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March 18, 2009

Comments

Don

Why not correct the glaring error in your last post before piling up the bs?

Nevermind.

bad

What the hell is going on? Is stupid contagious?

Old Lurker

"And since a deal is no longer a deal, what would that promise be worth?"

Which is why the cramdown fix for home mortgages is so dangerous. People who own the capital others wish to borrow are not stupid and will not deploy it a second time where the rules can change based on popularity...unless the risk premium is adequate.

So basic.

centralcal

LMAO - Rush just called Obama the Totus - Teleprompter of the United States!

Dave E.

Yes, if nothing else we can mine this farce for comedy. For example, I just saw a clip from this morning's hearing where a congressman asked, "How could the government do something so stupid?", apparently with complete sincerity.

MayBee

Who wants to bet against me that the WH had the bonus retention language put into the Stimulus Bill?

O's Teleprompter

I wonder how much of this would be happening if Barack Obama were in charge.

Look, I'm doing my best. You try running Big Gummint.

TM

Why not correct the glaring error in your last post before piling up the bs?

The "glaring error" to which Don refers seems to revolve around whether $22 billion plus $5 billion adds up to $27 billion. I still say it does, but Don, feel free to support an alternative view.

Whatever.

AIG

Who wants to bet against me that the WH had the bonus retention language put into the Stimulus Bill?

We'll take that bet, for $97 billion!

Foo Bar

The "glaring error" to which Don refers seems to revolve around whether $22 billion plus $5 billion adds up to $27 billion

TM, why are you not counting the Maiden Lane III payments to counterparties in Attachment B (in which underlying securities are purchased from counterparties and CDS contracts are cancelled) as part of the total cost of supporting AIG's credit derivative activities? This is not the same money as the $22 billion in Attachment A. For instance, Goldman gets $2.5 billion in Attachment A and $5.6 billion in Attachment B.

[TM RESPONDS: I have a nice table showing all the numbers and explaining how I have allocated them in the post titled "Who Broke AIG".

Now, the $5 billion to which Foo Bar refers is, actually, the same $5 billion in my subtle "$22 bilion plus $5 billion equals $27 billion" calculation, so saying repeatedly that I ignored it is not exactly responsive.

My suggestion - Foo Bar ought to prepare a table showing all the numbers he considers to be relevant and explain how he has allocated them, so we can figure out his objection.

My numbers do have the delightful quality of reconciling to the amounts shown in the AIG presentation to which I linked; I have no doubt Foo Bar's will do the same.

Briefly:

AIG FP required $54 billion of Federal support. However, only $27 billion of that was associated with credit derivatives. By way of contrast, securities lending required $44 billion of support.]

Pofarmer

Hmmmm, I heard an interesting little tid-bit yesterday. The MSM seems to finally be trying to talk up the economy. The report was that "Housing starts are up 22%" From when or compared to what were not given. So, I went and looked, LUN.

It appears that February housings starts, are, indeed, 22% or so above January starts. They are, however, still 48% BELOW 2008 levels. Non-adjusted numbers look even worse.

Dorothy Jane

"I wonder how much of this would be happening if Barack Obama were in charge."

I agree - what would this be like if McCain had won? I guess there wouldn't have been the stimulus which is actually mostly spending - but the media would be at a fever pitch bashing McCain - doing things like playing the tape of the out of control teleprompter taking over the St. Pat's Day festivities...
But then again, maybe the teleprompter would have been in the closet or something - unable to subtly take over the Whitehouse

Don

TM-if my interest compounded the way your ignorance does, I'd pay the AIG bonuses personally.

See Foobar, supra. Please tell us what the money in AIG's attachment B was used for before you pop off.

PeterUK

" On Monday Obama expressed his outrage, assuring us that "I've asked Secretary Geithner to use that leverage and pursue every single legal avenue to block these bonuses and make the American taxpayers whole."

"Make the American taxpayer whole",very messianic,"Lift up thy Fed and walk".

motionview

Give this committe a copy of your board minutes and everything you give the Fed, and then name the names.

With a monopoly on force,

The New Boss

glasater

The Fed has just taken some serious action moments ago. They are monetizing the US debt.
Dollar is getting whacked.
Be ready to pivot for inflation folks.

