Betting against the american dream - Wall Street's financial rapists.

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This short song sums up in just a few lines how companies like Goldman Sachs financially raped America by betting against the American dream:

A Show Tune About A Hedge Fund: 'Bet Against The American Dream' - Planet Money Blog : NPR

Its important that this education gets out... but most of all its important that we push congress to make these types of activities illegal...

Currently the SEC is suing Goldman Sachs but the act of creating investment products from toxic assets and then betting against them is not illegal... yet it has cost American tax payers trillions in bail outs while people playing the Wall Street casino continue to get filthy rich gaming the system sticking us with the bill of cleaning up their mess.

Please share this song and education with as many people as you know... too many of us are ignorant. It may be impossible for us to understand the complex systems they use to create these investment models but its not impossible to understand the basic concepts and that it is immoral, corrupt, harmful and needs to be stopped. Permanently.

If you are an American get out and vote this November. Make your voice heard and elect officials who have the best interests of the American people in mind and not just Wall Street.
  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    Josh,

    Your whole premise is wrong. The American dream is *****NOT***** supposed to be about owning a home. I don't even know HOW that got started! It was SUPPOSED to be about being free and working for YOURSELF!

    American Dream - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The idea of saying that owning a home is the american dream is like saying that owning a dollar is the idea of being a millionare.

    And there are FEW assets that are "toxic". When did that TRULY happen? They throw around the term "toxic assets" almost as freely as "assault weapons". When miliken was charged with junk bonds, the one thing that was never made clear is that junk bonds were almost needed. GRANTED, you are SUPPOSED to have full disclosure, and people SHOULD understand the whole idea of HOW and WHY these things are priced, but you can't just get RID of them. I'll explain why in a little bit....

    The banking industry is like a hatchery hatching TERMITES! DANGEROUS little pests, because they figured that termite queens need support. OK, that is too symbolic, let me be more direct. They gave VERY poor people loans, because they figured they needed HOUSES! OK, what is better? Getting rid of the poisons to get rid of the termites, and possibly seeing EVERYTHING crumble, or getting rid of the termite nests so we need less poison?

    Junk bonds are NEEDED when corporations ******ABSOLUTELY****** need cash. Are they likely to become worthless? YEP, they have a FAR greater chance of being called or going worthless. BUT, as payment for that, the interest rate is HIGHER! Subprime loans can help GOOD people ride out bad times, such as THESE. Ironic, I know, but STILL. AND, if there were FAR fewer of them, we wouldn't even be discussing this.

    The problem has probably been that some companies may have failed to do the one thing it is ILLEGAL for a *****CONSUMER BROKER***** to do. They are REQUIRED to mention there are RISKS! HOWEVER, the law actually ALLOWS INSTITUTIONAL brokers to not have a license or mention risk. I watched a documentary about a small COUNTRY that bought a LOT of subprime mortgage securities. THEY, of course, fell on hard times because of it.

    STILL, we can't get rid of our ability to kill termites because termites may ALWAYS exist. Likewise, there may always be a need for "toxic" securities. But lets bring back the requirements that they give initial loans to those that are LIKELY to pay them back on homes that HAVE equity, etc.... Granted, people will be SCREAMING that they have been DENIED the American dream, but this is NOT the american dream ANYWAY! BESIDES, the American dream was NEVER a guarantee! NEVER! It wasn't COME here and ....! It was come here and there is a far BETTER chance that ....!

    BTW WHAT happens if you DON'T increase the requirements for home loans, and get rid of the "toxic" securities? The banks WILL go BANKRUPT!

    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Motley
      Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

      Josh,

      Your whole premise is wrong. The American dream is *****NOT***** supposed to be about owning a home. I don't even know HOW that got started! It was SUPPOSED to be about being free and working for YOURSELF!

      American Dream - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      Regardless of what an unimpeachable source like wikipedia may say :rolleyes:

      Part of the American dream is owning your own home...and that leads into the 'freedom' part. For a person to truly be financially stable...home ownership is a big part of that equation.
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      • Profile picture of the author seasoned
        Originally Posted by Michael Motley View Post

        Part of the American dream is owning your own home...and that leads into the 'freedom' part. [b]For a person to truly be financially stable...home ownership is a big part of that equation.[b]
        Ahem.... Michael.....

        THINK ABOUT IT! You just disagreed with BILLIONS of people! You disagreed with Josh! You just said subprime mortgages CAN'T be a problem! YIKES!!!!!!! GRANTED, some may say it isn't home ownership BUT, AGAIN, they disagree with MANY. HECK, GATES might not even really own his home by that measure. Seriously, a LOT of people mortgage homes EVEN if they don'tt have to.

        I heard once about a person from over a hundred years ago writing a book on how he made his money. He said to buy a home, finance it to buy more, and keep going. Sounds logical, right? The ONLY problem is that if ONE is foreclosed, the rest could fall. Still, he didn't have to mortgage like that.

        But home ownership is supposed to be REAL ownership because you ARE stable. MOST people these days have mortgages. And the problem with the "toxic assets" is that they were NOT paid! People bought them out of GREED, because the interest rates were so high. WHY? Because the people were NOT financially stable and didn't have enough equity. And what were the subprime loans on!?!?!?!? HOMES!!!!!!!!!

        IMAGINE! ONE home is foreclosed on, and it hits the auction block. People destroy it out of spite. The bank has to clean up, and gets stricter. New homes are less likely to sell, and the banks profits drop. Other homes in the area see their values drop, so people go under water. THEY decide to walk away, and the banks take ANOTHER hit, as does the area, etc.... The banks raise the prime rate, so variable rates climb which affects MORE.... Granted, that sounds far fetched, etc...., but that is JUST what happened! AND, when enough in an area get hit, securities made up primarily of that areas notes lose a LOT of value. THAT can hurt GOVERNMENTS! And THAT is what this thread is about!

        Steve
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        • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
          Okay, I own my home. Mortgage is paid. So as long as I pay my taxes, they
          can't throw me out of here. Even then, if I don't, I think the worst that can
          happen is I go to prison. But they can't take my home. It's mine. Somebody
          correct me if I'm wrong.

          Point is...so what?

          If times get so bad that I can't pay the rest of my bills (taxes, food,
          insurance, etc.) I'm going to eventually have to sell my home.

