Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2009:February:19 Thursday <Wednesday, Friday>
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
 
WIKI | FAQ | Tech FAQ
http://csua.com/feed/
2009/2/19-22 [Finance/Investment] UID:52598 Activity:low
2/19    The Bush Decade was as bad economically as the Great Depression:
        http://tinyurl.com/ar9h67
        \_ It's only bad if you're the middle class or lower. Wonderful
           for corporations and stock holders.
           \_ I'm a stock holder and it hasn't been that great. The NASDAQ
              never recovered and now the DOW is at 1990 levels. Awesome.
              \_ Self reliance. Blame yourself for not getting out earlier.
                 \_ I'm not *blaming* anyone. I'm just pointing out that
                    Bush wasn't really favorable to anyone except his oil
                    buddies and defense contractors. The perception is
                    that all those "fat cat stockholders" like, I dunno,
                    just about everyone with a 401k, made out like bandits
                    and we most decidedly did not.
              \_ Not that bad. More like 1997.
        \_ Oh, come on.
        \_ That's about the dumbest thing I've ever seen.  The Dow is down 35%
           IN THE LAST 6 months, forget the last decade.
2009/2/19-25 [Finance/Banking, Finance/Investment] UID:52599 Activity:moderate
2/19    "There is no scenario under which you would claim the government was
        not involved ... -tom"
        \_ Apparently there is no scenario under which you would agree
           government policy has a hand in creating financial crises.
           My point isn't about getting rid of the government itself
           but the banking system supported by governments around the world.
           These crises keep happening around the world and yet people always
           find something to blame except the actual system.  It's like
           building your house next to a flood zone and then blaming the rain
           when your house inevitably gets trashed.
           On the surface, you can blame banks in these crises because we
           always get these situations where banks create massive amounts of
           debt based on overvalued assets.  This is natural because greed is
           natural.  The problem is a) they are shielded from the consequences
           and b) the govt-sanctioned system allows them to pyramid debt upon
           debt in a tremendous explosion of newly created money, and a
           tremendous skewing of the economy's fundamentals (trade balances,
           capital allocation).
           In a conservative system (not talking GOP or Dems here) a series
           of failures would simply not be able to cause such deep problems.
           After you unwound the failures then you'd still have the same
           basic money supply in the economy.
           With the current system, you are putting an impossible regulation
           task onto the government.  The current crisis is really an
           extension of problems that have been building up for decades.
           In the latest episode the Fed kept interest rates too low for too
           long.
           \_ Not a "conservative system", a "free market system".  The free
              market cannot work unless there's profit AND loss.  Oh, and the
              government shouldn't tell the companies to do something
              unprofitable and then blame them for it.
           \_ http://tinyurl.com/c83pfd (The Economist)
              Your lefty fellow travelers over at The Economist don't seem
              to agree. Financial crises are as old as capitalism.
              \_ That article doesn't even touch on the issue of the banking
                 system itself.  It's mostly ignored by all mainstream
                 sources as if it must be, always has been, and always will.
                 There's no proof that this credit expansion system is
                 really a benefit.
                 This isn't really a left/right issue either.  The only people
                 who talk about this kind of thing are, I guess, libertarians.
                 \_ What are you talking about? Every macro econ class talks
                    about money supply. Read Chapter 13 of Keynes General
                    about money supply. Read Chapter 17 of Keynes General
                    Theory for the first modern discussion of it, but so did
                    Friedman, Von Mises, Krugman, all the greats. It might be
                    true that libertarians (and their fellow travellers, the
                    Austrians) are the only ones who seriously consider that
                    fiat money and franctional lending are a bad idea. Do you
                    notice that no one in the world is on the gold standard?
                    That is because it is a crappy way to run an economy, full
                    of booms and busts far worse than what we are experiencing
                    today.
                    \_ There's no evidence it's a crappy way to run an economy.
                       The real reason is very simple.  Government inflation of
                       the currency is a hidden tax on holders of money.  Govts
                       used this repeatedly in times of war, though they
                       usually returned to gold afterward.  This is just a
                       fact, look at the history of about every major British
                       or US war.  They inflated the currency tremendously in
                       WWI, then tried to deflate it again afterwards which was
                       doomed to failure.
