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The Depression Thread
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caniff



Joined: 03 Feb 2004
Location: All over the map

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This fits in nicely with "The Depression Thread" as it's quite f'in depressing (but well-written and unfortunately likely prophetic for many cities here in the US):

http://www.theinvestigativefund.org/investigations/1424/city_of_ruins/?page=entire

Camden, as the article points out, has been in decline for decades but the recent economic collapse has accelerated the process towards complete breakdown.

A TV news report on the city's plight:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BXCaT2JluI

Where I live in Boston you can see some signs of decreased general prosperity (a few more panhandlers than in years past, etc.), but it's more-or-less still doing okay due to some strong local industries such as medicine, education, and high-tech. I'm a teacher of international students here, and our school is doing well due to foreigners with cash spending their loot. This is a boon to the city in general with its 70+ colleges and universities (which btw are brimming with overseas students), but there are countless cities across the US that you can pretty much stick a fork in - they're done.
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Kuros



Joined: 27 Apr 2004

PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deal Is Closer for a U.S. Plan on Mortgage Relief

Quote:
With a deadline looming on Monday for state officials to sign onto a landmark multibillion-dollar settlement to address foreclosure abuses, the Obama administration is close to winning support from a crucial state that would significantly expand the breadth of the deal.

The biggest remaining holdout, California, has returned to the negotiating table after a four-month absence, a change of heart that could increase the pot for mortgage relief nationwide to $25 billion from $19 billion.

The potential support from California and New York comes in exchange for tightening provisions of the settlement to preserve the right to investigate past misdeeds by banks, and stepping up oversight to ensure that the financial institutions live up to the deal and distribute the money to the hardest-hit homeowners.

The settlement would require banks to provide billions of dollars in aid to homeowners who have lost their homes to foreclosure or who are still at risk, after years of failed attempts by the White House and other government officials to alter the behavior of the biggest banks.

The banks — led by the five biggest mortgage servicers, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and Ally Financial — want to settle an investigation into abuses set off in 2010 by evidence that they foreclosed on borrowers with only a cursory examination of the relevant documents, a practice known as robo-signing. Four million families have lost their homes to foreclosure since the beginning of 2007.

As recently as two weeks ago, with federal officials hoping to complete a deal that President Obama could cite in his State of the Union address, California’s attorney general, Kamala Harris, made it clear she was not on board, terming the plan inadequate. But in the last few days, differences have narrowed in negotiations that one participant described as round the clock, with California officials in direct communication with bank representatives for the first time in months.

California has been focused on measures that would benefit individual homeowners, while New York has been most interested in preserving its ability to investigate the root causes of the financial collapse.

. . .

The settlement, if all states participate, will also include $3 billion to lower the rates of mortgage holders who are current. Banks will get more credit for reducing principal owed and helping families keep their homes, and less for short sales or taking losses on loans that were likely to go bad, like those that were severely delinquent.


The States are doing their jobs. The Obama administration started with a sweetheart deal for the banks, and Cali and NY decided to work for their constituents: the homeowners.

Is there any clearer example of Federalism working to tame the stranglehold corporations and banks have over the national apparatus?
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blade



Joined: 30 Jun 2007

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

About bloody time.

Quote:

S.E.C. Accuses Goldman of Fraud in Housing Deal

Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street powerhouse, was accused of securities fraud in a civil lawsuit filed Friday by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which claims the bank created and sold a mortgage investment that was secretly intended to fail

The move was the first time that regulators had taken action against a Wall Street deal that helped investors capitalize on the collapse of the housing market.

The suit also named Fabrice Tourre, a vice president at Goldman who helped create and sell the investment.

In a statement, Goldman called the commission’s accusations “completely unfounded in law and fact” and said it would “vigorously contest them and defend the firm and its reputation.”

The focus of the S.E.C. case, an investment vehicle called Abacus 2007-AC1, was one of 25 such vehicles that Goldman created so the bank and some of its clients could bet against the housing market. Those deals, which were the subject of an article in The New York Times in December, initially protected Goldman from losses when the mortgage market disintegrated and later yielded profits for the bank.

As the Abacus portfolios in the S.E.C. case plunged in value, a prominent hedge fund manager made money from his bets against certain mortgage bonds, while investors lost more than $1 billion.

According to the complaint, Goldman created Abacus 2007-AC1 in February 2007 at the request of John A. Paulson, a prominent hedge fund manager who earned an estimated $3.7 billion in 2007 by correctly wagering that the housing bubble would burst. Mr. Paulson is not named in the suit.

