Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.



For old times' sake
The bojack bumper sticker -- only $1.50!

To order, click here.







Excellent tunes -- free! And on your browser right now. Just click on Radio Bojack!






E-mail us here.

About

This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 7, 2011 8:09 AM. The previous post in this blog was Ladies and gentlemen, the Supremes. The next post in this blog is The sound of silence. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Archives

Links

Law and Taxation
How Appealing
TaxProf Blog
Mauled Again
Tax Appellate Blog
A Taxing Matter
TaxVox
Tax.com
Josh Marquis
Native America, Discovered and Conquered
The Yin Blog
Ernie the Attorney
Conglomerate
Above the Law
The Volokh Conspiracy
Going Concern
Bag and Baggage
Wealth Strategies Journal
Jim Hamilton's World of Securities Regulation
myCorporateResource.com
World of Work
The Faculty Lounge
Lowering the Bar
OrCon Law

Hap'nin' Guys
Tony Pierce
Parkway Rest Stop
Utterly Boring.com
Along the Gradyent
Dwight Jaynes
Bob Borden
Dingleberry Gazette
The Red Electric
Iced Borscht
Jeremy Blachman
Dean's Rhetorical Flourish
Straight White Guy
HinesSight
Onfocus
Jalpuna
Beerdrinker.org
As Time Goes By
Dave Wagner
Jeff Selis
Alas, a Blog
Scott Hendison
Sansego
The View Through the Windshield
Appliance Blog
The Bleat

Hap'nin' Gals
My Whim is Law
Lelo in Nopo
Attorney at Large
Linda Kruschke
The Non-Consumer Advocate
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place
A Pig of Success
Attorney at Large
Margaret and Helen
Kimberlee Jaynes
Cornelia Seigneur
Mireio
And Sew It Goes
Mile 73
Rainy Day Thoughts
That Black Girl
Posie Gets Cozy
{AE}
Cat Eyes
Rhi in Pink
Althouse
GirlHacker
Ragwaters, Bitters, and Blue Ruin
Frytopia
Rose City Journal
Type Like the Wind

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
StumptownBlogger
Rantings of a [Censored] Bus Driver
Jeff Mapes
Vintage Portland
The Portlander
South Waterfront
Amanda Fritz
O City Hall Reporters
Guilty Carnivore
Old Town by Larry Norton
The Alaunt
Bend Blogs
Lost Oregon
Cafe Unknown
Tin Zeroes
David's Oregon Picayune
Mark Nelsen's Weather Blog
Travel Oregon Blog
Portland Daily Photo
Portland Building Ads
Portland Food and Drink.com
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion
LoveSalem

Retired from Blogging
Various Observations...
The Daily E-Mail
Saving James
Portland Freelancer
Furious Nads (b!X)
Izzle Pfaff
The Grich
Kevin Allman
AboutItAll - Oregon
Lost in the Details
Worldwide Pablo
Tales from the Stump
Whitman Boys
Misterblue
Two Pennies
This Stony Planet
1221 SW 4th
Twisty
I am a Fish
Here Today
What If...?
Superinky Fixations
Pinktalk
Mellow-Drama
The Rural Bus Route
Another Blogger
Mikeyman's Computer Treehouse
Rosenblog
Portland Housing Blog

Wonderfully Wacky
Dave Barry
Borowitz Report
Blort
Stuff White People Like
Worst of the Web

Valuable Time-Wasters
My Gallery of Jacks
Litterbox, On the Prowl
Litterbox, Bag of Bones
Litterbox, Scratch
Maukie
Ride That Donkey
Singin' Horses
Rally Monkey
Simon Swears
Strong Bad's E-mail

Oregon News
KGW-TV
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
KOIN
Willamette Week
KATU
The Sentinel
Southeast Examiner
Northwest Examiner
Sellwood Bee
Mid-County Memo
Vancouver Voice
Eugene Register-Guard
OPB
Topix.net - Portland
Salem Statesman-Journal
Oregon Capitol News
Portland Business Journal
Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Business
KPTV
Portland Info Net
McMinnville News Register
Lake Oswego Review
The Daily Astorian
Bend Bulletin
Corvallis Gazette-Times
Roseburg News-Review
Medford Mail-Tribune
Ashland Daily Tidings
Newport News-Times
Albany Democrat-Herald
The Eugene Weekly
Portland IndyMedia
The Columbian

