Well, I'm out

The SEC’s ban on short selling is such blatant manipulation that I’m just saying the hell with the stock market for the foreseeable future. There’s zero point in attempting to salvage and increase one’s capital if the government is taking every opportunity to manipulate the system, pick the winners and losers, destroy value, and protect insiders.

Fuck 'em. I’m moving everything to cash, and I’m moving the cash to goddamned Switzerland, in Swiss francs.

Good luck.

Could be worse; somewhere there’s a future president shitting himself silly at the mess he’s about to inherit.

Sorry the game’s over for you squid, but at least there’s the bright side. What’s bad for squid is good for the rest of the world. :wink:

Two good days in a row, finally. Now just 100 more of those and we’ll be almost back where we started.

Sorry to hear it, squid. But you sure about those Swiss Francs? What if UBS falls in a heap?

The delicious irony in all this is that these now very relieved punters are by nature virulently opposed to government intervention.

[quote]America moves quickly to democratic-socialist state
Submitted by SHNS on Thu, 09/18/2008 - 13:35. By DEROY MURDOCK, Scripps Howard
There’s no avoiding this conclusion: The federal government’s breathtaking economic interventionism has turned America into a democratic-socialist state. The fact that these drastic incursions are happening under an allegedly conservative administration leaves this right-winger oscillating between head-spinning disbelief and exhausted disenchantment.

The $200 billion federal bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has given Washington control of some $5 trillion in home-mortgage debt. Roughly half of Americans now live, essentially, in public housing.

The nationalization of American Insurance Group puts Uncle Sam in charge of 80 percent of the nation’s largest insurance company. Cost: $85 billion.

To finance this takeover, the Treasury Department will sell some $40 billion in bonds. After borrowing this money – to be paid eventually by Americans not yet born, conceived, nor imagined – Treasury officials will hand it to the Federal Reserve to help fund its seizure of AIG.

This month’s brutish government intrusions arrive atop July’s $300 billion bailout to refinance home mortgages up to $729,750 in value. This legislation has yielded a grotesque spectacle: the 34.7 percent of households that rent dwellings, and thus lack home equity, are subsidizing those who own homes that renters cannot afford. This program lifts the prices of those properties even more beyond reach, while further draining renters’ pockets. This makes down payments that much tougher to accumulate.

The feds coughed up $29 billion in March to unplug Bear Stearns and sell it to J.P Morgan Chase. Bear was deemed “too big to fail,” thus paradoxically requiring its federal euthanasia. Nevertheless, much-larger Lehman Brothers ($59 billion in sales last year vs. Bear’s $16 billion) was allowed to declare bankruptcy and sell itself to Barclay’s Bank. Still, taxpayers are reimbursing Chase $87 billion for covering some dodgy Lehman transactions.[/quote]

Rush don’t like it.

[quote]United Socialist States of America?
September 17, 2008
RUSH: We are on the verge, ladies and gentlemen, of becoming a socialist country. The federal government now owns 80% of AIG, my insurer. That means that you are going to be propping up the outfit that insures me. I’m going to be, too, but so are you. If you want to fix AIG, put the guy who built it back in there, Maurice Hank Greenberg, not to be confused with Hank Ace Greenberg who ran Bear Stearns. Where’s that now, by the way?

Chavez and even old Fidel must be having a little chuckle. “They nationalised what??!!” :laughing:

Leaves you wondering just how much further to the left Obama could take this ship. Indeed the only outstanding thing to do now is institute universal healthcare. And that’s not such a bad idea.


I say put it all under your mattress. :slight_smile:

So, squid, do you think the govt’s overreacting? Do you think things aren’t as bad as they say? Do think they should back the hell away at let the market continue to correct itself naturally, allowing the indexes to drop however much that might entail, and any businesses dumb enough to have blown it so badly to fail, and eventually things will level out, those people will find work again, the markets will hit bottom, and finally, gradually, things will start to turn around?

Is this all hyperbole and/or misguided scare tactics?

[quote] Congressional Leaders Stunned by Warnings

WASHINGTON — It was a room full of people who rarely hold their tongues. But as the Fed chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, laid out the potentially devastating ramifications of the financial crisis before congressional leaders on Thursday night, there was a stunned silence at first.

Mr. Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. had made an urgent and unusual evening visit to Capitol Hill, and they were gathered around a conference table . . .

