Obama to Demagogue His Masters

Posted by Jason | Posted in Government | Posted on 22-04-2010

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In order to make it seem like the government and the banking sector aren’t one in the same, President Obama is rolling out his teleprompter to deliver a speech blasting Wall Street for acting like a bunch of ignorant drunks. Who cares that the Fed was supplying the booze.

From the Wall Street Journal

President Barack Obama will return to Manhattan’s Cooper Union on Thursday, two years after a campaign speech that laid out his vision for Wall Street, to castigate a financial industry that he will say has too often forgotten the ordinary Americans who have suffered from its reckless irresponsibility.

OK, I know what you’re thinking. Here is the leader of our government blasting Wall Street for forgetting “ordinary Americans  who have suffered from its reckless irresponsibility”. This is the same government who forgot about the ordinary Americans almost a century ago. This is the same government who tried manipulated the real estate market by promoting “everyone should own a home”, which led to millions of American losing their homes and millions of others left to pick up the pieces. This is the same government who’s robbed the middle class by devaluing the currency over 30% just in the past decade. This is the same government who’s created an unsustainable empire that’s led to wars, terrorism and the hatred of America. Oh, and this is the same government who is enslaving us and our children to foreign debt holders who will have us working as slaves to pay them back. Oh please, President Obama, tell me how the evil Wall Street banks forgot about ordinary Americans.

The speech comes at a pivotal moment in Senate negotiations over a sweeping measure to re-regulate the financial industry. After trading barbed accusations, senators from both parties now say they are near a deal that would preserve the framework of Mr. Obama’s plan. By appearing just two miles from Wall Street, Mr. Obama hopes to raise the political pressure and seal the deal.

“A free market was never meant to be a free license to take whatever you can get, however you can get it,” Mr. Obama will say, according to speech excerpts released Wednesday night. “That is what happened too often in the years leading up to the crisis. Some on Wall Street forgot that behind every dollar traded or leveraged, there is family looking to buy a house, pay for an education, open a business, or save for retirement. What happens here has real consequences across our country.”

What an ignorant a-hole. Behind every dollar is nothing. That is the problem. Our government has become our modern day money changers. Unfortunately, while the people can be fooled, the free market can’t. It will blow your house of cards down eventually, which is what happen. Wall Street and the mortgage industry is not a free market. Obama is either ignorant or flat out lying. These are two of the most regulated industries we have. In a free market, you wouldn’t use monopoly money backed up by nothing. In a free market, you wouldn’t have government pushing people to buy homes with taxes credits and incentives. In a free market, you wouldn’t have bailouts and the FDIC basically telling the banks to do what they want because they’ll print more money if needed.

As he has done several times in the year-long debate, the president will implore industry executives to call back the lobbyists engaged in “furious efforts” to thwart or water down his legislation.

“I am sure that many of those lobbyists work for some of you,” he will say, according to the excerpts. “But I am here today because I want to urge you to join us, instead of fighting us in this effort. I am here because I believe that these reforms are, in the end, not only in the best interest of our country, but in the best interest of our financial sector.”

Sure sounds like something a mafia thug would say. Lobbyist are sent to argue the side of their client. When you have people with guns that say they are going to start shooting, of course you are going to have people sending representatives to argue why their clients shouldn’t be shot. Maybe if we had a free market, where the government wasn’t pointing guns, we wouldn’t need lobbyists.

The legislation would grant the federal government the power to seize teetering financial giants and dismantle them the same way the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation now can seize failing banks. It would create a new financial consumer regulator, would boost the strength and budget of the securities and exchange commission and would impose new transparency rules on the trading of derivatives, the complex financial instruments that helped bankrupt Lehman Brothers and nearly wipe out American International Group and Merrill Lynch.

More moral hazard. Just what we need. How about we let them fail, and let everyone know that we will let them fail. When everyone knows the government is going to step in no matter what happens, they will rightly assume that they can take idiotic risks that they otherwise wouldn’t. People bet on CDOs and housing because they knew the government would not let housing collapse, in particular Fannie and Freddie.

Mr. Obama will treat his return to Cooper Union as something of a triumphal homecoming, with a touch of “I told you so” in the speech. Two years ago, he called on Congress to give the Federal Reserve more supervisory power over the biggest financial institutions and to demand tougher new capital and liquidity requirements. Pending legislation largely follows that demand. Congress appears ready to meet his request, now two years old, for a new financial consumer regulator. His calls for stronger, international accounting standards and financial stability requirements have been taken up by the Group of 20 nations, although talks are proceeding haltingly.

