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Author: Subject: Freddie and Fannie Takeover

Extreme Peach



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  posted on 9/10/2008 at 04:38 PM
quote:
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.


Just what do you believe government is? It's as if you assign it the powers of a deity. Are you suggesting that the individuals who took the loans, the private corporations who pushed them, the private investors who made boatloads of cash on the industry and the private power elite who have decried and shredded the legitimate role of industry regulation, had nothing at all to do with the crisis at Fannie and Freddie? Right....Please tell me I have completely missed your point. It seems that every post and comment you ever make, ultimately ends up in the overly simplistic conclusion that government is the source of all problems.....pure evil - your antichrist, so to speak........This only serves to seriously undermine your credibility, in general. It's too bad, because so many other points you make are compelling, accurate and thoughtful.

Governments, corporations, families and churches are intimately interwoven social constructs, which are means for people to organize and meet their needs through collective action. Its nice and tidy, I suppose, to choose one of these institutions as a scapegoat for all problems. However, if you really look at the situation, the institutions merely reflect the will and conscience of the people who create and manage them. The simplistic argument that "government is always to blame" is akin to asserting that the gun is somehow responsible when a person uses it to murder another. It makes little sense and distracts from the point at which true culpability exists. Is this your intent?

Peace.

Erik





[Edited on 9/10/2008 by CEEJ]

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/10/2008 at 04:42 PM
quote:
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.
Interesting. Wonder if the site was sponsored by a white supremist group because that almost sounds like their slant? I wouldn't think that there was any Jewish conspiracy involved here but it appears that there were some connections to Hitler early on (like other financial types affairs with many of the robber baron folks).

 

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  posted on 9/10/2008 at 05:01 PM
Please don't misunderstand what I was trying to say.....I'm just wondering if we have legitimate financial ties to Israel that are reflected in the membership of the Federal Reserve. It would go a long way to explaining aspects of our foreign policy if our finances were mingled in some way with Israel. It's just curiousity on my part.

 

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  posted on 9/10/2008 at 05:04 PM
quote:
Please don't misunderstand what I was trying to say.....I'm just wondering if we have legitimate financial ties to Israel that are reflected in the membership of the Federal Reserve. It would go a long way to explaining aspects of our foreign policy if our finances were mingled in some way with Israel. It's just curiousity on my part.
Gotcha.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/10/2008 at 05:05 PM
Wow. We have the sentence - "I don't see any grand Jewish conspiracy here" - followed by the sentence - "..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."

OK

 

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  posted on 9/10/2008 at 05:24 PM
Just because there might be legitimate ties with Israel that may be reflected by the members of the Federal Reserve doesn't mean there is a conspiracy. It means there may only be a piece to the puzzle of who actually owns the Federal Reserve or, more importantly to me, where the money is coming from. If there was a large Irish representation I'd look for the same ties to Ireland. No reason to make it what it's not.

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 9/10/2008 at 06:27 PM
quote:
quote:
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.

Just what do you believe government is? It's as if you assign it the powers of a deity. Are you suggesting that the individuals who took the loans, the private corporations who pushed them, the private investors who made boatloads of cash on the industry and the private power elite who have decried and shredded the legitimate role of industry regulation, had nothing at all to do with the crisis at Fannie and Freddie? Right....Please tell me I have completely missed your point. It seems that every post and comment you ever make, ultimately ends up in the overly simplistic conclusion that government is the source of all problems.....pure evil - your antichrist, so to speak........This only serves to seriously undermine your credibility, in general. It's too bad, because so many other points you make are compelling, accurate and thoughtful.

Jezz Erik; we don't hear from you in ages and you step in firing both barrels in a thread that's just trying to make sense of what's going on with this Fannie/Freddie thing, why it's being so under-reported, and what the ramifications really are. Everything ok? You doing alright? Has the AC quit wherever you are today?

The point of that sentance is to extend what's happening with this Fannie/Freddie thing into other, future government-related concerns. The action taken to put these companies into conservatorship was the last stop on a list of bad options. It puts our Treasury, and the future financial soundness of our economy at great risk. It will likely cost hundreds of billions to US taxpayers. That's if we're lucky and it doesn't spin into complete failure.