          Then what?

          I've bought myself maybe what, at $700 a month rent for a 1 bedroom,
          maybe 20 years before I'm broke?

          My bigger point is this. Owning a home is not like being able to say, "Thank
          God...I never have to worry about anything again." It's an asset. Nothing
          more.

          And as with all assets, how much it's actually worth depends on a lot of
          crap that's out of most of our control.

          Would I rather not own a home? Of course not. But I'm not sitting here
          drinking Pina Coladas thinking that my own problem in life is deciding what
          shirt to wear today.

          We have MANY, MANY problems in this country...any ONE of them could
          have me out in the sheet with a tin cup, glasses, a monkey and a squeeze
          box.

          That's why I have no intention of ever retiring from what I do.

          Security? What the hell is that? :confused:
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          • Profile picture of the author seasoned
            Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

            Okay, I own my home. Mortgage is paid. So as long as I pay my taxes, they
            can't throw me out of here. Even then, if I don't, I think the worst that can
            happen is I go to prison. But they can't take my home. It's mine. Somebody
            correct me if I'm wrong.
            YEP, they CAN throw you out of your own home, for non payment of property taxes!

            Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

            Point is...so what?

            If times get so bad that I can't pay the rest of my bills (taxes, food,
            insurance, etc.) I'm going to eventually have to sell my home.

            Then what?

            I've bought myself maybe what, at $700 a month rent for a 1 bedroom,
            maybe 20 years before I'm broke?

            My bigger point is this. Owning a home is not like being able to say, "Thank
            God...I never have to worry about anything again." It's an asset. Nothing
            more.

            And as with all assets, how much it's actually worth depends on a lot of
            crap that's out of most of our control.

            Would I rather not own a home? Of course not. But I'm not sitting here
            drinking Pina Coladas thinking that my own problem in life is deciding what
            shirt to wear today.

            We have MANY, MANY problems in this country...any ONE of them could
            have me out in the sheet with a tin cup, glasses, a monkey and a squeeze
            box.

            That's why I have no intention of ever retiring from what I do.

            Security? What the hell is that? :confused:
            Good points ALL! HECK, look at Bill Gates! A lot of his worth may be in M/S stock. He can't sell much of that. And the stocks, bonds, and CASH he has could become worthless practically OVER NIGHT! So even HE can't be fully secure. A lawsuit could obviously take the rest.

            I'll never forget the day I woke up and someone on the news said that everyone in Mexico suddenly had HALF as much money! And we ALL know how the dollar is hurting. I looked att the US compared to Canada and, I hate to admit it, since 2003 the trend has been STEADILY down. Over a couple years there are ups and downs and it doesn't look like a big deal. Look over a decade, and WOW! MINOR changes with a rather flat trend prior to 2003, and then DOWN! 21 years ago, I stashed away a modest amount. Today, I only wish I had stashed 10 times that amount. Frankly, I hate the idea of being in an area that cares SO little about the TRUE "general welfare". After all, if the country isn't safe, how can it claim anyone in its borders is? Just yesterday, I informed a person about how his salary has been effectively cut 12% compared to his native india, over the span of the last 12 months. INDIA!

            And GM is crowing about how supposedly 50% of the country believes that American cars are built better. A local talkshow host said "BULLOCKS"! The NEWS said that is REALLY because ford has done so well and this was done at the height of the toyota recalls.

            And GM is claiming that they have paid back everything with interest. *********************BULL********************* They never will, and don't plan to because LEGALLY, that would require paying back all the stock holders and bond holders. They have already told those people, or at least claimed to, that they have NO position in the company. It would be like someone stealing $1000 from me, his loaning it to another person, and that person claiming that he paid it back when he paid the theif $1000.

            Oh well, I guess I can be happy I didn't even have one share of AIG. I lost SOME money on it though. I don't think I had money in GM.

            BTW for all the people out there that may think I am just some filthy rich person complaining about his massive wealth, NOPE!!!!!! I am investing in the hopes that I can retire(if I even do) with enough money to not be a burden on anyone else, and to have a REASONABLY comfortable life. I ALREADY have about 3/4 of what I thought I would need, but now realize that is not enough. Because of various limits, expenses, etc.... I may only be able to save about $31000/year, starting THIS year. So that is about $620,000 total additional. That STILL falls short. Most people my age will retire within the next 20 years. MOST will be just BARELY surviving on the RIDICULOUSLY low "social security". Just today I heard they may cut it, EVEN as they are increasing the number of people they plan to put on it.

            I just ran a possible scenario through a calculator, assuming I retire in about 20 years, and I could run out of all savings by 74! With my luck, I'll live to be 100.

            Steve
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            • Profile picture of the author TimPhelan
              Err. Umm. I think Bill Gates is fully secure financially. When you give away $billions you are secure IMO.



              Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

              HECK, look at Bill Gates! A lot of his worth may be in M/S stock. He can't sell much of that. And the stocks, bonds, and CASH he has could become worthless practically OVER NIGHT! So even HE can't be fully secure.
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              • Profile picture of the author seasoned
                Originally Posted by TimPhelan View Post

                Err. Umm. I think Bill Gates is fully secure financially. When you give away you are secure IMO.
                And what is the dollar worth in 20 years!?!?!? I don't know, and would CERTAINLY like to know.

                Steve
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                • Profile picture of the author TimPhelan
                  Who knows, but Gates is worth around $55 Billion. He won't go broke in 20 years.
                  Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

                  And what is the dollar worth in 20 years!?!?!? I don't know, and would CERTAINLY like to know.

                  Steve
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                  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
                    But they can't take my home.
                    Well....then there's eminent domain....:p


                    The discussion about the "American Dream" is interesting. I've always considered it to be the "opportunity" to accomplish something in your life.
                    I don't think of it as referring to home ownership or owning "stuff" - though that is often the end result for those who achieve the "dream".

                    It's interesting becuase I overheard a discussion recently where a woman was going on about her "rights" which seemed to include owning anything she wanted... Amazing how dreams can change into rights and then into entitlements.

                    kay
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                    • Profile picture of the author seasoned
                      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

                      Well....then there's eminent domain....:p


                      The discussion about the "American Dream" is interesting. I've always considered it to be the "opportunity" to accomplish something in your life.
                      I don't think of it as referring to home ownership or owning "stuff" - though that is often the end result for those who achieve the "dream".

