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Nalvaros
I just watched Michael Moore's movie Capitalism: A Love Story... and thought it distorted the truth (whether out of ignorance or genuine intent) to the point that it was some sort of ghastly caricature of a documentary.

While the movie did raise a number of interesting points, the vast majority of the movie seemed like it was jumping randomly from point to point without any real clear purpose beyond somehow trying to demonise a vague concept of "capitalism", and blaming all the ills of the world on it. One moment its talking about people being evicted from homes, the next its talking about how terrible it is that congress passed the bailout bill, and that is supposed to lead us to the conclusion.... that capitalism is evil? Oh, and throw in a couple of scenes with people denouncing capitalism as evil.

Whats more, I had trouble pinpointing exactly what the movie was championing to replacing capitalism. One moment, its going on about a company where the employees are owners and have a direct say in management decisions, the next its talking about how democracy will solve the problem. How exactly will democracy solve the problem? (Isn't the US already democratic in nature? Should it become more democratic by having direct votes on everything instead of representatives?)

It raises a case study of a window company called Republic, which apparently ran out of money when the Bank of America cut its funding and therefore couldn't pay its employees - one of many companies across the world in a similar situation I'm sure. Now, don't get me wrong because I sympathise with the employees and they have every right to the money they didn't get, but its not like the company was sitting on a pile of money and decided not to give the employees their pay. If the company doesn't have money, it doesn't have money and going "on strike" (usually) doesn't exactly help - I mean, whats the company supposed to do? Wave a wand? Sure, the management probably made some bad decisions - and the company is paying for it. But again, generally speaking how is going on strike/barricading the factory going to help?

And then it blasts the banks and the bailout. Yes, the banks which cut funding to companies just like Republic which in turn led to people losing jobs. Please note the chain of consequences here.

Bank cuts funding -> Company can't function -> Company closes down -> People lose jobs

So, in the middle of this crisis, with banks on the verge of collapse left right and center, the bailout bill finally gets passed to stop banks from collapsing. But this gets blasted as being a terrible, terrible thing. Would it be better if the banks collapsed? Should we go through the chain of consequence?

Bank collapses -> Bank can't provide funding -> Company can't function -> Company closes down -> People lose jobs

First the movie pulls on the heartstrings with people losing jobs..... and then it says we should make people lose jobs? Huh?

Then there are the distortions of truth, with hints that companies take life insurance out on its employees so that it can kill them to make a profit, and suggestions that in Europe and Japan everyone has a right to a job and a house, and thinly veiled suggestions that in fact, unions are responsible for Japan's economic success (What!?).

I guess if you didn't know any better, the points raised in the movie would probably cause some alarm and shock, but if you know anything about any of the subjects the film touched on, it was painful to sit through what seems like outrage manufactured from sheer ignorance.

This movie represents two "First times". Its the first time I've ever sat through a movie, where walking out of it halfway was a plausible thought. Its also the first time I've ever come out of a movie thinking "I want my money back".

miltonfriedman
the movie was a good cathartic experience, just like the rest of Moore's films and books. Don't overthink it. And compare to other crap out there, the docudrama was pretty good in comparison.
Bar-Aram
QUOTE (Nalvaros @ Nov 12 2009, 06:01 PM) *
I just watched Michael Moore's movie Capitalism: A Love Story... and thought it distorted the truth


Wow, that must be the first time he does that, like ever...
purvisxiii
Hyperbole in the field of advocacy journalism is neither new nor noteworthy. Some people enjoy afflicting the comfortable and comforting the afflicted, some don't. Tastes differ. But expecting Objective Truth simply because there's no Advocacy Journalism section in the video store (or category at the Academy Awards) is about as fruitful and satisfying as expecting rational logic on AM radio.
Bayesian methodology
Haven't seen it but from what I've read it seems like he isn't bashing free market capitalism at all. TARP and the juvenile detention thing could not have happened but for government involvement.
Skunk
I oddly agree with Bayesian methodology here. The problem isn't with Adam Smith style free market capitalism it is with the current American system where by the government essentially allows large banks to receive huge subsidies from the taxpayers. Also in the American system financial crime, is simply not regulated, the SEC is totally toothless and people like Stephen Friedman who should be in jail are allowed to not only walk free but get government posts. These fuckers couldn't even catch madoff even though markopolis sent them memos doing all the work for them and showing exactly how Madoff's hedge fund was a ponzi scheme.

