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« October is basketball season | Main | Fear and loathing in an envelope »

Oct 18, 2011


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David Boyd

The issue not captured by this very clever sign is that no one (not the people creating mortgage backed securities or the people buying them) cared if the loans failed because the asset that backed the loans was continually appreciating. If John Doe defaulted, Jane Doe would pick up payments. It was mass delusion and there were a lot of extremely smart people, not just hippies, who were sucked in. See Golden West, Wachovia.

Bill Bush

David, I respectfully disagree. The intentionality of the scam removes any possibility of good faith excuses, based upon my readings over the past couple of years. There is just too much evidence of fraud at the levels of the securitizers, ratings agencies, mortgage companies and regulators.


OK, that girl looks entirely too well-groomed, mainstream, normal and unangry. Dye her hair a little more blonde and she's a Fox News analyst.

Fred Gregory

Nice try but the protestor's ( the few coherent ones not spouting marxist and anti-semetic sentiments ) anger is misplaced.

A study by the nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation’s Influence Project finds that Obama has received more in campaign donations from the financial sector than any other politician in the last two decades


She left out the part about going short on the "AAA" product you just sold.


Ten points awarded to CP for the unvituperative rejoinder.

Ed Cone

So if protestors are pissed at Obama, too, then there's no problem. Because I think they've got that covered. (This blog, for that matter, has been a persistent critic of Obama's Wall Street bromance.)

DB, there was some mass delusion, and there was also some cold calculation on profiting from that delusion and perpetuating it. All deserve discussion and remedy.

And yes there are a lot of well-groomed, mainstream people who see these protests as a way to start addressing some big problems. FWIW, I'm getting a haircut this afternoon.


Dude, you're the one who began the post with Haha hippies. At least own up to your nebbishy little slights.


I heard a several interviews with Occupiers earlier today. They had as much anger toward Obama as for anyone else.


Also, forgot about the part where you go back to the underwriter for an extra discount for your back pocket, because you know there is a bunch of crap loans in your "AAA" product.

Ed Cone

The "wait what" after "haha hippies" was meant to indicate disdain for the haha hippies meme, which I've been trashing here for a while.

Maybe I'll start using emoticons.

David Boyd

Some mass delusion? Is that like jumbo shrimp? There was mass mass delusion. Even if you thought housing prices were overvalued, you probably didn't expect 2008. You probably expected a gradual slowing of gains instead of the crash that happened.

Ed Cone

But the point in question is whether some people saw it was a huge bubble and acted to both perpetuate and profit from the delusion.

And the answer to that is: yes.

Fred Gregory

She is no hippie

David Boyd

Undoubtedly. And I'll go you one better. It will always be thus.

Ed Cone

If by ever thus you mean people will always take advantage of bad situations, of course.

But we went without a global financial meltdown for several decades, during which we had a fairly robust regulatory structure.

So there may be solutions beyond just sighing about human nature.


There's more intellectual honesty at a pro wrestling match than can be found here.

Fred Gregory

Trash away Ed but you seem to be in denial about the rampant anti semitism at Occupy.


"It started with a representative of the Palestine Right to Return Coalition named Andy Pollack (!), who was dismayed that someone from Israel’s “tent protests” was an OWS speaker.

Another activist then weighed in to express agreement

Others weighed in, noting that 200 representatives of Students for Justice in Palestine were due to attend the OWS protest soon."


And from Tom Maguire who posts what a Democratic pollster found "The protesters have a distinct ideology and are bound by a deep commitment to radical left-wing policies.

...Our research shows clearly that the movement doesn't represent unemployed America and is not ideologically diverse. Rather, it comprises an unrepresentative segment of the electorate that believes in radical redistribution of wealth, civil disobedience and, in some instances, violence."

Moth Is To Flame As Democrats Are To...

Maquire concludes:

"But it is not as if the Democrats can maintain a stretegic distance from this crowd. A moth is to flame as a Democrat is to a youthful protestor. Occupy Wall Street is inducing one huge 60's flashback amongst the left even (perhaps especially) for people like Barack Obama who had their 60's in the 80's. On that side of the aisle everyone wants to party like its 1969."

David Boyd

What non-robust part of the regulatory structure caused the global financial meltdown?

Ed Cone

DW, the contributions of a weakened regulatory system to the blowup of the system it was meant to regulate have been discussed here and elsewhere for years now, so I'm not going to walk through it all again. But the fact is the regulatory system was to a great degree dismantled, mothballed, or kept from addressing new products as they emerged. If you believe it was just a coincidence that a meltdown didn't happen with regulations in place, but did happen before and after effective regulation, I disagree.

FG, antisemitism is an unfortunate reality. While instances show up at some of these protests I don't think it's the major animating idea behind questioning the power and behavior of Wall Street and our government. It's good to point it out when it shows itself, though, so thanks.


There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don't know we don't know.


All you're doing is picking peanuts from a steaming pile of shit.


Fec, you have this way of elevating stool to an art form. I for one can appreciate that.