Music-Related
The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Seal
Sting
Joni Mitchell
Ella Fitzgerald
Steve Earle
Joe Ely
Stevie Wonder
Lou Rawls

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Friday, October 7, 2011

They are the .000001%

Among those protesting corporate greed in Portland overnight were at least two knuckleheads with spray paint cans.

UPDATE, 10/8, 8:05 p.m.: Just to clarify for the hotheads out there, the "They" in the headline of this post refers to the two clowns who decided that the protest was a good enough excuse to satisfy their urge toward vandalism -- not to the protestors generally. We generally support the protests, as evidenced by this post and this one. Please take your hate to sites whose authors actually disagree with you. Here's a good one to try.

Comments (36)

There are "bad apples" in every bunch. To characterize these idiots as somehow representative of the OccupyPortland movement is akin to characterizing all law professors to professor Donald M. Jones (the University of Miami professor who, on his arrest for prostitution-related offense last month, allegedly said "I am just a horny guy.")(source: http://abovethelaw.com/tag/donald-m-jones/).

I think it is disappointing that there are thousands of folks trying to express their frustration and two idiots somehow manage to score the only mention. The local events coverage here is usually much better.

No one characterized them as representative of anything. There has been ample, sympathetic mention of the protests on this blog, which apparently you haven't read before launching into your hothead reaction. For that, you have earned yourself some time off.

The left tried to do the same thing to the tea party.

Please dear god, I hope they sprayed Randy's toilets just for the delicious irony.

I talked to the police last night and they seemed surprise that the crowd was that manageable, which will help them get their point across (whether I agree with them or not.) He said they worked on having no Anarchists in the crowd.

My point is how they got this many organized this quick (albeit Portland was the biggest gathering - Seattle had like 50 people).

An interesting take on the Wall Street protests and the hidden hand behind the scenes (which could very well apply here):

http://tarpley.net/2011/10/07/occupy-wall-street-who-wants-to-hijack-the-movement/#more-3466

They would do better if they occupied a laser tattoo removal center (or hair salon) and then moved on to a Temporary Agency.

We have the 2nd highest minimum wage in the nation, and will likely be in first place next year. Our state and local governments have much more to do with the current state of unemployment in Oregon than J.P. Morgan or Citibank.

Level One Irony in the Occupy (TM) movement: a lot of these people protesting voted for Obama.

Level Two Irony: the amount of made in China gadgetry and corporate (Facebook, Twitter, Comcast) operators needed to organize, document and disseminate the message(s) of the protesters.

Ah Portlandia.

"Our state and local governments have much more to do with the current state of unemployment in Oregon than J.P. Morgan or Citibank."

Really? That's quite a big, unsupported assertion. How do you explain the high and enduring rate of unemployment nationwide, then? Just a lot of bad state and local governments?

Many factors fed into the current recession, but letting the financial industry off the hook with a breezy assertion that Oregon and Portland governments are to blame is a silly and irresponsible statement--even as blog comments go.

You can hate Goldschmidt, Kulongoski, Kitzhaber, Leonard and Adams without defending a greedy, irresponsible and near-treasonous financial industry. Bankers took extreme risks, with all the upside for themselves and the downside for the country as a whole. They made out like bandits, and the American public has borne the losses.

The primary reason the country is in recession is because Capitalism is cyclical and prone to investment bubbles which invariably lead to periods of recession or slow growth.

As opposed to Socialism, a system in which recession or slow growth is the norm and periods of high growth are rare.

Or Communism/Totalitariansm, in which large numbers of people are starved, intimidated or killed until such time as the citizens realize they have nothing left to lose.

