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Author: Subject: Freddie and Fannie Takeover

Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/9/2008 at 01:09 PM
The way this is being described in the news as a "takeover" is not accurate reporting. FNMA was founded as a government agency in 1938 as part of The New Deal.

 

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  posted on 9/9/2008 at 01:30 PM
quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----
Palin is *ucking lost on this issue... unreal.
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Is there any limit to what you'll post as criticsm of Palin? Do you understand the ramifications of this takeover?

Her statemment is not incorrect. The taxpayers were already on the hook due to the first action taken to prop up Fannie and Freddie a month or more ago. Remember those? The Feds put in place some guarantees in the hopes that those would be enough to inspire private investors to keep money flowing into Fannie and Freddie. Just to be clear: federal guarantees = our tax money at risk. And once that happens, the one guarantee you can safely bet on is that they will use our money.

That plan didn't work. Private investors have remained reticent to put their money into Fannie and Freddie, thus the move this weekend to take them over and restructure. What were gurantees have turned into full ownership of something that private investors have been wary of and stopped investing in. So we now have a condition where, at the best, Fannie and Freddie's holdings will be broken up and sold to private companies - at a loss. At this point, no one knows how much loss. Our tax dollars will fund that loss.

By the way; one of the organizations who pressured politicians to lower the standards for Fannie and Freddie lending was none other than Acorn - Obama's old employer. So now we know at least one little part of what a community organizer does.



Squatch, you are so in over your head on this issue it is unreal. Your Leftist brain is not fit for micro and macroeconomic discussions, as its obvious from this post. But, please keep harping on palin. keep it up, keep it up, keep it up.

Excellent posts, Fuji.

quote:
The way this is being described in the news as a "takeover" is not accurate reporting. FNMA was founded as a government agency in 1938 as part of The New Deal.



The point of Freddie and fannie is to let outside investors provide the capital for lower proced mortgages so that tax payer money isn't used. That just changed completely. This bailout, however, is the last wall of defense. If this doesn't work, then even bigger problems will arise, which still could happen. The crazy thing about Freddie and fannie is that the both of them have about HALF of all mortgages in the U.S. tied up between them. It is hard call to make, as I lean towards letting bad businesses fail. For instance, Bear Stearns should have been allowed to go under. Period. The unprofitable big airlines should be allowed to go under because newer ones who will do it right will take their place (Although some care should be given to the manipulatuion of retirement funds of the workers of the larger and older airlines). If Freddie and Fannie go under completely, the affect on outstanding mortgages woud not only be severe, but on the brutal credit crunch for all consumers that would follow would spread and affect the economy around the world. To his credit, Warren Buffet and others predicted this years ago.

As for this topic not being covered on the airwaves, I would send you to a show that is not to miss in the Charlie Rose Show on PBS, along with The Journal show broadcast daily by DW-TV from Germany also on PBS.

DH

 

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  posted on 9/10/2008 at 09:08 AM
Here's a decent analysis piece on the mess we've gotten ourselves in. Scary stuff to be sure -


quote:
A desperate but necessary bailout

The Treasury's intervention to shore up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac allays the fears of foreign investors, but turning around the US economy will take something close to a miracle.

By Jon Markman

The government's stunning takeover of troubled mortgage titans Fannie Mae (FNM, news, msgs) and Freddie Mac (FRE, news, msgs) on Sunday was sold to the public as a prudent, measured attempt to restore order to the U.S. housing market and keep people in their homes.

But look an inch beneath the public-relations job that most media outlets have accepted and you'll find the sad spectacle of a desperate borrower trying to stay one step ahead of its creditors.

The new plan put forward by Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson is a bailout all right. But not of Americans in Kansas and California who have lost their homes to foreclosure. Not by a long shot. Instead, it's an expensive ploy to keep the sovereign wealth funds and central banks of China, Kuwait and Singapore from foreclosing on their Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac debt and plunging the U.S. economy into chaos.

Announced on the first weekend of the new pro football season, the deal amounts to a frantic Hail Mary pass. It was a throw Paulson never wanted to make, as it exposes taxpayers to unlimited losses and violates every rule in the capitalist playbook, yet circumstances left him with few alternatives.

