News A National Catastrophe

russ_watters

Mentor
Ivan_Seeking said:
This is being described as THE largest financial crisis in history. This is a national catastrophe.
1. By whom?
2. By what standards of measurement?

I have my own argument to make about why this is pure, unadulterated hyperbole, but it's your claim: I'd like to hear exactly why you think these things are true. And I would hope such an argument would be based on historical financial data. Statistics that show that what we are seeing now is worse than at any other time in our history.

Others are welcome too - others have made similar remarks. Lets hear it. Prove it.

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wildman

Anyone here from Sweden? Apparently they had one of these a few years back. It seems they survived it ok. Maybe you all could give us some advice.

I understand it was worse than what we are suffering in the US. Is that right?

turbo

Gold Member
Russ, you know that this "crisis" is a lie designed to stampede idiots into giving taxpayer money to Wall Street speculators with NO oversight. The neoconservatives raiding our treasury (with Bush and Cheney holding the flashlights) have no pretense of fiscal responsibility, nor will the US taxpayer have more than a hope of recompense when the "bailed-out" companies start thriving. In this political economy, risk is socialized and dumped on us all, while profit is privatized and concentrated for the powerful. It's time that a few "conservative" apologists like yourself acknowledged this and helped to change things. Please help.

OmCheeto

Gold Member

Ivan_Seeking said:
This is being described as THE largest financial crisis in history. This is a national catastrophe.
1. By whom?
2. By what standards of measurement?

I have my own argument to make about why this is pure, unadulterated hyperbole, but it's your claim: I'd like to hear exactly why you think these things are true. And I would hope such an argument would be based on historical financial data. Statistics that show that what we are seeing now is worse than at any other time in our history.

Others are welcome too - others have made similar remarks. Lets hear it. Prove it.
Let's break this down.
THE largest financial crisis in history.
This one could probably be argued for quite a while. The way I see it, the earth has never had as much wealth, in totality, as it has had today, or at least two weeks ago. So I'd say I have to agree with Ivan. As a scalar value, this is the largest.

and

This is a national catastrophe.
Now on this point, I have to quote an old acquaintance of mine who said something to the effect that;"30 years of hindsight can really bring things into perspective", or something like that. Therefore, I'm afraid I'm going to have to side with you on this one Russ. Catastrophe's come and go like Katrina's and Ike's. We really won't know if it's a catastrophe for quite a while. I mean really, have any brokers jumped out of windows yet?

btw, did anyone see that google is giving away 10 million dollar prizes for good ideas? I was thinking of nominating Ivan for his algaeoil thingy. I know the idea has been around for about 70 years, but what the hell else is anyone doing, besides pissing and moaning.

TG4GD

vanesch

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Now, if you guys could keep it a *national* catastrophe, and not bother others with it, that would be already great

Astronuc

Staff Emeritus
For some it's a catastrophe. Some people lost much or most of the wealth they thought they had.

WaMu becomes biggest bank to fail in US history
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080926/ap_on_bi_ge/washington_mutual_future [Broken]
NEW YORK - As the debate over a $700 billion bank bailout rages on in Washington, one of the nation's largest banks — Washington Mutual Inc. — has collapsed under the weight of its enormous bad bets on the mortgage market. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. seized WaMu on Thursday, and then sold the thrift's banking assets to JPMorgan Chase & Co. for$1.9 billion.

Seattle-based WaMu, which was founded in 1889, is the largest bank to fail by far in the country's history. Its $307 billion in assets eclipse the$40 billion of Continental Illinois National Bank, which failed in 1984, and the $32 billion of IndyMac, which the government seized in July. One positive is that the sale of WaMu's assets to JPMorgan Chase prevents the thrift's collapse from depleting the FDIC's insurance fund. But that detail is likely to give only marginal solace to Americans facing tighter lending and watching their stock portfolios plunge in the wake of the nation's most momentous financial crisis since the Great Depression. Because of WaMu's souring mortgages and other risky debt, JPMorgan plans to write down WaMu's loan portfolio by about$31 billion — a figure that could change if the government goes through with its bailout plan and JPMorgan decides to take advantage of it.
It's hard to assess the magnitude of the current financial crisis, since no one apparently knows the value of the debt. Certainly, many financial companies whose stock got beaten down by 70, 80, 90+% represent a true loss for those who bought the stocks earlier this year or last year. And then there all those derivatives and mortgage backed securities which have contributed to losses.