The primary reason we are suffering a recession today is that too many people paid too high a price for too large/too many houses and they borrowed more than they could afford to repay. That's not JP Morgan's fault or Bank of America's fault. The National Association of Realtors and their members deserve more blame than the big mortgage originators. In point of fact, very few people remembered that real estate values are cyclical and they were investing with a "can't go down" mindset. That's not Corporate America's fault.

Fannie and Freddie should have seen the wave before it crashed, but they were blinded by greed, false prophets, and a historical look-back period that was too narrowly defined. Fannie/Freddie's regulator OFEHO (O'ugly as I like to call them) is MUCH MORE responsible for the current crisis than Jamie Dimon, or Lehman Brothers, or Bear Stearns.

As to the locality issue:

Freightliner is leaving town for many reasons: disrespect from Dr. No and hometown contracts awarded to Navistar chief among them, together with a more expensive/less productive union workforce.

Columbia Sportswear left Portland because Multnomah County swept in and bought the building they were negotiating for.

Many desirable employers are relocating to Clark County (google Fisher Investment/Camas) because of the favorable business conditions and lower tax structure. They would have considered Clackamas or Multnomah County if Oregon had no income tax.

The myriad ways in which they make new businesses feel unwelcome (Walmart is a prime example) and create hurdles to new entrants (not just Walmart, but many small businesses), not to mention the rising cost of parking/congestion in downtown which drives consumers to the suburbs.

I could go on and on, but I realize those who have drunk the Kool-Aid won't understand.

Most commentary analyzing this protest movement is a regurgitation of what the public has been fed for years. This has been a deliberate deflection from reality: Wall Street did run a giant fraud, and this giant fraud is behind our economic problems.

Here's my analogy: Many people are empty glasses that the media fills to just the right level with water. Then when the powers that be need a response, they hit the rim of the glasses and the people chime in, hitting just the right required notes.

Granted, these economic issues are boring. That is part of the reason the scam worked. Reading about these complex financial instruments is mind-numbing and tedious. The perpetrators of this scam rely on our ignorance and desire for a simple story line to get by.

But if you're going to chime in, you should look at the massive fraud that took place with derivatives. That's why we have a problem.

In fact, if you don't think there had to be a giant crime to get in this much trouble, that means you never really believed in America's financial system to begin with.

It was working. Some crooks on Wall Street committed massive fault, and now it's not working. That's the story.

Some crooks on Wall Street committed massive fraud, and now it's not working.

Wow, I blew the big close. I think I'll just play music this weekend.

anarchists for bigger government
My business is hurting because of fuel cost, regulations and taxes. We have deflation of wages for those of us in the private sector. I can't pass the cost of hiring more workers onto my clients. As government continues to grow I am expected to pay more as I make less.

Back on subject about the knuckleheads, you'd think they'd learn. Better yet, you'd think they'd use a medium that could be cleaned off easily so they could make their statements without pissing off, say, the officer responsible for the police vehicle being tagged. They shouldn't be fined for criminal activity. They should be fined even more for being so damn unimaginative.

It was working. Some crooks on Wall Street committed massive fault, and now it's not working. That's the story.

Commie talk!!!

Some crooks on Wall Street committed massive fraud, and now it's not working.

I thought Barney Frank was a congressman.

With all this fraud known to everyone, where is Obama's Justice Department?

The administration doesn't need Congress to proceed with the indictments.

As for the taggers, water paint would have done the job.

Max,
When Boehner and Obama went golfing that was like co-workers hanging out in the employee break room.
They are not polar opposites as Hank Williams Jr. thought.
They are both working for the same bosses in Wall Street.

Wall Street runs the federal government. That's the problem.
Once the deregulation started - signed by Clinton by the way -
Wall Street was in control.

Government is actually very accountable to the people they work for. Unfortunately, it is not us.

Barny Frank masquerades as a congressman, much as Earl Blumenauer does;however, Frank's dementia has manifested itself in a more effective and socially destructive manner.

Barney huffed and puffed to get his share in the housing debacle going, so much so that he got one of his boys toys a senior job with the housing agency.

No, this financial catastrophe has several fathers but it's easiest to pin full paternity on those admittedly greedy capitalists. Barney was one of many congressional matrons or midwives.