PeterUK

It is obvious,by the way the anally retentive jump on the minutiae,that this is going to be another embarrassment for Obama.

Charlie (Colorado)

The AIG bonus controversy would be annoying if it weren't so funny.

Nah, it's still annoying.

centralcal

The Totus is having a televised address and press conference in prime time next Tuesday night at 8 pm et.

Swell! He must have gotten the television monitor recently installed into the podium and is anxious to test it out!

Thomas Collins

Is it true, glasater, that the Fed has hired Robert Mugabe to advise it on its open market operations?

OK, I know things aren't that bad and we are not printing money at Zimbabwe rates . . . at least not yet.

Pofarmer

The Fed has just taken some serious action moments ago. They are monetizing the US debt.
Dollar is getting whacked.
Be ready to pivot for inflation folks.

More info please?

daddy

Good Morning and OT

An amazingly beautiful and clear day in Alaska. Redoubt is finally back in view. It continues pumping out a vertical steam plume, 3 to 4,000 feet above the mountains peak, but no ash is involved, and with seismic activity back to low levels, the Geology folks have downgraded the mountain from a potentially hazardous orange to a non-threatening yellow. What is also very cool is that the bottom third of the mountain is currently undergoing one of those ice mirage effects, where a difference in temperature of the atmosphere somehow bends the light and bizarrely heightens the mountains bottom third like a funhouse mirror. Big apologies for not being able to provide a picture, but very, very cool. Anyhow, I swear, no more Redoubt updates until something interesting happens.

Pofarmer

Another nationally televised press conference prime time next Tuesday night.

Enough already, we give up.

O.K., not really give up, but, enough already.

And, just as a warning, anybody shows up on my door wanting to try to convince me on the stimulus package you're getting a pop in the nose.

Charlie (Colorado)

Po, housing starts are way down from last year. They will, none the less, never get back to last year's values unless they start going up from the lows.

Jane

I like the updates, and I wish you would put the link for the website with pix of it, under your name.

Pofarmer

HOLY CARP!

The dollar just fell off a cliff.

PeterUK

When Redoubt looks like this,move

Pofarmer

Po, housing starts are way down from last year. They will, none the less, never get back to last year's values unless they start going up from the lows.

Point is, they're still going down, at least year on year. I don't get into top and bottom picking, just note the trends. Maybe I can find a chart somewhere.......

PeterUK

" Rush just called Obama the Totus"

So Obama and Biden,"The Totus and the Hair"?

Thomas Collins

See LUN (via Drudge) for an article related to glasater's above post on Fed open market operations.

pagar

Meanwhile, Drudge has a teaser which they say is developing----Fannie to pay some rather large bonuses. Freddie apparently hasn't got their paperwork done, so theirs will be later.

Charlie (Colorado)

I'm not sure if I see 89 to 87, to the 50 day moving average, as falling off a cliff. Dollar vs the Euro and the Yen have moved around a half-percent.

Pofarmer

Permits are only up 3% from Jan, and down 51% from a year ago. Authorized and not started are DOWN 4.5% month on month and 36.5% year on year. I don't see anything in here that indicates a bottom.

centralcal

lol, PUK!

Ranger

Hmmm... Isn't this decision by the Fed exactly what China was demanding we promise not to do with our debt?

Pofarmer

I'm not sure if I see 89 to 87, to the 50 day moving average, as falling off a cliff.

When you look at normal movement of the Dollar adjusted index, -$2.40 is a pretty big one day move. Now just have to watch overnight and action tommorrow to confirm it or not. It did close off the bottom, at least.

Pofarmer

And, the worst thing is, Ag commodities are falling right along with the $, that's not good. IMHO, it shows underlying weakness in these markets.

Ranger

The White House polling must be bad for Obama on the AIG issue... it has just been declared a "distraction."

matt

when does it get to the point where this clownshoes has to pay for tv time. We have seen more of Obumble on tv in 7 1/2 weeks that we did of Bush in his first term...talk about burnout....

narciso

Remember Flynn, be Pliny the Younger, remember what happened to the Elder in Pompeii. Oh I published the Emery piece on Sarah's detractor's "fine judgement" on my own blog narcisoscorner, along with some details from the last two weeks, including the CPAC trip, much of which is already well known here. There's that McGuiness piece on the pipeline in Portfolio, that
I'll also take a crack at

Ignatz Ratzkywatzky

I don't see anything in here that indicates a bottom.

