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D_Virginia

D_Virginia
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  • The White House reveals details of its student loan relief plan a day ahead of Pres. Obama's announcement. Monthly payments for some students will be reduced to 10% of discretionary income, debt balances will be forgiven after 20 years of payments, and some students can consolidate their loans with government loans into a single payment with a reduced interest rate.  [View news story]
    > unemployment rate for college grads is 4.5%. It IS your fault if you
    > can't get a job

    For 19 out of 20, at least. :)

    How many millions of people does that 1 out of 20 end up being, I wonder?
    Oct 25, 2011. 06:49 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The White House reveals details of its student loan relief plan a day ahead of Pres. Obama's announcement. Monthly payments for some students will be reduced to 10% of discretionary income, debt balances will be forgiven after 20 years of payments, and some students can consolidate their loans with government loans into a single payment with a reduced interest rate.  [View news story]
    > It's the other useless degrees are more the problem.

    No one will ever hear any complaint from me that useless degrees are a huge problem -- and I'm a the most raging liberal you'll ever meet, by some of your definitions.

    I have a tech degree, and since graduation I've been in high demand in the tech industry.

    But while we're on the subject, what I /would/ like to see is some opportunities for these liberal arts slackers (by the way I include business in that!) to be sent back to get some actual useful skills. Then they might actually be able to pay down all the money they spent on that Art History degree.

    Most other developed nations subsidize post-secondary education, and their unemployment is noticeably lower than ours. A correlation worth noting....
    Oct 25, 2011. 06:46 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Paul Farrell pens his most apocalyptic vision yet of U.S. and global decline, as denial and greedy addictions render us unable to deal with the biggest bubble ever: an exploding population that could hit 10B by 2050. "Already too many people in our world. Adding too many more every day. Not enough resources." Among his solutions: "Rapid and wholly voluntary reductions of fertility."  [View news story]
    Wow, that article is depressing, even to a believer in science.

    But I don't think it's that bad. Population growth will likely slow due to increasing poverty, shorter life expectancies, etc.

    Wars, too. I bet there will be a couple nasty ones before too long. WMDs are still out there, and you can be they'll be used one day.

    And many cultures currently embrace the notion that you don't have to feed everyone, just the rich. It worked out great in France a few hundred years back.

    See? The world will be just fine. :)
    Oct 25, 2011. 06:41 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The White House reveals details of its student loan relief plan a day ahead of Pres. Obama's announcement. Monthly payments for some students will be reduced to 10% of discretionary income, debt balances will be forgiven after 20 years of payments, and some students can consolidate their loans with government loans into a single payment with a reduced interest rate.  [View news story]
    Actually, it's still for the banks. At least for 20 years, after which the cost to collect will probably have exceeded the value to recoup anyway.

    Housing plans, credit card plans, car loan plans -- it's all about reducing default rates to reduce eventual losses for the banks, or in the case of student loans that can't be defaulted on, reducing the need for creative enforcement.

    The primary beneficiaries are still the banks.
    Oct 25, 2011. 06:26 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Did CNBC's Carl Quintanilla actually make Michael Moore look like a genius? "The Dow is up 95, and that's what we cover on this network. Do you own any equities...?" Moore says no: "It's your job not just to report that the Dow is up 95 [but] to go in there and find out what's really happening... who's dividing this pie up so that the 1% get the majority of it. That's really the story."  [View news story]
    Actually, Beck is 10 times the money grubber that Moore is.

    He used to be on CNN, where I recall at one point he was espousing the merits of U.S. healthcare reform, until he found out he could make more money off the rabid right by going on Fox News and espousing the ills of U.S. healthcare reform. Do you really think he released NINE books in three years because he just had that much to say?

    I bet he'd go on MSNBC in a heartbeat, saying whatever they wanted him to say, if he was simply paid a little more than Fox would pay him.

    Coming soon -- MSNBC's new "Countdown with Glenn Beck"! :)
    Oct 25, 2011. 06:21 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The White House reveals details of its student loan relief plan a day ahead of Pres. Obama's announcement. Monthly payments for some students will be reduced to 10% of discretionary income, debt balances will be forgiven after 20 years of payments, and some students can consolidate their loans with government loans into a single payment with a reduced interest rate.  [View news story]
    > probably think they got screwed by his hope and change.

    Well, they got screwed by something.

    Put yourself in a recent graduate's shoes for a second.

    Let's say you went off to college in 2007, even for a sensible degree like some kind of engineering. The economy was starting to teeter, but mostly the housing market, which you aren't remotely involved in.

    Four years later, we have the worst unemployment in your post-adolescent lifetime, with more than 4 job-seekers for every job...and the right is telling you it's all YOUR fault you can't get a job.

    The only appropriate response is, of course, "Dude WTF!?"

