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What do you think of the recent financial upheavals in the U.S. that have seen Lehman Brothers file for bankruptcy, Bank of America buy Merrill Lynch, the collapse of Bear Stearns and the U.S. governm

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This is a total indictment of the utter failures of the current Bush administration. And to think hundreds of millions of dollars a month are spent on foreign wars alone, all that surplus from the Clinton years absolutely wasted.

Disgusting. Absolutely disgsuting.

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rjd jr- The people to blame are the shareholders, constantly wanting more profits, so the banks take more risk.

It has nothing to do with Bush. Your vattitude toward the goverment is disgusting to REAL American.

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The capitalist system doesn't seem to be working, though it beats the hell out of whatever is in second place.

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One word can sum up the entire crisis -- greed.

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Well, it looks pretty serious, and I imagine it will have far-reaching effects in the rest of the world as well. I'm hoping for the best, but we'd all better prepare for the worst. The system runs on faith in the banks and the government, and if that goes, the whole thing goes.

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Clinton shouldnt of opened the loopholes with his policies.....

It’s been nearly a decade since Congress and President Clinton reshaped the financial landscape. That 1999 legislation removed Depression-era barriers between commercial banks and investment firms and allowed the creation of financial behemoths where years later the risks of underwriting subprime mortgages were somewhat hidden.

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Nippon5, You may as well include the rest of that quote: "Former Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, until recently one of the McCain campaign’s top economic advisers, was a chief writer of that law.

McCain voted for a Senate version of the bill but did not vote on the final package. Biden voted against the Senate legislation but for the final compromise that Clinton signed..."

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While it is terrible to see The US and Japan's economy in trouble, it is quite good for other countries like Australia to prosper in their wake.

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Serindipity,

I would almost guarantee that Australia will be affected by this as well. These days, everything is so connected financially that what affects one part affects all parts.

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Now is the time to buy.

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There's a pattern. It goes boom, bust, boom, bust, boom etc but nobody ever thinks it will go to the next stage until it does.

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Yep, Australia lost 30 billion dollars in the last week from the international market.

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I blame Mr. and Mrs. Joe-America. Too greedy. Wanted the dream house that they should have known they can't afford.

Nah, just joking. But I think there is blame all along the chain. It's simplistic to blame Wall St. as a whole. As my name suggests looking back at the mistakes should allow you to avoid them again, but this is the first of such a crisis. Lack of understanding is probably the biggest culprit.

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Sell your stock and buy gold ASAP!

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"This is a total indictment of the utter failures of the current Bush administration"

Yeah, and if the stock market was booming and the Lehman Brothers were making money hand over fist, I guarantee you wouldn't give the Bush administration any credit whatsoever.

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Sell your Heartland stock and buy gold, canned food and ammunition!

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As posted several days ago, "the last 7years have been strange, and it will get stranger". In terms of mitigating economic turmoil, APEC is quite capable of doing something. If the problem can be identified and defined, APEC represents over half to the global economy, and we got some sharp people. The APEC Forum this year in Peru looms huge to address global economic volatility. Pres. Garcia must rise to the occasion and get the members to mitigate any possible problems, and an action plan to address the problems. APEC can do it, and we will grow from this.

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sarge,

you know what? lehmans is going out of business and the markets are crashing.

The bush administration let the banks and brokerage houses do what they wanted with mortgage securities and this is the end result.

This is the republican free market at work, and the job losses are the natural result. Bush is the next Herbert Hoover, worse as Hoover did not invade a country based on lies on top of kicking off a depression.

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I can't believe what I am seeing here. Not a single person knowing anything about economics. Just blame the rich. I can almost see Lenin smiling in his Mausoleum.

What you see now is not result of free markets, and hate to bring it to you: great depression wasn't either. This crisis, which will be far worse than great depression as was the crash of the 30th was the result of government intervention via FED's artificially created interest rates and resulted money supply.

A free market would not create bubbles that would suck all the blood out of economy, while a Keynesian socialist economy is based on these bubbles. The current bubble was set by Alan Greenspan, former secretary of the Federal Reserve. http://themessthatgreenspanmade.blogspot.com/ Bush just added fuel to the fire creating a huge debt that the US has no way of getting out of. They have to fight two wars and feed all these bottom feeders on welfare at the same time. Bernanke has all this mess on his plate and has no clue what to do with it.

For God's sake educate yourselves, read www.financialsense.com and some of the Ron Paul's material. You will see that Lehman's failure is not entirely their own. Although some bad decisions were made, it was the government and FED that created an illusion of healthy economy for last 18 years.

