Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Government The Almighty Buck United States Your Rights Online

Official — Economic Crash Not Computers' Fault 386

Posted by timothy
from the how-about-moral-hazard-and-too-big-to-fail dept.
itwbennett writes "A 2-year government investigation has found what we pretty much all knew to be true: High speed trading systems were not the cause of the 2008 economic crash. 'The crisis was the result of human action and inaction, not of Mother Nature or computer models gone haywire,' according to a leaked copy of the report's conclusions revealed in the New York Times."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Official — Economic Crash Not Computers' Fault

Comments Filter:
  • by spun (1352) <`moc.oohay' `ta' `yranoituloverevol'> on Thursday January 27, 2011 @02:20PM (#35022846) Journal

    The rich are waging class war against the rest of us, and transferring wealth from the average person to themselves through fraud and coercion.

  • Makes sense. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <{taiki} {at} {cox.net}> on Thursday January 27, 2011 @02:20PM (#35022852)

    I mean, the problems largely stem from scuzzy bankers and brokers buying and selling what they knew was garbage, along with problems with the fed's lousy idea of what an interest rate is, etc.

    It's like finding out that the Minnesota bridge collapse wasn't the fault of computers either. No big deal.

  • by swschrad (312009) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @02:35PM (#35023044) Homepage Journal

    the "flash crash" of fall 2010 was caused by robotraders.

    the "credit crash" of fall 2008 was caused by greedy streetpunks passing crap paper around in the form of wispy visions of a bad translation of a murky photo of a dim shadow of the promise of someday showing a bad asset. and taking big bonuses every time the stinking pile came around for another rubber stamp.

    the only possible report on cause could be "everybody failed as soon as this unregulated activity was allowed."

    that's what published.

    duh.

  • What a joke (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nedlohs (1335013) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @02:36PM (#35023056)

    The full 576 page investigation, out this afternoon, was the product of extensive research and interviews with over seven hundred witnesses. But only six of the 10 commission members, all of them Democrats, have backed the final report.

    Yeah, "extensive" research and interviews. Only of the very people who didn't see it coming of course, because the legion of people who predicted it in advance wouldn't have any idea as to the causes.

    You can guarantee the answer will be "there was enough regulation" by the gazillion regulations that did exist at the time and we need a gazillion more. Rather than "maybe the Fed settings rates at almost 0% for so long wasn't such a wise idea, oh and maybe when banks are making million dollar loans to people with no income and no assets the regulators and ratings agencies should take a look-see (you know doing their jobs)".

    And yes some things that weren't regulated should have been (if it looks like insurance and quacks like insurance then maybe is is insurance even if they call it a credit default swap).

    High speed trading is completely irrelevant since this wasn't triggered by a sudden drop in the prices of things involved in high speed trading in the first damn place.

  • by roman_mir (125474) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @02:36PM (#35023058) Homepage Journal

    You know, results of a government commission that was established to figure out the causes for the financial crisis of 2008 came out, and that commission was a charade, just like this one.

    That commission "found" that the crisis was caused by lack of regulations, that low interest rates and Freddie/Fannie had nothing to do with the housing bubble, they "found" that the only thing that government did "wrong" was let the Lehman brothers fail and that the future crisis can only be avoided if there is more government regulations.

    Lets start with this: I despise the governments.

    The results of that commission were just as well known in advance as the results of the one from this story. Of-course a government commission will find that what is needed is more government and that whatever structural problems that are caused by government are not the real problems.

    THIS IS THE SAME BULLSHIT.
    IT IS BULLSHIT, DO NOT BELIEVE A SINGLE WORD THAT YOU ARE READING IN THE FABRICATED CONCLUSIONS OF THESE COMMISSIONS.

    They are finding one thing: there is need for more government.

    They are finding this other thing: whoever is in power cannot be blamed.

    That's all.

  • Re:Makes sense. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by UnknowingFool (672806) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @02:37PM (#35023068)
    And people ignoring history. Everyone from investors to banks to insurance companies were betting on housing markets never falling. Anyone who has studied housing markets know they have periods of downturn and growth. All markets are cyclical. When housing fell, everyone panicked and realized that they were invested into the trillions into a market worth substantially less.
  • by Hatta (162192) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @02:44PM (#35023152) Journal

    Greed is malice.

