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Michael Clark

Michael Clark
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  • Why I Agree With (Some Of) Friedrich Hayek [View article]
    Also, religions in the Dark- and Middle-Ages, and even today, are being constantly challenged and changed. Fine-tuned might be a better description. Sometimes this fine tuning causes a critic or priest his life, sometimes leads to war and even genocide.

    Does science ever cause war and genocide? Not directly. Clearly, however, the scientific method and lifestyle of the West has found many wars against cultures believing more in science than in religion. The American Indian culture was wiped out as an example of this. So the Scientific lifestyle is also dangerous to nonbelievers or resistors.

    Similar fine-tuning in Science often causes critics their reputation and sometimes their livelihoods. Both Science and Religion are rigid faiths. Both change over time. Both are heavily resistant to change.

    Science is clearly a faith; Science does change its mind however, but usually not easily. Remember when Science scoffed at the idea of electro-magnetism, black holes, anti-matter, and invisible forces, such as dark matter. Now science not only believes in dark matter; science believes dark matter accounts for nearly 90% of matter in the universe. Dark matter is simply matter with inverted light, introverted light and energy. Eventually, science will understand religion. And these two forces will stop fighting for a time.
    Sep 25 09:54 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why I Agree With (Some Of) Friedrich Hayek [View article]
    We neeed statesmen again, instead of politicians. Politicians are by definition self-serving. Statesmen and stateswomen are not. Politicians choose public service to get rich. Statesmen do not. At least, this is the ideal.

    The horrible thing about politics is that it rewards duplicity. It does not reward, usually, truthfulness, honesty. Being poplular is the key to being long-lived as a politician. Being popular means not alienating people, meaning that avoiding having real beliefs you are wiling to state publicly helps you avoid unpopularity. Middle of the road imagery.

    Politics creates liars. The liars live longer in a centrist political culture. "Talking out of both sides of his mouth" is how my mother put it.
    Sep 25 09:47 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why I Agree With (Some Of) Friedrich Hayek [View article]
    Dan: I agree with you; but I think you will be scorned or ignored on this site, because those who have no heart are the first to defend its exclusion from the equation.

    Wisdom is a synthesis of knowledge (the head) and vision (the heart). Wisdom includes knowledge; but knowledge excludes wisdom, looks down on it.

    I also think our deification of lawyers has weakened out nation. Deification may be too strong a word. Lawyers are despised generally in America. But we churn out more lawyers per square inch than anywhere else in the world (combined?).

    Most lawyers work to get criminals off the hook. Yes, they also defend the innocent -- but this is probably a small percentage of their work. The lawyers, as a class of people, are deeply embedded with the criminal class, corporate as well as individual; and when lawyers take over our government, write our laws, this makes them even wealthier and more necessary to the wealthy who want to break the laws and not get caught.

    A rich lawyer is most often a man or women working for the criminal class. And the more they charge the more they are working to keep the rich criminals out of jail. There is a built-in conflict with the ideals of living a moral life.

    Yes, our system works this way. But America has come to worship money more and more; and the religious ideal of living by the laws of God or man has taken a back seat to the image of the American Dream, of making money, of being successful. Many Americans will choose illegal profits over moral poverty today -- I don't believe this has always been the case, certainly it was not at the founding of America. The combination of American Pragmatism (do what works), with the increasing worship of the wealth God, and the proliferation of the legal profession to keep rich criminals out of jail, has certainly made us a society of lawlessness.

    This was certainly not the vision of our founding fathers, that we would become a lawless society, with a legal system that works to protect the accused -- I know there are two sides to this issue -- while a rich ruling class of lawyers was suddenly being generated as a kind of accessory class for the use of organized crime.

    Washington is blessed/cursed with lawyers who write the nations laws in such a way so that their own expertise will always be needed by those attempting to evade tax laws, business laws, property laws, inheritance laws, and violent laws also. Most Americans dislike and disrespect lawyers. This is the reason. Americans know how and from whom lawyers make their money -- keeping criminals on the streets.
    Sep 25 09:39 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Long-Term Outlook - Bleak! [View article]
    Keu4bike:

    Here's an interesting article on how GDP measures (and encourages) waste, not growth.

    http://bit.ly/1t0NUlI
    Sep 25 07:43 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Long-Term Outlook - Bleak! [View article]
    GG Jr: I haven't been in a sit-in since I was 24, I think. You're right; I haven't run a business. I worked for a job for 30 years to take care of my family.

