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Old 07-15-2009, 01:52 PM   #681
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Ichiro!
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Old 07-15-2009, 02:19 PM   #682
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Don't forget, he owned a small percentage of a baseball team

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Old 07-15-2009, 02:42 PM   #683
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Who cares what Mariah's throw looked liked?
It's all about the booty.

Objectification FTW!
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Old 07-15-2009, 02:58 PM   #684
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Who cares what Mariah's throw looked liked?
It's all about the booty.

Objectification FTW!
I miss you when I'm not around.
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Old 07-16-2009, 01:17 AM   #685
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NSW! Good to see you back, dude.
I assume that you 'delivered' in your trousers when TUF was played.
I still haven't heard it, I am saving my virgin ass for the live experience.
And by "live experience" I mean in a restroom, George Michael style.
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Old 07-17-2009, 01:53 AM   #686
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Shining a harsh light on hedge funds

by Andrew Leonard
Salon.com, July 16


On Wednesday, the U.S. Treasury sent proposed legislation to Congress outlining new rules for hedge fund regulation. From Bloomberg:
The legislation would require firms for the first time to report their assets, leverage, off-balance sheet holdings and investments to regulators on a confidential basis, the department said today in a statement. The law would apply to hedge funds, private-equity firms and venture capital managers with more than $30 million in assets.
Simply requiring large hedge funds to report what they're doing, confidentially, might seem like weak beer to those looking for Obama to smack Wall Street around with a heavier stick. But, coincidentally, on that same day, the Senate Banking Committee held a hearing on hedge fund regulation, and one of the panel discussants called to testify, Richard Bookstaber, explained clearly exactly why such rules could make a big difference in protecting the U.S. economy from the risk of another financial meltdown. One excerpt:
"To control the systemic risk posed by hedge funds we must be able to measure crowding, the unintentional concentration of separate funds in the same trade. This means knowing the positions of the individual hedge funds and then being able to aggregate those positions. Whatever their own risk management capabilities, the individual funds--and regulators that might be providing oversight on an institution-by-institution basis--cannot keep systemic risk in check because they do not have this aggregate information. It is as if each fund is sitting in a darkened theater unaware of how many others might run for the exit. To regulate and monitor the systemic risk arising from manipulation, the first task again is for the regulator to know the positions of the hedge funds that are capable of such manipulation, and know those positions on a frequently updated basis...This is missing in the current regulatory structure, and is at the core of systemic risk."
Maybe it's not Glass-Steagal, or equivalent to the creation of the FDIC or SEC, but it would definitely be an incremental improvement from the situation as it now stands. It's also encouraging to see the White House submit legislation in actual draft form, rather than just articulate priorities and then wait for Congress to act. Accumulate enough incremental improvements like this, and eventually you might actually have something that resembles real reform.

But on the other hand,


Quote:
Goldman and JP Morgan win while America loses

by Robert Reich
Salon.com, July 16


Besides Goldman Sachs, the Street's other surviving behemoth is JPMorgan. On Thursday, it posted second-quarter earnings up a stunning 36% from the first quarter, to $2.7 billion. The resurgence of JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs gives both banks more financial clout than any other players on the Street--allowing both firms to lure talent from everywhere else on the Street with multimillion pay packages, giving both firms enough economic power to charge clients whopping fees, and bestowing on both firms even more political heft in Washington.

Where are the antitrusters when we need them? Alternatively, why isn't the government charging Goldman and JPMorgan a large insurance fee for classifying both firms as "too big to fail" and therefore automatically bailed out if the risks they take turn sour? Instead, we've ended up with two giants that now have most of the casino to themselves, are playing with poker chips backed by taxpayers, and have a big say in what the rules of the game are to be.

When JP Morgan repaid its federal bailout of $25 billion last month it was, like Goldman, freed from stricter government oversight. The freedom has also allowed JP, like Goldman, to take tougher and more vocal stands in Washington against proposed financial regulations they dislike. JP is mounting a furious lobbying campaign against regulations that would funnel derivatives trading through exchanges where regulators can monitor them, and thereby crimp JP's profits. Now the Street's biggest derivatives player, JP has generated billions helping clients navigate these contracts and assuming counter-party risk in such transactions. Its derivatives contracts were valued at roughly $81 trillion at the end of the first quarter, representing 40% of the derivatives held by all banks, according to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. JP has played down its potential risk exposure from these derivatives contracts, of course, but anyone who's been paying attention over the last 10 months knows that unregulated derivatives have been at the center of the storm.

The tumult on the Street has also given both firms extraordinary market power. That's where much of the current profits are coming from. JP used the crisis to snap up Bear Stearns in March and Washington Mutual last fall, with the amiable assistance of the Treasury. The deals have boosted JP's dominance in retail banking and prime brokerage, enabling it to charge its corporate clients heftier fees for lending and other financial services, and to corner more of the market in fixed-income and equities. JP also bolstered its earnings by helping other financial companies raise capital following the stress test results in May.