  • by Dishevel (1105119) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @02:52PM (#35023234)

    I am sure that the fact that it is still possible for a person to grow up poor and with determination and hard work become rich is something that you either
    do not believe in or something that you do not believe happens.
    Which?
    Because really that is all I ask of my government when it comes to wealth equality. Not that life be fair, or that we all make comparable amounts of money.
    I do not want my government to watch over those things. I only want it to ensure that it is still possible to better yourself economically if you make it
    important enough in your life.
    I hear way to many people whining about how much money someone else has while they waste their money on instant happiness secure in the knowledge that our tax money will allow them to never save nor think of the future. It is a truly sad way to train you citizens and it should stop.

  • by handy_vandal (606174) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @02:54PM (#35023264) Homepage Journal

    "'The crisis was the result of [human action] criminal behavior and [inaction] failure of law enforcement to do anything about it."

  • by Lord Ender (156273) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @02:59PM (#35023358) Homepage

    What? If anything, it was the opposite. The Rich were transferring money to the poor so that they could buy houses they could not afford. Once the bubble that caused burst, the poor lost their houses (which they couldn't afford in the first place) and the rich lost their money (foreclosing on underwater mortgages == losing money!).

    Of course, the rich had bet everything (including the deposits in your bank accounts) on those mortgages. This is when the government decided to give your childrens' money to the rich to prevent the crash from becoming a collapse. But the government's action is the result of the crash, not the cause of it.

  • Re:Makes sense. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dkleinsc (563838) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @03:04PM (#35023414) Homepage

    Actually, only complete morons were betting that the housing market never fell. The smart evil bastards that make up most of Wall Street knew the market would collapse, but were doing their best to ensure that when it did so they'd lose nothing.

    For instance, Goldman Sachs would buy credit default swaps from AIG, which meant that they could never lose money on buying up a bad loan (because AIG was going to be left paying the piper if it did). Now, in order to get a good rate from AIG, Goldman also made those investments look much better than they were, so AIG was thinking "those suckers, we're never going to have to pay a claim on this". And of course Too Big To Fail meant that if the shit really hit the fan, they could be assured that Uncle Sam would be the one holding the bag.

    And to compound the problem, the individuals at those companies knew that they were never going to be personally liable for any of it. So the manager at AIG was happy to sell credit default swaps and make big bonuses - the worst that could possibly happen is he would get fired after making big bucks.

  • by spun (1352) <`moc.oohay' `ta' `yranoituloverevol'> on Thursday January 27, 2011 @03:13PM (#35023502) Journal

    Hahaha, good one. No, the poor are being scammed out of years worth of mortgage payments by the bank owning rich. Please look at current statistics. Look at the stock market, look at Wall Street Bonuses. The rich did not have to tighten their belts at all. The top one percent control more of the country's wealth today than they did when Bush took office. The crash, and the government response to it, were all decided upon ahead of time by the few wealthy banking families that control our monetary policy. It was a deliberate effort to bankrupt the government by stealing our tax dollars.

  • Re:Makes sense. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by need4mospd (1146215) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @03:17PM (#35023546)
    My question, now that we have this report, where are the prosecutions? Surely it's found that certain individuals or corporations share responsibility in creating the situation that caused economic downturn, right? There are mentions of fraud dozens of times throughout the report. Fraud is a crime last I checked. People should be going to jail en masse, from the greedy loan officer that forged paperwork to the upper management that did nothing while supervising it, all the way up to the previous and current Secretary of Treasury if necessary.

    We all get worked up over pictures of oil covered birds in the marshes of Louisiana, yet we just sit here and take it when the leaders of our country rob us at gun point.

  • by roman_mir (125474) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @03:17PM (#35023554) Homepage Journal

    Monopolies exist outside of government creation and control

    - maybe you want to think about this before you type another one like that.

    Monopolies are government creations. The natural monopolies, such as if you own the original of Mona Lisa, that's not a government creation, that's real. But natural monopolies are far and between, while government has created and subsidized and protected and stimulated and bailed out and protected and created tax loopholes for and regulated for all of the really important monopolies of today, anything from AT&T, to the military industrial complex monopolies, to food production monopolies - the agricultural, the processing, the communications and the financial monopolies.

    Think about FDIC, think about what that means - removing risk from lending to certain banks.

    Think about Freddie/Fannie and what that means - removing risk from lending mortgages and then selling the 'securitized' debt around in SIVs.