Considering Nalvalros is the idiot who actually claimed Goldman Sachs was forced by the government to take bailout money, I really have no respect for anything he says and his negative opinion of the movie makes me want to see it more.
Bayesian methodology
QUOTE (Skunk @ Nov 12 2009, 09:35 PM) *
I oddly agree with Bayesian methodology here. The problem isn't with Adam Smith style free market capitalism it is with the current American system where by the government essentially allows large banks to receive huge subsidies from the taxpayers.


And Congress will continue to allow unelected assholes at the Federal Reserve to give billions of our dollars to their banker buttbuddies without adequate transparency. Not really odd that you agree with me here. People from all over the political spectrum are pissed about this bullshit.
Telum
QUOTE (Nalvaros @ Nov 12 2009, 12:01 PM) *
I just watched Michael Moore's movie Capitalism: A Love Story... and thought it distorted the truth (whether out of ignorance or genuine intent) to the point that it was some sort of ghastly caricature of a documentary.


I could have told you that based only on the fact that Michael Moore made it.
Nalvaros
A couple of points of note:

QUOTE
Hyperbole in the field of advocacy journalism is neither new nor noteworthy.


That may be true, but there is "hyperbole", and then there is "on a different planet". Perhaps you're just watched many more "documentaries" of this nature, but I personally expected a much higher factual caliber than was present here.

QUOTE
Haven't seen it but from what I've read it seems like he isn't bashing free market capitalism at all


I guess there could be several perspectives on what exactly he was trying to bash given he was rather scattergun in his approach. I personally thought the 5-10 mins or so of the film he dedicated to filming a succession of people saying "capitalism is evil" (Yes, literally those words - or at least variants thereof) was his way of making capitalism the boogeyman.

QUOTE
Considering Nalvalros is the idiot who actually claimed Goldman Sachs was forced by the government to take bailout money, I really have no respect for anything he says and his negative opinion of the movie makes me want to see it more.

Are you still on about this? I don't really know what else I can say say on this topic if you're taking it as a sacrosanct article of faith that I am wrong.

I mean, I could link you to sites displaying the actual memos stating the facts as I have stated them (see here: http://www.judicialwatch.org/news/2009/may...lout-documents), and I can link you to multiple other sites which corroborate this:

http://www.reportonamerica.com/2009/04/did...ks-to-take.html
http://www.businessinsider.com/uncovered-t...the-cash-2009-5
http://www.scholarsandrogues.com/2008/11/2...o-take-bailout/
http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=94689...ctionid=3510203

But of course, I can one can only lead the horse to the water..... can't force it drink. I could discuss reasons for why the Treasury did what it did, but I believe I already did that last time. If you want to ignore the facts and call me an idiot.... well whatever gets you to sleep at night.

Also, by all means go and watch the movie. In fact, I'd suggest you go and watch it at least 10 times, because that way you can spite me 10 times as much! If you're feeling extra enthusiastic, you could even watch it 100 times! If you do this, you may somehow boost the ratings of the movie enough that other people are encouraged to watch it. Also, you'll feel 100 times better. Really.
Skunk
QUOTE (Nalvaros @ Nov 13 2009, 09:13 AM) *
Are you still on about this? I don't really know what else I can say say on this topic if you're taking it as a sacrosanct article of faith that I am wrong.

I mean, I could link you to sites displaying the actual memos stating the facts as I have stated them (see here: http://www.judicialwatch.org/news/2009/may...lout-documents), and I can link you to multiple other sites which corroborate this:


Your link doesn't work.

QUOTE


So these are your sources? Judge Napolitano, a man who support alex jones, business insider written by joe weisenthal, a man caught using sockpuppet tactics against his critics. And is basically Goldman's pravda and I'm literally laughing, the propaganda arm of the Iranian regime. What's next your going to cite Al-Qeada?

Let me ask you this, do the government also force goldman sachs to transform into a commercial bank? Because when TARP was first instituted, only commercial banks qualified. Goldman as a investment bank didn't qualify. So I suppose Goldman was forced into becoming a commercial bank to?/ In reality the government should have told the to fuck off with their request to get more taxpayer money, but the federal reserve (run by Stephen Friedman, an economic criminal) gave goldman a special waver just so they could receive taxpayer money from the government.

And in case you really do believe your alex jones style conspiracy. Both banks said they requested the change in their status

So let me ask again, is it your contention that the government forced goldman sachs to take money from tarp. If yes, did they force goldman sachs to change into a commercial bank as well, because Goldman says they willingly changed into a commercial bank, and if they hadn't done that they wouldn't have been able to get any TARP money.

