Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2008:September:23 Tuesday <Monday, Wednesday>
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2008/9/23-29 [Finance/Banking, Finance/Investment] UID:51267 Activity:nil
9/22    Roaring 20s       --> Great Depression
        Roaring Millenium --> Great Depression II
        \_ does our state have a BUDGET yet?
           More concerning is we are about to hand $700B to one person and our
           Fed chief Ben Bernanke fully supports this idea--and if you Dems,
           Republicans, and libertarians haven't figured out by now:
           He who controls the money has the power.
           \_ Oh, I get it!  In our crisis, we're appointing a Dictator.
              \_ but he knows much more about finances than you do and he wants
                 to help you
                 \_ Right after he helps himself and his former i-banking
                    \_ but Ben Bernanke supports the plan, and he has a Ph.D.
                       in Economics from MIT, did his dissertation on the Great
                       Depression, got his B.S. in Economics from Harvard, was
                       class valedictorian and got the highest score on the SAT
                       in his state when he took it.  He wrote three books on
                       macroeconomics!  He chaired the Princeton Economics dept
                       for 7 years before joining the Fed!
                       \_ Obviously smart and probably knows much more about
                          economics than I do. Perhaps not very wise, though.
                       \_ the idea that turning ONE knob in a stereo
                          system to make it sound pleasing to everyone,
                          is ridiculous.
                          \_ huh?
                       \_ Hey, we could have had Harriet Miers.
                       \_ Should he have seen this coming? He sure didn't
                          seem to from his past comments. Not that I'm blaming
                          him per se, since this is really complicated and
                          unpredictable stuff, but I don't feel like any of
                          these guys are sure how this plan is really going
                          to turn out. So it's basically a $700 B hunch/prayer.
                          \_ "Large amounts of risk, particularly
                             credit risk, have become concentrated in
                             the hands of relatively few derivatives
                             dealers, who in addition trade
                             extensively with one other. The troubles
                             of one could quickly infect the others....
                             [leveraged] derivatives severely curtail
                             the ability of regulators to curb
                             leverage and generally get their arms
                             around the risk profiles of banks,
                             insurers and other financial
                             institutions. Similarly, even experienced
                             investors and analysts encounter major
                             problems in analyzing the financial
                             condition of firms that are heavily
                             involved with derivatives contracts.  The
                             derivatives genie is now well out of the
                             bottle, and these instruments will almost
                             certainly multiply in variety and number
                             until some event makes their toxicity
                             clear. Central banks and governments have
                             so far found no effective way to control,
                             or even monitor, the risks posed by these
                             contracts. In my view, derivatives are
                             financial weapons of mass destruction,
                             carrying dangers that, while now latent,
                             are potentially lethal."  --Warren
                             Buffett, 2002
                             [Yes, he should have seen it coming.  -tom]
                             \_ Predictions are all fine and good, and someone
                                is bound to get it right, but I don't think
                                anyone really saw it coming to this extent.
                                \_ Buffett wasn't making a prediction;
                                   he was describing a risk.  A large
                                   portion of his business is managing
                                   risk, and he's very good at it.  He
                                   didn't say "in fall 2007, some
                                   weird activity by hedge funds will
                                   trigger a liquidity crisis which
                                   will eventually cause multiple
                                   major financial institutions to
                                   fail during calendar 2008."  He simply
                                   pointed out that the proliferation of
                                   derivitive contracts in a deregulated
                                   financial market set up a situation where
                                   numerous institutions were taking on
                                   risks they could not measure, and
                                   declaring assets they could not quantify,
                                   and that it was likely that some trigger
                                   event would cause massive problems for
                                   the entire industry.  And it's not like
                                   there wasn't any warning; the LTCM bailout
                                   was a foreshock that was pretty much
                                   ignored.   -tom
                                   \_ He described a risk and predicted it
                                      would cause pain in the industry. I'm
                                      just saying no one really thought it
                                      would cause this much pain. Anyway,
                                      back to the real point -- if the guys
                                      on top didn't clearly see this coming,
                                      then they probably don't clearly see
                                      a way out.
                                      \_ Or more likely, they just didn't care,
                                         since it's "not my problem."
                                         \_ The Invisible Hand will take care
                                            of it.
2008/9/23-29 [Finance/Investment] UID:51268 Activity:nil
9/23    hey bought GS @ 100 guy.  Mr. Buffett is buying preferreds.  Time to
        sell before everyone realizes that preferreds are dilutative.
        (Good job.)
        \_ You know, I might just do that. I was buying an IB, not a bank.
           \_ Should have sold at $135.
              \_ It is trading at $135 in afterhours, you know.
              \_ It is trading at $135 in afterhours, you know. I'll call
                 my broker and dump it.
                 \_ I didn't know, but sounds like a good time to get out.
                    You can always buy back in if you feel this is a
                    long-term hold, but if you just wanted a trade I'd
                    bail with the 35% gain.
2008/9/23-29 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:51269 Activity:low
9/23    wtf. Wells Fargo w/9.14% APR jumbo (non-conforming) 30-year fixed in CA.
        \_ Welcome to a shitty shitty economy.
        \_ My parents had a loan at 13% in the early 1980s. You do realize
           that this 5-6% stuff is at or near all-time lows, right?
           \_ Yeah, I feel really sorry for those poor SOBs who have been
              trying to time the housing market and missed out on a once
              in a lifetime opportunity to borrow at 5.25%.
              \_ Yeah, sure now that $600,000 house is $350,000, but at 5.25%
                 it totally would have been worth it.
                 \_ Prices in my neighborhood have not gone down at all. I
                    guess they have gone down in places like Antioch and
                    Gilroy, so if you were shopping there, I guess you are
                    Gilroy, so if you were shopping there, you are right.
