07
Oct
08

Talking Points 7th October

The financial crisis is dominating the topics on this blog and on most-read sites around the world. EU officials say working together is the best way solve the crisis but there is no united leadership for Europe as Germany, Greece and Ireland have already acted unilaterally to protect themselves, Iceland and Russia temporarily stopped trading and Pakistan is nearing bankruptcy. So is it every country for themselves when it comes to money?

Jane commented about the financial crisis on the blog:
We all have a responsibility in this but at times like this people start to think that its every person for themselves.

This fearful atmosphere has gripped Europe, this Irish columnist asks “Where is the EU?” and there are fears that the US bail-out plan could “look like a pebble tossed into a churning sea”.  This columnist suggests that the whole financial system relies on confidence, so how can confidence be restored? Do we benefit from a financial system that is influenced by human emotions?

*******

Another idea from yesterday that is still a talking point today – are modern wars unwinnable? In addition to this senior British army commander’s comments about the war in Afghanistan, retired US General Jack Keane, one of the architects of the Iraq surge was on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme saying the US “could negotiate with the Taliban”. Listen to the interview here.  This columnist suggests that Israel can only be serious about peace if it addresses the issue of Palestinian settlements. Is granting concessions to a moderate majority more effective in reaching peace than tackling extremists?

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Lastly here is a more light-heartened story that is the most-popular on digg.


101 Responses to “Talking Points 7th October”


  1. October 6, 2008 at 19:05

    Hi every one, thank for taking out time to blog here. If you have any suggestions for tomorrow’s WHYS Show, you are welcome to put them forward. I came across this site. What makes it interesting is that it takes the spin out of political ad’s, speeches, presidential debates etc (in the context of the US Presidential election) and exposes the lies, half truths and facts from both sides.

  2. 2 Robert
    October 6, 2008 at 19:12

    This is interesting. The unelected second chamber of British politics looks like it may better represent the will and the rights of the British people than its elected first chamber.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7654102.stm

  3. 3 Mark Sandell
    October 6, 2008 at 19:14

    For the record , at our editorial meeting today, we looked at the following suggestions from you lot :
    “is it every country for itself in the global financial crisis ?”
    “are modern wars unwinnable ?”
    and we also looked at Somalia….the women’s issue one won out as it was the biggest talking point…

  4. 4 Shaun in Halifax
    October 6, 2008 at 19:16

    Is anybody else perversely amused by the whole stinky state of world affairs? The recent few months remind me distinctly of one of those plexi-glass ant colonies you can buy. Ever shake it up and watch the ants scramble?

    I have a friend who’s MSN name reads: “Financial Crisis = Second law of thermodynamics. Entropy, B***hes!! Let the [simile for husband] BURN!!!”

    And I think he may be on to something. Bankers and “wall street fat cats” are being dragged down from their pillars, and the status quo has just been beaten soundly about the head with a cricket bat. These are exciting times! We are in the midst of a fundamental change in the world order.

    As ordinary citizens, there isn’t much we can do except vote for our conscience. Besides that, you can either get a coronary/ulcer from stressing or you can get your popcorn, drink your drink and enjoy the ride down.

  5. 5 Shaun in Halifax
    October 6, 2008 at 19:24

    @ Mark

    Modern wars are not unwinnable. How does that saying go about “we’re always the best prepared to fight the last conflict?” The military is always slow to adapt itself to change. And guerrilla warfare is one of the most difficult wars to fight. I’ve studied my history and according to my research, the only army that has ever effectively fought a guerrilla war was the British Army under Lord Wellington in the Spanish campaign.

    He had a few basic rules, the breaking of which was punishable by summary execution: don’t steal, don’t rape, don’t kill the populace. He somehow managed to control his army of hardened convicts and convince the Spanish to fight on his side against Napoleon. That’s apparently how guerrilla warfare got its name: guerilla = Spanish for ‘little war.’ Some historians have credited the Spanish guerrilla warfare for occupying as many as 200,000 French troops and preventing Napoleon’s success in the Russian front.

    As far as I can tell, the absolute key in fighting against a guerrilla force is to win over the population. They have to believe that life with your help will be better than life under the other guys. It sounds so simple, yet is so much harder. Especially since Western forces are largely Judeo-Christian and the world’s hot-spots are largely Muslim. And it goes without saying how well Muslims and Christians have gotten on over the centuries.

  6. 6 steve
    October 6, 2008 at 19:32

    The DOW is down 750 points right now.

  7. 7 Robert
    October 6, 2008 at 19:35

    The FTSE has had it’s worse day ever.

    Seems Monday’s are a bad day for the markets.

  8. 8 Kelsie in Houston
    October 6, 2008 at 19:36

    Hi, Nelson–here’s hoping for an amicable TP this evening.

    The “global financial crisis” is turning into the world’s latest symphony of sorrowful songs–despite the U.S. bailout and individual commitments from major nations in Europe, markets are continuing to plummet. As the BBC roams across the United States, I wonder what people are thinking–the government has tagged a huge amount of our tax dollars for a bailout package that seems defeated before it’s even begun…

    And the rest of the world? Markets everywhere are down–the problem seems to be metastasizing…is an intervention on a global scale needed, and if so, what kind?

  9. 9 Shaun in Halifax
    October 6, 2008 at 19:37

    It’s like a fire sale. Every thing must go go go!!!

  10. October 6, 2008 at 19:37

    @ Shaun, Army vs Army (probably winnable) Army vs Guerilla/Insurgents aka hide and seek fighters (this one just drags on and on)

  11. 11 Jens
    October 6, 2008 at 19:41

    the noble price was given joint for HPV and HIV research.

  12. October 6, 2008 at 19:41

    @ Kelsie, the darkest part of the night is the part just before daybreak.

  13. 13 Kelsie in Houston
    October 6, 2008 at 19:47

    @Nelson:
    The FTSE just had its worst day ever, the Dow is down nearly 800 points, indexes around the world are posting record falls and/or losses…I sure hope you’re right, because it’s already very dark indeed.

  14. 14 Shaun in Halifax
    October 6, 2008 at 19:55

    @ Kelsie

    I don’t even think we’re at midnight yet. These problems won’t work themselves out on any short-term timescale. What experts are talking about is a fundamental shift in the WAY people live their lives. Methinks that doesn’t happen in 1-3 years. I wonder what percentage of Americans/Canadians are living way beyond their credit and pay level? 1 in 3? 2 in 5?

  15. 15 Kelsie in Houston
    October 6, 2008 at 20:01

    Shaun:
    You’re definitely right on the issue of fundamental lifestyle changes–I don’t see that happening in less than 5-10 years, especially in the United States, which is “ground zero,” so to speak, of the present crisis. I’d like an answer to your statistic as well, but you and I both know from listening to reports, most Americans and Canadians alike will go to great lengths in an attempt to justify their expenditures–I doubt they would agree on a poll that they are living beyond their credit or pay level.

    For the short run, today has been absolutely dreadful for the markets–people will be turning to Washington, Ottawa, London, Brussels, et al, for some direction and reassurance that the situation is either under control or on its way to that point–what is left for governments to do?