It's the first increase in starts in 18 months, so it may well mean something. Also lumber, after bottoming three or so months ago has recovered about 15% and has not retested the lows. A considerable number of other factors seem to indicate a floor.
I suspect the economy is turning. Only question is will Bambi & co murder it in its crib before it has a chance to crawl.

narciso

OK, someone explain to be what happens when the Fed basically buys our own debt this way, right off the back I'd say nothing good
in the long term; monetizing is what they call it, huh.

Charlie (Colorado)

Narciso, it's an introduction of new money.

Fannie and Freddie have retention bonus plans

sbw

Buys its own debt with what?

More fiat money? More inflation by definition?

glasater

Po~

I was just giving a heads up on what the Fed has done.

When I saw Zero's mini presser with his economic team en-route to CA--I always perk up to see what his words will do to affect the DOW.
I sure don't think inflation is going to hit overnight but the Fed's action sure got something going that will have consequences one way or other in the near and long term.
Bernanke does not seem to have much regard for Zero either.

Jim Ryan

monetizing

The Fed prints some money and buys U.S. bonds.

More inflation

Yes.

TexasIsHeaven

"Make the American taxpayer whole",very messianic,"Lift up thy Fed and walk".

Posted by: PeterUK | March 18, 2009 at 02:08 PM

PUK - You have to stop! My sides are splitting!

Looking at the hearing today is just too much - and Chris Dodd - squealing like a pig stuck under a gate - acting like he doesn't have clue.

Charlie (Colorado)

Po, that doesn't look to be all that exciting on all the charts I can find. Can you point me to whatever source you're using?

kim

Hah, hah, hah. Chu, the confused physicist, has challenged China over the carbon tradeoffs. The Chinese are perfectly aware the globe is cooling and aren't going to be bluffed by this peckerhead's nonsense. Morrissey's got it at HotAir.
==============================================

Charlie (Colorado)

SBW, narciso, yes, adding money is inflating, more or less by definition. Disappearing money is deflating. Since we had a long run of pretty dramatic deflation, this isn't necessarily bad. Since we just finally saw a touch of inflation, they may have about run that one out.

PeterUK

"Buys its own debt with what?

More fiat money? More inflation by definition?"

Here it is called "Quantitive Easing",similar to the effects of a laxative.

TM

TM RESPONDS: I have a nice table showing all the numbers and explaining how I have allocated them in the post titled "Who Broke AIG".

Now, the $5 billion to which Foo Bar refers is, actually, the same $5 billion in my subtle "$22 bilion plus $5 billion equals $27 billion" calculation, so saying repeatedly that I ignored it is not exactly responsive.

My suggestion - Foo Bar ought to prepare a table showing all the numbers he considers to be relevant and explain how he has allocated them, so we can figure out his objection.

My numbers do have the delightful quality of reconciling to the amounts shown in the AIG presentation to which I linked; I have no doubt Foo Bar's will do the same.

Briefly:

AIG FP required $52 billion of Federal support. However, only $27 billion of that was associated with credit derivatives; another 13 billion was debt repayment and $12 billion was tied to Municipal Investment Agreements. By way of contrast, securities lending required $44 billion of support.

So work it through:

Credit derivatives: $27 billion
Muni Inv Agree: 12
Debt: 13

Total for AIG FP $52
Total for Credit Derivatives: $27.

Not too hard, I bet.

And I have an idea, Don - if you want to show up with comments like "Why not correct the glaring error in your last post before piling up the bs?" when you are wrong, have no inclination to follow the debate, and no ability to make a contribution, I am entirely likely to "pop off". Mainly because my rule of ignoring idiots is aspirational and flexible.

PeterUK

Sorry Texas,but I never had a stooge as good as Obama before.This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Charlie (Colorado)

"My rule of ignoring idiots is aspirational and flexible."

Words to live by.