The truth is, since the creation of Federal Reserve markets seized to be free as they became manipulated by something that was a grave fear of the founding father. Shame.

This is just the beginning. brace yourself for a bumpy ride and stock up on some gold. 1328.o on Osaka stock exchange.

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What do I think?

I think I need a golden parachute! The CEO of Lehman Brothers is going to check out of his job with a $214 million bonus (which equates to $214 thousand per the approximately 1000 people who will lose their jobs, if he had a conscience).

I'm pretty sure I could have run Lehman Brothers into the ground for half of what this guy is getting!

Taka

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Taka313 lmao yea I think I could of ran it into the ground for a good 10 million..:)

As far as

The bush administration let the banks and brokerage houses do what they wanted with mortgage securities and this is the end result.

Thats BS the problem was started way before him, all that does is show you will try to change history to make it a Bush issue, Bush messed up the economy but he didnt create this problem..

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Let's face facts. The global economy is largely in the hands of people who exist primarily to make more money. Their judgement is driven by the demands of their companies to make profits grow year on year. And they are largely accountable only to their internal structures and significant shareholders.

Government in the US once regulated and monitored companies to help limit the amount of wild speculation that these corporations could get into. The idea being to protect the economy and the public interests.

Now it seems certain parties prefer the interests of business over the interests of stock holders.

These companies get rich on their speculation and don't share back much of this profit with either the masses of temp or outsource staff that make their operations possible. Nor do they do nearly enough for the communities they work in. Yet when they fail and start to lose money they expect tax payers and the community to bail them out. This is hardly fair when they show very little mercy to workers they cause to be laid off or communities they ravage with their decisions.

I think Lehmans is a good lesson to these institutions to teach them that they are responsible for their own mistakes. But it is sad that ordinary workers will pay the most severe price in terms of impact to their lives and well being.

We should better regulate and control these companies and put more management of the global economy in hands accountable to the public and less so on the powerful and wealthy few. We pay the price for their failures, so we have a right to demand a say over what risks they take.

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What do i think? i feel greatly disappointed, not because i have any engagement with these financial institutes, just because it gives yet another victory to Osama Bin Laden world's most wanted terrorist who wished to see the destruction of American economy.

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I agree with tkoind2.

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The capitalist system doesn't seem to be working, though it beats the hell out of whatever is in second place.

What capitalist system? The U.S. has become a socialist country. That's why we're in this mess. if the U.S. government would just completely butt out ...

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the U.S. government take over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

Barack is their star. He got from them six times what they donated to mccain.

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I think...no, I know that I am worried.

Very worried.

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not because i have any engagement with these financial institutes,

The thing is: you do. Everyone on the planet who uses currency is directly affected by what is goes on with the US financial markets. Everyone.

Welcome to the global economy.

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"This is a total indictment of the utter failures of the current Bush administration. And to think hundreds of millions of dollars a month are spent on foreign wars alone, all that surplus from the Clinton years absolutely wasted.

Disgusting. Absolutely disgsuting."

rjd jr, we might have had disagreements on previous posts, but this one is spot on. I am deeply disgusted with what the Bush Administration has done with the US economy, and my tax dollars. I remember the Clinton years quite fondly; there was one small hiccup with the IMF crisis in Asia in 1997, but on the whole, the consensus in the 1990's was that the United States was clearly moving in the right direction. I am saddened, and indeed frustrated, at what the current situation is like.

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Best summed-up by the phrase 'selfish capitalism.' I think it's about time they made a follow-up to the movie Wall Street, in which Michael Douglas made that memorable one-liner at a meeting of share holders in the movie: 'Greed is Good.' Perhaps that can now be changed to 'Greed is Bad.'

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Stock up on old, silver dimes. You can spend them to buy bread, AND silver has a history of holding it's value during apocalypic economic crisis. And keep a jar of peanut butter around, just in case. You never know.

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Us Liberals know that trained economists like Keith Olbermann and Katie Couric are right:the economic misery we face at this moment is as bad or WORSE than the Depression.

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If the blame lies anywhere, with one individual, it is with Alan Greenspan. He had interest rates down at 1% during what were quite clearly still boom years in 2003 and 2004 and brought them up so slowly over the next few years that the whole complexion of the money markets changed.

The returns on cash were negligible that investors needed to chase higher returns. At the same time, people who could never have afforded loans suddenly could - after all, 1% on $1m is only $10,000 and affordable to the poor.

This created the perfect conditions for the storm that followed.

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I believe it stems from personal irresponsibility, which is why the housing maret has gone into a free-fall. The fact that people tried to buy houses when they didn't have the money to do so, and that financial groups like these allowed it to happen is the r eason for the economic problems...

