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The greater depression.
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Gregory Vrill
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

its just cuz I finally got that american eagle tattoo on my chest, im totally feelin it, you should see it, its awesome
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JimmySwill
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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems to me that we are starting the actual turn-around. The financial system got all jacked up, and consumers were in debt up to their ears, but everything else seems to be cool. U.S. manufacturing just launched. Huge CDS liability fears are apparently subsiding, and hopefully being untangled. Still, my guess is the recovery is going to be (and should be) slow as we need to expunge some of the ridiculous debt Americans are holding. That and much of that negative housing equity should keep a damper on things. Then there is the inevitable inflation that's got to be coming.

I have no idea how this debt resolution plays into the inflation equation. I do know printing money is basically a down-payment on inflation, but I don't know if existing debt is a brake or accelerator. What I do know is that my folks lost a lot of money and I bought some cheap stocks and a house at a great rate. It's almost as if this was a generational transfer of wealth. Thanks investment bankers!

BTW, isn't that an oxymoron? Investment Banker. Banks are supposed to be safe, right? Investment is prospecting, taking a chance. Time to put the Glass-Steagall Act back with a big 'DO NOT REMOVE' sticker.
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greyfaced
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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Time to put the Glass-Steagall Act back with a big 'DO NOT REMOVE' sticker.


I agree with that and much of what you said.

I find the idea of a generational transfer of wealth interesting, but I doubt that enough of our generation is investing to the point where it is a reality.

We'll see though, there are still many balls in the air, and dropping one could cause many others to fall. I'm surprised how well the bankruptcy of the auto industry is being handled.

There seems to be something therapeutic about it being dragged out for so long, rather than having it happen when it was apparent that it was necessary.
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Cyndre
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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm just concerned about our debt level. Especially with Democratic "healthcare reform" (which seems to be a nice way of saying "single payer system" i.e. socialized medicine), I'm not sure where the money will come from. Ok, so every American needs to be insured and have healthcare? Ok, where does the funding come from? We've already thrown about 3 trillion into the economy, putting our national debt levels up to WW2 levels. So, now we're going to increase the most expensive area of government spending? I think we are looking at a 40% tax bracket before Obama is out of office. We are just running up the national credit cards.

Re: auto bailout, all Obama did was shaft the previous equity holders and debt holders. Cerebus financial (Chrysler owners) got zeroed out. Straight up zeroed out. I am glad to see a president (Democratic none the less) breaking a union, but the underlying fundamentals are still not good - and now the automotive suppliers are going to want bailouts.

There's only about 100 billion left in the TARP fund, so this crazy train is just about to pull into the station, and then we'll see where we are.
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JimmySwill
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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

US healthcare is the most costly per capita in the developed world, and is rated about 37th in overall care. This is 2003 data.



I'd prefer a single payer option. Even if they call it socialized medicine. It might just beat the "we'll try our damnedest not to pay your bill, but charge you up the ass" healthcare plan I have.

The debt situation sucks. But at least we aren't starting another war and giving an upper class taxcut at the same time.
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greyfaced
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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Re: auto bailout, all Obama did was shaft the previous equity holders and debt holders. Cerebus financial (Chrysler owners) got zeroed out.


The previous equity holders got the shaft because the company failed. It's called a bankruptcy for a reason.

Frankly I wish some banks would fail. They need to. Our tax rate is messed up. If you look at my income and how much tax I pay as a smoker/drinker/homeowner/payroll tax guy.... I already pay about 30% tax, and I make below 12k a year on paper, so uh.... Can I get my health care now please?

Oh, and that investment banker he pays what in taxes...? My friend who makes 250k a year got 10k back in taxes last year, after his account did some math for him. At least he agrees that it's not right.

Portland General Electric payed $10 in state taxes last year, the minimum.

If we have socialized anything it's business interests and that was done a long time ago, not by Obama. Not that he's done much to change it...

Hell, our payments to defense companies are a sham....
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JimmySwill
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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

greyfaced wrote:
If we have socialized anything it's business interests and that was done a long time ago, not by Obama. Not that he's done much to change it...


I agree with that. That has been the way of things throughout history. Money talks. Oil companies can make record profits and get $20 billion of our tax dollars because they make record profits. It's a very difficult thing to tame.