The policies of these companies were set by Federal Reserve monetary policy, market conditions, and congressional influence. Since they have always been untimately backed-up by the Treasury it bred a culture of "who cares, the government's got our back". Unfortunately this is not uncommon in regard to many federal programs and departments, to which a mountain of debt, mis-spending, and financial abuse would attest. The regulation oversight that you mentioned have been ignored in recent years by congress, because the money was flowing which was good for them and their constituents.

If these were fully private companies, many of these folks would be facing prosecution. Because it been so intertwined with the federal government, the same people who so beautifully influenced it into the shape it's in today will help decide what happens as we go forward. Nice, huh?

I don't deny the need for social organization and direction via some form of government. But in our case, the accumulation of power at the center is creating many of our country's problems. Duties that were not spelled out in the constitution as core responsibilities are among the biggest failues: social programs, education, energy, entitlements, etc. These are either performing badly, on the path to financial ruin, or both. Some believe that they can be funded or managed back into health. I don't agree. To me, that's like giving more money and a free hotel room in Vegas to someone with decades of known gambling addiction, hoping that they can be cured.

Back to the statement you picked out, the question is: when does the money run out? How much longer can we expect foreign creditors to keep funding our government's commitments? In recent weeks, foreign credit managers were already talking caution or outright withdrawl. That was one of the biggest reasons behind the takeover of Fannie and Freddie - to settle foreign concerns. How long do you think the Social Security and Medicare payments will be made if Treasury bonds are no longer bought by foreign investors?

The feds have very few financial options remaining to keep the current level of spending afloat. Only one option remains at some point: serious cuts and restructuring of spending. Since over 50% of the federal budget is now on social programs and entitlements, do you think those will remain untouched?

I have no problems with government, per se. I just don't like one that wastes our money, lies to its citizens, and creates future commitments that are unsustainable. A change of administration or congress is not going to fix this. But the odds are good that this will fix itself as financial realities impose themselves and a serious re-structuring via downsizing or outright default will force the issue.




[Edited on 9/11/2008 by Fujirich]

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/10/2008 at 06:35 PM
Very insightful post, fujirich. Thank you.

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 9/11/2008 at 01:23 PM
quote:
I have no problems with government, per se. I just don't like one that wastes our money, lies to its citizens, and creates future commitments that are unsustainable. A change of administration or congress is not going to fix this. But the odds are good that this will fix itself as financial realities impose themselves and a serious re-structuring via downsizing or outright default will force the issue.


Thanks for the kind words of concern, and yes, things are going fantastic for me right now. Although, based on the cynicism you express in the statement above, one might direct the same question to you. Unfortunately I have little time these days to participate in discussions here. As to "firing both barrels", I am not sure what you are talking about. We have been debating these issues off and on for a long time. My tone, and the points raised are no different than the past exchanges we have had. If I came across too strong, I apologize, but one of the reasons I enjoy debating with you is that we have always been direct and assertive with one another. If you now choose to characterize this as some kind of overzealous aggressiveness on my part I will gladly ignore your posts in the future. No problem at all, as my time and energy can be put to much better use. Just let me know.

The Bush administration inherited a significant budgetary surplus and just eight years ago the national debate focused on whether it should be distributed back to tax payers through tax cuts/rebates, plowed into social security, national infrastructure or used to help create a more sensible and stronger health care system. All of these were good options for strengthening the nation, and at that time, we had been managed by our leaders into a very sound fiscal position. Need I remind you what has happened to that position since? Of course, a change in administration and Congress can make a huge difference..... this notion lies at the core of our concept of freedom and democracy. Although, I could see how those wishing to make a case against it might argue that change doesn't really matter. Is that your intent?

Anyway, thanks for your response. I still don't see where your analysis recognizes the very real culpability and responsibility of other parties involved in the Fannie/Freddie mess. In your world, everything always seems to boil down to "government's" shortcomings alone, which is certainly not a unique view. While problems with government are very real and a concern we both share, it is really only a part of the story.....a symptom of deeper societal problems. Guess I need to just give it a rest. No problem at all.