This is just hilarious. “he called on Congress to give the Federal Reserve more supervisory power” is Obama’s “I told you so”? The Federal Reserve is the reason we had this mess. This is like saying we should give Madoff more power to regulate the purse snatchers of the world.

His 2008 suggestion of streamlining the hodgepodge of “overlapping and competing regulatory agencies” has been abandoned. But he will dwell more on the warnings he issued in that first Cooper Union address.

“I take no satisfaction in noting that my comments have largely been borne out by the events that followed,” he plans to say. “But I repeat what I said then because it is essential that we learn the lessons of this crisis, so we don’t doom ourselves to repeat it. And make no mistake, that is exactly what will happen if we allow this moment to pass – an outcome that is unacceptable to me and to the American people.”

“One of the most significant contributors to this recession was a financial crisis as dire as any we’ve known in generations,” Mr. Obama will say in a highly-anticipated speech at the Coopers Union, a college in New York.

He will tell the expected crowd of 700 that America must learn from the mistakes of the economic crises and enact legislation to help prevent it from happening again.

Yes, we live with a broken record government. We always need more legislation to help prevent something from happening again. Over and over we are told they must act to protect us. Only they aren’t protecting us. They are stacking the deck more in their favor. If you want real reform, ask them to quit protecting us.

Obama’s push for financial reform has intensified in recent weeks and he has lashed out at Republicans for meeting with Wall Street lobbyists. In his speech he is expected to say that legislative proposals in Congress would help restructure the rules that allowed Wall Street to take risky bets that Americans ended up paying for.

Republicans have to be completely tone def. What morons would meet with Wall Street lobbyists after everything that just happened? Oh well, I’m hoping for a third party anyway.

He will state that he won’t accept compromises that would weaken the bill, particularly in the area of derivatives, complex financial instruments that played a role in the economic crisis.

He will also say that financial reforms must set limits on the size of risks that banks can take, and include provisions that would make it easier for a failing institution to unwind before taxpayers would be affected. He will also say he believes in a free market. “But a free market was never meant to be a free license to take whatever you can get, however you can get it,” he said. He will add, “That is what happened too often in the years leading up to the crisis.”

-By Jared A. Favole

via Obama to Castigate Wall Street – WSJ.com.

Hahahaahahah, Obama will also say he believes in the free market? This sounds like the plantation owner telling his slaves how much he believes in freedom. What a damn joke. I can see it now. “I believe in the free market. Now let me tell you all the regulations, loop holes, incentives, kick backs, and advantages I’m going to hand out. Also, we’re going to print more fake money that we will filter through these same evil banks. This free market stuff rules!”

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Eh boy. Republicans Chase Wall Street Donors – WSJ.com

Posted by Jason | Posted in Government | Posted on 04-02-2010

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Just when you think the tea parties are having an effect, the Republican establishment shows how stupid they are.

Republicans are stepping up their campaign to win donations from Wall Street, trying to capitalize on an increasing sense of regret among executives at big financial institutions for backing Democrats in 2008.

In discussions with Wall Street executives, Republicans are striving to make the case that they are banks’ best hope of preventing President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats from cracking down on Wall Street.

GOP strategists hope to benefit from the reaction to the White House’s populist rhetoric and proposals, which range from sharp critiques of bonuses to a tax on big Wall Street banks, caps on executive pay and curbs on business practices deemed too risky.

Democrats have dominated Wall Street’s fund-raising circles in recent elections. Mr. Obama himself raised millions of dollars from employees of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Citigroup Inc., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and other Wall Street firms.

Now, at least some Wall Street executives have reduced their political contributions to the Democratic Party and its candidates, according to fund-raising reports and interviews with executives at financial-services firms.

Last week, House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio made a pitch to Democratic contributor James Dimon, the chairman and chief executive of J.P. Morgan, over drinks at a Capitol Hill restaurant, according to people familiar with the matter.

Mr. Boehner told Mr. Dimon congressional Republicans had stood up to Mr. Obama’s efforts to curb pay and impose new regulations. The Republican leader also said he was disappointed many on Wall Street continue to donate their money to Democrats, according to the people familiar with the matter.

via Republicans Chase Wall Street Donors – WSJ.com.

Isn’t democracy grand? We have slime balls on all sides being controlled by Wall Street all the while plotting how they can deceive the average voter that they are trying to protect them. Obama’s White House is full of Wall Street insiders, so to believe they are going to hold Wall Street accountable is just silly. All that needs done to hold them accountable is allow them to fail.

