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Weekend Economists Go for the Gold December 9-11, 2011

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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 10:15 PM
Original message
Weekend Economists Go for the Gold December 9-11, 2011
Edited on Fri Dec-09-11 10:24 PM by Demeter
So what is the topic to distract us from the sordid reality of global economic and political conditions, you ask. Is it the Olympics? Is it Motown Oldies?

No, today, December 9th is a very special day for us to consider...it is the 190th anniversary of the birth of the man who founded....The Vampire Squid!

"Marcus Goldman, who worked as a peddler with a horse-drawn cart upon arriving in America, and went on to found Goldman Sachs, was born in Germany on this date in 1821. He created an eponymous financial firm in 1869 and took in his son-law, Samuel Sachs, in 1882. Goldman Sachs pioneered the use of commercial paper (IOUs) for business capital and also helped to establish the initial public offering market. The company, now headed by Lloyd Blankfein, paid nearly 1,000 of its executives more than $1 million each after receiving bail-out funds from the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) in 2008. Goldman Sachs ranks #1 among financial firms in annual net income, earning close to $10 billion per year. Among the assets it owns seems to be the U.S. government.

They bundled toxic mortgages into complex financial instruments, got the credit ratings agencies to label them as AAA securities, and sold them to investors, magnifying and spreading risk throughout the financial system, and all too often betting against the instruments they sold and profiting at the expense of their clients. Senator Carl Levin http://jewishcurrents.org/december-9-from-peddler-to-in...

Marcus Goldman, Entrepreneur

Marcus Goldman was a German immigrant from the Bavarian town of Frth. He left Germany in 1848 for the United States.

Goldman founded his investment business in 1869, a time when loans and credits were rare and expensive. He bought debt obligation certificates from his clients and sold them to banks in New York, making him a pioneer in the commercial paper business. In 1869 Goldman opened an office located in Pine Street in New York's banking and financial districts. When his son-in-law, Samuel Sachs, joined the business, the company was renamed Goldman Sachs, which would become one of the most well-known investment banks in the United States and around the world. The business was listed at the stock exchange in 1896. One of the oldest clients are the companies Sears and Roebuck and Co.

The first international office was opened in London in 1970, followed by Tokio and Zurich in 1974. Since 1999 the companys stocks with the ticker abbreviation "GS" are traded at the New York Stock Exchange. http://germanoriginality.com/heritage/people/entreprene...




Goldman founded the firm in a one-room office on Pine Street. Goldman bought promissory notes from tobacco and diamond dealers that had been issued by their customers and then sold the notes to banks for a small profit, according to Time magazine. Son-in-law Samuel Sachs joined in 1882 and the firm became Goldman Sachs in 1885...SEE BUSINESS SLIDE SHOW AT LINK

http://images.businessweek.com/slideshows/20110706/gold...

Yes, it all started in Germany. Doesn't everything?

Goldman came from an Ashkenazi Jewish family, the son of Ella and Wolf Goldmann, a former schoolteacher and cattle dealer. He immigrated to the United States from Frankfurt am Main, Germany, in 1848 during the first great wave of Jewish immigration to America, resulting from the Revolutions of 1848 in the German states.

Upon arriving in America, he worked as a peddler with a horse-drawn cart and later as a shopkeeper in Philadelphia. There, Goldman met and married eighteen year old Bertha Goldman (no relation), who had also emigrated from Germany in 1848.

In 1869, with his wife and five children, Goldman relocated to New York City and hung out a shingle on Pine Street in lower Manhattan, with the legend Marcus Goldman & Co., setting himself up as a broker of IOUs.

From his earliest days of his business, Goldman was able to singlehandedly transact as much as $5 million worth of commercial paper a year. Successful though he was, Goldman's business was insignificant compared to that of the other Jewish-German bankers of the day. Concerns like J. & W. Seligman & Co., with working capital of $6 million in 1869, were already modern-day investment bankers immersed in underwriting and trading railroad bonds.

Goldman's youngest daughter, Louisa, married Samuel Sachs, the son of close friends and fellow Lower Franconia, Bavaria immigrants. Louisa's older sister and Sam's older brother had already married.

In 1882, Marcus Goldman invited his son-in-law Samuel to join him in the business and changed the firm's name to M. Goldman and Sachs. Business boomedby 1880 the new firm was turning over $30 million worth of paper a yearand the firm's capital was now $100,000, all of it the senior partner's.

For almost fifty years after its inception, all of Goldman Sachs's partners were members of intermarried families. In 1885, Goldman took his own son Henry and his son-in-law Ludwig Dreyfuss into the business as junior partners and the firm adopted its present name, Goldman Sachs & Co. In 1894, Henry Sachs entered the firm, and in 1896, the firm joined the New York Stock Exchange.

When Marcus Goldman retired, he left the firm in the hands of his son Henry Goldman and his son-in-law Samuel Sachs. In 1904, two of Sam Sachs's sons, Arthur and Paul, joined the firm straight out of Harvard University.

In the summer of 1904, Marcus Goldman died. From humble beginnings, the institution he left behind would soon become a full-service investment bank. With the advent of underwriting, coupled with the extensive lending, foreign exchange, and trading operations, the structure of Goldman Sachs was in place. Although much smaller and less sophisticated, it was already recognizable as the firm it would become.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Goldman
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 10:26 PM
Response to Original message
1. ANOTHER WEEKEND WITHOUT A BANK FAILURE
Things that make one go Hmmmmmmm....
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 10:36 PM
Response to Original message
2. Piketty, Saez and Stantcheva: Taxing the 1% Why the Top Tax Rate Could be Over 80%
http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/12/piketty-saez-and...

Yves here. By happy coincidence, a mere day after Jamie Dimon offered yet another misleading defense of the 1% (among other howlers, claiming that their marginal tax rates were their effective tax rates), the gurus of income inequality, Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez, say there is no good case for coddling the rich. Their analysis shows that top marginal tax rates could rise to near Eisenhower administration levels (the top tax rate then was 91%) and not hurt growth.

By Thomas Piketty, Professor, Paris School of Economic, Emmanuel Saez Professor of Economics, University of California, Berkeley and Stefanie Stantcheva, PhD candidate in Economics, MIT. Cross posted from VoxEU...

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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #2
76. Finally, Higher Taxes for the 1% Is Occupy Behind Governors' Moves to Make the Wealthy Pay Their S
Edited on Sat Dec-10-11 12:35 PM by Demeter
Finally, Higher Taxes for the 1% Is Occupy Behind Governors' Moves to Make the Wealthy Pay Their Share?

http://www.alternet.org/story/153380/finally%2C_higher_...


This week the New York State Senate and Assembly near-unanimously passed a measure that would increase the top tax rate on the state's wealthiest citizens at Gov. Andrew Cuomo's request.

It was not even two months ago that Cuomo made his infamous statement that his defense of low taxes for the rich was just like the stand his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, took against the death penalty in New York State.

The point is, we dont elect the governor isnt a big poll-taking machine. And thats what we do, we take a poll and do whatever the poll says, and you wouldnt need me so the fact that everyone wants it, that doesnt mean all that much. I respect the people their opinion matters but Im not going to go back and forth with the political winds.

Well, the wind appears to have shifted behind Cuomo but what changed?

Perhaps the momentum created by the Occupy Wall Street movement helped change Cuomo's mind. He has denied it, but Nelini Stamp, a community organizer with the Working Families Party who's been with Occupy Wall Street since the beginning, notes that Cuomo had essentially "written off" any tax increase on the 1 percent. She tells AlterNet, What they did in Albany, where they had the sign 'Welcome to Albany, home of Governor 1%,' that had an effect.

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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 10:37 PM
Response to Original message
3. More fun to come...see you tomorrow!
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some guy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 12:15 AM
Response to Original message
4. 5th rec
and the first non-Demeter post.

Goldman-Sachs? This thread may have to be burned and the ground salted come Monday. :)

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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 05:34 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Life is risky
Thanks for posting!
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girl gone mad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 12:20 AM
Response to Original message
5. Down to the wire now in Europe.
Will the leadership show courage or will we get depression and war?
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DemReadingDU Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 06:35 AM
Response to Reply #5
17. Depression and war
:(


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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 05:37 AM
Response to Original message
7. The MFGlobal Subthread
There's been an outpouring on the continuing saga.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 05:44 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. CFTC Issues A Clear Statement: MF Global Customers Have Priority In This Bankruptcy
http://jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com/2011/12/cftc-i...

Jill Sommers, the CFTC Commissioner who is leading the investigation into the MF Global bankruptcy gave some important testimony to the House today that has been overshadowed by the expected appearance of Jon Corzine...If you have been following the case, you know that JP Morgan has taken the lead in attempting to file motions to subordinate the customer accounts to their own debts. There is also a motion being heard that the Trustee has a conflict of interest with their fiduciary responsibilities as Trustee and a long standing relationship with JPM. There are also some confusing arguments being made that because some of the activity was conducted in a subsidiary in London, the UK rules apply to the customer funds. Some of them sound like they are being crafted by the Wall Street attorneys who will be defending and justifying the theft of customer funds. Be careful of some of the 'news' that you get from the corporate media...As Sommers later made clear, and as Janet Tavakoli encapsulates so well, "Jill Sommers did a great job with her testimony leaving no room for doubt that 1) the cases in which investment in foreign sovereign debt for customers own accounts are limited to the extent of their foreign exchange deposits (so a small minority of accounts) and 2) it is never allowable to transfer money out of the customer accounts to commingle with MFs investments."

.............

An obvious point to make is that if a firm is involved in a bankruptcy proceeding, something must have gone very wrong. Bankruptcy proceedings can be very complicated and at times, messy. This can be magnified when the bankruptcy is among the largest in history and there are serious questions about the location of customer funds. The Commission is no stranger to FCM bankruptcies. Lehman Brothers and Refco are the two most recent FCM bankruptcies. While the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy was monumental in scale, and the Refco bankruptcy involved serious fraud at the parent company, commodity customers did not lose their money at either firm. In both instances, commodity customer accounts were wholly intact, that is, they contained all open positions and all associated segregated collateral. That being the case, customer accounts were promptly transferred to healthy FCMs, with the commodity customers having no further involvement in the bankruptcy proceeding. Unfortunately that is not what happened at MF Global because customer accounts were not intact.

In FCM bankruptcies, commodity customers have, pursuant to Section 766(h) of the Bankruptcy Code, priority in customer property. This includes, without limitation, segregated property, property that was illegally removed from segregation and is still within the debtors estate, and property that was illegally removed from segregation and is no longer within in the debtors estate, but is clawed-back into the debtors estate by the Trustee. If the customer property as I just described is insufficient to satisfy in full all the claims of customers, Part 190 of the Commissions regulations allow other property of the debtors estate to be classified as customer property to make up any shortfall. A parent or affiliated entity, however, generally would not be a debtor unless customer funds could be traced to that entity...Within the first weeks of the MF Global bankruptcy, the Trustee for the BD/FCM had, with the encouragement and assistance of the CFTC, transferred nearly all positions of customers trading on U.S. commodity futures markets, and transferred approximately $2 billion of customer property. On November 29th, the Trustee moved to transfer an additional $2.1 billion back to customers, to be used to top up all commodity customers to at least two-thirds of their account values as reflected on the books and records of MF Global, Inc. The Bankruptcy Court will hear the motion on December 9th. If the Court grants the motion we expect the transfer may be complete in two to four weeks, given the Trustees estimate of the timeframe within which he can complete the administrative functions necessary to effectuate the transfer. These transfers demonstrate that commodity customers are indeed receiving the highest priority in claims to customer property. We understand that more must be done... While an FCM is permitted to invest customer funds, it is important to note that if an FCM does so, the value of the customer segregated account must remain intact at all times. In other words, when an FCM invests customer funds, that actual investment, or collateral equal in value to the investment, must remain in the customer segregated account at all times. If customer funds are transferred out of the segregated account to be invested by the FCM, the FCM must make a simultaneous transfer of assets into the segregated account. An FCM cannot take money out of a segregated account, invest it, and then return the money to the segregated account at some later time."


I expect that at some point the CFTC will file civil charges and will settle...What the Obama Justice Department does about any criminal charges will be a significant indication of its character. I think the character of the opposition party is abundantly clear. I believe that the US based customers will be made whole. I cannot speak for any customers who may have been served by MF's overseas subsidiaries, particularly the UK. I just do not know enough about jurisdictions and the scope of the bankruptcy in the US court. But I think I can spot disinformation, propaganda, bold injustice, and brazen theft when I see it, given enough time and effort.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 05:47 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Testimony: U.S. House of Reps, Committee on Agriculture, Washington, DC by Commissioner Jill E. Somm
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 07:47 AM
Response to Reply #9
39. Trades Are Linked to Missing MF Global Funds
http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/12/09/trades-are-linke...

