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Occupy Wall St.

Your "libertarian" ideals weep.

I'll offer one counter argument - there is absolutely no requirement for free space in a park. One can provide countless other examples of events which overcrowd NYC parks, sometimes for days at a time. How about electric zoo?

If you want orderly protesting agreed upon with local authorities - then you have Russia's current state, which you were highly critical of. The USA has (thankfully) a long standing history of allowing spontaneous gathering of large crowds.

Furthermore, yet again, have you actually gone to see these protests? Also your shorts are way too short. ;)
I'm highly critical of Russia's current state because the government is corrupt. Not much else.
Frankly the most important right (in my opinion, of course) is the right to property. Thus the owner's/public's right to property trumps the protestors right to assemble imo


Ting Ting
They never sustained an effort to really 'occupy' Wall Street, with the barricades and the cops, that would have been short-lived...

Occupy Within Walking Distance to Wall Street just isn't as catchy.


Older and Wiser
Don't forget Germany and Finland.

My point was that there is a lot more to criticize that has nothing to do with "corrupt" government. I am strongly opposed to forced military service, although I acknowledge it exists outside of Russia as well.

I'm on the same boat with you regarding the draft. It is mandatory in Cuba too.
... for the third time, the owner voluntarily gave up that right.

Also only because the government is "corrupt"?!? The mandatory military draft doesn't do anything? Prohibition of "unsanctioned" protests, and the government's unwillingness to sanction them? The massive wealth gap? The barriers to entry and continuation imposed by shadow structures? The stagnant dependence on oil? Collapse of research? Strong-armed foreign policy and support of Iran and Hamas? None of even that?
Most of these can be attributed to or are accentuated by the corrupt government though.


EDIT: This is NOT a freak show. These are concerned citizens who in my opinion are misguided.

Thanks to Alexei for the correction.

I find it puzzling that this topic isn't receiving more attention. Seems to be a fairly pointed thing the OWS crowd could unify behind.

OWS crowd doesn't know what a derivative is. Nor are they willing to listen to details. All they know is that the banks are screwing them -- somehow. And they chant it like the sheep in Animal Farm chant "Four legs good, two legs bad."



What Cenk fail to understand is that, by guaranteeing bank accounts, the governement creates a moral hazard.

People don't care what the bank do with their money, ''hey it's guaranteed!'' lol

So, people should force the governement to stop guaranteeing bank accounts so they can do their homework and put their money in what they consider to be, the safest bank.


... if only the real world worked remotely like that! lol.

Well, people spend more time analysing the technical details of a plasma TV then they do for the banks where they put their money.

If governement didn't create a moral hazard by guaranteeing bank accounts, people would be forced to make sure the bank they choose has sound policies.

There would be private rating agencies that would rank banks by their lowest risk exposure, etc.

The bottom line is, once again, the good intentioned governement action have the opposite effect.


I don't think so. The system you describe just doesn't work for a multitude of factors. Heck your presented solution isn't even the optimal solution.

The 'solution' I presented was to show that the market would come up with ways that could help people choose the safest bank. I don't know in advance what the market will create.

During the Great Depression, there was no Deposit Insurance and only 2% of the money was lost.

To say that the system doesn't work is simply wrong. There are countries who until recently still have/had no Deposit Insurance policy (such as New Zealand, until 2008 I think where they got one due to political pressure).

And remember what a moral hazard is: ''...any situation in wich one person makes the decision about how risk to take, while someone else bears the cost if things go badly''. Sounds familiar (wall st.), doesn't it?


Aah, but that's where legislation about what kinds of risks can be taken with that money comes in!

At any rate, America has experienced a couple of bank rushes already. I don't think this country is in favor of a third (or fourth or fifth...)

No, this governement micromanaging doesn't work. To solve the problem, you need to get rid of the moral hazard.

It is as if, the governement start guaranteeing people's loses at the casino. Obviously, people will rush to the casino and take all kinds of risks.

But then, the Casino have liquidity problems. So you come in and want to add legislation to limit a certain type of 'risks' people can take.

However, the moral hazard is still here, so people will find other ways to speculate (since it is risk free), i.e. '' ok, I cain't play poker anymore? Fine, I'll go all in with blackjack''.

And this is what the banks are/been doing. People still haven't connected the dots between government created moral hazards and the current situation.


Sure, banks are lending the money they are given, which carries some risks associated with it. There is oversight over who the banks lend the money to, and their risk management practices are to some extend monitored by the government. Not perfect, but nothing is.

I'm not talking about banks lending money. However, sure, the FED gives free money (0%) to banks who in turn, lend it for a 4%-5% interest rate.

Now lets go back in time and do away with both government regulation and government guarantees and fast forward to today's society. What would people do in the real world? They'd all put their money wherever offers them the highest %. And when that place goes belly-up, people will realize that ALL banks are screwed, and try to withdraw all their money before the banks run out of money to give out. And then there will be no banks at all! Woo! Problem solved.

There will surely be a transition period. I'm not saying the government have to end deposit insurance tomorrow or obviously, it will be chaos.

My point/goal is to educate people so they can connect the dots and understand what is going on. Once they do figure it out, change will come naturally.

Now to your argument that people will put their money wherever they receive the highest %, it is true only if there is a governement moral hazard (deposit insurance).

Now, Abdel, you claim to want to be a finance professional if I remember correctly. As the ideal consumer that you endlessly assume, that knows more than the banks do themselves but for whatever reason still give them your money. Assuming you have to give them your money, what is the optimal bank to give your money to?

The only thing I'm assuming about consumers is if the governement make it risk free, people won't bother/care about the solvency of the bank. If there is no depost insurance, then people will be more aware.

And as I said earlier, market forces will create agencies that rank the banks based on their risk taking policies. Or any other mechanism that I cain't think of.

Why people spend more time looking at the details of a plasma TV then to the balance sheet of the bank where they're putting their life savings? You would think that people's life savings are more important that a plasma TV right?

And to answer your question, as far as I'm concerned, all the U.S big banks are insolvant. The only thing keeping them alive is these low interest rates. Once the rates go up, they will go bankrupt all over again and will beg for a bail out.


When I look at a country where people spend more time picking out their plasma TV, I see a country that is economically sound and productive

US consumers were spending their time picking up plasma TV's in '04,'05, '06 etc. Was the US economy sound and productive?

You have to look at the composition of the GDP, trade deficit/surplus, the level of personal debt, the type/level of the national debt (external, internal), Average Salary Income vs Debt (does the income justify the debt, e.g. average salary income in Quebec is under $30,000 and yet, they have a +$230 billion debt. Clearly, they lived beyond their means = they will live beneath their means soon.)

And plenty other factors you have to look at to know if the economy is sound.

Well at least, that's how I proceed.
When I look at a country where people spend more time picking out their plasma TV, I see a country that is economically sound and productive, however knows little about TVs. LCD is def. the way to go.

Plasmas have deeper black levels and better contrast ratio without even needing local dimming. LCD is only good if you are concerned about power consumption.