Question about the Economy

This is a discussion on Question about the Economy within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Originally Posted by Hopyard SD Wrote in response to Farronwolf: "I don't think you fully understand the magnitude of the racist policies associated with banks, ...

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  1. #31
    Restricted Member Array SelfDefense's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    SD Wrote in response to Farronwolf: "I don't think you fully understand the magnitude of the racist policies associated with banks, mortgages, and other financial instruments. This has nothing to do with businesses willfully providing bad loans."

    Good grief!!!! A large segment of the defaulting loans are on McMansions. Nothing racist going on there. And yes, businesses willfully provided bad loans, re-sold the originated loan to intermediaries (brokerage houses) who re-sold the stuff to saps like me.
    I have no idea what you are referring to when you say McMansion. Care to clarify? The fact is that the subprime mortgage industry was almost entirely limited to CRA loans to minority communitiies under force of government. It was affitmative action at its worst and clearly demonstrated that government interference based on minority status is devastating in a free soceity.

    The only comfort is that there were bigger saps with smarter minds apparently buying the same worthless paper over at Bear Stearns and Lehman, and AIG.
    People who buy stocks should not be recompensed at all. All the bad loan information was public and anyone should properly assess their investments.

    People were enabled (and sometimes tricked) into purchasing things they couldn't afford. Yup, there is personal responsibility involved, especially when there were lies put down on the application, but the originator bore NO risk. The loan originator knew he could find a market of willing fools--including myself; and of course the folks who run the large pension funds too.
    Your argument is that because someone was unable or unwilling to read the terms of a loan that they were somehow 'tricked'? I have absolutely no sympathy for someone who took on a responsibility and failed to meet their obligations. If you are not smart enough to understand the legalese involved in contracts then hire a lawyer to help. That is their job. I can't imagine spending $250,000 or more without knowing what I was getting into. These same people shop at at the local discount store to save five dollars but when it comes to spending $250,000 they simply take the word of the business adversary.

    If I offer you a ten dollar bill for twenty dollars and you accept the deal then I am a good businessman, not a crook. A fool and his money are soon parted.

    The only parties involved that deserve compensation are the businesses forced to provide loans for unworthy applicants. It is the only moral solution and, for once, we are actually making wise governmental decisions.

    Now, if we can get rid of the mindset of pretending people who cannot afford houses should have them anyway then we will have learned a vital lesson.

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  3. #32
    Member Array alfack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SelfDefense View Post
    I have no idea what you are referring to when you say McMansion. Care to clarify?
    McMansion is a derogatory term used to describe large homes owned by wealthy people. The term is typically used by folks with class envy, firm believers in govt. mandated wealth redistribution or eco-terrorists.

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    latest news has it that our tax money will be bailing out foreign banks Exclusive: Foreign banks may get help - Mike Allen - Politico.com
    A lot of the Fannie and Freddie bonds and MBS's were owned by foreigners. That's where a bunch of the pressure on Paulson came from - our "friends" that have been buying "our debt".

    The bill for an outrageous party (that few of us enjoyed) has now come due. The funny thing is, nobody will remember it in a few years, or some fancy-schmancy Wall Street Idiot will say "It's different this time"!

    When you hear those words "It's different this time" please run, not walk, for the doors!

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    Come on now!!

    Quote Originally Posted by alfack View Post
    McMansion is a derogatory term used to describe large homes owned by wealthy people. The term is typically used by folks with class envy, firm believers in govt. mandated wealth redistribution or eco-terrorists.
    Come on now. Wealthy people don't default on their loans? Crooked cons didn't buy large properties with fraudulent loan applications?

    The only wealth redistribution happening is from the ordinary guy to the top and to the crooks, trickle up, to the tune of 700-billion at least, because every one in the present admin including Paulson, looked the other way while the pot boiled and their friends moved to The Hamptons.

    Where was The Treasury Secretary during the last 8 years? Did he just wake up last week? Why wasn't action taken before this became a gigantic crisis?

    We saw the kleptocracy mentality at work in Enron and Worldcom, in the oil crisis, and other areas, and it has been at work in the mortgage lending industry as well.

    There was absolutely NO (ZERO) incentive for the loan originators to behave with care. And there was no incentive for the brokerages who bought up the sub-prime loans to act with care. They built a giant business re-selling the paper to saps here and abroad. And now, Paulson wants to bail the folks "abroad" out too. Watch the billions flow to Dubai and Quatar, as if they haven't enough of our wealth already---

    In plain English, we've been robbed, and we will all be robbed again next week when Congress meets and does what it now has no choice to do. They aren't talking chump change folks, they are talking about thousands from each of us.

