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  1. According to Reuters today, our government is now entertaining giving themselves the power to take over non-bank institutions. I am amazed at how this is being sold to the public. It really makes me wonder sometimes just how stupid they feel we are. Its almost insulting when you step back and look at it. Maybe I am not seeing it right and thats why I feel this way, but here is what I see as having happened so far. 1. AIG gets itself into financial trouble through its London based financial products division. This is a quote from the story are Reuters from a statement made by Timothy Geithner. “This division was an unregulated entity operating in unregulated markets.” To me, this is an interesting comment. Given that other politicians have come forward and said that they recognized the issues and had no way of fixing those issues, I have to ask this... Who exactly makes the policies that give them that power if the government themselves don’t? 2. The Federal Government makes the decision to bail out AIG. This can (and has) be argued to death both ways for or against. At this point its somewhat late to debate it I guess as we have already done it. Good, bad or indifferent, its done. 3. The Federal Government votes to allow the bonuses they are so enraged about. Like it or not, they did. 4. The Federal Government voices outrage at the bonuses paid out at AIG (you know, the ones they voted to allow). Various people within our government initially claim to have no knowledge of the change that allowed the bonuses to be paid, only to later come clean and admit that they knew. 5. Today U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke tell congress that they need greater power to take control of non-bank financial institutions. So let me get this straight. These people knew there was an issue with the market AIG was in and did nothing to regulate it. They made the decision to bail out the company with our money with little to no oversite of how the money was spent. They feign outrage at the bonuses they approved (or even worse, didn’t take the time to look at what they were signing). And now, these same people want additional power to take over any business that is considered “systemically important” at will. Side question about that last statement. Has anyone seen what the government considers to be a definition of “systemically important?” I know that really smart people like Marg can tell us the text book explanation, but I am curious what the government considers a definition. Am I nuts? Or just not looking at it from the right perspective... Personally, I am not a conspiracy theorist, but one does have to wonder if all the dog and pony show that has been going on was not just to set the public up to accept something like this. I do find it interesting that even some of the Democrats are being cautious about what they are willing to say about the Geithner plan. Pendejo He who swoops the ditch and does not get out buys the BEER!!
  2. The more I dig into it, the more irritating it becomes. I am sickened that our government gave a company that they themselves said was ran in a reckless manor over 170 billion dollars without having some sort of oversite as to how the money was spent. But they are the ones who did it, they will not put themselves on the line to be held accountable. Pendejo He who swoops the ditch and does not get out buys the BEER!!
  3. A little digging into it showed this from a hearing held by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on October 7 2008. The part that is important is on page 4 where they talk about having a copy of the minutes from the compensation committee’s (at AIG) meeting that talks about the bonus programs for not only the top exec’s, but also for 281 exec’s. They had the information. Here is the link to the raw transcripts of the Oversight Hearing. Note page 4. Here is the link to the raw minutes of the compensation committee’s meeting. Note the bottom of page 8. Pendejo He who swoops the ditch and does not get out buys the BEER!!
  4. I think the lack of information is one of the more interesting parts of all the so called “outrage” stories. I understand the thought process that without a bailout the company would not be in business, and, to a certain extent I agree with it. But for the most part, I think its misdirection. I think they do not want most people to ask questions about how that happened. I need to do some digging into it, but it seems like I remember their being oversight as to how the money was spent. But that might be wrong. Pendejo He who swoops the ditch and does not get out buys the BEER!!
  5. Pendejo

    GM sinking

    We are nowhere near a collapse. I'm no economist but even with a 10% unemployment rate that means that 90% of Americans are working right? I don't see bread lines.. I see lines for Wii's, iphones, tv's, fastfood, and all I hear is $advertising$ on the radio from internet get-rich schemes to the local mattress factory. When I have to get in line for bread then I will worry :) I agree with you. Its interesting that back in Nov. and Dec. in 1982 you didnt hear the media talking about it being a "depression era" type crash (guess that wasnt the flavor of the month for them back then). For those who don't want to look, thats when unemployment peaked at 10.8%. Things are certainly not good right now, but a lot of it is perception more than reality in my opinion. Pendejo He who swoops the ditch and does not get out buys the BEER!!
  6. Pendejo