Peace.

Erik






[Edited on 9/11/2008 by CEEJ]

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/11/2008 at 03:40 PM
That certainly knocks the wind out of the people arguing that Bill Clinton slashed the defense department budget. Seems from the article he wanted more money for defense....a whopping twenty billion a year. The Iraq war is heading toward three trillion dollars. Interesting 'what if' path to explore.

I wonder, if we add up all the money spent for government funded bail outs of corporations how the economy might be doing.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/topstories/2008-03-27-704724874_x.htm

 

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Sublime Peach



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  posted on 9/11/2008 at 04:35 PM
The Crash of 1929 mirrors today. Many of the safeguards to prevent such a thing from happening again were removed in the past few years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wall_Street_Crash_of_1929

 

Sublime Peach



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  posted on 9/11/2008 at 04:52 PM


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khP49ykg96E&feature=user

 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 9/11/2008 at 05:45 PM
quote:
While problems with government are very real and a concern we both share, it is really only a part of the story.....a symptom of deeper societal problems. Guess I need to just give it a rest. No problem at all.

Erik; I'm with you 100% on this. "Government" is only reflective of our society at large, and as such we get what we deserve given the choices we make. I'm not sure what other direct forces you'd like to include in the responsibility for this mess, but I'm always interested in your thoughts.

I do feel we are not serviced very well by the media or our public servants in regard to discussing the seriousness of our government's fiscal position. If I'm adding a little bit of counterbalance to that, so be it. Human nature seems to be such that until the wheels come completely off, we don't pay much attention. Nothing I see tells me we're backing away from that position, hence the concern.

I always enjoy the debate with you, my friend

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 9/12/2008 at 01:54 PM
quote:
I'm not sure what other direct forces you'd like to include in the responsibility for this mess, but I'm always interested in your thoughts.


I outlined the other participants in my previous post. They include 1) individual borrowers who, for whatever reason, assumed levels and/or types of debt they had no business touching. No matter what government's role was, it certainly didn't force any of these people to sign mortgage papers, some of whom had no business signing in the first place 2) the aggressive mortgage brokers and financial companies that sell products to people they know are extremely risky, and likely, not in the best long term interest of the borrower or nation. 3) investors making tons of money from real estate speculation, who seem to believe they should be shielded from the risk associated with their behavior 4) the same big money investors who apply public pressure via media and political lobbying to gut the role of government regulation and turn the US mortgage industry into something resembling more of a Vegas-style gambling operation. 5) Spineless, blowhard politicians who cowtow to big money interests. So, of course, government is intermixed in all of this, and its culpability is both undeniable and significant, but it is certainly no unilateral player.

As to our inability to deal with things more proactively, I believe it is less "human nature" as it is a tendency of Americans, in recent decades, to retreat into their own personal lives, and small circles of friends and family while disengaging from the difficult and challenging broader issues of citizenship, public life and community building. I certainly don't lay claim to this thesis on my own. It is a concept spelled out by a national author/activist/consultant who I admire and respect a great deal named Richard Harwood in his book Hope Unraveled. http://theharwoodinstitute.org/

I am pleased you are still interested in continuing our discussion and debate and wish you a safe weekend.

Peace.

Erik





[Edited on 9/12/2008 by CEEJ]

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/12/2008 at 04:08 PM
I outlined the other participants in my previous post. They include 1) individual borrowers who, for whatever reason, assumed levels and/or types of debt they had no business touching. No matter what government's role was, it certainly didn't force any of these people to sign mortgage papers, some of whom had no business signing in the first place 2) the aggressive mortgage brokers and financial companies that sell products to people they know are extremely risky, and likely, not in the best long term interest of the borrower or nation. 3) investors making tons of money from real estate speculation, who seem to believe they should be shielded from the risk associated with their behavior 4) the same big money investors who apply public pressure via media and political lobbying to gut the role of government regulation and turn the US mortgage industry into something resembling more of a Vegas-style gambling operation. 5) Spineless, blowhard politicians who cowtow to big money interests. So, of course, government is intermixed in all of this, and its culpability is both undeniable and significant, but it is certainly no unilateral player.