Frau Jedöns

It's beginning to look like we have a Manchurian teleprompter in the WH. Meanwhile, the Totus doesn't think it looks like Kansas *or* Kenya any more ... but the $$$$$ parties are still on, regular as clockwork.

PUK - better trademark your Totus and the Hair.

Enlightened

AIG bailout #1 = $85.0 Bil
AIG Bailout #2 = $37.8 Bil
Total: $122.8 Bil as of Nov 10 2008

Payouts:
AIGFP: $52.0 Bil
AIG: $43.7 Bil
Maiden III: $27.1
Total: $122.8 Bil

Jim Ryan

Magnanimous post, Tom.

Pofarmer

Hey Charlie, give the LUN a shot

clarice

"aspirational and flexible,"that's what PUK said his commitment to me was..What a coincidence..

verner

Just noticed at the AIG building here, they've painted out AIG on the street sign, and now have "American General"

I think this has happened within the last few days. Death threats? People are really hyped up and mad, so I would not be surprised.

PeterUK

"aspirational and flexible," That was about my ambition to be a contortionist.

Enlightened

AIG is using some of the cash from a recently announced sale of preferred shares to the U.S. Treasury Department to buy $5 billion in Maiden Lane III stock.

The New York Fed, the sole managing member of Maiden Lane III, has lent $15.1 billion to the entity and could lend up to a total of $30 billion, AIG says.

AIG can ask for additional drawdowns, up to the $30 billion limit, by giving the New York Fed 3 days’ notice, according to a senior loans funding provision in the Maiden Lane III master investment and credit agreement.

Maiden Lane III is supposed to pay back the New York Fed over 6 years using cash flowing from CDOs that are still performing. The interest rate will be equal to the 1-month London Interbank Offered Rate for dollars plus 1 percentage point.

Once the entity repays the New York Fed, the New York Fed will get 67% of any remaining amounts, and AIG will get 33%, AIG says.

LUN

Rick Ballard

TM,

Different colored crayons might help. Maybe some stick figures and apples with a nice legend. Oh, and smilies and frownies. Be sure and use the white butcher paper - the brown is a little distracting.

Enlightened

"So what does this all mean? Well to put it real basically the first list reports collateral postings which AIG has made but which haven’t really been spent. So basically if the losses don’t get posted, AIG gets the money back.

The second documents AIG’s “Maiden Lane III” losses. Basically, when banks insured themselves against default AIG used “Maiden Lane III” to put those assets on its own books (canceling out the insurance contracts). Notice that this is the only section where AIG didn’t bother to order them by monetary value, and the big winners (SocGen and Goldman Sachs) are hidden in the middle of the list."

Enlightened

Sorry - The link is under my name on the last post.

Don and Fooby - y'all gettin this?

Foo Bar

Regarding TM's response:

Briefly:

AIG FP required $54 billion of Federal support. However, only $27 billion of that was associated with credit derivatives. By way of contrast, securities lending required $44 billion of support.]

No, there was $52 billion in direct support to AIG that went to AIGFP related uses. Not that the term "direct" indicates that there is also some indirect support to be accounted for.

This indirect support came via the formation of Maiden Lane III, which was formed for the sake of buying the underlyers off of AIG's CDS counterparties for full notional value, which was typically roughly double what those underlyers were trading for. This NYT post explains it. Note how in this piece it explains that Goldman first gets $8.4 billion in collateral and then, in addition, later gets to keep that collateral and gets another $5.6 billion to bring the total up to $14 billion, the full notional value of the CDS contracts.

I think the creation of Maiden Lane was not included under "direct support" because it is not primarily a transaction with AIG, i.e, it's not a loan to AIG and/or a purchased of preferred stock. It's a creation of a new entity which paid way above market value for the underlyers of AIG CDS contracts and therefore permitted the cancellation of those contracts.

Now, it's true that AIG bought $5 billion in equity of Maiden Lane III and also got $2.5 billion in payments from them, so that net of $2.5 billion should probably be subtracted from the $27 billion in Maiden Lane III purchased for a net additional support (which you left out) of $24.5 billion. I'm not 100% sure- maybe the accounting should be a bit different, but it definitely looks like you've overlooked something on the order of $20 billion.