Goldman told investors that the bonds would be chosen by an independent manager. In the case of Abacus 2007-AC1, however, Goldman let Mr. Paulson select mortgage bonds that he believed were most likely to lose value, according to the complaint.

Goldman then sold the package to investors like foreign banks, pension funds and insurance companies, which would profit only if the bonds gained value. The European banks IKB and ABN Amro and other investors lost more than $1 billion in the deal, the commission said.

“Goldman wrongly permitted a client that was betting against the mortgage market to heavily influence which mortgage securities to include in an investment portfolio,” Robert Khuzami, the director of the commission’s enforcement division, said in a written statement.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/17/business/17goldman.html?_r=1
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Kuros



Joined: 27 Apr 2004

PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Student Loans, the next Mortgage Crisis?

Quote:
Student loans in the US have now passed auto loans and credit cards as the largest single category of American debt. Currently there are approximately $870 billion dollars in outstanding student loan debt, and balances are rising. With private loans carrying higher and variable interest rates, many students are facing scenarios where they will no longer be able to afford payments.


But its okay, because Obama made the gov't the lender instead of banks. Right?
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Kuros



Joined: 27 Apr 2004

PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:53 am    Post subject: US subsidy to JPMorgan: $14b/yr Reply with quote

The US gov't annually subsidizes JPMorgan $14 billion. That number exceeds the annual budget of the U.S. Dept. of the Interior.

Quote:
In a recent paper, two economists -- Kenichi Ueda of the IMF and Beatrice Weder Di Mauro of the University of Mainz -- estimated that as of 2009 the expectation of government support was shaving about 0.8 percentage point off large banks’ borrowing costs. That’s up from 0.6 percentage point in 2007, before the financial crisis prompted a global round of bank bailouts.

To estimate the dollar value of the subsidy in the U.S., we multiplied it by the debt and deposits of 18 of the country’s largest banks, including JPMorgan, Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc. The result: about $76 billion a year. The number is roughly equivalent to the banks’ total profits over the past 12 months, or more than the federal government spends every year on education.

JPMorgan’s share of the subsidy is $14 billion a year, or about 77 percent of its net income for the past four quarters. In other words, U.S. taxpayers helped foot the bill for the multibillion-dollar trading loss that is the focus of today’s hearing. They’ve also provided more direct support: Dimon noted in a recent conference call that the Home Affordable Refinancing Program, which allows banks to generate income by modifying government-guaranteed mortgages, made a significant contribution to JPMorgan’s earnings in the first three months of 2012.

Like all subsidies, the taxpayer largesse distorts supply. If the government supports corn farmers, you get too much corn. If the government subsidizes banks, you get too much credit. As of March, households, companies and government in the U.S. had amassed debts of $38.6 trillion, or 2.5 times the country’s gross domestic product. That’s up from 1.3 times in 1980. The picture is similar in the euro area, where debt outstanding is 1.8 times GDP, double the level of 1995.

The oversupply of credit -- also supported in the U.S. by government-backed lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and by tax breaks on mortgage interest -- encourages risky behavior. People buy houses they can’t afford, companies borrow too much for acquisitions, and banks employ excessive leverage to boost the returns they can offer their shareholders. The result is a bloated finance industry: As of 2011, the sector accounted for 8.3 percent of the U.S. economy, compared with 4.9 percent in 1980.
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Kuros



Joined: 27 Apr 2004

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm posting this in its own thread, as well. But it belongs as part of the chronicle of failure.

Why are Goldman Sachs, Other Wall Street Titans escaping Prosecution?

Quote:
In a word: cronyism.

Take Goldman Sachs, for example. Thursday’s announcement that there will be no prosecutions should hardly come as a surprise. In 2008, Goldman Sachs employees were among Barack Obama’s top campaign contributors, giving a combined $1,013,091. Eric Holder’s former law firm, Covington & Burling, also counts Goldman Sachs as one of its clients. Furthermore, in April 2011, when the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations issued a scathing report detailing Goldman’s suspicious Abacus deal, several Goldman executives and their families began flooding Obama campaign coffers with donations, some giving the maximum $35,800.
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Titus



Joined: 19 May 2012

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Nation in 2008 (http://www.thenation.com/article/our-gilded-age):

Quote:
“And what about the sources of the fortunes that dominated the two Gilded Ages? The elite of the nineteenth century was fresh from building a massive industrial infrastructure, like steel mills and a transcontinental railroad system. Yes, it came with massive amounts of securities fraud (a reminder that financial chicanery is hardly a recent innovation in American economic history), not to mention waste, surplus capacity and shoddy workmanship. But it did result in the transformation of the United States from a relative backwater to a global industrial power.