QUOTE
Also, by all means go and watch the movie. In fact, I'd suggest you go and watch it at least 10 times, because that way you can spite me 10 times as much! If you're feeling extra enthusiastic, you could even watch it 100 times! If you do this, you may somehow boost the ratings of the movie enough that other people are encouraged to watch it. Also, you'll feel 100 times better. Really.


I wouldn't go a to a film to spite you. I simply feel that your endorsement of any movie regarding finance would naturally be the inverse of how much sense the movie makes, because you actually believe goldman sachs was forced to recieve taxpayer money, and you quote press tv, Iran's propaganda arm to prove it.

Edit: Removed flames
Nalvaros
QUOTE
Your link doesn't work.


So google it? It takes all of about 3 seconds.

QUOTE
So these are your sources? Judge Napolitano, a man who support alex jones, business insider written by joe weisenthal, a man caught using sockpuppet tactics against his critics. And is basically Goldman's pravda and I'm literally laughing, the propaganda arm of the Iranian regime. What's next your going to cite Al-Qeada?

Ah yes, a sure sign of reasoned thought: Attacking the source instead of the content. Have you actually bothered to go through the *content*? Let me put this in clearer terms since it is abundantly clear you didn't quite get past attacking the source. Are you claiming that the memos scanned and displayed on the site(s) are fabricated?

Edit: Also to raise a point relating to sources, as I'm sure everyone must have figured out by now, I along with anyone else who goes off to provide links in support of their argument will consult google and throw in the first x number of pages that comes up against whatever terms we searched. I give you links to provide you with basic facts, not to win academic awards and I certainly don't go to the effort of filtering out data sources based on what I think your prejudices may be. If you want better information/sources, perhaps you should search for it yourself instead of expecting it on a silver platter.

QUOTE
Because when TARP was first instituted, only commercial banks qualified. Goldman as a investment bank didn't qualify. So I suppose Goldman was forced into becoming a commercial bank to?/ In reality the government should have told the to fuck off with their request to get more taxpayer money, but the federal reserve (run by Stephen Friedman, an economic criminal) gave goldman a special waver just so they could receive taxpayer money from the government.


And here we go down the garden path onto..... fantasy land, where history is rewritten for the express purpose of making ourselves right. This comment not only exposes the depth of your ignorance (because if you had the slightest scrap of understanding as to what TARP was intended to address and how, you'd see how ridiculous your statement is), but the extent of your irrationality.

Fact #1: TARP was not only for "commercial banks". Please. Given how deeply the crisis affected investment banks, it would be ludicrous to create a program that excluded the investment banks. You're so quick to slap labels onto me, and yet it is clear that you put so little thought into creating a coherent framework of understanding. This is you diving headlong into intellectual bankruptcy, except you don't seem to realise you're bankrupt.

Fact #2: The investment banks changed to bank holding companies in order to gain access to the Federal Reserve discount window (which for a period during the crisis, had extraordinary terms applied in order to help banks through). It is this discount window that is only accessible by bank holding companies. Yes, the investment banks applied to change into bank holding companies. So what? Does this somehow change the central fact of our discussion that the banks were forced to accept money from the government whether they wanted it or not?

Fact #3: Contrary to popular belief, name calling and swearing does not infact make you look smarter. Nor does it make any contribution whatsoever to your argument. Nor does it make you more convincing. And it certainly isn't going to make me (or any rational person reading your post) more inclined to view your diatribe favourably. Indeed, I would venture a guess that when so many pejoratives are used in what should be a rational discussion, the author cannot but help looking like a raving lunatic.

Also, despite your ranting and raving about how stupid I am, it doesn't seem to have occurred to you that I a mod here. Yeah, very smart there. While I generally try to prevent a perception of bias by being particularly lenient when people are throwing crap at me, you have gone alittle too far, so I have cleaned your post up somewhat. Please avoid any further namecalling/other unproductive comments.

Friendly Hint: If you are going to engage in name calling (in the appropriate forum - Flame Wars - I'm sure), particularly revolving around intelligence, it could be wise to avoid spelling errors and grammatical mistakes.
miltonfriedman
QUOTE
Let me ask you this, do the government also force goldman sachs to transform into a commercial bank? Because when TARP was first instituted, only commercial banks qualified. Goldman as a investment bank didn't qualify. So I suppose Goldman was forced into becoming a commercial bank to?/ In reality the government should have told the to fuck off with their request to get more taxpayer money, but the federal reserve (run by Stephen Friedman, an economic criminal) gave goldman a special waver just so they could receive taxpayer money from the government.