    A good write-up on this, from a Republican:
    http://bit.ly/vrgsEg
    Oct 25, 2011. 06:18 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The White House reveals details of its student loan relief plan a day ahead of Pres. Obama's announcement. Monthly payments for some students will be reduced to 10% of discretionary income, debt balances will be forgiven after 20 years of payments, and some students can consolidate their loans with government loans into a single payment with a reduced interest rate.  [View news story]
    > but, the college educated can't (I hope) claim such ignorance.

    Haven't read the details yet, but in all fairness, most of those loans were taken our BEFORE they finished college, and often before they started college.

    It's quite a predatory industry in some ways, the student loan business.
    Oct 25, 2011. 06:10 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Did CNBC's Carl Quintanilla actually make Michael Moore look like a genius? "The Dow is up 95, and that's what we cover on this network. Do you own any equities...?" Moore says no: "It's your job not just to report that the Dow is up 95 [but] to go in there and find out what's really happening... who's dividing this pie up so that the 1% get the majority of it. That's really the story."  [View news story]
    > Perhaps, your politics cloud what you see.

    No, I'm way more logical than almost every conservative I know, at least here on SA. :)

    Though I very much like David Frum -- one of the few remaining sane Republicans. He, of course, gets crapped on by all his so-called peers.

    > liberalism has wrought the misery that now infects America..

    Oh come on, now you're just trying to impersonate Glenn Beck. Time to change the channel there pal, he was canceled. :)
    Oct 25, 2011. 06:06 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Did CNBC's Carl Quintanilla actually make Michael Moore look like a genius? "The Dow is up 95, and that's what we cover on this network. Do you own any equities...?" Moore says no: "It's your job not just to report that the Dow is up 95 [but] to go in there and find out what's really happening... who's dividing this pie up so that the 1% get the majority of it. That's really the story."  [View news story]
    Really? MSNBC sure, but CNBC?

    Hopefully we all try not to watch CNBC much at all, but have you ever watched Kudlow? Santelli? Caruso? Kernen? They are not friends of the left...

    All their liberal anchors seem to get relocated. Ratigan is on MSNBC and Burnett is on CNN now.

    As a liberal, I find the network to be rather right-leaning on average. Maybe they just do a good job of pissing /everyone/ off? :)
    Oct 25, 2011. 05:03 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Did CNBC's Carl Quintanilla actually make Michael Moore look like a genius? "The Dow is up 95, and that's what we cover on this network. Do you own any equities...?" Moore says no: "It's your job not just to report that the Dow is up 95 [but] to go in there and find out what's really happening... who's dividing this pie up so that the 1% get the majority of it. That's really the story."  [View news story]
    Tomas, why do you hate capitalism?

    You clearly want a handout, something for nothing, right?

    You think the movie industry isn't entitled to make a profit on the open market, so obviously you're a socialist, right?

    You think that Apple is in collusion with the entertainment industry, so clearly you favor communism, where everyone is told what to do, right?

    Since you're so obviously a radical, left wing, tree hugging, Michael Moore loving, business hating, liberal -- why does Wall Street get a pass from you?
    Oct 25, 2011. 04:56 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Believe it or not, Wall Street doesn't dominate the top 1%; it turns out the finance sector only makes up 14% of the top 1% of American earners. But in an industry where the average salary was $311,000 in 2009, "everyone is above average," Footnoted.com's Michelle Leder says.  [View news story]
    Since we're being childishly antagonistic: No, you're completely wrong in all /your/ assumptions. :)

    Governments and industries can easily exist without (high) finance, they just move more slowly (without leverage). That said, it can (and should!) be a symbiotic relationship. Unfortunately, the financial industry has turned the relationship into more of a parasitic one.

    You seem to only be able to conceive of high finance as the center of the universe, when in fact it was scarcely needed for thousands of years, while farming, science, engineering, production, and services were fully in play supporting and enhancing the society around them. Yes, they had bankers, but they had no need of options, futures, or swaps -- all of which /can/ be used for productive value, but for the most part, have instead been used for 'mass financial destruction', to paraphrase Buffett, due to severe misalignment of risks and rewards.

    And here's where you really went off the reservation:

    > prop trading and hft provide liquidity to the market where there
    > would otherwise be none.

    Say what!? None? How quickly we forget our recent market history.

    HFT, in particular, didn't even exist before 1999 (electronic exchanges), and was a small fraction of market volume before the mid-2000s.

    There seemed to be plenty of liquidity before then, so what value was added?

    Maybe the spreads are slightly tighter now, but the only ones that makes a difference to, is HFTs -- it doesn't count as value when you solve a problem that you created in the first place, and when your solution only benefits yourself.

    > The real value added of the oil or forex trader is clear - the
    > sucessful hedge against rise or drops in prices.

