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View Poll Results: I feel about the government's requirement to cut salaries...
The government should butt out 8 11.76%
I disagree with government intervention but it feels good 7 10.29%
I agree wholeheartedly 49 72.06%
Other/no opinion 4 5.88%
Voters: 68. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-25-2009, 09:35 AM   #41
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Our borders have never been invaded.
I take it you weren't at Pearl Harbor on 12/7/1941.
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Old 10-25-2009, 09:43 AM   #42
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I take it you weren't at Pearl Harbor on 12/7/1941.
September 2001?
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Old 10-25-2009, 09:58 AM   #43
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Along with direct regulation of pay packages at the bailed-out firms, the Fed is supposedly looking into pay at all banks.

Goldman Sachs is paying out $20 billion in bonuses. They pay bonuses out of revenues, not profits. And the bonus pool is over 50% of their revenues?

Andrew Ross Sorkin on a tour to tout his book says the culture of the street is that they consider themselves "survivors" like cancer survivors and feel entitled to the money.

GS has paid back the govt. but it turns out that they were on the brink of failure last year too. After Lehman, if AIG, Merrill Lynch and others were allowed to fail, GS eventually would have fallen too. It took equity investments by Buffet and others to restore confidence in GS and other firms.

Now, GS is very profitable but apparently, most of their recent profits have been from trading. They're not lending or financing ventures which would add to GDP output. They're essentially gambling, using cheap credit.
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Old 10-25-2009, 10:02 AM   #44
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I take it you weren't at Pearl Harbor on 12/7/1941.
According to some we're being invaded every day at the Mexican border.
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Old 10-25-2009, 10:23 AM   #45
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I take it you weren't at Pearl Harbor on 12/7/1941.
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September 2001?
Or February, 1993?

1993 World Trade Center bombing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The 1993 World Trade Center bombing occurred on February 26, 1993, when a car bomb was detonated below the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. The 1,500 lb (680 kg) urea nitrate–hydrogen gas enhanced device[1] was intended to knock the North Tower (Tower One) into the South Tower (Tower Two), bringing both towers down and killing thousands of people.[2][3] It failed to do so, but did kill six people and injured 1,042.
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Old 10-25-2009, 10:26 AM   #46
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September 2001?
That doesn't count, 'cause it was an inside job...
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Old 10-25-2009, 10:36 AM   #47
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Quote:
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I take it you weren't at Pearl Harbor on 12/7/1941.
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Originally Posted by RonBoyd View Post
September 2001?
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Or February, 1993?
Except I've never heard the term "invasion" being used to describe aerial bombardment of any kind or any other activity that doesn't involve ground forces attempting to take, and hold, land. Imagine my surprise to learn here today that Germany invaded Britain during the blitz, that the U.S. invaded Libya in 1986 and NATO invaded Bosnia in 1995.

But you're right. Government has zero value. It's easy to see that people are enjoying life so much more in places like Somalia where there is no functioning central government to cause such hardship. Poor us.
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Old 10-26-2009, 08:06 AM   #48
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Warren Buffett tackles bankers' bonuses

A somewhat misleading Headline but within there is this great quote:

Quote:
As my friend Bill Gates says, if I've been born in some different place or some different time I'd have been some animal's lunch. I'd have been running real fast, and the animal would have been chasing me and I'd say "I allocate capital" and the animal would say "well, those are the kind that taste the best".
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Old 10-26-2009, 09:05 AM   #49
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But you're right. Government has zero value.
Nobody said this, and I think people might appreciate it if you didn't put words in their mouths.
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Old 10-26-2009, 09:10 AM   #50
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I like this Buffett quote from the article:
Quote:
If 50 of us were on a ship and there was a shipwreck, we all swam to an island, we knew we'd never be rescued - and fortunately it was a fertile island so we could all plant rice and grow enough to take care of ourselves. We would not take the five smartest people out of the 50 and tell them "why don't you start trading rice futures and speculate among yourselves", and by the way we think that's so valuable we're going to give you the most money and probably a favourable tax rate on top of it. Hell no, we'd get everybody producing rice.
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Old 10-26-2009, 09:17 AM   #51
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Not only do the rice traders make the most money, they raise costs for everyone else.

That's what happened when oil ran up to $150 last year and that seems to be happening again as oil is up to $80. If the economy recovers, it may be dampened by the rise in the price of oil and that rise may be due mostly to speculation.
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Old 10-26-2009, 10:05 AM   #52
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Many good comments on this thread. I'll agree that limiting compensation is the "right thing to do" short term. None of these jobs would exist except for the fact that the taxpayers bailed out "the system". I expect that real "pay for performance" in many cases would have people repaying past bonuses, not getting new bonuses.

But, it's not an important part of the long term solution. IMO, MichaelB is on the right track:

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This is what happens when banking and investment businesses mix.

Risk taking businesses that invest for themselves and others should be allowed to keep the results as long as only their money is at risk and they can lose as well.

Banking businesses that intermediate should not be taking risks with other people’s money. If the bankers want the money they should find jobs in investment businesses and hedge funds.

The best and brightest never have and probably never will be bankers. They always have and probably always will be doctors, lawyers and scientists.

“The banks will lose their best people” is BS, pure and simple. If there is a market that screams for greater openness and more competition, it is the job market for highly compensated individuals in finance in the US. Not just banking folks either – start with CEOs that have created this mess.
We need to distinguish between investing with your own money and investing borrowed money. If you are investing your own money (or the pooled funds of a group, as in a mutual fund), you probably aren't creating external risks. But, if you are investing borrowed money, your failure can set off a chain reaction that does a lot of damage beyond your owners.