The trustee liquidating MF Globals brokerage unit has spotted suspicious trades in customer accounts that appear connected to a $1.2 billion shortfall, the trustees lawyer said Friday. The lawyer, James Kobak, said at a hearing in Federal Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan that most of the transactions appeared to have taken place close to the weekend before MF Global filed for bankruptcy...The discovery of the missing money scuttled an effort by MF Global to sell itself, leading to its bankruptcy filing on Oct. 31. Investigators, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, have been combing through the firms books since then, trying to determine if money was improperly moved out of the firm...In his update, Mr. Kobak declined to elaborate on the suspicious trades or whether criminal activity was involved. He said the shortfall might exceed $1.2 billion, out of an estimated $5.8 billion in total customer funds.

A spokesman for Mr. Giddens said in a statement after the hearing, The full amount of any shortfall will not be known with certainty until the claims process is completed. Some of the unaccounted-for money may lie in MF Globals foreign subsidiaries, which are under the control of court-appointed trustees in other countries. Mr. Giddenss office estimates that MF Globals American brokerage customers are owed about $857 million held abroad, while the American brokerage unit may owe about $253 million. Mr. Giddens and the other trustees are in negotiations to return at least some of that money.

The distribution approved on Friday is the single-biggest return of MF Global customer money to date. Two earlier distributions returned about $2 billion in client funds. A spokesman for Mr. Giddens said that the bulk of the money would be distributed within days, and the remainder within two to four weeks. Its approval came despite objections from the firms creditors and from customers who have not yet received any distributions of funds. Each group argues that these interim payouts would ultimately reduce the amount of money available to them. But Judge Glenn, who in court hearings has repeatedly cited the high volume of calls from MF Global customers, said that such concerns would be dealt with in the final claims process. Mr. Giddens has set aside about $1 billion for remaining claims, though that amount could grow as additional money is recovered.

Also on Friday, Mr. Giddenss office won court approval to transfer about 330 additional MF Global securities accounts to another brokerage firm.
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DemReadingDU Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 07:54 AM
Response to Reply #8
45. That would be good news

Perhaps Dave Fleckenstein and Gerald Celente will inform us when/if they get reimbursed.

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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 05:56 AM
Response to Reply #7
10. Corzines Know-Nothing MF Global Defense
http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/12/corzines-know-no...

Jon Corzines evasive testimony before the Senate Agriculture Committee was scripted so as to lay foundations for his defense against customer and possibly shareholder suits and reduce the already very low odds of an indictment. Although Ill touch on other interesting elements shortly, the key item from his presentation was one that the New York Times Dealbook noted:

I never intended to break any rules, said Mr. Corzine, dressed in a dark suit but without his trademark sweater vest. I know I had no intention to ever authorize the transfer of segregated moneys. I know what my intentions were. Mr. Corzine has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

Still, over three hours of testimony, Mr. Corzine danced carefully around questions touching on the scandal of the missing funds, using phrases like never intended and not to my knowledge.


To prove fraud, you need to prove intent. So Corzines insistence that he didnt intend for customer accounts to be raided would seem to get him off the hook, unless documents or the testimony from multiple employees establishes otherwise. His justification amounts to blaming any misdeeds on the fog of war: Yes, I told staffers to be aggressive, but I never meant for them to bayonet old women and babies. In other words, if anything bad was done deliberately, it was all a really big miscommunication:

He did not rule out possible wrongdoing at MF Global. In theory, an employee may have misused customer cash after misinterpreting the chief executives words, he said.


Now as regular readers know, CEOs morphing suddenly from Masters of the Universe to empty 42 longs who are clueless as far as operational details are concerned was supposed to go the way of the dodo bird with Sarbanes Oxley. Sarbanes Oxley requires key corporate executives, typically at least the CEO and CFO, to certify the adequacy of internal controls. For a financial firm, that has to include risk controls, which were the big point of failure in the crisis and with MF Global. And the beauty of Sarbox is the criminal provisions track the civil, so if a prosecutor were to prevail in a civil suit and thought it had enough dirt to pass the reasonable doubt threshold, it could file the related criminal suit. Knowing violations of Sarbanes Oxley certifications are subject to up to five years in jail; willful violations, up to twenty years. To my knowledge, only one executive has faced charges under Sarbox: HealthSouths Robert Scrushy. He won that case, but as someone who followed it off and on in the Birmingham press, it is not a stretch to argue that Scrushy had a position in the Birmingham area that would make him more difficult to prosecute than most CEOs. And it it also pretty typical for it to take a while to perfect cases when using new legal arguments, so losing an early case or two is often part of the learning process. So a know nothing argument would not only be useless in defending against Sarbox charges, it might actually be damaging (How can you say you know nothing about operations yet sign that certification?). Note that for financial statements, the usual approach is to shed liability by relying on auditors. But there are no comparable players in the risk modeling/control world. The banks are typically on the bleeding edge in some areas, which often include very profitable new strategies, which works against third party validation.

There were some other oddities in the Corzine testimony. Remarkably, he insists the firm got to be less risky on his watch because its gearing fell from over 37 to one to 30 to one. Immediately after that, however, he describes the repo to maturity trades in some detail, and points out, as others have, that they were treated as off balance sheet for accounting purposes. Since these trades were clearly NOT off balance sheet from an economic standpoint, any discussion of the firms true economic risk should include the repo to maturity transactions. It would clearly lead to a higher level of leverage than Corzine presented in his testimony, and likely higher than under the predecessor regime...Finally, it appears that Corzine, thanks to the advice of the Boston Consulting Group, was in the process of trying to become the next Bear or Lehman: a subscale full service investment bank, presumably with a strength in commodities...The Bear/Lehman movies ended badly for a simple reason: if you are going to compete directly with the big boys, you need roughly 90% of their infrastructure. The business has large minimum scale requirements: back office, computers, broad product mix to serve corporate and institutional clients, presence in major geographies, you might be able to get away with not being in certain secondary locations. Yet you only have 60% to 75% of their volume. That gives you inferior economics, which in turn puts you at a disadvantage in attracting and retaining the dreaded talent. Sadly, many producers do have leverage, in the sense that they can take their franchise to another full service firm. If the heads of business units leave and take their top two subordinates with them, the hole is very difficult to plug short term and will have a detrimental impact on related operations...So what do firms in those positions do? They take on outside risks in the hopes of producing higher returns than the industry leaders, so as to make them more attractive to industry professionals and to help them over time reduce the scale gap with the leaders. But the network effects (primarily, information advantages) of being a top player are so large that even superior risk taking acumen (or just dumb luck) are almost certain to be insufficient to overcome the advantages of the very top firms.

So in other words, MF Global blowing up by taking too much risk was not an accident...

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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 06:05 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. On Corzine - MFG in the fog of war BRUCE KRASTING
BruceKrasting+%28Bruce+Krasting%29" target="_blank">http://brucekrasting.blogspot.com/2011/12/on-corzine-an...

I watched Jon boy. I didnt hear any smoking guns. That doesnt mean there weren't any. Keep in mind that Corzine has the best lawyer (for this) that money can buy. Andrew Levander has been advising the former CEO of MFG on every word he says. I was surprised that there was no 5th Amendment stuff. Im sure that Levander was pushing for that. But Corzine really didn't have much of an option. If the former Senator/ Governor pled the fifth he would have been convicted in the publics eye. So Jon talked, but he said nothing. You can be absolutely certain that Corzine spent many hours with his lawyers fielding question that might have been asked by the congressional committee. When Corzine seemed to stutter, pause, look up at the ceiling groping for the right words to use, it was just a very well orchestrated and practiced acting job.

Jon made one response that I thought was significant. He said several times: "I never intended to break any rules. This could mean anything, but consider that this canned response was formulated word for word by Levander. I think what Corzine was saying was that he may have authorized some actions in the later stages of MFGs existence that ultimately led to the expropriation and loss of customer funds. He is trying to establish that whatever he may have said (or signed), he did not understand the consequences. Whether this is true or not, I don't know. We might find out at some point that some clown in the treasury department at MFG asked JC a question in the middle of the panic:

We could re-hypothecate the seg accounts and plug the gap tonight! Should we do that?

And Jon could have looked up and said:

Do what you can!


The problem with the I never intended defense is that it doesnt work for a CEO who should have know better.



**************************************

I recently had a conversation with an individual (we'll call him Bob) who had three MFG accounts. He, like many other customers, smelled a rat with MFG as the stock price plunged and the FINRA issues with the Euro bond positions became known...Bob voted with his feet. He closed off all open positions. He got back to cash. Then he requested a wire transfer for the balance(s). He left a small operating balance in the accounts in order to keep them open. This fellow was small potatoes. Two of the accounts were under $20k. The other was $215k. Wire transfers to a bank were requested.
According to Bob, the wires went out on Wednesday, October 26 (four days before BK). All three wire transfers were received on Thursday October 27. But on Friday, October 28, the bank that had received the funds reversed the wire transfer for the larger amount. The transfers for the two smaller amounts were not reversed. This is highly unusual. It is extremely difficult to reverse a wire transfer. Wire transfers are considered to be Immediately Available Funds or Good Funds. Absent a court order, the only way to reverse a wire transfer is when the remitting bank provides a letter of indemnity ("LOI") to the receiving bank. Ive written these letters. They would look something like this:


To: ABC Bank
From: XYZ Bank
Reference: Wire Transfer #123456 date 10/26/2011 for $215,000 for further credit to "Customer Name", Account #AB3355


We hereby request that you immediately debt the account of (Customer Name) for the full amount of the transfer and return the funds to us.


If you comply with this request we hereby agree to hold you free and harmless of any consequences that may arise as a result of this request.


XYZ Bank



Basically XYZ has to give ABC a blanket guarantee that they will not get hurt by the request.

Heres the rub. Im told that in the matter at hand, the "XYZ" bank operating on behalf of MFG was JPM. If Im right that a LOI was required to claw back a wire transfer, then - assuming my information is correct, and I think it is - it had to have been JPM that wrote the indemnity letter. (No one would have acted on a LOI from MFG on 10/28)...I'm speculating quite a bit. But its still worth considering. At this point, anything is worth considering. We are six weeks past the BK. As Corzine and all the others said today, they have no clue where the missing money is. There has been any army of forensic accountants (FBI & KPMG) toiling night and day. No one has found the money. That's crazy to me.


A possible daisy chain:

(1) MFG orders XYZ Bank to make a money transfer.

(2) XYZ makes the transfer.

(3) After the transfer has been made (or during the same day) XYZ issues a letter of indemnity (LOI) and obtains a refund of the transfer.

(4) The initial wire transfer is accounted for (correctly) at MFG as a reduction of the customer account liabilities (Segregated account).

(5) When the money comes back into XYZ (pursuant to the LOI) it is not credited back to the Seg./customer account. (The fog of war factor? Deliberate?)

(6) After the money has been returned to XYZ bank, it appears to be "unrestricted funds" of MFG. It gets commingled. Someone grabs the money to offset a claim. The Chinese Wall between the Seg. account and MFG corporate account has been broached. Once the money is commingled, it is impossible to figure out who owes what to whom.


Note: I'm aware that in the final days, MFG issued checks to customers that bounced. This is similar to the wire transfer issue I describe. But it is also a different kettle of legal fish. There are many reasons for a check to bounce. Checks, unlike wire transfers are not "good funds". To claw-back a wire transfer requires significant human intervention. Banks do not write LOIs without carefully considering the consequences. There's always a signature on an LOI......
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 07:13 AM
Response to Reply #11
26. Incarcerate Corzine By Eric Fry
http://dailyreckoning.com/incarcerate-corzine /

CEOs that misplace $1.2 billion of client funds are criminals.

Does Corzine deserve his day in court? Absolutely. Lets give him several days in courtafter which lets give him several years in jail. Perhaps there is a legitimate defense for Corzines overtly indefensible act. But we pity the poor defense attorney who has to come up with that one. In the heavily regulated, frequently audited and continuously marked-to-market world of broker-dealer operations, $1.2 billion does not simply go missingand if it does, the CEO absolutely, positively knows about it, if he did not directly authorize it himself. Were it not so, dear reader, Mr. Corzine would not have appeared before Congress yesterday with the lamest of all possible defenses. He would not have delivered a series of oh my gosh, gee whiz, golly gee, I wish I knew what happened, and shucks, I feel awful remarks...I certainly would never intend to direct or have segregated funds moved, said the ber-sophisticated former CEO of Goldman Sachs. I simply do not know where the money is.