    Sure...IF he was actually dealing in real goods. But for most traders, there isn't even the presumption that real goods will be exchanged -- i.e., there's nothing to "hedge", it's pure speculation.

    To be clear, I completely agree that the futures markets can serve as legitimate useful hedges for legitimate commodities users. Banks and paper trading firms, however, are not legitimate users, they are simply abusers -- and sadly they make up the majority of futures trading volume (as much as 90%, by some estimates).

    > What do you propose? A limit on how much one can earn?

    Not at all, but I do propose plugging some holes in the system that have misaligned incentives and detached money from value.

    How? I have plenty of notions on the subject, but Tom sums it up better than me at the end of a recent article:
    http://seekingalpha.co...

    For those who don't like to click links, here's his punchline:
    * Regulate CDS as insurance, with a requirement of insurable interest for the buyer, and adequate capital for the seller.
    * Reinstate Glass-Steagall
    * Apply a Transaction Tax, sufficient to deter HFT
    * Impose Position Limits, both individual and collective, sufficient to maintain to volume of commodities futures trades in some meaningful relationship with the amount of the actual commodity in circulation or production.
    * Outlaw synthetic securities
    * Restrict MBS and other securitizations to simple structures, with wide tranches.
    * Extend the statute of limitations for securities fraud and misrepresentation in the Securities and Securities Exchange Acts to seven years.
    * Impose obligations on market makers and liquidity providers sufficient to compensate for the privileges and exemptions they receive.
    * Develop international standards for regulation, strong enough to end regulatory arbitrage.


    In short: no more money for nothing.
    Oct 25, 2011. 04:48 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Believe it or not, Wall Street doesn't dominate the top 1%; it turns out the finance sector only makes up 14% of the top 1% of American earners. But in an industry where the average salary was $311,000 in 2009, "everyone is above average," Footnoted.com's Michelle Leder says.  [View news story]
    To the contrary, the very problem is that such compensation it's NOT relative -- not relative to real value added.

    If that Forex trader makes millions of dollars day trading...was there millions of dollars of real value added? To what? For whom?

    Almost nothing and no one.

    Remember that, fundamentally, in a society here money is supposed to be a proxy for value, Finance is a "meta" industry -- it literally can't exist without other industries around it. And it can't add real value by itself, all it can do is help real industries add real value.

    And it certainly deserves a cut when it adds value to parts of the real economy.

    But is that what is really does for most of its profits? Do CDSs add real value to the real economy? Does prop trading? Does HFT?

    Those things add /money/ to certain entities, sure. But that money is further and further removed from the real value that it supposedly represents.

    The system is broken.
    Oct 25, 2011. 03:01 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Believe it or not, Wall Street doesn't dominate the top 1%; it turns out the finance sector only makes up 14% of the top 1% of American earners. But in an industry where the average salary was $311,000 in 2009, "everyone is above average," Footnoted.com's Michelle Leder says.  [View news story]
    Just because they're good at what they do, doesn't mean what they do is good -- or at least, not as good as what they get paid for it.
    Oct 25, 2011. 02:17 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Did CNBC's Carl Quintanilla actually make Michael Moore look like a genius? "The Dow is up 95, and that's what we cover on this network. Do you own any equities...?" Moore says no: "It's your job not just to report that the Dow is up 95 [but] to go in there and find out what's really happening... who's dividing this pie up so that the 1% get the majority of it. That's really the story."  [View news story]
    Now you're just trolling. At least attempt to stay on topic. :)

    Go kick a puppy -- you'll feel better.
    Oct 25, 2011. 11:44 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Did CNBC's Carl Quintanilla actually make Michael Moore look like a genius? "The Dow is up 95, and that's what we cover on this network. Do you own any equities...?" Moore says no: "It's your job not just to report that the Dow is up 95 [but] to go in there and find out what's really happening... who's dividing this pie up so that the 1% get the majority of it. That's really the story."  [View news story]
    Tomas, that's like saying Apple is corrupt because they have high margins. In other words, ridiculous.

    Sure, the film industry is as unbalanced as most (actors rake it in, stage hands get peanuts), and I'm sure they do their unfair share of lobbying and bribing at the state and federal levels, but it doesn't operate on nearly the same scale as the financial industry, and more importantly, it doesn't inflict itself upon society the way the financial industry does (along with its purchased governments).

    The difference is that you have to use the financial industry to maintain what this country considers a decent quality of life. Try doing the math on what it would take to ever retire without ever using (directly or indirectly) a bank or a brokerage.

    One can get along quite nicely without ever going to the theater, or even owning a TV. Or without ever buying an iPhone. If someone feels that they do, well, that's something they might consider discussing with a psychiatrist. :)
    Oct 25, 2011. 11:35 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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