    GM sinking

    I see your point but this is why I think you're wrong, example: There are (were) several tool/die companies in NE Ohio for which auto has always been a big customer. exhaust pipe molds, AC vents. etc.. stuff that is cheaper here in the US because of shipping costs. The small business my Dad works for saw this coming and stopped bidding on auto. They are getting into different markets and are struggling but staying alive. 2 huge local machine companies just shut their doors because their main customers were auto. So 2 things 1. It already IS happening (suppliers shutting down) 2. The only thing constant is change, if you are a trucker or packager you have to sell to someone who will buy your product or service. Auto companies or not. I think I may have given the wrong impression with my explanation to the poster about why I feel that we can’t just let them go under. I do not feel that continuing to hand them money will fix the issues. There needs to be major change. What changes need to be made are things I am unsure of. As I said in my last post I think its more complicated than just letting them file chapter 13. I agree with you that the businesses out there that are actively looking for new outlets for their products are going to survive. Saddly, that isn't an option for a lot of them. An example would be a plant that is producing window switches for Chevrolet. Retooling takes time. I don't know that I think they will have that time. Pendejo He who swoops the ditch and does not get out buys the BEER!!
  7. Pendejo

    GM sinking

    I agree completely. I do however wonder where the magic money that some seem to think there is will come from during the restructure. The company will need funds to continue during that time as well. If they are really as cash strapped as they claim, then that will be an issue. It will be interesting to see how the public responds to their money being spent so a company can be broken up. If you look at what is happening with AIG I think you will find a small picture of the answer. From the time that the government went in and bailed them out they have been selling (or attempting to sell) different parts of the business. I think the media will spin it (both ways) to make it look like our money has been wasted rather than showing how it is really saving jobs in the long run. In our business we ship waste material from various manufacturing companies around the nation for disposal, reuse and processing. Anyone who has anything to do with the automobile industry has been notified that they are now on cod status. We have seen in the past what it really means when a company files chapter 13 from a supplier point of view. The end result is that if you get any money at all on outstanding invoices it is a very small percentage of the original bill. And, contrary to what some might believe, that money has to come from some where. In GM’S case those numbers are pretty large, and they trail all the way back to more than just assembly plants, parts producers, and package companies. It eventually goes all the way back to the raw material processors. I won’t question the numbers you gave about 1 in 10 jobs being part of that industry, but I would wonder where the people looking at it stopped counting. I think the real reason that the government is trying so hard to find a way out for the auto makers is that it is more complicated that just letting them file chapter 13, and, lots of voters jobs are at stake (see my other post for why I think thats actually important to them). Pendejo He who swoops the ditch and does not get out buys the BEER!!
  8. Pendejo

    GM sinking

    We're not talking about closing...reorganizing without the huge perrennial debt obligations that have tied their hands for too long. Strange, I was under the impression that the post I quoted (all of I might add) at the top of mine was discussing a drug store causing another drug store to go out of business. I guess I must have missed the part of that post where that poster was discussing a reorganization. Pendejo He who swoops the ditch and does not get out buys the BEER!!
  9. Pendejo