                      It's interesting becuase I overheard a discussion recently where a woman was going on about her "rights" which seemed to include owning anything she wanted... Amazing how dreams can change into rights and then into entitlements.

                      kay
                      Eminent domain is SUPPOSED to be for REAL needs for the GENERAL PUBLIC! HECK, it is really a national law, so it is supposed to be VERY general! A NEEDED road, cell tower, or something of that nature. WELL, NOW they are saying that if a person wants to build a building of almost any nature, or even just pay the city a bribe of some sort, that it is OK for them to steal your home. INCREDIBLE! People have started really using laws to break the very idea of the laws they break. The law of eminent domain is supposed to strike a BALANCE between the public, and the owner, so the OWNER can be assured he has some security, while the public knows that a whole project they NEED can't get held up on a whim or greedy guy.

                      Steve
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              • Profile picture of the author TLTheLiberator
                Originally Posted by TimPhelan View Post

                Err. Umm. I think Bill Gates is fully secure financially. When you give away you are secure IMO.

                Agreed...

                If Bill Gates isn't financially secure then who is or will ever be???


                TL
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                "It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. -- Mark Twain

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    • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
      That's not my premise... its a key phrase taken from the title tag of the article I linked to ;-)

      I like how the show tune breaks down the concept of how Wall Street firms are able to play both sides of the field into a simple concept that average people can start to understand.

      Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

      Josh,

      Your whole premise is wrong. The American dream is *****NOT***** supposed to be about owning a home.
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  • Profile picture of the author TLTheLiberator
    Great and informative song.

    I will pass it on as it easily explains a somewhat complicated situation.

    The meaning of "The American Dream" can change over time and can mean different things to different people.

    To a person from a poor country it could mean becoming a American and simply having a decent paying job with a nice apartment. ( hot water etc. )

    To me it simply means...

    Being able to support myself and my family in a decent fashion, being able to see my kid live a life at least as prosperous as mine.


    As far as I'm concerned, America was designed to be that place where your talents carried you as far as you could go - the land of opportunity.

    - It's becoming increasingly harder for people to prosper and one major reason is because the fed gov has allowed huge financial concerns to run a muck.

    After this big financial bump in the road...

    Corrections must be made by our reps if we as a country are to have a prosperous 21st century.

    TL
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    "It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. -- Mark Twain

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    • Profile picture of the author seasoned
      Originally Posted by TLTheLiberator View Post

      Great and informative song.

      I will pass it on as it easily explains a somewhat complicated situation.

      The meaning of "The American Dream" can change over time and can mean different things to different people.

      To a person from a poor country it could mean becoming a American and simply having a decent paying job with a nice apartment. ( hot water etc. )

      To me it simply means...

      Being able to support myself and my family in a decent fashion, being able to see my kid live a life at least as prosperous as mine.


      As far as I'm concerned, America was designed to be that place where your talents carried you as far as you could go - the land of opportunity.

      - It's becoming increasingly harder for people to prosper and one major reason is because the fed gov has allowed huge financial concerns to run a muck.

      After this big financial bump in the road...

      Corrections must be made by our reps if we as a country are to have a prosperous 21st century.

      TL
      WOW, as you stated it, WE AGREE!

      I am simply saying we shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater. If I were king, I would:

      1. REINSTATE glass steagall!
      2. ENFORCE EXISTING LAWS!
      3. REQUIRE ALL brokers to be licensed and have them treat ALL investors like people that need to be educated. The whole idea that they did what they did on its FACE is LUDICROUS! I mean figure it out! The seller doesn't have to educate the buyer, because they should know! The seller can be a buyer WHO, not being licensed doesn't have to know. Am I the ONLY one that sees how that is FROUGHT with disaster?
      4. Following #1 and #2 AUTOMATICALLY requires banks to be more judicious about how they loan out money.

      So this disaster would NEVER have happened! 1 and 2 would limit "toxic assets", and #3 would DEMAND full disclosure! Heck, #1 was put into place in 1933 to PREVENT this!

      Glass?Steagall Act - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      BTW look what wikipedia said happened AFTER the repeal:

      Events following repeal
      The repeal enabled commercial lenders such as Citigroup, which was in 1999 the largest U.S. bank by assets, to underwrite and trade instruments such as mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations and establish so-called structured investment vehicles, or SIVs, that bought those securities.[15] Elizabeth Warren,[16] author and one of the five outside experts who constitute the Congressional Oversight Panel of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, has said that the repeal of this act contributed to the Global financial crisis of 2008-2009.[17] [18]

      This section contains information which may be of unclear or questionable importance or relevance to the article's subject matter.
      Please help improve this article by clarifying or removing superfluous information.

      The year before the repeal, sub-prime loans were just five percent of all mortgage lending.[citation needed] By the time the credit crisis peaked in 2008, they were approaching 30 percent.[citation needed] This correlation is not necessarily an indication of causation however, as there are several other significant events that have impacted the sub-prime market during that time. These include the adoption of mark-to-market accounting, implementation of the Basel Accords, the rise of adjustable rate mortgages etc.[19]
      So BEFORE hand the main "toxic asset" was 5%! AFTER it was 30%!

      SIMPLE!

      Steve
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      • Profile picture of the author myob
        Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

        If I were king, ...
        The very first American dream was to get rid of the king.
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        • Profile picture of the author TLTheLiberator
          Originally Posted by myob View Post

          The very first American dream was to get rid of the king.

          I watch the Tudors and if there's any truth to it, king dude was a madman.

          GW could have been king.

          There was a plot to make GW king by the many officers of the Continental Army.

          But the American people would not have liked that much - and neither did he, to his credit.

          With a president you can say all types of stuff against him and for the most part you don't have to worry about retaliation like you would with a king.

          Saying whatever you want about the president is as American as apple pie.


          TL
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          "It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. -- Mark Twain

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          • Profile picture of the author Kurt
            Originally Posted by TLTheLiberator View Post

            I watch the Tudors and if there's any truth to it, king dude was a madman.

            GW could have been king.

            There was a plot to make GW king by the many officers of the Continental Army.

            But the American people would not have liked that much - and neither did he, to his credit.