Now don't get me wrong. I don't want a society of equality. I think stratification is a healthy thing. I just want to work on equality of opportunity and for people to more or less get a fair shake. As a representative democracy, we have to make sure people are more or less getting a fair shake. Egregiously unfair tax codes and monopolized health care is counter-productive and destabilizing.

As for healthcare, I think we can actually save the private insurers money by providing a basic level of taxpayer funded care. Emergency rooms are rarely profitable, but are required by law. If the tax payer helped pay for this basic, unprofitable and universal need, we might find the private insurers can be more competitive with the care they do make a profit on. Right now we ask private insurers to subsidize an unfunded mandate (provide emergency/stabilizing care, even if it's for free), and we still pay for it, but in indirect ways. It's not like single payer is going to invent new costs. We are already paying these costs through different means, and as private administrative costs are much higher than medicare, it's likely in a less efficient way.
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greyfaced
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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I don't want a society of equality.


Who is for that exactly? It's such a red herring to call any of this crap socialism. You could be a hard core cash conservative and be for universal single payer health care. You could be a conservative (economically speaking) and be for housing rights first programs, like in new york that have SAVED money, by putting homeless people into apartments.

Now socially conservative people are something I don't get. Most of them say they believe in some kind of thing....and well you know. I have been talking to a church facilities guy about what they would need for the church to feel comfortable about letting homeless people sleep in the sanctuary when it isn't being used in service. I'm glad all those godless European countries let people take refuge in the state owned churches.
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JimmySwill
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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

greyfaced wrote:
I have been talking to a church facilities guy about what they would need for the church to feel comfortable about letting homeless people sleep in the sanctuary when it isn't being used in service. I'm glad all those godless European countries let people take refuge in the state owned churches.

Heh.
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JimmySwill
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doh.

http://www.reuters.com/resources/r/?m=02&d=20090702&t=2&i=10720860&w=450&r=2009-07-02T125052Z_01_BTRE5610ZOW00_RTROPTP_0_US-USA-ECONOMY

World bank expects China's GDP to grow 7.2% in 2009.
World bank expects US's GDP to contract 2.9% in 2009.

I guess borrowing money from China to buy goods that were made in China after we relocated our factories to China might not have been the best idea.
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Cyndre
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Joined: 22 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

greyfaced wrote:
Quote:
Re: auto bailout, all Obama did was shaft the previous equity holders and debt holders. Cerebus financial (Chrysler owners) got zeroed out.


The previous equity holders got the shaft because the company failed. It's called a bankruptcy for a reason.

Frankly I wish some banks would fail. They need to. Our tax rate is messed up. If you look at my income and how much tax I pay as a smoker/drinker/homeowner/payroll tax guy.... I already pay about 30% tax, and I make below 12k a year on paper, so uh.... Can I get my health care now please?

Oh, and that investment banker he pays what in taxes...? My friend who makes 250k a year got 10k back in taxes last year, after his account did some math for him. At least he agrees that it's not right.

Portland General Electric payed $10 in state taxes last year, the minimum.

If we have socialized anything it's business interests and that was done a long time ago, not by Obama. Not that he's done much to change it...

Hell, our payments to defense companies are a sham....


Lol. It was a government chaperoned bailout. The administration chose to shaft the creditors in favor of the unions. Why do you think Chrysler couldn't go through a typical bankruptcy proceeding?

Re: taxes, banks failing will have nothing to do with the tax rate, in fact it would only drive the rate up. The government is already in a massive deficit and, further, is only increasing the deficit by deficit spending. If the revenue base declines further, tax rates will only go up, not down. Obama is already considering "failing to extend" the lowered top tax rates for individuals (I think top rate would go from 36% back to 39%, something like that). "Sin taxes" (booze, cigarettes) are just politically popular now, and I think they will remain so.

Re: China, the % growth can be a little misleading. Of course the Chinese economy is the fastest growing amongst the big countries. The US is also coming off a major economic boom, so it's natural that there is a contraction.

Health care is always going to be a problem. Demand is greater than supply. You can either ration the good (socialized medicine) or let the market dictate supply (capitalism). There is no "win win" solution, besides having people not get sick.

We still have it better than anywhere in the world. I agree that businesses run the Hill too much, and that health care is a problem. I don't think there are any good solutions.
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Chickens, page 425 of Wayfarers, is missing a key rule. If you roll a natural 6, you roll again and keep a cumulative total until you do not roll a 6. Rolled a 13 to hit, 19 damage, etc. Helps the trash talk.
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JimmySwill
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everyone took a hit on the GM bailout. I've got two family members out of their job, and another non-union GM employee with no more medical benefits after retirement. The union members got as screwed as any creditors did. GM was a big bloated behemoth and a money-pit. They were trying to honor contracts written when they had twice the market share, and banks were loaning them money as if they weren't 500lbs over-weight with a heart condition. Lots of stupid all around there.

