and any serious criticism of the powers that be will become psychologically impossible.

    Even if all are miserable, all will believe themselves happy, because the government will tell them that they are so.”

    “As for the manual workers, they will be discouraged from serious thought: they will be made as comfortable as possible, and their hours of work will be much shorter than they are at present; they will have no fear of destitution or of misfortune to their children.

    As soon as working hours are over, amusements will be provided, or a sort calculated to cause wholesome mirth, and to prevent any thoughts of discontent which otherwise might cloud their happiness.”

    “From the technique of advertising it seems to follow that in the great majority of mankind any proposition will win acceptance if it is reiterated in such a way as to remain in the memory.

    Most of the things that we believe we believe because we have heard them affirmed; we do not remember where or why they were affirmed, and we are therefore unable to be critical even when the affirmation was made by a man whose income would be increased by its acceptance and was not backed by any evidence whatever.

    Advertisements tend, therefore, as the technique becomes perfected, to be less and less argumentative, and more and more merely striking. So long as an impression is made, the desired result is achieved.”

    “This consideration brings us naturally to the subject of education, which is the second great method of public propaganda.

    Education has two very different purposes; on the one hand it aims at developing the individual and giving him knowledge which will be useful to him; on the other hand it aims at producing citizens who will be convenient for the State or the Church which is educating them.

    Up to a point these two purposes coincide in practice: it is convenient to the State that citizens should be able to read, and that they should possess some technical skill in virtue of which they are able to do productive work; it is convenient that they should possess sufficient moral character to abstain from unsuccessful crime, and sufficient intelligence to be able to direct their own lives.

    But when we pass beyond these elementary requirements, the interests of the individual may often conflict with those of the State or the Church.

    This is especially the case in regard to credulity. To those who control publicity, credulity is an advantage, while to the individual a power of critical judgment is likely to be beneficial; consequently the State does not aim at producing a scientific habit of mind, except in a small minority of experts, who are well paid, and therefore, as a rule, supporters of the status quo.

    Among those who are not well paid credulity is more advantageous to the State; consequently children in school are taught what they are told and are punished if they express disbelief. In this way a conditioned reflex is established, leading to a belief in anything said authoritatively by elderly persons of importance.”

    “On the whole, at present in education, the form of loyalty to the State which is most emphasized is hostility to its enemies.”

    “Modern inventions and modern technique have had a powerful influence in promoting uniformity of opinion and making men less individual than they used to be. […]

    But in the modern world there are three great sources of uniformity in addition to education: these are the Press, the cinema, and the radio.”

    “Perhaps the most important of all the modern agents of propaganda is the cinema. Where the cinema is concerned, the technical reasons for large-scale organizations leading to almost world-wide uniformity are over-whelming.

    The costs of a good production are colossal, but are no less if it is exhibited seldom than if it is exhibited often and everywhere.”

    “The great majority of young people in almost all civilized countries derive their ideas of love, of honour, of the way to make money, and of the importance of good clothes, from the evenings spent in seeing what Hollywood thinks good for them.

    I doubt whether all the schools and churches combined have as much influence as the cinema upon the opinions of the young in regard to such intimate matters as love and marriage and money-making. The producers of Hollywood are the high-priests of a new religion.”

    “There are three ways of securing a society as regards population. The first is that of birth control, the second that of infanticide or really destructive wars, and the third that a scientific world society cannot be stable unless there is a World Government. . .

    Unless. . . one power of group of powers emerges victorious and proceeds to establish a single government of the world with a monopoly of armed force, it is clear that the level of civilization must continually decline. . .”

    In conclusion, all of this can be found in the daily discussions such as the War on Terror or Global

    Warming; The elite have already manipulated millions to believe CO2 is a deadly pollutant and it harmful to the earth and that Global Warming is due to the human population.

    Kids are being taught this in the class-room right now, preparing young minds for the New World system that is all about the regulation and the destruction of life on earth.