    Think about 0-1% interest - taking huge loans from government at almost 0% interest and buying gov't debt and "making" the spread, thus in one shot - propping up more gov't spending and displaying 'record' profits.

    The utilities - energy department. When Carter established it, it had this agenda to get USA off foreign oil. Ok, how did that work out? But what happened to all the 'energy producing' companies that are dealing with the gov't?

    The monopolies, they are what government loves, they are what government wants, they are what pays the government officials to be reelected. It's a symbiotic relationship between politicians and monopolies, and they are parasites on the back of the society and economy that does not need them, suffers and suffocates because of them.

    You are saying: government is not the problem, the rich controlling it are the problem.

    But how did that happen? Who are these 'rich'? They are rich, because they are at the helm of the government, taking in the free money and KILLING competition with government power.

    They are the rich, and they are the government, because the people do not care, right? People do not care to stop the government from destroying the free market.

    Because the people, average people, they NEED the competition and free market. Because average people need prices to go DOWN, but monopolies do not allow that.

    Prices must go down. You are hearing that the gov't right now is telling you that the economy is improving. Do not believe a single word, it's a gigantic lie.

    An improving economy would mean more economic activity, and that only means more production and the result of that would be savings and reduction of trade deficit. The trade deficit is not reducing, the jobs are not appearing, the prices are not falling. Falling prices are brought to you by a working economy, by an economy that is becoming more efficient due to more efficient allocation of resources, and it's never planned, it just happens by the market forces, that choose for the falling prices.

    The government destroys the economy, takes away your purchasing power by printing money and causing prices to go up, at the same time it regulates the free market away to keep its monopolies running without any threat of competition, and this again causes prices to go up. The gov't also provides money.

    Gov't gives money, gives out loans to students, securitizes all these risky assets and loans and all this money is printed, given out with no interest, no backing, no reserves of any kind, no production to back it up.

    The US Fed is counterfeiting US Federal Reserve Notes (which are not dollars, dollars are coins, that are minted by US Treasury, that's the extent to which the gov't is allowed to 'create' money).

    The Federal Reserve is supposed to be this 'independent' entity, so that if the gov't starts spending too much, it can SHUT DOWN the printing press. Of-course the Congress will NEVER prevent the Fed from printing more money, because it will never stop from pr

  • by dgatwood (11270) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @03:26PM (#35023650) Journal

    I am sure that the fact that it is still possible for a person to grow up poor and with determination and hard work become rich is something that you either do not believe in or something that you do not believe happens.

    It happens occasionally, but it is exceptionally rare. What actually happens, in practice, is that someone born into the middle class becomes upper middle class by moving to an area with a higher cost of living, then working for a while, and finally retiring somewhere with a lower cost of living. Work in California. Retire in Tennessee.

    The number of children born below the poverty line (the definition of poor) who work hard and "become rich" is essentially zero, with the exception of lottery winners, and even those folks are rarely rich for very long.

    The reason for this is twofold. First, the poor have to spend nearly all of their income just to get by. This leaves no realistic opportunity for the sorts of "I started a company and made it big" stories because there's not enough capital or access to capital to make that happen.

    Second, because the poor live hand to mouth, they generally do not understand how to manage finances, so in the rare occasions when they come into a large sum of money (lottery, inheritance, etc.), they tend to blow through it very quickly instead of saving it and living on the interest. They also fail to keep enough money aside to pay their taxes, and end up losing their shirts. This same mindset leads to racking up colossal debt, which only exacerbates the problem.

    Those two factors can be overcome, but only through proper education. Unfortunately, our education systems do not teach money management (except perhaps in an MBA program or something), and thus the only opportunity for kids to learn it is from their parents. When the parents don't know how to manage their money, the kids don't learn it. As a result, the vast majority of the working poor (along with the vast majority of their descendants) are basically doomed to a life of barely breaking even.

    Even scholarships merely promote them from working poor to working middle class, but the tendency to burn through all their income usually follows them, and although they are in some sense better off, there's not much room for further advancement beyond that point except in subsequent generations through marrying someone with a better grip on money management.

    It's like a treadmill. The poor keep walking on it because they started out going just fast enough to keep up. The middle class often start out going faster than the treadmill, walk off the front, and keep walking.

