I bought this pitchfork yesterday (the picture is an actual photo from lowes.com of the same item that I bought) for $ 16.99. I need your help on the next step of my project.
I am not kidding.
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I think you're totally mixed up. You're confusing everyday people with people who gamed the system. You're saying everyday people who were honest, worked hard, paid their taxes, saved, invested, vacationed and partied with their own money somehow are part of these crooked scheme of things, but they aren't.
FollowBefriend1 threads3,248 comments
Let's discuss some more pertinent issues than laying blame, on the eve of the Titanic heading down, we should be foremost concerned with self preservation.
Are there any instances in the economic history that the currency of a country in unprecedented crisis peculiarly survived a systematic collapse and became very strong? What is the likelihood of the USD remaining intact and strong (even outperforming gold) while the financial system collapses? I cannot think of an example, but if there are any, please point it out.
Let's say the bill gets stuck again on Friday, what will happen? If it passes, we know the financial system will get its lubrication in time, but how much time can we buy? Up till election?
Inflation is still running high, oil is STILL higher than 12 months ago, so the ripple effect of oil has yet to be reflected. Therefore, the very negative real return on T-bill is unsustainable. What will happen when the T-bill bubble burst?
In a word, where do you park your money for self preservation?
FollowBefriend8 threads1,513 comments
Now I agree with the suspicion that kona_three is one of the permabull specuvestors. FaceReality, TOS, MP - who cares.
Yes, now his solution is we leave USA because we don't like the way Paulson is looting the country.
What the idiot fails to understand is - those evil taxpayers who tried profiting from the bubble are either happy or sad based on how their gamble pay off. BUT - none of them is asking for a tax payer handout, at least directly.
These bankers are demanding that we pay them else we all will face Armageddon.
The taxpayers either got rewarded or punished for their actions. In old fashioned free market capitalistic way. (I am simplifying here, because we know there was a lot fraud going on and very few fraud cases are being prosecuted.)
But the payback time for bondholders and holders of toxic MBS is now. And they suddenly don't like capitalism. They liked the rules as long as they were getting bonuses. They liked deregulation as long as their 40:1 leverage was working in their favor. But now that want Govt to intervene. And they don't want oversight, they want premium for their sh1t, they won't give equity and they want it yesterday - OR ELSE ...
It's so completely idiotic to apply the same yardstick to the taxpayers (specuvestor or not) and these Paulson gang members. Such style of thinking and persistent objections to logical reasoning is typical of a housing perma-bull. Get lost dude.
Dollar will remain strong compared to other currencies like Euro, GBP. They are soon going to find how worse they are compared to us.
But dollar will decline against gold and oil - in the longer term. Short term, hedgies are getting hit by a mid-night call from Mr. Margin. Weird things can happen in such periods of extreme volatility. Also global slowdown will reduce demand for oil in the short term.
Currency debasement is not an overnight phenomenon. It takes a while for the theme to play out.
Well, I agree to a certain extent what kona_three says, because I always believe in global citizenship if you can help it, instead of getting stuck in any country.
If I have a choice, I would like to have several citizenships (that are easy to give up) with minimal tax implications. The whole bogus thing about globalization is, capital, equipment and goods all can flow freely, but not people, hence comes the labor arbitrage, if you are stuck in one country, you are stuck making an arbitraged pay, and nobody wants to be on the short end of the stick. Only the expat level labor are able to take best advantage of such a labor arbitrage.
If the capital and goods pledge no allegiance to any country, I would like the same deal for myself. I do not necessarily like to pledge my allegiance to any country (especially when it comes to paying tax). Hey, who are the founders of this country? A bunch of white guys who didn't want to subject themselves to the "loyalty" to UK and above all, didn't want to pay taxes.