  22. From Kent’s site:

    For what it’s worth- Bill of Rights Day
    December 15, 12:35 AMAlbuquerque Libertarian ExaminerKent McManigalPrevious 5 comments Print

    Today is Bill of Rights Day, an actual, real, holiday. December 15th is Bill of Rights Day every year. Everyone needs to realize that while the Bill of Rights gives people zero rights, what it does is list things that no government in the world can legitimately meddle with. It doesn’t matter if the government faces this fact or not. The Bill of Rights is a list of grievances against criminal governments everywhere. It is a shame it wasn’t backed up with a penalty clause, telling government employees exactly why they would be twisting in the wind the first time they proposed a “law” that infringed on even one of these listed (and unlisted) rights. How much does the US Fe(de)ral government abide by the law that gave it the only inkling of legitimacy? Lets look at the rights protected by each amendment.

    1. Freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, right to assemble peaceably, right to petition the government about grievances. -violated by the Patriot act, violated by “free speech zones” around the president, violated by “laws” against “vices”, violated by the FCC’s very existence, violated by many “laws” being proposed that will be rubber-stamped by the ignorant authoritarians of the Supreme Court.
    2. Right to form militias and the right to own and carry arms. – violated by the National Firearms Act of 1934 and by the Gun Control Act of 1968, and by every other “reasonable gun law”.
    3. Citizens do not have to quarter soldiers during peacetime.- No, we just have our money stolen by government to pay for their quarters. Is there really that much of a difference? I mean, if they were “quartering” in our homes against our wishes, we would at least have the option of slipping the trespassers rat poison.
    4. No unreasonable searches and seizures.- violated by “sobriety checkpoints” and by the “TSA”, and by wiretaps on “terrorist suspects”.
    5. Rights of the accused. violated, once again, by the patriot act. Violated every time a person is deceived into confessing in order to “plea bargain”. Violated each time some testoster-stoned “drug warriors” kick in a door in the middle of the night.
    6. Right to a fair trial.- violated every time a judge fails to inform the jury about their right and duty of jury nullification- judging the “law” as well as the accused. Violated by the process of making sure anyone with more than a tiny handful of functioning neurons is kept off the jury. Wouldn’t want any actual thinking going on in court, you know.
    7. Right to a trial by jury in civil cases also.- What is the point to having a right to have a jury trial when the trial will not be permitted to be “fair”?
    8. No cruel and unusual punishments. – violated when people are killed, kidnapped, or ruined for not caving in to the extortion of the IRS. No government “function” is worth stealing and killing to finance. Violated when people are kidnapped or killed for having
    9. Unenumerated rights go to the people. – violated by almost every “law”, especially those “enabled” by the “interstate commerce” lie, and anything justified by “the common good”.
    10. Reserves all powers not given to the national government to the states or
    the people.- Once again, violated by almost everything the federal government does, with the complicity of the equally corrupt state governments.
    So, there you have it. This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the ways government violates its charter daily. IF the US government was ever “legitimate”, which it wasn’t, and if the Constitution was ever a protector of freedom, which it wasn’t, the evidence of the transgressions are there for all to see. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are most useful as an illustration of why government, even “limited government”, is a really bad idea.

    Your freedom is yours to take responsibility for. Don’t depend on governments or documents to do your job for you.

  23. The Audacity Of Chutzpah

    In Hebrew, “chutzpah” is used indignantly, to describe someone who has over-stepped the boundaries of accepted behavior with no shame. There’s an old anecdote that is used to illustrate chutzpah — it’s about a man who murdered his father and mother, and then throws himself on the mercy of the court on the grounds that he’s an orphan — that’s chutzpah.

    Well, Obama displayed chutzpah, and in spades, Sunday night during his “60 Minutes” interview by Steve Kroft when he said, “I did not run for office to help a bunch of fat cat bankers,” blaming them for the financial crisis, saying “You guys caused the problem” — video here.

    Obama was simply applying Alinsky’s rule # 12, “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” This tactic attempts to cut off the support network (the public) and isolate the target (bankers) from sympathy. Obama was going after people and not the institutions — people hurt faster than institutions.

    But behind that attack was chutzpah, because Obama knows that he, Barack Hussein Obama, is singularly responsible for much of the financial crisis.

    In a 1995 case known as Buycks-Roberson v. Citibank, Obama and his fellow attorneys charged that Citibank was making too few loans to black applicants and won the case. As one commentator noted in May 2008, legal “successes” such as this were responsible for the sub-prime mortgage crisis of 2007 AND 2008. That is, banks were not loaning to minorities whose credit was poor. When the law forced them to lend money anyway, the inevitable collapse occurred.”