So we need regulation for any institution or group that borrows money to invest - this includes traditional deposit banking, some hedge funds, securitization, some types of insurance and probably a dozen more things. They all need some capital regulations, and probably some level of transparency. This type of regulation reduces short term profits, hence there is well-funded political opposition.

One thing that helps is splitting the businesses by function, as recommended by Paul Volcker. Another is keeping the borrow-to-lend institutions small enough that we can let them fail, as recommended by Alan Greenspan (after he discovered that markets aren't always perfect).

I'm afraid that things like this will get ignored and short term compensation limits will be a smokescreen to hide the fact that we're ignoring them.
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Old 10-26-2009, 12:20 PM   #53
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Except I've never heard the term "invasion" being used to describe aerial bombardment of any kind or any other activity that doesn't involve ground forces attempting to take, and hold, land. Imagine my surprise to learn here today that Germany invaded Britain during the blitz, that the U.S. invaded Libya in 1986 and NATO invaded Bosnia in 1995.
Googling "invaded airspace" OR "invading airspace" brings up many examples. So if planes invade air space, and drop bombs with no ground troops involved, isn't that an "invasion"?

From wiktionary (bold mine):

invasion (plural invasions)

1. A military action consisting of armed forces of one geopolitical entity entering territory controlled by another such entity, generally with the objective of conquering territory or altering the established government.


armed forces

1. The military forces of a nation, such as the army, navy, air force, marines and, sometimes, coast or border guards.


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Old 10-26-2009, 12:26 PM   #54
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Nobody said this, and I think people might appreciate it if you didn't put words in their mouths.
I'm certain those "people" can speak for themselves.

In my view, conservatives have a tendency to appoint industry lackeys to key positions, more or less letting the fox guard the henhouse. On the other hand, liberals tend to take the opposite tack, appointing academics, lawyers, or "activists" with little or no real world experience. Thus, we careen from ditch to ditch, like a drunk driver. And the uncertainty this causes creates even more opportunities for those who would take unfair advantage to do so...
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Old 10-26-2009, 12:39 PM   #55
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Nobody said this, and I think people might appreciate it if you didn't put words in their mouths.
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I'm certain those "people" can speak for themselves.
Well they *could*, but then the thread just gets derailed by the back-and-forth justifications, apologies, or whatever. I'm with ziggy, putting words in people's mouths does nothing to add to the discussion, and is typically (IMO) a sign that the "word putter's" stand is a weak one.

BTW, I agree with the second part of your post - "careen from ditch to ditch".

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Old 10-26-2009, 01:15 PM   #56
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Old 10-26-2009, 01:27 PM   #57
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The results of this poll greatly distress me. We are speaking of a government moving into areas of which they know little, throwing money at a solution to save the "system", which it most certainly has not done as will become evident over the coming years and indebting a populace with restrictions and rules that will ensure the money thrown at the solution will bankrupt the country as a whole.

The anger at having to do this is allowing the government extraordinary power over controlling the value of American labor and the products and services they provide. When the deficits balloon and the taxpayers revolt over the unreasonable pension contracts negotiated in flush times, I wonder if the same percentage here will agree with cutting those pensions as well?

Governments have not, will not and do not know what they are doing other than trying to placate the majority of the population for the short term goal of personal enrichment both of their ego's and pocketbook.

GM, Citicorp and Goldman Sachs all should be out of business, the future carnage of necesary funding of keeping these rotting corporate carcasses alive by government regulation is not going to smell pretty.
In this country there is a growing lack of respect for rules and individual responsibility and this trend is worsening, overwhelmingly individuals are learning how to work the system best to their advantage and look for the government to constantly change rules for their inidividual goals. Punishing the TARP company executives is just another manifestation of this process. Where was the outrage of former presidents making 2.1 million to yap to these esteemed executives prior to the collapse?
CNSNews.com - Struggling Banks Paid President Clinton $2.1 million for ‘Speeches’

The amount that is made by the TARP executives is inconsequential, the decisions the TARP executives make are very important. To have them beholden to a current government administration is a very bad idea.
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Old 10-26-2009, 03:24 PM   #58
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If those companies, especially GS, all fell, do you think anything else would have been left standing?

Andrew Ross Sorkin says GE would have been vulnerable too.
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Old 10-26-2009, 04:18 PM   #59
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The amount that is made by the TARP executives is inconsequential, the decisions the TARP executives make are very important. To have them beholden to a current government administration is a very bad idea.
The amount made by “TAPR executives” is quite consequential – as they are (again) being rewarded for profits derived from taking risks with taxpayer money. There may be half a dozen people that really “earn” these levels of pay – the rest have a tight grasp on a fantastic gravy train. 200 years ago this was called “pirating, plundering and pillaging”. Now we side with the pirates.

Keep in mind – these banks are now making money by 1) borrowing fed dollars at almost zero rates, 2) paying less than 1% on call deposits, 3) investing in corporate bonds paying 4-7%, 4) trading (bonds, currencies, commodities, derivatives), and 5) revaluing all the lousy investments still on their books. Lending to business and consumers is down sharply. The fact that they are trading with 1) taxpayer money and 2) depositor (not investor) money should give everyone here chills.

If they don’t want to be controlled, let them pay back the money and increase their capital ratios. Then they are free to go and do again all the dumb things they did before. The hedge fund business is booming and the fees, although falling, are still attractive. Why aren't these superior financial beings relocating to the hedge fund world?
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Old 10-26-2009, 04:19 PM   #60
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If they don’t want to be controlled, let them pay back the money
Some of them have tried but the government wouldn't let them.
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