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  1. #61
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    Re: Very Disturbing

    Some good news to toss into the mix.

    http://www.examiner.com/a-875094~Fed...d=rss-Business


    And for me? This is far better news than I would have expected.

    Not that any of us could run our households this way...
    but its solid improvement.

    Not always a bad thing when corporate america makes money
    unless we would rather to make up the difference in our individual returns.

    And Im still not panicked around housing[the segment]. Yet.

  2. #62
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    Re: Very Disturbing

    Posted long after my ^^ post.

    "
    The Fed added $19 billion in liquidity to the market Friday morning, then another $16 billion and, finally, $3 billion.
    Federal Reserve policy makers "are trying to do everything they can short of cutting the federal funds rate" to try to calm the markets, said Ed Yardeni, president of Yardeni Research in Great Neck, N.Y.


    But, he said, "I think they probably have to cut rates, and probably before their scheduled September meeting."
    He noted that it was Fed rate cuts that calmed the market after the 1998 Russian debt crisis and the implosion of the hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management.
    According to preliminary calculations, the Dow closed down 31.14, or 0.23 percent, at 13,239.54. On Thursday, the Dow fell 387 points and extended a series of triple-digit moves that began in late July.
    Friday's moves were typical of the zigzag trading and triple-digit moves in the Dow since the index closed at a record 14,000.41 on July 19. The Dow is down about 761 points, or 5.4 percent, from its record close.
    Broader stock indicators finished mixed. The Standard & Poor's 500 index edged up 0.55, or 0.04 percent, to 1,453.64, and the Nasdaq composite index fell 11.60, or 0.45 percent, to 2,544.89.
    All three indexes still finished higher for the week: The Dow rose 0.44 percent, the S&P advanced 1.44 percent and the Nasdaq added 1.34 percent. Sharp gains Monday, such as the Dow's 287-point climb, left stocks better able to weather Thursday's plunge.
    The New York Fed, which carries out the central bank's market operation, announced a three-day repurchase agreement of mortgage backed securities and then two more of the so-called "repo" moves to inject liquidity into the market. The Fed's maneuvers came after the fed funds rate, the amount banks charge each other for overnight loans, ticked above 6 percent again Friday - well above the Fed's target of 5.25 percent and a sign that credit was becoming harder to obtain.
    The Fed stepped in after the same occurrence Thursday, injecting $24 billion in temporary reserves to the U.S. banking system. In a repo, the Fed arranges to buy securities from dealers, who then deposit the money the Fed has paid them into commercial banks.
    "It's encouraging because it's a proactive step and they're not just focused on the inflation numbers and not ignoring turmoil in the credit market," said John Miller, head of the fixed income funds at Nuveen Asset Management.
    The Fed's moves Thursday and Friday follow its August meeting Tuesday at which it left short-term interest rates unchanged, as it has done for more than a year. In its statement following the meeting, the bank said its primary concern remains inflation.
    But the tumultuousness of the final two sessions of the week, which followed a sharp run-up in the week's first three sessions, has some market observers wondering whether the Fed will need to take added steps to douse some of the credit fears that have gripped the markets. So while some are now calling for a rate cut at the Fed's September meeting or even sooner, others contend investors will in any case first need to gather some confidence that the subprime woes and the credit market tightening aren't lethal for the economy and the markets.
    "The confidence will be restored over time if the economy and the financial markets are resilient enough to overcome these kinds of announcements and view them in isolation," Miller said, in reference to disclosures such as the one Thursday from French bank BNP Paribas that it was freezing three funds that invested in U.S. subprime mortgages because it was unable to properly value their assets.
    "I think it's premature to forecast a recession, particularly if the Fed is responsive. There is no reason why we couldn't work our way out of this fairly quickly," said Miller."

    --------------------------

    ^^So? I aint so stupid.
    I may not get politics 100% but I know money.

    Like I said Monday. Knock a 1/4 off Prime and watch.

    Which is pretty much= what I said all the Fed deals today represent.

    I rest my case.
    Last edited by jimzinsocal; 08-10-2007 at 05:48 PM.