How did Schwarzman and his colleagues in the private-equity and hedge-fund rackets, probably the most prominent members of today’s overclass, make their money? Mainly by taking over existing assets and milking them for fees, dividends and interest payments.”


Henry Ford may have been an oligarch, but at least he was our oligarch.

Point is, this isn't a depression/recession/great recession. The United States is being financially raped to death. All the talk about budgets and stimulus and demand and the rest are pointless. When you've been robbed you don't ask an economist why you can't afford dinner.
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Titus



Joined: 19 May 2012

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.parapundit.com/archives/008720.html

Quote:
Median household income has declined in 9 out of the last 12 years. Are you old enough to remember when living standards went up every year for the vast majority of Americans? Not any more. Median income in America peaked in 1998 and now we are partying like its 1995.

Median annual household income—the figure at which half are above and half below—now stands 8.9% below its all-time peak of $54,932 in 1999, at the end of the 1990s economic expansion.

Yes friends, no progress in 17 years. Even the 90th and 95th percentiles are below peak. A little poorer than last year.

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that in 2011, median household income declined, the poverty rate was not statistically different from the previous year and the percentage of people without health insurance coverage decreased.

Real median household income in the United States in 2011 was $50,054, a 1.5 percent decline from the 2010 median and the second consecutive annual drop.

The nation's official poverty rate in 2011 was 15.0 percent, with 46.2 million people in poverty. After three consecutive years of increases, neither the poverty rate nor the number of people in poverty were statistically different from the 2010 estimates.


...

Median family household income declined by 1.7 percent in real terms between 2010 and 2011 to $62,273. The change in the median income of nonfamily households was not statistically significant.

In 2011, real median household income was 8.1 percent lower than in 2007, the year before the most recent recession, and was 8.9 percent lower than the median household income peak that occurred in 1999. The two percentages are not statistically different from one another.


You might wonder why. Obvious causes: 1) Outsourcing. Billionaires don't need your labor when they can buy cheaper labor elsewhere; 2) Immigration. More labor. Plus, the labor is lower skilled and therefore earns less; 3) Oil field depletion and other natural resource depletions; 4) Rising Asian demand for the remaining depleting resources.


The EU and USA are undeveloping.
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Titus



Joined: 19 May 2012

PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My position has long been that the Fed and fed gov blew a housing bubble to cover the deindustrialization of America (and similar for other nations: Spain, etc). Here's a paper (found at Steve Sailer's blog):

http://isteve.blogspot.com/2012/09/kerwin-charles-on-housing-bubble.html
Quote:
We study the extent to which the U.S. housing boom and subsequent housing bust during the 2000s masked (and then unmasked) the sharp, ongoing decline in the manufacturing sector. We exploit cross-city variation in manufacturing declines and housing booms and jointly estimate the effects of both shocks on local employment and wages. Between 2000 and 2007, we find that a one standard deviation negative manufacturing shock increases the non-employment rate of non-college men by 0.9 percentage points, and a one standard deviation positive housing price shock is enough to fully offset this effect. We find that roughly half of the offsetting comes from increased construction employment and that other demographic groups are affected by both shocks, as well, though to a lesser extent. We also find that positive housing price shocks significantly reduce college enrollment, with the largest effects concentrated among community colleges and junior colleges. Finally, we use our estimates to assess how aggregate employment would have evolved absent the housing boom/bust cycle, and we find that roughly 35 percent of the increase in nonemployment between 2007 and 2011 can be attributed to the decline in manufacturing employment during the 2000s. In particular, we find that much of the recent increase in non-employment would have occurred earlier had it not been for the large temporary boom in local housing prices.


Ok. Well now that we know the housing boom didn't replace a proper, protected and industrialized economy the gov and Fed will switch gears, right?

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/09/13/fed-announces-unlimited-qe3

Quote:
A statement released by the Federal Open Market Committee at the conclusion of its latest meeting says that the nation's central bank will purchase $40 billion a month in mortgage-backed securities, with no stated end date to the purchases.


A little something for the plebs while the rest of the country is gutted. Seriously. They have nothing else.

They're trying to blow another housing bubble. And there is not a god damn thing Americans can do about it.
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Kuros



Joined: 27 Apr 2004

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fair Economy has released a report on the Forbes 400, a list of the 400 richest individuals in America. It tracked their class origins, which breaks down as follows (go to the .pdf report for a nice baseball diamond infographic):

Quote:
35% Born in the Batter’s Box
Individuals who came from a lower- or middle-class background.