This is such a shrill and I am disappointed to see Skunk is associated with this. Why do you continue to single out GS and why should it not try to protect itself from potential default?

Also, Stephen Friedman runs the Federal Reserve? He runs a branch, yes, but he does not run the Federal Reserve. Furthermore, neither you nor BM are able to separate investment activities from banking activities now. What does Madoff and SEC has anything to do with Federal Reserve?

Honestly, this level of shrill should be tempered as the Congress is trying to strip away the regulatory independence of Fed.
Skunk
Wow, your even more retarded than thor.

First of all in our previous thread, you started off by calling me a ignorant savage. Now, I didn't whine about that, because honestly I don't give a shit about what type of language corporate boot lickers like yourself use. Feel free to call me anything you want. But don't act like a pretentious douche bag when called on your idiocy, with "I'm a mod here don't insult me" Don't insult other people's intelligence if you can't take it yourself. It's really lame of you to insult people in one thread, and then whine when they insult you back in a previous thread.

Second, your sources are there to prove your point. If your to stupid to find working links, or find links written by known sockpuppeteers and propaganda outlets of totalitarian states, that is your own fault, and it shows the lack of credibility of your argument. I'm not going to google articles that you yourself are to dumb to find.

QUOTE
TARP was not only for "commercial banks". Please. Given how deeply the crisis affected investment banks, it would be ludicrous to create a program that excluded the investment banks. You're so quick to slap labels onto me, and yet it is clear that you put so little thought into creating a coherent framework of understanding. This is you diving headlong into intellectual bankruptcy, except you don't seem to realise you're bankrupt.


Evidence please. name one investment bank that has received tarp funds. You can't. Morgan and Goldman both converted to commercial banks prior to receiving tarp funds, and had they not done that they would not have received any.

QUOTE
Fact #2: The investment banks changed to bank holding companies in order to gain access to the Federal Reserve discount window (which for a period during the crisis, had extraordinary terms applied in order to help banks through). It is this discount window that is only accessible by bank holding companies. Yes, the investment banks applied to change into bank holding companies. So what? Does this somehow change the central fact of our discussion that the banks were forced to accept money from the government whether they wanted it or not?


This is laughable. Many banks didn't take TARP, and they are doing better now. Why weren't they forced to take it? But since your admitting that goldman sachs changed into a commercial bank in order to receive benefits from the government, are you still going to argue the government forced them to receive these benefits? So according to you goldman sachs changed into a commercial bank to take advantage of a government funding, but then was forced to receive funding later? Is that your current time line of your lunatic narrative.
Skunk
QUOTE (miltonfriedman @ Nov 13 2009, 11:41 AM) *
Also, Stephen Friedman runs the Federal Reserve? He runs a branch, yes, but he does not run the Federal Reserve. Furthermore, neither you nor BM are able to separate investment activities from banking activities now. What does Madoff and SEC has anything to do with Federal Reserve?


Madoff and the SEC have nothing to do with the federal reserve. The larger point is because the SEC is run by people who come straight out of goldman sachs. (the chief operation officer at the SEC, Adam Storch is a former goldmanite) it simply does not prosecute financial crime and as a result Madoff was never caught. If the SEC were run by people actually interested in enforcement instead of Storch Friedman would currently be in jail, as what he did was just as bad as Raj Rajaratnam (who was arressted by the FBI, because the SEC is run by goldmanites who do nothing)

Good blog post on what friedman is guilty of:

It’s kind of amazing that with all the uproar over the Galleon business, nobody is making much hay over the recent revelations about the AIG bailouts, which make former Goldman chief and former New York Fed chairman Stephen Friedman look every bit as guilty of insider machinations as Raj Rajaratnam of the Galleon fund.

It’s impossible to grasp the totality of Friedman/Goldman’s grossness with regard to the AIG story without a little context. Remember the basic timeline. In the middle of the mortgage bubble, Goldman Sachs found a patsy-buffoon named Joe Cassano at a little corner of AIG called AIG Financial Products, or AIGFP. Cassano was recklessly writing hundreds of billions of dollars worth of credit default swaps for banks like Goldman and Deutsche, essentially insuring certain investments for these banks, including extremely risky mortgage-backed deals.

