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Everything You Wanted to Know About the Credit Crisis But Were Afraid to Ask (Ben Stein)
Yahoo Financial ^ | September 22, 2008 | Ben Stein

Posted on 09/23/2008 7:43:10 PM PDT by KingSnorky

The headlines scream doom. There are endless references to the economic situation being "the worst since The Great Depression." Immense names in finance have collapsed and sunk beneath the waves of the financial crisis. Please allow me to try to explain a bit of what's going on.

First of all, all you have to do is look around you to see that in terms of daily life, we are not anywhere near The Great Depression. Unemployment is barely about six percent. It was 25 percent at the nadir of The Great Depression. Real per capita incomes adjusted for inflation are at least five times what they were during The Great Depression. Airplanes are full. High-end restaurants are full. Prices are painfully high for food. These are not signs of a Great Depression.

On the other hand, the losses in financial products have been devastating. The Dow is off 23 percent from its high in 2007. Financial stocks even after the recent rally are off staggeringly. The biggest insurer in America has become a basket case. Most of all, there is REAL FEAR in the air.

(Excerpt) Read more at finance.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bailout; credit; financialcrisis; stein

1 posted on 09/23/2008 7:43:10 PM PDT by KingSnorky
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To: KingSnorky

Bump for tomorrow.. always look forward to what my old pal Ben says.


2 posted on 09/23/2008 7:49:52 PM PDT by mnehring
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To: KingSnorky

Unemployment wasn’t 25% at the beginning of the Great Depression either. This thing is just getting started. I’m not saying things WILL get that bad, but nobody knows yet, including Ben Stein.


3 posted on 09/23/2008 7:52:03 PM PDT by kms61
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To: mnehrling

me too...still cant get over the fact that he does the voice for my son’s cartoon, Fairly Odd Parents...he plays a ‘mean’ fairy like character (i know, not a fairy, but the real term escapes me.)


4 posted on 09/23/2008 7:52:38 PM PDT by raygunfan
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To: KingSnorky
$300 billion dollar farm bill here, $700 Billion dollar bailout there, who's counting?

Seriously though, it disturbs me that Ben Stein, a man far smarter than anyone I know ends his article with the question, “"What the heck is to be done?"

5 posted on 09/23/2008 7:57:24 PM PDT by rwh (What great fortune it is for those in power that the people do not think!)
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To: jrestrepo

Bump for later read.


6 posted on 09/23/2008 7:59:49 PM PDT by jrestrepo
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To: raygunfan

Instead of the government taking on these bad debts...why not just retroactively declare them illegal transactions and force the market makers to return the costs of the contracts and call it a day. Who gets hurt?

The hedge fund managers. Instead of making billions, they end up with a zero gain year in their credit default swap portfolio...awww too bad. If they were brilliant, they should have diversified into other instruments and securities and should do ok. So instead of having a 200% gain, they will have a 15% gain and move on.

End of story.


7 posted on 09/23/2008 8:02:24 PM PDT by johnnycap
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To: KingSnorky

I love Ben Stein. He’s one of my heroes.

Anyone remember the game show, “Win Ben Stein’s Money?” It was hilarious. When he beat his opponents, he actually walked off with the cash.


8 posted on 09/23/2008 8:04:29 PM PDT by Silly (www.QuestionOthority.com)
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To: raygunfan

He voices the Pixies. Whenever I try to read one of his articles, I imagine the head pixie reading it in Ben Steins voice. Makes them kinda hard to get through.


9 posted on 09/23/2008 8:05:41 PM PDT by LongElegantLegs (They're penguins! Just wipe the oil off the white parts and toss 'em back!!)
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To: raygunfan

Pixie.


10 posted on 09/23/2008 8:11:37 PM PDT by Yo-Yo
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To: KingSnorky
This should never have happened. Now that it did happen, should the taxpayer pay to make the billionaire speculators whole on their bets?

NO.NO.NO.NO.

I do NOT want to bail out a bunch of smug billionaires. Paulson and his friends can sell pencils on the street for all I care.

11 posted on 09/23/2008 8:13:14 PM PDT by GOPJ (Let free markets work - stupid companies SHOULD go belly-up - including Frannie and Freddie.)
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To: johnnycap

I think that the leftist politicians who were trying their hands at social engineering by forcing banks to loan money to unqualified home buyers should be sued for every cent by the institutions that are in trouble. Those like Fannie Mae should also take everything in assets from those who colluded in driving them into the ground, like the ex Clinton administration folks who were running the show. .


12 posted on 09/23/2008 8:16:52 PM PDT by MtnClimber (http://www.jeffhead.com/obama/nobamanation-sticker.jpg)
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To: rwh

“What the heck is to be done?”

Yeah...Ben’s last sentence caught my attention, too. The answer, I think, entails a reaffirmation of free market principles. That means 1) not bailing out anyone, and 2) vastly reducing the tax burden (individual, corporate and capital gains).

Unfortunately, none of these things will happen because socialists control Congress and the secretary of the Treasury is a Democrat. So we’re faced with this maddening proposal: cure socialism’s consequences with larger doses of socialism.


