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Old 01-02-2020, 05:37 PM   #1
Tyrone Slothrop
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Objectively intelligent.

Carry on.
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Old 01-02-2020, 06:25 PM   #2
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

I'm looking forward to the stories we can expect in 12-24 months about all the crazy stuff about Trump that insiders and journalists who cover the White House "couldn't" tell us when it was happening, i.e., now.
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Old 01-02-2020, 08:42 PM   #3
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

Brad Delong criticizes Obama for helping to cause the mess we're in:

Quote:
Barack Obama is not the biggest author of our current debacle. But he is an author. Every time I see his picture, I think of him in January 2010: "Families across the country are tightening their belts and making tough decisions. The federal government should do the same. (Applause.) So tonight, I'm proposing specific steps to pay for the trillion dollars that it took to rescue the economy last year. Starting in 2011, we are prepared to freeze government spending for three years..." I still cannot find anyone willing to take ownership fo that policy proposal, so I suspect it same direct from Obama: Paul Krugman: The Legacy of Destructive Austerity: 'A decade ago, the world was living in the aftermath of the worst economic crisis since the 1930s. Financial markets had stabilized, but the real economy was still in terrible shape, with around 40 million European and North American workers unemployed. Fortunately, economists had learned a lot from the experience of the Great Depression. In particular, they knew that fiscal austerity—slashing government spending in an attempt to balance the budget—is a really bad idea in a depressed economy. Unfortunately, policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic spent the first half of the 2010s doing exactly what both theory and history told them not to do. And this wrong turn on policy cast a long shadow, economically and politically... helped set the stage for the current crisis of democracy.... The austerity years left many lasting scars, especially on politics. There are multiple explanations for the populist rage that has put democracy at risk across the Western world, but the side effects of austerity rank high on the list.... Beyond that, I’d argue that austerity mania fatally damaged elite credibility. If ordinary working families no longer believe that traditional elites know what they’re doing or care about people like them, well, what happened during the austerity years suggests that they’re right. True, it’s delusional to imagine that people like Trump will serve their interests better, but it’s a lot harder to denounce a scam artist when you yourself spent years promoting destructive policies simply because they sounded serious. In short, we’re in the mess we’re in largely because of the wrong turn policy took a decade ago...
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Old 01-03-2020, 10:51 AM   #4
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

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Old 01-03-2020, 10:59 AM   #5
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Like that Amazon package that arrives two weeks late...

Bolton got his Christmas wish with that strike on the Iranian general.

God only knows how this will work out.
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Old 01-03-2020, 01:28 PM   #6
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Re: Like that Amazon package that arrives two weeks late...

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Originally Posted by sebastian_dangerfield View Post
Bolton got his Christmas wish with that strike on the Iranian general.

God only knows how this will work out.
The one positive thing I had to say about 45 was the he seemed to be resisting influences like Bolton to avoid escalating against Iran. So much for that. I guess the opportunity to push his other problems out of the headlines, give a potential witness against him something he wanted, lure the media into it's usual war-backing and kill some bad guys was too strong.

Yeah, that isn't surprising.

Apparently these were actually bad - I'll admit to having never heard of them awhile they were alive - but this is going to get ugly in the best case scenario (i.e., Iranian retaliation that doesn't spark further escalation) and very ugly in the likely bad scenario (i.e., renewed regional war).
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Old 01-03-2020, 01:39 PM   #7
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Re: Like that Amazon package that arrives two weeks late...

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The one positive thing I had to say about 45 was the he seemed to be resisting influences like Bolton to avoid escalating against Iran. So much for that. I guess the opportunity to push his other problems out of the headlines, give a potential witness against him something he wanted, lure the media into it's usual war-backing and kill some bad guys was too strong.

Yeah, that isn't surprising.

Apparently these were actually bad - I'll admit to having never heard of them awhile they were alive - but this is going to get ugly in the best case scenario (i.e., Iranian retaliation that doesn't spark further escalation) and very ugly in the likely bad scenario (i.e., renewed regional war).
I think a more long range worst case scenario is the rulers in Iran finding a way to use the death of this figure to gin up nationalism and hatred for the US among a population that is not anti-US or anti-Western.

