Thursday, 11/24/11, Public Square

Thanksgiving Day comes by statute once a year, to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.


Filed under The Public Square

25 responses to “Thursday, 11/24/11, Public Square

  1. I hope everyone has someone to love, is loved by someone, and has an abundance to be thankful for. If anyone needs company consider yourself invited here! Everyone who enters the door gives me one more reason to be thankful!

  2. badbiker

    Wishing you and yours a blessed Thanksgiving. May you eat, drink and be merry with friends, family or even complete strangers, and enjoy the blessings of the day.

    Remember, a turkey has died so that you can have sandwiches tomorrow!

    Go Lions!

  3. Freedomwriter

    Today I am thankful for all those citizens who are standing up for Democracy. They are today’s heroes protecting the erosion of those freedoms we each were granted under the Constitution. Our greatest enemies are not found on foreign shores, but are those here at home who fail to treat their neighbor as their brother and those who use their power and their money to exercise undue influence over others.

    Thank you to all those who take the risk to question and challenge, because they are protecting Democracy for all of us.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, because you are among those citizens who have shaken off apathy and fear and have chosen to speak out on issues that concern you. Have a glorious day!

    • Freebird1971

      I’m thankful for those that are able to put politics aside and simply enjoy life even for just one day.

      • Why is thanking those who are fighting for Democracy not being able to put politics aside for one day?

        Is Democracy something like religion – people only need to to take it out and show it off when there is a crowd to impress?

        Freedom of speech is one of the basic guaranteed rights as an American – and Freedomwriter was simply exercising that right.

        For that – we should be grateful because there may come a day – sooner than we think – that our basic guaranteed rights are no longer there for us to enjoy.

        You know, you could have just ignored this comment rather than putting it a big red target on it because you wanted to make a Conservative Republican point.

      • Freebird1971

        Conservative Republican? LMAO Best wishes to you and yours

      • Yes, Conservative Republicans always like to point out the fault of others…or didn’t you get that memo?

        This is what the Evangelical Religious Right Republicans have brought the GOP down to…….pettiness.

      • You know, Freebird, I suspect you enjoy our little tit-for-tat about politics as much as I enjoy them. LMAO

        But bottom line – we both want our country to be the best we can be. Sometimes we just go about it in different ways.

        Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, as well.

        Don’t eat too much Turkey……LOL

    • Freebird1971

      I do admit I enjoy them and would love to sit down and have a cup of coffee with you some time.

  4. Freebird1971

    Happy Thanksgiving to all may you be surrounded by those you love and those who love you.

  5. A humorous and thoughtful look at an encounter with the medical profession:

    namely the video linked in the Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone piece.

    I may be putting words into your mouth, indy, but I think both of us agree with the sentiment expressed at the end of the monologue (I wish I could find as much humor as he does).

    Hoping each and all of you have had a glorious Thanksgiving today.


    Eat, drink and be merry 🙂

  7. For reasons I won’t elaborate upon, Thanksgiving is a rough time for me (although it’s getting better). The above was released when my wife and I began “serious” dating, and I would play it every time we would be out, if it was on the jukebox.

  8. Lest We Forget: Why We Had A Financial Crisis

    The story of the 2008 financial crisis

    So let’s recap the basic facts: why did we have a financial crisis in 2008? Barry Ritholtz fills us in on the history with an excellent series of articles in the Washington Post:

    In 1998, banks got the green light to gamble: The Glass-Steagall legislation, which separated regular banks and investment banks was repealed in 1998. This allowed banks, whose deposits were guaranteed by the FDIC, i.e. the government, to engage in highly risky business.

    Low interest rates fueled an apparent boom: Following the dot-com bust in 2000, the Federal Reserve dropped rates to 1 percent and kept them there for an extended period. This caused a spiral in anything priced in dollars (i.e., oil, gold) or credit (i.e., housing) or liquidity driven (i.e., stocks).

    Asset managers sought new ways to make money: Low rates meant asset managers could no longer get decent yields from municipal bonds or Treasurys. Instead, they turned to high-yield mortgage-backed securities.

    The credit rating agencies gave their blessing: The credit ratings agencies — Moody’s, S&P and Fitch had placed an AAA rating on these junk securities, claiming they were as safe as U.S. Treasurys.

    Fund managers didn’t do their homework: Fund managers relied on the ratings of the credit rating agencies and failed to do adequate due diligence before buying them and did not understand these instruments or the risk involved.

