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  #1  
Old 11-09-2011, 03:51 PM
Bloggingheads Bloggingheads is offline
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Default Horse and Zebra Edition (Tim Fernholz & Timothy Carney)

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  #2  
Old 11-09-2011, 08:32 PM
rcocean rcocean is offline
 
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Default Gee Tim F., Remember Bill Clinton

I thought sex didn't matter. I mean doesn't everyone lie about sex? And Paula Jones was just Bill's private life. Stay out of his private life, that's what I said.
Tim probably disagreed.

So yeah, I guess I don't really care that 15 years ago, Cain may -or may not -- have put his hand up someone's skirt who didn't really care enough to file charges or talk about it UNTIL NOW.

Kinda gives me flashbacks to Anita Hill, who attacked Thomas, not because she was liberal democrat but because... oh, wait, She was a liberal democrat.

But I"m sure none of these ladies, unlike Jennifer Flowers, are lying - its just odd that they waited so long to tell their stories of being propositioned by Mr. Cain - without any witnesses.

Anyhoo, I'm glad Liberals are back to caring about sexual harassment. But I'm sure that will change depending on who's being attacked.
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  #3  
Old 11-09-2011, 08:38 PM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: Gee Tim F., Remember Bill Clinton

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcocean View Post
So yeah, I guess I don't really care that 15 years ago, Cain may -or may not -- have put his hand up someone's skirt who didn't really care enough to file charges or talk about it UNTIL NOW.

Kinda gives me flashbacks to Anita Hill, who attacked Thomas, not because she was liberal democrat but because... oh, wait, She was a liberal democrat.

But I"m sure none of these ladies, unlike Jennifer Flowers, are lying - its just odd that they waited so long to tell their stories of being propositioned by Mr. Cain - without any witnesses.
These women didn't wait to make accusations now, they filed suits 15 years ago and settled.
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  #4  
Old 11-09-2011, 09:00 PM
rcocean rcocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Gee Tim F., Remember Bill Clinton

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
These women didn't wait to make accusations now, they filed suits 15 years ago and settled.
And once again Zeek misses the main point and disagrees with minor point number 42. Your standard technique reminds me of Scott's Adams Post on "How to make someone look stupid on the internet":

-"Assume the dumbest interpretation. For example, if someone
says that he can run a mile in 12 minutes, assume he means it
happens underwater and argue that no one can hold his breath
that long".

Which is kinda what you did here. But to continue would be tiresome.
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  #5  
Old 11-09-2011, 09:06 PM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Default Re: Gee Tim F., Remember Bill Clinton

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcocean View Post
And once again Zeek misses the main point and disagrees with minor point number 42. Your standard technique reminds me of Scott's Adams Post on "How to make someone look stupid on the internet":

-"Assume the dumbest interpretation. For example, if someone
says that he can run a mile in 12 minutes, assume he means it
happens underwater and argue that no one can hold his breath
that long".

Which is kinda what you did here. But to continue would be tiresome.
I am sorry the above is just crazy. You specifically claimed that the women "didn't care enough to file charges or talk about it until now."

Zeko pointing out that they did, in fact, file charges, and talk about it long before now hardly seems the same as demanding that someone run underwater.
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  #6  
Old 11-09-2011, 09:33 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Gee Tim F., Remember Bill Clinton

Quote:
Originally Posted by miceelf View Post
I am sorry the above is just crazy. You specifically claimed that the women "didn't care enough to file charges or talk about it until now."

Zeko pointing out that they did, in fact, file charges, and talk about it long before now hardly seems the same as demanding that someone run underwater.
It looks like rc is pretending that his mistake about the 15 years was merely a secondary point. His main arguments are:

1.
Quote:
I thought sex didn't matter. I mean doesn't everyone lie about sex? And Paula Jones was just Bill's private life. Stay out of his private life, that's what I said.
According to rc, Dems have a double standard. They say that sex doesn't matter when some Democratic candidate's private sexual life with a consenting adult is brought up. But they do have a problem when a Republican candidate may have sexually harassed or sexually assaulted a non-consenting adult. The key to understanding this is that consensual relationships and harassment/assault are the same in his mind.

2.
Quote:
Kinda gives me flashbacks to Anita Hill, who attacked Thomas, not because she was liberal democrat but because... oh, wait, She was a liberal democrat.
Here the important piece is the political leanings of the accuser/victim. We need to find out what political party these women belonged to. Lesson to be learned: if you're going to be sexually assaulted and expect to be credible, you need to belong to the appropriate political party.

3.
Quote:
But I'm sure none of these ladies, unlike Jennifer Flowers, are lying - its just odd that they waited so long to tell their stories of being propositioned by Mr. Cain - without any witnesses.
I guess here you have to come to some consistent treatment of the topic. Either you believe all women that accuse men of being harassed/assaulted or you believe none. You can't go on a case by case or else you'll be accused (by rc) of being partial.

4.

Quote:
Anyhoo, I'm glad Liberals are back to caring about sexual harassment. But I'm sure that will change depending on who's being attacked.
And lastly, this is the closing argument. Liberals, who have been careless about matters of sexual harassment, are inconsistent and partial, biased, and always victimize conservatives, as shown by the evidence presented... in rc's head.
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  #7  
Old 11-11-2011, 11:09 AM
rcocean rcocean is offline
 
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Default Thanks Ocean

At least you understood the points being made and made an intelligent response.