    And what are Americans, whose tax dollars were recently pledged to “bail out Wall Street” and thereby avoid economic Armageddon, to think when confronted with the day’s news, that no, in fact, it does not seem to have shored up the economy in any fashion?

  16. 16 Dennis@OCC
    October 6, 2008 at 20:02

    Hi, Nelson!

    The markets are in basic downfall on Monday here in New York
    and around the world…..

    Talking this section from Mark Sandell notes:
    “is it every country for itself in the global financial crisis ?”
    I think it is, the case…

    Dennis

  17. 17 Robert
    October 6, 2008 at 20:02

    I just don’t know what to say about this. Although there is freedom of speech, but this is just offensive. Even if it was a joke, surely 1 minutes thought would have made this Chaplin not post such comments.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/3145269/Homosexuals-should-carry-warning-tattoos-says-chaplain.html

  18. 18 Dennis@OCC
    October 6, 2008 at 20:05

    At this rate, it could be another BLACK MONDAY [1987]….

    It will be around the world, when the markets opened up in the
    next several hours….

    Dennis

  19. 19 Dennis@OCC
    October 6, 2008 at 20:06

    @ ANYONE:::

    I have a question what was the lowest DOW loss on Monday
    here in New York, Since I have not been around today….

    Could anyone help me answer the question?

    Dennis

  20. October 6, 2008 at 20:08

    Financial Crisis
    interesting:
    Ex-Goldman Sachs exec tapped to head bailout plan
    Paulson picks interim head for rescue effort
    Monday 06 October 2008
    The administration has selected a former Goldman Sachs executive to be the interim head of its $700 billion rescue effort for financial institutions. Neel Kashkari, the Treasury’s assistant secretary for international affairs, was selected Monday to be the interim head of Treasury’s new Office of Financial Stability.

    wonder why:
    Google: henry paulson former ceo
    Henry Paulson – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Some have suggested Paulson’s plan may potentially have some conflicts of interest, since Paulson is the former CEO of Goldman Sachs

    Think Progress » Conflict Of Interest? Report Says Goldman Sachs …
    Sep 22, 2008 … I will not be surprised if I see Henry Paulson picture on the next … power of the purse and his former position as CEO of Goldman Sachs…

    hmm…

  21. 21 Kelsie in Houston
    October 6, 2008 at 20:09

    @Dennis:
    The NYSE has not closed yet (closing bell is 4.00pm EST), and a final number will not be known until about 20-30 minutes after that. Right now, the Dow is hovering around – 627 points; it was as low as 780 earlier this afternoon…

  22. October 6, 2008 at 20:10

    Financia Crisis
    Dennis, this link to an AP story on Yahoo News should keep one up to date on the latest Dow drop.

  23. 23 Robert
    October 6, 2008 at 20:11

    Shaun

    It probably won’t bring a fundamental shift. As soon as a years worth of growth is seen again in the markets it will be a free for all. We’ll convince ourselves that we’ve learnt the lessons of this and have regulation and statical models in place to prevent such a thing happening again.

    Look at the collapse of Penn Square Bank back in the 80’s (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penn_Square_Bank). Loans made to buy drilling rigs based on a very high oil price and dubious reserve information. These were then packaged up and sold to other banks who had no idea what they were buying. Sound familiar?

  24. 24 Kelsie in Houston
    October 6, 2008 at 20:11

    @Pink:
    Mr Paulson was very quick to reassure the New York Times regarding those conflicts of interest. Frankly, I think it might go back a little further than that: as GS CEO, one of Mr Paulson’s major competitors was the now-defunct Lehman Brothers. I am not familiar with Mr Kashkari…

  25. 25 selena in Canada
    October 6, 2008 at 20:11

    @Jens

    the noble price was given joint for HPV and HIV research.

    Vindication for Luc Montagnier!

    I wonder how Robert Gallo feels now?

  26. 26 Paul Harbin - Waco, Tx.
    October 6, 2008 at 20:29

    The Keating 5. -McCain,”Our economy is fundamentally sound.”

    If Barack Obama wins, do you think his life will be in danger? What would happen if an attempt were made, what would the repercussions be? Even worse, what if it were successful? I don’t see too much of a discussion on this matter. While I can understand the lack there of, to some extent, I do believe it valid. I hope he wins. I hope possible scenarios of such events do not develop in reality, but I think without question the danger is there.

  27. 27 Katharina in Ghent
    October 6, 2008 at 20:51

    Hi everyone!

    Well, it looks as if at least one CEO starts to feel the heat of having failed his bank:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7655178.stm

    “We had a compensation committee that spent a tremendous amount of time making sure that the interests of the executives and the employees were aligned with shareholders,” he said.

    Hm… somehow I have the feeling that in the end of the day, he didn’t take enough care of the interests of the executives and the employees, let alone the shareholders, because the bank failed, leaving everyone involved out in the rain.. or should I say hailstorm?

  28. 28 Jens
    October 6, 2008 at 20:57

    selena,

    i guess rather p….ed off. i think he deserves it. a little late though considerin prusinier getting his for prion research like 5 or so years ago.

  29. 29 Martin, Amsterdam
    October 6, 2008 at 21:47

    I’m with the Pope on this one.

    We’ve become too attached to material things.

    Prada shoes, Gucci sunglasses, Gamarelli brocade robes… All S-O-O 2007!

    Oh, and please don’t mention the Vatican Bank…

  30. 30 Shaun in Halifax
    October 6, 2008 at 21:57

    @ Robert

    It’s a sad state of affairs that business (especially one as integrated with the economy as finance) doesn’t learn from the past. How long do you think it will be until the markets find themselves in another crisis they caused? 20 years? 30?

    On another note, does this crisis represent the end of America’s global dominance? Will foreign investors ever trust the US markets again? Or will economic power shift to economies like China and India? I mean, all it would take to put the final nail in the coffin is for China to call in a few billion dollars of US debt.

  31. 31 Kelsie in Houston
    October 6, 2008 at 22:08

    Shaun:

    “I mean, all it would take to put the final nail in the coffin is for China to call in a few billion dollars of US debt.”

    SHH!!

    Seriously: I don’t know if this will quite end the reign of U.S. economic supremacy, but it will certainly cause people to question whether or not the global system as it stands is conducive to the needs of their own people…

  32. 32 Robert
    October 6, 2008 at 22:17

    Shaun

    From a British outlook,
    Oil shock and disruption to the economy in the late seventies.
    ERM issues in the early nineties.
    Dot Com at the turn of the millenium
    Credit crunch 2008

    About every 10 years we manage to mess it up. And the timing seems to make sense. A new generation of traders enters just as the recovery kicks in. Spend a decade moving through the ranks during the good times and get to middle management believing they have cured the ills of the previous lots. When this generation dominants the middle ranks, which does day to day oversight, things start to slip and mistakes made because they have no experience of what to look for when things go wrong.