Hard to believe? Not at all. It is impossible to believe.

Goldman Sachs built an empire on one simple principal: Know where the money is. A lifelong money man does not take the helm of a money business without knowing exactly where the money is and what that money is doing. That defense is preposterous, ridiculous, absurd, unbelievable and utterly falseas Corzines days in court will unquestionably prove...To provide a bit of context, the remarks of Jon Corzine, the newly installed CEO of MF Global seem far more illuminating and credible than the remarks of Jon Corzine, the recently dismissed CEO of MF Global...In May 2010, on his first conference call as CEO with analysts, Mr. Corzine made clear he wanted to take big risks, The Wall Street Journal reports. As he seeks to realign the brokerage, Corzine said MF Global will begin taking principal risk across most of its product lines, reported Dow Jones. In other words, MF would increasingly bet its own capital, instead of simply servicing clients. MF Global created a new proprietary trading deskand Mr. Corzine began making the bets on European sovereign debt that would total $6.3 billion and eventually wreck the business. MF Globals new trading frenzy might have attracted even more attention, the Journal continues, if Mr. Corzine had hidden his biggest bets. His purchases of European government bonds added up to several times MF Globals net worth. But by using a repo-to-maturity technique, he was able to consider them sold for counting purposes and therefore they disappeared from MF Globals balance sheet.

Seems a bit Enron-esque, doesnt it. Enron was, of course, the massive fraud perpetrated a decade ago that prompted the anti-corruption Sarbanes-Oxley financial regulation bill, which then-Senator Corzine voted for. Its really rather simple, writes Karl Denniger in The Market Ticker, No more off-balance sheet anything anywhere. There is only one purpose for such instruments and games hiding the amount of risk you have on and exactly where and how you are exposed. There is no other reason for these vehicles; if you are willing to take the risk you should have to do so in the open on your balance sheet where it can be seen. Next, Denninger continues, enforce Sarbanes-Oxley. Start with indictments. Sarbanes-Oxley, which Senator Corzine voted for, makes the CEO and CFO responsible for knowing not merely responsible for attesting to what they happen to know and it also makes them personally responsible for the sufficiency of internal controls. I didnt know was a common defense after the Tech Wreck began and it got many executives off Sarbanes-Oxley was passed to specifically deny executives this defense...Last, says Denninger, make it a criminal felony to operate a financial firm holding customer funds of any sort for any period of time even one day while underwater. That would do it We must put a stop to this crap.

Agreed. Let Corzine be the first high-profile test case under the legislation he himself endorsed. I think the term is poetic justice.... Whether the man be innocent or guilty, let the due process beginimmediately. Let the due process begin the identical due process that never managed to gain any traction during the serial financial rape of 2008, otherwise known as the Credit Crisis of 2008. In the midst of that crime scene featuring one infamous Treasury Secretary and a cabal of infamous finance company CEOs due process went into hibernation. Many were the victims of the institutionalized fraud and cover-up that produced the 2008 crisis. Zero were the indictments of suspected perpetrators. Maybe there were no criminals in that circumstance. Maybe the whole thing was just a great, big tragic accident. But why deny the criminal justice system in the United States the opportunity to air the facts of various suspected frauds, weigh the evidence and render a judgment, innocent or guilty? Due process does not merely exist to punish the guilty; it also exists to protect the innocent, like the folks who cant find their money inside their MF Global accounts. One could argue that if due process had been allowed to operate during the aftermath of the 2008 crisis, the MF Global tragedy might never have occurred....And by the way, the Statute of Limitations has not run out yet on the probable crimes of the 2008 Crisis. So after incarcerating Corzine, how about we prosecute Paulson?

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MannyGoldstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 07:26 AM
Response to Reply #7
32. Suppose MFG had been a Chinese firm that disappeared client money?
I wonder what would have happened to Mr. Corzine?
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DemReadingDU Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 07:56 AM
Response to Reply #32
46. Don't the Chinese commit suicide? n/t
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 08:31 AM
Response to Reply #46
58. With assistance from the authorities
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Tansy_Gold Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 08:33 AM
Response to Reply #46
60. That's the Japanese
I don't think the Chinese are given the option.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 06:08 AM
Response to Original message
12. Americans Got Much Poorer Last Quarter By CATHERINE RAMPELL
http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/08/americans-...

Americans got much poorer last quarter, as their collective household net worth suffered the biggest decline in three years.

The total net worth of American households and nonprofit groups fell by $2.4 trillion in the third quarter of this year, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve. That was a decline of 4.1 percent compared with the second quarter.



Wealth declined primarily because the financial markets did poorly. Americans saw big drops in the value of their assets like corporate equities (stocks), corporate and foreign bonds, mutual fund shares and pension fund reserves. Household real estate assets also suffered, falling in value by $98.3 billion (0.6 percent) from the previous quarter, in nonseasonally-adjusted terms.

Partially offsetting the decline in assets was a smaller decline in household liabilities as families continued to cut back on debt, with the decline in mortgage debt more than offsetting the increase in consumer credit.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 06:13 AM
Response to Original message
13. All the G.O.P.s Gekkos By PAUL KRUGMAN
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/09/opinion/krugman-all-t...

Almost a quarter of a century has passed since the release of the movie Wall Street, and the film seems more relevant than ever. The self-righteous screeds of financial tycoons denouncing President Obama all read like variations on Gordon Gekkos famous greed is good speech, while the complaints of Occupy Wall Street sound just like what Gekko says in private: I create nothing. I own, he declares at one point; at another, he asks his protg, Now youre not nave enough to think were living in a democracy, are you, buddy? Yet, with the benefit of hindsight, we can see that the movie went a little off at the end. It closes with Gekko getting his comeuppance, and justice served thanks to the diligence of the Securities and Exchange Commission. In reality, the financial industry just kept getting more and more powerful, and the regulators were neutered.

And, according to the prediction market Intrade, theres a 45 percent chance that a real-life Gordon Gekko will be the next Republican presidential nominee...I am not, of course, the first person to notice the similarity between Mitt Romneys business career and the fictional exploits of Oliver Stones antihero. In fact, the labor-backed group Americans United for Change is using Romney-Gekko as the basis for an ad campaign. But theres an issue here that runs deeper than potshots against Mr. Romney. For the current orthodoxy among Republicans is that we mustnt even criticize the wealthy, let alone demand that they pay higher taxes, because theyre job creators. Yet the fact is that quite a few of todays wealthy got that way by destroying jobs rather than creating them. And Mr. Romneys business history offers a very good illustration of that fact.

The Los Angeles Times recently surveyed the record of Bain Capital, the private equity firm that Mr. Romney ran from 1984 to 1999. As the report notes, Mr. Romney made a lot of money over those years, both for himself and for his investors. But he did so in ways that often hurt ordinary workers...Bain specialized in leveraged buyouts, buying control of companies with borrowed money, pledged against those companies earnings or assets. The idea was to increase the acquired companies profits, then resell them. But how were profits to be increased? The popular image shaped in part by Oliver Stone is that buyouts were followed by ruthless cost-cutting, largely at the expense of workers who either lost their jobs or found their wages and benefits cut. And while reality is more complex than this image some companies have expanded and added workers after a leveraged buyout it contains more than a grain of truth. One recent analysis of private equity transactions the kind of buyouts and takeovers Bain specialized in noted that business in general is always both creating and destroying jobs, and that this is also true of companies that were buyout or takeover targets. However, job creation at the target firms is no greater than in similar firms that arent targets, while gross job destruction is substantially higher. So Mr. Romney made his fortune in a business that is, on balance, about job destruction rather than job creation. And because job destruction hurts workers even as it increases profits and the incomes of top executives, leveraged buyout firms have contributed to the combination of stagnant wages and soaring incomes at the top that has characterized America since 1980.

Now Ive just said that the leveraged buyout industry as a whole has been a job destroyer, but what about Bain in particular? Well, by at least one criterion, Bain during the Romney years seems to have been especially hard on workers, since four of its top 10 targets by dollar value ended up going bankrupt. (Bain, nonetheless, made money on three of those deals.) Thats a much higher rate of failure than is typical even of companies going through leveraged buyouts and when the companies went under, many workers ended up losing their jobs, their pensions, or both.

READ ON TO KRUGMAN'S DISTURBING WHITE FLAG TO CAPITALISM...

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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 06:16 AM
Response to Original message
14. Santorum: We Dont Need Food Stamps Because Obesity Rates Are So High
http://thinkprogress.org/health/2011/12/07/383788/santo... /

Speaking in Le Mars, Iowa on Monday, Rick Santorum promised to significantly reduce federal funding for food stamps, arguing that the nations increasing obesity rates render the program unnecessary:

Santorum told the group he would cut the food stamp program, describing it as one of the fastest growing programs in Washington, D.C.

Forty-eight million people are on food stamps in a country with 300-million people, said Santorum.

If hunger is a problem in America, then why do we have an obesity problem among the people who we say have a hunger program? Santorum asked.


The cost of the food stamp program the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has jumped because more Americans are out of work and wages are down, not because of obesity rates. Recent data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that nearly 70 percent households that relied on food stamps last year had no earned income, although many households did benefit from Social Security benefits and other government programs. But a whopping 20 percent of households had no cash income at all last year.

Food prices have also gone up, adding additional costs. In fact, the food stamp program has been critical for reducing poverty and pumping money into local economies during the down economy, so cutting it now would not only take food out of peoples mouths (regardless of whether they are obese or not) and could slow down the recovery.

POLITICIANS LIKE SANTORUM (HE MUST SPELL IT "SANCTORUM") ARE EITHER IDIOTS, CRIMINALS, OR BOTH.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 06:18 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. oops
Edited on Sat Dec-10-11 06:19 AM by Demeter
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DemReadingDU Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 06:39 AM
Response to Reply #15
18. LOL, I read the subject as obesity in rats

I need to slow down in reading
:)

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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 08:08 AM
Response to Reply #14
49. Land of the Free, Home of the Hungry
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011...

On Monday afternoon this week, Rachelle Grimmer went into a Department of Health and Human Services in Texas with her two children, Timothy, aged 10, and Ramie, aged 12, and asked for a new case worker who could assist her application for food stamps. She had first applied in July but had been told she hadn't provided enough information and, by most accounts, had been struggling to get by and get help since she moved from Ohio...She was taken to a small room, where she pulled a gun, sparking a seven-hour standoff with police. Shortly before midnight, three shots were heard. Rachelle had shot both herself and her kids. Police rushed in to find the mother dead and Ramie and Timothy in critical condition. Earlier that morning, Ramie had posted a Facebook message, saying: "may die 2day". She actually hung on until Wednesday. Timothy's condition remains critical.

The tragic unravelling of this particular episode is hardly typical. But the desperation that underpins it is. For, in this period between Thanksgiving and Christmas (when many Americans are worrying about what overindulging will do to their waistline), a significant number is wracked with an entirely different concern: not having enough to eat. This is no marginal group, no handful of unfortunates and ne'er-do-wells in a time of crisis. Indeed, in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, food insecurity is a common, growing and enduring problem. According to Gallup polling, one in five Americans reported not having enough money to buy food in the past 12 months the highest level since the month Barack Obama was elected. Around the country, food banks are feeling the pinch of market forces: as poverty climbs, demand is rising and supply is falling as people who would have donated have less left to spare. An analysis by the New York Times revealed a 17% increase in the number of school students receiving free and reduced lunches across the country between 2006/07 and now. In Rockdale County, east of Atlanta, 63% of students now have subsidised food up from 46% four years ago...Between 2008 and 2011, the number of those living on food stamps, assistance to those who lack sufficient money to feed themselves and their families, soared by 50%, putting one American in seven in the programme. Catholic Charities recently revealed that requests for the working poor were up 80% over the second quarter, and up 59% for the middle class...Similarly, Operation Homefront, a national organisation that feeds the families of military personnel, has seen demand for help double over the last two years. The Washington Post reported that in Fort Hood, Texas, military families stayed up after midnight to register for a free turkey online for Thanksgiving. The 450 birds were gone within an hour. Even as soldiers fight for empire abroad, their families struggle for food at home.