Billy Jones

Without a doubt, Obama and the Democratic Party are not heroes to Occupy and most of us will tell you we feel as if Obama sold us out. Fact is, we've a lot in common with the Tea Party and I would love to see them join us were they not so afraid of anything that doesn't look like them.

We realize that already, even here in Greensboro, there are efforts by the Democratic Party, mostly via their MoveOn operatives to bring us into the Democratic Party. Should that be allowed to happen, myself and others like me are out.

Fec, what are you doing playing around in that pile of shit? Go home and clean yourself up.


Billy, as I have already told you, the intelligentsia of the OWS movement sees social conservatives as a threat to our democracy.

Also, this is not a class war, as everyone aspires to wealth.

The lizard rebellion is doomed. It will only last until winter comes.

Billy Jones

Fec, "Billy, as I have already told you, the intelligentsia of the OWS movement sees social conservatives as a threat to our democracy."

Problem is, the intelligentsia don't control the movement-- they can't. And should they try with any degree of success then most will walk away leaving them in control of nothing. They know this. It could be they created Occupy but to them it has become Frankenstein's monster. No one controls it now.

The Democrats will try as will others but once you've set through a couple of local general assembly meetings you'll come to understand this is a bottom up effort. To control it is to kill it.

How long will it last? No one can know but if you'd really like to know what's going on, park in the parking deck next to the Greensboro Public Library and walk to the YWCA parking lot.

We'll be happy to teach you our "secret" hand signals as you witness democracy for the first time in your life.


All I need to know is that you are a very reliable inverse indicator of success. So long as you represent the effort, they are without a doubt, doomed to fail.

Fred Gregory

And thanks to Sirius Radio for this
Howard Stern Exposes Occupy Wall St. Morons.

Andrew Brod

It's really nice of Fred to look out for us Jews. Thanks, bud.

But OWS doesn't really scare my Jewish neshama as much as he apparently thinks it should. Anti-Semitism isn't exactly extinct, and while it'd be nice to believe that no anti-Semites are involved with OWS, I'm okay with the reality. Conservatives claimed that the racist fringe of the Tea Party didn't undermine the broader TP message. Fair enough, but if that's true, Fred can probably stop appending his warnings to every mention of OWS.

Unless he has an objective other than concern for us Jews...

greensboro transplant


I think you raise some valid concerns about deregulation. And I have no doubt that some in the ows movement see things from a similar perspective. but do you really believe that's what the movement is about? or do you just hope that's what it will become?

i just don't see it. the images and reports that i've seen lend credence to opinions like this one in the wsj.


Yep, anybody who throws in with this lunatic fringe is making a grave political error. They are every bit as dangerous to our democratic process as the social conservatives.

Fred Gregory

Andy your sarcasm is a coward's way of suggesting that I have some dark and sinsiter objective in pointing the antisemetic ferver plainly evident in the QWS crowd and Occupy elsewhere, like here

In fact I think I was the only one on this blog doing so. The usual suspects offer the excuse that each and every radical view and hate screed clearly obvious at OWS are just fringe elements. Whole lota fringing going on down there.

I don't have to defend by support of Israel and my enmity of antisemites to you. My record on that is clear. Capish!

I had seen the You Tube video produced by the Emergency Committee, which was buried two layers deep in your link. It does point out that prominent Democrats have embraced the crazy extremism dominating OWS.
One of whom accepted more money from Wall Street than any other politician in history.
Here, lets take a look

Finally I don't need lectures from you about what Ed Cone thanked me for posting. Now go back to your brainwashing duties in the classroom.

Andrew Brod

Fred, I don't think you have a sinister agenda. (Oh, how easily the victim's mantle fits these conservatives, the poor dears!) I don't think I said anything one way or the other about your support for Israel.

What I think is that you're someone who needed to find some way, any way to discredit this movement. A fringe of anti-Semites was your hook, and you went for it. That's all.

Billy Jones

Fec wrote: "All I need to know is that you are a very reliable inverse indicator of success. So long as you represent the effort, they are without a doubt, doomed to fail."

But therein lies your mistake-- I do not represent Occupy. Never have, never will.


Please excuse my confusion from your frequent use of possessive pronouns regarding their activities.


Again Fred with the "Occupy Wall Street is Full of Anti-Semites" mishegas. Actual Jews at Occupy Wall Street beg to differ. But what do they know. Just a bunch of unwashed davening hippies.

greensboro transplant

"What I think is that you're someone who needed to find some way, any way to discredit this movement."

heard a lot of the same sentiments voiced about Obama in 2008. all those conservatives looking to discredit him. and we all know what that was really about.

The truth, of course, was much simpler. We evaluated him and found him to be lacking in policy and leadership. We didn't want to discredit him. We wanted to stop him. (i know our hasty judgment seems silly now given the huge successes in the last three years.)

if the wsj article is accurate, then i hope ows is stopped as well.

Andrew Brod

I don't have any problem with people opposing Obama or OWS. Oppose the latter on the merits and it's fine by me. Oppose it because of some trumped-up claim of anti-Semitism and it's worth calling BS.

The BS here is that Fred (Defender of Di Yidn!) wants to elevate the anti-Semitic fringe to a central, if not defining, role in the OWS movement. Was he as eager to do the same to the racist fringe of the Tea Party?