    This bail out is the largest experiment in socialism imaginable, but some here continue to look at it with favor, ignoring that fact, while at the same time denouncing anything else that even vaguely smacks of socialism.

    In other words, what is good for the ultra rich and the financial world isn't good enough for the guy trying to make it on two or three times minimum wage.

    We've been robbed.

  6. #35
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SelfDefense View Post
    I have no idea what you are referring to when you say McMansion. Care to clarify? The fact is that the subprime mortgage industry was almost entirely limited to CRA loans to minority communitiies under force of government. It was affitmative action at its worst and clearly demonstrated that government interference based on minority status is devastating in a free soceity.

    People who buy stocks should not be recompensed at all. All the bad loan information was public and anyone should properly assess their investments.

    Your argument is that because someone was unable or unwilling to read the terms of a loan that they were somehow 'tricked'? I have absolutely no sympathy for someone who took on a responsibility and failed to meet their obligations. If you are not smart enough to understand the legalese involved in contracts then hire a lawyer to help. That is their job. I can't imagine spending $250,000 or more without knowing what I was getting into. These same people shop at at the local discount store to save five dollars but when it comes to spending $250,000 they simply take the word of the business adversary.

    If I offer you a ten dollar bill for twenty dollars and you accept the deal then I am a good businessman, not a crook. A fool and his money are soon parted.

    The only parties involved that deserve compensation are the businesses forced to provide loans for unworthy applicants. It is the only moral solution and, for once, we are actually making wise governmental decisions.

    Now, if we can get rid of the mindset of pretending people who cannot afford houses should have them anyway then we will have learned a vital lesson.
    So AIG were forced to offer loans, and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were forced to offer loans, Beare Sterns was forced also to offer loans for affirmative action reasons. None of them are in the home mortgage business. So how were they "forced" into providing anything. I believe there is a major misunderstanding of how the mortgage industry works by some.

    You don't feel sorry for the person taking the loan for not reading the fine print, but you feel sorry for the lender making risky loans. That doesn't make much sense to me. You think it is good business practice to offer someone 10 dollars for 20 dollars. But then when offering them the 10 for 20 deal, you feel sorry for the business when the person they gave the 10 to mysteriously doesn't have the 20. Seems like the risky business practices have come to bite them in the hind quarters, now the taxpayers get to bail them out and some feel good about it.

    I just don't get it. How can someone be all for personal responsibilty but not corporate responsibility.

    I would love for some banker to chime in on this one and show us where they were forced to make a bad loan. I sat and listened to all hearings on the hill when Country Wide and all the other folks were testifying and no one, not one of them said anything remotely like we were forced into it. They all admitted that they took the risks and got greedy. No one was checking the bundles of loans they were selling so they started taking more risk, bundling them and moving the risk down the line to whomever bought them.

    It would do some well to download those transcripts and read them.

    Here is a little excerp from an article written back in February by Jim Haughey.

    Then a 1995 amendment to the CRA permitted securitization of these loans. This changed everything. The bond market could now be tapped to fund CRA loans. Investment bankers very profitably packaged CRA mortgages for bond buyers. As incredible as it now seems, these bonds were rated AAA, making this new source of mortgage funds very inexpensive and “OK” to buy by public and pension funds restricted by law to top rated bonds and other investment funds that shunned low rated bonds.

    The AAA rating was an illusion that was ignored by bank regulators, the overseers of pension funds and the Securities and Exchange Commission. How were the bonds rated AAA? The bond rating companies and the bond insurers did not have easy access to the individual mortgages. Absent this they relied on the guarantees provided the banks that pooled the mortgages and sold the bonds to finance them. Often banks created “off the books” paper entities, shielded from their regulators and stockholders. Isn’t this what Enron did?

    The illusion was that bond insurers and the banks that packaged the mortgages could meet their commitments to bondholders if the foreclosure rate moved well above the low historic rate. But the historic rate was from an economic environment with ever rising home prices, building equity for mortgage holders, minimal outright fraud by mortgage applicants and mortgage lenders and brokers, no teaser introductory mortgage rates and loose but not absent income verification standards.
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  7. #36
    Member Array alfack's Avatar
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    All I did was define the term McMansion. If I ran the circus, everyone involved would have their assets frozen while serving hard time in a federal pen.

    I mean WTH? Congress will call a special session to investigate steroid use by baseball players, but turn their cheek the other way on something that effects our whole economy? Why is that? It is because they are all complicit in this crime.

