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  1. #1
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    Economic Armageddon, are we there yet?

    this is kind of old, from the end of 2004.

    But worth looking at his foresight in hindsight as it were.


    This guy is no slouch, he has moved to China now apparently, so that must be where the action is nowadays...


    Anyway, how far down the track of his scenario have we gone already? How on the money is he? It seems like the snowball has started to roll, we shall see in the fullness of time




    http://www.mindfully.org/Reform/2004...don23nov04.htm




    Stephen Roach, the chief economist at investment banking giant Morgan Stanley, has a public reputation for being bearish.
    But you should hear what he's saying in private.


    Roach met select groups of fund managers downtown last week, including a group at Fidelity.


    His prediction: America has no better than a 10 percent chance of avoiding economic "Armageddon."


    Press were not allowed into the meetings. But the Herald has obtained a copy of Roach's presentation. A stunned source who was at one meeting said, "it struck me how extreme he was — much more, it seemed to me, than in public."


    Roach sees a 30 percent chance of a slump soon and a 60 percent chance that "we'll muddle through for a while and delay the eventual Armageddon."
    The chance we'll get through OK: one in 10. Maybe.


    In a nutshell, Roach's argument is that America's record trade deficit means the dollar will keep falling. To keep foreigners buying T-bills and prevent a resulting rise in inflation, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan will be forced to raise interest rates further and faster than he wants.
    The result: U.S. consumers, who are in debt up to their eyeballs, will get pounded.


    Less a case of "Armageddon," maybe, than of a "Perfect Storm."


    Roach marshaled alarming facts to support his argument.
    To finance its current account deficit with the rest of the world, he said, America has to import $2.6 billion in cash. Every working day.
    That is an amazing 80 percent of the entire world's net savings.
    Sustainable? Hardly.


    Meanwhile, he notes that household debt is at record levels.


    Twenty years ago the total debt of U.S. households was equal to half the size of the economy.
    Today the figure is 85 percent.
    Nearly half of new mortgage borrowing is at flexible interest rates, leaving borrowers much more vulnerable to rate hikes.
    Americans are already spending a record share of disposable income paying their interest bills. And interest rates haven't even risen much yet.


    You don't have to ask a Wall Street economist to know this, of course. Watch people wielding their credit cards this Christmas.


    Roach's analysis isn't entirely new. But recent events give it extra force.
    The dollar is hitting fresh lows against currencies from the yen to the euro.
    Its parachute failed to open over the weekend, when a meeting of the world's top finance ministers produced no promise of concerted intervention.


    It has farther to fall, especially against Asian currencies, analysts agree.
    The Fed chairman was drawn to warn on the dollar, and interest rates, on Friday.


    Roach could not be reached for comment yesterday. A source who heard the presentation concluded that a "spectacular wave of bankruptcies" is possible.


    Smart people downtown agree with much of the analysis. It is undeniable that America is living in a "debt bubble" of record proportions.
    But they argue there may be an alternative scenario to Roach's. Greenspan might instead deliberately allow the dollar to slump and inflation to rise, whittling away at the value of today's consumer debts in real terms.


    Inflation of 7 percent a year halves "real" values in a decade.
    It may be the only way out of the trap.


    Higher interest rates, or higher inflation: Either way, the biggest losers will be long-term lenders at fixed interest rates.
    You wouldn't want to hold 30-year Treasuries, which today yield just 4.83 percent.
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  2. #2
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    Im actually bemused at the fact that more people have still not realised whats coming.
    Timescales??..oh I reckon 20 years before we are totally screwed
    I have ZERO doubt were on the downslope

    I hear so much whinging about the chinese not playing fair....guess what?...they learnt it from the west and the west has a massive case of sour grapes, because they now beat us at our own game...quite hypocritical really

    (p.s. .. im a westerner)
    DON'T TELL ME I'M STILL ON THAT FECKIN' ISLAND! ....

  3. #3
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    "Prediction is difficult, especially the future." Nils Bohr, first man to get pretty close in describing the atom.