I'd expand, but don't have time, real life intrudes.
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  #8  
Old 11-09-2011, 09:27 PM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: Gee Tim F., Remember Bill Clinton

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcocean View Post
And once again Zeek misses the main point and disagrees with minor point number 42. Your standard technique reminds me of Scott's Adams Post on "How to make someone look stupid on the internet":

-"Assume the dumbest interpretation. For example, if someone
says that he can run a mile in 12 minutes, assume he means it
happens underwater and argue that no one can hold his breath
that long".

Which is kinda what you did here. But to continue would be tiresome.
Well I'm sorry if my argumentative style makes is too tiresome for you to spell my name properly. Insofar as you have a point about how I post on this forum, it's because the whole place is drowning in stupid arguments made by people who aren't interested in rational discussion and who, on the basis of long experience, I know to be extremely tiresome and irritating to talk to. Therefore, I economize, picking out obvious misstatements of fact or logical fallacies that I imagine might be corrected without long pointless arguments. That is what's going on here, but as usual my hope that someone might simply admit to a mistake and then move on was foolish.

You built your argument around an obviously untrue factual assertion:


Quote:
Originally Posted by rcocean View Post
I thought sex didn't matter. I mean doesn't everyone lie about sex? And Paula Jones was just Bill's private life. Stay out of his private life, that's what I said.
Tim probably disagreed.

So yeah, I guess I don't really care that 15 years ago, Cain may -or may not -- have put his hand up someone's skirt who didn't really care enough to file charges or talk about it UNTIL NOW.

Kinda gives me flashbacks to Anita Hill, who attacked Thomas, not because she was liberal democrat but because... oh, wait, She was a liberal democrat.

But I"m sure none of these ladies, unlike Jennifer Flowers, are lying - its just odd that they waited so long to tell their stories of being propositioned by Mr. Cain - without any witnesses.

Anyhoo, I'm glad Liberals are back to caring about sexual harassment. But I'm sure that will change depending on who's being attacked.
Apart from the jab at Bill Clinton, the entire post implies that the accusations against Cain are trumped up and politically motivated. And your only evidence is that, as you claim was the case with Anita Hill, these women sat on claims without taking action until doing so might imperil Cain's political prospects. So when you incorrectly state that these women waited until now to bring their claims, that's both 100% wrong and the only fact underlying your argument.
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  #9  
Old 11-09-2011, 10:22 PM
rcocean rcocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Gee Tim F., Remember Bill Clinton

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
Well I'm sorry if my argumentative style makes is too tiresome for you to spell my name properly. Insofar as you have a point about how I post on this forum, it's because the whole place is drowning in stupid arguments made by people who aren't interested in rational discussion and who, on the basis of long experience, I know to be extremely tiresome and irritating to talk to. Therefore, I economize, picking out obvious misstatements of fact or logical fallacies that I imagine might be corrected without long pointless arguments. That is what's going on here, but as usual my hope that someone might simply admit to a mistake and then move on was foolish.
Really? Well guess what. Your constant focus on minor points and "logical fallacies" is one small step above pointing out spelling errors and being a grammar Nazi. If I make Assertion x, with supporting points 1,2, 3 and 4 - your pointing out that supporting point no. 4 is 'incorrect' is boring. It diverts the discussion into "is minor point no. 4 correct or incorrect?"- yawn - since whatever conclusion we reach on Minor point 4 has no real impact on assertion X.

This is even worse when I use obvious (I assume) hyperbole, exaggeration, sarcasm or irony and someone (like you) decides to take it literally. In this case, you seem to think "Filing charges" is different from what I think it is. So where do we go from here? A big long discussion in which we argue about what "filing charges" means? Or I'm supposed to care that these things happened 10 years ago, or 14.5 or 16.5 years ago, instead on "15 years ago"?

Too often you're like some boring defense attorney. "The prosecution claims
my client was found with a bloody knife and was wearing a white bloodstained shirt the night of the murder - but my client was innocent! He was wearing a blue bloodstained shirt that night!"

Last edited by rcocean; 11-09-2011 at 10:26 PM..
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  #10  
Old 11-10-2011, 12:47 AM
Sulla the Dictator Sulla the Dictator is offline
 
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Default Re: Gee Tim F., Remember Bill Clinton

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
These women didn't wait to make accusations now, they filed suits 15 years ago and settled.
Not really. The accusations filed 15 years ago, you know nothing about. You just know that there are "accusations". The one real claim we can evaluate was made by someone who sat on it until it got her on camera.
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  #11  
Old 11-10-2011, 01:06 AM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: Gee Tim F., Remember Bill Clinton

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator View Post
Not really. The accusations filed 15 years ago, you know nothing about. You just know that there are "accusations". The one real claim we can evaluate was made by someone who sat on it until it got her on camera.
Did I say that I did? Again, RC asserted that Cain's accusers waited until how to make these claims about his behavior. I pointed out that they didn't, they complained about his behavior at the time. As a result, they reached agreements with the NRA in which they were paid a settlement and signed non-disclosure agreements. The story made it into the news when Politico got wind of the existence of those settlements through unnamed sources.
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  #12  
Old 11-10-2011, 12:30 PM
thouartgob thouartgob is offline
 
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Default Well-behaved women seldom make history

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcocean View Post

Kinda gives me flashbacks to Anita Hill, who attacked Thomas, not because she was liberal democrat but because... oh, wait, She was a liberal democrat.
Has it occurred to the Reactionary Right League of Rhetorically Gentlemen that at least some of the women are coming forward because they are republicans and don't want their nominee to be saddled with this baggage in the general election ?