Republicans are just asking to lose their momentum. They should not be begging Wall Street to allow them to be their laptop dogs. They should not be calling for caps on pay. They should be calling for the government to get out of the economy and out of the bailout business.

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Meltdown by Thomas E. Woods Jr – The best explanation of our current financial crisis

Posted by Jason | Posted in Economics, Video | Posted on 28-01-2010

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This is from a lecture Tom Woods gave about his book, Meltdown. Tom is an awesome presenter and makes boring topics entertaining. By the end of the lecture, you will understand exactly who caused the mortgage meltdown, the financial crisis and our current recession.

This is a Youtube playlist, so the next part will automatically start. It’s a little over an hour for the full lecture.

httpvp://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=CB9B817C147AEC7B

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NASA Urged Not To Outsource – WSJ.com

Posted by Jason | Posted in Government | Posted on 19-01-2010

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I know this is going to come as a complete shock, but a government panel said that the private companies cannot ferry astronauts into space as safely as government. Geewiz! I cannot believe a government panel would say that government is best.

A key federal aerospace panel warned that NASA could run into serious safety challenges if it relies on private companies to ferry astronauts into space in the near future.

The Obama administration has been devising a plan to outsource a chunk of its manned space program to private companies in order to speed up rocket development, save money and focus federal dollars on longer-term expeditions. But a report released last week by the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel, an outside safety watchdog for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, cautioned that the private space companies rely on “unsubstantiated claims” and need to overcome major technical hurdles before they can safely carry astronauts into orbit. It urged NASA to stick with its current government-run manned space ventures, and said that switching to private alternatives now would be “unwise and probably not cost-effective.”

Did I just read that right? Obama, Mr. Socialism himself, planned on outsourcing a chunk of the space program to private companies? Surely, there has to be a payoff in here somewhere?

So the advisory panel said the private sector would rely on “unsubstantiated claims”. Are they telling me government doesn’t do this? You mean like the claim we are going to pay for health care reform by cutting waste out of medicare? How about health care reform will only cost $800 billion? Or maybe we have to bail out our friends on Wall Street to save Main Street?

You have to love the gull this panel has saying that private companies would be “unwise and probably not cost-effective”. Seriously? How many government programs come in under budget? The only thing I don’t like about this is it creates a partnership between government and the private sector. You know what that means. It will be used for political payoffs. No doubt, Jack Murtha already has some favors to return.

But the findings released last week are likely to provide a boost to NASA officials who support keeping nearly all manned space programs in house. In addition, NASA’s largest and longstanding contractors, such as Boeing Corp. and Lockheed Martin Corp., are stepping up efforts to generate White House support against outsourcing more programs. As part of that campaign, they have challenged the safety of the start-up ventures, which are proposing to use rockets that haven’t been fully tested and in some cases, haven’t yet flown.

via NASA Urged Not To Outsource – WSJ.com.

Shocking that NASA officials would want to keep it all in house, and then the real culprits come out. Boeing and Lockheed Martin are pushing to keep it in house. Go figure. Who wants to have to compete? It’s so much easier to rip off the government. It’s definitely easier to grease the palms of a slimeball politician than it is to grease an executive’s palms who’s accountable to the bottom line. Behind almost every government regulation, you find some big business trying to stifle competition.

Did you read that last sentence? It’s a bad thing to propose rockets that haven’t been fully tested and in some cases, haven’t yet flown? Isn’t this how innovation is done? If you only propose things that already exist, you would never move forward. Can you image this panel talking about phone service? Apple is proposing this so-called iPhone that hasn’t been fully tested and hasn’t even made phone calls yet! What a waste. Let me stick with my rotary phone. It’s made tons of phone calls. This is exactly why private businesses should be involved in space. They will innovate!

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Here we go again….Alan S. Blinder: When Greed Is Not Good

Posted by Jason | Posted in Economics | Posted on 12-01-2010

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Alan S. Blinder wrote another half witted op-ed about financial regulation and Wall Street’s return to “greed”. As all half witted intellectuals, he recognizes a symptom, but never questions the source. Here is a paragraph where he talks about Adam Smith.

