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Current Topic: Miscellaneous

Community Reinvestment Act had nothing to do with subprime crisis
Topic: Miscellaneous 9:24 pm EDT, Oct  7, 2008

The Community Reinvestment Act, passed in 1977, requires banks to lend in the low-income neighborhoods where they take deposits. Just the idea that a lending crisis created from 2004 to 2007 was caused by a 1977 law is silly. But it’s even more ridiculous when you consider that most subprime loans were made by firms that aren’t subject to the CRA. University of Michigan law professor Michael Barr testified back in February before the House Committee on Financial Services that 50% of subprime loans were made by mortgage service companies not subject comprehensive federal supervision and another 30% were made by affiliates of banks or thrifts which are not subject to routine supervision or examinations. As former Fed Governor Ned Gramlich said in an August, 2007, speech shortly before he passed away: “In the subprime market where we badly need supervision, a majority of loans are made with very little supervision. It is like a city with a murder law, but no cops on the beat.”

Not surprisingly given the higher degree of supervision, loans made under the CRA program were made in a more responsible way than other subprime loans. CRA loans carried lower rates than other subprime loans and were less likely to end up securitized into the mortgage-backed securities that have caused so many losses, according to a recent study by the law firm Traiger & Hinckley.

Finally, keep in mind that the Bush administration has been weakening CRA enforcement and the law’s reach since the day it took office. The CRA was at its strongest in the 1990s, under the Clinton administration, a period when subprime loans performed quite well. It was only after the Bush administration cut back on CRA enforcement that problems arose, a timing issue which should stop those blaming the law dead in their tracks. The Federal Reserve, too, did nothing but encourage the wild west of lending in recent years. It wasn’t until the middle of 2007 that the Fed decided it was time to crack down on abusive pratices in the subprime lending market. Oops.

Community Reinvestment Act had nothing to do with subprime crisis

RE: LAist: Martial Law was Threatened if Bailout Didn't Happen
Topic: Miscellaneous 1:45 pm EDT, Oct  7, 2008

Decius wrote:

Valley Congressman Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) stood his ground on Friday during the second House bailout vote that passed. He, along with the majority, voted no on Monday and he once again voted no on Friday, although that time in the minority. During a session of congress on the night before Friday's vote, he said proponents of the bailout were apparently saying martial law be put in place if the vote didn't go through. "That's what I call fear mongering," Sherman said.

More strange rumblings about domestic military operations.

Saw that the other day, too bad he doesn't actually name names. I didn't initially interpret his statement in the secretive cabal sense, more of a generalization of the sentiment the proponents felt.

The original Army Times article has been updated with this blurb:


A non-lethal crowd control package fielded to 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, described in the original version of this story, is intended for use on deployments to the war zone, not in the U.S., as previously stated.

Naomi Wolf has an interesting take on what could possibly constitute a "war zone." If you think of the global war on terror including the United States, we are now part of the "war zone."

Note: I have not vetted Naomi Wolf, really only heard about her yesterday with this video. She has a book to sell about America becoming a police state. Fear will help it move. Still, interesting points raised in this 27 minute video: (I tried < video url="URI" / > in preview mode, didn't seem to work.)

One more thread to add, article titled "The Myth of Posse Comitatus" written by an Army Reserve JAG attorney:

On the erosion of posse comitatus:

The weakness of the analysis of passive versus direct involvement in law enforcement was most graphically demonstrated in the tragic 1999 shooting of a shepherd by marines who had been assigned a mission to interdict smuggling and illegal immigration in the remote Southwest. An investigation revealed that for some inexplicable reason the 16-year-old shepherd fired his weapon in the direction of the marines. Return fire killed the boy. This tragedy demonstrates that when armed troops are placed in a position where they are being asked to counter potential criminal activity, it is a mere semantic exercise to argue that the military is being used in a passive support role. The fact that armed military troops were placed in a position w... [ Read More (0.1k in body) ]

RE: LAist: Martial Law was Threatened if Bailout Didn't Happen

RE: At the corner of Main and Wall...
Topic: Miscellaneous 7:13 pm EDT, Sep 30, 2008

Acidus wrote:
If I hear one more sound bite about "Main street" and "Wall Street" I think I will literally go insane. Seriously, please, shut the hell up!


"Wall Street/Main Street" has overtaken "irregardless" on my lexical annoyances stack.

Can't we just send lenders who wrote these junk loans and mortgagees who bought them to forced labor camps for a while, use the free labor to temporarily overtake China's manufacturing prices, equalized the trade balance and dig out that way?