    Obama played a large part in the lawsuit that started the government on a course of forcing lenders to give more loans to those who had poor credit. Lending companies were forced to come up with imaginative ways of fulfilling the quota that was required. Sub-prime lending was born as a result. Obama’s pal and his campaign’s finance chair, Penny Pritzker, was an early promoter of what would become known as “predatory lending” — and now, according to Obama, its the bankers’ fault — that’s chutzpah.

    The mortgage crises was forecast by many who were able to look beyond the quotas. This August, 2008, New York Times article (.pdf) clearly forecast the mortgage meltdown:

    In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation — protected by Barney Frank and Chris Dodd — is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders, … under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration.

    “Fannie Mae has expanded home ownership for millions of families in the 19902 by reducing down payment requirements,” said Franklin Raines, Fannie Mae’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Yet there remain too many borrowers whose credit is just a notch below what our underwriting has required who have been relegated to paying significantly higher mortgage rates in the so-called subprime market.”

    Demographic information on these borrowers is sketchy. But at least one study indicates that 18 percent of the loans in the subprime market went to black borrowers, compared to 5 percent of loans in the conventional loan market.

    In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry of the 1980s.

    “From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,” said Peter Wallison, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. “If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out, the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.”

    And at the same time as Obama berates bankers, he wants them to make more bad loans — that’s chutzpah.

    This “Audacity of Chutzpah” is classic Obama. He creates a disaster, like his professors, Cloward and Piven taught him, and then blames somebody, or something else for the fallout. He’s been doing it his entire political career. Since he’s occupied the Oval Office, he’s been blaming George Bush for his own failures, caused by his own lack of judgment. That’s not the behavior of a man.

    Obama is not a leader. He doesn’t have a clue about leadership or governing, so he falls back on the only thing he knows — Alinsky’s community organizing techniques — bringing folks to the “realization” that they are miserable; blaming their misery on the greedy bankers; demanding the bankers cave to their demands; and to make such an almighty stink that the dastardly bankers will see imminent “self-interest” in granting whatever it is that will cause the harassment to cease.

    Permalink . . .

  24. Judy Sabatini says:

    D.C. Government Poised to Direct Taxpayer Funds Toward Abortion Coverage

    FOXNews.com

    The District of Columbia appears poised to free up taxpayer money for abortions after Congress passed a spending bill over the weekend that ended a ban on the funding so long as locally raised taxes are used.

    The District of Columbia appears poised to free up taxpayer money for abortions after Congress passed a spending bill over the weekend that ended a ban on the funding so long as locally raised taxes are used.

    City government officials are generally supportive of the change in law and are exploring ways to enact it, aides said.

    “We’ve already started to study the issues,” a City Council staffer said, predicting the matter could come up in the spring — along with a change allowing the District to permit medical marijuana. One possibility is that abortion coverage could be added to the D.C. Healthcare Alliance, which is the city’s taxpayer-funded health program for low-income and other residents.

    President Obama is expected to sign the appropriations bill, so the ball is in the D.C. government’s court to take action.

    D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton applauded the passage Sunday of the $1.1 trillion spending bill, which contained the abortion provision.

    She has argued that the restriction created “severe hardships” for poor women in the city and that the law singled them out for “unfair and unequal treatment” — since states can use their tax dollars for abortion services.

    Doxie McCoy, spokeswoman for Council Chairman Vincent Gray, said the Council would likely support any legislative action before it to enact the change, though it’s not clear whether that step would be necessary.

    “I’m not aware of any objections,” she said.

    Gray previously had called the move a “bold step” by Congress.

    While abortion-rights supporters said the change was needed and that the existing law was unfair, the shift generated considerable opposition. Thirty-five U.S. senators wrote to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in early December expressing “grave concerns” about the possibility of “massive taxpayer subsidies for abortions” through the D.C. measure and other provisions.

    Douglas Johnson, legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee, said in a statement at the time that Democrats were trying to sneak in the abortion language.

    “At the same time that congressional Democratic leaders are trying to win enactment of government-funded abortion in their health care legislation, they are also considering using end-of-year omnibus appropriations legislation to try to smuggle in removals of longstanding bans on government-funded abortion in the nation’s capital, and in their own insurance plans,” he said.

    But McCoy said the change just puts the District on par with other states that can already do the same thing.