Nah !!
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  #13  
Old 11-10-2011, 12:37 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Well-behaved women seldom make history

Quote:
Originally Posted by thouartgob View Post
Has it occurred to the Reactionary Right League of Rhetorically Gentlemen that at least some of the women are coming forward because they are republicans and don't want their nominee to be saddled with this baggage in the general election ?
It does make a lot more sense with the timing than the insistence that the whole thing is the plot of mean Dems. You really have to have the blinders on to buy into that.
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  #14  
Old 11-10-2011, 01:10 PM
thouartgob thouartgob is offline
 
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Default Re: Well-behaved women seldom make history

Quote:
Originally Posted by stephanie View Post
It does make a lot more sense with the timing than the insistence that the whole thing is the plot of mean Dems. You really have to have the blinders on to buy into that.
Along with the idea that Dems are behind it because Cain was gonna be such a threat to Obama ( wonder why they thought black ... I mean that ? ). It's almost as if the average american conservative just doesn't feel the need to connect the dots and decides in advance what the figure is going to be.
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  #15  
Old 11-11-2011, 09:42 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Well-behaved women seldom make history

Quote:
Originally Posted by thouartgob View Post
Along with the idea that Dems are behind it because Cain was gonna be such a threat to Obama ( wonder why they thought black ... I mean that ? ). It's almost as if the average american conservative just doesn't feel the need to connect the dots and decides in advance what the figure is going to be.
Gob explains it all to us.
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  #16  
Old 11-11-2011, 10:39 AM
thouartgob thouartgob is offline
 
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Default Re: Well-behaved women seldom make history

Quote:
Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
Gob explains it all to us.
As Ann Coulter says "Our blacks are better then their blacks". Many conservatives, pundits as well as real people, say that they're liking Cain means they are not racist. I will admit that Cain has way more traction in polls than Alan Keyes but these are also different times aren't they.

As for conservatives connecting dots ... just randomly picking out something... when republicans vote against unemployment insurance, because it will make the unemployed lazy and stop them from working WHILE they are complaining that there are no jobs because Obama killed them all, it's like adding 2 and 2 and getting 22 instead of 4. Logic goes out the door. So if logic has little place in the public discourse of the republican party as it stands today why bother with dots or math ( CUE the Heritage Foundations economic model used by Paul Ryan that says unemployment will be 2% in < 10 years under his plan )
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  #17  
Old 11-11-2011, 10:45 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Well-behaved women seldom make history

Quote:
Originally Posted by thouartgob View Post
As for conservatives connecting dots ... just randomly picking out something... when republicans vote against unemployment insurance, because it will make the unemployed lazy and stop them from working WHILE they are complaining that there are no jobs because Obama killed them all, it's like adding 2 and 2 and getting 22 instead of 4.
Typical mis-characterization of the situation. You guys do that habitually. The Republicans didn't vote against unemployment insurance.

I'll help you out. The republicans are skeptical of adding extensions to unemployment benefits. You know beyond 99 weeks...almost two years! (52+52 is pretty close to 99 right? I want to make sure to ask because I'm a conservative.) Maybe we just can't afford it...there's no flipping money! never mind, just tax the rich.

how's that greek thing working, by the way?
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Last edited by badhatharry; 11-11-2011 at 10:55 AM..
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  #18  
Old 11-12-2011, 06:22 PM
thouartgob thouartgob is offline
 
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Default Re: Well-behaved women seldom make history

Quote:
Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
Typical mis-characterization of the situation. You guys do that habitually. The Republicans didn't vote against unemployment insurance.

I'll help you out. The republicans are skeptical of adding extensions to unemployment benefits. ...
Thanks for clarifying their position a bit, of course unemployment insurance and unions probably share the same strata of revulsion for conservatives. So they think continuing unemployment insurance ( which is taxed by the way ) makes people who can't find jobs lazy.

so IF EXTENDED, Unemployment Insurance makes people lazy and we know they are lazy because they aren't working and they aren't working because Obama killed all of the jobs ... am I getting close to their logic here ? Obama killed the jobs then Vince Foster ... or was that Michelle Obama ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post

There's no flippin money !
We have cheap money but there are no jobs. Actually the private sector is swimming in money but they don't want to create jobs, just make money. Workers are a problem that have to surmounted NOT a thing of value in and of itself. Workers are only valuable if demand increases before productivity can catch up and reduce the need for labor or something like that. Any MBAs wanna enlighten on this dismal equation for a dismal science.
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  #19  
Old 11-10-2011, 12:56 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Gee Tim F., Remember Bill Clinton

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcocean View Post
I thought sex didn't matter. I mean doesn't everyone lie about sex?
Neither Tim nor Timothy seemed to be saying that infidelity matters, although I think Michael yesterday suggested that that might be one of the problems with this from the perspective of the social cons. After all, we are told it does matter. (Gingrich supporters seem to think it doesn't, as long as it's in the past, however. On the other hand, Romney seems to be suggesting that fidelity to one woman is evidence that one's flip-flops on issues are unimportant. Lucky for you, the Republican primary voters get to weigh in on this.)