The fallacy here is trying to blame a single cause. There are many, many fingerprints on this corpse: Deregulation of the financial industry ... giveaway free-trade agreements ... outsourcing and the enabling thereof ... our willingness to dump 1/6th of the economy into the world's most inefficient health-care system ... the decision to fight two or three wars AND cut taxes ... and, as Bill noted above, our fondness for quick-n-easy solutions to complex problems.

Sure, there are a variety of causes, but most of them go back to the power of Wall Street and by extension, the global bankers.

I also don't see this is an attack on capitalism, or at least it shouldn't be. As a young person, I went behind the Iron Curtain and saw first hand how capitalism compared with the results on the other side of the Berlin Wall. Frankly, I see people who scream that this is an attack on capitalism as missing the point completely, either through ignorance or an attempt to deceive.

This was fraud. It was a crime. The fact that nobody was charged doesn't change that. So how did it get this far?

What happened here was deregulation. We peeled back laws that had worked wonders since the Great Depression and basically let Wall Street turn their firms into casinos. Then when it turned out the honor system didn't work, we were left with too big to fail.

This whole thing didn't need to happen, and it kills me that the heads of the financial firms like Henry Paulson when he was with Goldman Sachs, lobbied for the changes that led to our economic demise. Where's the love of country over personal greed? How could you do this to the greatest country on earth?

The system was not broken but they sure fixed it.

Cap deposit insurance at 100,000 per person, in total across all their accounts anywhere in FDIC covered institutions, and irrespective of whether the account is labeled as an "retirement" account.

With all this fraud known to everyone, where is Obama's Justice Department?

Supplying Mexican drug cartels with weapons...

With all the DEA raids on medical marijuana operations lately (huge in Southern Oregon at any rate) what we're really doing is supplying the Mexican drug cartels with markets. It's almost the dumbest thing I've ever seen.

'Z' repeats verbatim two statements by LarsLarson, or is the person.

The pseudonymous comments here which I identify being of Lars-de-lar-lar-lars are never posted during the hours Larson is at 'work' on-air.

Almost every time I call out the Larsonous comment as being veritably his pathetic character, the commenter quits the thread, never responds, runs away and hides in Larson self-shame. (Twice, as I remember, I missed my 'guess' and twice got deserved blowback disgust at how wrong I was.)

Anyway, 'Z' here this time is properly ashamed of himself for the antisocial hate derangement and mental unease in his mind. The Beatles diagnostic: "one thing you can't hide, is when you're crippled inside."

Yes yes, that's right, definitely definitely. Definitely, yes.

Look, LarsLars, who has not got the guts to face and get professional help with (or medication for) your inferiority complex and regressed 'broken child' syndrome, who 'hacked' my unlisted phone number (as the whole of FUX News Corp faces charges of, for years of) and who called me in my private home and threatened and defamed me amid my family, who illicitly incites public unrest and poses false conflict disturbing the peace, who on-air goaded the Woodburn bank bombers in their stupidity to their murderous act, who repeatedly makes unlawful slanderous defamation -- e.g., "Shirley Sherrod is a bigoted racist," "Obama hates white people" -- and illegal broadcast violating FCC regulations and would have license revoked but for graft and corruption infected in the FCC, who confederates with Glenn Beck and embarrasses your wife mortified of being known with your name and disrepute, yes you LarsLars, look: you have your concrete dense-against-the-world bunker and broadcast time, live in it! Stay withdrawn from social appearance and leave us alone, do no molest. Talk to the mic. Shut up. You got a gun, no one cares. What you think makes no difference in anyone's mind, no one cares, you filthy the politics you touch on and the politicians you harangue, you are an indecent fraud and a pariah in civil discourse civic affairs, you actually are banking one-and-a-half million for 750 hours of puke a year, your ratings are lowest in the market, (Spanish language stations beat you and defeat you). Suck the fetid air of your crypt, sealed and imprisoned until you quit your underworld in it. Make it your sarcophagus. Thank you.

Huh, Txxxxxxxx. I don't know much about the Lars guy whom you assert is Z, but I do know Z is not only pithy (a real positive) but accurate in the post I read.