You would think this would be a national disgrace. The land of the free and the home of the hungry. The sheer scale and intensity of the problem refutes any suggestions of the undeserving poor. But want has become a term of political abuse, with Newt Gingrich launching his campaign earlier this year by branding Obama "the food stamp president" and continues to berate him as such. Indeed, behind the partisan posturing over deficit reduction, it is rarely noted that rather than impose taxes on millionaires, Republicans are eager to balance the budget on the stomachs of the hungry. As editor of the Left Business Observer, Doug Henwood, points out in a recent blog posting, these benefits are not particularly generous. "The average food stamp recipient gets $134 a month in assistance, which works out to $4.40 a day. That's 10% less than the US Department of Agriculture's "thrifty" meal budget, and about half its "moderate" budget. For your average well-fed American, living on a daily ration of less than $5 for food prepared at home would be hard to imagine. But without SNAP benefits, 46 million people would be in a state of anguish rather than just scraping by." Yet, this is one area the Republicans are keen to target for cuts. They want to reduce spending on food stamps by around 20%, and in June, voted to slash a different health and nutrition scheme (WIC) for poor pregnant women and children by 10%, which would have denied assistance to around a quarter of a million people.


...there is only so long you can pretend that such a large group of people doesn't exist, and as the poverty rates grow, more and more people who are likely to vote become ensnared in it. Gallup's Basic Access Index, which tracks access to basic needs like food, shelter and healthcare or medicines, is at the lowest it's been since its inception in January 2008. A new measurement of poverty by the Census Bureau, which takes regional cost of living, medical payments and other expenses that do not intrude on the official poverty count, found a third of Americans are either in poverty or desperately close to it. "These numbers are higher than we anticipated," Trudi Renwick, the bureau's head poverty statistician, told the New York Times recently. "There are more people struggling than the official numbers show." Poverty may be relative but hunger is absolute. The third world is alive and struggling in the heart of the first. No one can deny it exists. And those who claim they can't see it, either refuse to see it for what it is or simply do not want to look.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 06:19 AM
Response to Original message
16. The EU, ECB, Eurozone Roundup
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 06:48 AM
Response to Reply #16
20. The only real solution to the European debt crisis is credit writedowns
http://www.creditwritedowns.com/2011/12/european-debt-c...

Very unfortunate timing of todays ECB meeting as Mario Draghi poured cold water on providing a backstop for the distressed Eurozone countries. Its kind of like holding a press conference before playing a hand in a high stakes poker game. At stake? The future of the global economy and President Obamas re-election.

Christopher Wood, over at CLSA, had some great nuggets in his latest Greed and Fear piece:

The reason why the character of Draghi has become all important is that it is clear that the compromise agreed by Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel in Paris earlier this week does not establish the groundwork for a credible fiscal union. For this reason a conservative ECB boss would not view it as a reason to pursue debt monetisation. But if the ECB boss is a politician, looking for an excuse to monetise, then the central banks reaction to the new agreement will be different.

The other major development this week again involves a concession from Frau Merkel. She has reportedly agreed that private sector bondholders, most notably Eurozone banks, will in future not be compelled to take losses on their sovereign lending in the Eurozone, as they have been in the case of Greece. This marks in GREED & fears view a massive retreat from the German leaders previous stance driven by moral hazard concerns, and also by demands from the left wing of German politics that banks should take losses. Again, concern about financial sector systemic risk appears to have driven this Merkel backdown. But it is, of course, much easier asserting the principle that there will be no sovereign defaults than deciding who is ultimately responsible for all the sovereign borrowings. And here the likes of Mr Sarkozy, and his friends in the periphery, will be looking to Mr Draghis printing press to relieve them of the burden. Does Frau Merkel really agree to that? GREED & fear doubts it

The bottom line from the above is that risk assets will rally further out of this weeks summit if Draghi proves to be a politician. If not, and debt monetisation is not forthcoming for now, then the best hope to trigger a further rally is the likely announcement sooner rather than later of a G20 central bank financed lending facility at the IMF of several hundred billion dollars to supplement the existing euro bailout fund, with Italy the most likely initial recipient. This news was leaked in a report in todays Nikkei and also complements what GREED & fear has been hearing on the grapevine in recent days (see Nikkei article G-20 mulls IMF lending program for Europe, 8 December 2011).


Like many, we at the Global Macro Monitor believe the only solution to the European debt crisis is to write down bad debts, but were also realistic that it will take time because of the weak and highly levered balance sheets of many of the European banks holding the sovereign debt. Bridge solutions will have to do for now as banks bolster their capital. Germany seems to understand this as the sovereign debt crisis has created systemic problems in their own banking system.

After todays ugly reaction, the Eurocrats now know what the markets want. Will they deliver the fig leaf to give the ECB cover to provide the backstop? We still believe so.

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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 06:53 AM
Response to Reply #20
21. Market rout as ECB dashes bond hopes
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/8944...

The European Central Bank has dashed hopes for a blitz of bond purchases to stem the debt crisis in southern Europe, setting off a sharp fall on European stock markets and a flight from risk across the world...Mario Draghi, the ECBs president, said the bank had not agreed to any sort of Grand Bargain with EU leaders to act as lender of last resort for sovereign states, insisting that it does not have a legal mandate to rescue sovereign states in trouble. We have a treaty and Article 123 prohibits financing of governments. It embodies the best tradition of the Bundesbank. We shouldnt try to circumvent the spirit of the treaty, he added, warning against the use of legal tricks to bend the banks mandate....The comments caused consternation on trading floors, where expectations for a shock and awe action by the ECB have been running ahead of reality. Mr Draghi had earlier hinted that the ECB might be willing to do more if politicians deliver on a fiscal compact to anchor budgetary discipline at todays summit in Brussels.

........................................

He (DRAGHI) flatly contradicted leaked claims by EU officials that the ECB may use the International Monetary Fund as a conduit for disguised sovereign rescues. Let us not forget that the ECB is not a member of the IMF. One cannot channel money in a way to circumvent the treaty provisions. If the IMF were to use this money to buy exclusively European bonds, we think is not compatible with the treaty, he said.

Christine Lagarde, the head of the IMF, said Fund will participate in efforts to contain Europes debt crisis but there is still a lot of work to be done. The IMFs Asian and Latin American board members are certain to impose tough conditions on any global rescue for Europes rich, while US lawmakers on Capitol Hill are in near revolt over the issue.

The ECB slashed its growth forecasts for 2012 by a full percentage point to 0.3pc, implying a deep recession for Italy, Spain and the struggling periphery.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 07:27 AM
Response to Reply #21
33. Engineering the Eurozone Collapse - F. William Engdahl on GRTV
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 07:30 AM
Response to Reply #16
34. EU Leaders Drop Demands for Investor Write-Offs
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-09/eu-leaders-dro...

European Union leaders dropped their demand that investors share the cost of bailouts as Germany abandoned a campaign that helped deepen the two-year-old financial crisis. Limiting so-called private-sector involvement to the terms accepted in International Monetary Fund bailouts was part of a package agreed upon in Brussels early today as leaders met to forge tighter economic bonds to stem the crisis.

As regards private-sector involvement, we have made a major change in our doctrine: from now on we will strictly adhere to the IMF principles and doctrines, EU President Herman Van Rompuy told reporters at a briefing. Or, to put it more bluntly, our first approach to PSI, which had a very negative effect on debt markets is now officially over.

That marks a defeat for German Chancellor Angela Merkel who wanted to expose bondholders to losses in debt restructurings as her electorate resented writing the biggest bailout checks. Her push, which began last year, drew criticism from a European Central Bank concerned it would fan contagion and was blamed for some investors for driving up bond yields and forcing Ireland and Portugal to seek aid packages. They underestimated the contagion effect, said Michael Leister, a fixed-income strategist at WestLB AG in London. European disagreement over Merkels call also threatened to derail efforts to speed the setup of a permanent bailout fund, three people involved in the negotiations said last month. France, Spain, Portugal and Ireland were among those lobbying against Germany and the Netherlands. With Merkel backing down, leaders agreed this morning to now accelerate the start of their 500 billion-euro fund ($666 billion) to next year.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 07:36 AM
Response to Reply #34
35. Latest Plan for Europe Fails to Wow Investors
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/10/business/global/daily...

Financial markets on Friday welcomed Europes grand new plan to bring budgetary discipline to its members but investors were skeptical that it offered any long-term fix...The new rules impose fiscal discipline in an effort to stop another crisis, but do little to ease the current one, which could reignite when Italy must return to borrowing in bond markets in February or when Greece will need billions more euros from other countries in March to keep its economy afloat.

While stock markets ended up on the day, bond markets were more aloof, with interest rates for Italy and Spain still hovering uncomfortably around 6 percent. An uneasy feeling has spread among investors that this latest of a series of agreements by the Europeans was merely a piecemeal deal to help Europe limp through to the end of the year.

European leaders hailed it as a step toward greater fiscal union. But economists said it did not address the lack of economic growth subduing much of the Continent, or the imbalances between strong nations like Germany and weaker ones like Italy and Spain. They said it also failed to provide flexible mechanisms to redistribute wealth among the 17 European Union countries that use the euro. Instead, it focused perilously on tightening government spending at a time when many European countries are heading relentlessly toward recession, they said.

While welcoming an additional $200 billion that euro zone countries would add to their bailout fund, investors questioned where the money would come from and whether it would be enough to charm markets and keep financial contagion at bay...Coordinated efforts by central banks, including the Federal Reserve, have helped ease the funding crisis in Europes squeezed banking system. And Thursdays move by the European Central Bank to make longer-term loans to banks was also welcomed. But the costs of borrowing remain at painful levels and some European banks are still struggling to borrow dollars, analysts said. They have clearly bought time with the market reaction this morning, said Quincy Krosby, a market strategist for Prudential Financial. The question is, as always, how much time. On Wall Street, stock reversed Thursdays declines of more than 2 percent and finished the week in positive territory. The Standard & Poors 500-stock index rose 1.7 percent to 1,255.19 on Friday and was up nearly 1 percent for the week. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 1.5 percent, or 186.55 points, to close at 12,184.26. The Nasdaq rose 50.47, or 1.9 percent, and closed at 2,646.85. Crude oil prices rose 1.07, closing at $99.41 a barrel...

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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 07:42 AM
Response to Reply #35
37. Eurocrisis Solutions For Whom?
YVES SMITH NOTES:

This Real News Network segment was recorded before the supposed this time were really gonna fix it Eurozone deal was announced today. Nevertheless, it is a useful discussion of the political dynamics that drove the pact.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyw8cNCaykM&feature=play...
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 07:57 AM
Response to Reply #16
47. European CEOs Move Cash to Germany In Case of Euro Breakup
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-09/wary-european-...

Grupo Gowex (GOW), a Spanish provider of Wi-Fi wireless services, is moving funds to Germany because it expects Spain to exit the euro. German machinery maker GEA Group AG is setting maximum amounts held at any one bank.

I dont trust Spain will remain in the euro zone, said Jenaro Garcia, founder and chief executive officer of Madrid- based Grupo Gowex, which provides Wi-Fi access in 15 countries. We moved our cash and deposits to Germany because Spain will come back to the peseta.

European companies spent billions preparing for the euro when it was introduced in 2000 by 11 countries. Contingency planning for an unraveling of the currency involves cutting investment, moving money to Germany, transferring headquarters to northern Europe from southern, and even going out of business, according to interviews with more than 20 executives.

The Bundesbank, Germanys central bank, registered capital inflows of 11.3 billion euros ($15 billion) from non-banks in September, according to the breakdown of its current account published Nov. 9. That helped transform a deficit of 47.3 billion euros in Germanys balance of other capital flows in August to a surplus of 700 million euros in September...
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 08:48 AM
Response to Reply #16
64. The Euro: That Procrustean Bed... By Adrian Salbuchi
http://rt.com/news/euro-doomed-global-currency-413 /

Efforts by European leaders to shoe-horn a range of diverse countries into a rigid financial cage are doomed to fail. But thats all part of a long-term plan for a global super-currency which can only bring more hardship to ordinary working people...In Greek mythology, Procrustes was the son of Poseidon, God of the deep blue seas. He built an iron bed of a size that suited him, and then forced everybody who passed by his abode to lie on it. If the passerby was shorter than his bed, then Procrustes would stretch him, breaking bones, tendons and sinews until the victim fitted; if he was taller, then Procrustes would chop off feet and limbs until the victim was the right sizeThis ancient story of one size fits all seems to have made its 21st Century comeback when Europeans were coaxed into imposing upon themselves an oxymoron; a blatant and conceptual contradiction they call the euro. This common supranational currency invented by the French and Germans, boycotted by the UK, ignored by the Swiss, managed by the Germans and accepted by the rest of Europe in blissful ignorance, has finally dropped its mask to reveal its ugly face: an impossible mechanism that only serves the elite bankers but not the working people. It masked gross contradictions as large, far-reaching and varied as the relative sizes, strengths, profiles, styles, histories, econometrics, labor policies, pension plans, industries, and human and natural resources of the 17 eurozone nations, ranging from Germany and France at one end of the scale, to Greece, Portugal and Ireland at the other.