    Underneath his monetary / economic description, I see it as a "Limits of Growth" realization.

    Everywhere on earth, ecosystems are in collapse, man is preying on everything for food, energy, building materials.

    We sort of sustained this "bubble" by massive consumption of energy in the highly portable form of oil.

    I am very, very nervous. But we're all gonna die anyway, so does it matter?

    People are always saying; "We will just find another technological advance and everything is fine", but they fundamentally don't contemplate that the earth is finite, and that other than a few minerals, we really haven't seen exhaustion of any resource yet. But now we are. The oil resource has peaked and now it will decline. The atmosphere is becoming exhausted in the sense it is roundly polluted. We are about 75% into stripping the oceans of all fish. Another decade or two and that is done.

    Yet the whole time, the population of man is just on it's inexorable exponential increase.

    We might be getting very close to just exhaustion of such key parameters, that the only solution is the massive collape (death) of billions of people.

    I suspect that's what we're really seeing in this possible economic crisis, the underpinning are actually the reaching of the "Limits of Growth" of man.

    We'll see.

  4. #4
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    this article isn't available anymore on the site... dunno why.

    Japanese Stocks Fall, Led by Banks on U.S. Credit-Line Request

    Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Japanese stocks fell, led by Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., after Nomura Holdings Inc. said the country's three largest lenders were being asked to contribute too much to a subprime-asset bailout fund.

    Mizuho Financial Group Inc. and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. paced the drop after the Nikkei newspaper said they will have to reply this week to a request by U.S. banks that the banks each provide a $5 billion credit line for the fund.

    U.S. lenders including Citigroup Inc. are organizing a bailout fund to buy assets at structured investment vehicles, or SIVs, in hopes of preventing a fire sale as the vehicles' need for cash rise.

    ``For bank shareholders, this participation request is very unpalatable,'' said Tomokatsu Mori, who helps oversee $7.4 billion at Fukoku Capital Management Inc. in Tokyo. ``I don't see the logic as to why Japanese banks are being asked to save the financial system when they've had very little to do with the subprime problem. If they put in money once, there will be more requests in the future.'' ............
    why do they have to reply, i wonder. interesting way to make a request. sounds more like extortion.

  5. #5
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    and there's this:

    http://money.cnn.com/2007/12/16/news...ion=2007121618

    Greenspan did not specifically call for a tax cut. Instead, he called for the government to apply money to the severe housing market slump. Such a cash infusion would typically come through a tax break or a new government spending program.
    "cash infusion" is the new catch phrase for bailout.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by drunkle
    and there's this:

    http://money.cnn.com/2007/12/16/news...ion=2007121618



    "cash infusion" is the new catch phrase for bailout.
    Ah, the inflationary solution he was talking about in the OP.

    Still on the sidelines? I'd bide my time if I was you
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by leximog
    Ah, the inflationary solution he was talking about in the OP.

    Still on the sidelines? I'd bide my time if I was you
    yeah, i'm doing like a snoopy vulture thing stooped over my computer and staring at housing data...

    i'm getting annoyed at weekends and the "break" from financial news. watching this slow motion train wreck is taking way too long and i gotta go take a leak...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by leximog
    Ah, the inflationary solution he was talking about in the OP.

    Still on the sidelines? I'd bide my time if I was you
    I thought that we were looking to an inflationary recession, but I'm beginning to see the signs of a depression in some markets...

    ...I'm looking to sell a couple of properties and buy in a new town, the Ontario real estate market is still booming, but I'm hearing that it's tougher for buyers to qualify for mortgages. The lenders are asking for higher down payments, and the appraisers are becoming much more conservative.

    The result is that fewer buyers qualify for mortgages that reflect current prices, and sellers are forced to lower their prices.

