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View Poll Results: Do you support the Paulson Bailout as it currently stands
Yes 49 33.33%
No 71 48.30%
Unsure 26 17.69%
No opinion 1 0.68%
Voters: 147. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-28-2008, 09:50 PM   #81
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I wonder if perhaps there's something "extra" in this Kool-Aid they are dishing out to the masses. I can't say for sure as I haven't drank any of it yet.
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Old 09-28-2008, 09:53 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by Texarkandy View Post
I wonder if perhaps there's something "extra" in this Kool-Aid they are dishing out to the masses. I can't say for sure as I haven't drank any of it yet.
Its real good mixed with bourbon and the blood of dead Iraqi civilians.
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Old 09-28-2008, 10:20 PM   #83
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I think I'll just have the bourbon straight-up, thank you.
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Do I support the Paulson bailout?
Old 09-29-2008, 09:37 AM   #84
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Do I support the Paulson bailout?

I think we will all be supporting the Paulson bailout, and for a long time.

Ha
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Old 09-29-2008, 09:46 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by . . . Yrs to Go View Post
How does the government screen the million of applications to prevent fraud (e.g. FEMA debit cards)? How does the government audit millions of accounts to make sure they are set up and used properly? How does the banking system set up and administer millions of special accounts were nothing of its kind currently exists? How are millions of homeowners educated about the program? These are not small problems.

I agree a reverse auction has logistical challenges of its own. But the auction structure is somewhat "off the shelf" having been used for different purposes over a very long period of time.
1) The same way we screen millions of EITC applications - devise a form that has a series of questions. You fill it out and sign it.
2) Just like EITC - audit a sample, pursue those that look bad. Decide how many more to audit based on the percent of bad cases in the sample.
3) The accounts are ordinary checking accounts with banks. The only special rule is that you can only write checks to one payee. My bank already prints blank checks for its "money market savings accounts" while you wait. They could easily print the checks with the payee line already filled in. This looks simpler than a standard tax/insurance escrow account to me.
4) The banks want the checking accounts. Within a week after the bill is passed, I'd expect TV ads promoting the bank's services in helping people determine whether they qualify and helping to fill out the forms.

I assume there will be some fraud, there is some in any big program. I also assume there will be some "excesses" somewhere in the auction system - maybe related to fees that consultants or agents get as part of the program. Maybe someone who made millions by giving private investors bad advice will get millions in fees from the gov't for helping to clean up the mess.

Note that the simple auction you described only works if the gov't limits it to one tranche from one pool. I think Paulson is already concerned that he won't get enough bidders for a one-security auction. I'm thinking there will have to be many auctions to get up to $700 billion. If you try to combine different securities in one auction, you need advisers who can evaluate them, and that gets complex and expensive.
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Old 09-29-2008, 10:25 AM   #86
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A good article in the weekend Financial Times: Christopher Caldwell - Reality dawns in real estate.

Quote:
Few Americans are innocent of the cardinal sins of this crisis: extravagance, leverage and complexity. The high-rollers who ran the banks have made a terrible mess. But the common man, had he been given a bank of his own, would have responded in the same way. We know this because, in effect, Americans were given banks of their own: their houses. Thanks in large part to tax laws that allow homeowners to deduct the interest on their mortgages, homes became investment engines rickety ones.
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Old 09-29-2008, 11:24 AM   #87
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If the market contiues like it has so far today, I won't have anything left to support the bailout with!

ha
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Old 09-29-2008, 12:51 PM   #88
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Last night, I was watching on Swiss TV an interview of the former chief analyst for the BNS (the Swiss central bank). He talked about the bailout package. He has no chip in the "bailout" game so I value his opinion.

I could have translated the whole interview (in French), but I am too lazy so I will paraphrase him:

He said the global banking system is going through a confidence crisis and that banks are having a difficult time recapitalizing themselves which creates fear of a collapse of the financial system. Bad debts on banks' balance sheets are only part of the problem. The confidence crisis is the most pressing issue right now.

He said that it is important that the political and financial systems be proactive to tackle the crisis and restore confidence in the system.

He was not very concerned about the immediate inflationary effect of the bailout because it is not financed by cranking up the money-printing machine but rather by the emission of bonds which are "very much in demand". So we are not creating new money, it is merely changing hands at the present time.

He doesn't seem overly concerned either about the effect of the bailout on the long term balance sheet of the US. He pointed out that, even if the bailout is approved, the debt to GDP ratio for the US, though on the high side, is still reasonable compared to many developed countries around the world, especially if you consider that Japan, a nation of savers, has a debt to GDP ratio twice as high as ours. He thinks that there is indeed more than enough room for a second large bailout package if needed.
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Old 09-29-2008, 02:14 PM   #89
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Funny thing OUR poll - pretty close to the actual vote.
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Old 09-29-2008, 03:33 PM   #90
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If the market contiues like it has so far today, I won't have anything left to support the bailout with!
ha
Ouch! Uncle, uncle -- I give up. Changing my vote from undecided to yes.
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Old 09-29-2008, 04:08 PM   #91
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Those hold-out politicians are playing with fire, and investors everywhere are going to get burned.

Worth reading: It happened once. Could it happen again?.
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Old 09-29-2008, 04:22 PM   #92
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Hmmm, what did H.L. Mencken say: "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public." That might not be true these days. As I said before, the Administration did a poor job in educating the American public about what is at stake. I guess I get a little alarmed when the leading economist on the American Depression, Fed Chairman Bernanke, tells our public officials that this is a very grave situation and, given the information he knows about credit and the banking industry, that it's incumbent that there be an immediate injection of liquidity into the system or we face the peril of a major recession and a lock and perhaps a panic on credit.

You can discount Paulson, you can discount the politicians, but I think Bernanke is dead serious about things, and he is supposed to be our Central Banker.
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Old 09-29-2008, 04:40 PM   #93
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it would have been fun to have a timeline running alongside that poll.

before the vote: no.

after the vote: yes.

edit: oops, sorry, hadn't seen jb's post.
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