            With a president you can say all types of stuff against him and for the most part you don't have to worry about retaliation like you would with a king.

            Saying whatever you want about the president is as American as apple pie.


            TL
            GW was greatly inspired by the early Roman general Cincinatus, who lead Rome to a major victory and was offered to be the Roman "king", but declined and returned to being a farmer, preserving the democracy (until Julius Cesar). GW was also a great and progressive farmer during his time...Another similarity to Cincinatus.
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            • Profile picture of the author TLTheLiberator
              Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

              GW was greatly inspired by the early Roman general Cincinatus, who lead Rome to a major victory and was offered to be the Roman "king", but declined and returned to being a farmer, preserving the democracy (until Julius Cesar). GW was also a great and progressive farmer during his time...Another similarity to Cincinatus.
              I heard Napoleon thought GW was crazy to give up power.

              But he gave up power knowing he would get it back in the form of the new leader of the American republic if he wanted it.

              Wasn't it 8 long years before he was brought back to be president?


              TL
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              "It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. -- Mark Twain

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  • Profile picture of the author TLTheLiberator
    The large financial concerns are pulling out all the stops to water down the upcoming legislation.

    I don't believe they have the right to threaten the whole US economy with their shenanigans.

    This shouldn't be a left vs. right issue and perhaps this one won't.



    We'll see what happens.

    TL
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    "It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. -- Mark Twain

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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      Too many games being played with the legislation right now - there was a tentative bipartisan agreement that was tossed when "a certain leader" got involved.

      Two good reads are:

      Too Big To Fail by Sorkin

      and

      The Day The Roof Caved In (forget the author's name)

      A major problem is the well trodden path between Wall St and D.C. where people who ran big financials now make policy and former policy makers lobby for big financials. It's a revolving door for insiders and high risk for the rest of us.

      To my mind, the excuse that "this is to complex for average people to understand" is a sign of something that shouldn't be done. If only a few "experts" can understand where the profit comes from, maybe the profit is pure manipulation of the markets.

      kay
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    • Profile picture of the author seasoned
      Originally Posted by TLTheLiberator View Post

      The large financial concerns are pulling out all the stops to water down the upcoming legislation.

      I don't believe they have the right to threaten the whole US economy with their shenanigans.

      This shouldn't be a left vs. right issue and perhaps this one won't.



      We'll see what happens.

      TL
      By an interesting, and **I** believe unusual coincidence, glass and stegall were BOTH democrats. The two main sponsors to overturn it were republicans. The two fighting to reinstate it, AFTER 2008, are democrat AND republican. SO, if it WERE a party issue I, for once, would be on the SAME side as you.

      And you are right, they should NOT have this kind of ability. Under the LAW, they DON'T! And THAT is what I am saying! Reinstate what was overturned, and ENFORCE IT!

      MYOB, It is a saying, but VERY FUNNY!

      BTW in the early 90s, I helped write a "good delivery system" for Collateralized Mortgage Obligations. Sound familiar? Odd how that turns around and bites you. The idea is to take instruments with SIMILAR risk and distribute ASSOSIATED risk across a whole SECURITY in approximately 1million USD blocks. So one buying a 12% security would have ABOUT as much risk as one buying ANOTHER 12% security *******BUT******* and this is IMPORTANT, one buying EITHER 12% security will almost certainly have FAR more risk than someone else buying a 4% security!

      Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author TLTheLiberator
    Major legislation can take a long time but this financial reform stuff was being worked on while the HC debate was ongoing.

    So, we should see a final bill in the next 3-4 months at the most.

    And legislation can always be improved.


    TL
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    "It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. -- Mark Twain

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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      The most toxic financial instruments ever devised was the collateralized debt obligations, known as CDOs, and then later became an even more toxic form - the synthetic collateralized debt obligation. Synthetic CDOs basically were securities that allowed investors to also make side bets on the housing market, ie bet against it. This is what produced much of the financing for the mortgage explosion, and is at the heart of the Securities and Exchange Commission's civil fraud case against Goldman Sachs -- as well as a broader S.E.C. investigation of sales and disclosure practices at many Wall Street firms and banks.

      These financial intruments were never even publicly traded, but offered to private investors by Goldman Sachs and many large banks also got into it. Some of the most well known banks may also be implicated because they often bought their own mortgage companies to ram loans through with slackened loan qualifications.

      Until the bottom fell out, these instruments powered an age of riches on Wall Street. Initially, bundling mortgage bonds into CDOs helped open the spigot of easy money that allowed Americans to buy more house than they could afford. Thus the American dream of home ownership has turned into a nightmare for many. It wasn't illegal, but the problem was it made it too easy to qualify for home loans for those who could not really afford it.

      The regulation should be to make tighter qualifications to get a home loan. That would make it less tempting for Wall Street to devise such exotic and dangerous financial instruments.
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  • Profile picture of the author brunski57
    we are being set-up for a more socialist government. European style.

    That is where mostly big business and big government control the economy...
    the small and mid size business will be taken out.

    So now most of you guys can go work for the "man" since your not making any money online anyway.

    Welcome to the "rat race" and then you die!
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    • Profile picture of the author whateverpedia
      Originally Posted by brunski57 View Post

      That is where mostly big business and big government control the economy...
      That is actually Corporatism, or if you like Fascism. Government of the people, by corporations, for corporations.

      Welcome back to slavery.
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      • Profile picture of the author seasoned
        Originally Posted by whateverpedia View Post

        That is actually Corporatism, or if you like Fascism. Government of the people, by corporations, for corporations.

        Welcome back to slavery.
        People NEVER knowingly set up things for corporations. In russia, it was presented to the general populace, that didn't know any better, as a way to have "higher income" and be "fairer". The idea of the COMMUNIty working together for the common good is a good one. Outside of small organizations, it never works for long though. Socialism is almost like communism lite.

        So WHAT was wrong with what we HAD!? Capitalism where no company was allowed to control the industry or grow too big, and competition was ENCOURAGED! Where a person could start a company with only themselves, and grow to be much larger. Socialism limits peoples abilities, and unfairly benefits the "underdog". Communism, as done by countries, has an oligarchy, and all others suffer.

        Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author TLTheLiberator
    The so-called socialism ( that we Americans love to denigrate ) in countries like France and Germany are simply looking out for their populations.