“When you listened to him describe it you gulped," said Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York.

As Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut and chairman of the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, put it Friday morning . . . the congressional leaders were told “that we’re literally maybe days away from a complete meltdown of our financial system, with all the implications here at home and globally.”

Mr. Schumer added, “History was sort of hanging over it, like this was a moment.”

When Mr. Schumer described the meeting as “somber,” Mr. Dodd cut in. “Somber doesn’t begin to justify the words,” he said. “We have never heard language like this.”

“What you heard last evening,” he added, “is one of those rare moments, certainly rare in my experience here, is Democrats and Republicans deciding we need to work together quickly” . . .

Senator Richard C. Shelby of Alabama, the senior Republican on the Senate banking committee, said in a television interview that cost to the government of purchasing bad debt could run to $1 trillion — a potential warning sign since Mr. Shelby is a longtime skeptic of government intervention in the private market . . . [/quote]

Well, I’m gay too.

Edit: I seem to have misinterpreted this thread.

In the spirit of Dr. McCoy’s disclosure, I’d like for you all to start calling me Susan.

MT, the game’s not over – I’m just no longer going to bother to play. I am taking my ball and leaving. This is now the THIRD TIME that Paulson/Bernanke and their unindicted coconspirators have pulled this shit JUST BEFORE OPTIONS EXPIRATION in a deliberate effort to destroy the investments of those who have taken positions that P/B/ucs don’t like. Every single time, they have hammered my positions right back to zero. I now have exactly as much, to within a few thou, of what I had in early 2007 before the mess started rearing its ugly head. They cost me 20%, not much, and 10% respectively. There’s just no fucking point in playing ball with them if, right when I’m about to score, they suddenly call in airstrikes to napalm the goal line.

I was opposed to the bailouts long before they went insane. As for being bad or good, they’re unequivocally bad. They are setting us up for a massive devaluation of the dollar. There isn’t any other way to pay off the doubling (AT LEAST – more likely tripling) of the national debt – the total accumulated debt, not the annual piddly-ass deficit – that they’ve just done.

Of course, it’s being sucked up in 2008 dollars, and it’ll all get paid in 2025 dollars. If we’re lucky, those 2025 dollars will have a third as much purchasing power as 2008 dollars. More likely it’ll be a lot less, just as in the 1970s devaluation.

There’s no point in saving money, there’s no point in investing money. Better to move it somewhere that respects savers and investors, like Zimbabwe, Somalia, or in a pinch Russia.

You’re not kidding about the national debt.

nytimes.com/2008/09/21/busin … ng.html?hp

But, compare that to Iraq war debt.

How do they compare in size?

How do they compare in benefit gained for citizens of the US (and the rest of the world)?

Mind you, I don’t deny at all the complete ineptitude of the Bush administration for getting us into this mess. One would think the world’s most powerful nation should be led by skilled lawmakers, advised by the world’s top economists, such that it wouldn’t be necessary to suddenly announce that, “holy shit, we screwed up, we just realized that we’re days away from global meltdown, we need to authorize spending of $700B, based on a few days notice and a mere 3-page document.”

Obviously, there has been a complete, total lack of foresight and planning, AGAIN, by those idiots who are supposed to be steering our nation, so that we are again suddenly, frantically taking insanely expensive emergency actions, that have not been carefully planned, thought out and debated, but are just suddenly thrust upon us to bail us out of a catastrophe that never should have happened.

BUT, given the unprecedented, precipitous state of the affairs as they now stand, is this not a somewhat reasonable response?

At least it doesn’t appear to be mere cronyism for well-connected business pals of the administration, as all the oil boondoggles in Iraq and Alaska are, but seems to be more of a well-intentioned attempt to honestly attempt to bail us out of the latest mess our Chief got us into. Whether it will succeed or not, I don’t know, but at least this time it seems to be a legitimate attempt at governance, albeit a mindboggling one.

Ironically, the best thing to do, if you can, is borrow money because this debt bailout, though necessary in a mixed economy, will be inflationary. Use that money to buy real assets like land, stocks in a brewery (no joke), gold or any company that has pricing power and good cash flow, a cash position is a poor option. The Fed will be essentially printing money to pay for the bailout. When interest rates are lowered to boost the economy and inflation is running above that rate the real interest rate will be negative.