What comedy. I am not Lars, nor to I identify with his (or any other entity's) vitriol message(s). The fact that ALL the extremists (left, right, middle earth, union, pagan et alt.) are the reason everyone is so divided in their message to their "rulers" that nothing will ever be accomplished.

It humors me greatly that the message is delivered via corporate entities. I own an iPhone and type this comment via another Mac product. I have Comcast delivering it to the interworlds. I understand that and part of that edification is that I refuse to participate in the hypocrisy movement without a true message and plan.

My only suggestion next protest: leave the signs at home, bring some matches and a gallon of gas and burn it down (that is the antithesis of anarchy as a philosophical argument) because nothing is going to change with the historic and systemic operators of oppression in place.

I was wrong, then. (That's three.) I meant no offense to you, Z, I apologize if you felt offended.

Your Irony One and Irony Two are both Larsson on-air statements, verbatim.

I did mean offense to LarsLarson.

(and Z, count me out for property damage with matches and gas;
count me in for personal injury of "historic and systemic operators.")

What 99% want is equal media presentation of their variously interested positions, ideas, and concerns.

Such a majority mass Movement deserves to Occupy media time, equal to time reporting ideas and positions of splinter faction minorities such as Koch-paid stooges bought-and-sold as T.Party and so artificial.

What media want is conflict, sensation, and emotive bloodshed.

Occupy America wants media presentation of its people speaking their personalities and politics, in counterpoint to the para-fascist and totalitarianism saturation in media, (Rush Limbaugh the role model).

Media influence is politics power and holding that power has corrupted media absolutely. Read through the comments above and recognize the commonest point concerns What 'we' or 'they' did or did not learn or know as information, and When did or did not 'we/they' know it. That and such (mis)information is the manifestation of media -- repeated surveys show 90% of Americans get 90% of what they 'know' from and by watching TV media.

The positions of 99% of Americans have joined in Movement to Occupy media time with their statements, so TV watchers may know and judge on-balance.

Being aware of the Movement to Occupy, media incompetently represents it. The main media conveyance of it is, first, to ignorantly excuse media's (themselves and their own) neglect and malfeasance of power corruption in media's information distortions, some witting some witless, increasingly corrupting since Pay TV (i.e., 'cable') began circa 1975; and second, to ask in-broadcast rhetorically, ignorantly, and distortingly, 'What do they want? What is the message of the mass Movement to Occupy?'
It's the media corruption, stupid.

Media, you'all should do this: Go like an actual true reporter and ask the protesters what's their protest. And as they answer, air it, their message, what they say. Media are ignorant of what it is because media suppressed and excluded information from and about the majority of Americans for decades. For example, media suppresses the information of research(ers) in climate change crisis, (else Shell and Chevron threaten media with ad spending withdrawal).

Occupy demonstrators want air time for their views and ideas, media presentation of their experiences and information, their meaning and their 'message', and the 99% mass Majority deserves air time!!, you corrupted and misinforming media bastards. uh, I mean, airheads ... cosmetic faces ... phony blondes, bimbos, bozos, blowhards.

Vandals damaging property want 'to be on TV', to be 'seen'.

Occupy Movement protesters want their life pains, gains, WORDS and 'message(s)' a fair share in the media. The mass audience can judge its own answer of 'What they want?' The profit-greedy media information controllers DO NOT GET TO prejudge and suppress and exclude 99% of the people!

So SHUT UP, you 'TV host' and ask the protester masses, 'What have you got to say?'

Then air their answers as much time, or 99-to-1 more time, as is aired the totalitarian fascism talk.

A Ruff Draft of complaint, dtd 2006
http://www.freewebs.com/medialawsuit/

4. Another conventionally stated goal of first Amendment protection- the "public order function"- also cries out for recognition of a right of access to the mass media. The Plaintiffs freedom of expression cannot be secured because entry into the communication media is not free but is confined .... The perserving public order is lost because access to the communication media is foreclosed .... It is a measure of the jaded and warped standards of the media.
Maybe what protesters want is information answering the question, 'What do massmedia want?' Conflict spectacle? Public disorder? Mayhem?