Twisting the Treasury's arm
Major foreign investors, including more than 60 countries' central banks, hold more than $1.4 trillion in securities of U.S. agencies such as Fannie and Freddie, and they were getting extremely nervous as the two companies teetered on the edge of insolvency this summer. So were major U.S. financial institutions such as JPMorgan Chase (JPM, news, msgs) and Pimco, prompting the chief investment officer of the latter, Bill Gross, to pen a scathing article last week that warned of a financial "tsunami" if the U.S. Treasury failed to act quickly to guarantee their investments.

In late July, the Financial Times reported that the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait called that country's sovereign wealth fund managers to assure them of the soundness of U.S. agencies' bonds after the Kuwaitis announced they were not planning to buy the bonds in the future.

Around the same time, Yu Yongding, a Chinese economist and former adviser to China's central bank, warned that if the U.S. government allowed Fannie and Freddie to fail and international investors were not compensated adequately, the consequences would be “catastrophic."

He added: "If it's not the end of the world, it is the end of the current financial system."

Over the top? Not really, for U.S. mortgage loans had become the foundation of what Pimco co-CEO Mohammed El-Erian called the "global liquidity factory." If payments were scuttled, trillions of dollars that were borrowed against them in debt derivatives would become worthless, an event that had the potential to bring down countries, not just companies.

Now that Paulson has made his play, Americans are exposed to incredible danger. If that sounds like hyperbole, do the math:

Of the $4.7 trillion in U.S. debt already in private hands through last week, $2.4 trillion, more than half, was held by foreign investors. The Paulson plan to take over Fannie and Freddie adds an additional $5.4 trillion to U.S. debt, of which $1.4 trillion is owned by foreigners. Thus Paulson has committed to doubling U.S. debt and increased foreign exposure by around 50%.

This is plainly a troublesome matter on its face and may affect the country's overall sovereign credit rating. Now add to this exposure the likelihood of a sharp rise in demand for funds from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and increased demands from the Federal Home Loan Bank system -- and consider that the U.S. faces slowing tax revenues from falling incomes amid swelling joblessness and recession -- and you begin to understand the size of the risk Paulson is taking in our behalf.

A bad choice -- and the only one

Satyajit Das, a credit derivatives expert based in Australia who first helped us understand this mess a year ago (see "Are we headed for an epic bear market?"), concludes that it may mean the end of the U.S. dollar as the world reserve currency, which creates a different set of problems.

Yet Das has looked at the problem inside out and concluded that the Treasury secretary had little alternative. "What Paulson is doing is trading today for tomorrow -- struggling to survive to be able to come back and fight another day," Das concludes.

So will the plan work?

It can, so long as it enjoys a bit of luck and isn't blocked by impatient stakeholders both at home and overseas. But it has a tough bar to clear for success: It not only must keep U.S. home prices from deteriorating further, but also must break the logjam of commercial and consumer credit and kick-start stalled domestic economic growth. The stakes, and expectations, may be impossibly high.

Though the plan allows the companies to avoid bankruptcy, it's uncomfortably close to what Japan tried in the 1990s to keep many of its faltering banks afloat in the tragic aftermath of its own lending bubble. That practice, intended to prevent stakeholders from losing face, created "zombie" entities that bled the country dry for the next decade. The drain stemmed from the government floating billions of dollars' worth of new bonds to create the money to shore up the companies' capital bases, and that crowded out investment dollars that could have gone into more-productive activities, such as starting businesses or expanding factories.

The plan for Freddie and Fannie bypasses the Fed by creating a "conservatorship" for the two organizations that own more than half of U.S. home mortgages. This is like the receivership of a forced bankruptcy -- in which court-appointed experts run a business in place of disgraced former management and untangle all the screw-ups -- but it's a touch more genteel.

Technically, the Treasury plan changes the capital structure of the organizations by guaranteeing their $5 trillion in senior debt and inserting a new class of high-yielding secured debt between equity and that senior debt. The plan slightly expands the ability of the two banks to increase their mortgage-backed-security businesses now, though it requires them to shrink their portfolios of business dramatically after 2010 to a maximum of $250 billion from the current maximum of $850 billion.