I'm all for killing the degenerate hard liners who rule Iran. Nobody anywhere wants them in power. The world hates them; most of their own people hate them. But the calculation Bush and Obama made was that to engage in aggression against the country in any manner could give the rulers an issue around which to rally the people. The rulers are currently pretty desperate, as we've really strangled their economy. They were praying for a reaction like Trump's. Lets hope the population sees through the propaganda of the rulers and rejects efforts to stoke up nationalism.

And let's hope Iran doesn't react in a manner that results in Trump inviting Wolfowitz and Perle to the White House to provide advice.
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Old 01-03-2020, 11:32 AM   #8
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop View Post
Wasn't there an incoming R congress that forced "belt-tightening" anyway? President Obama might simply have been playing towards what he knew would be inevitable.
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Old 01-03-2020, 01:32 PM   #9
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

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Originally Posted by Hank Chinaski View Post
Wasn't there an incoming R congress that forced "belt-tightening" anyway? President Obama might simply have been playing towards what he knew would be inevitable.
Yeah, a lot of left-criticism of Obama seems to completely forget what he was dealing with in Congress (not saying that of Delong). But it's also true that if you're the sort of lefty who doesn't like the Dem establishment, you're right that Obama was very much of the Dem establishment.

Frustrating to see those people making the same mistakes as 2016 though. Yeah, Biden's the Dem establishment. Yeah, you find that disappointing. No, the other guy isn't the same thing on any of the metrics you purport to care about (again, save the war thing until yesterday).
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Old 01-03-2020, 03:07 PM   #10
Tyrone Slothrop
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hank Chinaski View Post
Wasn't there an incoming R congress that forced "belt-tightening" anyway? President Obama might simply have been playing towards what he knew would be inevitable.
He seemed to really believe it, and he was wrong.
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Old 01-03-2020, 01:57 PM   #11
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop View Post
I think that's one half of it. The other half is the selective bailout. We made a decision to reinflate stock and r/e prices for investors and asset holders while ignoring the losses to workers. (Other than unionized auto workers, who were powerful enough to cut themselves a discrete deal.)

If the bailout had been structured so that Main Street received some of the money (recall, Bush did something along those lines), it would have worked much better and saved both Main Street and Wall Street at once. Wall Street would have received less, but the money given to Main Street would have been spent on mortgages and other debts that instead went bad. And who held that paper? Wall Street. Win/Win.

We could have at least tried to save Main and Wall. But we didn't. "Wise" men (including me... I argued the bailout made sense, and technically it did) said all we needed to do was shore up the financial system and it would in turn stabilize Main Street. Instead, it took all the money and did exactly what rational actors would in that situation. It speculated on assets outside the Main Street economy. And worse, it preyed on Main Street with aggressive foreclosures, and foreclosure abuses.

The 2008 Bailout will never be over. It destroyed Main Street's trust in govt and finance. And finance runs on trust. Without trust, money doesn't flow. Which it isn't. You can cite me any stat on subprime lending and floating home loan rates re-emerging as proof the lending spigot has opened to Joe Sixpack, but those are outliers. They might as well be credit card lenders, which have loaned freely through most of the entire crisis up to today. But the guy trying to borrow for a business loan, the little guy, he's still stuck in vicious cycle:
If you don't need money, you can borrow as much as you like at low rates. But if you need it, fuck you.
2008 was socialism for the affluent, period. It's defended by jackasses who'll say it's imperfect because it had to be done so fast, or that it saved the retirement accounts of millions of common people. Bullshit. We could have done all of that while allowing the people in those banks to lose their asses along with the little guys. We could have allowed investors to suffer on par with labor. But when the fuck did any govt anywhere do that, right? This is why Trump is in office and Bernie is surging. Obama bit his lip and kept the ship afloat for eight years, following the sage wisdom of those who above all else sought to maintain the status quo. Admirable work in some circles. But he never broke the fourth wall and told the little people what Bernie and Trump and Warren are: You're getting fucked in a rigged system. The little guy knows it. He gets it. And now that cat is out of the bag - openly discussed and admitted. I don't know how we ever go back to 2007. It appears impossible. Our democracy is permanently altered.
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Old 01-03-2020, 03:04 PM   #12
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sebastian_dangerfield View Post
You can cite me any stat on subprime lending and floating home loan rates re-emerging as proof the lending spigot has opened to Joe Sixpack, but those are outliers.
Wait, you think returning to the bubble years' lending would be (a) good and (b) a sign of improvement for Joe Sixpack? Um, no. That was Wall Street preying on the vulnerable. We want that reined in.