    Those countries do not limit what an individual can do as far as business is concerned and they don't like corporations running amuck and going Viking on the population - which is a good thing.

    Their taxes are a bit too high for me but their tax base isn't as large as ours so ours so our taxes don't have to be as high as those countries in Europe and we can still get the consumer and life protections we desire.

    The populations of those countries have demanded that their fed gov look out for them and they listen.

    TL
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    • Profile picture of the author seasoned
      Originally Posted by TLTheLiberator View Post

      The so-called socialism ( that we Americans love to denigrate ) in countries like France and Germany are simply looking out for their populations.

      Those countries do not limit what an individual can do as far as business is concerned and they don't like corporations running amuck and going Viking on the population - which is a good thing.

      Their taxes are a bit too high for me but their tax base isn't as large as ours so ours so our taxes don't have to be as high as those countries in Europe and we can still get the consumer and life protections we desire.

      The populations of those countries have demanded that their fed gov look out for them and they listen.

      TL
      Because their land is not as large, they don't need to pay as much for roads. They don't have much in terms of the military. social and similar costs are lowered due to the population. So it is silly to say they have to charge more tax because there are fewer to pay. HECK, the infrastructure is better there, but the US has been FROUGHT with disaster!

      CA supposedly USED to have a FAR better system, and it was OBLITERATED.

      They tried to build a new one in Los Angeles county in the 90s, and there were lots of sinkholes, etc...

      The structure around washington DC was OBVIOUSLY built just for THAT! Go out TOO far, and there is NOTHING! When I worked there, I lived, for the last year, in springfield where I had to take a BUS to the end of the line, and take that to washington DC. It was a LONG commute, but I saved over $100/day.

      In BOSTON? Well, there ARE subways, but MAN! TWO words strike an amusing chord with bostonians... "BIG DIG"! Big Dig - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      At least in Europe they have a connected system where people try to make their part shine. Italy even made changes to their old system to be compatible with other tracks, and run faster. Still, I'm sure that, historically, they all paid for their own piece.

      and HEY, why denigrate the vikings? The danes and swedes BOTH take pride in that. The norwegians may also. Heck, the finish and (gulp) icelanders may also!

      BTW the CIA factbook says germany is a federal REPUBLIC. It says france is a REPUBLIC also. It lists the UK as a constitutional monarchy and Commonwealth realm.

      I love the way wikipedia describes a republic
      A republic is a type of government where the citizens choose the leaders of their country [1] and the people (or at least a part of its people)[2] have an impact on its government.[3][4] The word "republic" is derived from the Latin phrase res publica, which can be translated as "a public affair".
      That parenthetical thought means anything could be a republic! OH WELL, we DO have the PRoC, which is recognized as communist!

      Steve
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      • Profile picture of the author TLTheLiberator
        Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

        Because their land is not as large, they don't need to pay as much for roads. They don't have much in terms of the military. social and similar costs are lowered due to the population. So it is silly to say they have to charge more tax because there are fewer to pay. HECK, the infrastructure is better there, but the US has been FROUGHT with disaster!

        CA supposedly USED to have a FAR better system, and it was OBLITERATED.

        They tried to build a new one in Los Angeles county in the 90s, and there were lots of sinkholes, etc...

        The structure around washington DC was OBVIOUSLY built just for THAT! Go out TOO far, and there is NOTHING! When I worked there, I lived, for the last year, in springfield where I had to take a BUS to the end of the line, and take that to washington DC. It was a LONG commute, but I saved over $100/day.

        In BOSTON? Well, there ARE subways, but MAN! TWO words strike an amusing chord with bostonians... "BIG DIG"! Big Dig - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

        At least in Europe they have a connected system where people try to make their part shine. Italy even made changes to their old system to be compatible with other tracks, and run faster. Still, I'm sure that, historically, they all paid for their own piece.

        and HEY, why denigrate the vikings? The danes and swedes BOTH take pride in that. The norwegians may also. Heck, the finish and (gulp) icelanders may also!

        BTW the CIA factbook says germany is a federal REPUBLIC. It says france is a REPUBLIC also. It lists the UK as a constitutional monarchy and Commonwealth realm.

        I love the way wikipedia describes a republic


        That parenthetical thought means anything could be a republic! OH WELL, we DO have the PRoC, which is recognized as communist!

        Steve
        Well, why are the taxes in most European countries much higher than they are here???


        Also...

        Ever heard of the Minnesota Vikings??

        Yes, I know we have lots of Viking stuff with us to this day - like some/all of the days of the week - and they were also very democratic I hear.

        When I say "going Viking" I'm talking about the historic Vikings who are well known as a group of people that simply made no pretense about kicking butt and taking someone else's stuff.

        When I use the term, everyone knows exactly what I'm talking about.

        Perhaps, I'll use the term Ferrangi a species from the Star Trek series who would do anything to make a buck.

        Here's a link to info regarding them...

        Ferengi - Memory Alpha, the Star Trek Wiki

        Make sure you check out their "Rules Of Acquisition" here...

        Rules of Acquisition - Memory Alpha, the Star Trek Wiki


        Anyways...

        Well, why are the taxes in most European countries much higher than they are here???

        TL
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        • Profile picture of the author seasoned
          Originally Posted by TLTheLiberator View Post

          Well, why are the taxes in most European countries much higher than they are here???
          well, there IS the healthcare, and who knows what else. The regular costs we have would all be MUCH lower for them. Simply because some are governed by the size of the country(smaller country, lower costs), absorbed by allies(NATO, etc... so they don't pay nearly as much, and militaries are smaller EVEN after the countries size is taken into consideration), and per capita(which by definition is per person).

          As for WHY? One european country recently decided ********EVERYONE******** ***NEEDS*** a vacation and it is a ***RIGHT***! They are talking about paying UNEMPLOYED people to take vacations! INCREDIBLE! ideas like that mean higher taxes for people that DO work.

          Ever heard of the Minnesota Vikings??
          Sorry, I must have missed that.

          Yes, I know we have lots of Viking stuff with us to this day - like some/all of the days of the week - and they were also very democratic I hear.

          When I say "going Viking" I'm talking about the historic Vikings who are well known as a group of people that simply made no pretense about kicking butt and taking someone else's stuff.