Quote:
And Paula Jones was just Bill's private life. Stay out of his private life, that's what I said.

Tim probably disagreed.
Who knows. Was he old enough to have a position? Timothy probably would have disagreed, I'm sure, and both of them seemed to be taking the side of Clinton's accusers vs. Clinton in this diavlog.

Of course, based on much of the current Republican reaction, I'm sure no one would support Paula Jones. Oh, right...

Quote:
So yeah, I guess I don't really care that 15 years ago, Cain may -or may not -- have put his hand up someone's skirt who didn't really care enough to file charges or talk about it UNTIL NOW.
Of course, as DZ pointed out, that's not the extent of the accusations. Two settlements were paid. But I don't think the absence of public accusations or a lawsuit is any reason to think the allegations are untrue. I assume people will weigh the credibility of the relevant parties differently.

If I had any interest in Cain as a candidate or thought he had had a chance in hell of winning prior to this, it might be interesting. As it is, it's a car wreck.

I disagree with your take on Anita Hill, but don't think this has anything to do with that so see no reason to revisit '92.

Quote:
But I"m sure none of these ladies, unlike Jennifer Flowers, are lying
Whoever said Gennifer Flowers was lying? Not Tim or Timothy. Clinton basically admitted the affair.

Quote:
its just odd that they waited so long to tell their stories of being propositioned by Mr. Cain - without any witnesses.
This isn't odd at all. I suppose it gives you a basis to not believe it if you don't want to, and if there weren't so many I might too (although I agree with the comments that it's hardly a fun thing to do, to put yourself through what the accuser will). But the idea that not saying anything when one is sexually harassed is odd is, frankly, really odd. There are tons of reasons why women usually don't..

Quote:
But I'm sure that will change depending on who's being attacked.
As discussed re BHL's reaction to the DSK accusation, what one previously thinks of the accused seems to color how credible people find accusations. What a shock. Clearly this means that liberals are evil and conservatives beyond reproach. (I wonder why Timothy comes in for no criticism, despite him and Tim being unable to come up with any disagreement.)

I hope the right do flock to Cain in reaction to this, though. Yes, it's DEFINITELY the liberals trying to tear him down. We really, really want Romney to sew it up now and to be able to start positioning himself against Obama and moving toward the center, rather than dealing with attacks on Romneycare and basically being lost in all the silliness of this campaign. Another brilliant Dem electoral strategy this is.
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  #20  
Old 11-09-2011, 09:55 PM
Parallax Parallax is offline
 
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Default Fernholz: Hack, Carney: Clueless

It was so fun to watch Fernholz defend Corzine. Just imagine all of Corzine's Democratic connections were Republican then OWS crowd, Fernholz and other populists and Democratic hacks would go wild on this. Remember the many abuses Paulsen endured just because he was ex-Goldman Sachs and was treasury secretary under Bush? As far as I know none of the extra connections Corzine had with fundraising etc. were true for him.

According to Fernholz MF Global hired Corzine because he was an ex-Goldman Sachs and not because of his political connections? The very fact that creditors would get 1% extra in the event that he accepted a job in the Federal government is enough. Moreover by the same logic all the whining from left about the Wall Street binuses could be dismissed: these are smart capable people we have to keep them. And if we are going to ignore speculation that people make on top of their head then Wall Street is clean except for Madoff.

I have said this before but it bears repeating: this is capitalism and that means Wall Street always comes before Main Street. There is no shared sacrifice or anything of that nature and big banks will always get a bailout. It has nothing to do with bad bad Republicans who circumvented Dodd-Frank a bill written by two politicians both of which have discredited themselves in their dealings with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. As late as summer of 2008 Dodd was saying that everything fine with them.

Fernholz is Wrong on Greece Bailout:

I wish they did their homework on this. Out of the entire Greek debt only a quarter is held by international investors. Greek banking system and the Greek pension fund hold about $100 billion worth of Greek debt so if the lenders did accept a haircut it would be actually a lot worse for the Greeks as it would mean even more austerity for them.

And on "Bail In" in US, TARP and Mortgage Relief:

1. The US government did not continue the banking part of TARP, it ended quite a while ago and the total cost to the taxpayer was only $25 billion. The gigantic cost and its continuation is due to taking over Fannie and Freddie.

2. The fact that the banks are making crazy profits was by design: instead of nationalizing the banks, the treasury provided capital by getting equity and the banks would become solvent again by earning their way out. Another reason for crazy profits is the fact that banks borrow short and lend long. A 30 year constant maturity mortgage is 4% or higher while the banks can borrow for no interest in the short term.

3. Finally principal mortgage relief is cute but then the political problem is what to do with people who actually paid their mortgage. People forget but the tea party's starting point was Rick Santelli who on live TV said he will not pay for some loser's mortgage.

PS: I come here for actual dialog if it is going to be a pissing match and defending your team please stay away from here.

PPS: I forgot to mention that Obama administration has a terrible record of interfering with financial markets and regulation for their people. See First Chicago Bank going bust or the way Chrysler creditor were treated.
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  #21  
Old 11-10-2011, 09:26 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Fernholz: Hack, Carney: Clueless

Quote:
Originally Posted by Parallax View Post
I
3. Finally principal mortgage relief is cute but then the political problem is what to do with people who actually paid their mortgage. People forget but the tea party's starting point was Rick Santelli who on live TV said he will not pay for some loser's mortgage.
Exactly...what to do with those people? Hey, you pay...you lose. No moral hazard there.

