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Mystery Men of the Financial Crisis
New York Times ^ | February 4, 2010 | William D. Cohan

Posted on 02/05/2010 5:08:52 AM PST by lbryce

Now that we have pulled back sufficiently far from the near “destruction of the modern financial system” — as the former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson described the events of 2008 in his new memoir, “On The Brink” — to focus on how to prevent such a calamity from recurring, the time has come to hear from those players in the drama who really know what happened and why.

Until people such as Warren Spector, the former co-president and head of the fixed-income division at Bear Stearns, and Dan Jester, a mysterious former Goldman Sachs banker turned Treasury official — among many others — come forward and share with us the roles they played before, during and after the crisis, there is little hope that the members of Congress working on financial reform legislation will be able to craft a bill that will succeed in its mission, and the longer they will spend dithering with the ill-conceived ideas being pushed by the former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker.

To date, these elusive but important Wall Street executives have kept an exceedingly low profile, hoping against hope that the whole thing just blows over. We can’t let that happen. There is just too much at stake now, and Wall Street has proved repeatedly over the past 40 years — since the firms went from private partnerships (where partners had their entire net worth on the line) to public companies (where bankers and traders were encouraged to take huge risks with other people’s money) — that it is incapable of regulating itself.

We need to get beyond the amusing political theater of the recent Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission hearings featuring tight-lipped Wall Street chief executives like Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman, John Mack of Morgan Stanley and Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase

(Excerpt) Read more at opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Editorial
KEYWORDS: accountability; danjester; financialcrisis; hoistedbytheirpetard; tarp; transparency; warrenspector
This is a remarkable call for accountability, transparency at whar is nothing less than the very preservation of our beloved republic regarding,the events that led up to the financial meltdown the repercussions of most of which still lurking over the horizon,

The fact is we all know more or less those who were involved in this crisis how it evolved, mushroomed into what some fear might well be the seeds of our very destruction.

While it an audacious move in the hopes of getting to the heart of the matter, I am afraid it might not ever see the light of day.

The fact is, as we know more or less, where culpability lies in this crisis, where the buck never did stop, as being widespread, reaching the very height of power and influence in this country and if accountability is ever going to be attained, there's just not going to be anyone left to run the government.

1 posted on 02/05/2010 5:08:53 AM PST by lbryce
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To: lbryce

BUMP!


2 posted on 02/05/2010 5:11:21 AM PST by G Larry (DNC is comprised of REGRESSIVES!)
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To: FromLori; blam; muawiyah; SunkenCiv; Nachum; Moe Tzadik; MestaMachine; Rushmore Rocks; ...

*ping*


3 posted on 02/05/2010 5:17:42 AM PST by hennie pennie
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To: lbryce

All sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Accountability? Sure thing. Meanwhile, the new “regulatory” Bill making it’s way through Congress ensures $4 Trillion of our tax dollars for future bailouts.


4 posted on 02/05/2010 5:22:52 AM PST by Wolfie
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To: lbryce

I admit to being naive to the ways of high finance, but weren’t derivatives the reason the crisis was so deep, far reaching, and hard to bring under control?


5 posted on 02/05/2010 5:24:34 AM PST by csmusaret (Right wing extremists: Jefferson, Adams, Madison, Paine, and me.)
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To: lbryce
there is little hope that the members of Congress working on financial reform legislation will be able to craft a bill that will succeed in its mission, and the longer they will spend dithering with the ill-conceived ideas

The Community Reinvestment Act, i.e., housing loans to those who can't afford to pay them back, has to be eliminated. Until the dems stop giving away the fort to people who have done nothing to earn it, these people are just going to keep raping the system.
This will keep happening over again and again until they dump this act. You can't keep poring water down the drain and expect the well to remain full.