Google thanks all of us for contributing.

Most commentary analyzing this protest movement is a regurgitation of what the public has been fed for years. This has been a deliberate deflection from reality: Wall Street did run a giant fraud, and this giant fraud is behind our economic problems.

Oh please. If there is someone behind the problem almost 100% of the time it's government.

I very much respect Bill McDonald's opinion (as well as Bojack's), and I certainly believe that a decline in mortgage underwriting standards was at the heart of the housing crisis.

Wall Street certainly fomented demand for "AAA" rated (and lower) fixed income instruments paying 5% to 10% at a time when similar maturity government or corporate bonds were paying half that.

That said, I don't see this as the big ripoff that Bill McDonald sees. Certainly, before the end-game began, there were CDO/CMO peddlers who where hawking investments they likely knew would decline in value. But very few of them recognized the magnitude of the coming decline in home prices. Wall Street didn't cause house prices to go down, excess liquidity that was too cheap for too long caused house prices to rise to a level that was simply unsustainable. Greenspan MAY be as much to blame as OFHEO, but so is Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, Chuck Schumer, and a few others that had the good sense to retire before they were indicted.

I would say that Countrywide Financial (and whoever should have been regulating them) is more to blame for this crisis than anybody on Wall Street, and they were almost exclusively HQd on the West Coast.

In the final analysis, it was home buyers, realtors, appraisers, and mortgage underwriters who conspired (albeit, somewhat unknowingly) to bid up the home values to a level that had to go down, just like the Tulip Bubble before it. Personally, I blame our Federal Government (writ large) much more than anybody on Wall Street. If Goldman Sachs figured out a way to profit on the great unwind, good for them: I wish they had shared the strategy more widely.

Mister Tee,
I appreciate the respectful tone, and I've always admitted that when this started I didn't know what a derivative was. Indeed, one of my main gripes is that I felt compelled to learn about this. It is not my world. My 3 main things are music, sports and comedy.

That being said, here's what I think I've learned: The actual mortgages on homes represents a small number in the systemic risk Wall Street embarked on. Let's use a number like $250,000 for a home. 10 trillion dollars would buy 40 million of these homes.
Let's say the economy tanked and the homes dropped in value by half and all of the loans went bad. There would still be 5 trillion dollars worth of assets sitting there that you could see, touch and hopefully one day sell. As bad a number as that is, it has at least some connection to the size of our economy. I sure as hell wish we only owed 5 trillion now.

Okay, what Wall Street did was get the rules changed to allow them to gamble on the success of these loans. This is where the crazy number comes in. The derivatives number for the world when I started reading about this was 600 trillion in risk - 10 times the economy of planet earth.

That is the death star number. That is the number that there was never any way of dealing with should things go bad.
That is the very real number that has no connection to reality. It's a crazy amount of risk because there is no chance to survive a big financial downturn. That is the number that I couldn't believe and that is when I began losing sleep about what the suits on Wall Street had gotten the world into. Why would they do it?

The firms were turning in record profits because all these insurance policies showed up on their books as fees. For example one firm might pay another firm a million dollars to insure 500 million worth of loans. Great commissions were made and great bonuses were paid out. That's just business incentive driven by greed. You might be able to come up with something criminal there but why quibble?

The fraud part was that they were selling these swaps as rated triple AAA when they knew they were not, selling them to the public and other unsuspecting institutions. They were selling snake oil as premium gas, and that is the fraud. That is the criminal element, so how does it stack up against the crimes in other parts of this fiasco?

When housing tanked, it triggered the insurance policies.
Clearly, there were some people in Congress and in the mortgage industry who had done criminal things, but that was not the main problem. The main problem was these damn derivatives. They had passed around so many times that if they unraveled, there wasn't any way to deal with them.

The government has been frantically trying to keep them from unraveling but there is no way anyone can truly cover 600 trillion in risk, unless we start borrowing money from another planet.