So you can keep your table as is but should also note the creation Maiden Lane III, which paid out $27 billion to AIG counterparties and only received a net of $2.5 billion from AIG ($5 billion for an equity stake minus $2.5 billion back to AIG).

More broadly, your readers will probably be wondering about the $170 billion in total goverment assistance to AIG that is now commonly quoted. Is this number accurate? If so, how much of that $170 billion relates to credit derivatives?

Rick Ballard

"More broadly, your readers will probably be wondering about the $170 billion in total government assistance to AIG that is now commonly quoted."

Not the ones who can read.

Foo Bar

Addenda:

1) 'Not that the term "direct" indicates" in my above comment should read 'Note that the term "direct" indicates".

2) TM: I think part of the confusion stems from my initial comment. In your 'Maybe Stupid Will Work' post you claimed the goverment has supplied $27 billion for support of AIG's credit derivatives activity. Coincidentally, there happened to have been 2 distinct $27 billion pieces which you might have been referring too, and I was wrong about which one of them you were missing: (1) $22 billion in collateral + $5 billion in Maiden Lane III equity and (2) $27 billion in payments from Maiden Lane III to AIG CDS counterparties to take underlyers off of the counterparties' hands for full notional value (i.e. way above market price) so that these crushing CDS contracts can be cancelled, thereby helping AIG out. I thought you were referring to (2) and had forgotten (1). Now that I've read additional posts that you put up in the interim, I see that it looks like you were referring to (1) and had forgotten (2).

Charlie (Colorado)

Okay, I see what you're seeing, Po. Expand the chart a bit and have a look at the last six months or so. The move is not that big by comparison and it's holding out above the 50 and 200 day moving averages.

Enlightened

$52 Bill to AIGFP are collateral POSTINGS not PAYMENT SETTLEMENTS. In the end the settlements may not equal the postings.

To date - $27.1 Bil via Maiden III have been PAID for AIGFP CDO's.

PeterUK

"More broadly, your readers will probably be wondering about the $170 billion in total goverment assistance to AIG that is now commonly quoted".

No we are wondering how the Obama regime can be so fuckwitted as to try robbing off shore employees of their wages.Should keep the AG occupied for the next four years.

Tom Maguire

Am I missing a Maiden? Evidently.

The chart to which I linked pretty clearly includes Maiden Lane III equity under the AIG FP support, as well it might, since it was designed to prop up credit derivatives.

But the penny is dropping, and evidently 22+5 sometimes does not equal 27.

I was laboring under the misapprehension that the ($22+$5) in the pie chart was presented two different ways, both summing to $27. I am now preferring the alternative hypothesis, that in addition to the $22 + $5, there was $27 of indirect support.

Groan.

So total support for credit derivatives has been $54 billion, which is greater than the $44 billion for securities lending. That sound you hear is my soapbox cracking...

Foo Bar

$52 Bill to AIGFP are collateral POSTINGS not PAYMENT SETTLEMENTS

Did you read the NYT post I linked?


Take a look at Goldman Sachs. A.I.G.’s filing shows that the company gave Goldman $8.4 billion in collateral on derivative contracts that had a notional value of $14 billion. The government-backed financial vehicle then came in and paid Goldman $5.6 billion and let the firm keep A.I.G.’s collateral, equaling the notional value of the derivative contracts, $14 billion.


Enlightened

AIGFP, the LLC and the New York Fed have entered into agreements with AIGFP's credit derivative counterparties to terminate approximately $53.5 billion notional amount of credit derivatives and purchase the related multi-sector CDOs. Of these, CDOs with a principal amount of approximately $46.1 billion settled on November 25, 2008. Settlement on the remaining $7.4 billion is contingent upon the ability of the related counterparty to obtain the related multi-sector CDOs and thereby settle with the LLC and terminate the related credit derivative contracts with AIGFP. The amount borrowed by the LLC in connection with the transactions concluded on November 25, 2008 was $15.1 billion, and AIG also funded its full $5 billion equity contribution on the same date. AIGFP and the New York Fed are working to terminate those remaining credit derivatives or other similar derivatives that have multi-sector CDOs as underlying reference assets, and to arrange for the LLC to purchase those underlying CDOs. Any additional CDO purchases will result in additional borrowings by the LLC under the credit facility, up to an aggregate maximum of $30 billion. The New York Fed has all material control rights under the transaction documents, and will act as the managing member of the LLC for so long as the New York Fed is owed any amounts by the LLC.