6 posted on 02/05/2010 5:27:30 AM PST by concerned about politics ("Get thee behind me, Liberal")
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To: lbryce

These guys need a Pecora Commission to enemize the industry....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pecora_Commission


7 posted on 02/05/2010 5:31:10 AM PST by mo
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To: mo; All

related links:

More light shed on the way we are economically manipulated.
Russia Urged China to Dump FANNIE, FREDDIE Bonds...
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=afbSjYv3v814
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2441326/posts
“This is indicative of how dangerous the Chinese holdings of U.S. debt are. It is a huge financial weapon ...”

Barney Frank gets clarity. Finally
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2441738/posts
WASHINGTON - Barney Frank has been one of the staunchest defenders of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and their mission to increase access to affordable housing. Now he’s helping to lead the charge to dismantle the troubled mortgage giants.
[Would that be because of Paulson’s book now revealing the Russia/China negotiations to sabotage our economy?]

[In light of Russia’s attempt to manipulate Fannie/Freddie bailout during China’s Olympics ...]
YouTube:Shocking Video Unearthed Democrats in their own words Covering up the Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Scam that caused our Economic Crisis
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MGT_cSi7Rs&feature=channel_page

More light shed on the way we are economically manipulated.
Russia Urged China to Dump FANNIE, FREDDIE Bonds...
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=afbSjYv3v814
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2441326/posts
“This is indicative of how dangerous the Chinese holdings of U.S. debt are. It is a huge financial weapon ...”


8 posted on 02/05/2010 5:40:47 AM PST by Arthur Wildfire! March (2010 HOUSE RACES! Help everyone get the goods on their House Rats. See my profile.)
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To: Impy; TigersEye; floriduh voter; snippy_about_it; ovrtaxt; syriacus; TigerLikesRooster; ...

The Economic Meltdown Plot thickens. [Summary link blast in previous post.]

Other shockers:

Struck Down: Feds Refuse to Explain How Agent Injured Daily Caller Writer
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2444627/posts

Edward Chen [A Zero Judicial Favorite to keep us “bitter clingers” in line]
Senate Panel Backs Obama’s Judge Nominee [Former Radical ACLU Lawyer: Tried Overturning Prop.209]]
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2444644/posts


9 posted on 02/05/2010 5:43:20 AM PST by Arthur Wildfire! March (2010 HOUSE RACES! Help everyone get the goods on their House Rats. See my profile.)
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To: Arthur Wildfire! March

On Rush yesterday: Obama postponed aid to Haiti for the Superbowl.
[There’s so much Super Bowl advertising that I can’t find a link in Google.]


10 posted on 02/05/2010 5:45:43 AM PST by Arthur Wildfire! March (2010 HOUSE RACES! Help everyone get the goods on their House Rats. See my profile.)
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To: lbryce
[there is little hope that the members of Congress working on financial reform legislation will be able to craft a bill that will succeed in its mission,]
 
Then craft a bill that simply confines governance (financial and otherwise) to the specified purpose, the specified mission - for American governance: "TO SECURE THESE RIGHTS, governments are instituted among men".

11 posted on 02/05/2010 5:47:22 AM PST by LomanBill (Animals! The DemocRats blew up the windmill with an Acorn!)
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To: lbryce
[Until people such as Warren Spector, the former co-president and head of the fixed-income division at Bear Stearns, and Dan Jester, a mysterious former Goldman Sachs banker turned Treasury official — among many others — come forward and share with us the roles they played before, during and after the crisis]
 
Paulson is so full of it.   That's like waiting for the snakes to tell about how they looted the eggs from the henhouse.   Ain't gonna happen - and he knows it.
 
How 'bout if Congress just does its job for a change? 
 
"TO SECURE THESE RIGHTS, governments are instituted among men"
 
The job of Congress being to Secure the rights of the governed by keeping the snakes, like Paulson, out of the henhouse in the first place!

12 posted on 02/05/2010 5:58:06 AM PST by LomanBill (Animals! The DemocRats blew up the windmill with an Acorn!)
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To: Arthur Wildfire! March
MYSTERY MEN!
13 posted on 02/05/2010 5:59:52 AM PST by Neidermeyer
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To: lbryce; LomanBill

Interesting article in that secondary names are mentioned. Good comments at the source.