  3. #63
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    Re: Very Disturbing

    ^^^What do you think of the FED being able to produce money out of thin air? Doesn't this devalue the dollar more? I have seen and heard that from 1916 to present the dollar has eroded to $.04. How much longer can this go on? The way it looks Wall Street and the economy has the FED by the gonads telling the FED to pump more money out and lower rate now to save us from a huge fall. The link you have to Cramer and his fit over the FED was real funny, but then again is this what Wall Street doing also? By the actions of the FED buying mortgage backed securities is this telling the banks to push out the money ASAP and we (the FED) will back it up with freshly printed money. The only thing it cost us (FED) is ink and paper and we (FED) get to collect interest form the Federal Government. The more you need the better.
    Last edited by falcon_view; 08-10-2007 at 10:00 PM.

  4. #64
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    Re: Very Disturbing

    Im not so disturbed with money/credit creation as I am with the folks that insist we bail out the market segment.
    Arent the big rollers...the investors the "risk takers"?

    Isnt that why they make the big bucks?

    Well?

    And Im still convinced alot of this is hysteria.[1]
    The loans in actual default is relatively small.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/images...wyer8-8-07.gif

    "I got stuck and now I have wee wee pants" thinking.

    Like someone wrote yesterday...."lend money for a house to someone that shows up wearing a barrel and cardboard shoes?"

    Sometimes life sucks.

    [1]
    Currently there are about 44 million mortgages in the U.S., and less than 14 percent of them are sub-prime. And only about 13 percent of those are late on payments, with the majority of late payers working through their problems with the banks.

    So, all in all, when you work through the details and get down to the number that really matters, only about 0.6 percent of U.S. mortgages are currently in foreclosure. That’s up a hair from roughly 0.5 percent last year. That’s it.

    Actually, that’s not it. Things are actually better than the numbers suggest, since sub-prime-mortgage homes are less expensive than prime-mortgage homes. This makes sense. Wealthier people, generally, can afford costlier homes than less-wealthy people. The recent sub-prime surge brought large numbers of moderate-income families into the home-ownership market, and their houses are less expensive than most. Therefore, the dollar impact of the sub-prime default is smaller than if it were a prime default.

    With approximately 254,000 mortgages in foreclosure at the moment — up from roughly 219,000 last year — the sub-prime meltdown has given us an increase of 35,000 mortgage foreclosures over the last quarter. Since the average sub-prime mortgage clocks in at almost exactly $200,000, we’re looking at an approximate $7 billion increase in foreclosed value in the first quarter of this year.

    Raymond, how big is household net worth in the U.S.? About a hundred dollars?

    Actually, it’s a lot bigger than that — about $53 trillion. In other words, the recent increase in sub-prime foreclosures amounts to 0.01 percent of net U.S. household wealth.
    Last edited by jimzinsocal; 08-11-2007 at 02:34 PM.

  5. #65
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    Re: Very Disturbing

    Let me try and explain the money creation thing in a way that non economists might understand. As best Im able. I think it captures what happens sometimes.

    Where I live? My house and property are assessed at 475,000.
    That value wasnt based on fantasy but rather the guys locally that assign value based on a pretty rigid set of standards.
    In other words? Based on what we might call or think of
    as actuarial thinking.

    Did I pay anything close to that for where I live? Hardly.
    Does the value "fairly" represent truth?
    I'd say fairly.

    What happens when I ask for 200,000 as a home improvement loan?
    Some might argue that I shouldnt get a dime beyond my "cost".

    When I walk out of the bank with a check or line of credit of 200,000
    hasnt money been "created"? Thats based on nothing other than "assumption".
    But when I spend that 200K? Is it less real?

    So work all that in reverse.

    Who is at fault if I failed or defaulted with the 200K note?

    Mainly me.

    In my simple mind? Its no different really than
    getting a 20K credit line with VISA on their plastic.
    And rushing out and maxing it out. Knowing its a risk.

    Sorry but I got no tears for the banks or the individuals that get
    jammed like this.
    Last edited by jimzinsocal; 08-11-2007 at 03:17 PM.

  6. #66
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    Re: Very Disturbing

    Qualifier:^^If people were truly misled? I understand.
    But being misled can sometimes = failure to investigate.

    And we should all understand. This is new turf.
    Last edited by jimzinsocal; 08-11-2007 at 03:36 PM.