...the euro carries an expiry date; perhaps the eurocrats who were its midwives a decade ago expected that it would live a little longer, maybe even come of age But they certainly knew that, sooner or later, the euro would die; that it was meant to die. Because the euro is not an end in itself, but rather a transition, a bridge, an experiment in supranational currency earmarked for replacement by a far more ambitious and powerful global currency issued by a global central bank, controlled by a cabal of global private bankers, obeying a New World Order blueprint emanating from a private Global Power Elite.

In fact, todays euro-troubles are nothing more than one of many variations of sovereignty-troubles. Because when a countrys leaders irresponsibly cede a part or all of its sovereignty whether monetary, political, financial, economic, judicial or military it had better take a really good look at what it is doing and what the implications are for the medium and long term...Ceding national sovereignty means that somebody else, somewhere else, will be taking decisions based on other peoples interests. Now, as long as everyones interests coincide, then we are OK. But as soon as the different parties interests diverge, then you are confronted with a power struggle. And power struggles have one simple thing in common: the more powerful win; the weaker lose.

Now, we have a huge power struggle inside the eurozone. Who do you think will win? Who will impose new policies Germany or Greece? France or Portugal? Britain or Spain? Germany or Italy? And that is just on the public scene. You also need to look at the more subtle, less media-highlighted private scene, which is where the real global power decisions are made. Will the new Italian PM, Mario Monti, cater for the needs of the Italian people or for the mega-bankers lodge sitting on the powerful Trilateral Commission of which he himself is European chairman? The same question goes for Greek president Lucas Papademos, also a Trilateral member. The same question goes for all the governments of the EU member states where the real power brokers are the major bankers, industrialists and media moguls sitting on the Trilateral, Bilderberg, World Economic Forum and Chatham House think-tanks and private lobbies. Global elites will do everything to keep the euro on its transitional path towards a global currency that will eventually replace both the euro and the US dollar. This entails engineering the controlled collapse of both currencies, whilst preparing the yellow brick road for a Global Dollar or some such new oxymoron...MORE

*******************************

Adrian Salbuchi is a political analyst, author, speaker and radio/TV commentator in Argentina. www.asalbuchi.com.ar

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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 06:46 AM
Response to Original message
19. morning to one and all
:donut: i was reminded yesterday -- chanukah starts the 21.
i love it when it's just a little before or right in with christmas -- it's like it's all a little more holiday-ish that way.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 06:56 AM
Response to Original message
22. Wally Philosophy
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 07:52 AM
Response to Reply #22
95. VS CORPORATE PHILOSOPHY
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bread_and_roses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 07:02 AM
Response to Original message
23. Got my R in - I am totally out of the loop otherwise - meanwhile, here in NY...
Have been so busy all week that I didn't even get to scan SMW since maybe Mon or Tue - have no idea what's been going on - don't know what in particular some guy's post might mean ( hi, some guy, nice to see a new face :hi: ) - same with girl gone mad ( :hi: ggm, nice to see you too). I trust that things will become more clear. After all, as far as I know nothing fundamental has changed, we are still on the same damned course, and the side-show barkers are busy as ever trying to distract everyone from the grim realities.

Here in NY Gov 1% scattered a few crumbs from the Lords' and Ladies' feast on the howling masses, and our cowed Labor and Community leaders are evidently going to shut up and tow the line in fear that he'll bring out the cudgels and whips if they don't knuckle their forelocks and shower hosannas of praise on him like good little serfs. They'll never learn, it seems.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 07:19 AM
Response to Reply #23
28. Hope you get a break
(PS: it's "toe the line")...

"Toe the line" is an idiomatic expression meaning to conform to a rule or a standard.

The expression has disputed origins. It is commonly thought that its origins lie in the British House of Commons where sword-strapped members were instructed to stand behind lines that were two sword-lengths apart from their political rivals in order to restore decorum. However, there is no record of a time when Members of Parliament were allowed to bring swords into the Chamber. Historically, only the Serjeant at Arms carries a sword as a symbol of his role in Parliament. There are loops of pink ribbon in the Members' cloakroom for MPs to hang up their swords before entering the Chamber to this very day as a result of this rule. In fact, there were not any lines in the Chamber in the days that gentlemen carried swords.

The most likely origins of the term go back to the usage of the wooden ships in the Royal Navy. Barefooted seamen had to stand at attention for inspection and had to line up on deck along the seams of the wooden planks, hence to "toe the line" Over the years the term has been attributed to sports, including toeing the starting line in track events and toeing a center line in boxing which boxers were instructed to line up on either side of to start a match.

In modern usage, it appears often in the context of partisan or factional politics, as in, "He's toeing the party line."

The term is still used literally by active and reserve components of the U.S. Army. Soldiers in a training status (e.g., Basic Training; Advanced Individual Training; Warrant Officer Candidate School; Officer Candidate School) may have two solid lines, each approximately three inches wide and placed five feet apart, either taped or painted, running down the center of the entire length of their barracks' floor. Instructors enter the barracks without warning and shout, "Toe the line!" At this command, soldiers immediately cease activities and rush to the closest line. Standing abreast of each other, each soldier looks down to ensure that his/her toes are on the line. Once a soldier achieves this, he/she then assumes the position of attention. The two lines create a five-foot-wide walkway down the center of the barracks. The instructor uses this walkway to pace up and down while addressing or inspecting the trainees. Toeing the line is used only in high-stress training environments.

The expression is also often equated to the one "toe the mark."
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bread_and_roses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 07:26 AM
Response to Reply #28
31. TY on tow/toe
I love idiom and history of word origins - and not to boast but rarely make that sort of error. However, this one I didn't know. Thanks :)
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some guy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 12:16 AM
Response to Reply #23
86. hi
:hi:

my first post was based on fuzzy thoughts.

I think of the WEE theme as the star of the thread, so GS is this week's star.
Burning and salting is done to fields when you don't want crops to grow there again.

So it's kind of "let's not let the evil GS infest here again" burning and salting thought.


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Tansy_Gold Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 07:02 AM
Response to Original message
24. A delightful distraction
Edited on Sat Dec-10-11 07:03 AM by Tansy_Gold
Thanks to are_grits_groceries over in GD



http://thisiscentralstation.co.uk/featured/mysterious-p...
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DemReadingDU Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 07:04 AM
Response to Reply #24
25. Those are so cool!

Thanks for the link!

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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 07:24 AM
Response to Reply #24
30. Somebody's got way too much free time
and under-appreciated talent. Thanks Tansy, I wouldn't have seen it otherwise.
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Tansy_Gold Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 08:25 AM
Response to Reply #24
55. I love this stuff and enjoy passing it on
Yes, there are people who have too much time, but aren't we glad they do something so wonderful and share it with the rest of us? I mean, they could be sitting in their cold dark little rooms and thinking of ways to make the world even more miserable than it is.

I made my second Etsy sale yesterday. With any luck, I will have enough time away from the day job this week-end to post more stuff.



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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 08:30 AM
Response to Reply #55
57. You almost make me want to pierce my ears
But not quite...with these pendulous lobes (Germanic, probably) the last thing I want to do is call attention to them...
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Tansy_Gold Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 08:38 AM
Response to Reply #57
63. I've reached an age where I do it for me, not for what I think
others will think.

These earrings actually are very light in weight.


Time to put myself in motion for a couple hours of errand running. See y'all in a bit!
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DemReadingDU Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 09:25 AM
Response to Reply #55
67. Patterns on Etsy

I have a bunch of old patterns, going back to the 60s & 70s & 80s when I made so many of my skirts & dresses for work. Now it's jeans and t-shirts. I do mostly mending now for my granddaughter when she brings me small things to get fixed.
:)

One of my sisters is into quilting and has many kinds and types of machines. She is either making quilts, or teaching classes throughout the Midwest. Very busy, she has no time for reading the blogs.

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Fuddnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 07:15 AM
Response to Original message
27. Vampire calamari.
Cocktail sauce or Tartar?
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 07:21 AM
Response to Reply #27
29. Any Way I Can Get It!
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DemReadingDU Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 07:50 AM
Response to Reply #29
41. DU3 - Thoughts on what is going to happen with the SMW and WEE

I love all my cyber friends, but I am not sure about the DU3. And besides, PBD is moving on from the SMW, and the WEE is also a big commitment. I just can't shake this melancholy mood with all that is going on in the world, yet people still seem to be merrily shopping for Christmas presents. Maybe ignorance is bliss.

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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 07:42 AM
Response to Reply #27
36. now i want calamari. nt
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 08:12 AM
Response to Reply #36
51. I'd settle for breakfast
Everyone was rather subdued at Euchre, and the cards were pretty dead until a pull-away last round brought some lucky people into the money...I wasn't one of them.

It's a combination of weather, aches and illness, the dark, other commitments, and foreboding.
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 08:29 AM
Response to Reply #51
56. i looked at the clock last night -- it was dark and i was getting sleepy --
it was only 5.30.

i have to stay awake until at least 9 -- or my sleep is off even worse than it usually is.

hey -- i sure hope the cards are better to you next time you play!

illness? are you not feeling well?
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 08:32 AM
Response to Reply #56
59. I'm okay--it was the other players
I'm not the youngest, but the average age is rather north of mine...
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 08:37 AM
Response to Reply #59
62. that's good. nt
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 07:43 AM
Response to Original message
38. Analysis - Sarkozy, Draghi winners in EU rift
http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/12/09/uk-eurozone-wi...

(Reuters) - Napoleon dreamed of it, De Gaulle fought for it, but Nicolas Sarkozy may have achieved it -- a Europe of Nations with France in the cockpit and Britain on the sidelines.

The French president emerged as one of the big winners of a European Union summit on Friday which ended with up to 26 member states agreeing to move forward in economic integration around the euro zone, and Britain alone in staying out.

"Of course this is not just a long-standing desire, but a long-standing goal of French politics ... because in the French tradition Britain never really belonged to the European Union, dating back to De Gaulle," said a senior EU official who attended the summit, referring to the French president's veto of British entry in 1963 and again in 1967.

By obstructing the wish of the other EU members to amend the bloc's governing Lisbon treaty to allow closer fiscal union among the 17-nation single currency area, Prime Minister David Cameron managed to unite Europe against him.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 07:54 AM
Response to Reply #38
44. They are captains on a sinking ship
Sarkozy's losing all his banks.
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 08:04 AM
Response to Reply #44
48. I've been reading - you've been posting - tons of articles
About all of this - I'm not sure anybody understands this 'agreement'.

& that is frightening.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 08:10 AM
Response to Reply #48
50. I think they are all still trying to screw each other
They are not united against a common enemy. I'm not sure they ever will be. There's still too much money left to steal. The "common enemy" is themselves.
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 08:17 AM
Response to Reply #50
52. wow -- that hadn't occured to me -- and i think you might very well on to something.
very good observation.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 07:50 AM
Response to Original message
40. The Occupation Continues to Diversify
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 07:52 AM
Response to Reply #40
42. JP Morgan Chase Mic Checked at Princeton Recruiting
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 07:53 AM
Response to Reply #40
43. Goldman Sachs Anti-Recruitment Session at Princeton University
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 08:18 AM
Response to Original message
53. Your Money or Your Life: Humanity Nears a Deadline to Decide Which it Will Surrender
THOUGHTS OF JACK BENNY'S CLASSIC RIPOSTE: "I'M THINKING, I'M THINKING!" FLOAT THROUGH MY HEAD

Im writing this on December 5, 2011. The global economic debt crisis is getting worse. Later this week the European Union is scheduled to meet to find some solution to the sovereign debt crisis of several of its members. The Eurozone might collapse if a satisfactory agreement is not reached by December 9. Civil unrest is expected in Europe and even in China as economies buckle under massive debts and the only solutions to the problems created by banks, corporations and governments are repression and austerity for the ordinary citizen.

In the meantime in the United States, our constitutional form of government, including the Bill of Rights is being eroded, as it has been continually since the 9/11 attacks, by more and more police state legislation. Somehow, since the passage of the Patriot Act, a simple fifth grade civics lesson seems to have been forgotten by everyone: the average citizen, the media, most judges, and especially legislators, governors and the president, regardless of party; a statute cannot override a constitutional provision. The latest assault on our civil liberties may be the platform upon which martial law and the declaration of World War III is based. It is the defense authorization bill, which contains in it provisions for the arrest and indefinite detainment without charge or trial of American citizens even if they are arrested on American soil. The claim is that this applies only to terror suspects who are making war against the United States, but we know about mission creep. The government spreads fear, fear, terror, terror, Al Qaeda to get the people to acquiesce. But we know that todays Al Qaeda terrorists could be tomorrows Occupy Wall Street protesters. And even if the problem were specifically Al Qaeda or a group of that ilk, shouldnt our judicial system be able to handle trials? I would think that if it cannot, if we must resort to the kinds of detention and torture and lack of charge or trial that we found reprehensible in places such as the Soviet Union, then the terrorists must have won.