  33. 33 Shaun in Halifax
    October 6, 2008 at 22:23

    So what’s the solution then? Trading firms running 3 8-hour shifts a day so all the markets can be covered? Having the risk managers standing over the shoulders of the traders? Why is the market more twitchy than an epileptic in a strobe light factory? I’m really trying to find the middle road (as that’s usually where the truth/answer lies) but the middle road here is somewhere between “Markets, just calm the heck down” and “We’re all gonna die and it’s going to be like the great depression all over again!!!!”

  34. 34 Robert
    October 6, 2008 at 22:35

    Shaun

    You need to make the risk more personal and long term for those trading, instead of this one year system currently empolyed. One method of doing this may be

    1) Cap cash bonuses at 10% of base pay

    2) Extra bonuses are paid as shares, but they can’t all be traded at once. After 1 year you’d be allowed to sell 40% of the bonus shares, after 2 years another 30% 3 years 20% and 4 years 10%.

    I see no problem with hundred thousand pound bonuses if they are earned. This method forces those using a companies money to think at least 2 or 3 years ahead and do deals for the long term good.

  35. 35 Shaun in Halifax
    October 6, 2008 at 22:50

    Isn’t base pay for a trader fairly low? Isn’t the real money in bonuses? If that’s true, capping bonuses at 10% of pay of say 90k/year is only 9000… won’t that hurt a bank’s ability to attract top talent?

    Well my finance prof used to be a WS trader and he was telling the class that he used to love the day after the SEC put in a new reg/rule because it was up to him and his team to figure out the loophole which would allow them to circumvent it. Apparently it’s fairly common at trading desks. I suspect this practice will have to change too, but last time I checked Wall Street is a ruthlessly capitalist place. It’s the prisoner’s dilemma at work. If nobody else is trying to figure out the loopholes, then the temptation to get an edge must be irresistible.

  36. 36 Jens
    October 6, 2008 at 22:56

    @ steve,

    I guess the the noble prize comittee agrees with me that HPV is a problem and that the work contributing to the discovery and production of the vaccine is worthy of the NOBEL PRIZE.

  37. 37 Shaun in Halifax
    October 6, 2008 at 23:00

    @ Robert

    You’re right… there’s no learning curve here. I just watched a BBC doc about SFCB’s collapse and I feel like I”m having deja vu….

  38. 38 Robert
    October 6, 2008 at 23:00

    Shaun

    The real money is in the bonus, and if the traders do a good job they will get the bonuses, just a little delayed. If they do a really good job the bonus will increase as their company grows. If they do a bad job the bonus decreases as the company shrinks.

    As you imply though, the rules must be enforced by a legal means and not at the company level, otherwise people would just move to another bank. To be frank, I think such a scheme would benefit all industries, by forcing management to look at long term deals. As such it should be a blanket rule for all companies not just the square mile.

  39. 39 Jens
    October 6, 2008 at 23:08

    i see this blog has really livened-up since some demanded strickt enforcement of the rules. beware of what you wish for. i have seen wakes that were a million times more lively.

  40. 40 Robert
    October 6, 2008 at 23:15

    Jens

    I was thinking the same yesterday afternoon. Where are the regulars? I hope some weren’t serious with the threat not to come back on Fridays board.

  41. October 6, 2008 at 23:16

    Martin: The Pope Wears specially made Gucci shoes. Would you not consider this a shining example of hypocrisy?

  42. 42 Roberto
    October 6, 2008 at 23:23

    RE “” If Barack Obama wins, do you think his life will be in danger? “”
    ——————————————————————————————————–

    ——– His life is already been in danger.

    I addressed this before the Denver convention when a yazoo was found dead in a hotel blocks from the convention with a kilo of cyanide. The day before his speech two more yazoos were arrested on the highway just outside of Denver on the way in armed with rifles and a trail of death threats against him.

    This threat is the only downside of what has been largely a joyful reinvigoration of the political process which has needed a good schoolyard kickin’ for quite some time.

    I can only pray for the vast professional abilities of the Secret Service and divine intervention so see him through. Clearly he’s a high value target for a number of evil terrorists in order to throw the nation into even more chaos than it’s having to endure already.

  43. 44 Roberto
    October 6, 2008 at 23:55

    RE “” When this generation dominants the middle ranks, which does day to day oversight, things start to slip and mistakes made because they have no experience of what to look for when things go wrong.””
    ——————————————————————————————————–

    ———- If you think the Wall Street/banking crisis is the result of middle managers, well, now, give me till tomorrow and a good deal coming your way for a 5 mil share stake of Lehman bros.

    Let’s Git R Done……

  44. 45 Robert
    October 7, 2008 at 00:12

    Roberto

    It won’t be the complete fault of middle management but they do play a significant role. Do you think the COE’s and senior management look at all the trades that occur in a bank? The COE will see that the loans have AAA or whatever stamped on them, they don’t know exact details of everything inside the package, nor should that be the job of a COE or senior manager.

    The details of whats inside these devices is looked at by the middle ranks. If they don’t know what they are looking at or can’t assess the risk properly, they can’t signal up the chain that there is a problem starting. By the time senior management see the affects is already into the bottom line and its too late.

    Responsibility for this lack of competence in the mid level of a company is the fault of the senior management, and I’m am not disputing that, but any company with a weak middle management is going to struggle.

  45. 46 Jens
    October 7, 2008 at 00:14

    Robert,

    i hope who ever came up with this stroke of a geniouse idea is happy moderarting his/her own answers. it used to be blast but know i might as well talk to myself.

  46. 47 Julie P
    October 7, 2008 at 00:25

    @Jens and Robert,

    I blogged about hearing crickets chirping from this blog over the weekend. I’m beginning to think the blog has gone environmental.

  47. 48 Luz Ma from Mexico
    October 7, 2008 at 00:43

    Hi guys!
    I haven´t been around because I am very very busy… and I cannot access MSN from my computer at work 😦 (However I am working on getting access).

    What happened over the weekend?

  48. 49 Roberto
    October 7, 2008 at 00:53

    RE “” Responsibility for this lack of competence in the mid level of a company is the fault of the senior management, and I’m am not disputing that, but any company with a weak middle management is going to struggle. “”
    ————————————————————————————————————

    ———- Can we thus conclude that any company with senior management that installs weak middle management is going to struggle?

    Not really. Weak middle management that can be run over and smacked down at will is part of the larger plan so that the major players of the company, ie senior management and large shareholders controlling the board of directors can skim the cream off the top and scatter like scalded dogs when the skimskam is exposed.

    That was the corporate model used in the Abu Grahib travesty. Corporate business models have infiltrated government and military sectors. Convict a few privates, sargents, and strip an unpopular general going nowhere, all while the designers and puppeteers scurry off like rats jumping clear of the Titanic.

  49. October 7, 2008 at 01:22

    The current financial crisis just seems to keep swirling round us and it seems increasingly that the politicians have no real answer to it. Its interesting to speculate how much of the market crisis is now a purely psychological phenoomena rather than a reflection of real economic problems.
    Sure there are high levels of debt and liquidity issues, but it seems that increasingly there is an air of panic that is becoming self fulfilling. We all have a responsibility in this but at times like this people start to think that its every person for themselves. This is what happens when you get runs on banks. This is what happens when otherwise well funded banks get too nervous to lend to each other. People make decisions that they think are in their own best interests.