But, compare that to Iraq war debt.

How do they compare in size?

How do they compare in benefit gained for citizens of the US (and the rest of the world)?[/quote]

Ok, here’s the answer to my first question.

[color=#FF0000]This new financial committment is roughly equal in size to the total cost of the Iraq war to date.[/color] Wow! That is a lot of money.

As for my second question, while I don’t deny that the govt’s a bunch of bungling idiots with a total lack of foresight and planning of any kind, only bumbling along from one half-cocked personal-interest scheme to another, based on lies and deception, and it’s their damned fault we’re in this mess, nonetheless. . .

[color=#FF0000]given the screwed up state of the economy, banking system, stock market and mortgage disaster, isn’t this use of almost a trillion dollars of taxpayer money far more productive than the Iraq debacle?[/color]

[quote=“Mother Theresa”]

[color=#FF0000]This new financial committment is roughly equal in size to the total cost of the Iraq war to date.[/color] Wow! That is a lot of money.


Though Joe Stiglitz puts the monetary cost of the Iraq war at a far higher figure.

[quote=“Mother Theresa”][quote=“Mother Theresa”][quote]The Bush administration on Saturday formally proposed to Congress what could become the largest financial bailout in United States history, requesting unfettered authority for the Treasury Department to buy up to $700 billion in mortgage-related assets. . . It would raise the national debt ceiling to $11.3 trillion. [/quote] . . .

[color=#FF0000]given the screwed up state of the economy, banking system, stock market and mortgage disaster, isn’t this use of almost a trillion dollars of taxpayer money far more productive than the Iraq debacle?[/color][/quote][/quote]

The best part is that when the Bush administration took office the national debt was $5 trillion dollars, which took over 200 years for the nation to accumulate. Now we’re looking at a national debt of $11.3 trillion by the time Bush leaves office. No wonder the Republican candidate for president is trying to make out like he’s not actually the Republican candidate for president.

Can you imagine the CFO of a major corporation calling an emergency meeting of the Board of Directors and top officers to inform them that,

“Oops, we’ve discovered that we’re just days away from complete financial meltdown and we need to borrow $700B today based on this 3-page document that I’ve prepared. Sorry we didn’t alert you earlier and don’t have time for debate or consideration of alternative plans, but I will need each of you to sign here. Thank you, here’s a pen.”

They wouldn’t just fire the incompetent bastard. They’d throw him off the roof. And yet, that’s basically what just happened in America, the most powerful nation on earth.

How did our leadership ever become so incredibly incompetent? 290 million people and the greatest universities on earth, but we’re led by a bunch of morons.

Obviously, an emergency, catastrophic, last second bail-out like this never should have been required. Obviously, there should have been intelligent leaders who recognized the warning signs years ago and took prudent precautionary measures to avoid our present state.

It’s only 10% increase from our current debt of 10 trillion. A drop in the bucket.

The sad irony is that 9/11 was a symbolic attack to bring down the American financial empire.
But in reality it was our own (US) undoing.

Now maybe we’ll get a break from the propaganda that the U.S. economy is in fine shape and perceptions that it’s actually in long-term decline are all in our heads.

Nigeria - if you can find a thrustfull partner :ponder: . put your bucks in raw materials. As the Chinese are plundering the country for their own needs, some companies over there might bring a few quick bucks.
Too bad I have no money to invest though :whistle:

Good Market Watch article on the Bush administration’s latest bumbling of a crisis.

[quote] Echoes of Iraq in Bush handling of mortgage crisis

“You can draw some valid parallels between the prosecution of the war under the Bush regime and the way the financial sector has operated in recent years,” said Tom Schlesinger, head of the nonprofit research group Financial Markets Center in Howardsville, Va.

“It fails the most basic test of democratic accountability,” Schlesinger said. . .

Some policy observers point to a “trust us” mentality in the administration’s call to obtain sweeping powers that are scant on checks and balances on the executive branch. In addition, the White House is faulted with a failure to raise alarm before the situation spiraled out of control, forcing the mobilization of more troops and untold financial resources.
Outlining the administration’s remedy, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson came up with a three-page plan to spend $700 billion on toxic mortgage debt that was very spare on key details.

It boils down to “give me the money and trust me,” Schlesinger said.