This idea produced a big sigh of relief to all the Asian and European fund managers who own the senior debt even though, at the same time, it basically wiped out the equity shareholders -- mostly mom-and-pop retail investors here at home. The shares will remain listed on the New York Stock Exchange for reasons that only legal scholars and penny-stock scammers can understand, as the Treasury apparently wishes to maintain the fiction that they will be worth something one day.

Both stocks will be removed from the Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) at the close of business Wednesday. Freddie Mac will be replaced by business software company Salesforce.com (CRM, news, msgs). Replacing Fannie Mae: industrial supplies maker Fastenal (FAST, news, msgs).

The best-case result

If the Treasury plan works like a dream instead of this nightmare, foreign debt holders will be so excited to buy newly guaranteed Fannie and Freddie debt that they will compete like crazy to buy it -- driving down the yield that must be paid as enticement. That could have the effect of cutting U.S. home mortgage rates by as much as a full percentage point.

Combine lower rates with lower gasoline prices, higher consumer confidence and falling home prices and you can visualize an incredible resurgence in buying, which would slash the vast inventory of unsold homes that's impairing the residential construction industry and get homebuilders revved up again.

Analysts at ISI Group in New York did some math and figured that if you take July's median home price at $204,000, pay 20% down and get a 30-year mortgage at 6.4% interest, the after-tax monthly payment is $795, which is 20.7% of the average American's after-tax income -- a very low level, historically. The National Association of Realtors' housing affordability index is showing the same thing: It's already a good time to buy a house due to price deflation, and if the Treasury's weekend intervention chops mortgage rates, we could be on the verge of a real upside surprise for the economy and the market.

The catch? Well, unfortunately, this plan would have worked a lot better a year ago than now because what started out as a mortgage crisis back then has since metastasized into a broader debt crisis. The litany of woes and negative feedback loops is familiar by now, but just for old times' sake I'll note that falling house prices led to foreclosures among overleveraged homeowners, which in turn led to massive losses at overleveraged banks, which in turn have withheld credit from businesses, which in turn has led to reduced production, which in turn has led to the biggest increase in layoffs in two decades, which in turn has put big smokin' holes in consumers' balance sheets and which has led, finally, to widespread problems with credit card loans, car loans and student loans.

As a result, even though a lot of families would love to obtain a mortgage at the lower rates made possible by the new Treasury deal, a rising number of breadwinners are simply disqualified from buying houses because they're out of work or afraid of losing work, or their credit scores are too messed up to qualify for loans.

Now you know why I called the plan a Hail Mary. Start praying.




http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/SuperModels/a-desperate-but- necessary-bailout.aspx

 

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Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 9/10/2008 at 09:21 AM
quote:

So will the plan work?

It can, so long as it enjoys a bit of luck and isn't blocked by impatient stakeholders both at home and overseas. But it has a tough bar to clear for success: It not only must keep U.S. home prices from deteriorating further, but also must break the logjam of commercial and consumer credit and kick-start stalled domestic economic growth. The stakes, and expectations, may be impossibly high.



Nice article, thanks for posting.

I'll speak to the "logjam" on credit since lending is what I do. Unless the regulators encourage banks to lend, and capital becomes available to lenders, it's not going to happen any time soon. Both structure and pricing discipline are back, I'm seeing loans priced at 200-400 bp higher today than 14 months ago on terms that are much more conservative, and that's if credit is available at all. Lenders are VERY skittish right now.

Now, the mortgage market is priced and underwritten differently - but since the success of this bailout is going to be largely determined by home prices, I would expect there to be some other government incentive to prop up/raise home prices. Whereas the Tax Reform Act of 1986 helped start the bust of the late '80s/90s, a tax code change that helped real estate could spur a boom. More restrictions on foreclosures and easier bankruptcy would help too, as would programs to make buying more affordable. I don't support these, but they wouldn't be a surprise.