    Same with car loans...and car prices have dropped dramatically here (not because of our stronger dollar)

    ...then again, energy and food prices are up, and debt servicing has become our government's #2 expense

    I'm also hearing that savings in the U.S. are way down....it's become a paycheque to paycheque situation for many..when asked by CNN last week, some of those being interviewed thought that it was now a matter of survival.

    CNN also estimated that if the current trends continue, people will be retiring with an income of about 20% of their current income....now that's scary

  9. #9
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    That speech was given over three years ago, when the Dow was around 10,000. It's currently 13,300 - 33% percent higher.

    Roach sees a 30 percent chance of a slump soon and a 60 percent chance that "we'll muddle through for a while and delay the eventual Armageddon....

    You wouldn't want to hold 30-year Treasuries, which today yield just 4.83 percent."
    Why would someone post such a dated story that missed its mark?

  10. #10
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    you might find this interesting

    http://www.nationalpost.com/rss/story.html?id=169901

    Forget tomorrow, Canadians are already getting hit in the pocketbook by the debt-market crisis, and it could get a lot worse.

    David Dodge, governor of the Bank of Canada, said this week "Mr. and Mrs. Jones on Main Street" could ultimately be "pulled down" as banks scramble to come up with a deal to save the debt market and prevent the unwinding of $300-billion worth of leverage, in a worst-case scenario.

    WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO MY MORTGAGE?

    Already, some people in the industry are musing privately that the banks may consider moving the yardstick for qualifying for a mortgage. Your monthly mortgage debt is not supposed to be more than 32% of your monthly gross household income and your total debt should not be more than 40% of total income.

    "I've heard some talk about those numbers moving," says one industry veteran, who asked not to be named.

    COULD IT IMPACT THE VALUE OF MY HOUSE?

    There are reports that appraisals on property, which are conducted in conjunction with a mortgage, are erring on the side of being more conservative.

    SHOULD I BE BUYING THAT NEW CAR I WANTED?

    Mr. Hochberg is calling for a return to a time when consumers saved for purchases rather than just financing them with debt.

    The last thing you want to do is expand your debt obligations. "This means hard times. It remains a reduction in the standard of living as everybody gets their house in order. It's going to be the way it used to be," says the market analyst.

    ARE MY MUTUAL FUNDS AT RISK?

    Canadian mutual fund unit-holders have little to fear from the escalating credit crisis, industry insiders say. Joanne De Laurentis, president of the Investment Funds Institute of Canada says, "very few of our mutual funds seem to have been affected. They held little or none [ABCP] in their portfolios; those that did are taking measures to deal with it."

    One fund category where one might expect to see problems is in high-yield bond funds. But the industry also downplays this threat.

    IS MY PENSION SAFE?

    The real risk to pension plans may be their indirect exposure through the stock market. If credit concerns cause markets to collapse or a recession, "then pension plans will suffer as the stock market retreats," Mr. Hamilton says.

    "The recession scenario is particularly worrisome as interest rates often decline when the economy is weak and this would increase pension liabilities just when pension assets were following the stock market down."

    WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO MY LINE OF CREDIT OR LOAN?

    Benjamin Tal, a senior economist with CIBC World Markets, says it's a little too early to be looking at doomsday scenarios, but he says consumers are definitely paying for the crisis with higher rates. "The Bank of Canada is trying to ease the pain of the increase in credit spreads by cutting rates," he says.

    Another long-term effect of the crisis could be fewer lenders at the end of the day, says Nick Kyprianou, president of Home Capital Group Inc. Lenders that securitize their debt -- package the debt and then sell it into the market -- will have to change their model.

    WHAT ABOUT MY SAVINGS?

    Ultimately, even savings could be jeopardized as some banks falter under the weight of their bad loans, says Mr. Hochberg. Northern Rock PLC, one of the five largest lenders in the United Kingdom, saw a run on its accounts in September before the Bank of England guaranteed deposits.