“TO SECURE THESE RIGHTS, governments are instituted among men”

BUMP!

“It is impossible to introduce into society a greater change and a greater evil than this: the conversion of the law into an instrument of plunder.” - The Law - Frederic Bastiat 1801-1850


14 posted on 02/05/2010 6:38:27 AM PST by PGalt
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To: csmusaret

It goes back to the nature of our banking system. We have fractional reserve banking. Ten dollars is deposited in a bank, and it can lend out a hundred dollars. This is the law. It is lawful.

If the economy contracts, loses, whatever ten percent, the shock is increased back to the banks, all through the lending, loan, credit system.

Everybody starts running for cover. Kind of a musical chairs. There are only 9 chairs worth of money for ten economic actors. Some people try to sit on two chairs, cahos.

Further. During the boom times, there is a lot of bad, poorly run business going on, but the easy money hid it. GM for example. When money got tight, credit got tight, customers few, prices squeezed, all sorts of lousy run, corrupt run, weak, poorly run companies, like old infected deers in a harsh winter, got killed off, or should of, but got bailed out by you and me. GM, AIG, ect.

Derivatives are everywhere, and have been. Nothing wrong or right with that.

On the plus side. People will go to school to learn( some, anyways ), people like to buy, other people like to sell, people like nice houses and new cars. Kids get born, old die. All the true, real economy exists as it has always. We just, unfortunately, have a predominantly leftist elite and political class that get’s in the way of us all sorting it out, pushing the old economy off on a iceberg and getting our new economy on it’s feet.


15 posted on 02/05/2010 7:04:42 AM PST by Leisler (We are in the best of hands)
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To: PGalt

16 posted on 02/05/2010 7:06:58 AM PST by Leisler (We are in the best of hands)
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To: Leisler

ABSOLUTELY!


17 posted on 02/05/2010 7:20:10 AM PST by PGalt
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To: Leisler

Thanks for the explanation. I have been told that derivatives exacerbated the bad loan problems. They took one bad mortgage and spread it throughout several different portfolios. I would appreciate your thoughts on that.


18 posted on 02/05/2010 7:22:49 AM PST by csmusaret (Right wing extremists: Jefferson, Adams, Madison, Paine, and me.)
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To: Leisler
Ten dollars is deposited in a bank, and it can lend out a hundred dollars. This is the law. It is lawful.

So you open a new bank. I'm the only depositor and I put in $10, say 10 singles.

Next guy comes in to borrow $100. Show me how you make that happen with only 10 singles in the vault. Thanks.

19 posted on 02/05/2010 7:26:09 AM PST by Toddsterpatriot (Math is hard. Harder if you're stupid.)
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To: csmusaret

I had a uncle who had a GM dealership and I wanted/needed a new car, just for transportation, so he basically gave me a striped down Chevette, which was a fine car for my needs and wallet. He had a bunched parked out back and said pick one.

I asked him why he had so many, and he said that in order for him to get the cars his customers really wanted, and he could make money on, GM also said you got to take these and move them, or else.

So too with poorer quality goods in other markets. Anyone can sell, move the good in demand stuff. Kind of like being in the Army and you getting a few good troops that would do the work of three without baby sitting, you also got to take a few dolts that everyone is trying to palm off on each other.

I’m sure the financial institutions could and did buy really nice blends of mortgages, but they were expensive, so they moved down the quality blend. There is fundamentally nothing wrong with this, it is common everywhere, a fact of business life. You want the good stuff, you got to take some of my lower quality goods too.

Actually, I’ve been a fan of even poor people getting credit the last decade or so. It is that credit market changed, er...provided credit faster than the real world market could, say, build houses. So, for quite a while we had a lot of credit pouring into a housing market that couldn’t keep up, physically, with building housing stock. More money, not so much more houses, price go up...speculators...and well, we know the rest of the story.