But we should know that terrorism has economic roots, and that the tactic of terrorism does not always involve bombs and bullets. In fact the true terrorism is being perpetrated on us, all around the world, every day, by the bankers and their complacent, bought politicians. There is a solution to the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, the United States, and globally. And there is a solution to global terrorism. Its the same solution. It doesnt involve political repression, martial law or global warfare. Its a simple solution, really. The difficulty is getting people to accept it. It means giving up an addiction even stronger than oil.

The solution is the abolition of money. CONTINUES AT LINK

**********************************************************

Kėllia Ramares-Watson is an independent journalist in Oakland, California, who is working on a book tentatively titled, After Occupation: Creating prosperity and sustainability for all. Her e-mail address is mailto:theendofmoney@gmail.com . She collects economics news stories and editorials around the web at her Facebook page The End Of Money. You are welcome to visit and join.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 08:24 AM
Response to Reply #53
54. "Your money or your life"
Edited on Sat Dec-10-11 08:26 AM by Demeter
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Benny#.22Your_money_o...

In an episode broadcast March 28, 1948, Benny borrowed neighbor Ronald Colman's Oscar, and was returning home when accosted by a mugger (voiced by comedian Eddie Marr). After asking for a match to light a cigarette, the mugger demanded, "Don't make a move, this is a stickup. Now, come on. Your money or your life." Benny paused, and the studio audienceknowing his skinflint characterlaughed. The robber then repeated his demand: "Look, bud! I said your money or your life!" And that's when Benny snapped back, without a break, "I'm thinking it over!" This time, the audience laughed louder and longer than they had during the pause.

The punchline came to Benny staff writers John Tackaberry and Milt Josefsberg almost by accident. Writer George Balzer described the scene to author Jordan R. Young, for The Laugh Crafters, a 1999 book of interviews with veteran radio and television comedy writers:

... they had come to a point where they had the line, "Your money or your life." And that stopped them... Milt is pacing up and down, trying to get a follow... And he gets a little peeved at Tack, and he says, "For God's sakes, Tack, say something." Tack, maybe he was half asleepin defense of himself, says, "I'm thinking it over." And Milt says, "Wait a minute. That's it." And that's the line that went in the script... By the way, that was not the biggest laugh that Jack ever got. It has the reputation of getting the biggest laugh. But that's not true...

WE ARE A MUCH RICHER NATION FOR KNOWING JACK BENNY. AND A MUCH POORER ONE DUE TO MARCUS GOLDMAN'S LEGACY.
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some guy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #53
78. needs a link
so here it is . . .

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article29935.h...

woot, I actually do something helpful and useful in one of these threads, instead of just reading. :bounce:
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 05:31 PM
Response to Reply #78
82. Thanks!
Saturday isn't my brightest day....
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 08:37 AM
Response to Original message
61. An Idiots Overview Of Why Western Capitalism Is Crashing By Alan Hart
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article29932.h...

The idiot of the headline is me in the sense that I am not an economist and have never had any formal association with study of the theory and practise of economics, but I began to understand why what is today called Western capitalism was bound to crash way back in the early 1970′s when I was researching and producing an epic documentary on the everyday reality of global poverty and its implications for all...When I reflected on what I had witnessed and learned while researching in 120 countries (as well as at the World Bank and many UN agencies) and filming in 69 of them, I let commonsense be my guide. It led me to the conclusion that capitalism was not of itself the problem. It was the short-sighted and stupid way Western capitalism was managed...

By the early 1970′s truly informed development experts were drawing attention to the fact that our one small planet was divided into two worlds the Rich World containing about 20% of humankind (and known in development jargon as the North), and the Poor World containing about 80% of humankind (and known in development jargon as the South).

In the Poor World an estimated 15 million children under five were dying each year from malnutrition and related and easily preventable diseases such as diahorrea, measles and whooping cough in a word poverty, abject poverty. And an estimated 300 million more were born brain damaged because of malnutrition in the wombs of their mothers. But those statistics told only a part of the story. The majority of the human inhabitants of Planet Earth were living on the margins of life, without some and in many cases all of the basic necessities for life shelter, adequate nutrition, clean water, health care, education and work/job opportunities. On each and every continent I asked the poorest parents what was the one thing they most wanted. This was before the age of the mobile telephone and I expected many of them to say a television or some such gadget. What they all said in their various ways echoed one of the poorest Indian women. Her answer was, Education for my children so they dont have to live like animals as we do.

The rich nations were creating their wealth by selling goods and services. It followed that if this wealth creating process was to have a sustainable future and Rich World citizens were to enjoy ever rising material standards of living as promised by their politicians, the global market place needed more and more consumers with the purchasing power to buy what the Rich World nations had to sell...If the managers of Western capitalism (corporate chiefs, bankers and politicians) had not been short-sighted and stupid, they would have said to themselves something like the following. If we dont now invest in the development of the poor of the world and bring them progressively into the market place with purchasing power, we are going to run out customers in the numbers needed to buy what we have to sell in order to sustain our system.

MORE AT LINK...A PIECE TO BOOKMARK AND QUOTE!
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some guy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #61
79. I didn't like this piece at all.
I think it goes wrong in the first paragraph, then reaches bad conclusions because of its faulty start.

" It led me to the conclusion that capitalism was not of itself the problem. It was the short-sighted and stupid way Western capitalism was managed... "

I posit that capitalism itself is the problem.

this middle conclusion:

" Theres no question that banking chiefs were short-sighted, greedy and stupid, but They were not the architects of what future historians will call the crash of Western capitalism. They, the architects, were the politicians who deregulated the banks and financial markets. The leading architect was Britains Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. On 27 October 1986, she initiated the Big Bang in the City of London, the sudden deregulation of the banks and financial markets. In the name of financial liberalism she truly believed that markets would work better, more efficiently, if they were free of rules and restrictions. In her view millions of decisions made every day by traders in a free market would be better for all of us than decisions that had to be made with reference to rules and regulations drawn up by committees of the great and the good.

Though I might be exaggerating to make a point and may be misrepresenting her to some extent, she seemed to be saying, We need not bother too much with our old industries and ways of creating wealth, the banks and the markets will do it for us.

Events were to prove that she could not have been more naive and more wrong, but before they did American presidents starting with Ronald Reagan had followed her lead. "

The banking chiefs were the architects, directing from behind the scenes the deregulation they desired.
They're still wielding control and that's why all the bailout plans put forth prevent harm to banks and bankers regardless of harm done to citizens and nations.

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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 05:34 PM
Response to Reply #79
83. Well, If you consider that one worker can only do so much
and one investor is also limited, but that collective effort enables much larger projects to complete, and ideally, much faster, too, then "capitalism", the pooling of resources for collective purposes, per se is not inherently evil. But the way it's done in the last 200 years is.
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some guy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 09:39 PM
Response to Reply #83
85. one investor.
There's the fundamental difference between capitalism and socialism - the existence of investors, and an investor class.

We have one planet for all those living on it. No one takes pieces of it with them when they die, so the idea of ownership is artificial. If we all collectively own all the planet, we all collectively have a right to decide how the resources are appropriated and distributed.

The idea that "These rocks are mine, but I will sell them to you so you can build a wall" is a fiction and a fraud. The rocks were already ours and we had no need to trade anything for them. We just needed the collective will to decide to use them to build the wall, and the collective awareness to reject the fraud of individual ownership.

We are at a point where we have global awareness, which we didn't really have even 100 years ago. Capitalism played a large and perhaps essential role in helping us get to this point, but it is nearing its limits, and so needs to end.

The collective will to end capitalism will be more readily achieved than the collective awareness of its false nature.

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Tansy_Gold Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 11:28 AM
Response to Reply #85
104. I'm with you, some guy
It's the whole notion of an "investor" as someone who has the capital, wants no risk, and will do no work, that is essential to capitalism and anathema to a healthy planet.


TG, who is thinking DU3 is anathema to progressive sanity
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some guy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 01:22 PM
Response to Reply #104
109. That's why and how you'll get my vote for President.
:D

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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 09:01 AM
Response to Original message
65. "Dog whistle": economics code words
http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/12/dog-whistle-econ...

Here are a few code words that you will often see in economic writing followed by their true meaning. The code word is a "dog whistle". It acts like an emotional marker only for those attuned to the underlying moral issues implied by the code. While you may agree with the logical framework behind the code word, the purpose in using the code is to influence emotion instead of logic. When I talk about economics as a morality play this is what I am referring to...Politics is not the only place where you will hear dog whistles. The code is in parentheses which others may hear, but much more faintly...All of these terms are morality plays used to influence emotion rather than speak from a voice of reason. Whenever you see them, you should ALWAYS be suspicious regardless of context or source.


  • PIGS/PIIGS = the eurozone periphery aka Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain and sometimes including Ireland (who are shameful debtors too lazy to work hard to actually pay for the things they buy, looking to free-ride on the euro zone)

  • Technocrat = unelected (and therefore illegitimate) policy maker (from elite institutions isolated from the mainstream and middle classes) who works behind the scenes to assist elected officials because of their prior policy experience (and connections to power)

  • Big Government = (statist and freedom-crushing) activist government policy (used to increase the size and scope of government to redistribute wealth illegitimately by government confiscation)

  • Bankster = (contemptible) high level financial services executive (who acts like a mob boss Gangster in ripping off ordinary folks as popularised in recent history by libertarian Murray Rothbard in Right Wing Populism in 1992 but now used more widely)

  • Anschluss economics = (repugnant) economic power play to force another society into a specific economic model (usually done by Germany, harkening back to the Third Reich and the German attempt to dominate Europe militarily)

  • Hippie = (unreasonable and dangerous) Occupy Wall Street protester (dressed like counter-culture and treasonous types from the 1960s and 1970s with no agenda due to economic ignorance)

  • Deficit terrorist = someone who sees fiscal deficit as a negative aka a deficit hawk (who acts like a terrorist in forcing pro-cyclical cuts that disproportionately affect the poor, middle and working classes because of uninformed economic views)

  • Trickle down economics = (bogus) supply-side economics that reduces regulation and lowers income taxes and capital gains taxes (in order to give kleptocrats a free hand in stealing legally)

  • Oligarchs = (deceitful and grasping) bankers and corporations who have a dominant role in society (and who act as unelected policy makers, because they bribe and lobby government, pushing policies that favour themselves)

  • Elites = those (untrustworthy) who have either attended what is considered a highly regarded educational institution or work in what is considered a well regarded corporation and who are in a policy making or policy influencing role (but who live in an ivory tower separated from reality that sets them apart ordinary people and gives them the ability to make bad policy decisions which only serve to enrich themselves and others from their caste)

  • Morality play = an (inappropriate) appeal to philosophy and emotion and morality in an economic or political argument (that is illegitimate because morality is bad or at least shouldnt be a prevailing policy concern and because logic is always superior to emotion as a way of getting a response)

  • Free market = society (worthy of emulation and) guided by deregulated and desupervised economic policy (which is a good thing because freedom connotes choice and choice is good)

  • Job creators = (praiseworthy) individuals that hire or organisations where people work (and should therefore be seen as most responsible for creating jobs and given leeway by regulators, the media and society in general to do as they please)

  • Reform = (good) change that requires significant economic adjustments to implicit social contracts (toward the prevailing economic orthodoxy which includes lower taxes, free markets, and less regulation and should be viewed as positive because reform is viewed as such regardless of the impact on different groups)

  • Moral hazard = a (bad) policy choice which gives someone, some institution or some group within society a break (which they dont deserve and therefore encourages them to free-ride and mooch off of society)

  • Class warfare = (bad) economic and political policy used to divide people (and pin the blame all on one political group and their allies to gain an unfair political advantage)

  • Wage inflation = (negative) rise in wage rates (that will lead to cost-push inflation and eventually to higher consumer prices unless stopped)

  • Bailout = (an illegitimate) provision of liquidity to forestall bankruptcy (because the recipient is bankrupt and not just temporarily lacking funds, making the financial aid a form of welfare)

  • Bipartisan = (what everyone should see as a legitimate) policy approach which mainstream economists and policy makers of different political leaning have endorsed (making this effort better than more partisan ideas.