Antitrust law was designed to prevent just this sort of market power and political heft. The Justice Department or the Federal Trade Commission should investigate the newfound dominance of Goldman and JP--and, if warranted, break them up. Alternatively, Congress should impose a surtax on the newly exclusive group of Wall Street firms, most notably Goldman and JPMorgan, which are now backed by implicit government bailout insurance guaranteeing that, should they get into trouble, taxpayers will keep them afloat. The surtax would approximate the economic benefit to these firms of such government largesse, which I'd estimate to be at least 50% of their profits from here on.
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Old 07-17-2009, 09:24 AM   #687
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I miss you when I'm not around.



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Old 07-20-2009, 12:19 AM   #688
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Quote:
Israel rejects US call to stop East Jerusalem settlement expansion

Financial Times (UK), July 20


Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, yesterday rejected a US call to halt construction on a controversial project in mostly Arab east Jerusalem in a move likely to heighten tensions with the country's staunchest ally over the expansion of Jewish settlements. The premier's statements came after a senior Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed Israeli press reports that the US State Department had over the weekend summoned Michael Oren, the country's ambassador to Washington, to demand the plan be suspended.

Mr Netanyahu, speaking at his weekly cabinet meeting, reiterated his stance that Israeli sovereignty over the entire city of Jerusalem is "indisputable" and said: "We cannot accept the idea that Jews will not have the right to live and purchase [homes] in all parts of Jerusalem."

The statements are likely to provoke further friction with the US, which has demanded Israel freeze all Jewish construction in the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem. Palestinians want the city's eastern part, which Israel captured in the 1967 war and annexed as part of its capital city in a move not recognised internationally, as the capital of their future state. Mr Netanyahu's stance may also hamper recent efforts by George Mitchell, the US Middle East envoy, and Ehud Barak, Israel's defence minister and the leader of the only centrist party in Mr Netanyahu's coalition, to reach a compromise on the settlements dispute. Mr Mitchell is expected to meet with the Israeli prime minister in Jerusalem later this month.

Yossi Alpher, an Israeli political analyst, said Mr Netanyahu's comments aimed at clarifying to the US and the Palestinians that he plans to make no concessions on Jerusalem. Furthermore, he added, the statements were a bid to appease the premier's ultra-nationalist and religious coalition allies, who support settlement construction and oppose the creation of a Palestinian state. He said: "Netanyahu is staking out a negotiating position on Jerusalem and is trying to hold his coalition together. This will only exacerbate the existing disagreements between the Netanyahu government and the Obama administration over this issue."
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Old 07-20-2009, 12:29 AM   #689
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^ That is bad news for Israel.
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Old 07-20-2009, 09:56 AM   #690
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New Rasmussen 2012 poll out a few hours ago.

Obama 45%, Romney 45%
Obama 48%, Palin 42%
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Old 07-20-2009, 09:59 AM   #691
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I don't get it, what are they polling exactly?

I mean how do you poll Obama against Romney? How many get to see what Romney is really doing?

And how do you poll Obama against someone who is unemployed?
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Old 07-20-2009, 10:14 AM   #692
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The question they asked was, "In thinking about the 2012 Election for President of the United States, suppose you had a choice between Republican Mitt Romney and Democrat Barack Obama. If the election were held today, would you vote for Republican Mitt Romney or Democrat Barack Obama?" And then the same question only with Palin instead of Romney.
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Old 07-20-2009, 10:56 AM   #693
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New Rasmussen 2012 poll out a few hours ago.

Obama 45%, Romney 45%
Obama 48%, Palin 42%


you have a long 3 years to go.
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Old 07-20-2009, 12:46 PM   #694
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I don't get it, what are they polling exactly?
Really?
Romney has more of a record, and people are more familiar with him being an executive
than they were with Obama when many were supporting him.

2012 will be a lot different for Obama
- he will not be able to run against the one of the most unpopular and worst rated Presidents.


Let's hope Romney does not get that opportunity.
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Old 07-20-2009, 05:58 PM   #695
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I'm thinking Obama has a tougher time of it on the road to the Democratic Convention in 2012. Especially if it turns into change we shouldn't have believed in. Time will tell.
There will be those ready to pounce if his term gets ugly.
I am pulling for him, though.
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Old 07-20-2009, 06:09 PM   #696
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I'm thinking Obama has a tougher time of it on the road to the Democratic Convention in 2012.
Only time will tell, but the way things are now, I seriously doubt it...
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Old 07-20-2009, 06:58 PM   #697
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I'm thinking Obama has a tougher time of it on the road to the Democratic Convention in 2012.

Because...?
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Old 07-20-2009, 07:24 PM   #698
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If he makes it through that I dont see any Republican having much of a chance. The Country has given the Dems their chance. It's now up to them. Even if Obama falls out of favor the Democrats should still hold onto the White House. I just dont see the voters putting their trust in the Republicans for awhile. Unless things get really bad.
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Old 07-20-2009, 07:47 PM   #699
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I'm thinking Obama has a tougher time of it on the road to the Democratic Convention in 2012.
Quote:
Originally Posted by martha View Post
Because...?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobo13 View Post
If he makes it through that I dont see any Republican having much of a chance. The Country has given the Dems their chance. It's now up to them. Even if Obama falls out of favor the Democrats should still hold onto the White House. I just dont see the voters putting their trust in the Republicans for awhile. Unless things get really bad.


Was this an answer to my question?
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Old 07-20-2009, 08:25 PM   #700
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I guess not. I apologize.

I just think a Democrat has a better chance against him.
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