    They probably are making decisions in their own best interests – short term. But these decisions all add up and mean that in the medium and longer term all these self ineterested decisions come back to haunt those people. Banks collapse, the economy goes down the toilet and the decisions that seemed sensinle in the short term lead to dreadful consequences foor those same people in the medium term.

    What I wonder is – how do you stop this crowd psychology, this herd instinct once it has begun to exert itself. is there any way to stop people acting like lemmings running over a cliff or are we fated that we will all in or own small way contribute to this growing crisis and turn it into a full blown collapse and depression?

  50. 51 Julie P
    October 7, 2008 at 01:27

    The driver of a pickup truck in Ft. Lauderdale hits gas station and explodes into flames.

    http://www.local10.com/news/17630602/detail.html

    “Fort Lauderdale police said the man responsible for a fiery chain reaction crash into a gas station Sunday had an extensive driving record.”

    As if that’s a big surprise.

  51. 52 Martin, Amsterdam
    October 7, 2008 at 01:33

    @dakinikat:

    No – Prada shoes, Gucci shades:

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/us_world/2008/04/16/2008-04-16_the_devil_wears_prada_but_the_pope_might.html

    ‘He’s known to be a bit of a clotheshorse’, and ‘was named “accessorizor of the year” in Esquire’s 2007 list of the best-dressed men in the world’.

    What… ‘hypocrite’?.. next thing you’ll be telling me the Pope’s a catholic…

  52. 53 Jens
    October 7, 2008 at 01:34

    Julie P.

    yep, i can hear them as well, in fact they chripping even less than in my backyard and I am living in the sticks

  53. 54 Martin, Amsterdam
    October 7, 2008 at 01:43

    PS – he’s also head of a Bank that has been involved in the money-laundering of mafia profits from the heroin trade, and which is currently fighting claims for the return of assets stolen from Holocaust victims.

    Fortunately he doesn’t have to worry about material distractions like keeping up the mortgage payments – with various hundred-room palaces that go with his job-for-life, he doesn’t need one.

  54. 55 Julie P
    October 7, 2008 at 01:55

    @Jens,

    I had an apartment one time that was along a wooded stream. Crickets and grasshoppers flourished. One morning I woke up, went out on to the deck that overlooked the woods and stream. The second I opened the screen door I was attacked by some of the meanest grasshoppers. They were really aggressive. I swear they were laying in wait. They flooded my apartment. It took me forever to get them out of the apartment. You know crickets and grasshoppers are really loud inside.

  55. 56 Dennis@OCC
    October 7, 2008 at 01:56

    Dennis,

    Please do not post your personal messages on the WHYS blog.

    Thank you.

    Hi Luz:

    I will if u send me a email…

    Dennis

  56. 57 Dennis@OCC
    October 7, 2008 at 02:30

    Moderators,

    Please don’t delete this. I want it seen by the staff.

    thanks

    Re: The Fort Lauderdale story,

    i know someone who lives there….i am not able
    to watch the story…

    Dennis

  57. 58 Tom D Ford
    October 7, 2008 at 02:45

    What very odd times we live in, Capitalism had to call on Socialism to rescue it from the Free Markets which in reality turned out to be Anarchy Markets.

    Now can we return to nice boring Liberal Economics again with regulated markets, progressive taxes for the top, and a safety net for the bottom? Can we go back to the center and being boringly moderate?

    Odd times indeed, very odd times.

  58. 59 Kelsie in Houston
    October 7, 2008 at 02:45

    @global economic crisis:
    France may be pushing for an emergency meeting of the G8 to tackle the quickly multiplying woes of the market.

    Is this an acknowledgment that more engagement from the world’s economic powers is needed, or merely high-profile panic?

  59. 60 Jonathan
    October 7, 2008 at 05:49

    Hi everyone,

    Oh no, nothing close to the end of America’s economic primacy. Even in bad times, we’re number one, so don’t worry. We’ll drag everyone else down with us. 🙂 Not deliberately, but it can’t be helped. Sorry. Y’all understand, right? No worries about China; they need us as we need them, and they need us plump and pink and healthy and buying stuff. They are getting ticked off abpit their billions of dollars shrinking though.

    There is a normal “business cycle,” that moves between boom and bust in every economy I know of. We try to moderate the extremes, usually with some success, but this time maybe not so much. The American “bailout” will take some time to get going; getting the bill through just means the start of a long and unprecedented process. The markets will be choppy for a while yet. Surf’s up! Many trillions lost in the last few days.

    @Julie~
    Thanks for another story of spectacular fiery death… Do you suppose you’re sublimating because of hte gasoline shortage? 🙂

  60. October 7, 2008 at 05:49

    Evening all,

    I can only stop in for real quick post. A topic I revisited today I thought might find interest in the WHYS community.

    The question was this. Let us say that you are Osama and company. If you were sitting around planning the 9/11 attacks. You have people in place to crash 4 large planes. What are your targets and why? They picked the World Trade Center, and the Pentagon. The short term goal is obvious. But what long term affects would you hope for?

  61. 62 Julie P
    October 7, 2008 at 06:00

    @Jonathon,

    Maniacal laugh. I just love roasted pickup!

  62. 63 Pangolin-California
    October 7, 2008 at 06:06

    The Peak Oil and alternative energy communities have been trying to get your attention for years on the failure of financial markets to reflect stagnant energy resource growth during a period of rising numbers of energy market consumers.

    In short (stable energy supply)/(more people)=you get less. If CEOs are skimming huge chunks of the product off before the dividing happens you get lots less.

  63. 64 Pangolin-California
    October 7, 2008 at 06:20

    @ Julie~ How odd that the driver exploded into flames instead of the gas station or the pick-up

    @ Dwight ~ If you have four jumbo jets to crash into things on the Eastern seaboard you hit the waste storage buildings next to nuclear power plants. Even assuming that there is little or no nuclear materials release the chaos as people tried to run away would do more damage than you possibly do otherwise.

    We still haven’t fixed the waste storage problem b.t.w.

    Ideally if you have a grudge with america you don’t attack the mainland at all but do things like foul the propellers of shipping which causes no deaths but smacks the money people upside the head. Then they have to negotiate with you instead of bouncing rocks near your abandoned underground hideout with high explosives.

  64. 65 Jonathan
    October 7, 2008 at 06:25

    @Kelsie

    “Is this an acknowledgment that more engagement from the world’s economic powers is needed, or merely high-profile panic?”

    How ’bout both?

    @Jane~

    Wow, very well-reasoned comment and question. I won’t even pretend to know the answer, except that the US projects and the European ones are attempts to do what you describe–mitigate the force of suction as we circle the drain.

    @Julie~

    Isn’t “grasshopper” just a euphemism for “locust?”

  65. 66 Jonathan
    October 7, 2008 at 06:26

    @Julie~

    Smells like victory, right?

  66. 67 Pangolin-California
    October 7, 2008 at 06:28

    @ Dwight redux ~ Of course the most deadly terrorist tactic is to march around EU cities with crowds of people, samba bands and giant pretzel sculptures to mock our leaders. That really stings.