  7. #67
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    Twain Harte, CA
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    Re: Very Disturbing

    Quote Originally Posted by jimzinsocal View Post

    Actually, it’s a lot bigger than that — about $53 trillion.
    I have difficulty wrapping my mind around numbers over a million...
    In other words, the recent increase in sub-prime foreclosures amounts to 0.01 percent of net U.S. household wealth.
    Ah, there's something I can understand... tiddely-winks in the grand scheme of things... it puts it into perspective.

    But of course, those aren't the numbers usually presented, because the sky can't be falling from a failure of less than one percent.

  8. #68
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    Re: Very Disturbing

    ^^

    Ben Stein said it well this past Saturday on Fox’s Cavuto on Business: The sub-prime mortgage problem is grossly overstated; the sector is just too small.

    Smart guy, Ben. Ferris Bueller never should have skipped school that day — he would have learned economics from a master. (Stein, for those who might have missed it, played Bueller’s (Matthew Broderick’s) high-school teacher in the pop hit, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.)

    But let’s switch movie metaphors for a moment. In Rain Man, autistic savant Raymond Babbitt (Dustin Hoffman) is asked two economics questions by Charlie, his money-loving younger brother (Tom Cruise).
    Charlie: Raymond, how much does a candy bar cost?
    Raymond: About a hundred dollars.
    Charlie: Raymond, how much does an automobile cost?
    Raymond: About a hundred dollars.
    The questions are designed to reveal a systematic flaw in the way Raymond looks at the world. For all his skill at counting the minutia in life (like toothpicks), he just doesn’t understand the issue of scale. He doesn’t have an inherent sense of how big things are.

    I’ve thought a lot about Rain Man over the past few months as I’ve been following the press coverage of the sub-prime mortgage crisis. The story’s been on the front page of the Wall Street Journal nearly every day. Pretty much every show on CNBC — except Kudlow & Co. and one or two others — has been obsessed with the topic. Yet no one seems to be asking the Rain Man question: “How big is the sub-prime mortgage market?”

    And the answer, as Ben Stein makes clear, is not very big at all.

    Currently there are about 44 million mortgages in the U.S., and less than 14 percent of them are sub-prime. And only about 13 percent of those are late on payments, with the majority of late payers working through their problems with the banks.

    So, all in all, when you work through the details and get down to the number that really matters, only about 0.6 percent of U.S. mortgages are currently in foreclosure. That’s up a hair from roughly 0.5 percent last year. That’s it.

    Actually, that’s not it. Things are actually better than the numbers suggest, since sub-prime-mortgage homes are less expensive than prime-mortgage homes. This makes sense. Wealthier people, generally, can afford costlier homes than less-wealthy people. The recent sub-prime surge brought large numbers of moderate-income families into the home-ownership market, and their houses are less expensive than most. Therefore, the dollar impact of the sub-prime default is smaller than if it were a prime default.

    With approximately 254,000 mortgages in foreclosure at the moment — up from roughly 219,000 last year — the sub-prime meltdown has given us an increase of 35,000 mortgage foreclosures over the last quarter. Since the average sub-prime mortgage clocks in at almost exactly $200,000, we’re looking at an approximate $7 billion increase in foreclosed value in the first quarter of this year.

    Raymond, how big is household net worth in the U.S.? About a hundred dollars?

    Actually, it’s a lot bigger than that — about $53 trillion. In other words, the recent increase in sub-prime foreclosures amounts to 0.01 percent of net U.S. household wealth.

    That’s toothpicks, Raymond.

  9. #69
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    Re: Very Disturbing