    You are right. There was no incentive for these jerks to not take high risk gambles by trading bad paper. The government set a huge and dangerous precedent by bailing these risk takers out. Now every failing financial institution and stock speculator expects the govt. to do the same, or they "lose confidence" and all of the market goes down.
    Last edited by alfack; September 21st, 2008 at 10:51 PM.

  8. #37
    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SelfDefense View Post
    If I offer you a ten dollar bill for twenty dollars and you accept the deal then I am a good businessman, not a crook. A fool and his money are soon parted.
    That has to be the best quote of the day SD.
    "My God David, We're a Civilized society."

    "Sure, As long as the machines are workin' and you can call 911. But you take those things away, you throw people in the dark, and you scare the **** out of them; no more rules...You'll see how primitive they can get."
    -The Mist (2007)

  9. #38
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    There was absolutely NO (ZERO) incentive for the loan originators to behave with care. And there was no incentive for the brokerages who bought up the sub-prime loans to act with care. They built a giant business re-selling the paper to saps here and abroad. And now, Paulson wants to bail the folks "abroad" out too. Watch the billions flow to Dubai and Quatar, as if they haven't enough of our wealth already---

    In plain English, we've been robbed, and we will all be robbed again next week when Congress meets and does what it now has no choice to do. They aren't talking chump change folks, they are talking about thousands from each of us.
    You nailed it.

    I would love for some banker to chime in on this one and show us where they were forced to make a bad loan. I sat and listened to all hearings on the hill when Country Wide and all the other folks were testifying and no one, not one of them said anything remotely like we were forced into it. They all admitted that they took the risks and got greedy. No one was checking the bundles of loans they were selling so they started taking more risk, bundling them and moving the risk down the line to whomever bought them.
    A lot of greed! Banks and thrifts that receive the "franchise" to be a bank from the OCC, Fed and/or State Regulators are indeed, however, graded on their CRA programs. An entire CRA regulatory regime arose, and community activists extensively "beat up" banks that had poor or weak CRA grades. They also called in the regulators in those cases, and would even attempt to get the bank censured with penalties, or even a "Cease and Desist" or the like. Yes, bank were forced to have, use, and fund CRA programs!

    Then a 1995 amendment to the CRA permitted securitization of these loans. This changed everything. The bond market could now be tapped to fund CRA loans. Investment bankers very profitably packaged CRA mortgages for bond buyers. As incredible as it now seems, these bonds were rated AAA, making this new source of mortgage funds very inexpensive and “OK” to buy by public and pension funds restricted by law to top rated bonds and other investment funds that shunned low rated bonds.
    1995....Hmmmm.......is that Bill Clinton and his #$%^&*&^% stupid global feel good everybody's happy and deserves a house and a Mercedes and the banks will be required to fund it?

    BTW, CRA was instituted originally by the vast intellectual powerhouse of a President, Jimmy Carter.

    The Securitization of SP Loans or liars loans or any of the ilk were additionally made possible by allowing the bypass of Freddie and Fannie underwriting standards too, thus allowing Wall Steet to issue straight to investors.

  10. #39
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    Farronwolf posted words by Jim Haughey: " As incredible as it now seems, these bonds were rated AAA, The AAA rating was an illusion that was ignored by bank regulators, the overseers of pension funds and the Securities and Exchange Commission. "

    And that is precisely how all were scammed. It is clear, as Farronwolf wrote, that some here have no idea how the mortgage/securities markets worked. The bundles of mortgage paper were resold as AAA investment grade securities to ordinary everyday investors, and to large firms like Bear Stearn and Lehman. All relied on false advertising-- AAA ratings, while the SEC, bank regulators, and the insurance regulators, utterly ignored the fact that there was no there, there.

    Now, it isn't the ordinary investor, or the pension fund manager, who is getting bailed out. It isn't the homeowner who is getting bailed out. IT is Fannie and Freddie and AIG, and the large banks, all of whom were in on the scheme.

    For those who want to push the personal responsibility angle, how exactly is the investor to be responsible in the face of such misrepresentation? (I'm talking from the viewpoint of the investor here, the bond buyer, not the homeowner who took out a mortgage that was not right for them. )


    Buying AAA CMOs (collateralized mortgage obligations) turned me into a sucker. Now, someone with understanding, explain how it is not an act of dishonesty to sell paper as investment grade when the seller has no idea if the folks who took out the initial loan are capable of re-paying, but still represents the paper as triple A. The trick to tricking the bond buyer was the rating...