When economists first heard Gekko’s now-famous dictum, “Greed is good,” they thought it a crude expression of Adam Smith’s “Invisible Hand”—which is one of history’s great ideas. But in Smith’s vision, greed is socially beneficial only when properly harnessed and channeled. The necessary conditions include, among other things: appropriate incentives (for risk taking, etc.), effective competition, safeguards against exploitation of what economists call “asymmetric information” (as when a deceitful seller unloads junk on an unsuspecting buyer), regulators to enforce the rules and keep participants honest, and—when relevant—protection of taxpayers against pilferage or malfeasance by others. When these conditions fail to hold, greed is not good.

via Alan S. Blinder: When Greed Is Not Good – WSJ.com.

Binder says “in Smith’s vision, greed is socially beneficial only when properly harnessed and channeled”, and I’m guessing he thinks the geniuses in Washington should be the ones to do the harnessing and channeling. Is Binder really this ignorant, or is he so trapped in his own reality that he can’t see past his old ideas? By giving Washington the power to “harness and channel” Wall Street, the economy or anything else, you create the source of corruption. Washington has become Wall Street. Look at who occupies the White House staff. This isn’t just Obama. This was Bush as well.

Greed is only harmful to society when the negative results of greed are forced on society instead of the source of the greed. In this case, Wall Street’s greed led to subprime mortgages, but instead of them being harmed by the negative results, they used government force to dish the negative results on the tax payers.

People aren’t typically greedy, despite all the negative comments by the like of Blinder. Something usually entices you into greed. Someone sees the chance of unearned profits, and they get…. well “greedy” for it. In this case, Wall Street got greedy because the Fed was printing “free” money. Who benefits from this money? Well, the banks are the ones who get the money first before it’s devalued. They get to loan it out and make their profit before the damage is done. In their ability to do this, because of the Fed, would they not be making unearned profits? It would be no different than a man giving you $1,000 and saying go ahead lend that out at whatever interest rate you can to make a profit. You pay the man back one percent interest and keep the rest. You really don’t have any risk there. Inflation is typically three to four percent. Hmm, just think how much you can make with no risk if you make even more of these loans. What if you loaned out $1 million? Now you can see where greed comes from.

If we didn’t have the Fed in bed with Wall Street bankers, we wouldn’t have had the easy money that created the last bubble in which Wall Street so enriched themselves. Then when the bubble burst did Wall Street have to take their punishment? Nope. Because of government force and collusion, they were able to force all of America to pay the bill.

What Blinder doesn’t understand is the problem isn’t an unregulated “invisible hand”. The problem is because of government the “invisible hand” now has a gun in it. When there is a gun, this is when “greed is not good”.

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William McGurn: My Big Fat Government Takeover – WSJ.com

Posted by Jason | Posted in Government | Posted on 08-12-2009

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The Vice President of News Corp, has a pretty good op-ed in the Wall Street Journal about the Obama administrations belief that they are so smart that they can make big government work. I’m not sure why everyone says they are so smart. Would you consider someone smart who despite all historical examples still believes that socialism or big government works? That seems pretty stupid to me. I would not consider someone smart because they can explain the dynamics of jumping off a cliff and some how despite all the previous deaths from jumping, they think they have figured out how to jump and survive. Even worse, they think they are so smart that they are going to make us all jump.

Some mistakes are so big that only smart people are tempted to make them. One is the faith in Big Government.

Many of the people in the Obama administration, the president included, enjoy all the credentials we associate with the best and the brightest: the right schools, the good grades, the successful careers. Alas, whether it be allocating health care or defining the kind of jobs the economy ought to create, the policies they favor suggest a strong belief that they know what’s best not just for themselves, but for everyone else too.

Of course, the kind of people who are apt to push for government-imposed solutions are those who are also apt to believe they will be the ones imposing decisions, not the ones who have to live with decisions imposed by others. Sometimes that’s because they enjoy the wealth that gives them escape hatches unavailable to the less affluent, such as their ability to ensure that their own children never have to set foot in a public school. Mostly, however, their trust in government reflects their confidence that they have all the answers and that it’s government’s job to enforce them.

Does this sound any different than any king, dictator or General Secretary of the Communist Party? They all believe they know what is best for all of us lower peasants, and they all preclude themselves and their children from the policies they impose.

Detroit is in decline because its automotive giants no longer build the kind of cars Americans want to buy? Let’s have the president sack the CEO of General Motors, and then use the bailout money as leverage to appoint a car czar and get GM and Chrysler to build the kind of cars that Washington wants.

Wall Street execs are getting sweet bonuses at a time when millions of other Americans are unemployed? Well, instead of encouraging these financial concerns to pay back the Troubled Asset Relief Program monies and get the taxpayers off the hook, send in Ken Feinberg to set their salaries.