If Americans are truly living the spirit of our founders, we should have never blindly pledged our money, our loyalty to ANY country. You weigh one country against another, and you decide which one is the best for you for now, and you come back to such an assessment every now and then, if the assessment changes, your loyalty changes along with it. That is the freedom that capital has been to enjoy but not available to labor. If we the labor can have exactly the same treatment, then I say it is fair.
When JFK said, "ask not what your country can do for you, ask yourself what you can do for your country", he was already the President of the country, therefore he WAS the country. But since I do not get the benefit of representing the country, then I need to ask, what can the country do for me?
FollowBefriend (2)33 threads3,460 comments
John McCain's health care plan is The Ultimate Bridge to Nowhere". Heh.
>> Well, I agree to a certain extent what kona_three says, because I always believe in global citizenship if you can help it, instead of getting stuck in any country.
Please check this site:
EscapeArtist.com: A website that shows you how to restart your life abroad. With thousands of articles, contacts, resources, links and tools for finding overseas real estate, international employment, hidden enclaves, artist havens, unique destinations, offshore investments, and the requirements for living an international lifestyle. Since 1995, we have been helping escape artists just like you restart their lives abroad. Over 350,000 escape artists subscribe and read Escape From America Magazine and the Offshore Real Estate Quarterly. ...join them.
Our Philosophy at Escape Artist is rather straightforward, if anything in our universe may be said to be straightforward.
Simply put, we believe that governments and their borders and the concept of government and borders are obsolete. We humans are only holding on to these concepts because we have no clear precedent to call forth to guide us. A hundred years from now this will all be quite apparent ~ we will recognize that we live on one planet and that the borders were meaningless constructs. Today, of course this is difficult to accept.
What is the function of a government? ...To protect us? ...From whom? ...How? ...is any government doing a good job? Are they a help or a hindrance?
The concept of deterritorialization is new, but new things are certainly not without precedent in our evolution, or we'd have had no evolution. When human beings moved from grunting tribalism to the idea of kingdom & empire the idea was new... when human beings moved from monarchy to democracy the idea was new... and of course the idea of a world without borders and/or governments is new, or fairly new, but it is inevitable. We are one species ...despite the fact we often pretend we are not.
Two things have ushered us into a world without borders... the end of the cold war and the advent of the world wide web of global communications & commerce. Today it doesn't make a great deal of difference where in the world we are located, we can carry on some types of commerce from anywhere; from an island in the middle of the Caribbean to a sheep ranch in the the Australian outback. A game of global musical chairs has begun, and we are now changing places with people willing to go to America or the UK to work for a wage we no longer consider attractive, while we begin to move further afield in search of greener pastures. Many of us are now looking for what might be called a 'life.' Tomorrow, it will make a great deal of difference where we live. But certainly not in the same sense as we now perceive it. Tomorrow we will live where the best real estate exists, where the least crime and repression exists, where population pressures have not decimated the environment and where business is encouraged and not hindered by legislation. We will live there regardless of that place's global location or its former political posture. If we can now buy a ranch in Argentina (or Uruguay, or New Zealand, or name your spot,) for ten cents on the dollar of what a similar property inside the United States or the UK would cost us, and if we can carry on commerce from anywhere we are, how long do you imagine it's going to take your neighbor to realize the very same thing? As one writer put it, "those folks who buy that ranch in Argentina today are going to have grandchildren who will think they were a genius."
Is there anyone reading these words who doesn't recognize that we will soon be living on one planet without borders?
Stop and think about the inevitable.
It is no longer required for anyone to imagine that we live in a global economy, because imagination has nothing to do with it. We live in a world with a global economy. The cultural, economic and strategic interests of nations no longer neatly stop at a line drawn in the sand... nor do they any longer precisely overlap. The nation-state has ended. Tomorrow is on its way.
This web site is meant to express that philosophy.
People ask me what I mean when I use the term, 'we'?
I mean me and possibly you...