    Or perhaps arrange things at home so that everyone gets better schooling, housing and health care than Americans. Then to be really nasty you have lots of decadent orgies and invite select US citizen bloggers (hint) that get feted for two weeks and then tossed back into the squalor of the US to report on your comparative success.

    Living well is the best revenge.

  67. 68 Pangolin-California
    October 7, 2008 at 06:42

    @ Jonathan~ “Normal business cycle” I love those economic terms that really mean apples are oranges. In 1907 the heighth of technology was the electric trolly and pneumatic tubes. The world was on a gold standard, most people still used gas lights and radio was morse only. Smallpox was still the scourge of the world.

    The pretense that what has happened economically somehow follows some sort of “laws” that economists can understand and make effective predictions on just took a serious beating today. Every single one of the failed mega-banks and investment houses employed a bakers dozen economists that did nada for their shareholders.

    Economists are about as valid as alchemists. Their lead into gold paper shuffles don’t work.

  68. October 7, 2008 at 06:58

    lol, all good ideas Pangolin.

    I was more digging at what do you think the intent of Bin Laden was? The attack hit our financial center and out military strategy center. Nobody could believe that such a mosquito bite is actually going to bring the giant US to its knees.

  69. 70 Robert
    October 7, 2008 at 07:08

    Roberto

    I’m a little confused. You say that a weak middle management doesn’t always mean that the company is going to struggle,yet then give a situation with poor mid management leading to a massive failure and forced the senior management to run and hide their involment. I can’t see how you example contradicts my statement? Although senior management were to blame, the was failures in mid level ranks in that they didn’t question the orders. Is it just too early in the morning for me and I’m missing a very subtle point?

  70. 71 Jonathan
    October 7, 2008 at 07:13

    @Dwight re the mind of Osama

    Remember that the fourth plane was en route to DC, probably the Capitol. Logical targets for maximum damage to the economic and political centers of the US. Obama doesn’t get out much and thinks some strange stuff, maybe including the notion that he’d bring us to our knees. He wanted us out of Saudi Arabia, and we left, so there’s that. Some say he wanted to provoke us into some crazy self-destructive reaction (like Iraq invasion, gutting our own freedoms, kidnapping and torturing Muslems maybe), but how could he have predicted the surpassingly stupid and destructive behavior of Bush and co.? That was his real victory of course. He just blew up buildings; Cheney blew up the Constitution and our reputation. It might help if we could see and hear the videotaped messages he released. Strange that media in the rest of the world played them but ours won’t. We’re treated like children. Do you have a theory, Dwight?

  71. 72 Robert
    October 7, 2008 at 07:26

    Dwight

    You’re trying to apply convential tactics to a terroist war. They don’t think in terms of strategic advanteges and end games. Bringing the country to it’s knees is not the aimof bin Laden. Spreading fear and terror amongst the general population is. They will hope to scare people off the streets. This is where they’ve in part been foiled. Terror attacks to work need to be frequent,not big but frequent (like in NI) to make people scared to go out in case the next one happens today. That’s when they destroy a country, when it no longer functions out of fear.

  72. October 7, 2008 at 07:30

    Jon

    Obama doesn’t get out much and thinks some strange stuff, maybe including the notion that he’d bring us to our knees. He wanted us out of Saudi Arabia, and we left, so there’s that.

    Are you part of the McCain smear campaign? 😯

  73. 74 Tom D Ford
    October 7, 2008 at 07:33

    How about talking about subjects that you can’t currently talk about? What subjects are taboo?

    I used to participate in an “explosives” forum. We had top scientists in the field who discovered new ways of using Explosives , mining engineers who designed “shots” for their mine, historians who wrote about the history, safety, and accidents, and bomb squad guys and all of them except the historian wrote in appropriately vague terms about what they did and studied.

    It was very interesting, what guy doesn’t like a a firecracker or a big bang?

    But now that Bushco is waging a War of Terror against the world explosives is a taboo subject.

    Do you have a gold ring on your finger? That was blown out of the Earth with
    Explosives.

    Do you drive a car? The steel in your car was blown out of the ground with explosives!

    Do you use gasoline? Explosives were most likely used somehow in the process of getting that gas to your car!

    How about a diamond ring? Explosives!

    Aluminum foil? Explosives!

    Do you ever ask how do the products that you use get out of the Earth so that you can use them?

    Did you know that the Nobel Peace Prize was made possible because Alfred Nobel invented a new way to use Explosives?

    Explosives are are an amazingly interesting subject and I hope that some kids somehow become interested in them enough to become Energetic Materials Scientists and Engineers, because without them we would be, well, we’d be banging rocks together trying to build an automobile.

    So! What do you miss being able to learn about? What taboo do you want to blow out of existence? What is forbidden in your version of the world?

  74. 75 Jonathan
    October 7, 2008 at 07:35

    @Pangolin 6:42 a.m.

    I’m impressed dude–seems like just last week I was teaching you what stock was, what dividends are, and where profits went, and now you’re an expert! But why do you think the progress of the last century is inexplicable by economic principles? You’re confident enough in the depth and breadth of your economic understanding that if you don’t know something, you’re sure that nobody does, and it doesn’t exist? Not meaning to put ya down, just curious….

    Nothing you said argued against the fact of the business cycle. And the last couple of weeks haven’t quite reversed a century of progress! Pneumatic tubes were kinda cool; wouldn’t mind having those again. Rich times in the 1920s, 50s, late 80s and the 90s; hard times in the 30s, 70s, and this disgusting decade (the naughties?). Cycles.

  75. 76 Pangolin-California
    October 7, 2008 at 07:43

    @ Dwight~ I honestly believe that the intent was to start a conflict in the middle east that would drive up the price of oil and buy the Saudi Royal family some breathing room with an increasing, and increasingly restive, populace.

    I just don’t buy at all the official version of events where 15 Saudi’s, trained to fly in Florida, attack the US and the US then attacks Afghanistan. That’s almost as good as the U.S. Air Force fails to defend NYC and DC without a single court-marital to follow.

    Regardless of the initial intent the US is now in deep economic an military trouble. We’ve just held a five-year war college on how to defeat US troops. It’s not good even if “the surge is working.” The next guys we go up against will have IEDs and EFPs all over the place before we cross the border.

  76. 77 Jonathan
    October 7, 2008 at 07:49

    @Will

    Oh my stars! Did I say “Obama” instead of Osama? Oops. Even a maverick makes mistakes. Well, one terrorist or another ya know… did ya hear the guy hangs out with mad bombers? I guess you can sure tell I’m not a Washington insider. Got my head thinkin’ harder than my hands there, ya caught me, Gotcha! I’m not perfect, I’m just talkin’ to the people, the workin’ people, like me, I didn’t go to a fancy college and get a passport, so you can just go rearin’ yer head, but I may not say what you want to hear, but it’s important about for the health care and the growth and the low taxes there, and for about our neighbor, Afghanistan.

    Nah, not the smear campaign for me. The drool campaign.