Accountability and book balancing handled in one fell swoop!

RE: At the corner of Main and Wall...

RE: YouTube - Drill Baby, Drill!
Topic: Miscellaneous 1:48 pm EDT, Sep  4, 2008

Decius wrote:
This speaks for itself.


Do you ever get the sense that we (collective US we) are a bunch of tools? Between this and the starry eyed weepers at the DNC waving their Hope/Change banners, I don't know what to think.

RE: YouTube - Drill Baby, Drill!

RE: Binary Crop Circle?
Topic: Miscellaneous 7:19 am EDT, Aug  7, 2008

skullaria wrote:
"Okay, guys, let's end all of this xenophobic, fearful denial and get serious. Does anyone really believe that two old guys with rope and boards made the 1368-digit Crabwood CD message by hand, late at night while no one was looking, and contrary to all other eyewitness accounts of its creation? You might as well believe in Santa Claus or the Easter bunny!

Come on, all of you geeks and nerds worldwide: let's get to it! You can be even more famous than Jodie Foster in Contact if you succeed! (Carl Sagan used a wormhole there too, because his friend Kip Thorne told him they were possible.)"

If I look at Crop Circles as nothing but....performance art....I'm still amazed - the 'quality' and quantity of the art just gets better and better!

Tired, waking up, no coffee but my first impression was...

If this message is from aliens, why would they come all this way, go through the trouble to lay down a message like that, but fuck with us with things like "false capitalization?"

RE: Binary Crop Circle?

RE: The Dark Knight
Topic: Miscellaneous 4:28 am EDT, Jul 19, 2008

Acidus wrote:
See this. See this right. freaking. now. The awesomeness is... awesome.

Except for the contrived conclusion that seemed bolted on out of necessity more than anything (I'm thinking more along the lines of "huh huh, BatRadar, huh huh") I agree wholeheartedly. What a fucked up Joker! Mad mad mad

RE: The Dark Knight

RE: Amsterdam currency exchangers won't take US dollars - Boing Boing
Topic: Miscellaneous 11:08 am EDT, Mar 20, 2008

k wrote:

Currency exchange outlets in Amsterdam won't to trade US dollars for euros because the value of the dollar is dropping so quickly they're afraid of losing money, even with the outlandish vigorish the sleazy little joints usually tack on.

We are so fucked.

This is kind of alarmist. At the moment we are actually a little better against the pound right now than we were a few weeks ago. So what if some private enterprises in Amsterdam won't accept the dollar? I don't necessarily have to accept them either, no one is forcing me to.

Read someone at the IMF saying they believe the Euro is overvalued recently.

It's all relative.

I am concerned that we have the Fed pumping up our money supply unchecked and without M3 stats we can't really tell the extent, but the Amsterdam thing doesn't really phase me.

RE: Amsterdam currency exchangers won't take US dollars - Boing Boing

RE: Misadventures in logical reasoning
Topic: Miscellaneous 11:35 am EDT, Mar 13, 2008

Dagmar wrote:
No, this is the passage you should have quoted:

Governors who hire adult prostitutes must resign immediately lest the public trust be forever sullied. Presidents who break the law by spying on Americans with no warrants, who torture people in violation of multiple treaties and statutes, who start hideously destructive wars based on false pretenses, who repeatedly proclaim the power to ignore laws, and who imprison people -- including Americans -- with no charges of any kind, should remain in office for as long as they want. Anyone who suggests otherwise is an irresponsible, shrill, partisan radical.

Heh, I was about to quote this with some commentary. You've already done the quoting for me so here goes my comment:

It's ironic that in an article titled 'Misadventures in Logical Reasoning' they exercised the Red Herring fallacy.

RE: Misadventures in logical reasoning

RE: New hope for allergy/asthma sufferers
Topic: Miscellaneous 11:46 am EST, Feb 26, 2008

Nanochick wrote:
The research team, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, targeted the p110delta molecule and found that it was possible to interfere in the allergic reaction before symptoms occur, but without shutting down the immune system in mice.

It means scientists are a step closer to developing a new class of allergy and asthma drugs. At present treatments focus on alleviating the symptoms.

Lead author Dr Khaled Ali said: "p110delta was first identified in 1997 and, although we had our suspicions, at that time we had no idea how important it would turn out to be. This work shows that we have the potential to take control of the body's reaction to an allergen and prevent symptoms from occurring."

That will be nice.

RE: New hope for allergy/asthma sufferers

Government In Action
Topic: Miscellaneous 9:06 pm EST, Dec 29, 2007

[ Video Link ]

Government In Action

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