Greg

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/10/2008 at 09:30 AM
quote:
Squatch, you are so in over your head on this issue it is unreal. Your Leftist brain is not fit for micro and macroeconomic discussions, as its obvious from this post. But, please keep harping on palin. keep it up, keep it up, keep it up.

Excellent posts, Fuji.


Whether you admit it or not, Palin is proving to be a problem. This issue is just yet another example. And spare me your economic acumen Mr. Greenspan. Fuji is clearly heads above even you.

 

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  posted on 9/10/2008 at 11:36 AM
quote:
Here's a decent analysis piece on the mess we've gotten ourselves in. Scary stuff to be sure -
Thanks for sharing this article, Fuji.

 

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  posted on 9/10/2008 at 11:50 AM
quote:

There's an interesting side story I read concerning those private investors and their options in all of this. Seems like there may be some potential for legal action by them against the feds because of this takeover and what its done to their investments. I won't pretend to understand it at present without further research, but its another angle that has to be considered in all this.

But what happens if housing values continue to weaken, defaulting mortgage rates rise significantly, and the fed boys don't act quickly enough to sell off these assets? A worst case scenario is that this drags the federal government to insolvency. We've tied the credit and faith of the US treasury to the condtions of the housing market. That should be a scary thought for everyone.





This really annoys me. The holders of preferred stock (banks and other institutions) will get relief
while the individual investor is likely screwed.

Another example of how the corporations own and control the gov't.

 

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  posted on 9/10/2008 at 11:53 AM
I'd just say this Squatch in Palin's defense on this issue; the taxpayers have always been the backup for the guarantees offered by the Treasury to Fannie/Freddie. Further, when the first plan to prop them up was enacted earlier this summer, the taxpayer was put somewhat further on the hook for these guarantees. Now, with full federal ownership it's all or nothing.

Given all this, I don't think Palin mis-spoke in her response, since there has always existed some implied level of taxpayer back-up for Fannie/Freddie. Could she have given a more complete answer, explaining the rationale for her statement and educationing the public in the process? Well sure - that would have been great. But I have to believe that when you're on the campaign trail, with 50 mics and video cameras there to pick up everything you say and do, a shorter answer is probably a better one given the circumstances.

We had people running for office that explain themselve too much and they end up being ridiculed for being too wordy, too complicated. Obama suffers a little from this. I - and probably you - tend to like it when someone tries to educate the public and takes time to offer a more thorough explanation. But I don't think the general public and especially the media like it as much.

There are certainly issues to be concerned with Palin about, but I don't think this is one of them. It's kinda like the extreme Bush haters in recent years. To hear some of them he's responsible for every negative development across the globe. That's no more true than Palin being worthy of attack on everything she's done or said.

What is more important is what the campaigns are saying about their stance on this issue. Like the media coverage, their comments have been surprisingly few. I guess an issue as important as the potential destruction of the US ecomony, if not the world's, doesn't warrent much interest these days. Amazing that Obama's "lipstick" comment is getting more press today than this. Goes to show how truely distracted much of the public is.

BigAnn's link earlier in the thread was a good one: http://money.cnn.com/2008/09/08/news/economy/easton_freddie_fannie.fortune/ index.htm?source=yahoo_quote

These may be early positions that will go through refinement, but McCain's team is clearly talking about the correct solution here. Shrink these companies (meaning to sell off large portions), and privitize them. The longer they stay intact and under federal control, the more likely that problems will arise and potentially sink us all.

Obama's comments concern me. When his team discusses "looking out for the homeowner" it may indicate a desire to keep some political control (what got us in this mess to begin with) and to pander to low and middle class voters. I have sympathy for them too, but when it's a choice between some people loosing their homes and the destruction of the US and/or world economy, the choice is obvious. So far, he's on the wrong side of this, but more needs to be heard from him. The choices are between terrible and catastrophic, and I think terrible is the correct course- albeit a very painful one.

We need to brace ourselves for more situations like this in the future. After mis-spending and over-borrowing for decades, our government is running out of alternatives to keep paying for the good times. From entitlements to social programs to services we've taken for granted all our lives, there's going to be plenty of cut backs and un-met promises in the future years.