  77. October 7, 2008 at 07:56

    Jonathan,

    It seems that he picked two strategic targets that were also symbols. The first was the WTC which houses the pillars of our free enterprise economic markets. However minimal, a strike on these buildings would certainly send negative waves through our financial system. There is no way he could have predicted the end destruction. Demolition engineers working for months couldn’t have gotten so lucky.

    The second was the pentagon. Hoping to take out some of our military heads and demonstrate that even the Americans are not untouchable. The long term objective would be to draw us into their territory. In his shoes, I think, “I don’t have the time, the money, and the equipment to destroy my enemy in their homeland. So my other option is to get them to come here.” There is nothing about American history that would have you believe that they wouldn’t attack Afghanistan after this strike. The Iraq thing, well that was a bonus. They had been enemies of Saddam since his rise. He was an abomination to the faith. A capitalist pig.

    So the long term objectives in the summary? Drag them into a slow and costly war in Afghanistan/ Pakistan. Then as they did to the Russians, force them to deplete themselves militarily and financially.

  78. October 7, 2008 at 08:18

    Robert,

    “Terrorism” is a tactic used to achieve an end. Irrational thought would never lead to the creation of their organization. Believing the concept that they are just sitting around a cave and one day somebody said, “let us do this” took years in the planning, and nobody stopped to ask “why” is naive. The, “they just hate our freedom” doesn’t hold water even in the irrationality of the extremist world.

    In order to have an organization you must have order. In order to have order you must have a common objective. “Scaring a bunch of people off the streets” once doesn’t follow any orderly train of thought. Not when the borders to this country are still wide open and they could easily have continued their assault on soft targets. Or if they get jollies out of scaring us, then they could have easily have continued. This certainly doesn’t follow historical thought stream for the Islamic extremist.

    Osama has an engineering degree, he was born the son of wealthy oil barons. Not having an objective is next to impossible. When I was a little kid I believed in a boogie man that hid behind the curtains and his whole objective in life was to jump out and scare me. I don’t believe that anymore.

  79. 80 Pangolin-California
    October 7, 2008 at 08:20

    @ Jonathan~ Economists claim to be predictive in their descriptions but then things keep going out of kilter. All you need to read to understand that economics is blather is other economists describing each others work.

    Just like I don’t have to be able to describe the interior of a Jaguar’s engine to point out that it appears to be on fire; that’s how I know economists are full of it. How about the fact that failure has just been rewarded by printing a trillion dollars and handing it out to the architects of said failure.

    The current state of economic theory appears to be rewarding farmers by salting the land and handing out free gasoline and matches to arsonists. We kick working people out of housing and then try to sell the surplus of empty units. Sell them to whom?

  80. 81 Pangolin-California
    October 7, 2008 at 08:38

    Economic lies~ My favorite bit of economic horse-apples is the fraud that stock owning represents some degree of ownership and control over the corporation in question. It’s corollary, the concept that corporation management works for the benefit of the stockholder is just laughable. Tell that to the people who held stock in Lehman Bros., PG&E, Enron, Wachovia, WaMu, Citibank etc. The list never seems to stop.

    Stock shares that are widely distributed are an excuse for management to loot the corporation. Management that loots corporations is rarely punished and usually receive ample compensation for the tiny sentences they spend in special, country-club, prisons reserved for the wealthy by the feds.

  81. 82 Jonathan
    October 7, 2008 at 09:39

    @Dwight,

    Interesting stuff, couple of points. Osama was looking to knock the towers down if he could, although he said it went better than he’d hoped. His family isn’t in oil but in construction–the Bechtel of Saudi Arabia, so he knows all about buildings. His people used transcontinental flights because they had a full load of fuel. They banked the planes so they’d take out more floors, and aimed them so the towers would fall on the financial district if they tipped over. Dude was serious. Recent history did suggest we wouldn’t chase him down; he’d been blowing up our embassies and ships for months without provoking an invasion by us. I wonder if there’s an Oedipal thing with daddy putting up buildings and son knocking them down. As with boy Bush “finishing the job” in Iraq that dad walked away from.

    @Pangolin

    Maybe a conspiracy, but not that one. Osama HATES the Saudi royal family even more than he hates us, and he hates us principally because we’re allied with them.

  82. 83 Jonathan
    October 7, 2008 at 10:21

    @Pangolin

    Well, we’re getting nowhere. If you want to generalize about American corporations, the thousands that do not fail spectacularly would be more representative than six that did. Two weeks ago you called me a fraud (a “TV pitchman”) when I told you that stock was sold to the public, so I guess you’ll find fraud somewhere. Since you know economics better than economists do, you know way more than me, so I concede.

  83. 84 Roberto
    October 7, 2008 at 10:30

    Is it just too early in the morning for me and I’m missing a very subtle point?
    ——————————————————————————————————

    ———- Don’t know if a cup of coffee would help, but you may be fortunate enough to be blessed with conventional non creative lineal thinking.

    Those of us more non conventional, creative types are cursed to see things others cannot see. I ran across this dilemma between the two archetypes during my “incarceration” years when I worked in the vast array of supporting services of the bank mortgage lending biz so I could support my family.

    It took me two years to get a simple innovation implemented that made the company millions of dollars annually by growing their database and improving work turnover times with zero additional manpower costs. Yet it meant nothing to management and they showed zero interest in making further improvements to efficiency and reliability.

    Instead, they gutted my department, replacing employees with a steady rain of temps who were always coming out of “training” and never lasted long enough to learn the job without assistance or creating false results. This degraded the reliability of the database increased turnover time, and increased potential liabilities.

    It struck me afterwards that I was only seeing the visible part of their business. The new owners remade the business into their own image, and their invisible end of the business was creating a “training” school where they could provide govt subsidized retraining programs, put lower paid temps into the ever turning grist, and greatly reduce upfront costs of higher wages and medical insurance.

    Producing a quality service was just a marketing talking point to the real business of squeezing every dime of upfront cash out of the golden goose which looks to be well cooked about now.

    If you think it’s middle management that has caused Iceland to declare it’s on the verge of national bankruptcy in the face of the global bank crisis, I’d say you’re a lucky man not to see the disaster in advance. Iceland is the 5th most wealthy per capita country in the world. A month ago, they’d been frolicking in high clover for years as one of the most desired places to live or visit in the world. This month, BINGO, bankrupt with bunkem global scams.

    Sorta like Ed McMahon waking up and finding out all the millions he made handing out hundreds of millions of dollars has vanished. He’s really homeless and on the dole. Yeah, new middle management will sort it out.

    If you think it’s middle management that has caused the big global banks not to want to do business with each other, ie loan money and goods to each as a part of everyday business, you sir are a lucky man.

  84. 85 Bruce Sickles
    October 7, 2008 at 10:39

    I don’t know about the rest of you but I feel that I’m on my own here. It is up to me to handle my own economics. If I rely on the gov’t to take care of me I’m in real trouble. As far as the global crisis is concerned it seems that if anybody has an idea that works they should proceed immediatly because so far nothing that the US gov’t has done has had any real effect except to insure that bank CEO’scontinue to retire in excess comfort.