LUN

Enlightened

"Did you read the NYT post I linked?"


Sorry - I skip over your crap - did you say something?

Pofarmer

Okay, I see what you're seeing, Po. Expand the chart a bit and have a look at the last six months or so. The move is not that big by comparison and it's holding out above the 50 and 200 day moving averages.

Fair enough, but the immediate trend is broken, and the RSI and stochastics are all trending negative. Add into this bone headed monetary policy, and I think we've probably started a trend. Kind of hope I'm wrong. Wish there was an elliot wave type around to look it over.

JM Hanes

"On Monday Obama expressed his outrage, assuring us that "I've asked Secretary Geithner to use that leverage and pursue every single legal avenue to block these bonuses and make the American taxpayers whole."

The National Pastor strikes again. "Legal" is the deniability word here -- unless the Prez felt compelled to reassure us that he wouldn't be doing this the Chicago Way. He probably worried that he'd be laughed off the stage if he'd promised to pursue every constitutional avenue. Maybe Jake Tapper can ask Gibbs if Obama doesn't think an Executive Order would be legal. The fact that the much touted Law "Professor" was afraid to explain a legal contract to the American people tells you all you need to know.

"Another nationally televised press conference prime time next Tuesday night."

With Obama lodging snide accusations every time he opens his mouth, Republicans should be demanding equal time to respond, no? How could fair minded Democrats complain? I'm sure Team Obama is working on a new, improved, Republican strawman for Tuesday night, as we speak.

BTW Pofarmer - That Wired article you posted on the algorithm that killed Wall St. was a terrific primer on the meltdown. I try to follow along here but the learning curve is way steep for this product of the liberal arts.

Foo Bar

Enlightened:

Sorry - I skip over your crap - did you say something?

Maybe you skip over it, but the guy who writes the blog often
does not skip over it, and in fact has edited his post to reflect what I was saying.

Rick:

Different colored crayons might help. Maybe some stick figures and apples with a nice legend. Oh, and smilies and frownies. Be sure and use the white butcher paper - the brown is a little distracting.

Maybe you should try doing some calculations in crayon!

Don

TM-you really deserve a better comment section!

It's always Gresham's law in action here.

Pofarmer

BTW Pofarmer - That Wired article you posted on the algorithm that killed Wall St. was a terrific primer on the meltdown. I try to follow along here but the learning curve is way steep for this product of the liberal arts.

Thanks JMHanes. It has the added benefit of explaining how so many people made the same boneheaded mistakes.

Charlie (Colorado)

It's always Gresham's law in action here.

A self-demonstrating post.

PeterUK

The details are irrelevant,the main point is,Obama is sounding like a Mini Chavez."Make me angry and I'll take your salary".
Wasn't stuff like this that got you pissed with old George III ?

PeterUK

"TM-you really deserve a better comment section!"

Too true,"Sod off Swampy".

hit and run

TM-you really deserve a better comment section!

I Blame Typepad.

bad

TM-you really deserve a better comment section!

So true, but I have to be here; quotas you know....

Ignatz

Foo Bar was very respectful and polite and correct, as I thought he might be at the start, when I also noticed the discrepancy in GS payments in both attachments. Was going to post the discrepancy myself when I saw Foo had and I figured somebody smarter than me would figure it out.

Now I would like to hear Foo Bar answer the pertinent implied question in the original post. It is clear that the heavily regulated securities lending division contributed greatly to AIG's problems although not as heavily as TM first stated.
The question of course is, since CDSs have been blamed as the culprit in this mess primarily because they were unregulated, what does the regulated securities lending debacle do to that thesis?

Jim Rhoads a/k/a vjnjagvet

TM-you really deserve a better comment section!

What are you doing to make it better?

Foo Bar

Ignatz:

There may be some merit to TM's point, but I'd have to do some more research before coming to a conclusion I was confident in.