I’m in construction which is really really bad right now. But, looking back the last fifteen years, for the nation it has been good. We built a lot of house, most of which will be standing and housing people long after our children or their children are dead. And, long after this mess in our laps is long forgotten.

As for the deritives, I blam not having these ‘instriment’ registered in a controled market, like a stock exchange. Or, as is the case, these were unregistered so called securities, well fine, that is a private matter and should not be bailed out or supported by the citizens at large. All these finacial types, banks, AIG...are all big boys, well educated, well paid. Let them figure it out, and eat the losses. Like I said, the rest of us in the real, rubber meets the road, go to work every morning, do what it takes ecomomy, we don’t really need them. They need us. We are the foundation, the bedrock.

Bush, Congress, Paulson should of fire stopped at us and let the fire burn out AIG, Citi...etc.

I’m afraid the fuel, the dead wood is still out there.


20 posted on 02/05/2010 8:21:40 AM PST by Leisler (We are in the best of hands)
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To: Toddsterpatriot

When the other people come up to get a loan, you give them cash/check. You put a marker, a IOU, a ‘loan’ on your books, you then march up to your local Federal Reserve Bank and withdraw the real cash you need, in this example, say 90 dollars. They give it to you, the bank with the ‘loans’ as collateral.

So where does the Federal Reserve get the money? They print it. Sometimes more than the total value of loans and deposit, sometimes less. Usually more.


21 posted on 02/05/2010 8:27:49 AM PST by Leisler (We are in the best of hands)
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To: PGalt

My gut feelings....

I really, really believe that AIG was a Madoff type ponzi scheme. They got as large as they were by offering prices for insurance that they knew were insufficient to cover the risk. No one could touch their prices. They were too low, hence no to low competition for them, near monopoly market control.

They bought a lot of political coverage.


22 posted on 02/05/2010 8:32:31 AM PST by Leisler (We are in the best of hands)
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To: Leisler
Ten dollars is deposited in a bank, and it can lend out a hundred dollars. This is the law. It is lawful.

I suspect the FR "too big" wall street banking disinformation cabal will nitpick you on this. (Oh, I see they've started already!) So let's explain the way it actually happens; $10 is deposited. Assuming 10% reserve requirements, $9 can be lent out. That $9 is deposited, and $8.10 can be lent out, and so on. In the end, potentially, the original $10 in deposits can become $100.

Here's a good textbook on the subject, for those interested in how fractional reserve banking works, (and can lead to booms that result in busts like the one we're experiencing now.)

If you're a poor student and can't afford the book, you can download a free PDF version.

23 posted on 02/05/2010 8:32:44 AM PST by Swing_Thought (The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is a knowledge of our own ignorance. - Benjamin Franklin)
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To: Leisler
When the other people come up to get a loan, you give them cash/check.

Excellent! You only have $10 in cash, much less than $100.

You put a marker, a IOU, a ‘loan’ on your books, you then march up to your local Federal Reserve Bank and withdraw the real cash you need

Wait a minute, the bank has $10 in my deposit and they borrow $90 from the Fed to make the $100 loan?

That's a relief, I thought you were going to claim a bank can create money out of thin air and earn interest on all this imaginary money they made.

Borrowing and lending is kind of boring when you explain it properly.

24 posted on 02/05/2010 8:36:17 AM PST by Toddsterpatriot (Math is hard. Harder if you're stupid.)
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To: Toddsterpatriot
"Wait a minute, the bank has $10 in my deposit and they borrow $90 from the Fed to make the $100 loan?"

Yes. They use the loan, the booking of the loan, as collateral.

25 posted on 02/05/2010 8:43:32 AM PST by Leisler (We are in the best of hands)
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To: Swing_Thought

I wanted to keep it as uber simple as possible.

I do have fundamental philosophical problems with the very existence of the Federal Reserve.

I prefer the notion of non government intervention in the creation of money and credit as much as possible. I would leave the Federal Government to have what I think of as money of the last resort, i.e, gold money.