Goldman took out billions of these CDS positions with Cassano, who had written upwards of $440 billion of these CDS without having even a fraction of the money he would have needed to cover that bet in the event of a disaster of the type that actually ended up taking place, specifically a downgrade of AIG’s credit rating that forced Cassano to pony up wads of cash to cover those positions.

The important thing to remember about all of this is that just because Goldman was buying “insurance” from Cassano, that doesn’t mean they were being responsible. On the contrary: Goldman was creating well over ten billion dollars worth of exposure to a guy that they must have known was an absolute idiot. Now, in a world where actual capitalism existed, Goldman should then have been highly invested in making sure that AIG did not go under. A dead and bankrupt AIG should not have been good news to a company like Goldman Sachs, which had billions of dollars riding on AIG’s financial health.

But if anything Goldman behaved throughout the runup to AIG’s collapse like it couldn’t care less if the company died. In fact Goldman accelerated AIG’s demise by making margin calls against AIG, for both the CDS deals and for deals it had done with Win Neuger, who was running AIG’s securities lending business. What really sank AIG was the fact that the downgrade of its credit rating permitted companies like Goldman to demand large sums of money from AIG in the form of these margin calls, and AIG could not get its hands on enough cash to meet its demands, resulting in the death spiral situation we all witnessed last September. Of all the firms making such demands against AIG, Goldman was the most aggressive (I have more on this coming out in a forthcoming book) and my sources who were involved in the AIG bailout bunker scene of a year ago almost to a man report that Goldman and its chief Lloyd Blankfein took an extremely hard line with AIG.

Why would it act like that? Well, in a normal capitalistic situation, it wouldn’t. But Goldman, it turned out, had an ace in the hole. It seems that when the state stepped in and decided to bail AIG out, its former director, Stephen Friedman, was among those making the decision that AIG’s counterparties should be paid 100 cents on the dollar for its CDS debts. It never made sense that AIG/AIGFP would decide on its own to pay its creditors 100 cents on the dollar for its debts, but now we know, thanks to reporting from Bloomberg, that it wasn’t AIGFP and its CFO Elias Habayeb who was making that decision.

It was, instead, a group of people from the New York Fed who gave that order a group that included Tim Geithner and Friedman. Goldman ended up getting almost $14 billion from AIG after the bailout. And Friedman, we later found out, bought 50,000 shares of Goldman stock after this deal was struck. He resigned in May from the Fed, a few days after the Wall Street Journal broke the story about Friedman’s stock purchases.

Friedman surely had information about key moves involving the bank — like Goldman getting paid off at par in the AIG bailout, or Goldman getting a federal bank charter overnight so that a mountain of cheap Fed money could save it from bankruptcy — before the market got it. That he bought 50,000 shares in Goldman after the AIG bailout and is not in jail right now is sort of amazing, until you consider that it will be a cold day in hell before a former head of Goldman Sachs is arrested for insider trading, even when he gets caught doing it red-handed.

All of this matters for two reasons. One, it’s yet another example of how Goldman’s success isn’t attributable to how “smart” the bank and its employees are.

Instead of working something out with a company it had stupidly become overexposed to, Goldman instead hastened AIG’s demise because it was, perhaps, the one way it could cash in fully on its reckless deals — by forcing it into the arms of the government and getting the taxpayer to pony up for Cassano’s dumb calls.

Had AIG proceeded to an ordinary bankruptcy, had the company’s downfall happened via normal market procedures, Goldman might have gotten 40, 50, maybe 60 cents on the dollar. If that! Instead it got completely paid off, among other things because its connections to the government actually incentivized it to cripple a company to which it was exposed to the tune of billions.

Second, the non-punishment of Friedman just stands out like a hairy, golf-ball-sized mole on the face of the American capital markets. No question about it, it’s interesting that Galleon and Raj Rajaratnam are getting perp-walked by the FBI (note that it’s the FBI, and not the castrated and seemingly completely captive SEC, that’s going to be pushing these enforcement actions). Galleon isn’t small potatoes and from what I understand there are other hedge funds with even higher profiles that may fall later on. These are surprising and meaningful moves and and it suggests that the enforcement community is not yet completely corrupted.