13 posted on 09/23/2008 8:26:55 PM PDT by KingSnorky
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To: KingSnorky
He does not need to convince anyone who is a thinker that this is not anywhere near the great depression. The only ones who need convincing are the 20% that are “undecided” and say in polls they are “Very worried about the economy.”

Right now it is all about those folks. They have been convinced by the Dems and their allies the MSM that they are in grave trouble and Republicans put them their.

What McCain should do is harp on the Dems in congress and the Clintonites like Gorelick who contributed to the problems. Not to mention Clintons changing of banking and financial institution laws that allowed the mess to be so interlocked that it becomes like a house of cards.

Pull one card out and it all tumbles down.

14 posted on 09/23/2008 8:37:44 PM PDT by JSteff
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To: kms61

he didn’t say it was.


15 posted on 09/23/2008 8:39:08 PM PDT by bobby.223
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To: raygunfan

“.still cant get over the fact that he does the voice for my son’s cartoon, Fairly Odd Parents...he plays a ‘mean’ fairy like character (i know, not a fairy, but the real term escapes me.)”

He plays a pixie. My kids watch it, too.


16 posted on 09/23/2008 8:54:42 PM PDT by repubpub
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To: johnnycap

Post of the month!


17 posted on 09/23/2008 8:57:43 PM PDT by ROTB (Our Constitution [is] for a [Christian] people. It is wholly inadequate [for] any other. -John Adams)
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To: JSteff

To a degree McCain can do that, the problem here is that he needs to shoulder the blame along with Obama, and everyone. There is nobody from Greenspan, through Clinton to Bush that is free from blame. McCain needs to articulate it that way, not just blame Dems, but spotlight they are at fault as well. Republicans can’t take the high ground because we controlled Congress and let this go on as well. It started under Clinton, but quite frankly we had Congress then and let it go.


18 posted on 09/23/2008 9:18:42 PM PDT by shoedog
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To: shoedog

It started under Clinton, but quite frankly we had Congress then and let it go.
_____________________

RE-ELECT NO ONE


19 posted on 09/23/2008 9:27:48 PM PDT by cowdog77
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To: kms61

Amen. Ben Bernanke is an expert on The Great Depression, and why it happened. He knows the mistakes that were made then, and what could have stopped it.

You make a great point, because all the pics of the late 1920’s I have ever seen were partying, fancy clothes, dancing and spending lots of money. The pics after the big crash...a year or two later were quite the opposite.

Wall Street is the precurser to what happens on Main Street.
As a former member of the FEDS Board said early today. His grandfather owned a store, and laughed when the rich lost their money in 1929....a year later his store closed and he was out of work....MAIN STREET IS ABOSOLUTELY THE RESULT OF WALL STREET...just a short ride behind.


20 posted on 09/23/2008 9:28:52 PM PDT by Kackikat ( Without National Security all other issues are mute points; chaos ensues.))
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To: Kackikat

His grandfather owned a store, and laughed when the rich lost their money in 1929....a year later his store closed ...

Good post


21 posted on 09/23/2008 9:44:10 PM PDT by weston (It is our oil, and we want it NOW!)
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To: kms61

“This thing is just getting started.”

Indeed. Since January, my Bride has lost over 10k in her deferred comp investments. If this continues a bit more, we’re pulling out until the dust settles.


22 posted on 09/23/2008 10:12:40 PM PDT by Gator113 (Drill here, drill now...... or die.)
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To: cowdog77

Stupid answer (Shouting “reelect noone”). Some of the members of Congress have been in the right - and on the right - all along.

I’ll bet that you are one of the ones who sat out ‘06, right? Did anyone learn any lesson from your non-vote?

“We” never had Congress. For a very short while, the Republicans had a majority in the House. The “majority” in the Senate never happened, thanks to “jumpin’ Jeffers.” And the RINO’s Collins, Snowe, Sununu, Hagel. (Let’s not re-elect *them.*)


23 posted on 09/23/2008 10:14:49 PM PDT by hocndoc (http://www.LifeEthics.org (I've got a mustard seed and I'm not afraid to use it.))
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To: raygunfan

These days, I belive it’s spelled “faerie” to avoid any misunderstandings.


24 posted on 09/23/2008 10:22:42 PM PDT by Yanni.Znaio (On the Palin smears: "Let he who is without stones cast the first sin.")
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To: raygunfan

These days, I belive it’s spelled “faerie” to avoid any misunderstandings.


25 posted on 09/23/2008 10:22:44 PM PDT by Yanni.Znaio (On the Palin smears: "Let he who is without stones cast the first sin.")
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To: kms61
Unemployment wasn’t 25% at the beginning of the Great Depression either. This thing is just getting started. I’m not saying things WILL get that bad, but nobody knows yet, including Ben Stein.

And neither us nor Ben Stein knows if unemployment will shrink to mere .001%.

26 posted on 09/24/2008 12:14:50 AM PDT by AndyTheBear (Disastrous social experimentation is the opiate of elitist snobs.)
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To: KingSnorky

Bump!


27 posted on 09/24/2008 12:36:09 AM PDT by Tempest (No more bailouts. No More Fear Mongers.)
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