I'm sorry, I forgot: There are no racists in the Tea Party.

Fred Gregory


You are grossly twisting my words. I have not made antisemitism a defining element of my criticism of OWS.

I have presented other arguments on why the anger, albeit incoherent, is misplaced at Wall Street and why all these diverse extremist views are wrong for a variety of reasons. The blatant Jew hating rhetoric is not central to my arguement that the mob consists mostly of leftists, any more than the arrest at Occupy Seattle of a weenie wagger in pickle park
discredits that group. Agree ?

As you said antisemitism is a fact of life. Sending in 200 radical PLO supporters isn't helpful, though.

And who was it that made up the canard about the Black Congressmen being spat upn and called racial epithets ? An unproven lie by persons trying to discredit the Tea Party as racist. I have been to three of them and seen no sign of any such sentiment.

Once agin your sarcasm is not becoming, doesn't win the day and is puny at best.

Andrew Brod

Okay, maybe "blatant Jew-hating rhetoric" isn't at the core of why you detest the OWS movement. But you keep mentioning it, employing words like "blatant." It's weird; it's overblown. And thus you deserve a little sarcasm.

I should say that as a rule, I very much appreciate non-Jews denouncing anti-Semitism. Therefore I appreciate your instincts, to a point. Your denouncement in this case is contrived and comes with an agenda. You're using it as a cudgel. But you don't see that, so...

Gregory Frederick

Andrew Brod is Jewish? Was he always?

Fred Gregory

So Andy why do you detest the Tea Party ? The false charge of racism ? You didn't respond to my questions regarding this smear. I guess the best thing to do when you are stumped is to shut up. Thank you.

David Boyd

Ed, always good to be conflated with the estimable Dr. Wharton. Thanks! But I was curious if you had a specific piece of dismantled regulation in mind that caused the crisis. If you think that bringing Glass-Steagall back would prevent future housing crises, I'd say new regulations preventing entities from becoming too big to fail with no expectation that taxpayers would help you out if you get in trouble would do us more good.

Ed Cone

DB, you're oversimplifying my position. I'm looking at a dismantled regulatory regime as a major factor in the meltdown, not pretending aha here's the one thing that caused it all to come apart. Not only is the finance and regulatory side of things more complex than that, but there are other factors involved external to those things.

But I'd include the gutting of Glass-Steagall, the neutering of the SEC, and the failure to keep up with the emerging shadow banking industry and its occult accounting and insurance practices. Manage that stuff better and we end up in much the same place you suggest.

Andrew Brod

Fred, apparently I was right about you. In your mind, there's not even a fringe of racism in the Tea Party, but the OWS movement is rife with anti-Semitism.

Very tidy.

Fred Gregory

And Commmunists too , Andy.

Now you may have the last word. After that, shtok.

Fred Gregory

"I should say that as a rule, I very much appreciate non-Jews denouncing anti-Semitism. Therefore I appreciate your instincts, to a point. Your denouncement in this case is contrived and comes with an agenda. You're using it as a cudgel."

How about what Jews have to say anout the anti-semitism at OWS ?

Along side Anti-Semitism, ' Occupy Judaism '

"It is also lost on columnist MJ Rosenthal, who contends that charges of anti-Semitism with respect to the OWS movement are nothing more than “an ugly old tradition” being exploited by “conservatives in a state of near panic.” The purpose of such charges is “to break the backs of popular movements that threaten the power of the wealthiest 1 percent of our population.” Rosenthal concedes that there have been instances of anti-Semitism on display at Wall Street, but he attributes them to the idea that “mass movements attract all kinds of people, some invariably unsavory.

Moreover, Rosenthal cannot possibly sustain his argument that anti-Semitism is an anecdotal part of the Occupy movement now that the demonstrations have been endorsed, not only by the Nazi party as mentioned above, but by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei. They have a long and documented history of anti-Semitism impossible to ignore, which ties into the last inconvenient truth of OWS: despite condemnations by both the Emergency Committee for Israel and the Anti-Defamation League, no one as of yet has condemned the anti-Semitic protesters from within the movement

Yet Rosenthal omits some inconvenient truths. Anti-Semitic displays have not been limited to New York, like those seen here, where demonstrators have spewed invective at Jews and offered up stereotypical theories regarding Jewish control of mass media, money, and “other areas of production.” Anti-Semitic protesters can be seen here in Los Angeles as well. In LA, signs and speeches reference the narrative shaped by the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and its Jewish banker conspiracy theories. "

Andrew Brod

I repeat.

I guess you had to have the last word after all.

Ed Cone

That's one Jew arguing with another Jew, Fred, not the Voice of the Jews declaiming on OWS.

Jews and non-Jews alike worry about the anti-Semitic elements in left-wing politics, as well as those on the right, but OWS is not defined by the antisemitism of some elements.


"...but OWS is not defined by the antisemitism of some elements."

I agree.

There's just way too many negative elements identified with OWS to narrow down the groups's singular obnoxious identity to the "hating Jews" element.

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