Rick Santelli.
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  #22  
Old 11-10-2011, 01:05 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Fernholz: Hack, Carney: Clueless

Quote:
Originally Posted by Parallax View Post
It was so fun to watch Fernholz defend Corzine.
He wasn't.

Quote:
Remember the many abuses Paulsen endured just because he was ex-Goldman Sachs and was treasury secretary under Bush?
You mean re Lehman? But no, I'd like to see what Tim supposedly said. The mainstream Dems didn't attack Paulsen much and certainly seem to have taken his reaction in '08 seriously.

Quote:
According to Fernholz MF Global hired Corzine because he was an ex-Goldman Sachs and not because of his political connections? The very fact that creditors would get 1% extra in the event that he accepted a job in the Federal government is enough.
All this means is that MF Global saw that Corzine would be beneficial to them based on the reaction of creditors for whatever reason. Goldman has a reputation, obviously, and people were clearly willing to buy into the notion that MF Global should transform itself into a mini-Goldman, so the idea that the Goldman connection was important is hardly odd. Then again, that his political connections could be useful is hardly odd either, and that wasn't what Tim was arguing against. He was arguing against the idea that the political connections gave MF Global an improper advantage (such as a bailout or insider information), and the events support Tim.

Timothy's point seemed to be that creditors might have assumed that MF Global would have pull/knowledge it didn't turn out to have, so somehow that was an sign that political pull was misused. That's bizarre. If the creditors assumed that, they bet wrong (and deserved the results), which is a risk of doing business.
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  #23  
Old 11-10-2011, 08:42 PM
Parallax Parallax is offline
 
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Default Re: Fernholz: Hack, Carney: Clueless

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Originally Posted by stephanie View Post
He wasn't.
Fernholz was not defending Corzine? We can't start a discussion without first agreeing what is real and what is not. Go back and look at it again. If you still insist he was not doing any such thing I can produce the transcript here.
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  #24  
Old 11-10-2011, 10:25 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Fernholz: Hack, Carney: Clueless

Quote:
Originally Posted by Parallax View Post
Fernholz was not defending Corzine?
No, he wasn't. Nor was Carney really attacking Corzine, much as he might like to. Obviously, there are things for which Corzine can be attacked, beginning with the management of the firm and including the trading strategy, but they didn't actually discuss that and it seemed obvious from the bit they touched on that they would likely have agreed. So, just so we can see if we listened to different diavlogs or what, let's consider what was said:

To start, after a brief intro that demonstrated (not for the only time) that Timothy in particular didn't bother learning anything about the firm and neither seemed to know much (as ledocs noted), Timothy brings up the key man provision, which he says is unusual. I'm not sure how unusual they are -- I've seen similar provisions and doubt I necessarily would have if they were all that unusual, but this doesn't matter as Tim didn't challenge the claim.

Timothy then goes on to say that the existence of this provision means that MF Global had credit available more cheaply because of Corzine, and this must mean that they assumed his connections would be valuable to them, perhaps because of a potential bailout. Tim poo-poo'd this and said Timothy has no idea why, it's just as likely that he was see as valuable due to his experience/Goldman background, etc. -- it had been discussed that Corzine had plans to turn the firm into a mini-Goldman, etc.

I'm guessing that exchange is what you are interpreting as Tim defending Corzine, but if so I think that's totally off. Saying that Corzine's presence gave MF Global an advantage with creditors because they assumed things about his influence/connections is not a slam on Corzine. It does not accuse him of doing anything wrong. Thus, when Tim expressed doubts and said you don't know why the creditors had that provision, he was similarly not defending Corzine. If anything he was defending the creditors for being wrong/stupid in one way and accusing them of being wrong/stupid in another way.

(As an aside, Tim was right -- we don't have enough evidence from what was said in the diavlog to justify Timothy's speculation. It wouldn't at all surprise me if the creditors thought the connections were significant -- that's the kind of thing people do tend to see as significant IME -- but it's also likely that they may have been swayed by the "making it into a mini Goldman" thing, as that also is. Most likely it was some combination of things. But none of this is important to the issue under discussion, since either way there was no accusation that Corzine did anything wrong in connection with the provision or defense of Corzine.)

Anyway, Tim went on to say that even if the creditors did assume the influence or some assumed expertise of Corzine would be worth more, it clearly didn't pay off. He wasn't a good risk manager, clearly didn't have helpful insider knowledge, didn't get bailed out. Timothy agreed with this (so again it wouldn't be right to see Tim as defending Corzine vs. some accusation that Timothy made), but said this was good -- basically trying to suggest that something wrong happened with respect to his person topic of choice (use of insider information/bailouts) while admitting it did not. This was just weird in context -- it did justify Tim's reaction which was basically "why are you trying to imply something that you admit didn't happen based on what the creditors might have hoped would happen if something bad (that they of course assumed would not happen) happened."

Timothy then went into a digression about someone else who might have been trying to use influence but did so badly. Again -- seems to me that the implicit point was about the creditors, who are the ones he was claiming were doing this, not Corzine. Tim responded by saying that that person didn't seem to have had actual insider information and -- back to MF Global -- MF Global clearly didn't benefit from insider information. Again, hard to read that as a defense of Corzine when Timothy agreed and said that wasn't what he was saying. He said he was merely saying that based on the creditors' assumptions MF Global (like various large banks) had access to more privileged terms. Again, that's not an attack on Corzine, it's an attack on the creditors for betting they'd get some benefit they didn't.