It perhaps represents a loss of wealth and a significant reduction in the potential of standard of living (e.g. the father of a family acquaintance lost about $400 K last week). Let's see what happens with industrial output, exports and unemployment during the next three months. I agree with Om, that catastrophes come and go like Ike and Katrina. Those poor folks in Galveston and the Bolivar Peninsula (and elsewhere along the Gulf Coast) who lost their homes and businesses/jobs, have suffered a real catastrophe. And I've heard rumblings of similar financial problems in the UK and EU, but perhaps not of the magnitude as the US. Last edited by a moderator: Art The catastrophe hasn't happened yet but will if the financial sector isn't stabilised. It will be evidenced by first more banks failing and subsequent job losses followed by companies in other sectors failing as their access to credit is cut off leading to more job losses and by pension funds being unable to meet their commitments meaning retirees lose their income, as their pension funds investments tank, accompanied by a further collapse in the housing market, dropping even more people into the pit of negative equity. As consumer demand plummets as a result of lower/no incomes, less confidence, and an inability to borrow, manufacturing and service industries will be the next in the line of dominoes to fall, leading to more job losses; and so it will continue to spiral downwards. Without intervention now to prop up the financial sector I'd give it 12-18 months before the financial crisis you have on your hands left unchecked becomes an economic catastrophe. Last edited by a moderator: Briant232 Russ, you know that this "crisis" is a lie designed to stampede idiots into giving taxpayer money to Wall Street speculators with NO oversight. The neoconservatives raiding our treasury (with Bush and Cheney holding the flashlights) have no pretense of fiscal responsibility, nor will the US taxpayer have more than a hope of recompense when the "bailed-out" companies start thriving. . . . Absolutley. It remindes me of the talk of mushroom clouds before the invsion of Iraq. It also reminds me of the swindlers who urge you to "act now before it's too late" to get the deal du jour. I hope people will see how on-the-same-page the democrats and republicans are; even though they pretend to disagree, they agree about the thing that matters most to their real constituents--the money, your money. turbo Gold Member Please, everyone who has more than two brain-cells, write to your congressional representatives and tell them NOT to fund this faux "bailout". The current stagnation in the financial market is not necessarily indicative of the health of the market, but is likely more due to the "smart money" waiting to see where the "bailout" money will go and who will benefit. The longer Congress dithers around, the longer the financial stagnation will last, and after a few weeks, there WILL be long-term damage. Art Please, everyone who has more than two brain-cells, write to your congressional representatives and tell them NOT to fund this faux "bailout". The current stagnation in the financial market is not necessarily indicative of the health of the market, but is likely more due to the "smart money" waiting to see where the "bailout" money will go and who will benefit. The longer Congress dithers around, the longer the financial stagnation will last, and after a few weeks, there WILL be long-term damage. How do you see the current financial crisis being resolved without gov't intervention (money) to restore confidence in the financial institutions?? vanesch Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Gold Member Absolutley. It remindes me of the talk of mushroom clouds before the invsion of Iraq. It also reminds me of the swindlers who urge you to "act now before it's too late" to get the deal du jour. I hope people will see how on-the-same-page the democrats and republicans are; even though they pretend to disagree, they agree about the thing that matters most to their real constituents--the money, your money. Isn't this the danger of having cried wolf several times ? Now that the wolf is there, you think it is again just a trick... turbo Gold Member How do you see the current financial crisis being resolved without gov't intervention (money) to restore confidence in the financial institutions?? When a company's debts exceed its assets and it cannot borrow its way out of trouble, another company will buy it. The FDIC had to step in and seize Washington Mutual due to its overwhelming load of bad debt and lack of liquidity, but JP Morgan Chase bought WaMu's assets and owns the company today. It is not necessary to throw taxpayer money at every real or perceived problem. There is a LOT of money floating around out there looking for a place to invest, and when banks or other companies lose value to the point that they look like bargains, they will be bought. That's the way that capitalism is supposed to work. This "bailout" plan is a raid on the Treasury by neo-con insiders who hope that we are too stupid to understand what they are doing. turbo Gold Member Again, to everybody who understands just how crooked this "bailout" plan is, PLEASE write to your congressional representatives and tell them to oppose this plan. All of the House members and 1/3 of the Senators are up for re-election in about 40 days, and you will have no more influence over them at any other time than you have right now. There are very few true fiscal conservatives left in our government, and we have to back them as they resist this bailout. Art When a company's debts exceed its assets and it cannot borrow its way out of trouble, another company will buy it. The FDIC had to step in and seize Washington Mutual due to its overwhelming load of bad debt and lack of liquidity, but JP Morgan Chase bought WaMu's assets and owns the company today. It is not necessary to throw taxpayer money at every real or perceived problem. There is a LOT of money floating around out there looking for a place to invest, and when banks or other companies lose value to the point that they look like bargains, they will be bought. That's the way that capitalism is supposed to work. This "bailout" plan is a raid on the Treasury by neo-con insiders who hope that we are too stupid to understand what they are doing. I think you are in a minority on this issue. I don't know of any serious commentators who claim a rescue plan is unnecessary. The