Credit Crisis: Perspectives - Page 6 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #51 of 58 (permalink) Old 09-19-2008, 07:05 PM
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Congrats! Please post some pics.

You obviously have a lot more demands of your dd that do I. I still love mine, but understand what you are saying.
Not really any extra demands, just that it not need excessive maintenance at 90K miles. And that is where this one was heading. Between the airmatic, which I could tell was starting down that ugly path, and the little gremlins in the HVAC, it was going to tag $3-5K in repair within the next year. The tranny also just didn't feel right to me.

Big picture it was just one of those "nagging feelings" things that kept bugging me about the car.

I am going to post up final pics of the S500 in the 220 photo section later this evening. I went out shooting today/tonight til dark.

New Shots tomorrow evening.

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post #52 of 58 (permalink) Old 09-20-2008, 02:13 AM Thread Starter
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Okay, my last collection of quotes for awhile. Scout's honor

We Finally Found the WMDs!

They were on Wall Street

MW Contributor: It is hard to believe that people that were part of the mess like Stan O'Neal from Merrill received a $159 million package. That's $160 million for losing $2.24 billion. That 159 million could buy down twice that amount of loans so people wouldn't be upside down on their homes and not be foreclosed on. Eliminated the government and taxpayer money! Imagine that would help about 2000 foreclosures. Now imagine if there were only and I repeat only 7 of these guys with the wacked out severance packages and salaries. Now place that money to reduce the loan amounts to what would cover losses or keep the people in there paying. Would we need more taxpayer money? Stephen Hilbert of Conseco, for example, took home an estimated $72 million even though the value of the company's stock during his tenure sank from $57 to $5 a share and the company ultimately ended up bankrupt. Philip Purcell left Morgan Stanley after a shareholder revolt against him in 2005, and took with him $43.9 million plus $250,000 a year for life. Richard Grasso, who headed up the New York Stock Exchange, took $140 million in deferred compensation. Shouldn't the gov't go after these 'taxpayers' first?

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Gerald Friedman, economics professor, University of Massachusetts (from Al Jazeera):

The end of US capitalism? I really doubt it.

This is a very serious financial crisis and if mishandled could become a serious recession even a depression, but it is unlikely to be as bad as the Great Depression of 1929-40 as the authorities have learned to co-operate in crises.

More importantly, a capitalist system - or any social system - can only be brought down by an opposing system supported by a rising economic class.

There is no such contender on the horizon right now to challenge capitalism. So, we'll continue to muddle along.

Still, it will be bad all around unless we change direction. An effective anti-depression strategy would help those with bad mortgages so that they will be able to make payments on their mortgages and keep their houses; such a policy would help the banks by allowing for a "trickle-up" effect.

Instead, the Federal Reserve is trying to hold back the tide of defaults and foreclosures by helping the top.

At best, this will transfer the costs to average Americans, who lose their homes, watch their neighbours lose their homes, and will in many cases lose jobs when construction and other businesses fail.

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NYT (Editorial): The new plan would commit taxpayer money to buy hundreds of billions of dollars of troubled loans and other mortgage-related securities from banks and Wall Street firms... it’s important for Americans to know who is going to decide what is the right purchase price for these assets. Wall Street will have a role, of course, but outside experts should be allowed to analyze the results. Americans also need to know how the process will be monitored to ensure that taxpayers’ interests are protected.

(LOL...)


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“People have definitely been saying that this is no longer an investor’s market, nor even really a trader’s market — it’s all entirely speculation on what the government is going to be doing next,” said a broker at a Wall Street firm, who was not authorized to talk to the press. “Anyone who thinks they have a handle on where things are going is deluding themselves.”

Some hedge fund managers complained bitterly that they had been singled out, even as they were among the few to properly manage risk. Those whom the government had propped up were the investment banks, whose hundreds of billions of dollars in losses arose from reckless risks undertaken to raise profits to hedge-fund-like levels.

“Bailing out the banks should not be done,” said Carl C. Icahn, the activist investor. He suggested that the government should have extended those firms a loan, instead of buying their toxic mortgage-backed securities.


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MW Contributor:

The one thing most folks never consider with money is velocity. Money always has velocity in forward movement or backward movement but it is never idle.

Earnings are velocity and leaving money to not earn means backward velocity. Homes unless near-stolen are backward velocity as are investments that do not kill inflation, their costs and make more wealth. Money never stands still.

That is why I invest the way I do. There are hurdles to wealth and low interest and too much safety is not safe simply because to save the $$ in an inflationary atmosphere you are killing the dollars by refusing to protect them for real.

My sister had $50k six years ago in a savings account. Now 50K would be more like $148K today in silver, but with her interest and tax on interest and 35% reduction in dollar value she has backward velocity.