    According to statistics from the Guttmacher Institute, 7,230 women obtained abortions in Washington in 2005 — that’s 54 abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age. The rate, while exceedingly high, marked a 20 percent decline from 2000.

  25. Barbie’s Letter to Santa

    Dear Santa,

    Listen you fat troll, I’ve been saving your bacon every year, being the perfect Christmas Present, wearing skimpy bathing suits in December and dressing in fake Channel at sappy tea parties.

    I hate to break it to ya Santa, but it’s payback time. There had better be some changes around here, or I’m gonna call for a nationwide meltdown, and trust me, you don’t wanna be around to smell it.

    These are my demands for Christmas 1999:

    1. Sweat pants and an oversized sweatshirt. I’m sick of looking like a hooker in hot pink bikinis. Do you have any idea what it feels like to have nylon and velcro up your butt? I don’t suppose you do.
    2. Real underwear that can be pulled on and off. That cheap-o molded underwear some genius at Mattel came up with looks like cellulite!
    3. A REAL man… I don’t care if you have to go to Hasbro to get him, bring me GI JOE. Hell, I’d take Tickle-Me-Elmo over that pathetic bump of a boy-toy Ken. And what was up with that earring anyway? HELLO!?
    4. It’s about time you made us all anatomically correct. Give me arms that actually bend so I can push the aforementioned Ken-wimp away once he is anatomically correct.
    5. Breast reduction surgery. ‘Nuff said.
    6. A jog-bra. To wear until I get the surgery.
    7. A new career. Pet doctor and school teacher don’t cut it. I want to make real money.
    8. A new, more 90’s persona. Maybe “PMS Barbie”, complete with a pint of cookie dough ice cream and a bag of chips.
    9. No more McDonald’s endorsements. The grease is wrecking my vinyl complexion.
    10. 10. Mattel stock options. It’s been 39 years – I think I deserve a piece of the action.

    Considering my valuable contribution to society and Mattel, I think these demands are reasonable. If you you don’t like it you can find yourself a new bitch for next Christmas. It’s that simple. As ever,

    Barbie

    • The Three Wise Women

      Do you know what would have happened if it had been three Wise Women instead of three Wise Men?

      They would have asked directions, arrived on time, helped deliver the baby, cleaned the stable, made a casserole, and brought practical gifts.

    • Economizing the Twelve Days of Christmas

      Effective immediately, the following economizing measures are being implemented in the “Twelve Days of Christmas” subsidiary:

      The partridge will be retained, but the pear tree, which never produced the cash crop forecasted, will be replaced by a plastic hanging plant, providing considerable savings in maintenance.

      Two turtle doves represent a redundancy that is simply not cost effective. In addition, their romance during working hours could not be condoned. The positions are, therefore, eliminated.

      The three French hens will remain intact. After all, everyone loves the French.

      The four calling birds will be replaced by an automated voice mail system,with a call waiting option. An analysis is underway to determine who the birds have been calling, how often and how long they talked.

      The five golden rings have been put on hold by the Board of Directors. Maintaining a portfolio based on one commodity could have negative implications for institutional investors. Diversification into other precious metals, as well as a mix of T-Bills and high technology stocks, appear to be in order.

      The six geese-a-laying constitutes a luxury which can no longer be afforded. It has long been felt that the production rate of one egg per goose per day was an example of the general decline in productivity. Three geese will be let go, and an upgrading in the selection procedure by personnel will assure management that, from now on, every goose it gets will be a good one.

      The seven swans-a-swimming is obviously a number chosen in better times. The function is primarily decorative. Mechanical swans are on order. The current swans will be retrained to learn some new strokes, thereby enhancing their outplacement.

      As you know, the eight maids-a-milking concept has been under heavy scrutiny by the EEOC. A male/female balance in the workforce is being sought. The more militant maids consider this a dead-end job with no upward mobility. Automation of the process may permit the maids to try a-mending, a-mentoring or a-mulching.

      Nine ladies dancing has always been an odd number. This function will be phased out as these individuals grow older and can no longer do the steps.

      Ten Lords-a-leaping is overkill. The high cost of Lords, plus the expense of international air travel, prompted the Compensation Committee to suggest replacing this group with ten out-of-work congressmen. While leaping ability may be somewhat sacrificed, the savings are significant as we expect an oversupply of unemployed congressmen this year.