              \_ If rates go up, prices go down, and the market stagnates.
                 Not a good time to own OR buy.
                 \_ I'd disagree, now is a great time to buy if you are willing
                    to sit on a place for a minimum of 5-7 years.  Prices are
                    great and cash is king.  I've been finding great deals
                    in rental property.
                    \_ Where are you that prices are great?  They just aren't
                 \_ It's a great time to own. The only better time to own
                    was before I did. I don't think people who bought in 1958
                    are too worried about it being a bad time "to own".
                    Bad time to buy? Maybe. Bad time to own? Never.
                    \_ Sorry, bad time to have recently bought.
                     \_ Or to sell.
        \_ Put another way, I would hate to be someone who wanted to sell
           a property.  As someone interested in the highest sale price, I
           would want the easiest loan terms possible (no down, no doc, stated
           income, option ARM, low interest rates).  bank gives me the purchase
           money, i've converted the property to cash--my hands are clean.
2008/9/23-29 [Politics/Foreign/Asia/India, Politics/Foreign/Asia/Others] UID:51270 Activity:moderate
9/22    "Pakistanis say suspected US drone shot down"
        One fewer friend, one more foe.
        \_ Isn't this what Obama said he'd do?
           \_ No, but why let facts get in the way.
           \_ Obama or Osama? Are we really supposed to belive that Obama said
              that he was going to start shooting at US aircraft?
              \_ i think pp was referring to Obama saying he would go into
                 Pakistan without its permission to get Osama
        \_ If you want to be depressed, this article in the NYTimes claims
           that Pakistan endlessly trolls us into giving them billions while
           they fund the Taliban.  Let me repeat.  We give Pakistan money.
           They funnel a large portion to the Taliban in return for the
           Taliban leaving Pakistan alone.  But lately the crazy portion
           \- and a large portion is funneled to the Army's "parallel
              economy" ... while not quite an african kleptocracy or
              saudi level concentration at the top, it's not a normal state.
              it's also a glarine example of "talk/ideology" is cheap in
              politics and how it is the amoral realm of calculation
              [in re: india].
              \_ Further complicating things is that nearly all Pakistanis have
                 at least one relative in the Army. The "parallel economy"
                 flows both ways.
           of the Taliban are too difficult to control and they have been
           suicide bombing inside of Pakistan.  This article is an excellent
           read, but it might drive you to drink:
           \_ Maybe Pakistan's military should do something other than
              stand around like pussies. The reason they don't is that
              Pakistanis are sympathetic to the Taliban. "Controlling the
              Taliban" isn't on the To Do list.
              \_ The tribal regions have never been under the control of the
                 Army or the Govt. They're pretty much autonomous, which is
                 why a) you hear plenty of horror stories about primitive
                 tribal law (e.g., rape as punishment), and b) the tribes have
                 made deals with the Taleban where beneficial to the tribes.
                 \_ Now is a good time to remedy that. People should be
                    registered, there should be checkpoints, heavy weapons
                    should be confiscated, the border should be watched
                    more closely, and documents issued/checked. This might
                    involve going house to house in each village. Build more
                    permanent bases in the region. That is how the US would
                    handle it. Once the machine guns and RPGs are off the
                    streets and the foreigners have been arrested or cleared
                    \_ wow. wow. You know it's easier to get weapons than
                       food & clean water in those regions right?
                       \_ Your point? You can't go in and build dams and
                          roads and other federally funded projects when
                          there are hostile morons roaming around with RPGs.
                          Cleaning up the mess that exists there and
                          imposing law is the first step to having food
                          and water instead of AK-47's.
                    then they can live somewhat normal lives again, but not
                    until then. Impose a curfew and take every male over 16
                    into custody (temporarily) if you have to.
                    \_ wow this is so idiotic, my god, you're an idiot.
                       \_ I agree. Lawless tribal areas are so much better for
                          US, Europe, and Pakistan than having some sort
                          of federal oversight.
                       \_ excellent video on The Gun Bazaar of Pakistan.
                          Thanks for sharing the video!
                       \_ good video, proves that the "round up everyone
                          evil" guy above is stupid.
                          \_ No, it's proof that the government needs to
                             regulate these weapons just like ours does.
                             \_ Yeah, that worked great in Somalia, Iraq,
                                Vietnam, etc...
                                \_ Working pretty well in Iraq and Vietnam
                                   wasn't ever really lawless. Somalia was
                                   a token effort.
2008/9/23-29 [Recreation/Activities] UID:51271 Activity:nil
9/22    Been meaning to ask this for a long time: how the hell do
        sportscasters (or ESPN or whoever) come up with such obscure
        stats during sports games? For example, only X times in history
        has the losing team had the ball with Y seconds left and Z
        has happened. Anyone know or have ideas?
        \_ Elias Sports Bureau
        \_ They have a guy whose sole job it is to feed stats to the
           broadcasters.  Also, teams produce a "media guide" which
           lists team records for a lot of obscure stuff.  -tom
           \_ True that they have a stats guy, but for the obscure stuff
              the correct answer is "Elias Sports Bureau".
              \_ Elias Sports Bureau compiles them, the guy in the truck feeds
                 them to the announcers.  -tom
2008/9/23-29 [Recreation/Media] UID:51272 Activity:nil
9/22    that angry sysadmin Karl Denninger got on NBC Nightly News's airing
        today at 5:30pm.  i feel pleased because i have been pointing my
        senators and congressman to the site for the last week.
        \_ Please record it and put it on youtube for me. I want to see
           this guy rant.
           \_ (vid at bottom)
              just 25 seconds
Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2008:September:23 Tuesday <Monday, Wednesday>