                       This is also orthogonal to fractional reserve banking
                       where demand deposits are treated as bank assets,
                       and the money supply is exponentially expanded via debt.
                       There is no evidence this is needed or even beneficial.
                       Most of the historical problems, if you look into it,
                       were either a) not really crises or b) not actually
                       a free market gold standard.
                       The deflationary spiral problem is endemic to fractional
                       reserve inflation, so is the risk of widespread bank
                       failures.  Banks today, in general, are not allowed to
                       fail.  We pay for their mistakes via the government
                       bailing them out in one way or another.  It's private
                       profits socialized losses.  But actually this has been
                       the case for hundreds of years... because it wasn't
                       nipped in the bud, it's always been too painful to undo.
                       Govts bailed out banks many times in history.
                       \_ You imply that having a hidden tax on holding money
                          is a bad thing.  I would argue that we don't want
                          people hoarding money a'la Scrooge McDuck.
                          \_ Let's see you argue it then.
                       \_ If you are not familiar with the historical poverty
                          of humanity and the many long periods of depression
                          and famine before 1900, then I cannot hope to type
                          enough words to educate you. Go read a history book
                          or something. The explosion of human wealth since the
                          invention of capitalism is really unprecedented.
                          \_ Capitalism is not synonymous with central banking.
                             There are no periods of famine and depression that
                             can be blamed on a lack of central banking.
                             You're also placing credit on "capitalism" when
                             there are so many other technological advances in
                             the same time frame.
                             \_ What do you think that the "capital" in
                                capitalism represents?
                                \_ Not central banking, that's for sure.  Why,
                                   what do you think it represents?  Is this
                                   a joke?
           \_ Do you even know why we went off the gold standard?
              \_ So that the gov't could inflate the currency whenever they
                 wanted.
                 \_ It all sounds like funny money to me.
                 \_ Is it better when completely random effects inflate the
                    money supply? (Someone discovered gold!)  Or, even worse,
                    business as usual deflates the money supply? (Hold amount
                    of gold constant, increase GDP, automatic deflation!)
              \_ You don't need a gold standard.  The money-is-debt, fractional
                 reserve thing is mostly orthogonal to having a gold standard.
                 You could still have fiat money but make it non-debt based
                 (i.e. just directly create X amount of money by fiat).
                 A gold standard is a separate debate.  Many arguments against
                 it are bogus though.
                 We left the gold standard so that the government could
                 finance wars without worrying about taxes or voters.
           \_ Are you getting paid by the word?  -tom
              \_ I should be.  My day job is boring, I guess.
        \_ what is this quote from?
           \_ an earlier motd thread
2009/2/19-25 [Academia/GradSchool, Computer/SW/Languages/C_Cplusplus] UID:52600 Activity:low
2/19    Student Expectations Seens as Causing Grade Disputes:
        http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/18/education/18college.html
        \_ "I tell my classes that if they just do what they are supposed to do
            and meet the standard requirements, that they will earn a C."
            All well and good, but the problem is that 2.0 is perceived
            as almost failing. Maybe once employers and grad schools
            realize that 3.0 is not a minimum effort but a pretty good
            student then students will adjust expectations accordingly. I
            got a B in a very difficult upper division math class and I
            had a recruiter tell me "You must not be very good at math."
            I told her I was very good and where did she get that idea.
            "Your report card." So as long as students have to deal with
            that crap then hell yeah we won't accept a C for spending 40
            hours per week on a class even if it's "what we deserve"
            because the perception is that a C is really a D (pass for
            credit, but that's about it). Perhaps this is a result of grade
            inflation, but I don't think students spawned it. Competition
            did. It used to be fairly easy to get into schools like Stanford
            and very few students took the SAT. If 80% of the class got
            C's that was fine. It's not fine anymore and from what I can
            see from my nieces and nephews kids are working harder than
            ever even at young grades. My 3rd grade nephew has like 3-4
            hours of homework a night. I think we have to do this to
            complete as this is common in places like Japan, but the older
            people in the system don't realize how much things have changed
            and have not adjusted expectations accordingly. You won't get
            only the top 5% of students in college anymore at most
            universities and the kids that are there are less motivated by
            learning. They need that B to be able to survive while at the
            same time there is a perception that C = poor student.