          When I use the term, everyone knows exactly what I'm talking about.
          OK, well, STILL, it is denigrating. Yeah, they are NOTHING like that now.

          Perhaps, I'll use the term Ferrangi a species from the Star Trek series who would do anything to make a buck.

          Here's a link to info regarding them...

          Ferengi - Memory Alpha, the Star Trek Wiki

          Make sure you check out their "Rules Of Acquisition" here...

          Rules of Acquisition - Memory Alpha, the Star Trek Wiki
          Yeah, I'm aware of that. The rules of aquisition is interesting. It is every illegitimate thing mixed with greed and a *******ization of the idea of capitalism all boiled down to a little list.

          OK, this is UNREAL! http://www.steuerzahler.de/ 1.698.506.052.445 EUROS!
          $2,269,356,951,611.24?!?!?!?!? National german debt! MY GOD! Still, that is perhaps a 12th of our REAL debt because they probably include social security in that, and we DON'T! The US doesn't even consider that a debt, though it IS!

          One site, that was perhaps last updated as late as 2008, says that the percentage of debt to GDP is:

          1 Zimbabwe 304.30 %
          2 Japan 192.10
          3 Saint Kitts and Nevis 185.00
          4 Lebanon 160.10
          5 Jamaica 131.70
          6 Singapore 117.60
          7 Italy 115.20
          8 Greece 108.10
          9 Sudan 104.50
          10 Iceland 100.60
          11 Belgium 99.00
          12 Nicaragua 87.00
          13 Israel 83.90
          14 Sri Lanka 82.90
          15 Egypt 79.80
          16 France 79.70
          17 Germany 77.20
          18 Portugal 75.20
          19 Hungary 72.40
          20 Canada 72.30
          21 Jordan 69.90
          22 United Kingdom 68.50
          23 Austria 68.20
          24 Ghana 67.50
          25 Malta 66.20
          26 Cote d'Ivoire 63.80
          27 Ireland 63.70
          28 Netherlands 62.30
          29 Philippines 62.30
          30 Norway 60.20
          31 India 60.10
          32 Spain 59.50
          33 Uruguay 58.70
          34 Mauritius 58.30
          35 Malawi 58.00
          36 Bhutan 57.80
          37 El Salvador 55.40
          38 Albania 54.90
          39 Kenya 54.10
          40 Morocco 54.10
          41 Tunisia 53.80
          42 World 53.60
          43 Cyprus 52.40
          44 Vietnam 52.30
          45 Panama 49.50
          46 Thailand 49.40
          47 Costa Rica 49.30
          48 Argentina 49.10
          49 Turkey 48.50
          50 Malaysia 47.80
          51 Croatia 47.70
          52 Poland 47.50
          53 United Arab Emirates 47.20
          54 Brazil 46.80
          55 Finland 46.60
          56 Aruba 46.30
          57 Colombia 46.10
          58 Pakistan 45.30
          59 Bolivia 44.00
          60 Seychelles 43.90
          61 Switzerland 43.50
          62 Sweden 43.20
          63 Bosnia and Herzegovina 43.00
          64 Mexico 42.60
          65 Dominican Republic 41.50
          66 United States 39.70
          67 Yemen 39.60
          68 Bangladesh 38.20
          69 Denmark 38.10
          70 Montenegro 38.00
          71 Serbia 37.00
          72 South Africa 35.70
          73 Cuba 34.80
          74 Gabon 34.70
          75 Slovakia 34.60
          76 Taiwan 34.60
          77 Papua New Guinea 33.70
          78 Czech Republic 32.80
          79 Guatemala 32.70
          80 Latvia 32.50
          81 Ecuador 32.30
          82 Syria 32.30
          83 Ethiopia 31.70
          84 Zambia 31.50
          85 Slovenia 31.40
          86 Lithuania 31.30
          87 Moldova 31.30
          88 Bahrain 30.10
          89 Indonesia 29.80
          90 New Zealand 29.30
          91 Korea, South 28.00
          92 Trinidad and Tobago 26.70
          93 Mozambique 26.10
          94 Peru 26.10
          95 Tanzania 24.80
          96 Macedonia 24.50
          97 Honduras 24.30
          98 Senegal 24.00
          99 Paraguay 22.10
          100 Bulgaria 21.40
          101 Ukraine 20.70
          102 Saudi Arabia 20.30
          103 Romania 20.00
          104 Iran 19.40
          105 Venezuela 19.40
          106 Uganda 19.30
          107 Namibia 19.10
          108 Australia 18.60
          109 China 18.20
          110 Hong Kong 18.10
          111 Botswana 17.90
          112 Nigeria 17.80
          113 Angola 16.80
          114 Gibraltar 15.70
          115 Luxembourg 14.50
          116 Cameroon 14.30
          117 Kazakhstan 14.00
          118 Uzbekistan 11.70
          119 Algeria 10.70
          120 Chile 9.00
          121 Kuwait 8.20
          122 Estonia 7.50
          123 Qatar 7.10
          124 Russia 6.90
          125 Libya 6.50
          126 Wallis and Futuna 5.60
          127 Azerbaijan 4.60
          128 Oman 2.80
          129 Equatorial Guinea 1.10

          So the united states is supposedly #66, France is #16, and germany is #17. Supposedly, the US has only about 1/2 as much debt per person. I wish I could believe that. I really think that the lack of standards, fiddling, etc... has corrupted this data. Of course, this was LONG ago anyway.

          Steve
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          • Profile picture of the author TLTheLiberator
            Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

            well, there IS the healthcare, and who knows what else. The regular costs we have would all be MUCH lower for them. Simply because some are governed by the size of the country(smaller country, lower costs), absorbed by allies(NATO, etc... so they don't pay nearly as much, and militaries are smaller EVEN after the countries size is taken into consideration), and per capita(which by definition is per person).

            As for WHY? One european country recently decided ********EVERYONE******** ***NEEDS*** a vacation and it is a ***RIGHT***! They are talking about paying UNEMPLOYED people to take vacations! INCREDIBLE! ideas like that mean higher taxes for people that DO work.



            Sorry, I must have missed that.



            OK, well, STILL, it is denigrating. Yeah, they are NOTHING like that now.