Let's face it. The mix-and-match implementation of both socialist and free-market ideals got us where we are today. It's useless to blame BIG GOVERNMENT or BIG BUSINESS. Smoke and mirrors on both ends.

Screw economic ideologies. Let's look at some facts. Here's US household debt as a % of GDP:

http://static.10gen.com/businessinsider.com/~~/f?id=4979e68630b7d9800073dbcd

Like cholesterol, too much debt is usually a bad thing. Now if that were my cholesterol chart, I might think back to that heart-attack I had in 1929. Time to start working off that debt. It's going to take a while, and it's going to hurt a bit. But, until it's back down, there is not going to be a serious economic recovery.

We ought to start thinking about yearly check-ups too.
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JimmySwill
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

greyfaced wrote:
I'm gonna be weird and now predict that the dow will be near 10k by the end of the year. The problem will at that point be unemployment, and the bifurcated economic situation of the US, which will start taking center stage in some circles. Obama will be stressing some sort of public works and or education policy in a long term way.

Greyfaced made this comment on March 28th, when the Dow was at 7700. The Dow hit 10k in November. It's at 10290 here on 11-12-09. Kudos to Greyfaced.

Unemployment is the problem, and Obama is tyring to do those things, In addition to trying to reform our very expensive health care system.

Not to mention public debt, which is at post WW2 levels, private debt remains very high. However, the US individual savings rate has gone positive. It was 5-6% in May, and was 3.3% in September, but we have a lot of debt to work off until the consumer can buy things without credit.

My thinking is with high public debt, and high private debt, a big portion of our recovery strategy must be to inflate our way out of it. -Given all the money we printed this last year, I don't think we have much of a choice about it. China is going to be mad.
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Cyndre
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's easy to predict when there's no cash on the table. The same thing happened after 9/11, except that the market shot back up in like a few weeks.

It's the same story over and over: the market goes up after it goes down. That's why you buy low.

The difference here is the government is putting its own money, and lots of it, on the table. I don't think that's ever happened before. So, every compnay looks like a good buy so long as it falls into the "can't fail" category.

My concerns are still the same. I'm not a day trader, so I don't care what the market is at this year or next. I am really worried about inflation and future taxes in the next 10 years. The spending of the last decade is completely unsustainable, and entitlement programs haven't even begun to really take over the budget like they will in the next few years - not to mention an apparent continued heavy emphasis on defense spending.

Honestly, anyone who wasn't buying at 8k is either stupid, has no money, or doesn't want equities.
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Chickens, page 425 of Wayfarers, is missing a key rule. If you roll a natural 6, you roll again and keep a cumulative total until you do not roll a 6. Rolled a 13 to hit, 19 damage, etc. Helps the trash talk.
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JimmySwill
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cyndre wrote:
It's easy to predict when there's no cash on the table

Yeah, but it was the timing that Greyfaced got right. No doubt the market goes up after it goes down.

But, to your credit, you said this Jan 3:
Quote:
I really wish I had disposable income to invest Sad I'm so deadset on saving for a house that I just didn't want to put money in the market (since that would be short term investing but house money is long term investing). I was telling everyone I knew to buy when the market was at 7.5 and also at 8k (though I was much more nervous about making a short term profit at 8k. Turns out I didn't have to be so concerned).

What money I could afford to put in at the time has nearly doubled. I just wish I had more disposable income at the time. The dividends will be great rate of return though, but who knows when they'll come back.

I agree about the taxes that are coming. I know our country was in this much debt after WWII, but I don't believe that private debt was a problem then. Now we've got a massive double whammy. Hell, a triple whammy when you consider the entitlement programs. People are going to have to get used to the idea of taxes. Especially the rich, who have been at historically low rates for quite some time. The simple truth is, they are outnumbered, and by more than they have been for a couple of generations. The middle class has been asked to carry too much for too long. The real burden here is on the middle class. Debt is almost a necessity to pull off the middle class lifestyle, and that's where the real tax burden is greatest. And, they are going to get angrier when they don't get that retirement they were sold.
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