    GM sinking

    The drug store comparison is somewhat small in scale to use in my opinion. The drug store would not have the same implications on the economy as a whole when compared to a large manufacturer. It would not have the “ripple effect” that you hear so many speak about. If GM were to be allowed to go under then the economy would take a huge hit. That really is not me trying to use fear as a tool, but rather just stating what I feel to be truth. In a lot of threads I see people saying basically “screw GM” let them die. But I just can’t believe that most of those people realize how deep into the manufacturing sector that GM goes. It isn’t about the 275,000 jobs that will go away if GM were to close. Its all the supporting manufacturing that will cause the true pain for the economy. Along with that, you will have all of the supporting business (trucking, packaging and so on) that will also be in serious trouble, or, will go out of business. I understand the argument that says that someone else will come along and buy up some of the lines and continue, but that kind of a deal would take months to finish, not days or weeks. Even if someone does come in and purchase some of the lines, it will be months after that before real production can begin. In that time most of the supplying factories (the ones who actually make the parts that the 275,000 put together) will either be gone or diminished to a point that it will be some time before they can ramp back up. So, I don’t think that the idea of someone else coming in is a viable one. The question is, even if they file for a reorganization of dept, will they be able to survive as they are. For me, I think the answer is no. The numbers you see thrown around in the media claim that they have lost around 80 billion dollars since 2005, with over 30 billion of that being lost last year. There was a time for action, but I personally fear that the time to act has passed. It is my hope that I am wrong about it being to late, but only time will tell at this point. It is interesting to watch the representatives from management and the unions point fingers at each other. Both claim that it’s the others fault, but in truth, both are to blame. At the end of the day, they let other companies kick their butts. In that part, I think the comparison you gave is valid. Other car companies came in, built a better product, did a better job of marketing that product, and took business away from them. None of it matters thought, because at the end of the day for our government its all about votes next time. If they let them go under after saving other companies it will give the people they are running against to my ammunition to use against them in the election. And its the elections that will cause them to continue to throw money at them to keep it alive. Atleast until the next round at the voting booth. Sad, but true (at least in my little world). Pendejo He who swoops the ditch and does not get out buys the BEER!!
  10. Shropshire got it right, you've just read it wrong. All we have to do to know we're not alone is find an alien. Ah, I see. I read that backwards. Silly me. Good thing I hadn't voted yet. It's far worse not knowing. The only way, in my opinion, that we'll ever "know" is by radio transmission. The distances between habitable planets is simply too great for any face to face meetings, so even if "they" only lived 4.5 light years away we'd be perfectly safe. There was a time when it took months to cross the Atlantic Ocean, now it can be done in hours. If we assume that the life we might possibly find on another planet is at the same in its development as ours, then yes, it would not matter much. But, if they are more advanced, then that could drastically change how much it matters. What would be really interesting to see is how we as a people and our governments react to the knowledge. Would be point all of our weapons at them “just in case” or would we take a different stance. To me, that would be quite the spectacle indeed. Pendejo He who swoops the ditch and does not get out buys the BEER!!
  11. Do you believe in fate? This is in line with the second paragraph of my response to your first question. If a person believes that their fate is in their own hands to a certain extent, then the future must be changeable. A line from a move comes to mind. I shall finish the game. In other words, I would like to think that I would remain the same person that I am today. I would have the same values and desires as I do today. This is not to imply that I currently live my life like today is the last day, but I have been in the position where it was possible that I would have a limited time to live. I found that this knowledge didn’t change me as much as I originally thought it would. I had always expected to want to spend all of my remaining time on earth with family and friends, kind of like the person who said they would go take their family on a 3 year road trip (very admirable by the way). But in reality, I found that I still got up and went to work, I still loved my family, and, I still felt the same way I did the day before about most things in my life. I also agree with others who have said that the choices of those around us will greatly affect how we would live those last 3 years (it’s the reason I gave the movie quote I did). Pendejo He who swoops the ditch and does not get out buys the BEER!!
  12. There was an article on Reuters (yesterday or the day before I think) in their opinion section that I found interesting. The writer was addressing my main concern with the bail out of the auto industry, sales. Personally, I am against the bail out in principle. I agree with some of the people who feel that a business should be allowed to fail or make it based on their own merit, not based on bail outs. The problem is, the auto industry in the US is so large and far reaching into our economy that it is difficult for us to allow it to fail without causing major pain to ourselves. I agree that philosophically that should not matter, but the reality is, most people are not willing to endure that kind of pain on a personal level. The writer of the article points out that even if the government comes in and bails out the industry, that will not really fix the main issue the auto manufacturing companies are faced with. Empty showrooms. Just because they come up to Washington and say “yep, we are now going to build more fuel efficient cars” that won’t fix the main issue they are facing today. If you look at the numbers, the imports are doing better than the domestics, but to say they are still profitable is ludicrous at best. Even Toyota (who most claim to be the most successful of the imports today), had a decrease in sales by 34% last month. Watching the people in the media and here on this site point fingers about who is to blame is like watching most of the politicians blame the other side for the economy being in the state its in today. Was it management? Yep. Was it unions? Yep. From top to bottom all of the people who are involved in the auto industry were involved. No one is “squeaky clean” when it comes to how they got to where they are. Unfortunately, all of them (and most of the rest of us) will be paying for their mistakes. I think the real question is, what needs to happen to get people back into the auto showrooms in America. Note that I did not ask what is needed for them to buy American automobiles, but rather automobiles in general. Just saying “build better cars” or “build more fuel efficient cars” won’t fix their problems today. Those are great goals for the future, but today is where we are, and now is when they are faced with implosion. I think that if nothing else, the next year will be both very trying and certainly an interesting time in our economy. Pendejo He who swoops the ditch and does not get out buys the BEER!!
  13. The historian said that if Mr. Obama insists on using complete sentences in his speeches, the public may find itself saying, "Okay, subject, predicate, subject predicate -- we get it, stop showing off." *** I think he is giving the public to much credit in thinking that they will recognize those things! Pendejo He who swoops the ditch and does not get out buys the BEER!!
  14. Take a closer look at the two pictures that are on the FP link. There are many things in the distance shot that do not match up with the close up shot. For one the shadows cast by his right (our left) leg are certainly different in the two photo's. I agree that the shadows do not imply photoshop work, but, they should be consistant in the two pictures (the distance shot and the supposed zoom in shot). Not really defending him being well and in good health, just commenting on what I see in the pictures. Pendejo He who swoops the ditch and does not get out buys the BEER!!
  15. With results like this for Obama,(from CNN exit polling) White Men (36%) 41% 57% 2% White Women (39%) 46% 53% 1% Black Men (5%) 95% 5% N/A Black Women (7%) 96% 3% 1% it is hard to say it was not about race for 95/96% of African Americans. I think those numbers are somewhat misleading. According to the CNN exit poll from 2004, 88% of African Americans voted for John Kerry. So, at least to me, saying that 95/96% voted based on race is possibly an overstatement. Pendejo He who swoops the ditch and does not get out buys the BEER!!