  85. October 7, 2008 at 11:00

    Jonathan,

    You that is pretty good. Freudian slip with the “Oil” reference. Meant to say “land baron”. The word Saudi, always seem to make me think Oil. my bad.

    That is great!! never connected the grand psychological aspect of the whole thing. If his childhood best friend is to be believed, he had always been intense, but something in his late teens made him snap and take up the extremist cause.

    No way he could have thought the WTC would react as it did. If you told a demo expert that you planed on dropping a building of that size in its place from a single side impact with explosions and fuel, he would have laughed at you.

    So as I am getting ready to fade here. The real question here is, who most closely achieved their objectives? Did the US rid the world of the attackers? you know, “not rest, not forget until they are brought to justice”? Or did they draw us into a long conflict that taxed us both financially and militarily?

  86. 87 Robert
    October 7, 2008 at 11:24

    Dwight

    But the world trade center didn’t collaspe because of a single impact. It survived the impact. What destroyed it were the internal fires (official theory) or the explosives (other theory I’ll leave it up to the individual to decide which one you think) in which case it reacted exactly like it should have done.

  87. 88 Pangolin-California
    October 7, 2008 at 13:22

    @ Roberto ~ Don’t worry man, the economists are going to make everything all right. (I’m selling bridges too.)

    Remember when GM was a solid stock? How many economists did GM hire to tell them that oil would never get too expensive for people to drive Hummers?

    How many economists preach the wisdom of leaving sick people without care rather than helping them return to work? Lots of those free market types around. There’s always a good job excusing greed and venality.

  88. 89 Martin, Amsterdam
    October 7, 2008 at 13:31

    On today’s topic more directly (I’ll leave worldly priests preaching otherworldliness to Martin Luther and Henry VIII):

    I haven’t seen ANY media coverage of the role of the MEDIA in the current economic crisis.

    More specifically: where did the 90% of Americans who forced their congressional delegates in marginal constituencies to oppose emergency restructuring of the frozen credit markets get their idea that the plan was simply to ‘bail out’ the greedy bankers who they thought were responsible for the crisis?

    Why the media’s ‘bail out’ rather than, say, ’emergency heart surgery to restore circulation in the US economy’? Why almost no emphasis on the new regulation proposed to address the post-‘Big Bang’ deregulation that was the real root of the problem (along with the fact that bank CEOs and most politicians and media commentators simply didn’t understand the new deregulated high-tech globalized markets)?

    Markets just maximize investor returns within the rules – it was the rules, or lack of them, that was the problem, not the whizzkids who developed clever pyramid schemes within those rules.

    As with Northern Rock in the UK, the media coverage was itself a large part of the ‘crisis’. Joe Public or Joe Sixpack couldn’t understand the complexities of the problem, and fed by simplified media versions playing everything for maximum drama (or even melodrama) turned a complex technical problem with part of the banking system into a self-confirming crisis of confidence in the overall ‘real’ economy.

    This literally ‘made’ a better story – but is that all that matters in the media? Is it just a game, like fancy derivatives trading? The responsibility for this mess goes rather wider than Wall Street.

  89. 90 Martin, Amsterdam
    October 7, 2008 at 13:33

    (Or, in a nuitshell: Careless talk costs jobs)

  90. 91 Dennis@OCC
    October 7, 2008 at 13:42

    Re: FINANCIAL CRISIS…
    That old saying, that is everyone in this case, every country is pretty much on its own.

    Re: PICTURES….
    I would rather see the “real” places than the “knockoffs”

    Re: THE MARKETS….
    How much lower, will they go before the “authorities”
    need to do something about it.

    Re: PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES….This installment.
    On Tuesday Evening, Here in the U.S. time zone….part 2 of
    the debates, are here…What are the “issues” will come out
    of it tonight.

    Re: PINK and here link.
    Thanks, but in my original post, i was trying to ask–was the lowest
    loss of the markets during Monday Sessions….

  91. 92 Matthew
    October 7, 2008 at 15:02

    Robert,

    I’ve brought this to the attention of other posts and it has been universally ignored. Why I don’t know.
    While there are certain anomalies but more importantly several indisputable and non-conspiratorial areas of investigation, deemed to be FACTS that one can impart re. 9/11, conveniently skirted over by the Kean Commission into questions posed about actualities of the day. The following has no satisfactory answer:

    NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) switched off for more than 2 hours before the planes came in. The official answers given about failed communications with the FAA (Federal Aviation Authority) and old systems inconsistencies on the day, doesn’t really stack up. But there is no question on this point – the reason it was established in the first place: NORAD’s first mission of surveillance and control of the airspace within the continent is called Air Sovereignty. In an attempt to explain NORAD’s poor performance in the 9/11 attacks, Bush Administration officer’s put out the story that NORAD was never tasked to monitor the skies inside America, that the defense agency had since its creation in 1958 been directed to “outward looking” only, contradicting the HISTORICAL FACT that NORAD’s first mission has always been its “inward looking” mission of “Air Sovereignty.”
    Pre-2001 literature is explicit about NORAD’s first mission of “monitoring and controlling the territorial airspace covering America and Canada.” On the day of 9/11 and after, the simple historical facts on NORAD were all of a sudden forgotten or cleverly re-interpreted to serve and suit the purposes of the Bush government. Contend

  92. 93 Roberto
    October 7, 2008 at 16:36

    RE “” The following has no satisfactory answer:
    NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) switched off for more than 2 hours before the planes came in. “”
    ———————————————————————————————————-

    ———- There has never been a satisfactory anwer to a unsatisfactory question. You might as well noted the price of tea in China wasn’t quoted before the planes came in.

    In case you ain’t noticed, the highjackers used routine domestic airliners and there was only a 20 min window from the first idea of a possible highjacking to the impacts. In fact, AA175 was used by traffic controllers initially to spot AA11 when the problems first started to surface before it was highjacked.

    15-20 minutes max to work up the tedious chain of AA/FAA, notify Norad, scramble jets, chase down two jets who’s coordinates no longer exist, and then what you gonna do if you spot them 2 min from impact Matty?

    Oh, sure, knock a couple of passenger jets out of the sky over Manhatton and cruise on back to the base for beer and backslaps, eh?

    Conspiracy dears can’t even read a timeline much less construct a credible conspiracy theory. I can tell you shortly after the 2nd impact the Airforce was screaming over my house and tree tops. They filled the air for a couple of hours patroling every inch of high and low airspace. They would have been scrambled from San Antone and taken 15 min to bet to me, but they knew where I was and were obviously carrying out a specific mission.

    Of course this about that same time AA77 is reported as highjacked and minutes away from the pentagon. AA77 is maybe where a patchy conspiracy case could be made, but of course the whacko neighbor told me the towers collapsed faster than the pull of gravity, proving the buildings were detonated by the CIA because he saw in one of those comedy videos everybody’s whacko uncle and sister produces these days.

    The Pink Panther knows, but dead men tell no tales…….