22% Born on First Base
Individuals who had opportunities that gave them an advantage, such as an upper-class background, inherited less than $1 million, or received some start-up capital from a family member.

11.5% Born on Second Base
Inherited a medium-sized business or wealth of more than $1 million or received substantial start-up capital for a business from a family member.

7% Born on Third Base
Inherited wealth in excess of $50 million or a large and prosperous company.

21.25% Born on Home Plate
Inherited sufficient wealth to make the Forbes 400 list.

3.25% Undetermined


Fair Economy makes a strong case for a firm Estate Tax rate.
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caniff



Joined: 03 Feb 2004
Location: All over the map

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I miss mises.
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fusionbarnone



Joined: 31 May 2004

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox wrote:
Iceland’s On-Going Revolution

Quote:
An Italian radio program’s story about Iceland’s on-going revolution is a stunning example of how little our media tells us about the rest of the world. Americans may remember that at the start of the 2008 financial crisis, Iceland literally went bankrupt. The reasons were mentioned only in passing, and since then, this little-known member of the European Union fell back into oblivion.

As one European country after another fails or risks failing, imperiling the Euro, with repercussions for the entire world, the last thing the powers that be want is for Iceland to become an example. Here’s why:

Five years of a pure neo-liberal regime had made Iceland, (population 320 thousand, no army), one of the richest countries in the world. In 2003 all the country’s banks were privatized, and in an effort to attract foreign investors, they offered on-line banking whose minimal costs allowed them to offer relatively high rates of return. The accounts, called IceSave, attracted many English and Dutch small investors. But as investments grew, so did the banks’ foreign debt. In 2003 Iceland’s debt was equal to 200 times its GNP, but in 2007, it was 900 percent. The 2008 world financial crisis was the coup de grace. The three main Icelandic banks, Landbanki, Kapthing and Glitnir, went belly up and were nationalized, while the Kroner lost 85% of its value with respect to the Euro. At the end of the year Iceland declared bankruptcy.

Contrary to what could be expected, the crisis resulted in Icelanders recovering their sovereign rights, through a process of direct participatory democracy that eventually led to a new Constitution. But only after much pain.

Geir Haarde, the Prime Minister of a Social Democratic coalition government, negotiated a two million one hundred thousand dollar loan, to which the Nordic countries added another two and a half million. But the foreign financial community pressured Iceland to impose drastic measures. The FMI and the European Union wanted to take over its debt, claiming this was the only way for the country to pay back Holland and Great Britain, who had promised to reimburse their citizens.

Protests and riots continued, eventually forcing the government to resign. Elections were brought forward to April 2009, resulting in a left-wing coalition which condemned the neoliberal economic system, but immediately gave in to its demands that Iceland pay off a total of three and a half million Euros. This required each Icelandic citizen to pay 100 Euros a month (or about $130) for fifteen years, at 5.5% interest, to pay off a debt incurred by private parties vis a vis other private parties. It was the straw that broke the reindeer’s back.

What happened next was extraordinary. The belief that citizens had to pay for the mistakes of a financial monopoly, that an entire nation must be taxed to pay off private debts was shattered, transforming the relationship between citizens and their political institutions and eventually driving Iceland’s leaders to the side of their constituents. The Head of State, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, refused to ratify the law that would have made Iceland’s citizens responsible for its bankers’ debts, and accepted calls for a referendum.

Of course the international community only increased the pressure on Iceland. Great Britain and Holland threatened dire reprisals that would isolate the country. As Icelanders went to vote, foreign bankers threatened to block any aid from the IMF. The British government threatened to freeze Icelander savings and checking accounts. As Grimsson said: “We were told that if we refused the international community’s conditions, we would become the Cuba of the North. But if we had accepted, we would have become the Haiti of the North.” (How many times have I written that when Cubans see the dire state of their neighbor, Haiti, they count themselves lucky.)

In the March 2010 referendum, 93% voted against repayment of the debt. The IMF immediately froze its loan. But the revolution (though not televised in the United States), would not be intimidated. With the support of a furious citizenry, the government launched civil and penal investigations into those responsible for the financial crisis. Interpol put out an international arrest warrant for the ex-president of Kaupthing, Sigurdur Einarsson, as the other bankers implicated in the crash fled the country.