James Angel, a professor of finance at Georgetown University, said the White House appears to be “flying by the seat of their pants.”

Congress got little advance warning of the proposed bailout, as the Treasury Department waited until five days before lawmakers were set to leave town for the presidential and Congressional election campaigns. As a result, any discussion of alternatives has been sidelined. . . .

“It is no wonder that the Bush administration is pressing to get the plan passed quickly before any real oversight can be brought to bear, because even the simplest due diligence suggests that it needs some work if the taxpayer’s interests are to be even minimally protected and some real oversight brought to bear on the whole process,” wrote Josh Shapiro, chief U.S. economist at MFR Inc. . .

At issue would be what assets Treasury buys. “How much are they going to pay for them? How are they going to service those assets?,” Angel said. “It is a trust-me operation. And this administration hasn’t really earned a lot of trust by its execution in a number of areas,” including crises like Hurricane Katrina and Iraq. . . .

Some analysts see another Iraq parallel: The administration has been slow to understand the gravity of the financial turmoil just as it was slow to realize how difficult it would be to govern Iraq after toppling the government of Saddam Hussein. . . .

Until just last week, Paulson consistently told reporters there was no need for massive government intervention in the mortgage crisis.

“This is Paulson’s surge here,” Angel said. “In much the same way the administration let the insurgency get out of hand, Paulson let this turmoil get out of hand. Now he is finally combating it by sending in enough troops to quell it.”

. . . On other thing is certain as legacy of both Iraq and the mortgage crisis, whoever is the next president will have to tackle many hard questions left unanswered by the Bush presidency.[/quote]

Marketwatch article

This is not just about a war. It contributes to the problem, but look at what is broken in the U.S. Maybe it is easier to see what is not broken.

Economy - broken
Transportation - broken
Public trust - broken
Family value - broken
Trade - broken
Housing - broken
Basic freedoms - broken
Freedom of expression - broken
Freedom of happiness (yes, it’s there) - broken
The right to bear arms - broken (afraid of the public, with good reason)
Campaign finance - broken
Public health - broken
Education system - broken
Elected official integrity - broken
Truth - broken

Spin - Doing well
Self denial - doing well
Corporate greed - doing well
Bull shit abounds
Who can fix it. Don’t look at these candidates. How many elections have we heard about how the candidate will fix the problem? They don’t and actually can’t. I recall hearing about public health insurance since the days of Ike. Hasn’t happened yet and don’t hold your breath. Yet, Taiwan seems to be able to do at least a modicum of this, and quite well, I might add. Yet, the so-called richest nation on earth can’t afford to treat a gunshot victim at the ER. WTF!
A wise man once told me that every country that survives requires an occasional revolution. Maybe it’s time. What we have now, sure as hell is not working.
Where are the statesmen?
EDIT: I would sure like to know other’s opinions about “States Rights”. Of course, this topic is an integral part of the founding of the U.S. Keep in mind that it was originally considered “America”. Is there a difference? Should states be considered as soveriegn nations? Some believe that a federal government should only do for the people only those things that the people can not do for themselves? (Thomas Jefferson) These, of course, include things like health care, which we don’t have, a convenient and quick transportation system, which we don’t have, an effective police force ? Maybe - you decide. A good international trade system, which we don’t have. Ok . . . . I’m winding down.
Change will occur. How would you like to see the change materialize?

The comparison to the Iraq War is rather pointless, IMHO. Iraq was a matter of national security, not a commercial enterprise. This is almost a reprise of the old “bake sale for the Pentagon” canard – the military isn’t there to make a profit.

Omni, you’re 100% wrong. The current bailout saddles the U.S. with far more long-term exposure than Iraq ever did. Yes, Bush bungled Iraq badly – he was far too nice, should’ve crushed al-Sadr like a cockroach, should’ve cut the balls off the corpses of dead “insurgents” and mailed them to their families for a proper burial just as the Russians did (and stopped kidnappings of their diplomats instantly).

But at least Iraq was and still is something that could be ENDED in an instant.

The current political response to the financial mess is sorta like the Rural Electrification Bureau or that Spanish-American War telephone tax. It prolongs the problem, and will likely even make it permanent. We’ll be paying this mess off until the next revolution (we can only hope!) or outright collapse, or until the heat death of the universe, whatever comes first.