I agree with all of the points listed above. Until we have a degree of personal responsibility for problems in this country it will be difficult if not impossible to make any headway solving some of the serious issues facing us today.

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 9/12/2008 at 11:14 PM
Another one bites the dust? A disturbing recuring theme...

quote:

Emergency meeting held to discuss Lehman Brothers

September 12, 2008 11:09 PM ET

Associated PressAll Associated Press news

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Federal Reserve Bank of New York held an emergency meeting Friday night with top Washington policymakers and major financial institutions to discuss the future of Lehman Brothers.

The meeting, which was attended by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, was held at the offices of New York Federal Reserve Bank president Timothy Geithner. The meeting was confirmed by Fed spokeswoman Michelle Smith.

Smith refused to disclose what financial institutions participated in the meeting or whether the group had reached any conclusion over how to resolve the crisis facing Lehman Brothers.

She said that in addition to Paulson and Geithner, Christopher Cox, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, was in attendance for the discussions.

The private sector participants were described by Smith only as "senior representatives of major financial institutions."

However, the Wall Street Journal reported on its website that this group included Morgan Stanley chief executive John Mack and Merrill Lynch chief executive John Thain among others.

Earlier in the day a person familiar with Paulson's thinking said that the treasury secretary was opposed to the use of any government money to bail Lehman Brothers out of its financial difficulties.

Lehman Brothers, the nation's No. 4 investment bank, was racing to find a buyer two days after it laid out a restructuring plan it said would raise badly needed money it lost on bad bets in real estate holdings.

The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of negotiations, said Paulson believes the Lehman situation is different in two critical aspects from the government-assisted rescue of Bear Stearns back in March.

This person said that Paulson believed that financial markets have been aware for some time of the difficulties facing Lehman and have had time to prepare and the Fed is now allowing investment banks in need of emergency loans to borrow directly from the Fed just as commercial banks can do.



 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 9/12/2008 at 11:57 PM
Jezz nebish, I've been hearing - like I'm sure many of us had - about Lehman since last week. But this.... yikes

It doesn't portend very well, does it?

Henry Paulson is one busy guy lately. I can only imagine what it must be like to be him. There's a man for whom the expression "weight of the world on his shoulders" is more literal than metaphoric right now.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/13/2008 at 12:01 AM
We may be at the dawn of a new age of Corporate Socialism, and Democrat vs. Republican really has nothing to do with it at all.

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 9/13/2008 at 12:30 AM
With the Fannie/Freddie takeover, the government now literally owns - or at least partially owns - half the private real estate in the country. I think the Feds will partner with elite financial institutions to work out the Fannie/Freddie thing, with the net result being that the financial elites will effectively run the country. I'm not sure if that's corporate socialism, but I guess if it's backed up with government guarantees funded by taxpayer money, its pretty close.

Just look at all the bailouts over the past year+. Most all of the bigger financial institutions have received help. If they let Lehman fail, it might be the first to not get a helping hand. But that also might be a sign that there's simply no funds left to prop them up in a believable manner.

One of my favorite quotes about the mindset of elite bankers comes from Mayer Rothschild: "Give me control of a nations money supply, and I care not who makes it laws".

The Federal Reserve (a group of private bankers) and the Treasury seem to be working well together to put the financial elites in control of almost everything they could want.

 

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Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 9/13/2008 at 06:12 AM
Much like the bank takeovers of the 80s/90s, I think any buyer of Lehman would expect some sort of government assistance. That's built into shoppers expectations just like discounting at Wal mart now.

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 9/13/2008 at 07:05 AM
With 11 banks going down this year (13 since August 07) and giant Washinton Mutual teetering, I've wondered about my regional bank's health, which frankly isn't good (under $5 a share). Some basic info with Q&A on bank failures and the FDIC:

quote:
WASHINGTON - Amid the recent collapse and government seizure of savings and loan giant IndyMac Bank and heightened anxiety this week over the financial stability of No. 1 thrift Washington Mutual Inc., consumers are concerned about the safety of their bank deposits.