  • Extremist/left-wing/right-wing = (dangerous and contemptible) economic ideas which can be considered outside the mainstream (and should therefore be considered illegitimate)

  • Printing money = (hyperinflationary) economic policy in which the central bank buys existing private sector financial assets for reserves it creates for the that purpose (and which will eventually destroy the value of the currency)


Since economics has become a hot topic with the financial crisis, a lot of people who arent economic gurus have a great interest in the topic. I think thats great. The reality is that there is a code in the economics world just as there is in any profession. For example, in real estate, an agent might say a house is a "must see" or has a "lovely interior" when advertising it. Thats code for "this house looks better on the inside so I have to tell you that or I cant sell it." In education, a teacher might call a pre-school or primary school student "active" in an evaluation form because they know they must use neutral terminology. But this might be code for "disruptive" or "has an attention deficit". The intent of this post is to make more plain what is meant by these hidden codes so that anyone can understand why the code is being used instead of the true message. My point is not to say that emotion or morality is illegitimate in economics, although it should be clear I lean toward rational argument given the unconscious use of a code word morality play, which was pointed out by a reader. After all, economics is a social science, and hence not objective; it is not a science as some of its practitioners wished it were; its not just about numbers but about social values, ethics and political judgments that are not the same for all people. Every economic policy has ethical and moral dimensions and is therefore not objective. Sometimes economists act like economics is a science; it is not and their telling you it is like science is either deception or self-deception.

I believe you as a reader should always be on the lookout for loaded words that inflame emotions and code and jargon that masks deceptive intent. Sometimes the code is justified like when banks use robosigners to process mortgage applications or when banks get a bailout when they are clearly insolvent or when banks commit errors in trying to evict people from their home. I say these are the kind of things that should make you angry; you should get worked up about it. Yves Smith and Michael Hudson are masters of using language to evoke emotion and they make strong arguments. However, a lot of times, the code is used just to divert from a reasoned argument exactly because that argument is weak and must rely on emotion to have appeal. I say you should always do a double take when the code is employed to check whether it is a justifiable use or a cover for something else.

One more thing: occupying the neutral center is not always a great thing. The word bipartisan is code for a reason. A lot of times, you have to take sides since economics is a social science and not objective. There is nothing wrong with that, especially because this is a once-in-a-lifetime crisis with key issues on the table. I take sides all the time, but I am trying to flag it when I do so you know it instead of trying to act like my analysis is always neutral. Sometimes I do so unconsciously though and you should be alert to code as a sign that I have done.

P.S. I try to avoid these words. But they are insidious. Sometimes they creep in. (As I say above, the truth is that sometimes these words are legitimate. So sometimes I consciously use them to evoke the thinking in the code words, although less and less now. Sometimes they just come out unconsciously. Bailout and morality play are the added words below I most use. You as a reader, though, should never give a free pass to anyone though. Always remember the code is suspicious.)

P.P.S. the dog whistle is supposed to have one meaning that some can hear but that others can not hear at all or more faintly. It is supposed to be a secret language that can be used in public discourse between like-minded people without offending anyone. So it makes sense to add in words that seem more neutral/non-pejorative but are really code. And so the code is what is heard by advocates of the logic behind the dog whistle as opposed to what those opposed to that logic might hear. Many of the terms above are loaded i.e. carry negative associations and therefore a bit obvious to be good dog whistles. OTHERS are often more neutral sounding but are code nonetheless.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 09:07 AM
Response to Original message
66. I REALLY need some breakfast
so while you all digest the above, I'll go take care of the non-virtual....post them in my absence, please!
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 09:27 AM
Response to Reply #66
68. have a good breakfast! -- i might go get some biscuits and gravy.
i've been thinking about them all morning.
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Fuddnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 10:56 AM
Response to Reply #66
72. I just had a breakfast that would make Ronald McDonald proud.
I made a bunch of burgers last night on the grill, mainly to use up a package of buns that were about to turn green.

After I went back to bed this morning (where two dogs joined me, and wouldn't let me sleep), my wife made herself bacon and eggs. I got back up and saw everything sitting there, plus leftovers, and made myself a bacon, egg, and cheeseburger.

This afternoon, our Browns Backers Club has our annual bowling tournament to benefit the Alzheimers Foundation, and the local ASPCA. Afterwards, I can hit our bar on the way home, and have a nice calamari appetizer! Maybe vampire calamari.
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 09:29 AM
Response to Original message
69. European Council Unity dearly bought
http://www.presseurop.eu/en/content/article/1268111-uni...

Was this the night the euro was saved? Or will those ten hours go down in history as the meeting that broke the EU? In any event, the heads of government of the 27 EU countries could hardly have set the stage for the ongoing finale of Operation Save the Euro any more dramatically.

Before the actual meeting on Thursday evening, Angela Merkel, Nicolas Sarkozy and David Cameron had already got together in a threesome: the Briton, that much was certain, would play in a major role in the coming hours. What followed was a hard, sometimes very hard struggle before the French President, shortly after five in the morning, came out to announce the outcome of the all-night negotiations.

More specifically, there are two outcomes, and in the coming days and weeks the question will be which of the two has more weight: the message that the euro-zone countries have agreed to stricter rules for their fiscal policies? Or the fact that not all 27 states will join in the agreement?

A bad hand of cards went to Cameron

The German position was clear from the beginning: Merkel would like to have had an agreement on changing the treaties with all 27 European Union member states. At the same time, she left no doubt that she would go ahead if necessary with just the 17 euro countries and other willing states. The agreement on the issue was more important to her than the unity of the 27.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #69
73. Max Keiser-Crazy David Cameron SUICIDAL with knife in a Euro gunfight!!!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CF1yO7O73rI&feature=play...

Maybe the Euro will take down the City of London, that den of pernicious thieves and frauds?
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 11:42 AM
Response to Reply #73
74. tee-hee -- fingers crossed! nt
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Prometheus Bound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #73
80. Oh, that was good.
Den of thieves, indeed.
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Hotler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 10:18 AM
Response to Original message
70. I feel so fucking lost these days. eom.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #70
75. We all found each other
It is the rest of the world that is lost
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DemReadingDU Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 06:49 AM
Response to Reply #75
87. I'm lost, I can't find anything/anyone in DU3

:(

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Tansy_Gold Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 08:51 AM
Response to Reply #87
98. I can't either! ARGH!
Edited on Sun Dec-11-11 08:51 AM by Tansy_Gold
Why the hell didn't they wait until it was fully functional??? Journals haven't been transferred yet. No bookmarks. Sigline formatting incomplete.

They have a "forum" titled "Economy and Education" and it includes the "DU Marketplace." :WTF: :eyes:

As if economy and education should be lumped together????

I have a feeling there are going to be a lot of changes. Just having to go back and forth from DU3 to DU2 and back again is going to be a nightmare, especially when so much from DU2 hasn't been transferred. (The "Solidarity" avatar isn't there!)




I had a good day yesterday. I cut some rocks, found a few lost things that I've been looking for, did a tiny bit of writing. Had a nice dinner, slept well. . . . and woke up to the catastophe of DU3. Does anyone have the domain name (or that twitter thing??) "DU3Sucks.com"????



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Hotler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 09:34 AM
Response to Reply #75
99. Thank you. n/t
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Tansy_Gold Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #70
77. Take heart, dear friend
I first read Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy when I was in college the first time, 1966-67, and a few years later found Lin Carter's Tolkien: A Look Behind The Lord of the Rings and Imaginary Worlds.. Tolkien lost most of his childhood friends in The Great War, and whether LOTR is an allegory aginst that particular kind of inhuman destruction, I don't know. But I always felt that this little poem suggested not just the mysteries within the LOTR story, but also the strength that lies in the human heart.


And as Demeter has written, we have found each other. We are our own fellowship. And at least we don't have to face orcs and nazgl and Sauron.



All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.



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DemReadingDU Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 04:30 PM
Response to Reply #70
81. Me too

I'm glad we all found each other.
Maybe we will meet soon under the old elm tree when DU3 gets implemented (maybe tonight)



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Tansy_Gold Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 09:16 PM
Response to Reply #81
84. Some who were made to feel unwelcome in the shade
May just drift on into space. . . . . . .










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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 10:20 AM
Response to Original message
71. India inches closer to crisis as rupee retreats
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/markets/forex/india...

MUMBAI: India may face its worst financial crisis in decades if it fails to stem a slide in the rupee, leaving the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) with a difficult choice over how to make best use of its limited reserves to maintain the confidence of foreign investors.

If the RBI is too timid, it risks adding fuel to the ire of portfolio investors, which India relies on heavily to cover its imports tab.

Aggressive intervention would leave the central bank open to criticism that it is wasting precious money on problems that are beyond India's control anyhow, noteably Europe's debt crisis.

Unlike most of its Asian peers, India has recently been running large current account and fiscal deficits. That means it must attract sufficient foreign money -- namely U.S. dollars -- to close the gap, and a weaker home currency makes that costlier.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 07:16 AM
Response to Original message
88. I Said No to My Student Loan: One Borrower's Decision to Stop Paying
http://www.alternet.org/story/153311/i_said_no_to_my_st...

I am aware of the total lack of consumer protection associated with student debt. I knew that if I was unable to make my minimum payments, they would hit me with late fees, penalties, etc. They would harass me. In ruining my credit history, they would make it impossible for me to get access to basic services. Forget about taking out another loan Im talking about not being able to rent an apartment. And defaulting would not only mean a ruined credit history, it would mean that my debt would double, triple, quadruple, etcI would be a slave forever.

But I took a long, hard look at the numbers, and I realized that I am already a slave...Ive been in repayment since 2006. I had to do one deferral as to not default. I signed up for a program to minimize my payments that, I was told, was beneficial to someone who is going through financial difficulties yet I regularly made payments over the minimum payment...

Original balance: $37,099.00

Current balance: $35, 908. 41

Because Sallie Mae helpfully provides a payment history, I was able to whip out a calculator and count up the exact amount I have paid over these last few years.

That amount is $23, 449.65

I was done before I even knew it. And applying for more deferrals will send me deeper and deeper into debt. Decades and decades of payments as I grow old. Theres no end in sight. The system counts on this. The people setting it up knew that most of us would not be able to sustain payments over time.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 07:18 AM
Response to Original message
89. How the Occupy Movement Helped Americans Move Beyond Denial and Depression to Action
http://www.alternet.org/story/153269/how_the_occupy_mov...

While the term liberation psychology is less commonly known in the United States than in Latin America, the spirit of liberation psychology has been embraced by U.S. Occupy participants.

Liberation psychology, unlike mainstream psychology, questions adjustment to the societal status quo, and it energizes oppressed people to resist all injustices. Liberation psychology attempts to discover how demoralized people can regain the energy necessary to take back the power that they had handed over to illegitimate authorities.

The Occupy movement has tapped into the energy supply that many oppressed and exploited people ultimately discover. We discover it when we come out of denial that we are a subjugated people. We discover just how energizing it can be to delegitimize oppressive institutions and authorities. And when these oppressive authorities react violently to peaceful resistance, their violence validates their illegitimacyand provides us with even more energy.

With liberation psychology, we no longer take seriously the elites rigged games that had sucked us in and then sucked the energy out of us. We move beyond denial and depression that the U.S. electoral process is a rigged game, an exercise in learned helplessness in which we are given the choice between politicians who will either (1) screw us, or (2) screw us. We begin to engage in other battlegrounds for democracy....
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 07:21 AM
Response to Original message
90. Using Debt to Crush Democracy: How Financiers Are Waging Warfare Against Nations
http://www.alternet.org/story/153338/using_debt_to_crus...

Book V of Aristotles Politics describes the eternal transition of oligarchies making themselves into hereditary aristocracies which end up being overthrown by tyrants or develop internal rivalries as some families decide to take the multitude into their camp and usher in democracy, within which an oligarchy emerges once again, followed by aristocracy, democracy, and so on throughout history.

Debt has been the main dynamic driving these shifts always with new twists and turns. It polarizes wealth to create a creditor class, whose oligarchic rule is ended as new leaders (tyrants to Aristotle) win popular support by canceling the debts and redistributing property or taking its usufruct for the state.

Since the Renaissance, however, bankers have shifted their political support to democracies. This did not reflect egalitarian or liberal political convictions as such, but rather a desire for better security for their loans. As James Steuart explained in 1767, royal borrowings remained private affairs rather than truly public debts <1>. For a sovereigns debts to become binding upon the entire nation, elected representatives had to enact the taxes to pay their interest charges.