 

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  posted on 9/10/2008 at 11:59 AM
quote:
This really annoys me. The holders of preferred stock (banks and other institutions) will get relief
while the individual investor is likely screwed.

Actually, from what I understand in reading more since I first posted on this, all equity investors are probably going to get hit with the losses: common and preferred. I think part of what's going on today with Lehman Brothers is tied to their expected Fannie/Freddie preferred stock losses. The bond holders will probably be the only ones safe, and most of those are foreign creditors that we must protect in order to have any hope that they will continue to do business with us.

A lousy set of options, isn't it? Thank decades worth of congressional and Federal Reserve policy and inaction for the fix we're in.




[Edited on 9/10/2008 by Fujirich]

 

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A Peach Supreme



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  posted on 9/10/2008 at 12:07 PM
Based on the massive size of the debt obligations outstanding it had to be done (should have never been privatized in the first place). That being said, as many have stated it opens up the door for many industries to follow. My guess is the Auto Industry comes knocking before the election looking for some relief. The precedent that has been set here is enormous. stay tuned

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/10/2008 at 12:12 PM
I'm going to throw something else out here that's been a question I've not yet been able to answer.....who, exactly, is the money source behind the Federal Reserve? I was totally surprised several years ago to discover itis not our Federal government.

It appears we have people posting here who know more about banking than I do and I really have been wondering about the Federal Reserve. I've been trying to track it down for a while now and have made very little headway.


 

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  posted on 9/10/2008 at 12:16 PM
quote:
I'm going to throw something else out here that's been a question I've not yet been able to answer.....who, exactly, is the money source behind the Federal Reserve? I was totally surprised several years ago to discover itis not our Federal government.

It appears we have people posting here who know more about banking than I do and I really have been wondering about the Federal Reserve. I've been trying to track it down for a while now and have made very little headway.





The Fed is shrouded in secrecy. The minutes from their meetings aren't even available to look at until five years after the fact.

 

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  posted on 9/10/2008 at 12:28 PM
What could be much more worrisome than this is if our government has to step in any way to keep Lehman Brothers from failing. Anybody care to guess what their potential counterparty exposure is? Here's a clue. The term starts with the letter "T" and ends with "illions". Note the "s" on the end... Makes Bear look like a local bank.

Can we let Lehman fail?

 

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  posted on 9/10/2008 at 01:14 PM
quote:
What could be much more worrisome than this is if our government has to step in any way to keep Lehman Brothers from failing. Anybody care to guess what their potential counterparty exposure is? Here's a clue. The term starts with the letter "T" and ends with "illions". Note the "s" on the end... Makes Bear look like a local bank.

Can we let Lehman fail?


Wow Brendan, that's staggering...the credit markets are absurdly tight already, frog's ass watertight....add counterparty mix to a balance sheet already battered by credit and interest risk??? Ohhh baby......

 

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  posted on 9/10/2008 at 01:36 PM
Here's something interesting I found a while ago.

http://www.save-a-patriot.org/files/view/whofed.html

 

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  posted on 9/10/2008 at 01:44 PM
quote:
I'm going to throw something else out here that's been a question I've not yet been able to answer.....who, exactly, is the money source behind the Federal Reserve? I was totally surprised several years ago to discover itis not our Federal government.
Here's a half way decent explanation of the Fed Reserve operations, Ann.

http://www.frbsf.org/publications/federalreserve/monetary/MonetaryPolicy.pd f

and the Feds themselves (if you want to know who the banks and/or other financial resources are for reserve funds, etc):
http://www.federalreserve.gov/
quote:
Whether you admit it or not, Palin is proving to be a problem. This issue is just yet another example. And spare me your economic acumen Mr. Greenspan. Fuji is clearly heads above even you.
Since there are about 100 threads currently in the WP dealing with this years elections would it be possible to keep the politics out of this thread (at least the REP v.s. DEM finger pointing) so that it can remain a source of information and discourse on the important topic at hand which is Freddie and Fannie takeover? Please? Thanks!

 

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  posted on 9/10/2008 at 01:49 PM
quote:
I'm going to throw something else out here that's been a question I've not yet been able to answer.....who, exactly, is the money source behind the Federal Reserve? I was totally surprised several years ago to discover itis not our Federal government.