current divisions are merely over the shape and form it should take. turbo Gold Member I think you are in a minority on this issue. I don't know of any serious commentators who claim a rescue plan is unnecessary. The current divisions are merely over the shape and form it should take. With the WaMu collapse yesterday, we have just experienced the largest single bank failure in the country's history. The sun came up this morning, as always, and JP Morgan Chase has some new assets. The constant wailing about the financial markets is not supported by the facts. There are people and businesses with lots of money to invest, and when business assets are depreciated to what investors feel is a realistic market value, they will buy. Right now, people are afraid to buy into companies that are heavily "invested" (a ridiculous term in this instance) in derivatives or in bundled debt products because there is no way to assess the risk inherent in those holdings. This situation was brewed by the speculators who stand to gain from the "bailout". If the speculators were willing to write down their bad investments, they and their stock-holders would lose some money, but (if they acted responsibly) their leaner, trimmer organizations with safer debt would attract new investments. Last edited: Amp1 The bailout is to hopefully stop a domino effect described a little in post #7 by Art. The neo-cons do want to "RAID" the treasury as posted several times above. I think the restriction or elimination of 'Golden Parachutes' will definitely help and not hinder. In fact, I think if some of those execs don't get it - they will whistle-blow which is why this faux plan is being rushed. turbo Gold Member If the banking industry wants "bail-out" money, it should come at a price. Here are some suggestions: 1) The industry needs to be re-regulated to prevent a repeat of this economic hostage crisis. 2) Any company wanting taxpayer money cannot sell us taxpayers their junk investments, but must issue preferred stock to be held by the treasury. 3) Executive compensation must be structured to reward long-term stability, not short-term profits. This means that issuing short-term stock options to executives should be forbidden by law. (Would executives engage in risky short-term strategies if they knew that their stock options could not be exercised until 10 or more years after they were issued?) 4) I would levy a surtax on banks and investment firms to pay for the oversight necessary to keep them honest. The SEC needs to be beefed up to provide adequate oversight, and that cost should not fall on the citizenry. I'm sure that there are lots of good ideas floating around out there, but if I were a politician being railroaded into approving a bailout, the plan would have to contain these features at a minimum. Ivan Seeking Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Gold Member This deserves its own thread: 1. By whom? 2. By what standards of measurement? I will post more later, but the short answer for now: The President that you have always defended. Are you now admitting that [after eight years of lies and abuse of power] he is a liar and a con? Are you now admitting that he is raping the country? Ivan Seeking Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Gold Member Furthermore, are you suggesting that McCain is taking advantage of this and stoking the fires of fear when there is no emergency? I have NEVER seen a candidate announce the suspension of his campaign. Was this just showboating by a con? Was McCain blowing smoke out of rear by saying that he would fire the chairman of the SEC [which he can't do, btw] Is that what we are to conclude from your post? mheslep Gold Member For some it's a catastrophe. Some people lost much or most of the wealth they thought they had.... WaMu becomes biggest bank to fail in US history http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080926/ap_on_bi_ge/washington_mutual_future [Broken] ... The 'lost much or most' followed by the WaMu story implies the WaMu seizure&sale was where this happened? Who was wiped out in the WaMu collapse? Last edited by a moderator: Ivan Seeking Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Gold Member A must-watch to gain an understanding of the crisis Last edited by a moderator: Astronuc Staff Emeritus Science Advisor The 'lost much or most' followed by the WaMu story implies the WaMu seizure&sale was where this happened? Who was wiped out in the WaMu collapse? I don't know what equities were associated with the loss. Certainly those holding WaMu stock have lost a lot, and that is just one of many distressed financial institutions. Cyrus A must-watch to gain an understanding of the crisis Errr.........that was terrible. Last edited by a moderator: Ivan Seeking Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Gold Member Credit Frozen Ahead Of Bailout Errr.........that was terrible. Obviously you haven't been watching CNN. :rofl: Payrolls at risk markets gave a glaring example of the freeze that has prompted the widespread support for some type of government relief package. Lending between banks is getting more costly, as the spread between the three-month London interbank offered rate (3.77%) and overnight Libor (2.56%) increased to 121 basis points, from 61 Wednesday. Meanwhile, the difference between three-month Libor and the yield on a three-month U.S. Treasury bill (0.10%) was near all-time highs at 367 basis points. Also, another crisis appears to be simmering in the commercial paper market, according to Federal Reserve data. The Fed's figures show the U.S. commercial paper market shrank by over$100.0 billion in the past two weeks, as the ongoing calamity in credit markets has shaken investor confidence in virtually all instruments other than government debt.

According to Jerry Marlatt, a partner at law firm Clifford Chance, if the commercial paper market grinds to a halt it will have huge repercussions for Main Street, since many companies fund their payrolls by issuing such debt. [continued]
http://www.forbes.com/markets/2008/09/25/briefing-closer-bailout-markets-equity-cx_ss_0925markets34.html [Broken]

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Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Billionaire Warren Buffett, calling turmoil in the markets an "economic Pearl Harbor," said his $5 billion investment in Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is an endorsement of the Treasury's$700 billion bank rescue plan.