But Icelanders didn’t stop there: they decided to draft a new constitution that would free the country from the exaggerated power of international finance and virtual money. (The one in use had been written when Iceland gained its independence from Denmark, in 1918, the only difference with the Danish constitution being that the word ‘president’ replaced the word ‘king’.)

To write the new constitution, the people of Iceland elected twenty-five citizens from among 522 adults not belonging to any political party but recommended by at least thirty citizens. This document was not the work of a handful of politicians, but was written on the internet. The constituent’s meetings are streamed on-line, and citizens can send their comments and suggestions, witnessing the document as it takes shape. The constitution that eventually emerges from this participatory democratic process will be submitted to parliament for approval after the next elections.

Some readers will remember that Iceland’s ninth century agrarian collapse was featured in Jared Diamond’s book by the same name. Today, that country is recovering from its financial collapse in ways just the opposite of those generally considered unavoidable, as confirmed yesterday by the new head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde to Fareed Zakaria. The people of Greece have been told that the privatization of their public sector is the only solution. And those of Italy, Spain and Portugal are facing the same threat.

They should look to Iceland. Refusing to bow to foreign interests, that small country stated loud and clear that the people are sovereign.

That’s why it is not in the news anymore.




That article was awesome.

The frightening "almost" reality for Iceland with a series of continuing "debt" repayments and a succession of BS policies to the public justifying that debt of virtual money for an exchange of tangible real value(human resources) and they weren't taken in.

I guess the small size of their country, the relative close proximity of their population, the resultant intellectual debate, and steadfast activism when matters of concern to them as a whole became an obvious threat, was their saving grace.

In contrast, those countries who tell their public that they as individuals within a collective called a nation state ,are liable and owe for debts made between private entities helped along by the economists, media and political representatives who peddle a perverse form of "moral obligation" and the "doing the right thing" claptrap, are committing their populace' into serfdom.

There have been three bailouts(qualitative easing sounds like a laxative; the "international powers that be" can't be accused of not possessing a sense of humor) with talk of a fourth in the worlds mightiest superpower and no one seems overly concerned about the new round of virtual debt created.

Where are all the "inquiring minds" and whether they're digesting the rhetoric of "trickle down" (the Everymans' economics 101 pushed in the common media so the masses can delude themselves with "intellectual empowerment" and the "pie in the sky like belief that they'll all get what's comin to em in the end) and I doubt if the populace has any will outside circuses, hamburgers, porn and free cellphones, to tell private financial institutions and their representatives where to "go" like the Icelandics did.

In the coming months it will be interesting to see what type of debt-solving policies are about to be wheeled out, the social and economic compromises and ramifications as to how those new debts and other debt instruments are going to affect the average person, their liberties and way of life.

As a possible result of all this is what that person in the street is likely to do once they realize they have nothing left to lose and begin preying on their neighbors and how authorities will decide to manage civil discontent.
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Titus



Joined: 19 May 2012

PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Onion:

http://www.theonion.com/video/nauseatingly-precious-nyc-couples-to-walk-around-i,29751/

(wait for the second half).
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iceland's President Explains Why The World Needs To Rethink Its Addiction To Finance.

Quote:
But I think it is our obligation in Iceland to give an open and honest description of our own experience, of the lessons we have leaned, and other people can draw their own conclusions. I have already mentioned that if you want to deal with this economic crisis, you must treat it not only as an economic challenge but also as a fundamental social, political, and even a judicial challenge.

On the judicial side, we appointed a special commission headed by a Supreme Court judge that issued a report in 9 volumes, we appointed the office of special prosecutors, we have enacted various legislation and laws that relate to the judicial and legal system.

A second lesson, interestingly enough, is in terms of our economic policies. We have, to some extent, gone against the prevailing economic orthodoxies of the American, European, and IMF model in the last 30 years. This has even been recognized by the IMF leadership.
As you know, the IMF program finished last year, and we organized a celebratory conference in October, where we said goodbye to the IMF program, and it was attended by Paul Krugman, and other prominent economists, as well as some of the leading officials of the IMF. And it was very interesting to hear them acknowledge that the IMF had probably learned more from this experience with Iceland than Iceland had learned from the IMF. It has made the IMF reconsider some of their orthodox stances on what should be the proper economic and financial response to a crisis on this nature.

Thirdly, we have, in our economic measures, tried to protect the lowest income sectors, we have to try and protect some of the elementary social and health services, and done more of that nature than has traditionally been done in dealing with such a crisis.