    How Does the Fed Inject Money into the Economy? A Primer

    The Fed garnered attention last week by adding billions of dollars to the money market to relieve upward pressure on interest rates. How do these operations work? Here’s a primer.
    The Fed influences growth and inflation by controlling short-term interest rates. It controls those rates in turn via its monopoly over the supply of reserves to the banking system.
    All banks in the U.S. are required by law to set aside a portion of their demand deposits (such as checking deposits) as reserves. These reserves can be either currency in the vault, or reserves on deposit at the Federal Reserve. Banks can use reserves at the Fed to settle transactions with each other. Numerous factors affect the level of reserves: funds disbursed for new loans, funds coming in from loan repayments, clearing of checks with other banks, tax payments to the federal government, federal disbursements such as for social security. On any given day, some banks will have more reserves than they need, and others less. Those with an excess lend to those with a shortfall in the federal funds market. The Fed manipulates the federal funds rate by manipulating the supply of these reserves.
    Its principal means of doing this is via open market operations. To put downward pressure on interest rates, the Fed would buy securities in the open market from a designated dealer (primary dealer). The Fed pays for the securities by crediting the account of the dealer’s bank at the Fed. The bank now has more reserves than it needs, and so it lends them out, pushing down the federal funds rate. This operation results in an expansion of the Fed’s balance sheet and thus the money supply. However, the Fed is not principally targeting the money supply but the short-term interest rate, which ripples out to all borrowers and lenders. To raise interest rates, the Fed sells securities to dealers.
    The Fed has two principal types of open market operation. A permanent operation is conducted to adjust the Fed’s balance sheet to what it believes is the normal, long-term need for currency and reserves. To do so, it either buys (or, more rarely, sells) Treasury securities and adds them to its portfolio. A temporary operation is response to short-term fluctuations in the supply and demand for reserves. To supply additional reserves, the Fed conducts a “repo” or repurchase operation. It offers to supply a fixed quantity of funds to primary dealers for 1 to 15 days in return for collateral consisting of either Treasurys, bonds issued by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac (called agency bonds), or federally guaranteed mortgage backed securities, principally those issued by Ginnie Mae. At the end of repurchase agreement, the dealers repay the money with interest and the Fed returns the securities. The opposite operation is called a matched sale and repurchase. Last Friday’s repo was unusual in that the Fed encouraged dealers to submit only MBS as collateral. It may have done so to avoid aggravating a shortage of Treasurys in the market.
    Why might such a temporary operation be necessary? The federal funds rate could rise above the Fed’s target for several reasons: either unexpected high demand for reserves, or restricted supply. The precise reason for last week’s rise in short-term rates remains unclear. It may be that European banks, some of whom have U.S. units that participate in the fed funds market, faced an unexpected jump in loan demand, perhaps from issuers of commercial paper who could not roll the paper over and thus turned to back up lines of credit at banks. It may be that some banks holding excess reserves were reluctant to lend them out, anticipating a need for them for their own purposes or uncertain as to the safety of the counterparties to whom they might otherwise lend.

  10. #70
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    Re: Very Disturbing

    In a nutshell here is what is happing to the markets because of the credit crunch with the ARMs (adjustable rate mortgages) and subprime loans with little or no money down. Form 2001 to 2006 people taking out these types of loans are now hit with higher rates of interest and interest rates will rise in the future. During the period above pushed the markets up due to spending of borrowed (not by income that could sustain the markets) money and now that tap is being turned off/slowed down. As interest rates rise people have stopped borrowing money and now paying more in interest that takes money out of the economy that would push the markets higher or sustain the markets. Defaults at present is not the big problem but gets bigger as we move forward. How big, that is what the markets are trying to sort out. The fact remains there will be less money to purchase goods as interest rates on the above loans rise.

  11. #71
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    Re: Very Disturbing

    No arguement.
    I guess we can look at the deal in several ways.
    That in some cases consumers may have been victims of an overaggressive lending apparatus or their own lack of planning/understanding.
    That with any "hot market" [real estate in this case] there was a rush to "cash in" and make a bundle. For me its no different really than the folks that flocked to GOOG.
    For the investors? People borrowing to simply roll a property?
    Just like buying GOOG at the wrong time.

    So? Its gonna need to shake itself out over time.

    My own perception...what I see/notice locally in a pretty stable area arent any real drops in prices
    but rather a stalled market.[for typical deals]
    The way overpriced stuff isnt moving [primarily 2nd and 3rd homes] and prices
    are dropping to some concept of normal. Which is fine by me.

    But this area is sorta strange because its a "beach" community and doesnt react
    the same as others.
    Last edited by jimzinsocal; 08-12-2007 at 11:15 AM.

  12. #72
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    California
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    Re: Very Disturbing

    Good read from yesterday.... emphasis mine.