The $148,000 she would have had today.. in 2002 buying power $97,200 all things being equal.

The 50K lost $17,500 in buying power because the interest couldn't near overcome inflation but she still had taxes due on that interest. Simply put in 2002 buying power she has $32,500. She being 59 wants to retire with backward velocity eating her money.

Good luck. Because our money always devalues.

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MW Contributor:

These "illiquid assets" would not be illiquid if they were priced at their actual value. The trouble is the banks realize that if they sold these assets at actual value they (the banks) would become insolvent. So in order for the banks to remain solvent the government must buy these assets at prices well above their actual value, with the taxpayer absorbing the resulting losses.

Actions have consequences, some of which are short term, and some longer term. Paulson and Bernanke present themselves as trying to save the economy, when in my opinion they are selling out the nation to avoid taking the heat ... I don't really blame them, they are in a situation that is politically somewhere between excruciatingly difficult and impossible. Still, aren't the ones we call heroes those who throw themselves on the grenade to save others? If so, what should we think of these two?

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AIG Filing on Takeover Omits Reference to Shareholder Meeting
By Hugh Son

Sept. 20 (Bloomberg) -- American International Group Inc., the insurer that agreed to give the U.S. a 79.9 percent stake in return for a $85 billion loan, dropped any mention of issuing warrants or seeking shareholder approval as part of the deal.

AIG issued a revised regulatory filing yesterday after the Wall Street Journal said some investors wanted to derail the U.S. takeover by helping repay the federal loan. The filing didn't explain why New York-based AIG made the revisions other than to say there were ``errors'' in the previous document.

``It's extraordinary that in a matter like this, you have a filing that says they'll go to shareholder approval one day, and the next day they're not,'' said Lynn Turner, ex-chief accountant at the Securities and Exchange Commission. ``If it's required legally, I don't know how they can do a second filing.''
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post #53 of 58 (permalink) Old 09-20-2008, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by JimSmith View Post
To pay for the lack of judgment that possessed the people running all these high finance institutions, I think the really rich people should be taxed at rates that reflect their contribution or lack thereof to the health of the economy. Meaning any head of any financial organization that has asked for a bailout or filed for bankruptcy should have to pay 99% of any bonuses they earned in the last 3 years back to the government as taxes to pay for these bailouts. The other 1% should be held in escrow which they get to have only if the average investor gets their investment back within 5 years.

There should be a sliding scale. If your company met its growth targets without falling into the abyss of poor judgment, everything after 100% of the base salary should be taxed at a straight 50%. Fully 80% of the remainder would be put in escrow, with the government banking the interest, for 5 years. No deductions, no loopholes. Until the bailouts have been paid back.

Jim
I agree with the penalty, but let's not call it a tax. There are people who acquired wealth in legitimate ways and a tax might penalize them for nothing. Let's call it a fine, collecting it after criminal prosecution. Or, better yet, since it looks like we'll all have a piece of this, let's sue the bastards (ie - pissed off US citizens vs financial sector buttheads) and take everything they have, reducing the eventual costs of this to the taxpayers.

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post #54 of 58 (permalink) Old 09-20-2008, 10:08 PM
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I agree with the penalty, but let's not call it a tax. There are people who acquired wealth in legitimate ways and a tax might penalize them for nothing. Let's call it a fine, collecting it after criminal prosecution. Or, better yet, since it looks like we'll all have a piece of this, let's sue the bastards (ie - pissed off US citizens vs financial sector buttheads) and take everything they have, reducing the eventual costs of this to the taxpayers.
Why not call it what it really is, punishing success and redistribution of wealth.

Don't believe everything you think
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post #55 of 58 (permalink) Old 09-20-2008, 10:12 PM
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Why not call it what it really is, punishing success and redistribution of wealth.
I think the comment was regarding Jim's statement "Meaning any head of any financial organization that has asked for a bailout or filed for bankruptcy should have to pay 99% of any bonuses they earned in the last 3 years back to the government as taxes to pay for these bailouts. The other 1% should be held in escrow which they get to have only if the average investor gets their investment back within 5 years."

And considering what the Financial Sector management have caused, I really don't think you can legitimately say that would be punishing "Success". There has been no SUCCESS. Simply bonus generating malfeasance.

McBear,
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Being smart is knowing the difference, in a sticky situation between a well delivered anecdote and a well delivered antidote - bear.
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post #56 of 58 (permalink) Old 09-20-2008, 10:21 PM
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I think the comment was regarding Jim's statement "Meaning any head of any financial organization that has asked for a bailout or filed for bankruptcy should have to pay 99% of any bonuses they earned in the last 3 years back to the government as taxes to pay for these bailouts. The other 1% should be held in escrow which they get to have only if the average investor gets their investment back within 5 years."