I’m pretty convinced that the growth of the US before the enactment of the Federal Reserve was way way faster, better, freeer. Not without it’s own problems, but better.


26 posted on 02/05/2010 8:50:38 AM PST by Leisler (We are in the best of hands)
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To: hennie pennie; Fred Nerks; null and void; stockpirate; george76; PhilDragoo; Candor7; rxsid; ...
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Mystery Men of the Financial Crisis

27 posted on 02/05/2010 9:07:45 AM PST by LucyT
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To: Leisler
I do have fundamental philosophical problems with the very existence of the Federal Reserve.

I'm with you 100%!

28 posted on 02/05/2010 9:59:41 AM PST by Swing_Thought (The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is a knowledge of our own ignorance. - Benjamin Franklin)
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To: Leisler
They use the loan, the booking of the loan, as collateral.

Well that's pretty boring. Banks have to have at least as much in borrowings and deposits as they make in loans.

29 posted on 02/05/2010 10:03:08 AM PST by Toddsterpatriot (Math is hard. Harder if you're stupid.)
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To: Swing_Thought

Money is too important to be in the hands of the government.

The government should look, beg to us for money, not the other way around.

Centralized money creation is elitist, un democratic and a threat to republican/limited government. Basically, now, we have unlimited government as it has all the money creation powers. Very convenient for large federal government and it’s political friends.


30 posted on 02/05/2010 10:05:49 AM PST by Leisler (We are in the best of hands)
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To: lbryce
I'm not sure that all that much more "transparancy" is required.

The root of the whole problem seems to have been the lending of enormous amounts of money to minorities and other people who could never be expected to pay it back resulting in the Fannie/Freddie crisis.

Of course, there are lots of other dynamics that resulted, but the main cause of the problem seems fairly clear.

31 posted on 02/05/2010 11:04:11 AM PST by Siena Dreaming
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To: Leisler
Basically, now, we have unlimited government as it has all the money creation powers.

All the money creation powers? I thought money was created whenever anyone borrows from a bank? That doesn't sound like something only government can do.

32 posted on 02/05/2010 11:26:59 AM PST by Toddsterpatriot (Math is hard. Harder if you're stupid.)
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To: hennie pennie; DelaWhere; Eagle50AE

Thanks for the ping.


33 posted on 02/05/2010 12:26:49 PM PST by nw_arizona_granny ( garden/survival/cooking/storage- http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/2299939/posts?page=5555)
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To: Toddsterpatriot
"Basically,..."

As in starting a declarative statement with a expansive generality, thus giving that qualifier literally, the first word.

34 posted on 02/05/2010 12:48:46 PM PST by Leisler (We are in the best of hands)
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To: Leisler
Last time I checked, the Fed had created $2.2 trillion.

M2 is about $8.5 trillion.

Basically might not be the best word.

35 posted on 02/05/2010 12:58:33 PM PST by Toddsterpatriot (Math is hard. Harder if you're stupid.)
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To: Toddsterpatriot

Imagine if you are in a poker game. However there is one player that can when he wants write on a note pad a trillion dollars, or more, and by law you have to accept it. You can’t do this, nor any other player.

I’d say the player with the magic note pad controls the game.


36 posted on 02/05/2010 1:14:49 PM PST by Leisler (We are in the best of hands)
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To: Leisler
That's fascinating. Doesn't change the fact that nearly 75% of M2 was NOT created by the Fed.
37 posted on 02/05/2010 1:19:05 PM PST by Toddsterpatriot (Math is hard. Harder if you're stupid.)
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To: Toddsterpatriot

Where did the bulk of the M1 dollars come from? Who made them, and can call them in( as it has ), and or change their value as it sees fit?

If you have something, and in a way a other party can come and repo it, or part of it, or add to it, as they see fit, I’d say they control it.