    5 Myths About Jittery Markets

    5 Myths About Jittery Markets

    By Adam Lashinsky
    Sunday, August 12, 2007; B03

    Confused by the latest news from the financial markets? It's no wonder -- the markets seem plenty confused themselves. The major stock indexes swung wildly last week. Air continued to seep from the housing bubble. Financial giants such as Bear Stearns and Countrywide Mortgage warned of bleaker times than they've seen in years . What does it all mean? It's enough to make investors want to put their hard-earned cash under the mattress.

    Before you do that, it might be helpful to burst a few bubbles of our own and separate the many myths about the markets from some truths about what really goes on in them.

    1. The economy is crumbling before our eyes.

    According to a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, more than two-thirds of Americans believe that the economy is already in recession -- or will be soon. Sure, housing prices are weakening, mortgage lenders are cratering and credit is tightening. But those are just a few pieces of tile in the overall economic mosaic.

    For years, the United States was the primary engine of growth for the entire world. Voracious consumption and low savings rates at home juiced robust export markets in Asia and Europe. Today, the global economy is humming, more than making up for so-so performance in the United States. Brazil, Russia, India and China are particularly strong. The Chinese economy alone is the most important crutch propping up worldwide commodity prices, including oil. China is also a major buyer of U.S. securities of all flavors -- from U.S. Treasury bills to shares of the private-equity firm Blackstone Group.

    And it's not as though the U.S. economic engine is sputtering. Job creation is good, corporate profits are solid, and, at least in Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke's opinion, inflation remains a concern -- a sign that the economy is growing, not contracting. This is why, despite the daily drumbeat of worrisome news such as the travails of the brokerage house Bear Stearns, which has been burned by bad investments in ultra-complex mortgage products, the U.S. stock markets have been relatively resilient. Yes, they have been volatile, signaling uncertainty (see below), but most remain up for the year.

    2. The Fed chairman is God.

    Blame this misperception on the long tenure of Alan Greenspan, lovingly called "the Maestro" for his harmonious orchestration of the U.S. economy. A semi-retired, tennis-playing, six-figure-speechifying octogenarian he may be, but Greenspan is most certainly mortal -- as is his successor, Bernanke. Greenspan was undeniably there when the U.S. economy needed him. After Sept. 11, 2001, and the bursting of the tech bubble, Greenspan engineered an ultra-low federal funds rate -- what the Federal Reserve Bank charges commercial banks to borrow money overnight -- to stimulate the economy. It worked: Rates remained at historic lows from 2001 to 2004, and the economy recovered nicely.

    But Greenspan also created the permissive climate that led to no-documentation, no-money-down, no-common-sense home mortgages. He failed to slam on the brakes when giddy lenders and home builders were catering to house-flipping speculators and aspiring homeowners borrowing beyond their means. In fact, in 2004, he suggested that people would be better off with adjustable-rate mortgages -- just as interest rates were poised to rise.

    Greenspan needed to send a signal of moderation. That's why Bernanke is reluctant to lower rates. Tougher credit is a good thing now. It's helping the housing market get back into equilibrium.

    3. Market gurus learned their lessons in the dot-com bubble.

    Were it only so. Regulators forced brokerages to decouple banking from stock research after investors figured out that brazen conflicts of interest were making a mockery of honest investment advice. But that didn't stop analysts from jumping on career-boosting bandwagons of fast-moving stocks. As recently as a year ago, analysts maintained "buy" or "neutral" ratings on now-defunct mortgage lenders such as New Century Financial. When the chief executives of major home builders told Wall Street they had plenty of orders for new housing, analysts lapped up the information and kept on recommending their stocks. Bad advice will never be in short supply.

    4. Republican administrations are good for the stock market.

    This hoary tale feels like it should be right. Republicans cut taxes, and Democrats raise them, right? But the truth is that presidents only have so much control over how the stock market behaves. Bill Clinton presided over one of the greatest bull markets of all time. But the dirty little secret is that it was phenomenal gains in productivity -- led by technology advances -- that largely accounted for the economic expansion of the 1990s. Did Clinton's balancing of the federal budget help? Yes. Have George W. Bush's capital-gains and dividend-income tax cuts stimulated investments? You bet. But government policies are only part of the macro story of market behavior.