            Yeah, I'm aware of that. The rules of aquisition is interesting. It is every illegitimate thing mixed with greed and a *******ization of the idea of capitalism all boiled down to a little list.

            OK, this is UNREAL! Bund der Steuerzahler - Der Steuerzahler - 1.698.506.052.445 EUROS!
            $2,269,356,951,611.24?!?!?!?!? National german debt! MY GOD! Still, that is perhaps a 12th of our REAL debt because they probably include social security in that, and we DON'T! The US doesn't even consider that a debt, though it IS!

            One site, that was perhaps last updated as late as 2008, says that the percentage of debt to GDP is:

            1 Zimbabwe 304.30 %
            2 Japan 192.10
            3 Saint Kitts and Nevis 185.00
            4 Lebanon 160.10
            5 Jamaica 131.70
            6 Singapore 117.60
            7 Italy 115.20
            8 Greece 108.10
            9 Sudan 104.50
            10 Iceland 100.60
            11 Belgium 99.00
            12 Nicaragua 87.00
            13 Israel 83.90
            14 Sri Lanka 82.90
            15 Egypt 79.80
            16 France 79.70
            17 Germany 77.20
            18 Portugal 75.20
            19 Hungary 72.40
            20 Canada 72.30
            21 Jordan 69.90
            22 United Kingdom 68.50
            23 Austria 68.20
            24 Ghana 67.50
            25 Malta 66.20
            26 Cote d'Ivoire 63.80
            27 Ireland 63.70
            28 Netherlands 62.30
            29 Philippines 62.30
            30 Norway 60.20
            31 India 60.10
            32 Spain 59.50
            33 Uruguay 58.70
            34 Mauritius 58.30
            35 Malawi 58.00
            36 Bhutan 57.80
            37 El Salvador 55.40
            38 Albania 54.90
            39 Kenya 54.10
            40 Morocco 54.10
            41 Tunisia 53.80
            42 World 53.60
            43 Cyprus 52.40
            44 Vietnam 52.30
            45 Panama 49.50
            46 Thailand 49.40
            47 Costa Rica 49.30
            48 Argentina 49.10
            49 Turkey 48.50
            50 Malaysia 47.80
            51 Croatia 47.70
            52 Poland 47.50
            53 United Arab Emirates 47.20
            54 Brazil 46.80
            55 Finland 46.60
            56 Aruba 46.30
            57 Colombia 46.10
            58 Pakistan 45.30
            59 Bolivia 44.00
            60 Seychelles 43.90
            61 Switzerland 43.50
            62 Sweden 43.20
            63 Bosnia and Herzegovina 43.00
            64 Mexico 42.60
            65 Dominican Republic 41.50
            66 United States 39.70
            67 Yemen 39.60
            68 Bangladesh 38.20
            69 Denmark 38.10
            70 Montenegro 38.00
            71 Serbia 37.00
            72 South Africa 35.70
            73 Cuba 34.80
            74 Gabon 34.70
            75 Slovakia 34.60
            76 Taiwan 34.60
            77 Papua New Guinea 33.70
            78 Czech Republic 32.80
            79 Guatemala 32.70
            80 Latvia 32.50
            81 Ecuador 32.30
            82 Syria 32.30
            83 Ethiopia 31.70
            84 Zambia 31.50
            85 Slovenia 31.40
            86 Lithuania 31.30
            87 Moldova 31.30
            88 Bahrain 30.10
            89 Indonesia 29.80
            90 New Zealand 29.30
            91 Korea, South 28.00
            92 Trinidad and Tobago 26.70
            93 Mozambique 26.10
            94 Peru 26.10
            95 Tanzania 24.80
            96 Macedonia 24.50
            97 Honduras 24.30
            98 Senegal 24.00
            99 Paraguay 22.10
            100 Bulgaria 21.40
            101 Ukraine 20.70
            102 Saudi Arabia 20.30
            103 Romania 20.00
            104 Iran 19.40
            105 Venezuela 19.40
            106 Uganda 19.30
            107 Namibia 19.10
            108 Australia 18.60
            109 China 18.20
            110 Hong Kong 18.10
            111 Botswana 17.90
            112 Nigeria 17.80
            113 Angola 16.80
            114 Gibraltar 15.70
            115 Luxembourg 14.50
            116 Cameroon 14.30
            117 Kazakhstan 14.00
            118 Uzbekistan 11.70
            119 Algeria 10.70
            120 Chile 9.00
            121 Kuwait 8.20
            122 Estonia 7.50
            123 Qatar 7.10
            124 Russia 6.90
            125 Libya 6.50
            126 Wallis and Futuna 5.60
            127 Azerbaijan 4.60
            128 Oman 2.80
            129 Equatorial Guinea 1.10

            So the united states is supposedly #66, France is #16, and germany is #17. Supposedly, the US has only about 1/2 as much debt per person. I wish I could believe that. I really think that the lack of standards, fiddling, etc... has corrupted this data. Of course, this was LONG ago anyway.

            Steve
            You're right!! ( about my use of the term Viking )

            I could be seriously offending folks from the Nordic countries and even Americans descended from that part of the continent.

            So from now on, I'll simply use the word pirate instead.

            I also agree about "giving" people vacations as that is a little too much for me.

            I know they have done that in Holland.

            It will never fly here.

            We do have a big military budget which I think could be trimmed down to about 500 bill a year.


            TL
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            "It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. -- Mark Twain

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        • Profile picture of the author John Henderson
          Originally Posted by TLTheLiberator View Post

          Well, why are the taxes in most European countries much higher than they are here???
          Here's the piechart for the UK, TLTL. The orange slice is for welfare payments and the red slice is for our "NHS" (National Health Service). £1 is about equal to $1.52 at the moment...



          N.B. The British National Health Service employs 1.3 million people. As a comparison, the United States Department of Defense employs 1.4 million military personnel. The only other organisations that are larger are Wal-Mart, the Indian Railway system and the Chinese Army.
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          • Profile picture of the author seasoned
            Ended up being a duplicate, see farther down
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          • Profile picture of the author seasoned
            Originally Posted by John Henderson View Post

            Here's the piechart for the UK, TLTL. The orange slice is for welfare payments and the red slice is for our "NHS" (National Health Service). £1 is about equal to $1.52 at the moment...