It appears we have people posting here who know more about banking than I do and I really have been wondering about the Federal Reserve. I've been trying to track it down for a while now and have made very little headway.

The Fed is the money source. They won the rights of control and creation of the US currency back in 1913. They are not a department of the Federal government. Instead, they are made up of a variety of large banks and financial institutions, and as alloak41 indicated, there's some mystery and secrecy to the makeup of the group. Consider that for a moment: the US government does not control it's own currency.

If you want to know more, watch this -

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-466210540567002553

It's kinda long (about 40 minutes), but it's one of the best reviews of the history of money, the banking system, and the Federal Reserve that I know of. The source is the Mises Institute, a group of economic conservatives.

 

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  posted on 9/10/2008 at 01:53 PM
quote:
Here's something interesting I found a while ago.

http://www.save-a-patriot.org/files/view/whofed.html
One look at this does a good job of providing some insight into affect Lehman failure could have.

 

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  posted on 9/10/2008 at 01:56 PM
quote:
quote:
Here's something interesting I found a while ago.

http://www.save-a-patriot.org/files/view/whofed.html
One look at this does a good job of providing some insight into affect Lehman failure could have.


I'll have to read this at home, my company's security program banned it as "militancy and extremist"

 

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  posted on 9/10/2008 at 02:04 PM
quote:
quote:
quote:
Here's something interesting I found a while ago.

http://www.save-a-patriot.org/files/view/whofed.html
One look at this does a good job of providing some insight into affect Lehman failure could have.


I'll have to read this at home, my company's security program banned it as "militancy and extremist"
Interesting on the ban - wonder if it was the site or the document. It's just a flowchart of some Federal Reserve's banks/directors/corp influences but it demonstrates how entrenched Lehman Bros is in the NY Banking world (and thus Fed Reserve).

[Edited on 9/10/2008 by lolasdeb]

 

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  posted on 9/10/2008 at 03:04 PM
This is a really good thread and I thank you all for the information and links. It would be nice if more people tried to understand how our economy is run and by whom.

 

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  posted on 9/10/2008 at 03:07 PM
quote:
This is a really good thread and I thank you all for the information and links. It would be nice if more people tried to understand how our economy is run and by whom.
I agree, Ann - these are things that affect us all as US Citizens.

 

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"Come on down to the Mermaid Cafe and I will buy you a bottle of wine, and we'll laugh and toast to nothing and smash our empty glasses down..."

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/10/2008 at 03:08 PM
quote:
spare me your economic acumen Mr. Greenspan. Fuji is clearly heads above even you.


Absolutely true, and that still leaves you way behind.

 

____________________

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/10/2008 at 03:36 PM
quote:
quote:
spare me your economic acumen Mr. Greenspan. Fuji is clearly heads above even you.


Absolutely true, and that still leaves you way behind.


Im not the egotistical ass that parades around here pretending to know more about everything than everyone else and attacking others that dare to offer up their experiences and personal knowledge. Unlike you, I readily admit when I dont know about something, such as deep issues regarding economics. You go read a Forbes article and then try to pass yourself off as some kind of half-ass expert, attempting to wow everyone with your knowledge. Most of us see right through you. You are easily the greatest bullshiat artist Ive ever seen, hands down.

 

____________________
Missing- 245 spines. If found, please send one to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave and the rest to the Capitol building care of the Democratic Party.

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/10/2008 at 03:43 PM
During my recent google searches I found a link for one particular reason. It appeared to be an antisemitic site with some heavy sounding music with guttral singing remeniscent of German influence that showed how many of the people sitting on the Federal Reserve are Jewish. I turned the sound off right away and only watched the first part of the video because it was so obviously a hate filled rant. However the information about the members of the Fed was interesting.

I don't see any grand Jewish conspiracy here , however, the interesting thought was perhaps the membership of the Jewish directors might provide a clue to some hitherto unknown ties to Israel that put our Israeli foreign policies into perspective.

 

____________________
Sometimes we can't choose the music life gives us - but we damn sure can choose how we dance!


 
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