And, again, while I don't think the idea that they'd think connections would help them is hard to believe or surprising -- although Timothy presented nothing more than my speculation and I hardly think that's sufficient for me to go on a diavlog and blather on -- the problem with Timothy's assumptions as presented here is that it's far-fetched to think the creditors would be cool with a bankruptcy if only they had a chance to get bailed out. That's an idiotic thing for the creditors to have assumed, if they did, with a firm the size of MF Global in the present environment. Plus, I think creditors are more likely to have been convinced that the financial picture was much more rosy and do think there's a greater institutional issue about risk totally apart from ideas about the gov't stepping in. Indeed, MF Global would have most likely been acquired and avoided bk if not for the problem with the missing money. (We are getting into things where criticism would have been more valid, but they didn't discuss this, so Tim clearly was not defending Corzine about it.)

The rest was more of the same.
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  #25  
Old 11-11-2011, 03:58 PM
Parallax Parallax is offline
 
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Default Re: Fernholz: Hack, Carney: Clueless

Here is what Carney said:

Quote:
Carney: What make Corzine worth 1 percentage point of your money? Is it that he is some genius? Or is that he is the kind of guy who close enough to Obama that he could be even considered for being treasury secretary? And so what does this mean about the world of finance? Is that what the game is now? Figure out who's connections?
When I said Fernholz was defending Corzine I meant that he desperately tried to refute the possibility of Corzine not being a genius. I think everyone on this thread understood that, you on the other hand took things too literally as a way to avoid the intended meaning of the phrase. And this might work in a court of law but it fails miserably in the court of public opinion when you want to actually convince someone.
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  #26  
Old 11-11-2011, 04:36 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Fernholz: Hack, Carney: Clueless

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Originally Posted by Parallax View Post
When I said Fernholz was defending Corzine I meant that he desperately tried to refute the possibility of Corzine not being a genius. I think everyone on this thread understood that...
I don't think so. The other comments, such as Harkin's and Romanized, seem more in line with my interpretation.

It never crossed my mind that you might be claiming that Tim was "defending Corzine" by arguing that he was, in fact, a genius, as he certainly never did that. His sole "defense" of Corzine was that he was a big name chief executive, so creditors might care whether he was there or not. Hardly a claim of genius or in any way an actual defense of Corzine. Nor, of course, was Timothy's argument focused on Corzine being a bad manager or not a genius, despite the bit you quoted, so there would have been no reason for Tim to defend Corzine on that basis.

Here is the response to the quoted statement by Timothy, and there seems to be no suggestion of "but Corzine IS TOO a genius" about it. Indeed, Tim consistently argued that whether the creditors were motivated by confidence in Corzine's abilities or his connections, they calculated wrong.

Last edited by stephanie; 11-11-2011 at 04:38 PM..
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  #27  
Old 11-11-2011, 09:27 PM
Parallax Parallax is offline
 
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Default Re: Fernholz: Hack, Carney: Clueless

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Originally Posted by stephanie View Post
It never crossed my mind that you might be claiming that Tim was "defending Corzine" by arguing that he was, in fact, a genius, as he certainly never did that. His sole "defense" of Corzine was that he was a big name chief executive, so creditors might care whether he was there or not. Hardly a claim of genius or in any way an actual defense of Corzine. Nor, of course, was Timothy's argument focused on Corzine being a bad manager or not a genius, despite the bit you quoted, so there would have been no reason for Tim to defend Corzine on that basis.
Well sarcasm is a novel idea, I should not have expected it to go down without any problems.

Fernholz was not arguing that Corzine was a genius, his argument was that Corzine got the job b/c he was CEO of Goldman-Sachs from 1994 to 1998 (a position which he was "pushed out" of b/c his partners did not like him bailing out Long Term Capital and his disastrous bond market dealings were costing the company a fortune) and it had nothing to do with any of the following facts about him:

1. US Senator (00-06).
2. Chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (03-05).
3. Governor of NJ (06-10).
4. Fundraising for Obama in 08.
5. Obama campaigning with him in 09, calling him "Our Wall Street Guy".
6. Fundraising for Obama's reelection campaign (up to $500,000).
7. Hosting a high-end fund-raiser at his Fifth Avenue home for Obama in recent months.
8. Fundraising for Dems using MF Global employees:
Quote:
During the 2008 election cycle (the last full cycle before Corzine joined the company), Democrats received 68 percent of MF Global employees' total contributions. But after Corzine joined in 2010, employee contributions shifted even further to the left: A full 97 percent of MF Global-related campaign contributions benefited Democrats during the 2010 cycle. Democrats had maintained that advantage this year, as well, collecting about 94 percent of MF Global employee donations through June...
9. Shortlisted for treasury secretary back in fall of 08 and this summer when Geithner said he might leave after the debt deal.
10. Organized a meet-and-greet at the Four Seasons for key finance-industry execs and Obama's new chief of staff, former banker Bill Daley.
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  #28  
Old 11-12-2011, 12:14 AM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: Fernholz: Hack, Carney: Clueless

Me, I'm still trying to figure out exactly what Carney's point was. After all, IMF Global wasn't bailed out, which is the quid pro quo that Carney thought investors were imagining. So we're left with a financial firm that failed, and that had made some staffing decisions at least partially on the basis of trying to get access to powerful politicians. This is both incredibly unremarkable and no more grist for Carney's particular mill than it is for anybody else with opinions about what's wrong with the relationship between Wall Street and Washington and how to fix it.