    Short of outside interference (e.g. a better education system, marrying someone in a higher social class, etc.), there is no real opportunity to break this cycle. Thus, no matter how hard the poor work, they almost never get ahead, and even when they do, there are limits to how far ahead they are likely to get.

    Ultimately, the only way to fix this is for schools to instill financial responsibility in children from a young age. However, this isn't in the best interests of the folks at the top, who require a steady flow of willing consumers in order to maintain their artificial inequality. As such, this isn't likely to every happen unless we get a truly progressive government (which we don't have now and haven't had in my lifetime).

  • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @03:31PM (#35023718)

    In other 1st world countries, parents income has a 10% effect on their offspring's income.
    In the U.S. it is 50%.

    In the US it used to be 3 generations from bottom to top to bottom- now it's 5.

    Instead of letting people earn money on merit, we have paris hilton's and george bush's leading the nation because their parents were rich. Think about how similar paris and george were.

    The children of actors get first shot at all the acting jobs- not because they are good- but because their parents were actors. The CEO's share the same private schools as kinds and refer to playing with other ceo's when they were children.

    In the long run- it's bad for the country as a whole to allow rich idiot children to take over the nation because they are friends with each other.

  • Re:Makes sense. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by C10H14N2 (640033) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @03:32PM (#35023732)

    Actually, the major problem was precisely the opposite. The banks and insurance companies -- even Fannie and Freddie -- were all betting that the housing markets WOULD fail. Freddie was churning billions in overnight short sells of their own paper daily, trying to make a profit riding down that failure. It was a race to see who could skim the most off the trades themselves until the paper was worthless. Anyone with the slightest bit of understanding of economics in general and the housing market could see that crash coming back in 2000. They had just created the financial instruments to profit, massively, off the inevitable crash. Even as the last sucker holding that worthless paper, there was still one last bet to call in and come out even money with credit default swaps. It wasn't a cycle people forgot to plan for. It was a market deliberately re-engineered to transfer a LOT of wealth VERY quickly on the highly anticipated downside of that cycle.

    It was not an accident, much less willful ignorance. It was simply bare avarice.

  • by roman_mir (125474) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @03:43PM (#35023850) Homepage Journal

    Don't patronize me, don't need to. Obviously there are some natural monopolies, but that's not what we are talking about, is it?

    Well, I am not talking about the natural monopolies, I am talking about all the monopolies that are not natural, and their nature is found in the halls of the government offices, where they are pumped up with money and privilege and where they are protected from the market forces, protected from any competition, where they get their preferable tax treatments, where they get the government contracts.

    And who gets the government contracts? Well, it's not 'natural' monopolies that get them, that's for sure.

    Government created all of the monopolies that matter, that's my point. All monopolies that actually MATTER.
    --

    When you say: the rich will not invest in American business.

    Let me tell you something. I will not invest in American business. I am not rich, but I would NOT invest in American business. I refuse to invest in American business. I am investing into a business that is on a different continent right now because there are possibilities, because there is nearly NO government intervention compared to USA, because it is POSSIBLE to do business.

    Do you know which freedom really matters at the end? The freedom to do business and to make your living. Because all other freedoms, they are really inconsequential if this one freedom is absent. Because what good is just 'freedom of speech' - so you can complain about how the government is killing the society by killing the economy? Great. Now what? How about freedom of doing business? That's the one that matters, that's the one that separates a society that ALLOWS upward mobility, from the one that only TALKS about it.

    The rich are not investing in America. Why should they invest in America? Should it be out of some patriotic duty to do so? OK, but see how America is treating its patriots - those who are actually fighting in combat for America. It's not pretty.

    Really, you know when people will START investing in America again? When America stops destroying the savers.

    Do you know what an investment is? It is first of all a saving. It is a saving. Capital is savings. America today says: fuck you if you save. If you save you are a piece of shit, you must be SPENDING instead.

    It's all about spending. Where is the respect for the saver? No respect for the saver. The saver gets to suck the Fed's cock. That's all. Suck Fed's cock.

    The Fed is growing its cock by printing all these dollars, so that the saver sees the value of his savings disappear, so he can SUCK that ever growing COCK of INFLATION.

    Also you know when the rich will start investing in America again? When America wakes up and turns back to the free market - system that PREFERS BUSINESS.

    OK? You cannot expect anybody to invest into your system, if your system rejects the idea of capital savings and investment in principle.