The bigger crime by far was what Wall Street did because it caused the most damage. It was certainly more irresponsible
by a huge factor, and remember, these instruments just exist basically as little blips on a computer. There is nothing of value should they go bad.

And I don't buy the idea that Wall Street did not know what could happen when housing tanked. They are paid to analyze risk and they understood these instruments because they invented them. Indeed, there are cases when Wall Street bet against their own products after they defrauded a customer into buying them. That is also criminal.

In conclusion, the housing mortgage industry was the criminal equivalent to robbing a liquor store. What Wall Street did was drink the booze, and then burn down the town.

The housing industry was like a kid street racing. What Wall Street did was fly a plane full of nuclear bombs into the world's economy. That's the difference in magnitude and I'm not trying to overstate it. What Wall Street did with this fraud risking hundreds of trillions was far worse to our chances of surviving as a country, than anything the terrorists did. If Al Queda gave out plaques of appreciation, one would certainly go to Henry Paulson for helping to change the rules that set this thing in motion. Wall Street has put America in a very terrible place - something the housing market has no way of doing to this extent. Just on a gut level, do you really feel like a downturn in housing could hurt us this badly, even if every aspect of it was crooked. At least we can feel good about one thing: It took a major crime to make our financial systems go this badly.

I'm sorry this is not as coherent as I had hoped, but my wife is asking that I cook her pancakes - my specialty - so that is what I will do. If Wall Street wants to insure the pancakes for 600 trillion, so be it, but it's a new mix and that would also be an unacceptable risk. If it was my old mix, I could look you in the eye and say these pancakes will be triple A rated. However, if I said they were, knowing that the only reason we have this particular mix is because it was on sale, I would be misrepresenting the truth. And if the store that sold the pancake mix, actually gave me a box of sand, and then bet that my wife wouldn't like the pancakes, well, then? Then you'd have Wall Street.

Nice summary, Bill. I believe I understand most of it. It would explain why we bailed out FNM/FRE, AIG, and spent another $750 billion on the also-rans.

Warren Buffet has called derivatives "financial weapons of mass destruction."

So far as I can tell, the current regulatory bodies have done little to restrict derivatives to those who are trying to hedge their own portfolios.

They certainly haven't done anything to reign in or punish the ratings agencies.

I appreciate the time you have spent on becoming informed. But here's my follow-up question: if homebuyers only borrowed what they could afford to repay, would it not have been possible to weather a 20% decline in home prices? Assuming your income didn't change, and your house payments didn't go up (granted, many people with teaser rates were hosed), the only real change following a 20% decline in home equity is that you feel less wealthy...If we had forced some market discipline (homeowners file banko en masse, banks take the charge-offs and raise more capital, Fannie/Freddie were left semi-private and allowed to jack up their risk premiums to account for the 500 year financial flood...The invisible hand may have been a better solution than Socialism.

Aren't you really asking, "If this bubble had kept growing forever, could we have avoided trouble?" Sooner or later there was going to be enough of a downturn somewhere for these derivatives to kick in. And then the hopeless exposure would begin and they would unravel gaining momentum in what I've also heard called a financial tsunami.

It's indicative of how bad these things are that the only possible comparisons are the worst things we know about. When Warren Buffet's calling them financial weapons of mass destruction, you know it's serious.

We've heard an awful lot from corporate media types about this being the fault of poor people who couldn't pay the loans. Just as we are now hearing about what criminals the Occupy Wall Street types are.

It's a deflection from the real story. Wall Street is worried about a truth derivative going off and revealing their scam. Wall Street knows that if the public really got it about this, there would be big trouble. In fact, there's going to be anyways which is why I'm sure the culprits are preparing their escapes.

You know the crazy part? Go back to when we could have avoided all this. It's not that long ago. This whole thing is the definitive example of a bad idea running wild and going out of control.

I see your point, Bill. But I know the trees don't grow to the sky. My point is that our Goverment, the regulators, and even industry leaders should have recognized the real estate frenzy for what it was (a bubble), and then done what we know to do in the face of speculative bubbles....Raise margin requirements (downpayments), increase oversight (underwriting audits), raise the cost of capitol (interest rates), and use the bully pulpit (Chairman Greenspan could have said "house prices will go down, we just don't know when or by how much, but they WILL go down and many people are going to lose money.)" Rather than pretending he didn't know what disaster lay ahead.