    And the SEC was fully complicit, as was Paulson.
    __________________________________________________ _____
    I express my ideas above with some passion, but just want to note that though I have indeed lost a bundle by purchasing CMOs, these were part of a balanced portfolio and I'm not really crying, or desperate. I'm just angry that this crap was allowed to happen, that I was duped by the AAA rating, and I don't think it was accident, it was thievery.

  11. #40
    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    Come on now. Wealthy people don't default on their loans? Crooked cons didn't buy large properties with fraudulent loan applications?

    The only wealth redistribution happening is from the ordinary guy to the top and to the crooks, trickle up, to the tune of 700-billion at least, because every one in the present admin including Paulson, looked the other way while the pot boiled and their friends moved to The Hamptons.

    Where was The Treasury Secretary during the last 8 years? Did he just wake up last week? Why wasn't action taken before this became a gigantic crisis?

    We saw the kleptocracy mentality at work in Enron and Worldcom, in the oil crisis, and other areas, and it has been at work in the mortgage lending industry as well.

    There was absolutely NO (ZERO) incentive for the loan originators to behave with care. And there was no incentive for the brokerages who bought up the sub-prime loans to act with care. They built a giant business re-selling the paper to saps here and abroad. And now, Paulson wants to bail the folks "abroad" out too. Watch the billions flow to Dubai and Quatar, as if they haven't enough of our wealth already---

    In plain English, we've been robbed, and we will all be robbed again next week when Congress meets and does what it now has no choice to do. They aren't talking chump change folks, they are talking about thousands from each of us.

    This bail out is the largest experiment in socialism imaginable, but some here continue to look at it with favor, ignoring that fact, while at the same time denouncing anything else that even vaguely smacks of socialism.

    In other words, what is good for the ultra rich and the financial world isn't good enough for the guy trying to make it on two or three times minimum wage.

    We've been robbed.
    I'm confused. I could definitely be reading your posts wrong, but on one hand it seems you're denouncing the outright socialism of the whole bailout concept, but on the other hand it seems you favor using the government as a strong-arm to force individuals to do business the way the collective "public" wants them to do business, or to give them something they don't really deserve. I think you need to re-evaluate your statement about robbery. Who exactly is robbing whom? The loan folks didn't rob anyone. Each and every person who signs their name on the dotted line so to speak is in effect giving their word that they are taking on a debt and will repay it. If they're foolish enough to sign for a debt they can't cover or that they don't plan on repaying that's no one's fault but their own and no one elses. It's not mine. It's not yours. It's not our collective responsibility to pull them up out of it and it's certainly not the governments job to rob from us to do the same. The ONLY way it can be fixed is either for the fools to grit their teeth and pull themselves up by their bootstraps, or to allow life to move on the way it needs to move on, the way it deserves to move on, FREELY.

    Was what the loan folks were doing wrong? Possibly on a moral level IF they knew that they were setting folks up to fail. Was it illegal? No. Should the government be involved in any way shape or form? No. Everyone has the opportunity to both do their proper research, pay their debts outright, or pay them on time.
    Cheat me once, shame on you. Cheat me twice, shame on me. --Don't know where that concept came from originally
    To err is human, to persevere in your error is diabolic. --I think that was St. Augustine
    Translation...we've already used the government to "fix" our economy once and we've learned how that ends. Are we really stupid enough to add fuel to the fire?

    How many times do people need to reach over and touch a burning stove, yell "Ow! That's hot!", and continue to reach over and touch it over and over again?

    Seems we've created a and we're just now realizing that monsters do what monsters do. They can't be controlled. They can't fix problems. They do instinct. A monster eats things. A monster destroys. That is in effect what we've done by allowing the government to meddle in our individual business transactions.
    "My God David, We're a Civilized society."

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  12. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by packinnova View Post

    Seems we've created a and we're just now realizing that monsters do what monsters do. They can't be controlled. They can't fix problems. They do instinct. A monster eats things. A monster destroys. That is in effect what we've done by allowing the government to meddle in our individual business transactions.
    The truth is, the folks that created the monster (explicitly or implicitly) in the financial mess made their $$ and ran........and we're left cleaning up the monster poo

    I agree with you philosophically, BTW.

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    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    Now, someone with understanding, explain how it is not an act of dishonesty to sell paper as investment grade when the seller has no idea if the folks who took out the initial loan are capable of re-paying, but still represents the paper as triple A. The trick to tricking the bond buyer was the rating...