I suppose if I really wanted to make a point, rather than just express my puzzlement at Carney, I'd mention that Carney seemed to be operating under the impression that political connections are the sole, or at least primary, determinant of whether or not a failing firm gets bailed out. That's why he found it surprising that IMF Global was allowed to fail. But of course this shouldn't have been surprising at all. While political calculations certainly effect things, the basic question is whether or not there's evidence of potential contagion and systemic risk from a failing firm. There wasn't any such evidence here, so there wasn't a bailout. End of story.
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  #29  
Old 11-12-2011, 07:13 AM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Fernholz: Hack, Carney: Clueless

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Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
Me, I'm still trying to figure out exactly what Carney's point was.
Absolutely. I think that's why Tim had the reaction he did. I thought Timothy ended up seeming kind of ridiculous, like he was reaching for something his example didn't support.

And I agree with the rest of the post.
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  #30  
Old 11-13-2011, 01:40 AM
Namazu Namazu is offline
 
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Default Re: Fernholz: Hack, Carney: Clueless

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Originally Posted by stephanie View Post
Absolutely. I think that's why Tim had the reaction he did. I thought Timothy ended up seeming kind of ridiculous, like he was reaching for something his example didn't support.

And I agree with the rest of the post.
From a financial markets perspective, Timothy's point was obvious. Forget Corzine and compare Bank of America to smaller, sounder banks which aren't at risk of being sued out of existence. B of A's lower borrowing cost is a monumental "too connected to fail" taxpayer subsidy. A "key man" provision for shareholders would have been a measure of Corzine's unique ability to grow MF Global, but the bondholders accepted a lower return for his unique ability to salvage some of their investment should the stock go to zero. Unique connections would be an asset. Tim should do his homework before invoking Occam's razor, and not strain so hard against the obvious.
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  #31  
Old 11-13-2011, 04:01 AM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: Fernholz: Hack, Carney: Clueless

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Originally Posted by Namazu View Post
From a financial markets perspective, Timothy's point was obvious. Forget Corzine and compare Bank of America to smaller, sounder banks which aren't at risk of being sued out of existence. B of A's lower borrowing cost is a monumental "too connected to fail" taxpayer subsidy. A "key man" provision for shareholders would have been a measure of Corzine's unique ability to grow MF Global, but the bondholders accepted a lower return for his unique ability to salvage some of their investment should the stock go to zero. Unique connections would be an asset. Tim should do his homework before invoking Occam's razor, and not strain so hard against the obvious.
OK, so bondholders were badly evaluating MF Global's credit rating because of their inaccurate evaluation of Corzine's political influence. What's the story here?
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  #32  
Old 11-13-2011, 10:38 AM
Namazu Namazu is offline
 
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Default Re: Fernholz: Hack, Carney: Clueless

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Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
OK, so bondholders were badly evaluating MF Global's credit rating because of their inaccurate evaluation of Corzine's political influence. What's the story here?
Precisely, although Corzine's political influence need have only been part of their calculation. Again, this is Occam's razor, fixed-income version, and doesn't presupposed any specific knowledge of who underwrote the bonds or their frame of mind at the time.
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  #33  
Old 11-13-2011, 12:30 PM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: Fernholz: Hack, Carney: Clueless

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Originally Posted by Namazu View Post
Precisely, although Corzine's political influence need have only been part of their calculation. Again, this is Occam's razor, fixed-income version, and doesn't presupposed any specific knowledge of who underwrote the bonds or their frame of mind at the time.
So why should we care? What is the policy implication here? What are we actually arguing about?
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  #34  
Old 11-13-2011, 09:30 AM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Fernholz: Hack, Carney: Clueless

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Originally Posted by Namazu View Post
From a financial markets perspective, Timothy's point was obvious. Forget Corzine and compare Bank of America to smaller, sounder banks which aren't at risk of being sued out of existence. B of A's lower borrowing cost is a monumental "too connected to fail" taxpayer subsidy.
To a certain degree, although there's more to why larger banks can borrow more cheaply. But the problem is that doesn't support Timothy's point at all.

The other problem, of course, is that even if Timothy were correct that the creditors were as stupid as his assumptions would suggest -- that they were motivated by the expectations of a bailout -- that didn't happen. So we have people freely choosing to enter into a contract that turned out to be a bad decision, for whatever reason, and thus having to bear the cost of that. That's what is supposed to happen.
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  #35  
Old 11-13-2011, 10:51 AM
Namazu Namazu is offline
 
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Default Re: Fernholz: Hack, Carney: Clueless

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Originally Posted by stephanie View Post
To a certain degree, although there's more to why larger banks can borrow more cheaply. But the problem is that doesn't support Timothy's point at all.