Sponsors


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

If You See Kay, Red 2011
Turnbull, Old Bull Red 2010
Cherry Tart, Cherry Pie Pinot Noir 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Cabernet, Oakville 2012
Benton Lane, Pinot Gris 2012
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Reserva 2008
Haden Fig, Pinot Noir 2012
Pendulum Red 2011
Vina Real, Plata, Crianza Rioja 2009
Edmunds St. John, Bone/Jolly, Gamay Noir Rose 2013
Bookwalter, Subplot No. 26
Ayna, Tempranillo 2011
Pete's Mountain, Pinot Noir, Haley's Block 2010
Apaltagua, Reserva Camenere 2012
Lugana, San Benedetto 2012
Argyle Brut 2007
Wildewood Pinot Gris 2012
Anciano, Tempranillo Reserva 2007
Santa Rita, Reserva Cabernet 2009
Casone, Toscana 2008
Fonseca Porto, Bin No. 27
Louis Jadot, Pouilly-Fuissé 2011
Trader Joe's, Grower's Reserve Pinot Noir 2012
Zenato, Lugana San Benedetto 2012
Vintjs, Cabernet 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White 2012
Rainstorm, Oregon Pinot Gris 2012
Silver Palm, North Coast Cabernet 2011
Andrew Rich, Gewurtztraminer 2008
Rodney Strong, Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Canoe Ridge, Pinot Gris, Expedition 2012
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir Rose 2012
Dark Horse, Big Red Blend No. 01A
Elk Cove, Pinot Noir Rose 2012
Fletcher, Shiraz 2010
Picollo, Gavi 2011
Domaine Eugene Carrel, Jongieux 2012
Eyrie, Pinot Blanc 2010
Atticus, Pinot Noir 2010
Walter Scott, Pinot Noir, Holstein 2011
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
Coppola, Sofia Rose 2012
Joel Gott, 851 Cabernet 2010
Pol Roget Reserve Sparkling Wine
Mount Eden Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains 2009
Rombauer Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2011
Beringer, Chardonnay, Napa Reserve 2011
Kim Crawford, Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Schloss Vollrads, Spaetlese Rheingau 2010
Belle Glos, Pinot Noir, Clark & Telephone 2010
WillaKenzie, Pinot Noir, Estate Cuvee 2010
Blackbird Vineyards, Arise, Red 2010
Chauteau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2005
Northstar, Merlot 2008
Feather, Cabernet 2007
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Alexander Valley 2002
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2002
Trader Joe's, Chardonnay, Grower's Reserve 2012
Silver Palm, Cabernet, North Coast 2010
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
E. Guigal, Cotes du Rhone 2009
Santa Margherita, Pinot Grigio 2011
Alamos, Cabernet 2011
Cousino Macul, Cabernet, Anitguas Reservas 2009
Dreaming Tree Cabernet 2010
1967, Toscana 2009
Charamba, Douro 2008
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend No. 12
Opula Red Blend 2010
Liberte, Pinot Noir 2010
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red Blend 2010
Woodbridge, Chardonnay 2011
King Estate, Pinot Noir 2011
Famille Perrin, Cotes du Rhone Villages 2010
Columbia Crest, Les Chevaux Red 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White Blend
Familia Bianchi, Malbec 2009
Terrapin Cellars, Pinot Gris 2011
Columbia Crest, Walter Clore Private Reserve 2009
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Termpranillo 2010
Ravenswood, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Quinta das Amoras, Vinho Tinto 2010
Waterbrook, Reserve Merlot 2009
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills, Pinot Grigio 2011
Tarantas, Rose
Chateau Lajarre, Bordeaux 2009
La Vielle Ferme, Rose 2011
Benvolio, Pinot Grigio 2011
Nobilo Icon, Pinot Noir 2009

The Occasional Book

Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 216
At this date last year: 64
Total run in 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


Clicky Web Analytics