      Eleven pipers piping and twelve drummers drumming is a simple case of the band getting too big. A substitution with a string quartet, a cutback on new music, and no uniforms, will produce savings which will drop right to the bottom line; Overall we can expect a substantial reduction in assorted people, fowl, animals and related expenses. Though incomplete, studies indicate that stretching deliveries over twelve days is inefficient. If we can drop ship in one day, service levels will be improved.

      Regarding the lawsuit filed by the attorney’s association seeking expansion to include the legal profession (“thirteen lawyers-a-suing”), a decision is pending.

      Deeper cuts may be necessary in the future to remain competitive. Should that happen, the Board will request management to scrutinize the Snow White Division to see if seven dwarfs is the right number.

      Beer 30

  26. Okay, I may be a little out of line here. My father-in-law was a banker. A senior loan officer with a large U.S. bank – I will not divulge which one.

    The financial problem was brought on by greed. Nothing more, and nothing less. Just greed, pure and simple.

    The government lowered the requirements for home loans. The banks did not have to jump on that bandwagon, but they did – Why?, well for no other reason than greed, that’s why.

    Most of the loan officers/branch managers at my father-in-law’s bank knew that the financial bubble would burst sooner rather than later, yet when loan officers would turn down a home loan due to the applicant having a more than questionable payback history the managers rebuked them for it.

    You see, when a bank made one of those loans, they would almost immediately sell it to either Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae and that bank would make a profit from the transaction and lose the risk factor in the process.

    Now we, the lowly taxpayer, are paying for it all.

    If you let greed run your life, eventually it will kill you and almost everyone else around you.

    • Good post BF! 🙂

      I was a big part in all my childrens births. Thanks to the USAF, I took classes on how to deliver a baby, what to expect, how a mother should breastfeed, ect. I was, because of becoming a father, fortunate enough to have the trainig and knowledge to be certified to oversee childbirth in those “you never know” situations. I feel bad for the person in the article, she just cares and could not achieve her best intentions.

      I sure hope this country don’t go down that road, but I fear that it will. D.C = jackasses 😥

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        Hey guys

        All I can say is, is that I’m so glad I had my boys when I did. With what I went through, and if I had to do it now, chances are I probably would have lost my youngest son.

        I had 4 high risk pregnancies, lost 2 of them, but I won’t go into any details unless somebody asks. The doctor I had couldn’t have cared more for what was happening during all my pregnancies.

        I was in labor for 12 hours with my oldest, but he ended up being born C-section. Was too big for me to pass. My youngest was going into stress and had to come a month early, also C-section through no choice of mine or his. If I didn’t have the care or doctor I had, I very seriously think I would have or could have lost both of them.

        These idiots who want to cram/pass this health care bill will/is going to make it even more difficult for women to have their babies if some emergency comes up and they need to be taken care of right now, not later, or 5,6 7, hours from now, but now. You want to talk about risk, then just wait.

        When it comes to something like what happened to that nurse who hanged herself because of guilt, or the one who didn’t or doesn’t have time to spend with these new mom’s to be, then there will be more complications, trust me.

        Thanks for the article Flag, it was worth reading, and you know how I feel about these things, they are very dear and close to my heart. I really appreciate you putting it up.

        Judy

  27. Like BF (I find more points to agree with him on these days) I found that most of the “essential” functions that the banks do that were mentioned in the article were managing government debt loads. The fact that he actually said, “And demand for capital isn’t going away: US Treasury debt raised in the first half of this year was more than the total of the same period for the previous three years combined so we need deep and liquid capital markets to provide the funding necessary for economic growth.” indicates an assumption that government stimulus is good and right and necessary. It would be hasty to throw out everything he says thereafter simply on the basis that he is obviously a keyensian economist and therefore flawed, but it is tempting. Smaller banks could easily handle the primary functions he mentions that do not include government spending and negative regulatory effects, such as the impact on heavily regulated energy companies.

    Essentially, it is a well written piece that rests on some poorly contrived assumptions, likely derived from his formal education which is so devoid of real logic and seperated from free markets and dependent on fiat currency as to be totally useless outside of theoretic classrooms. Economics would not be so complex had theoretic fools made it so in order to disguise the actions of the power seekers.