The Fed will announce its quarterly estimate of the fair value of Maiden Lane LLC's $30 billion of holdings that JPMorgan Chase & Co. considered too risky when it acquired Bear Stearns in March, Bank of America analysts Jeffrey Rosenberg and Hans Mikkelsen wrote in a client note. The central bank valued the assets at $29 billion as of June 30, according to the report.
``With the worsening in mortgage markets since last quarter, we estimate a range of $2 billion to $6 billion of unrealized losses,'' the New York-based analysts wrote.
You have MANY options to go live in another country if you don't need to get a permit to work. If you're retired, or can manage your work remotely (renting out properties, for instance), then it is certainly worth considering. But you and your significant other must be culturally adaptable. You will find that the cost of living, healthcare, etc are affordable since the US$ still goes a long way in some places (not Europe). That way, instead of getting an ulcer railing at the government like some of the people here, you can say the hell with you and take off. Check it out.
While i am not a big fan of people who abandon thier country when its in trouble, i am still sympathetic to the retiree's who would want to consider the option.
The retiree's got a really bad deal. They worked hard, saved a lot only to loose it finally....its pretty sad. The current generation is anyway fucked up with debt and easy life so its doesn't matter if they lose job or salaries.
They anyway would squander away anything they get.The retiree's contributed a lot and used up very little as opposed to the current generation.
You want a scrap? Let's go.
First, why do you have to invent stupid labels like specuvestor and permabull. I am a renter, actually sold my house because I believed very early on that this bubble was unsustainable. But that's not even relevant. I happen to believe that people who invent names for other people who are not like them (like the N word, sounds familiar?) manifest gross immaturity and stupidity.
"those evil taxpayers who tried profiting from the bubble are either happy or sad based on how their gamble pay off. BUT - none of them is asking for a tax payer handout, at least directly".
Oh yeah? What do you call that $150 billion of pork they tagged on to the "bailout" in the last couple of days? "Hey, Mr. Congressman, if the banks are going to get a handout, what about us"????
By the way, I wrote to Diane Feinstein when I heard that one of the first things the Dems wanted to attach to this bill was to "help out the homeowner" who are in trouble. That's just not right. They have to be responsible for what they did. I feel the same way about the banks, I don't pity WAMU or Lehman, but my judgment is that if they all failed, or quit lending, I get hurt. I couldn't give a rat's ass about the 'homeowners. So don't give me any shit that people are not asking for a handout. Every one is looking for a handout.
"These bankers are demanding that we pay them else we all will face Armageddon".
Name me ONE bank that have demanded that we pay them. When WAMU died, did they demand anything from you? When Lehman failed, did they knock on your door? I am not defending the banks and I don't like them, but I hate stupidity and falsehoods worse. Don't stretch the truth just to further your chest thumping.
"Paulson and his gang will loot you". I believe that Paulson's toenail, no, one of his butt hairs tower over you in terms of achievement. He made $500 million with Goldman. He is making maybe $200K now if that. Plus he had to go in front of these asshole congressmen who used the hearings to show how smart (and inadvertently reveal how dumb) they are. He's trying to do something that the feels his country needs, within months of leaving his job. If I were him, I would say get fucked and leave. And you, who's whole achievement is to spew crap on blogs like this, want to call names behind an anonymous screen.
"I think you’re totally mixed up. You’re confusing everyday people with people who gamed the system. You’re saying everyday people who were honest, worked hard, paid their taxes, saved, invested, vacationed and partied with their own money somehow are part of these crooked scheme of things, but they aren’t".
You've missed my point, which is a whole lot of people did not party "with their own money". If the price of houses ballooned, and people took out money with a HELOC or by refinancing , and had a grand ol' time, and now am in danger of losing their house, would you consider it "their own money"? Well, a whole lot of people did that. My point is a whole lot of people benefited one way or another during this 7 year orgy of cheap credit and spending. Now they are screaming unfair because they have to pony up tax dollars, and it's all the bank's fault?? Now for the people who really worked hard, and saved (BTW, I am one of them), this is a cost of living in this fucked up country. Suck it up, or leave.