            \_ C *IS* poor. My parents used to tell me that C is for
               inferior native kids, B is for second generation immigrants,
               and A is for people like us.     -hard working immigrant
               \_ Not with the definition professors are using:
                  "I tell my classes that if they just do what they are
                   supposed to do and meet the standard requirements, that
                   they will earn a C." By the way, your parents sound
                   like real pieces of work.
        \_ I agree, kids these days have no sense of perspective. They
           want 100 column terminals, good grades, friendly professors,
           &c.  Back when I went to Cal everyone knew that a C- was the
           mean and working your butt off to get mean was standard
           operating procedure b/c the mean student was an asian
           overachiever just like you. An A was a mythical promised land
           reserved for future nobel prize winners - the ones who sat in
           the front row and could correct the mistakes of the nobel prize
           winner teaching the class.
        \_ Wasn't there a CSUA'er who took like 39 units in a semester and
           ended up with a 3.9+ GPA? calbear? I wonder if he's gonna win
           a Nobel Prize. I had a crap GPA while at Cal but knew lots of
           people with 3.7's who didn't study 24/7. College just seemed
           easier for them, like how High School was just easy for most
           Cal students.
           \_ I went to HS with calbear. He was wicked smart.  Last I
              heard he dropped out of the PhD program at the farm. But
              he might still win a nobel prize though.
              \_ I thought he completed his Ph.D.
              \_ http://hkn.eecs.berkeley.edu/~calbear/resume/mr.htm
                 \_ Guess I heard wrong.
2009/2/19-25 [Finance/Banking] UID:52601 Activity:nil
2/19    http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/02/18/let-the-human-capital-exodus-begin
        \_ Suppose you are a damn good executive.  Someone gives you the
           chance to come in to a ailing firm that has a long history and
           some serious pluses going for it.  If you manage to turn things
           around in a 5-10 year time frame you will be heralded as a
           brilliant mind and even the elite will treat you like royalty.
           Would you walk away from that oppertunity because you will "only"
           get 500k a year until things get better?  If so I don't think you
           are the kind of person that these companies need right now.
           (why the fuck did you delete this?)
        \_ The words banking, innovation, talent, used together is nothing
           but an oxymoron. Give me a break. We used to think that energy
           derivatives was a brilliant idea. Ditto with 0% down 0% interest
           loan. Yeah, we made TONS of money because of 0% down 0% interest,
           it's such an innovative financial product! WHOOPY!!!
        \_ Finding new ways to use renewable energy = innovation.
           Finding new ways to make money by giving out unsound
           and unsustainable loans = innvation? Give me a fucking break.
        \_ I think the post above is agreeing with the three comments above.
2009/2/19-21 [Politics/Foreign/Canada, Politics/Domestic/Election] UID:52602 Activity:nil
2/19    http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-215694
        Canadians to Obama. We're the friendiest and most tolerant people.
2009/2/19-21 [Academia/Berkeley/CSUA/Troll/Jblack, Politics/Domestic/Immigration] UID:52603 Activity:nil
2/19    Motd has been boring lately. Where is jblack's "fuck immigrants"
        and "self reliance" freeper drivels?
2009/2/19-25 [Recreation/Pets] UID:52604 Activity:nil
2/19    Mmm, puppy paws, or "Why US Fois Gras is OK".
        http://www.villagevoice.com/content/printVersion/894706
2009/2/19-25 [Politics/Domestic, Politics/Domestic/President] UID:52605 Activity:nil
2/19    GOP congressmen who voted against stimulus now bragging to their
        districts about getting the money
        http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2009/02/behold_the_hypocrimap.php
        \_ They're asking for people to report examples.  I don't see any so
           far.
2009/2/19-21 [Health, Health/Disease/General] UID:52606 Activity:nil
2/19    "The most dramatic (and scary) surgery we've seen"
        http://www.csua.org/u/nkn (shine.yahoo.com)
2009/2/19-25 [Finance/Banking, Politics/Foreign] UID:52607 Activity:nil
2/19    I believe in the latest edition of dictionaries, next to the
        definition of "batshit insane" there is a picture of
        Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-obviously):
        http://tinyurl.com/btd698
        "We're Running Out Of Rich People In This Country"
Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2009:February:19 Thursday <Wednesday, Friday>