    As for the globalization aspects, global regulation is a bad idea. I am all for a global economy, I am not for a global position of power for anyone or any group to sit in. Such regulation would be either unenforceable, or would be a consolidation of power that would overide the sovereignty of nations. It is bad enough that people sovereignty is no longer recognized by this nation, imagine if our national soveriegnty was not recognized by some global organization like the United Nations? I shudder to think of it. Power needs to become more distributed, not the other way around. Money is power, and a free global economy distributes that power, a regulated one consolidates it.

    • Jon Smith:

      Nice to see you back in the saddle.

      “Economics would not be so complex had theoretic fools made it so in order to disguise the actions of the power seekers.”

      That sir is a profound statement. I thought I was the only one who felt that. It is also a trick of govt. Make it as complicated as possible to baffle the public. Yet underneath, it really is simple.

      Hope you and your family have been doing well.
      JAC

      • I echo JAC, in that I am happy to see you back here again Jon. You always add such valuable insight.

        JAC, you are not alone. I also have felt that way for quite some time. I have for a long time thought that Keynesian economics was a trick and way to over-complicate something that is very simple in reality. It baffles the masses, and eventually becomes so ingrained, the smart folks in the masses actually don’t even question the underlying theory. They spend all their time arguing over how to best use the complicated math instead of simply proving the original premise wrong.

        USW

        • Thanks guys, it is good to be back, I hope my schedule continues to permit it. I am happy to hear I am not alone in my sentiments, and I am glad my statement seemed profound despite missing a key word to make it gramatically sound:
          “Economics would not be so complex had theoretic fools [not] made it so in order to disguise the actions of the power seekers.”
          lol, I have to learn to proofread no matter how much in a hurry I am. 🙂

  28. Peter Taylor is a renowned conservationist and research analyst. Among his many achievements, he has previously taken successful action in challenging the UN to alter it’s stance and policy regarding dumping of hazardous materials into the ocean (in other words, he cares about the environment and his research is credible). In this presentation, made at the Alternative View Conference Totnes UK 2008, he explains the conclusions of his detailed studies which indicate man is not responsible for global warming/climate change,

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6613938246449800148&hl=en#

  29. Judy Sabatini says:

    Where does a General keep his armies? Not going to tell you the answer until I see if anybody came up with the right answer.

  30. Judy Sabatini says:

    Well, since nobody came back, I will put the joke back up tomorrow and see if anybody answers right.

    See you all here tomorrow.

    Have a great rest of the night.

    Good night and love you all

    Judy

  31. Looks like the dollar is taking another whack…..

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/6819136/Gulf-petro-powers-to-launch-currency-in-latest-threat-to-dollar-hegemony.html

    Gulf petro-powers to launch currency in latest threat to dollar hegemony

    The move will give the hyper-rich club of oil exporters a petro-currency of their own, greatly increasing their influence in the global exchange and capital markets and potentially displacing the US dollar as the pricing currency for oil contracts. Between them they amount to regional superpower with a GDP of $1.2 trillion (£739bn), some 40pc of the world’s proven oil reserves, and financial clout equal to that of China………

    • http://www.mees.com/postedarticles/finance/OPEC/a45n27b01.htm

      These guys are no longer the hyper-rich club at all.

      They are reeling, economically. Dubai defaulted. Saudi is close behind. They bet on $200/brl. and it’s not there.

      These guys – like the FED – are trying to deflect the blame away from the errant financial stupidity and on to the dollar. They are partly right – the dollar is hurting them badly – but the real deep cause is their spending stupidity.

      The unified currency will not help them financially. It may help them politically (ie: pull the wool over the eyes of their own people)

  32. This may have been posted here in the past but here is a link to The On Line Freedom Academy (TOLFA). I did not take the course yet but I took the test and scored 99 out of 100. I scored high because of this site and reading Kent’s views and some of his links. My wife scored 44 out of 100. She asked to see how I answered the questions and it just about led to an argument. A year ago I would have answered like my wife. My eyes and mind have been opened over the last year and I have learned alot here and through various books. I’m now educating my wife on some of what I know. I don’t know too much my self but I have a strong desire to learn.

    http://tolfa.us/

    • v. Holland says:

      Ouch-got a 65-not sure how I feel about that since I haven’t taken the course. You should move this to open mic.

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  1. […] on what regulations need to happen that I had found on the Huffington Post. You can read that HERE . So this isn’t a new subject. But the President was pretty strident in stating that he was […]

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