Quote:
We could have done all of that while allowing the people in those banks to lose their asses
No we couldn't and trying to would have gone an immense amount of damage to the little guys. See, every bank run ever. Whose mortgages and savings do you think are on the bank's balance sheets?

Quote:
We could have allowed investors to suffer on par with labor.
How? In your (moronic) morality tale, investors were "bailed out" with low interest rates and loose monetary policy. You think labor is better off without those measures? Because they aren't.
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Old 01-03-2020, 03:09 PM   #13
Tyrone Slothrop
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sebastian_dangerfield View Post
I think that's one half of it. The other half is the selective bailout. We made a decision to reinflate stock and r/e prices for investors and asset holders while ignoring the losses to workers. (Other than unionized auto workers, who were powerful enough to cut themselves a discrete deal.)

If the bailout had been structured so that Main Street received some of the money (recall, Bush did something along those lines), it would have worked much better and saved both Main Street and Wall Street at once. Wall Street would have received less, but the money given to Main Street would have been spent on mortgages and other debts that instead went bad. And who held that paper? Wall Street. Win/Win.

We could have at least tried to save Main and Wall. But we didn't. "Wise" men (including me... I argued the bailout made sense, and technically it did) said all we needed to do was shore up the financial system and it would in turn stabilize Main Street. Instead, it took all the money and did exactly what rational actors would in that situation. It speculated on assets outside the Main Street economy. And worse, it preyed on Main Street with aggressive foreclosures, and foreclosure abuses.

The 2008 Bailout will never be over. It destroyed Main Street's trust in govt and finance. And finance runs on trust. Without trust, money doesn't flow. Which it isn't. You can cite me any stat on subprime lending and floating home loan rates re-emerging as proof the lending spigot has opened to Joe Sixpack, but those are outliers. They might as well be credit card lenders, which have loaned freely through most of the entire crisis up to today. But the guy trying to borrow for a business loan, the little guy, he's still stuck in vicious cycle:
If you don't need money, you can borrow as much as you like at low rates. But if you need it, fuck you.
2008 was socialism for the affluent, period. It's defended by jackasses who'll say it's imperfect because it had to be done so fast, or that it saved the retirement accounts of millions of common people. Bullshit. We could have done all of that while allowing the people in those banks to lose their asses along with the little guys. We could have allowed investors to suffer on par with labor. But when the fuck did any govt anywhere do that, right? This is why Trump is in office and Bernie is surging. Obama bit his lip and kept the ship afloat for eight years, following the sage wisdom of those who above all else sought to maintain the status quo. Admirable work in some circles. But he never broke the fourth wall and told the little people what Bernie and Trump and Warren are: You're getting fucked in a rigged system. The little guy knows it. He gets it. And now that cat is out of the bag - openly discussed and admitted. I don't know how we ever go back to 2007. It appears impossible. Our democracy is permanently altered.
It's a little worse that that. As I recall, the bailout was structured to give relief to Main Street as well as Wall Street, but Geithner (in particular) didn't want to do that, and didn't use the tools Congress gave him.
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Old 01-03-2020, 03:37 PM   #14
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop View Post
It's a little worse that that. As I recall, the bailout was structured to give relief to Main Street as well as Wall Street, but Geithner (in particular) didn't want to do that, and didn't use the tools Congress gave him.
It was initially supposed to create bad banks to soak up and modify bad loans, but that was nixed (don't know who was responsible there). Then there was supposed to be a ton of money allocated to mortgage modifications. That was a fucking joke. The lenders set up new servicers to milk that (Wells Fargo most luridly, and perhaps criminally). They actually made money off the modification system while making it near impossible for borrowers to get modifications. There are a couple really amazing studies on it.

I believe Geithner was a big fan of citing moral hazard (the little people can't be taught they can be bailed out... that only applies to the TBTF clowd). He was also a proponent of the argument that the little guy wasn't as good a risk, while the banks would surely pay back Uncle Sam at profit. Nevermind that by bailing out the little guy with direct subsidies (same way Bush gave everyone checks during a bad economy a few years prior, only much bigger), Wall Street would have been the ultimate recipient of a lot of the funds.
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Old 01-16-2020, 07:08 PM   #15
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Too bad there was no case pending

Man demands trial by combat against his wife - http://loweringthebar.net/2020/01/ka...by-combat.html
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