By giving taxpayers this voice in government, the Dutch and British democracies provided creditors with much safer claims for payment than did kings and princes whose debts died with them. But the recent debt protests from Iceland to Greece and Spain suggest that creditors are shifting their support away from democracies. They are demanding fiscal austerity and even privatization sell-offs...
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 07:43 AM
Response to Original message
91. 10 Fun Facts About the Top 1 Percent
http://www.alternet.org/story/153341/10_fun_facts_about...

In 2009, there were about 1.4 million households in the top 1 percent. But just who are they? What do they do? Where do they live?

1. Majority Are Corporate Big-Wigs, Doctors, Lawyers, and Wall Streeters

Mother Jones offers this handy chart that shows the sectors in which most of the 1% work note that 4 percent of them are either not working or dead.




2. You Won't Find Many in Indiana

3. They're More Republican

4. They Make More Than $500K per Year

As Suzy Khimm notes in the Washington Post, the income cut-off for those households in the top 1 percent was $516,633 last year, down from $646,195 before the crash. But that's the floor the average income for those in the top 1 percent this year is $1,530,773. (A "household" in this sense can be a single person or a family it's also known as a "tax unit.")

5. And Have Plenty of Accumulated Wealth

Accumulated wealth is even more skewed towards the top than income, and in 2009, the top 1 percent of households were sitting on an average net worth of almost $14 million, according to a study by the Economic Policy Institute. Here's another chart from Mother Jones:





What's more, the other 99 percent have been falling behind. In 2009, the ratio of net worth between those in the top 1 percent and a household right in the middle of the pack was 225-to-1 the highest on record. In 1962, that figure stood at 125-to-1. Here's a chart showing the shift, courtesy of EPI:





6. They've Taken an Ever-Bigger Piece of the Pie

7. But Have Half the Federal Income Tax Rate Compared to 1980

8. It's the Top of the Top 1 Percent Making the Real Killing

9. They Don't Have Crushing Debt Loads

10. Education Is the Big Divide



Joshua Holland is an editor and senior writer at AlterNet. He is the author of The 15 Biggest Lies About the Economy: And Everything else the Right Doesn't Want You to Know About Taxes, Jobs and Corporate America. Drop him an email or follow him on Twitter.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 07:47 AM
Response to Reply #91
93. 6 Members of Walton Family Have More Money Than 30% of Americans
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 07:49 AM
Response to Reply #93
94. Obama: jobless rate may fall to 8% by election
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/obama-jobless-rate-may...

IF AN UNEMPLOYED PERSON FALL OFF THE UNEMPLOYMENT ROLLS BECAUSE BENEFITS RUN OUT, OR WORSE, NEVER QUALIFIED IN THE FIRST PLACE....

HE'S STILL UNEMPLOYED! JUST TRY TO GET THIS FACT STRAIGHT!
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 07:46 AM
Response to Original message
92. Michael Moore: 5 Ways for OWS to Keep Sticking it to Capitalist Crooks as Winter Comes
http://www.alternet.org/story/153355/michael_moore%3A_5...

...We are not even 12 weeks old, yet Occupy Wall Street has grown so fast, so big, none of us can keep up with the hundreds of towns who have joined the movement, or the thousands of actions -- some of them just simple ones in neighborhoods, schools and organizations -- that have happened. The national conversation has been irreversibly changed. Now everyone is talking about how the 1% are getting away with all the money while the 99% struggle to make ends meet. People are no longer paralyzed by despair or apathy. Most know that now is the time to reclaim our country from the bankers, the lobbyists -- and their gofers: the members of the United States Congress and the 50 state legislatures....

OCCUPY THE WINTER

A proposal to the General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street from Michael Moore



1. Occupy Our Homes. Sorry, banks, a roof over one's head is a human right, and you will no longer occupy our homes through foreclosure and eviction because well, you see, they are our homes, not yours. You may hold the mortgage; you don'thold the right to throw us or our neighbors out into the cold. With almost one in three home mortgages currently in foreclosure, nearing foreclosure or "underwater," the Occupy Movement must form local "Occupy Strike Forces" to create human shields when the banks come to throw people out of their homes. If the foreclosure has already happened, then we must help families move back into their foreclosed homes -- literally (see this clip from my last film to watch how a home re-occupation is accomplished). Beginning Tuesday, Take Back the Land, plus many other citizens' organizations nationwide, are kicking offOccupy Our Homes. Numerous actions throughout the day today have already resulted in many families physically taking back their homes. This will continue every day until the banks are forced to stop their fraudulent practices, until homeowners are allowed to change their mortgage so that it reflects the true value of their homes, and until those who can no longer afford a mortgage are allowed to stay in their homes and pay rent. I beseech the news media to cover these actions -- they are happening everywhere. Evictions, though rarely covered (you need a Kardashian in your home as you're being evicted to qualify for news coverage) are not a new story (see this scene I filmed in 1988). Also, please remember the words of Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur of Toledo (in 'Capitalism: A Love Story'): Do not leave your homes if the bank forecloses on you! Let them take you to court and then YOU ask the judge to make them produce a copy of your mortgage. They can't. It was chopped up a hundred different ways, bundled with a hundred other mortgages, and sold off to the Chinese. If they can't produce the mortgage, they can't evict you.



2. Occupy Your College. In nearly every other democracy on the planet, students go to college for free or almost free. Why do those countries do that? Because they know that for their society to advance, they must have an educated population. Without that, productivity, innovation and an informed electorate is stunted and everyone suffers as a result. Here's how we do it in the U.S.A.: make education one of our lowest priorities, graduate students who know little about the world or their own government or the economy, and then force them into crushing debt before they even have their first job. That way has really worked well for us, hasn't it? It's made us the world leader in in well, ok, we're like 27th or 34th in everything now (except war). This has to end. Students should spend this winter doing what they are already doing on dozens of campuses -- holding sit-ins, occupying the student loan office, nonviolently disrupting the university regents meetings, and pitching their tents on the administration's lawn. Young people -- we, the '60s generation, promised to create a better world for you. We got halfway there -- now you have to complete the job. Do not stop until these wars are ended, the Pentagon budget is cut in half, and the rich are forced to pay their taxes. And demand that that money go to your education. We'll be there with you on all of this! And when we get this fixed and you graduate, instead of being $40,000 in debt, go see the friggin' world, or tinker around in your garage a la the two Steves, or start a band. Enjoy life, discover, explore, experiment, find your way. Anything but the assistant manager at Taco Bell.



3. Occupy Your Job. Let's spend the winter organizing workplaces into unions. OR, if you already have a union, demand that your leaders get off their ass and get aggressive like our grandparents did. For chrissakes, surely you know we would not have a middle class if it weren't for the strikes of the 1930s-1950s?! In three weeks we will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the workers in my hometown of Flint, Michigan taking over and occupying the General Motors factories for 44 days in the dead of winter. Their actions ignited a labor movement that lifted tens of millions out of poverty and into the middle class. It's time to do it again. (According to the Census Bureau and the New York Times, 100 million Americans either live in or near poverty.Disgraceful. Greed has destroyed the core fabric of our communities. Enough!) Here are two good unions to get your fellow workers to sign up and join: UE and SEIU. The CWA are also good. Here's how to get a quick primer in organizing your place of employment (don't forget to be careful while you do this!). If your company is threatening to close down and move the jobs elsewhere, then it's time to occupy the workplace (again, you can get a lesson in how to successfully occupy your factory from my movie).



4. Occupy Your Bank. This is an easy one. Just leave them. Move your checking and your credit card to a nonprofit credit union. It's safe and the decisions made there aren't based on greed. And if a bank tries to evict your neighbor, Occupy the local branch with 20 other people and call the press. Post it on the internet.



5. Occupy the Insurance Man. It's time to not only stand up for the 50 million without health insurance but to also issue a single, simple demand: The elimination of for-profit, privately-controlled health insurance companies. It is nothing short of barbaric to allow businesses to make a profit off people when they get sick. We don't allow anyone to make a profit when we need the fire department or the police. Until recently we would never allow a company to make a profit by operating in a public school. The same should be true for when you need to see a doctor or stay in the hospital. So I say it's long overdue for us to go and Occupy Humana, United Health, Cigna and even the supposed "nonprofit" Blue Crosses. An action on their lawns, in their lobbies, or at the for-profit hospitals -- this is what is needed.

MORE
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 07:58 AM
Response to Original message
96. How Goldman Sachs and Other Companies Exploit Port Truck Drivers
http://www.alternet.org/story/153393/how_goldman_sachs_...

...Astute consumers may know that the rock bottom we see advertised on endless TV and internet commercials are often the result of companies manufacturing their goods overseas, using sweatshop labor where poorly paid workers often toil in dangerous and unhealthy conditions so that we can enjoy the latest electronics, the coolest pair of jeans.

But what many people may not know is that these sweatshop conditions don't end when those goods hit American soil. Between the dock where the cargo is unloaded and the shelf from which you pluck your treasure, there are several critical lynchpins. One of them is port truck drivers. These drivers (around 110,000 of them in the United States) are responsible for moving approximately 20 million containers a year from the ports to railway yards and warehouses. Drivers operating large trucks are expected to safely haul loads up to 80,000 pounds. It's a job for professionals, only these professionals are earning poverty wages, sometimes even less than you'd make flipping burgers at a fast food restaurant. Once a middle-class profession, the port trucking (or drayage) industry has now been dubbed "sweatshops on wheels."

Drivers, along with clergy and their union, environmental and community allies have been fighting for years for better working conditions and wages, but their plight has recently caught the attention of the Occupy movement. On Nov. 2, during a day billed as a general strike, tens of thousands of people swarmed the Port of Oakland, temporarily stopping work during the evening. Now, Occupiers are calling for a shutdown on Dec. 12 at all West Coast ports.

Occupy organizer Kari Koch in Portland says that their action is aimed at disrupting business as usual for "Wall Street on the waterfront." In particular, they are targeting EGT (Export Grain Terminal) and Goldman Sachs. EGT is part of a multinational conglomerate, and the company is engaged a labor struggle with the International Warehouse and Longshore Union in Longview, Wash., and Goldman Sachs, much maligned for its shady business dealings, which were part of the economic collapse, owns half of SSA Marine, which operates four terminals at the Port of Long Beach and also owns the trucking company Shippers Transport Express (more on them below)...
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 08:01 AM
Response to Original message
97. Negative Equity: How Many Loans are Underwater in Your State?
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Hotler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 09:48 AM
Response to Original message
100. If I lose track of you guys in DU3......
I'll look for you under the Old Elm Tree (Thank you DemReadingDU). I want you to know I have enjoyed all the time we have spent together. If any one wants my email address PM me in DU2.
Peace
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Hotler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 09:50 AM
Response to Original message
101. Editorials & Other Articles is going to be were in DU3 ? n/t
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Ghost Dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 10:39 AM
Response to Reply #101
102. I reckon that would be the "Good Reads (Forum)"
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InkAddict Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 11:07 AM
Response to Original message
103. SMW just got locked out of Late Breaking
and where will be WEE in DU3?

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Tansy_Gold Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #103
105. I saw that. :grrrrr:
The "host" of LBN has the power to lock and unlock threads. I'm hoping that the lock on that one was becuase it was just a test and was a posting of old "news."

But the fact that the "host" highlighted that opinion and analysis are not allowed in LBN suggests that SMW will have to find a new home, either on DU or elsewhere.

So far, I have not found DU3 very easy to negotiate. Maybe that will change. I dunno.

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Hotler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #105
108. I don't like the idea of "host". It's just a way for..
the dicks at DU to control us.
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Hugin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 11:52 AM
Response to Original message
106. I am going to move the Subject of this thread over to the DU3 E&E - Economy Group.
Edited on Sun Dec-11-11 12:33 PM by Hugin
So it will live on until something is worked out.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/111676 ( Try this. )
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DemReadingDU Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #106
107. Thanks!
I feel I am living in two DU worlds

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Fuddnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #107
110. Just walking through the graveyard here.
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Ghost Dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 04:30 PM
Response to Reply #110
111. Think
XVI.

Think, in this batter'd Caravanserai
Whose Doorways are alternate Night and Day,
How Sultan after Sultan with his Pomp
Abode his Hour or two, and went his way.

...

XXXVIII.

One Moment in Annihilation's Waste,
One moment, of the Well of Life to taste
The Stars are setting, and the Caravan
Starts for the dawn of NothingOh, make haste!

...

LI.

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

LII.

And that inverted Bowl we call The Sky,
Whereunder crawling coop't we live and die,
Lift not thy hands to IT for helpfor It
Rolls impotently on as Thou or I.

...


Yup. Echoes.
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Hotler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 05:09 PM
Response to Reply #111
112. Well done. Thank you. eom.
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