    And the SEC was fully complicit, as was Paulson.
    .
    Totally agreed. If that's how it happened it's dishonest, but the records are still there and they're still public. Investing in the market is risky. It's like gambling and if you're not willing to accept the risk...stay out. It's a simple concept of risk vs reward. It doesn't matter if the papers were switched. That's the point. You're investing in an uncertainty. It's like spinning a roulette wheel. Sure you can do the math and try to take care of some of the angles, but in the end, it's a gamble.
    "My God David, We're a Civilized society."

    "Sure, As long as the machines are workin' and you can call 911. But you take those things away, you throw people in the dark, and you scare the **** out of them; no more rules...You'll see how primitive they can get."
    -The Mist (2007)

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    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    I don't mean to sound like I'm attacking anyone. It just irritates the begeebers out of me when I see folks here that on one hand claim freedom for one of their rights, but on the other hand, want an all purpose fixit for everything else that includes violating the other freedoms of other folks.
    Some seem to think that they can take the risk of walking out on a half finished bridge made of toothpicks and Elmers, then wonder why the government didn't save them when the floor dropped from beneath them.
    "My God David, We're a Civilized society."

    "Sure, As long as the machines are workin' and you can call 911. But you take those things away, you throw people in the dark, and you scare the **** out of them; no more rules...You'll see how primitive they can get."
    -The Mist (2007)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock and Glock View Post
    1995....Hmmmm.......is that Bill Clinton and his #$%^&*&^% stupid global feel good everybody's happy and deserves a house and a Mercedes and the banks will be required to fund it?
    Yep in 1995 there was also a Republican majority in the House and Senate. I believe that they would have written the legislation, Clinton would have signed it. So it isn't one party to blame.

    Wasn't it Bush whom after 9/11 said go shopping and the current administration that bragged about home ownership being at an all time high over the past few years. No blame for them? Just glory that the taxpayer gets to pay the bill. Yippie.

    It isn't the D's or the R's, it is both of them. Their inability to govern properly and when it catches up to them, their willingness to lay it on the American people to pay, while the responsible parties walk away scott free.
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    Yeah, you are reading my message wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by packinnova View Post
    I'm confused. I could definitely be reading your posts wrong, but on one hand it seems you're denouncing the outright socialism of the whole bailout concept, but on the other hand it seems you favor using the government as a strong-arm to force individuals to do business the way the collective "public" wants them to do business, or to give them something they don't really deserve.
    I think you are reading my message wrong. Let me try an analogy.
    You might imagine a "free" society free of laws against theft, in which anyone can steal whatever they like, and folks look down on the victim, who lacked the personal responsibility to protect himself.

    Of course, that isn't how the world works. We have laws against theft. Except, in the case of the reselling of CMOs (the reselling of mortgage obligations), the theft was perfectly legal because the folks who were supposed to regulate the market looked the other way when bad paper was sold as triple A, with no basis for the rating.

    If you think any regulation of markets is entirely wrong and outside the scope of government, O.K., but that isn't how things work in the world. So, advocating appropriate regulation of financial markets isn't advocating a loss of freedom in quite the sense you are thinking, but preventing theft; same as when we say you can't go into someone's home and take their tv. That too, is government control. You can't have a functioning libertarian society, it won't work.

    So, what I am decrying is both the proposed bailout, and the lack of regulation and oversight that perhaps has made the bailout an absolute necessity.

    We as a society are between a rock and a hard place here. Either way, we lose. One way we lose would be to do nothing and watch the collapse of our financial system, such as it is. The other way we lose is to prevent the collapse, and suffer either huge tax increases in the future or huge inflation. Either way, your personal wealth will be diminished even if you personally never took out a mortgage or purchased the obligation for your portfolio.

    This complex problem we face doesn't lend itself to easy ideological based answers. A healthy dose of realism and pragmatism is needed.

    To shift gears, every huge mistake we have made recently as a nation has happened when Congress was stampeded into precipitous action. Think for example, the stampede to the war with Iraq, the stampede to pass the Patriot Act, the stampede to hand out $1200 dollar tax rebate checks. My fear is that this next week, Congress will be stampeded into handing over nearly a trillion dollars of taxpayer money when perhaps other options exist.
    Things done in haste are often wrong. And recent history supports that. I'm very afraid that Congress is being stampeded into a foolish bailout approach, when perhaps other means exist to rescue the country.

    (I think some folks here are confusing the home buyer's role with the mortgage broker's role, the investment bank role with the bond buyer's role. The ordinary bond buyer is the ultimate victim of a theft that began when the bad mortgage loans were originated. The bail out seems aimed to help the investment banks, instead of the homeowner, or the ultimate loser which is the investor who was duped with false bond ratings.)

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