"Now for the people who really worked hard, and saved (BTW, I am one of them), this is a cost of living in this fucked up country. Suck it up, or leave."
Kona_three , the above mentioned group is pretty big and they won't just suck it up. They will revolt in thier own way. Thats what makes a country better. Sucking up is what makes somalia not USA.
FollowBefriend177 comments danville woman's website
"In a word, where do you park your money for self preservation?"
I was hoping that you might have some ideas.
I like your spirit. Revolution! Better hurry, we all are a little late. The Federal Deficit is already unimaginably large, and the Social Security and Medicare obligations will soon reduce this country to rubble. The time is coming, and soon, that this "economic crisis" that we are having will seem like a cakewalk.
Pity the children.
Kona_three wrote :
"I believe that Paulson’s toenail, no, one of his butt hairs tower over you in terms of achievement. He made $500 million with Goldman"
Please don't worship him because he made $500 million without knowing how he made it.
I know dozens of low-lives who have made millions but i have zero respect for them because they just don't deserve it. money does not equal accomplishment especially when you are working for paper shuffling company like Goldman sachs. Its a parasite company making money from money and adding zero value to the economy. This is an imperfect world and money does not automatically get distributed based on exactly how much people contribute to the society/economy. There are too many other variables.
My only measure of monetary accomplishment is : how much worth of dollars did you add to the economy in terms of goods/services?
I would consider patrick a millionaire just by that one measure. I think most people here would agree.
@Danville and Stuck,
One thing that I hate about the current financial situation so much is, after looking at everything, the only logical conclusion that I can arrive at is gold, physical gold. And I hate putting money in gold, although by asset allocation I am probably qualified as a gold bug.
Gold is the most unproductive and unimaginative investment (if you can call this investment) of all kinds. It is NOT investing for the future, it is admitting defeat, and a resigned gesture of acknowledging that I have no trust in the system, I have no idea what is going to happen, and I am a moron who contributes nothing to the society except for the cyanide pollution in gold mining. You don't get ahead or behind with gold, you are just doing pure self-preservation with nothing else to look forward to. And by parking your money in gold, you are basically expecting a lot worse to come.
FollowBefriend4 threads2,099 comments
The H.4.1 statistical report seems to be getting more coverage these days so I'm sure most of you have heard about it already. I'll try a different tact. So what does $700Billion buy these days? Let's check out the Fed's balance sheet.
$344B from the Treasury of Supplemental financing
I'm sure Ben would be happy to get this out of the Fed and into the hands of the American taxpayers.
OO says :"have no idea what is going to happen, and I am a moron who contributes nothing to the society "
I disagree with you. By withdrawing you investment , you are sending a clear signal that there are no good oppurtunities for capital allocation in the current system. If people don't withdraw investments, the system will never create a meaningful investment oppurtunity and will keep stinking with the current inflated investment oppurtunities.
By doing what you mentioned , you are doing a sound capital allocation service to the society. This country would be different if everybody did the same and punished bad investment choices instead of propping them.
FollowBefriend15 threads1,255 comments
I always believe in global citizenship if you can help it, instead of getting stuck in any country.
Absolutely - having lived for significant number of years in different countries, I have pretty much no illusions about being a citizen anywhere. Best to go where you can live happily with dignity.
Having friends/family/contacts across borders is the most important thing. Takes time to build this, and some professions are easier to do this with.
The second thing is being able to store your accumulated savings in a place that is relatively stable and unlikely to restrict its movement in and out. Traditionally, Suisse and English banks have been the most popular choice, but I am not sure about the stability of English institutions this time.
The third - especially if you are still young and have relatively smaller savings - is to have or acquire skills that are universally in demand and require low capital to restart a profession. Doctors, engineers, small traders.