    If your system destroys the currency and destroys the savings and does not allow business to grow just by competing with OTHER BUSINESS instead of competing with GOVERNMENT and government regulations.

    How about removing the road blocks that are on the way of anybody who maybe would want to start a business? All of those regulations.

    It's much easier to do business in China today than in USA, that's the freaking sad thing. You will say: China is 'slave labor'. Sure, that's because they are slaving away, subsidizing the US consumer with both, money and products.

    Let the prices fall.
    Let the labor prices fall.
    Get rid of regulations that are preventing businesses from normal work and force businesses to do something they do not need to do - compete with government, fight government every step of the way.
    Stop printing money, but this of-course means stop government spending.

    Only this will have investors back in America.

  • by spun (1352) <`moc.oohay' `ta' `yranoituloverevol'> on Thursday January 27, 2011 @03:47PM (#35023918) Journal

    The rich did not eat the losses, the losses were farmed out to small investors while the big trading houses got a bailout. This recession was not even a speedbump to the ultra wealthy. Look at the bonuses, the Dow Jones, the income disparity: the rich were not hurt at all by this recession, they profited from it.

  • by JonySuede (1908576) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @03:48PM (#35023940) Journal

    yes they have go read about the Honduras 30 years long civil war started by Dole, Chiquita and the CIA
    and read about the killing of syndicalist by coca-cola
    and the toxic waste dumped by Shell
    and the never-ending Colombian narcowar
    and the oppression of millions by the Saudi regime in the middle east

    Those things are all a direct result of the continuation of the Monroe doctrine

  • by Dunbal (464142) * on Thursday January 27, 2011 @03:57PM (#35024060)
    I agree. I was trading that day and notice the Japanese Yen plummeting long before the market collapsed. IMO there was an astounding move out of the US dollar towards the Japanese yen which was the setup for the crash. The yen hit bottom about 10-15 minutes before the Dow and S&P 500 slid off the scale. I just couldn't stop laughing at all the excuses that were put forward the next day to "explain" it, none of which even mentioned Forex. Funnily enough we're still at 83 yen/dollar (from 93) over a year later - not because the yen is so good, but because the dollar is losing value like crazy (and the Euro along with it). But hey, blame it on "computer error" or "jp morgan" or whomever. Either way the magic bubble keeps inflating more and more - we broke 12,000 this week thanks to the Fed's money printing policy. So we'll have real nice stock prices, but in a few years Americans won't be able to afford to import anything or travel overseas. One way or another this abscess will find a way to drain - just don't be standing next to it when it does.
  • Re:Makes sense. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by radtea (464814) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @04:22PM (#35024422)

    And to compound the problem, the individuals at those companies knew that they were never going to be personally liable for any of it.

    Which is what distinguishes the United States from a free market. In a free market, individuals are liable for their actions. Government interference in the free market in the form of legislation that shields individuals from the consequences of their actions in the form of the various Companies Acts that have been passed in the past 150 years, allows such people to hide behind the skirts of the Nanny State.

    Given the absence of a free market in the US, there are only two consistent alternatives: to regulate the existing market further so that we get the benefits of the corporate form of social organization without so much of the downside, or to unregulate the market by abolishing the Companies Act and its successors, and return corporate property to its individual owners (the shareholders) while giving each owner and officer personal liability. Since the latter leads to a mess--this is simply a matter of historical fact--I personally favour further regulating the non-free market in which corporations exist.

    Anyone who attempts to oppose the regulation of corporations on the basis of claims about "the free market" is guilty of a fundamental logical inconsistency, as no corporations would exist in a genuinely free market.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 27, 2011 @04:35PM (#35024650)

    Bullshit. It's an individual's job to better himself, it's not owed to him to teach him it's required of him to learn. If he doesn't bother to learn, if he wants to waste any money he might win, he's not "doomed". He's lazy and uneducated.

    Your perspective is completely backwards and dangerously wrong and leads to obviously wrong conclusions like government control of all wealth because the uneducated person obviously can't be trusted to manage their own money.

  • by troll -1 (956834) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @04:48PM (#35024872)

    At one point or another, the common man needs to set up a state that works for his interests. Eventually working Americans will grow tired of working to enrich others while they suffer from illiteracy and treatable diseases. They will seize control of the state and industrial structures and finally determine their own future.