    I'm not really convinced that we are moving toward the centrally managed state. Well, not permanently. It is the direction we are going now, at this moment; this is true. I don't think that any such movement is inevitable. I think there is always a counter-movement as well. Counter-movements are not perfect either, but they change reality.
    Sep 24 09:18 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why I Agree With (Some Of) Friedrich Hayek [View article]
    A lot of interesting discussions on this page.
    Sep 24 08:15 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why I Agree With (Some Of) Friedrich Hayek [View article]
    Nicely done, Zellerpk.
    Sep 24 08:10 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why I Agree With (Some Of) Friedrich Hayek [View article]
    Interesting post, Skip. I agree. We are complex beings, not robots of a certain ideology. We are; therefore we think.
    Sep 24 01:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why I Agree With (Some Of) Friedrich Hayek [View article]
    I don't understand where this is coming from, Michael. Are you accusing me of anti-semitism, because I criticize ZIRP? Please show me any comment I have made that indicates I'm anti-Semitic. I've never seen racial slurs at Zero Hedge either; but I don't really read the comments there.

    I thought I was defending another Michael, Michael Santelli, from your intolerance. Too many Michael's I guess.
    Sep 24 01:12 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why I Agree With (Some Of) Friedrich Hayek [View article]
    I can visit both SA and ZH. Lose-Lose for everyone!
    Sep 24 01:06 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Long-Term Outlook - Bleak! [View article]
    Sorry, Labradoodle. You need to read a little deeper into the S&L crisis. The S&L crisis was a dry run for what happened in the 2001-2008 global banking crisis.

    "In his book, The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One, William Black describes in detail the complex network of collusion between bankers,
    regulators, and legislators that broughtabout the Savings and Loan Crisis of the 1980s. The author coins the word “control fraud” to denote a “wave of frauds led by men who control large corporations.”

    Control frauds are of special concern because the perpetrators of fraud gain control of the corporation (thereby subverting internal management mechanism that could have prevented the disaster), as well as its lawyers, accountants, lobbyists and through them legislators and regulators. As a lawyer working for the Federal Home Loan Bank Bo
    ard under Ronald Reagan, Black has an insider’s knowledge of many details not generally known. The participants and enablers
    included Charles Keating of Lincoln Savings, junk bond king Michael Milken, highly placedpoliticians such as former speaker Jim Wright
    (who was forced to resign in disgrace) as well as accounting conventions whose fraud friendly rules helped hide the true extent of the collapse for a long period. As bad banks were allowed to buy other banks, using phantom capital, a Ponzi scheme of immense proportions affected the S&L industry. Black makes it clear that a regulator, Edwin Grey, was partially effective in implementing regulations that ultimately revealed and stopped the frauds. Black argues that, without the regulatory
    response, and despite the interference that tempered the response, the systemic risk generated by the frauds would have spread
    through the economy and a global debacle not unlike the current global financial crisis might have taken place. Black’s real message is clear:
    in the aftermath of the S&L crisis he thought U.S. regulators had learned a lesson and would vigorously enforce anti-fraud regulations. But subsequently crises with similar causes occurred. His books and papers and subsequent events suggest that government and the regulators failed in their responsibility to protect the public from fraud and the financial risksthat accompany them...."

    Other reading:

    Criminal Activity Associated with S&L Failures

    Black, William, The Incidence and Cost of Fraud and Insider Abuse, Washington, DC: National Commission on Financial Institution Reform, Recovery and Enforcement, Staff Report No. 13, 1993.

    Calavita, Kitty, Pontell, Henry N., and Tillman, Robert H. Big Money Game: Fraud and Politics in the Savings and Loan Crisis, Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1997.

    Ettleson, Sherry and Thomas Hilliard, Crime and Punishment in the S&L Industry: The Bush Administration's Anemic War on S&L Fraud, Washington, DC: Public Citizen's Congress Watch, 1990.

    Failed Thrifts: Internal Control Weaknesses Create an Environment Conducive to Fraud, Insider Abuse, and Related Unsafe Practices, Washington, DC: U.S. General Accounting Office, 1989. T-AFMD-90-4.

    Gup, Benton, Bank Fraud: Exposing the Hidden Threat to Financial Institutions, Rolling Meadows, IL: Bankers Publishing Co., 1990.

    Mayer, Martin, The Greatest-Ever Bank Robbery: The Collapse of the Savings and Loan Industry, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1990.

    O'Shea, James, The Daisy Chain: How Borrowed Billions Sank a Texas S&L, New York: Pocket Books, 1991.

    Pilzer, Paul Z. and Robert Deitz, Other People's Money: The Inside Story of the S&L Mess, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1989.

    Pizzo, Stephen, Fricker, Mary and Paul Muolo, Inside Job: The Looting of America's Savings and Loans, New York: McGraw-Hill Publishing Co., 1989.

    The U.S Government's War Against Fraud, Abuse, and Misconduct in Financial Institutions: Winning Some Battles but Losing the War: Twenty-Ninth Report, Washington, DC: U.S. House of Representatives. Committee on Government Operations, Committee Report 101-982, 1990.

    Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, Issues Regarding the Role of Fraud and Other Criminal Misconduct in Causing Failures in the Thrift Industry, Washington, DC: National Commission on Financial Institution Reform, Recovery and Enforcement, Staff Report No. 14, 1993.

    Why S&L Crooks Have Failed to Pay Millions of Dollars in Court-Ordered Restitution: Nineteen Case Studies, Washington, DC: U.S. House of Representatives. Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs, Committee Print 102-11, 1992.

    "William Black Tackles the Savings and Loan Debacle," in Unsung Heroes: Federal Execucrats Making a Difference, pp. 22-63 by Norma M. Riccucci, Washington, DC, Georgetown University Press, 1995.

    Wilmsen, Steven K., Silverado: Neil Bush and the Savings and Loan Scandal, Washington, DC: National Press Books, 1991.

    Adams, James R., The Big Fix: Inside the S&L Scandal: How an Unholy Alliance of Politics and Money Destroyed America's Banking System, New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1990.

    Binstein, Michael and Charles Bowden, Trust Me: Charles Keating and the Missing Billions, New York: Random House, 1993.

    Calavita, Kitty, Pontell, Henry N., and Tillman, Robert H. Big Money Game: Fraud and Politics in the Savings and Loan Crisis, Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1997.

    Day, Kathleen, S&L Hell: The People and the Politics Behind the $1 Trillion Savings and Loan Scandal, New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1993.

    Mayer, Martin, The Greatest-Ever Bank Robbery: The Collapse of the Savings and Loan Industry, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1990.

    Pizzo, Stephen, Fricker, Mary and Paul Muolo, Inside Job: The Looting of America's Savings and Loans, New York: McGraw-Hill Publishing Co., 1989.

    Preliminary Inquiry Into Allegations Regarding Senators Cranston, DeConcini, Glenn, McCain, and Riegle and Lincoln Savings and Loan, hearings before the Senate Select Committee on Ethics, 101st Cong., 2nd Sess., Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1991.
    Sep 24 11:14 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why I Agree With (Some Of) Friedrich Hayek [View article]
    Can't answer all that here. I've been accused of being long-winded as it is.

    One thing I can say: where there are no ideals there is NO CHANCE of making a better world. America has learning to be practical, to live without ideals: and look where we are now. Pragmatism is the devil saying: "Don't worry about ideals. Whatever works. You need to be realistic, man."

    You accuse me of saying TARP and QE and ZIRP need to be replaced by NO ACTION BY THE FED? Have I said that? Read me more carefully. I said we needed higher interest rates in 2001, higher corporate taxes in 2001, and cuts in spending in 2001. Certainly not a lack of action by the FED.

    Fiscal solutions by governments around the world? Such as taking on the bad debts of the banks and corporations? Is that fiscal solution? Spending cuts and higher taxes are the fiscal solutions I would recommend. The argument, of course, is that Austerity will hurt, will cause pain, will end the party. Yes. I say the party lasts for 18 years, from 1983-2001. And then it ends. And we have to deal with the hangover.

    You think the world is good enough as it is. You want to defend the world as it is. It could be worse, true. Maybe it can be better also. I'm not the one who drove the Global Economy Train over the cliff. Your 'it's good enough" leadership did that. I think we can do better.

    How do we prevent environmental destruction? You think it's not possible? So it's better to stop trying?

    Defense of the status quo is just that. Things are good enough as they are. Don't rock the boat. Stop trying to improve the system. What if our engineers said that? Things are good enough as they are. We don't need to improve our products anymore. They're ok the way they are.

    If you have an imagination, you want to improve that which is not working. Our system is not working any longer. It is a dying old world that needs to be reborn with new ideas.
    Sep 24 10:56 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why I Agree With (Some Of) Friedrich Hayek [View article]
    Michael, do you really think there's no room for disagreement here? Let's not have everyone thinking the same at SA.
    Sep 24 10:43 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why I Agree With (Some Of) Friedrich Hayek [View article]
    Hard to tell where perception stops and bias starts.

    The problem is the dualism with which we are apparently cursed. And the ego of liking, demanding to be on the right side. If our perception is cursed because we only see 1/2 of the picture depending upon which side of the circle we are moving, then we must find a way to change our perception so that it encompasses both sides of this circle of living. Most people see out of one eye only, the right or the left eye; thus they see half the picture.

    The Soul sees both sides. But the left eye does not like the Soul because it sounds religious; and the right eye does not like the Soul too much because it looks weak and counsels non-violence.
    Sep 24 07:57 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why I Agree With (Some Of) Friedrich Hayek [View article]
    SKip, I say no to bailouts, TARP and QE and no also to caveat emptor, environmental destruction and wars for oil. Too much corruption in both Big Business and in Big Government. We need a new plan.
    Sep 24 07:47 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
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