In any case, one can react to the discovery that there were horrible blowups in a regulated area as well as an unregulated one by either (1) concluding that regulation would not have prevented the unregulated-area blowup (the preferred JustOneMinute interpretation) or (2) concluding that even the regulated area did not have enough regulation. It all depends on one's biases, I suppose.

This piece suggests that the securities lending losses were exacerbated by a failure to follow typical regulations. It's not clear whether regulators approved this deviation from regulations, though, so it's hard to know what it means for sure.

sbw

Foo is met with graciousness and returns the favor with a boorish lack of grace. Many different lessons to be learned here, eh?

Foo Bar

sbw:

Would you say I was met with graciousness by Rick Ballard or Enlightened? Any gloating on my part was pretty clearly directed towards those two.

Rick Ballard

"Any gloating on my part was pretty clearly directed towards those two."

Deservedly.

I have to learn to control my disdain for recursive bafflegab. I'd never want to offend a sophist in blossom.

Fortunately, Bgates has provided a wonderful tool to help in avoiding temptation. It took only an instant to fix the problem permanently.

sbw

Foo, taunting is as unbecoming as trolling. For the commenters who regularly visit generally peel off only as much of the velvet glove as is necessary; sometimes they get to the iron fist; for the most part it is deserved.

If there is an occasional overreaction, trust the commenters to recalibrate and not make the same mistake twice. If you taunt, expect them to make the same mistake twice, because it won't be by mistake.

Foo Bar

If there is an occasional overreaction, trust the commenters to recalibrate and not make the same mistake twice

Well, in Rick Ballard's case, I've had about 3 years to gauge his comments-section demeanor. I would not describe him as someone who I can trust to "recalibrate" or someone who will "peel off only as much of the velvet glove as is necessary".

It sounds like he has some filtering software which will enable him to skip over my comments from now on, though, which is quite fine by me!

PeterUK

The salient point which the quibbling over numbers is still this.

"I've asked Secretary Geithner to use that leverage and pursue every single legal avenue to block these bonuses and make the American taxpayers whole."

Are you the still the land of the free,or is you ain't?

sbw

Well, Foo, it wasn't easy, but I learned something from you, today. You didn't encourage me to want to. You have a tendency to violate the sympathetic contract with your audience.

I regularly learn useful things from from Rick.

Ignatz Ratzkywatzky

It's my opinion that due to their scarcity, the few reasonabe liberals, such as Foo who post should be encouraged, while employing a scorched earth policy on trolling imbeciles like Don, Cleo etal.

As far as regulation in the financial area, as in many others, generally it works pretty well when it isn't needed and is an abysmal failure when it is.

An interesting experiment would be to eliminate all regulations except for essential health and safety ones, only regulating when a problem arises, employing temporary, situational regs to fix it and then move on in one economy while heavily regulating another.
I would not be surprised that wealth and freedom would expand greatly in the first, far outweighing the costs, and protections of the public would not be noticeably different from the second.

sbw

Typhus pad eats things. Sigh.

Foo Bar

Well, Foo, it wasn't easy, but I learned something from you, today. You didn't encourage me to want to. You have a tendency to violate the sympathetic contract with your audience.

Aside from any interaction I had with Rick and Enlightened, which specific comments do you feel had an inappropriate tone? I hope you are not confusing me with Don.

Rick Ballard

"Are you the still the land of the free,or is you ain't?"

It's interesting to note the subjects of 0845 Fascist Directive Two Minute Hate to date. First, Rush, who promptly kicked President Telobama so hard that Axelrod fell to the floor in pain, then a Citi analyst for daring to state the bleeding obvious and now faceless AIG execs - mostly in London and probably not US citizens.

I believe that this is all part of the fascist "public/private partnership" garbage dreamed up by the dirty socialist wing of the Dem party.

I'm still free and will remain so. The financial serfs having their begging bowls filled while their choke collars are tightened, not so much.

PeterUK

Mr Ballard,
The Two Minutes of Hate are a much more important issue than the life cycle of some loose change. That is the problem,liberals try to get you absorbed in the minutiae,whilst the enormity of of government proposing to retrospectively annex earnings simply to deflect public attention away from government incompetence is ignored.
This is the kind of shit governments pull in some Ruritanian hell hole where the president wears more gold braid than uniform.Sheesh,when did you become Greater Venezuala?

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