    5. Markets abhor uncertainty.

    Be wary of attempts to anthropomorphize the capital markets. Talking heads often blather on about what "Mr. Market" likes or dislikes, especially uncertainty. In fact, the market is a heartless collection of the best-guess expectations of investors. Certainty and risk are opposites. Good investors, in fact, love uncertainty. The whole notion of buying an undervalued stock stems from an investor's presumption of value that others are missing. If something is certain -- say, the rate on a six-month certificate of deposit -- there's no disagreement over its value and no upside on its price. I'm completely certain of this.

    Adam Lashinsky is a senior writer at Fortune magazine.
    "The most dangerous myth is the demagoguery that business can be made to pay a larger share, thus relieving the individual. Politicians preaching this are either deliberately dishonest, or economically illiterate, and either one should scare us...
    Only people pay taxes, and people pay as consumers every tax that is assessed against a business."


    -The Gipper


  13. #73
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    Re: Very Disturbing

    ^^For the most part I think hes correct. Particularly with 4 and 5.

    To 4 Id inject this

    What Was the SEC Thinking? [Larry Kudlow]

    Savvy veteran investor Mike Holland keeps asking a question that no one seems to be asking, much less answering: Why in the world did the SEC revoke the “uptick” rule in early July?

    Famous short seller and patriarch of the Kennedy clan, Joe Kennedy, created the uptick rule over seventy years ago during his tenure as FDR’s first SEC chairman. While many likened Kennedy’s stint to a fox guarding the hen house, Kennedy certainly knew how to stop the bear raiders from trashing the stock market.

    The uptick rule was put into place forbidding traders from shorting stocks on a price downtick. Until last month, if you wanted to short a stock, you needed to wait for an uptick in the share price. This move stymied potential bear raids on stocks. It worked for over seven decades. Many Wall Street veterans also believe it dramatically reduced stock market volatility.

    In today’s context, is it purely a coincidence that Chris Cox’s new SEC “no uptick” rule made its debut at the same time that stock market volatility has gone gangbusters? Are hedge fund traders shorting stocks on down ticks? This could be adding huge momentum to downsized price movement. It could also be putting ordinary mom and pops investors on Main Street at great risk to the machinations of Wall Street professionals.

    Nobody knows for sure what’s going on here. I’d like to get some comments on this. Meanwhile, I’m still looking for more info on this whole point.

    But it seems to me that abolishing the uptick rule was an unbelievably lousy idea by Cox’s SEC. It appears the rule’s revocation may have exaggerated downside pressure on the stock market.

    And #5 has always made me nuts. Two terms Id love to change or redefine "the markets" and "the street".

    What a misconception. Like they are the same as the great "seeers"
    at freaking Delphi....or something.

    Brokers as the great minds. What a laugh.
    They dont have a thing going for them thats any different than the guy that scours yard sales
    over the weekend and dumps the crap on EBAY on Monday.
    No wait. Better office and a blonde secretary. Sorry for the slight.
    Last edited by jimzinsocal; 08-13-2007 at 03:47 PM.

  14. #74
    Joined
    Mar 2002
    Location
    California
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    25,328

    Re: Very Disturbing

    Quote Originally Posted by jimzinsocal View Post
    And #5 has always made me nuts. Two terms Id love to change or redefine "the markets" and "the street".

    What a misconception. Like they are the same as the great "seeers"
    at freaking Delphi....or something.
    Ya... I've never liked the terms much either. Usually when analysts say "the markets" or "streets" I take that to mean their sources.
    "The most dangerous myth is the demagoguery that business can be made to pay a larger share, thus relieving the individual. Politicians preaching this are either deliberately dishonest, or economically illiterate, and either one should scare us...
    Only people pay taxes, and people pay as consumers every tax that is assessed against a business."


    -The Gipper


  15. #75
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    74,684

    Re: Very Disturbing

    They are just so trite and meaningless. I hear the goofballs on the news and whenever they use the terms I want to puke.

    Just say who the scource is and explain his position dont make the character into Ra because he is associated with [another one] "the financial Biz".

    I always picture the line from The Mask where Renni[the comedian who killed himself not too long ago] describes the Jim Carey character as "humungo in the banking biz". Similar accuracy!!

    Its a funny thing Ive learned over the years.
    The guys/gals that are actually "students" of money? Rarely do interviews.
    Why should they?
    Last edited by jimzinsocal; 08-13-2007 at 04:06 PM.

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