38 posted on 02/05/2010 1:28:38 PM PST by Leisler (We are in the best of hands)
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To: lbryce
It's dem joos, right?

lol. This is all an absurd smear. The financial crisis has its origins in mainstreet Americans taking $2 trillion from their bankers and not paying it back. Then they try to blame those they just robbed. It is all insufferable.

39 posted on 02/05/2010 1:32:42 PM PST by JasonC
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To: Leisler
Nobody can change the value of dollars as they see fit, that is up to everyone who uses them or chooses not to.

If you don't like dollars, use blueberry scones as your currency. There is nothing stopping you. Just don't expect the rest of us to put ourselves out for your stupid prejudices.

40 posted on 02/05/2010 1:34:15 PM PST by JasonC
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To: Leisler
It isn't. The government through an agency merely regulates some of what banks can do with it. It remains in the hands of banks and their customers. Their credit freedoms are just restricted - in a tightened direction. Without a Fed, you don't get tighter money, you get wildcat banking were anybody can make all the money they like. Then every five years people can repudiate great gobs of it as worthless. Oh joy. We tried, that, it sucked.
41 posted on 02/05/2010 1:37:10 PM PST by JasonC
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To: JasonC

So when FDR called in, made illegal gold certificates...that wasn’t a ‘make’ moment?

What about when Nixon took the US off the gold standard?

Last October, Paulson and Bernanke and Sheila Bair called in the major banks heads to the Treasury and forced them to sign up for funds? Patty cake?

What happened to GM bond holders? Love kisses?

The foundations of Washington power is violence, force.


42 posted on 02/05/2010 1:49:12 PM PST by Leisler (We are in the best of hands)
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To: Leisler
Where did the bulk of the M1 dollars come from? Who made them, and can call them in( as it has ),

The Fed can add to or subtract from M1 when they feel the need.

If you have something, and in a way a other party can come and repo it, or part of it, or add to it, as they see fit, I’d say they control it.

Now that we agree that the Fed can change M1, what does that have to do with your earlier (incorrect) claim?

43 posted on 02/05/2010 1:52:01 PM PST by Toddsterpatriot (Math is hard. Harder if you're stupid.)
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To: JasonC
"...merely regulates some of what banks can do.."

Yeah, it's on a three page rule book. Everything else they are free to do.

44 posted on 02/05/2010 1:52:09 PM PST by Leisler (We are in the best of hands)
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To: Leisler
You aren't forced to use US dollars for anything. Ever. You never need to own one or to touch one. You never need to account in them, measure in them, or be so much as aware of their existence.

If you voluntarily choose to use them, for anything, or find them convenient, for anything, then they benefit you. You may wish you also got free pie and ice cream, but if you freely use them, then the US dollar is a net benefit to you. Other people finding them extremely useful probably would be what prods you into using them yourself. Since your average checkout lady at Walmart wouldn't really know what to say about your sack full of crumbling blueberry scones. But you are free to try, and Walmart is free to tell you to stop wasting its time.

45 posted on 02/05/2010 1:56:07 PM PST by JasonC
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To: Leisler
Do you want banks to create money at will?

Yes or no please.

46 posted on 02/05/2010 1:56:51 PM PST by JasonC
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To: JasonC

Ah, yeah. Right. And..so..?


47 posted on 02/05/2010 2:02:34 PM PST by Leisler (We are in the best of hands)
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To: JasonC

Yes. I want free banking with private money. In general I trust private goods and services as lower cost, better quality, more filling of my needs and services than government goods and services.


48 posted on 02/05/2010 2:04:41 PM PST by Leisler (We are in the best of hands)
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To: hennie pennie; AdmSmith; Berosus; bigheadfred; Convert from ECUSA; dervish; Ernest_at_the_Beach; ...

Thanks hennie pennie.


49 posted on 02/05/2010 4:03:38 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Happy New Year! Freedom is Priceless.)
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To: Leisler
In general I trust private goods and services as lower cost, better quality, more filling of my needs and services than government goods and services.

BUMP!

50 posted on 02/05/2010 7:30:29 PM PST by PGalt
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