And considering what the Financial Sector management have caused, I really don't think you can legitimately say that would be punishing "Success". There has been no SUCCESS. Simply bonus generating malfeasance.
Oh... I have this habbit of ignoring everything Jimbo says, and misunderheard ol' Ed.

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post #57 of 58 (permalink) Old 09-21-2008, 11:41 PM
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The sooner Morgan goes, the better.. that's the last investment bank (not counting Goldman of course since that's Paulson's baby).
Well, it's done. ( I think) The end of Morgan and Goldman as Wall Street banks but somehow that's a nagging feeling nothing has changed.

Quote:
“While accelerated by market sentiment, our decision to be regulated by the Federal Reserve is based on the recognition that such regulation provides its members with full prudential supervision and access to permanent liquidity and funding,” Lloyd C. Blankfein, Goldman Sachs’s chairman and chief executive, said in a statement Sunday night. “We believe that Goldman Sachs, under Federal Reserve supervision, will be regarded as an even more secure institution with an exceptionally clean balance sheet and a greater diversity of funding sources.”

... it is possible that Goldman and Morgan Stanley could seek to buy those banks cheaply in a “roll-up” strategy.

Before the move to make the two investment banks into holding banks, federal regulations prohibited them from pursuing such deals. Indeed, Morgan Stanley’s recent talks with Wachovia revolved around Wachovia buying Morgan Stanley.

Being a bank holding company would also give the two banks access to the discount window of the Federal Reserve. While they have had access to Fed lending facilities in recent months, regulators had planned to take away discount window access in January.

The regulation by the Federal Reserve also brings a host of accounting rule changes that should benefit the two banks in the current environment.

In return, they will submit themselves to greater regulation, including limits on the amount of debt they can take on. When it collapsed, Lehman had about a 30:1 debt-to-equity ratio, meaning it had borrowed $30 for every dollar in capital it held. Morgan Stanley currently has a debt-to-equity ratio of 30:1, while Goldman Sachs has one of about 22:1.

Bank of America, on the other hand, currently has about an 11:1 leverage ratio, while JPMorgan has about 13:1 and Citigroup about 15:1. Because they can borrow less, bank holding companies typically have lower earnings multiples.

In its statement, Goldman said that it would become the nation’s fourth-largest bank holding company, with its small existing deposit-taking units to be rolled into GS Bank USA. Morgan Stanley will convert its Utah industrial bank into a deposit-taking national bank, to be called Morgan Stanley Bank.
Goldman, Morgan to Become Bank Holding Companies - Mergers, Acquisitions, Venture Capital, Hedge Funds -- DealBook - New York Times
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post #58 of 58 (permalink) Old 09-22-2008, 10:39 AM
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Why not call it what it really is, punishing success and redistribution of wealth.
The current government bailout plan consists of doing the inverse, rewarding failure and redistributing liabilities among the undeserving. As any student of logic knows, if something is true, then the inverse is true as well. So please tell me, how do you logically hold the idea you propose in your quote? If you believe that, then you should also believe that rewarding failure and redistributing liabilities to those people who had nothing to do with the situation is as wrong as punishing success and redistributing wealth to those who did not earn it is.

You should be admantly opposed to the Bush/McCain/Paulson Plan based on your own belief system, and every "conservative" should be, or stand as either hypocrites or as one who finally admits that the Democrats have been right for decades, that strict government regulation is an integral part of keeping our financial systems afloat and honest. I doubt I shall hear either from any of the so-called "Conservatives" on his board. Mlfun says he sees nothing changed - what changed is that these robber-baron banks agreed to be regulated after paying lobbiest millions for years to defeat it, which for decades was nothing more than greed winning out over the public good - and now they have been defeated and surrender willingly. How do you people keep your heads from exploding?

Myself, I say it is time to let the chips fall where they may. A Depression really sucks but it may be what this country needs in order to change the insanity governing the financial world of the last twenty years, an insanity shown by Jayhawk's inane support of a position as he supports one that directly contradicts his own thinking, as insane as the idea that redistributing the wealth of the future by providing free money to the wealthy in the form of "tax cuts" financed with money borrowed from the future is some how a smart thing to do, or that massive borrowing based on stupid slogans like "9-11 changed everything" is somehow fiscal policy. Everyone in Bush Land gets The Easy Way Out, and everyone else gets fucked. I say it's time for some Hard Times. I hope the Democrats in Congress fight this bailout tooth and nail and bankrupt the lot of you. How sickening it is that "conservatives" are turning towards Communism itself to solve their problems as they push for nationalizing the nation's insurance and financial markets, demanding the power of a Politburo. "Fiscal conservatives" my ass. All power to the fucking GOP Soviets!

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address

Last edited by FeelTheLove; 09-22-2008 at 10:56 AM.
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