Health-care spending is inefficient? The answer is obvious: Expand the Department of Health and Human Services and give its secretary more power. Under the bill now before the Senate, for example, Kathleen Sebelius would have the authority to decide what care insurance companies could offer, who could get an abortion under a government-run plan, what prices were fair, and so on.

Of course we shouldn’t draw any conclusions from an advisory task force that recently created a stir when it suggested women get fewer mammograms—and Ms. Sebelius’s disavowal in the face of public heat. She pointed out that the task force does not set government policy. But at some point some government task force will—and there will be fewer ways around it.

Is there any difference between Obama and the King of Dubai? The King thought he was visionary (so did the media), and he was doing what is best for his people. Instead of letting the free market develop his country, he issued dictates from his palace.

That’s government by the smart. The good news is that it doesn’t seem to be selling. According to a recent poll, 57% of Americans believe government is doing things that should be left to business and individuals. Not only do most Americans object, Gallup says the opposition is the “highest such reading in more than a decade.”

via William McGurn: My Big Fat Government Takeover – WSJ.com.

This may be true, but that won’t stop anyone. Health care is about to be jammed down our throats even though 85% of people like their current plans. It does not matter what the people want when the “king” decides he is a visionary, when he’s going to “fundamentally transform the country”, or when the media repeatedly tells him he’s the smartest President in history. Obama thinks he knows what is best for all of us, and he’s going to use government force to make us comply to his vision. There used to be a word for rulers like this that no one seems to use anymore. That word is TYRANT.

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What encourages more risk on Wall Street?

Posted by Jason | Posted in Government | Posted on 06-11-2009

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The Wall Street Journal  has an op-ed today by Charles Gasparino, a CNBC on air-editor and author, in which he explains why the government encourages the risk that led to our current crisis.

We’ll never know if LTCM’s demise would have tanked the financial system or simply tanked a couple of firms that bet wrong. But one thing is certain: A valuable lesson in risk-taking was lost. By 2007, the years of excessive risk-taking, aided and abetted by the belief that the government was ready to paper over mistakes, had taken their toll.

With so much easy money, with the government always ready to ease their pain, Wall Street developed new and even more innovative ways to make money through risk-taking. The old mortgage bonds created by Messrs. Fink and Ranieri as simple securitized pools had morphed into the so-called collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), complex structures that allowed Wall Street banks as well as quasi-governmental agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to securitize ever riskier mortgages.

Mr. O’Neal, the man considered most responsible for Merrill’s disastrous foray into risk-taking, told me in an interview last year that in the fall of 2007, when he saw that the firm’s problems were insurmountable, he had a deal to sell Merrill to Bank of America for around $90 a share. But Merrill’s board rejected it, believing he would be selling out cheaply. The CDOs would eventually recover, they argued, as the Fed pumped life into the markets.

Likewise, nearly to the minute he was forced to file for bankruptcy, former Lehman CEO Dick Fuld believed the government wouldn’t let Lehman die. After all, government largess had always been there in the past.

All of which brings me back to Mr. Fortsmann’s comment about policy makers helping turn a cold into cancer. What if the Fed hadn’t eased Wall Street’s pain in the late 1980s, and again after the 1994 bond-market collapse? What if policy makers in 1998 had allowed the markets to feel the consequences of risk—allowing LTCM to fail, and letting Lehman Brothers and possibly Merrill Lynch die as well?

There would have been pain—lots of it—for Wall Street and even for Main Street, but a lot less than what we’re experiencing today. Wall Street would have learned a valuable lesson: There are consequences to risk.

via Charles Gasparino: Three Decades of Subsidized Risk – WSJ.com.

This is another case of where we think government behavior can get different outcomes than we get in our personal lives. The results are the same. How many of you know a parent that constantly bails their child our of trouble? Does it lead to less trouble? How about someone who gives money to a drug or alcohol addict? How about someone who always gives or lends money to that one person who always seem to be broke? In our personal lives, we call these people enablers. They are not helping the person in question. They are enabling them to continue the bad habits they are claiming to help.

This is no different when the government does it. Are we to believe that executives and banks will not be more cautious if they know that the government will not bail them out? Of course they would be. The problem is mommy government has always bailed out and enabled her baby Wall Street. The behavior will continue as long as Washington continues enabling. Don’t fall for the excuses. Mommies always have what they believe are good reasons for bailing out their children, but the problem is they aren’t letting their children learn their lessons.

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