    What you're talking about is redistribution of the wealth by force. Historically the American economy has outperformed all others because it embraces laissez faire capitalism that allows people to accumulate wealth. Having failed in the old Soviet Union, been abandoned by the Chinese, and having caused stagnation throughout Central and South America, the idea of taking from the rich and giving to the poor still persists among those who choose to ignore history. Redistribution of the wealth has _never_ worked as an economic policy. It prohibits economic growth which means the poor just get poorer. This is the kind of thing Hugo Chavez does. You're all gonna end up like Venezuela if you're not careful.

    Google for Geni Coefficient before you assume that wealth disparity is historically more disproportionate today than it's ever been or that the gap is any wider in the US than it is anywhere else.

  • by SETIGuy (33768) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @05:48PM (#35025688) Homepage

    I am sure that the fact that it is still possible for a person to grow up poor and with determination and hard work become rich is something that you either do not believe in or something that you do not believe happens.

    It's not belief or disbelief. It's evidence. It happens very very rarely that a poor person becomes rich. And when it does happen, it is even more rarely due to determination and hard work. A poor person has no money to spend on education. To a poor person determination and hard work still mean a minimum wage job.

    But of course, that's inherent in the capitalistic system. Capitalism is a system where you can become wealthy on the determination and hard work of others. Personal determination and hard work won't make you wealthy, they'll make your boss's boss wealthy.

    And once wealth has been achieved, wealth breeds wealth. Once you're in the investor class, you pay other people to make money for you off of the labor of others.

    If you a born into a poor family, the ways in which you can become rich are very limited.

    1) You can have or develop a rare talent that is valuable. You can become a famous musician, singer, or athlete. But the problem with rare talents is that they are rare. I could never become a singer or professional wide receiver, regardless of the quality of the person who attempted to train me. I do have natural talents. But if I had been born into a poor family or even a lower middle class family, I would have never become a research physicist, because the resources I needed in order to become one would have been missing. And if I hadn't started on this path at about age nine, it would have been out of reach. You know what to the smart poor kids in an inner city Headstart program? They get ignored, because they don't need attention every second. That pretty much continues into elementary school and beyond. They learn pretty early that it doesn't pay to be smart.

    2) You can marry into a wealthy family. This is a lot harder than you might think because the wealthy segregate themselves from the poor. So again, this option is reserved for the rich.

    3) Be in the right place at the right time. Also hard if you're poor. But if you're already rich you can buy your way through business school and get an executive position at a start up and make millions for doing very little.

    Along with the lack of upward mobility, there's little downward mobility. If you're Donald Trump, you can cancel a billion dollars in debt through bankruptcy, not have a penny to your name, and the next day walk into a bank to ask for a $10 million dollar loan, and they'll give it to you. Because you're a member or the rich club, even though you're poor. If you're poor, the same bank will charge you $50 a month in fees because you aren't maintaining a $15K combined balance. That is, if they let your shabby ass through the door in the first place.

    But as I've said, I'm reasonably rich. I come from an upper middle class family. I married into an upper middle class family. I don't personally know any billionaires, but I do know people with 7 to 8 figure net worth, and I've met people with 9 figure net worth. What they all have in common is significant inherited wealth, with the exception of one person who was in the right place at the right time to earn millions on a job that should have paid $50k/yr. Now that he's earned millions and eluded the SEC, he can get jobs that pay in the millions. (Actually he had significant inherited wealth, too). All these people come from upper class or upper middle class backgrounds. I don't know any wealthy people who were once poor. Do you?

    There's a reason Thomas Jefferson thought inherited wealth was dangerous to the Republic. There's a reason Adam Smith thought the idea of inherited wealth was absurd other than as a means to care for dependents who could not earn money on their own.

  • by definate (876684) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @07:01PM (#35026532)

    Please. Stop.

    You're obviously talking about something you don't understand. My guess is you model these people in your mind as evil villains, hatching plans, stroking kittens in their laps, and doing all sorts of dastardly deeds.

    They're not.

    These are very large, very complicated "systems" of people, with various incentives, and different ideas on how things should work. The result of everyones ideas, biases, actions, result in the system we have.

    If you investigated most of the people you find fault with, you'd find they did not act deceptively, they did not break any laws, they merely acted in a way which in hindsight was bad, but given the context was entirely rational.

The sooner all the animals are extinct, the sooner we'll find their money. - Ed Bluestone

Working...