Having said that, I am cautiously hedged on this. Being part of an extended family that is spread over more than a dozen countries is handy. And out of habit, I am skittish about keeping too much money in a place that does not meet the second criterion, so it is out for the most part. But I am not packing my backpack just yet, because I think that the US will pull through - once we shake of the bubble mentality and get back to actually being productive, things will still be pretty good. Just need to get through this phase of intense manipulation of public policy by the pigmen.
here is an interesting observation. The Fed's total reserve bank credit (total balance sheet as I understand it) increased $253B compared to a week ago, and $527B compared to a year ago. The annual growth is 50%!
Does that mean extra $xxxB of printing? How can it grow its balance sheet so fast?
WTF is this
U.S. Treasury, supplementary financing account
that grew from nothing a year ago to $266B?
You want to take things out of context? I don't respect Paulson because he made $500 million. I point out that he went from that to take a job paying next to nothing, and is a better man than me to grind through this process. You want to win arguments that way? Ok, you win.
Go fuck yourself.
kona_three, I apologize. I think i didn't get the point you were trying to make in your earlier post.
I am very skeptical on why paulson took the new job though ;-)
just to make sure you respect Paulson enough, as the CEO of Goldman, he couldn't have cashed out a significant amount of his shares (total $450M then market value) without raising eyebrow.
Therefore, he took the Treasury job so that he was *required by law* to cash out all his shares, tax-free. He pumped MBS sales at Goldman to clients while shorting them at the same time, making GS very profitable on these big trades.
Please do not mis-under-estimate the intelligence of our Secretary of Treasury.
You seem to know a lot about Paulson's butt hair. Are you his asshole or a turd that came out of it ?
But you are right. Neither WaMu nor LEH came to my door asking for my money. They simply decided to die quietly. Just like all other banks who are never going to expect a dime in help from the Govt. No bank is asking for Govt help. And even if some banks do take money from Govt, that's fine - because they are not the only ones. Lot of people/institutions steal money from Govt. Big deal. Everything is fair.
All hail King Henry ! He deserves a medal of honor - wait, let's just hand over our country to him.
OO says : Therefore, he took the Treasury job so that he was *required by law* to cash out all his shares, tax-free
excuse my ignorance but why is tax free ?? WTF is going on in this country.
This news is first uncovered by Economist a couple of years back and then caught on fire over the internet.
There is a special rule only applicable to government officials if they have to sell shares to avoid conflict of interest. Of course there would be HUGE conflict of interest of Paulson still held on to his Goldman shares not that there is none after his divestiture.
So the rule has it, if the person is required to divest due to conflict of interest, he is exempt from paying the tax arising from such sale (because obviously the government made him do so).
Here is a more detailed description of this transaction
Economist has some quite juicy stories for the US.
It once talked about a wacky tax loophole that the super-rich enjoys so that they pay almost no tax. If you make $200K, you probably hit AMT. If you make $200K to $1M, you are probably screwed pretty hard, but once you make over a $1M, you are home free.
Somehow the tax law has it that if you make over $1M a year (which I never experienced for obvious reasons), the your capital gains tax rate reverts back to...5%. And, better still, if you make very little in normal income, your capital gains tax is 5%. Now you understand why all the CEOs are taking $1 pay? the $1 determines their capital gains tax bracket, only we the worker bees have to pay $15% to 20% capex tax, the CEOs only pay 5%. In fact, the richest people in the US make almost all their income from capital gains.
Now you understand why all the CEOs are taking $1 pay?
During the dot com bust era, the CEO at our company in an all hands said we (the worker bees) are better compensated than him since he only makes $1, he basically said we were lucky to have jobs so we should not expect any raises. What an a**hole.
excuse my ignorance but why is tax free ?? WTF is going on in this country. It is tax free to entice these people to take government posts. Otherwise, there is no incentives to work for the government (how patriotic is that).
After seeing many corrupt and lawless countries in the developing world, I'd say the difference between the US and these countries is, corruption is formalized and legalized at a much higher level, but the scale of corruption is just as rampant if not more.