But Goldman’s continued impunity leaves a mighty stink-cloud over American business, no matter how many Raj Rajaratnams get dragged off to jail.

http://trueslant.com/matttaibbi/2009/10/30...ldmans-ex-boss/
miltonfriedman
QUOTE (Skunk @ Nov 13 2009, 12:06 PM) *
Madoff and the SEC have nothing to do with the federal reserve. The larger point is because the SEC is run by people who come straight out of goldman sachs. (the chief operation officer at the SEC, Adam Storch is a former goldmanite) it simply does not prosecute financial crime and as a result Madoff was never caught. If the SEC were run by people actually interested in enforcement instead of Storch Friedman would currently be in jail, as what he did was just as bad as Raj Rajaratnam (who was arressted by the FBI, because the SEC is run by goldmanites who do nothing)


This is of course not true (that SEC is run by people coming out of GS). But if it is the case, the latest regulator at SEC who oversees options (not the options CEOs grant themselves but the options traded publicly) is run by a former GS executive who is zealous about regulations.

I commented on your confusion between SEC and Fed because your previous post jumped very abruptly from Madoff to Friedman.

Finally, you did not answer the most pertinent question: To what extent has GS's conversion from an investment bank to a commercial bank hurts the economy? Why should it be banned from doing so?


QUOTE
Good blog post on what friedman is guilty of:


I am quite aware of the controversy over Friedman's resignation, and I need no biased blogger to insinunate what Friedman did or did not know about GS's condition during the economic crisis. If he did insider trading, then we'll let the investigation to take care of it. If he has not been charged of anything (and I am not aware of any charge has been brought against Friedman), then I would appreciate it if you could keep financial blogs out of my view. Thanks.
zkajan
QUOTE (Nalvaros @ Nov 12 2009, 12:01 PM) *
I just watched Michael Moore's movie Capitalism: A Love Story... and thought it distorted the truth (whether out of ignorance or genuine intent) to the point that it was some sort of ghastly caricature of a documentary.

Welcome to Michael Moore's movies, hope you enjoyed your stay.
gnuneo
:sighs:

yes, MM is a little on the emotive side, and yes, i'm also sick of 'lefties' who bleat about "capitalism" without the faintest notion of what that actually entails. I'm also sick of "righties" who do the same - ditto "free market", where retards like friedman manage to distort the concept into monopolies and the like.

but at the same time, the notion that the US banking system was a bunch of whiter-than-white happy-go-lucky fairies who were caught all unawares by the collapse of their scheme to constantly expand the limits of credit (which coincidentally ended up with the bank owners getting ever larger amounts of hard capital in their *own* accounts), and were then forced with hand-held-behind-shoulder to accept $Tns of taxpayer monies pretty much scot-free, is nothing short of completely laughable.

now, i'm not at all surprised that the self-proclaimed board "economist" who less than a year ago was still proclaiming there was no economic disaster on the cards would be a flag-waver for this particular brand of utter BS, because it saves his own face - what little he has left amongst the serious and intelligent U-P members, anyway. But that nalv could be caught up in this utter fantasy, is little short of fantastic. Nalv, are you not aware that well over 3-4 YEARS ago both acow and myself were pointing out that this crisis was onrushing? And if WE were aware of it, with our somewhat more limited access to financial information than the owners/managers of GS, do you not imagine that THEY were as well aware of it? Yet, somehow, you still claim that they are innocent parties to this crisis, and that central Govt is the big baddie.

here is something you have to do: watch zeitgeist. Not the silly bit about Iesu, and how he couldn't have existed because so much of his myth fits exactly so many other Sol gods, but the bit about how financial crisis were created in the past. I'm NOT saying it is all true - but read the exact QUOTES from the people at the time, and then ponder... has so much changed in the intervening time, that the knowledge gained back then has been totally forgotten? And if not - ask yourself this, if a bank owner, or equally stupendously powerful and wealthy personage/family COULD have deliberately designed the current crisis (from which remember they have been given uncountable $Bns in untraceable - and unrepayable - taxpayer funds), then WOULD they have?

these are not 'nice' people, these are not "hippies", these are not people whose first thought is "how can i be altruistic" when they first wake up in the morning. Just once, i want you to imagine yourself as someone not particularly nice, someone in the position of these stupendously wealthy and powerful people, and i want you to imagine HOW you could screw over the tax-payer to make even more money. Think about that, you don't have to 'believe' it, just let yourself think about it.

let it sit there for a while, and as i said, check out the doc "zeitgeist" for more info. And, without in the slightest wanting to be insulting, please stop being so naive. You're far too intelligent for that.

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