The other problem, of course, is that even if Timothy were correct that the creditors were as stupid as his assumptions would suggest -- that they were motivated by the expectations of a bailout -- that didn't happen. So we have people freely choosing to enter into a contract that turned out to be a bad decision, for whatever reason, and thus having to bear the cost of that. That's what is supposed to happen.
This isn't complicated, so let me try again: a company's cost of credit may decouple from the fundamental creditworthiness of the underlying business--if, for example, when push comes to shove, creditors believe they will be saved. That's been the case for our large banks, (until recently) for the peripheral European countries, and in the case of MF global. The exact state of mind of the bondholders is unimportant to the argument, unless there was a behind-the-scenes quid pro quo: in financial markets, perception is reality. The bondholders believed the company was more likely to fail without Corzine, a man with extraordinary connections. They bet wrong, but had MF not failed so spectacularly, who knows?
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  #36  
Old 11-13-2011, 01:33 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Fernholz: Hack, Carney: Clueless

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Originally Posted by Namazu View Post
This isn't complicated, so let me try again: a company's cost of credit may decouple from the fundamental creditworthiness of the underlying business--if, for example, when push comes to shove, creditors believe they will be saved.
Yes, I think everyone knows this. The question is whether this is enough for creditors to extend credit to a company that they otherwise believe is a bad risk. It's not -- they aren't going to count on a bailout as a main thing, although that it's more likely should things come to that might be relevant, of course. That's point one of why Tim's Occam razor argument was a valid response to Timothy's claim that Corzine's connections were the only relevant thing. The bigger problem is that he simply didn't present us with enough information, such as comparisons with other companies, the actual cost of credit, the reasons to see high and low risk and high and low upside, so on. Based on what we got, the assertions were speculative.

Beyond that, they just didn't seem relevant to anything. Like I said before, I wouldn't be surprised if Corzine's connections were significant, even if I think someone ought to have done a little more work before insisting that we agree with his assumptions, like Timothy did. My point -- and DZ's -- has always been that this is a criticism of the creditors and, here, of their bad calculation in particular, not of MF Global or Corzine. And again, before baseless allegations get tossed about, I think you can criticize them, just that it wasn't done in this diavlog and it bizarre on the basis raised in the diavlog.

Quote:
That's been the case for our large banks, (until recently) for the peripheral European countries, and in the case of MF global.
We don't know why the cost of credit for MF Global was or how it compared to comparable companies. We just know creditors cared that Corzine was there (assuming the facts as stated by Timothy). We also don't know how common such provisions are in the relevant industry or when they are used. There's not even the barest effort to make a real argument.

Instead, we get the mere assertion was that the creditors assumed a bailout. If that were true, they were stupid -- MF Global, whatever the connections of its CEO (and we will stipulate they were strong), was unlikely to get a bailout in the current climate. It doesn't present a "too big to fail" problem (and I don't think the recent bailouts that people are upset about were because of connections, I think they were due to concern about the economy). Add to that the climate, which is negative about bailouts, and the added difficulties precisely due to the appearence of impropriety if it happened, and one would have to be a fool to count on a bailout.

Now, it's not impossible the decision-makers in question were that foolish, so sure it's possible, but Tim's Occam razor response to the assumption that this absolutely must be the answer is completely valid. It's certainly not a basis to accuse him of defending Corzine.

It's also, of course, likely that Corzine was seen as significant due to his connections for reasons other than an expected bailout. I think that's probably the case. But again if I were going to make that claim in an article or even in a diavlog, I'd have bothered to do a little more to support it.
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  #37  
Old 11-13-2011, 05:11 AM
Parallax Parallax is offline
 
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Default Re: Fernholz: Hack, Carney: Clueless

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Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
Me, I'm still trying to figure out exactly what Carney's point was. After all, IMF Global wasn't bailed out, which is the quid pro quo that Carney thought investors were imagining.
His point was that we should cheer the fact MF Global wasn't bailed out despite Corzine's political connections. His other example was Enron and he gave credit to Obama and Bush administrations that they did not do anything extraordinary to save their friends stay in business.
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  #38  
Old 11-13-2011, 12:36 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Fernholz: Hack, Carney: Clueless

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Originally Posted by Parallax View Post
His point was that we should cheer the fact MF Global wasn't bailed out despite Corzine's political connections. His other example was Enron and he gave credit to Obama and Bush administrations that they did not do anything extraordinary to save their friends stay in business.
I like that MFGlobal was not bailed out, but how in their wildest dreams could anyone imagine it would be, considering the current political climate.

Solyndra investors, notwithstanding.
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  #39  
Old 11-13-2011, 01:02 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Fernholz: Hack, Carney: Clueless

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Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
But of course this shouldn't have been surprising at all. While political calculations certainly effect things, the basic question is whether or not there's evidence of potential contagion and systemic risk from a failing firm. There wasn't any such evidence here, so there wasn't a bailout. End of story.
The epilogue being that one should only invest in firms that pose a systemic risk. I'm just wracking my brain to figure out why the investors at Solyndra losing their investments would have posed a systemic risk... other than to the re-election campaign of Barack Obama.
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Last edited by badhatharry; 11-13-2011 at 01:11 PM..
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  #40  
Old 11-13-2011, 01:36 PM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: Fernholz: Hack, Carney: Clueless

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Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
The epilogue being that one should only invest in firms that pose a systemic risk. I'm just wracking my brain to figure out why the investors at Solyndra losing their investments would have posed a systemic risk... other than to the re-election campaign of Barack Obama.
What are you talking about? Solyndra wasn't bailed out.
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