Thursday, December 1, 2011 1:07:19 PM
I don't think a Pyramid scheme is what the people had in mind when they came up with the Mandrake mechanism. There`s nothing wrong with having a currency of negative value so long as you don`t overextend yourself. Unfortunately, the banks and many home owners were way above the recommended 10 to 20 % range of earnings. Some people will say, "But most mortgages are 20% more than people`s earnings" A mortgage isn`t 100% debt. The house has value. Where people got in trouble is when they started paying well above the market value of a house and the banks gave them a mortgage based on that price. As for social security & employment "insurance"; they`re more transfer payments rather than pension plans or actual insurance. They look like pyramid schemes because the ratio of people retired/unemployed vs employed(payees into the plans) has gone up drastically since the plans inception.
Sunday, November 27, 2011 3:04:54 AM
Mr. Tool - your distinction between the approach of well-regulated vs. heavily-regulated was highly insightful. How often we find ourselves regulating an industry back into the problems it faced before regulation was called for! Another point you hit upon which is of great interest to me - the Pyramid scheme. Here in America, at least as far as the financial system is concerned, we call it the Mandrake mechanism! Bank assets are backed by other people's debt (as you pointed out). But it goes deeper than that - we don`t have a currency of positive value, as does virtually no other county of this day (regardless of 1st, 2nd, or 3rd-world status). If you want to talk about the ultimate pyramid scheme however, I consider it to be what we call `social security` along with several of its related entitlements (let me know if any of this sound unfamiliar to you, although I highly doubt it).
Friday, November 25, 2011 3:00:11 PM
Why does my original post keep repeating?
Happy Thanksgiving to you, Suicism. Actually, ours was a few months ago but thank you just the same. In regards to your comment about government backed lending and the FDIC, you're absolutely right. Having a government-backed mortgage entity that is required to provide affordable housing is kind of like trying to have your cake and eat it as well. You either pay for affordable housing or you don`t. As for the FDIC, it would have been more accurate for me to say you have to have a well regulated banking system as opposed to a heavily regulated one. My understanding is that banks where packaging good and bad loans together and selling them to other investors. In other words, banks were generating income by selling the futures on their loans rather than on the repayment of the loans. Then, they would go out and make more loans; some good, some bad. Pyramid scheme, anyone? Yes, this is a simplified version of what happened.
Thursday, November 24, 2011 3:27:51 PM
Hey SimpleTools - Happy Thanksgiving. And I'm glad you approve of my nickname compared to the alternative you provided, lol. I`d like to spend more time discussing your first point. One of the ironies of our banking system here in America actually has to do with government-backed mortgage entities contributing to the crisis on a mortgagee level. One of Fannie Mae`s charters (which is a privately funded, government sponsored lending enterprise) is that they must make affordable housing part of their business. This led in part to a sub-prime boom since, as I mentioned before with regard to other goods, the more you subsidize something the more of it you`re going to see.