Among the developed countries, the US is certainly not the beacon of light for economic and political morality, quite quite far from it, you probably need to look at Scandinavia for best practice. American politics and businesses are extremely corrupt, just that everything is packaged as a part of the "process". Political contribution by businesses can be labeled as "bribing" in the developing countries, but this is part of the political process. Funding a research report that says what you want to say could be "outright misinformation" in the developing countries, but here, we are just presenting another angle of the "scientific fact".
Developing countries are also more "primitive" in their practice of corruption, the officials and businessmen just break the laws outright. Here we are playing a much more sophisticated game, because you can actually pay to influence the law to your liking! So you don't even need to break the law to accomplish the same purpose of injustice, you can observe the law very strictly to still get away with what you want, and that is what the lawyers are for.
Thanks for all the info. It further strengthen's my belief that the system is completely rigged. Now i know why obama is always screaming that the system is rigged in favor of rich. noway i am voting for mccain.
time for making the system more fair.An unfair system san never be productive. It needs to be fair both to the rich and poor.
These republicans have raped the country for the past 8 years using thier trickle down bullshit theories.
I knew about the capital gains tax but i am surprised at how paulson got tax free $450 million. Its disgusting. no doubt , paulson is a crook.
While i am not a big fan of people who abandon thier country when its in trouble, i am still sympathetic to the retiree’s who would want to consider the option
This is all relative, just look at what transpired in the last 2 weeks. The leadership of this country is a joke, the bail-out bill is now over 400 pages with all kinds of pork in it. The government is so corrupt that it is amazing, if this is the Titanic, people should not think they can save the ship. I am not close to retirement but I have a sizable 401k, it could easily get cut in half when the USD is devalued.
OO says : Developing countries are also more “primitive” in their practice of corruption, the officials and businessmen just break the laws outright. Here we are playing a much more sophisticated game, because you can actually pay to influence the law to your liking! So you don’t even need to break the law to accomplish the same purpose of injustice, you can observe the law very strictly to still get away with what you want, and that is what the lawyers are for.
Absolutely right. Thats what i realized over time in this country.
When i first landed here, i was amazed by the apparent corruption free society.
My instincts were always saying its too good to be true as people cannot be so different in any country.My instincts were right.
3000 years ago, Confucius said, if the king doesn't act like a king, you as his subject do not need to act like his subject.
What he said was, in any country there was an implied social contract. The government (king) is supposed to look after its people, and in return, the people should respect and fight for their government (king).
However in today's America, such a social contract is broken. Obviously Bush or Cheney or Paulson or anyone of the power to be doesn't give a f*ck to us the people. Then why should we fulfill our part of the social obligation?
That is why it is completely noble and legal to look after our own interest and our own interest only, there is no abandonment, because we are abandoned at first. There is no betrayal, because we are betrayed first.
OO says : "That is why it is completely noble and legal to look after our own interest and our own interest only"
I thought thats how america and american capitalism is supposed to work irrespective of whether the govt(king) acts like a king or not.
I learnt the lesson in my company when it laid of bunch of workers and one of the top management guy told me that there are no loyalties in a bussiness contract ( employement) ...its pure business. thats the basic assumption. People who have other assumptions are fools. now i guess the same assumption holds true for the country as well. everybody is for themselves - the american mantra esp republican one. If you assume something else , you are apparently a fool.
FollowBefriend1 threads533 comments
Wow - watch whatever you can of Sherman's debate last night. He is opposed to THIS bailout and he revealed at least some of what was discussed in the closed door session. Amazing stuff.
@ TOB re: one week shutdown
I saw this from a friend who lives on Kitco, and um, I have my doubts:
1) Odd wording in the supposed closure sign quotes.
2) The last thing you do is let the mail clerks at 10,000 branches see your intention to take a holiday weeks ahead of time. No security. Can we say "Bank Run" class? Goood...
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