            N.B. The British National Health Service employs 1.3 million people. As a comparison, the United States Department of Defense employs 1.4 million military personnel. The only other organisations that are larger are Wal-Mart, the Indian Railway system and the Chinese Army.
            Don't forget, the US IS the major provider to NATO and the U.N.! "The combined military spending of all NATO members constitutes over 70% of the world's defence spending, with the United States alone accounting for about half the total military spending of the world and the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Italy accounting for a further 15%."

            MANY forget that. That makes other countries need less, and the US need more. Prior to WWI or even WWII, there wasn't so much disparity.

            BTW it says healthcare is most of the department of health's budget which was $131.65BillionUSD in 2008-2009 They had 61,383,000 people at the time. GROWING at a rate of 408,000/year BTW! So HOW come it costs them $2144.73USD/person, and people here claim it will only cost the US about $303.03USD/person? WOW, $303.03 seems LOW! Even after insurance, my bill is many times that. That is even less than I pay for insurance. Even HALF the $2144.73 that great britain pays is FAR higher!

            Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author whateverpedia
    Interesting that "The Great American Dream" is considered to be home ownership (whether it is or not).

    Down Under owning a home is called "The Great Australian Dream".

    I'm sure that for those in the UK it is considered "The Great British Dream" (an Engllishmens' home is his castle, etc.).

    Canadians, Germans, Kiwi's, etc., etc. probably have the same dream.

    I think it's a myth perpetuated by real estate floggers, and of course banks. The authorities also seem to peddle the same "dream" as it keeps the populace fairly docile.

    You're hardly likely to go job-hopping, on strike, or fermenting revolution if you're tied to a "dream" (mortgage).

    Sadly though, with RE prices beyond the reach of young people in most developed nations, the dream is coming unstuck.

    George Carlin once said, "It's called The Great American* Dream" because you have to be asleep to believe in it".

    *Or Australian, British, Canadian, German, Italian, Kiwi, etc., etc..
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    • Profile picture of the author TLTheLiberator
      Originally Posted by whateverpedia View Post

      Interesting that "The Great American Dream" is considered to be home ownership (whether it is or not).

      Down Under owning a home is called "The Great Australian Dream".

      I'm sure that for those in the UK it is considered "The Great British Dream" (an Engllishmens' home is his castle, etc.).

      Canadians, Germans, Kiwi's, etc., etc. probably have the same dream.

      I think it's a myth perpetuated by real estate floggers, and of course banks. The authorities also seem to peddle the same "dream" as it keeps the populace fairly docile.

      You're hardly likely to go job-hopping, on strike, or fermenting revolution if you're tied to a "dream" (mortgage).

      Sadly though, with RE prices beyond the reach of young people in most developed nations, the dream is coming unstuck.

      George Carlin once said, "It's called The Great American* Dream" because you have to be asleep to believe in it".

      *Or Australian, British, Canadian, German, Italian, Kiwi, etc., etc..
      Back in the 80's I worked with a older guy and he was saying the same type of stuff about how owning a home would make him less flexible etc.

      Well, his wife got tired of that and he went out and brought a home.

      Besides, owning where thou dwell is one of the mighty pillars of accumulating wealth in the great book...

      "The Richest Man In Babylon".

      Which I recommend for anyone trying to get ahead.

      All The Best!!


      TL
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      "It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. -- Mark Twain

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      • Profile picture of the author whateverpedia
        Originally Posted by TLTheLiberator View Post

        Besides, owning where thou dwell is one of the mighty pillars of accumulating wealth in the great book...
        Eventually.

        As with the stockmarket, timing your purchase can mean the difference between untold wealth and ordinary wealth, and both of those will only happen over time. There will aloso be many traps and pitfalls along the way.

        Now would probably* be a great time to snap up foreclosed/distressed properties. 2006/7 was not a good time, even if you had a "secure" income.

        "Buy in gloom, sell in boom".

        *Not to be construed as financial advice.
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        • Profile picture of the author myob
          [QUOTE=whateverpedia;2022261
          "Buy in gloom, sell in boom".

          *Not to be construed as financial advice.[/QUOTE]

          But it works!
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          • Profile picture of the author tango943
            I also agree about giving people vacations as that is a little too much for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
    All this talk about debt and GDP ratio made me think of this...

    One of my partners contacted me today and told me to keep his profit share for now in the US.

    That is because the country he lives in just went into default and there are fears of a run on the banks and the IMF has to come in and clean up the mess...

    Greece.
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    • Profile picture of the author seasoned
      Originally Posted by Josh Anderson View Post

      All this talk about debt and GDP ratio made me think of this...

      One of my partners contacted me today and told me to keep his profit share for now in the US.

      That is because the country he lives in just went into default and there are fears of a run on the banks and the IMF has to come in and clean up the mess...

      Greece.
      I spoke in a thread here recently, or at least planned to, about how greece is close to offering what some would call JUNK bonds 9% for 10 year bonds, and they are looking for the IMF to give them a loan. That came out on thursday! WOW, SHORT NOTICE! And, according to the list I had here earlier, greece has 50% more debt, per capita than either france or germany.

      But MAN, some companies were denied earlier entrance to the EU because the EU feared that they would hurt the financial stability.

      Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author John Henderson
    Uhhhh, okay. :confused:

    TLTL wanted to know why taxes were higher in Europe, and I was trying to give him some pointers by showing how the budget is spent in the UK -- namely, lots of tax revenue goes into our welfare state and national healthcare programs.

    Not sure what that has to do with NATO, though....
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    • Profile picture of the author seasoned
      Originally Posted by John Henderson View Post

      Uhhhh, okay. :confused:

      TLTL wanted to know why taxes were higher in Europe, and I was trying to give him some pointers by showing how the budget is spent in the UK -- namely, lots of tax revenue goes into our welfare state and national healthcare programs.

      Not sure what that has to do with NATO, though....
      You spoke about military personnel, so I had to put it in perspective.
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      • Profile picture of the author John Henderson
        Okay, fair enough. I really only mentioned it to show just how gargantuan our state health service has become. And in the run up to the general election that we'll be holding on May 6th, none of our 3 major political parties DARES to suggest that they will do anything to reduce it's size after the election, despite the fact that the country has to spend less in the current climate.
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