    Derivatives were unregulated: Derivatives had become a uniquely unregulated financial instrument. They are exempt from all oversight, counter-party disclosure, exchange listing requirements, state insurance supervision and, most important, reserve requirements. This allowed AIG to write $3 trillion in derivatives while reserving precisely zero dollars against future claims.

    The SEC loosened capital requirements: In 2004, the Securities and Exchange Commission changed the leverage rules for just five Wall Street banks. This exemption replaced the 1977 net capitalization rule’s 12-to-1 leverage limit. This allowed unlimited leverage for Goldman Sachs [GS], Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch (now part of Bank of America [BAC]), Lehman Brothers (now defunct) and Bear Stearns (now part of JPMorganChase–[JPM]). These banks ramped leverage to 20-, 30-, even 40-to-1. Extreme leverage left little room for error. By 2008, only two of the five banks had survived, and those two did so with the help of the bailout.

    The federal government overrode anti-predatory state laws: In 2004, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency federally preempted state laws regulating mortgage credit and national banks, including anti-predatory lending laws on their books (along with lower defaults and foreclosure rates). Following this change, national lenders sold increasingly risky loan products in those states. Shortly after, their default and foreclosure rates increased markedly.

    Compensation schemes encouraged gambling: Wall Street’s compensation system was—and still is—based on short-term performance, all upside and no downside. This creates incentives to take excessive risks. The bonuses are extraordinarily large and they continue–$135 billion in 2010 for the 25 largest institutions and that is after the meltdown.

    Wall Street became “creative”: The demand for higher-yielding paper led Wall Street to begin bundling mortgages. The highest yielding were subprime mortgages. This market was dominated by non-bank originators exempt from most regulations.

    Private sector lenders fed the demand: These mortgage originators’ lend-to-sell-to-securitizers model had them holding mortgages for a very short period. This allowed them to relax underwriting standards, abdicating traditional lending metrics such as income, credit rating, debt-service history and loan-to-value.

    Financial gadgets milked the market: “Innovative” mortgage products were developed to reach more subprime borrowers. These include 2/28 adjustable-rate mortgages, interest-only loans, piggy-bank mortgages (simultaneous underlying mortgage and home-equity lines) and the notorious negative amortization loans (borrower’s indebtedness goes up each month). These mortgages defaulted in vastly disproportionate numbers to traditional 30-year fixed mortgages.

    Commercial banks jumped in: To keep up with these newfangled originators, traditional banks jumped into the game. Employees were compensated on the basis loan volume, not quality.

    Derivatives exploded uncontrollably: CDOs provided the first “infinite market”; at height of crash, derivatives accounted for 3 times global economy.

    The boom and bust went global: Proponents of the Big Lie ignore the worldwide nature of the housing boom and bust. A McKinsey Global Institute report noted “from 2000 through 2007, a remarkable run-up in global home prices occurred.”

    Fannie and Freddie jumped in the game late to protect their profits: Nonbank mortgage underwriting exploded from 2001 to 2007, along with the private label securitization market, which eclipsed Fannie and Freddie during the boom. The vast majority of subprime mortgages — the loans at the heart of the global crisis — were underwritten by unregulated private firms. These were lenders who sold the bulk of their mortgages to Wall Street, not to Fannie or Freddie. Indeed, these firms had no deposits, so they were not under the jurisdiction of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp or the Office of Thrift Supervision.

    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac market share declined: The relative market share of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac dropped from a high of 57 percent of all new mortgage originations in 2003, down to 37 percent as the bubble was developing in 2005-06. More than 84 percent of the subprime mortgages in 2006 were issued by private lending institutions. The government-sponsored enterprises were concerned with the loss of market share to these private lenders — Fannie and Freddie were chasing profits, not trying to meet low-income lending goals.

    It was primarily private lenders who relaxed standards: Private lenders not subject to congressional regulations collapsed lending standards. the GSEs. Conforming mortgages had rules that were less profitable than the newfangled loans. Private securitizers — competitors of Fannie and Freddie — grew from 10 percent of the market in 2002 to nearly 40 percent in 2006. As a percentage of all mortgage-backed securities, private securitization grew from 23 percent in 2003 to 56 percent in 2006.

    more —

  9. After all, it is definitely their fault they’re poor! Ask any republican!