  93. 94 Syed Hasan Turab
    October 7, 2008 at 16:52

    All these economic crises are because of bubble creation & Pakistan’s Ex P.M. is Global Champ in Bubble creation as most of his life he spend in Bank Of America New York.
    No doubt US war against Terror, Afghan refugee’s & oil crises are effecting Pakistani Economy real bad, in the same way these issues are effecting to entire world not specifically Pakistan.
    Since first day this nation beat all crises & still have an ability to face any challange of any nature, if they can fight 1948 Kashmir war without Army, if they can turn mountan’s water towards dessert’s, if they can make Atomic Bomb. If they can dismental former USSR, if they can maintain border crises with Bharat (India), if they can maintan stratig relation with USA, if they can maintain best friendly relation’s with China & Muslim World they have ability to beat these bubble Financial crises.
    Infact Pakistan have Agricultural Economy & this country is lush green with a 60% of youngster’s population between the age of 16 to 40 years this is why these bubble crises are immetrial & temporary for this vibrant nation on the earth, no doubt Agro base Economy always take little longer to collapse compairing to Industrial base Economy.
    Pakistan’s Economy is solid Agriculture Economy even war is going on since
    1980, is there any example that a country is fighting for other’s & Economy is not collasping in twenty eight year’s war?
    Pakistan is a last hope & last chance for world peace a financial & moral support to Pakistan will bring brightness in East & West affaliation process with peace & universal brother hood.

  94. October 7, 2008 at 17:24

    Robert,

    Saying that the fire collapsed the world trade center is the same as saying that the a gun shot victim died from his heart stopping. As amazing as that feat is, there is still a part of me that can’t accept that there was ground work prior to the attack. Certainly I don’t believe even the coldest American heart could have anything to do with that. Not even Emperor Cheney.

  95. 96 Dennis@OCC
    October 7, 2008 at 17:44

    TO REVISED MY EARLIER COMMENTS:

    About “closing the stock markets” in some countries, that
    is a very temporary idea…and when the markets re-opened
    the drops will grow and be worse than normal….

    Dennis

  96. 97 Martin, Amsterdam
    October 7, 2008 at 19:55

    I’m not really sure what this forum (hardly a weblog) is for… I guess like most ‘blogs’ it serves to illustrate Gresham’s Law applied to the circulation of ideas…

    But before I leave, I guess I’ll just point out that both the Dow and Nasdaq have now gone through the floor of their 40-year trend, so I guess it’s time to batten down the hatches and get ready for 5 years of global economic depression.

    Funny, though… the Kondratieff cycle averages 54 years, and ought to have bottomed out with the 1987 crash.

    Uncharted territory. Has anyone seen a lifeboat?

    Oh… and the K-cycle is also caled the ‘war cycle’. Get ready for major conflict (not just pussyfooting around in the Middle East) to lift the world economy out of this.

  97. 98 Matthew
    October 7, 2008 at 20:44

    Roberto,

    You’ve got it all neatly packaged up in your own mind as to the crazy conspiracists losing their trolleys, not the full ticket, one short of a load, their total lack of rational and ability to reason FULL STOP! All we need is for another CLEAR CUT DOSE OF REALITY MEDICINE TO BE ADMINISTERED BY GOVERNMENT NURSES IMMEDIATELY, THAT WILL TEMPER AND BRING DOWN THE FEVER AND PUT US ON THE ROAD TO RECOVERY AND SANITY WON’T IT MY FRIEND!
    Roberto, the all knowing and all seeing MAN OF THE PEOPLE. Damn those PESKY VARMINTS that wish to say different to the accepted version of events as told us by the government. Did I expound or elaborate beyond one point, talk about little green men, or discuss Mossad being involved, or anything that could be dismissed in rather cavalier fashion particularly by a man who believes that government is not capable of a huge deception upon its own people. No I was further bringing to people’s attention, at the very least suspect areas, in relation to the Kean Commission’s findings.
    Saddam Hussein responsible for 9/11 and Weapons of Mass Destruction on standby and capable of reaching the European mainland and arrive in London with devastating force in a matter of minutes as told by Bush and Blair governments in 2003. I suppose Osama bin Laden being actively funded and supported by the CIA, to fight alongside the Mujahadeen against Soviet forces in Afghanistan is a conspiracy as well. HE WAS YOUR MAN. YOU LEFT HIM OUT IN THE COLD. But the US has an undeniable habit of shirking all responsibility for events that happen and ALWAYS, ALWAYS considered OUT OF OUR CONTROL, like a rabbit caught in the headlights moment, that take place many years later and automatically diverting all accountability and all consequences of its earlier actions upon anybody but itself. Its oh so easy to put everything in useful compartments and quaint little boxes labelled US, THEM, USA RIGHT, OPPOSITION by it’s very definition WRONG, TERRORIST, INSURGENT, SUBVERSIVE, AGGRESSOR, COMMUNIST, MARXIST, MAOIST, DICTATOR. I wish I was privileged to have one world view and be so MYOPIC in my interpretation of events. I’m really missing out and have lost the plot. I to want to be MR DISMISSIVE really I do! Please help me, I need a severe re-education programme, now before it’s too late!

  98. 99 Jonathan
    October 7, 2008 at 21:20

    @Martin

    You’re a bit hard on us; the daily nature of the blogs means that you signed on to the very tail end, or after the tail really, of the thing and the embers are dying. There should be a page for the following day up already for a couple of hours now. The purpose as implied by the name Talking Points is to suggest and discuss ideas, with the notion that one might become the basis of the radio program for the next day or a future day. I’d love to talk about K-cycles. Real economic knowledge is lamentably low among ordinary folks, and voodoo fills the gaps, which is ugly and dangerous.

    I’m not at all sure that wars are good for economies; a bunch of people in the most promising age group die, and you just make a lot of stuff and blow it up. How is that productive?

  99. 100 Matthew
    October 8, 2008 at 14:57

    Roberto,

    Surely you’re not backing away from confronting my pitiful defences?
    I expected more from someone who has taken the bat and ball and hit the shot right out of the stadium and made us lesser mortals appear to be at a loss for words, when having to be faced by your sardonic wit and devastating repartee.

    Come on, go ahead and finish off the job, as you know you undoubtedly can and truly desire to. Bury my wretched and worthless drivel with your comments of distinct and unassailable truth, that can’t be opposed by any court of the land. I relish the prospect of being thoroughly bludgeoned into submission by your cast iron veracity, irrefutable facts and information. I salivate at the thought of my imminent demise and that us lesser minions and fawning sycophants in your daunting and fearful presence can satisfy ourselves in appropriate and obsequious fashion, so as to seal our necessary fates and predetermined banishment from the exalted circle. Even I’m getting bored of having to bow and scrape to the undoubted MEISTER of all BLOG MEISTER’S, where all others fear to tread and tremble in his wake!
    At his Master’s convenience I patiently await with fear and foreboding, that I may be granted an audience with the MAN HIMSELF! And may one be so fortunate that you deign to reply to one such as I.

    Your most ardent admirer and devoted supporter…

  100. 101 Dennis@OCC
    October 8, 2008 at 18:06

    I want to write an apology for my improper behaviour on the TP’S on 7 October 2008, It was not acceptable and It was wrong of me to do it….

    Thanks,
    Dennis


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