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No. It stems from the illogigal view that most Americans have, that the impossibe is possible. I, for one, am sick and tired of the American perfect view, that you can have anything that you want if you have the right spirit. The present economic crisis is a classic example of American hubris. Anything and everything is possible. Obama and McCain are just peddling the same old same old. The arrogance of their positions in relation to the outside world is staggering.

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Now we just need China to withdraw its funds that it has invested worldwide and the party is over. Why would they stay invested, when their assets are tumbling?

The AIG bailout was probably unavoidable, but paying for it will be on the backs of the U.S. taxpayers. It will be a drag on the economy as a whole. The housing market worldwide will continue to dive. In the US, the Fed will try cutting the borrowing rates, which will give a one or two day boost, but then that's it.

Worldwide, Russia is already in trouble, and this will spread to other countries. Japan will follow the U.S. today with the stock market dropping, I'm almost sure.

Just a cheery thought to start your day... I think I'll go have a cappuccino.

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A lot of people seem to be misunderstanding both the problems as well as thinking the best solution to the crisis is government intervention. People think that more regulation is the solution. To put it simply, the managers and CEOs at these huge companies didn't see what was coming. At least not until it was too late to shift their positions. Do you really think some bureaucrat would be smarter, and more visionary then these people are? You really want to give a bunch of power to those kinds of people? I certainly don't.

China can't pull what its invested worldwide. When you say that, you make it obvious you don't understand what Global economy means. As well as showing you don't know where the Chinese and other countries are invested. Banks all over the world, including those in China, are looking to help shore up these firms, for the simple reason that if they collapse, the the entire world economy could very well slip into a depression. And if that happens... You think its bad now, you ain't seen nothin yet!

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Molenir,

I think it's important to mention which of the "huge companies" you are talking about. In the case of AIG, which is the one I was referring to, the choice was between a collapse of AIG, which would have had ripple effects worldwide, and an 85 billion dollar bailout, funded by US taxpayers. Since the money belongs to the taxpayers, the government is going to want some control over what is done with it. I don't necessarily disagree with you in regard to some of the other companies, but I think in this case, government intervention to prevent a collapse may have been the best of bad choices.

As to what China can and can't do, that's really hard to say. China has been pouring money into the USA for years. It doesn't have to continue, and certainly the money can start flowing a different direction. And yes, "the entire world economy could very well slip into a depression." For a nice article about what China has been doing and why, I recommend an Altantic Monthly article, located here: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200801/fallows-chinese-dollars

As to understanding what is happening in the global economy, I wouldn't pretend to really understand it, and if I did, I probably would be attending to business, not typing this response. We all do the best we can, though.

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What do you think of the recent financial upheavals. . .

Con.

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How many times have we seen stories on Japan Today: Consumer Confidence Down, and then some "expert" saying we consumers need to consume more? That has been the problem for the U.S., a nation of consumers who produce very little of what the rest of the world wants. American GDP growth from the Clinton era onwards has been an illusion created by the FED. Stop investing in the U.S. and life will be just fine. And if you want to buy a house, make sure the payments are 30% or less of your income.

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How does the U.S. take over a private enterprise (AIG) without approval of the shareholders? Why do they only take over sick companies? Can't they take over healthy ones? Comrade Bernanke seems to have finally drawn a line in the sand over Lehman. Why?

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When you (America) moves manufacturing jobs,real wealth creation jobs to foreign countries and relies only on service jobs to make money;this is the reward! And this is not the worst yet, more will come.

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there is too much greed in the US market - which caused this. I think some companies who are lucky enough to scoop up their rivals in this turbulent times..will one day become a very strong financial powerhouse..It's too bad that during the good times, all the bankers make a lot of money and live a lavish lifestyle, but when the you know what hits the fan, the taxpayers have to bail them out

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Farmboy,

I agree, that saving AIG was necessary. Its collapse, with the ties it has to banks worldwide, could have triggered a global recession. Ok, I don't see that necessarily happening, but its one of the possibilities, and stepping in to prevent its collapse was the best of a bunch of bad choices.

there is too much greed in the US market - which caused this.

Its not greed, but rather a lack of foresight. Many of us saw the housing downturn, and acted, shifting portfolios away from companies that had fueled the housing boom via their lending practices. I for one however didn't anticipate the ripple effect it would cause. I expected Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. I expected Bear Stearns. However the lack of movement by Lehman Bro's CEO, when he had many opportunities to save the company, that surprised me.

Again, more regulation is not the answer. The people who would be regulating the economy would be just as bad and probably worse then the people who created the mess we're in.

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