As everybody knows now, we did not pump public money into the failed banks. We treated them like private companies that went bankrupt, and we let them fail. Some people say we did it because we didn’t have any other option, there is clearly something in that argument, but it does not change the fact that it turned out to be a wise move or whatever reason. Whereas in many other countries, the prevailing orthodoxy is you pump public money into banks and you make taxpayers responsible for the banks in the long run, and somehow treat the banks as if they are holier institutions in the economy than manufacturing companies, commercial companies, IT companies, or whatever. And I have never really understood the argument: why a private bank or financial fund is somehow holier for the well being and future of the economy than the industrial sector, the IT sector, the creative sector, or the manufacturing sector.

So if you add all of this together and throw in the devaluation of the currency as well, it’s clear that what some people have called the Icelandic model includes a number of measures and approaches that have not been adopted in other countries. On the contrary, it includes some methods in the process that go directly against what has been adopted in other countries. But the outcome is the Icelandic economy is recovering faster and more effectively than any other economy, including the British and the American that suffered from a big financial crisis in 2008.


Goes on for four more pages. Here's a bit more:

Quote:
What the British and the Dutch were arguing was that somehow the European banking system was such that a private bank would operate anywhere in Europe, and if it succeeded, the bankers got extraordinary benefits, the shareholders got big profits. But if it failed, the bill would simply be sent to ordinary people back home: farmers and fishermen, nurses and teachers, young people and old. And that, I maintain, is a very unhealthy formula for the future of the European banking system. If you sent a signal to the bankers that you can be as irresponsible and daring as you want to be, and if you are lucky, you become very rich, but if you fail, other people will pay.

I don’t think that is a wise journey to enter if you want to build a healthy European financial system in the future.

...

In addition, the British and the Dutch government did not consult us when they decided to pay out. And as I have pointed out many times, the estate of the failed bank was sufficiently strong, as is now turning, out to pay these depositors out of the estate of the failed bank. There were predominantly three Icelandic banks that operated outside: Glitnir bank, ‪Kaupthing‬ and Landsbanki. Glitnir and ‪Kaupthing‬ have paid all their depositors and everybody in Germany and the Netherlands and Scandinavia, everywhere. It’s only the case of Landsbanki in Britain and the Netherlands, because the British and the Dutch government were not prepared to wait to see if the estate of the failed bank was sufficiently strong to shelter the payment, as it’s now turning out to be. So I think if you look at the case objectively, there are strong indications that this was political maneuvering, especially by the Gordon Brown government, who was in a tight corner during those days in October, and simply decided that Iceland was small enough for them to go up against us -- in the same way that Margaret Thatcher went against Argentina over the Falklands -- instead of looking at the issue from a more responsible and long-term perspective.
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Titus



Joined: 19 May 2012

PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Titus wrote:

They're trying to blow another housing bubble. And there is not a god damn thing Americans can do about it.


I must extend my congratulations to Mr Bernanke and his clan. They've done what I assumed impossible.

http://www.doctorhousingbubble.com/echo-housing-bubble-echo-real-estate-bubble-united-states-home-prices-incomes/

Incomes decreasing and house prices increasing. Incredible. Give Bernanke the Presidential Medal of Usury.

http://m.rollingstone.com/entry/view/id/34545/pn/all/p/0/?KSID=37d0540a912e579ad1d5d5c4c3af6dab

Quote:
Another day, another corporate titan suffering from devastating amnesia. This time, the memory-loss patient is none other than Angelo Mozilo, the former CEO of Countrywide Financial.

Deposed in the landmark lawsuit between the monoline insurer MBIA and Countrywide/Bank of America, Mozilo professed not to know the difference between "verified" income and "stated" income. He also made some incredible remarks regarding his notorious "Friends of Angelo" lending program, in which, among others, political figures like North Dakota Senator Kent Conrad and Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd received Countrywide mortgages on highly advantageous terms just because they were tight with the CEO.

As chief of Countrywide, Mozilo headed the single most corrupt subprime mortgage lender in America during the period preceding the crisis. Charged with mass fraud and headed for trial in October of 2010, Mozilo and the SEC ultimately settled four days before opening arguments were set to begin in Los Angeles. Ultimately, Mozilo got away with no jail time, paying a $67.5 million settlement, $20 million of which was covered by Countrywide, which by then had been acquired by Bank of America, a major bailout recipient. Just in the years between 2000 and 2008, Mozilo made over half a billion dollars – $521.5 million, according to one corporate research firm.


Mozilo and Jon Corzine walking around free still shocks me and I'm pretty cynical.
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