As of June 30, Seattle-based WaMu and its subsidiaries had assets of $309.73 billion and $181.92 billion in deposits. By comparison, Pasadena, Calif.-based IndyMac had $32 billion in assets and $19 billion in deposits when it was shut down by federal regulators on July 11.

If Washington Mutual were to tumble, the magnitude of its failure would dwarf the largest bank collapse in U.S. history that of Continental Illinois National Bank in 1984, with $33.6 billion in assets.

Besides IndyMac, 10 more federally insured banks and thrifts have failed this year and were closed by regulators, compared with three in all of 2007. Federal banking officials say more institutions are in danger of collapsing as turbulence from the housing slump, mounting defaults on mortgages, and the yearlong credit crisis continues to pile on soured loans for banks.

But officials also are assuring depositors that accounts are secure: Some 98 percent of the 8,450 government-insured U.S. banks and thrifts are strong, and $45.2 billion is in the federal deposit insurance fund replenished by premiums paid by the institutions.

Still, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair has said she will propose next month to FDIC directors an increase in premiums charged to banks and thrifts.

Some questions that bank customers may be asking:

Q. What is the maximum dollar amount that can be insured at my bank? Does it vary based on the type of accounts involved?

A. The basic insurance amount is $100,000 per depositor per bank. Individual retirement accounts, or IRAs, held in banks are insured up to $250,000. In addition, you may qualify for more than $100,000 in coverage at one bank if you have deposit accounts in different ownership categories, such as single accounts, retirement accounts, joint accounts and revocable trust accounts.

Q. What if my family has multiple individual accounts of those types, but our total deposits exceed the limits?

A. If the accounts are properly structured, a married couple could have as much as $1.1 million in deposits fully insured at one bank, according to the FDIC. With accounts for two children added, up to $1.5 million could be covered.

Q. If my bank closes, what happens to my money in deposit accounts that exceeds the insured limits?

A. You become essentially a creditor of the failed bank. You will eventually recover some of your money, but the amount can range anywhere from 40 cents on the dollar up to a full 100. Recovery of the money could take months. At IndyMac, there are an estimated $541 million in deposits of the total $19 billion that exceed the insurance limits.

Q. How has that worked out for past bank failures?

A. The average return for a depositor in that situation has been about 72 cents on the dollar, according to the FDIC. The amount that depositors recoup can depend on the amount and quality of the failed bank's assets.

Q. What else happens if my bank is shut down: Will the ATMs work? Will my automatic payments for mortgages, utilities and the like be affected?

A. Automated teller machines normally remain available after a bank closure. Checks will be processed as usual, services such as online banking and safe deposit boxes will continue to be available, and interest on accounts will accrue at the current rates. Terms of loans from the bank won't change, according to the FDIC.

Q. What can I do now, before any possible closure of my bank, to protect my assets?

A. The best way is to structure the accounts carefully. The FDIC has a calculator on its Web site, called the electronic deposit insurance estimator, or EDIE, that can help determine how much money, if any, in deposit accounts exceeds the insurance limits.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/26663182/for/cnbc/


 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 9/13/2008 at 11:11 AM
quote:
A. The average return for a depositor in that situation has been about 72 cents on the dollar, according to the FDIC. The amount that depositors recoup can depend on the amount and quality of the failed bank's assets.

I wonder how the IRS treats losses like this. I would assume they could be written off, at least recapturing a portion of the loss, but who knows.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/13/2008 at 11:15 AM
A lot of you posting in this thread know a heck of a lot more about this than I do so I'm going to throw something out for discussion in the form of a 'what if' scenario.

What if.....as stated above....with the takeover of freddie mac and fannie mae the government owns about half the real estate in the country......and what if, with the bank take overs , the government ends up controling a large chunck of the money in the country either directly or indirectly.....and say a president decided to declare martial law and maintain his control of the country in the form of a 'dictatorship'.......how vulnerable would we be and could this happen?

 

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Sublime Peach



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  posted on 9/13/2008 at 11:20 AM
A soft form a fascism has already taken control in this country. The USA as we knew it is dead.
 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/13/2008 at 11:22 AM
That's what I've been thinking for a while now and I'm concerned about this latest turn of events.

 

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


 
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