    Most Western democracies have some sort of deposit insurance like Canada, where your first $100,000 is insured. Mr. Hochberg wonders whether you'll actually see that money. "The question of whether these banks are going to be around is on the table. It doesn't take many of them to go under to realize [government insurance corporations] don't have money to insure all this. They'll have to go back to the taxpayer to pay the taxpayer who went bankrupt," he says. "You'll get the money but how long will it take?"

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JM01
    I thought that we were looking to an inflationary recession, but I'm beginning to see the signs of a depression in some markets...

    ...I'm looking to sell a couple of properties and buy in a new town, the Ontario real estate market is still booming, but I'm hearing that it's tougher for buyers to qualify for mortgages. The lenders are asking for higher down payments, and the appraisers are becoming much more conservative.

    The result is that fewer buyers qualify for mortgages that reflect current prices, and sellers are forced to lower their prices.

    Same with car loans...and car prices have dropped dramatically here (not because of our stronger dollar)

    ...then again, energy and food prices are up, and debt servicing has become our government's #2 expense

    I'm also hearing that savings in the U.S. are way down....it's become a paycheque to paycheque situation for many..when asked by CNN last week, some of those being interviewed thought that it was now a matter of survival.

    CNN also estimated that if the current trends continue, people will be retiring with an income of about 20% of their current income....now that's scary
    do you think we are close to a fundamental liquidity / large scale solvency crisis?

    Buffet, very recent 30 minute interview, basically said, buy good companies, everything else is baloney .. I don't see him nervous or dwelling on Black Swans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mystery Shopper
    do you think we are close to a fundamental liquidity / large scale solvency crisis?

    Buffet, very recent 30 minute interview, basically said, buy good companies, everything else is baloney .. I don't see him nervous or dwelling on Black Swans.
    I think that in some ways, we're already there. The Bank of Canada was part of the international consortium that injected "liquidity" in the financial system last week, but they were the first to report that this is a short term fix...the problems will intensify in the new year because only the symptoms are being addressed, not the root cause...trillions have disappeared....but it bought them some breathing room

    The world runs on borrowed money, even the best corporations. A former client, a national retail chain, may declare bankruptcy Christmas Eve because it can't raise $1.5 million to pay off some old creditors.

    When a chain with 300 stores, 5000 employees, can't raise so little, then something is very wrong.

    http://economist.com/finance/display...ry_id=10286586

    CENTRAL bankers are supposed to be boring and predictable. But on December 12th the rich world's monetary authorities stunned financial markets with a dramatic, joint plan to ease the liquidity squeeze in global money markets. America's Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, the European Central Bank (ECB), the Bank of Canada and the Swiss National Bank all pitched in. The central banks of Sweden and Japan said they, too, were watching developments and would act as necessary. All told, it was an impressive show of central-bank co-ordination.

    Financial markets have been seizing up for weeks. The spreads between the federal funds rate and the prices charged by banks to borrow from each other have widened dramatically since early November (see chart). By some measures, the financial system is more blocked than it was in September. And it has long been clear that central banks' attempts to sort out the mess were failing. The Fed's discount window, for instance, through which it lends direct to banks, has barely been approached, despite the soaring spreads in the interbank market.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JM01
    I think that in some ways, we're already there. The Bank of Canada was part of the international consortium that injected "liquidity" in the financial system last week, but they were the first to report that this is a short term fix...the problems will intensify in the new year because only the symptoms are being addressed, not the root cause...trillions have disappeared....but it bought them some breathing room

    The world runs on borrowed money, even the best corporations. A former client, a national retail chain, by declare bankruptcy Christmas Eve because in can't raise $1.5 million to pay off some old creditors.

    When a chain with 300 stores, 5000 employees, can't raise so little, then something is very wrong.

    http://economist.com/finance/display...ry_id=10286586

    CENTRAL bankers are supposed to be boring and predictable. But on December 12th the rich world's monetary authorities stunned financial markets with a dramatic, joint plan to ease the liquidity squeeze in global money markets. America's Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, the European Central Bank (ECB), the Bank of Canada and the Swiss National Bank all pitched in. The central banks of Sweden and Japan said they, too, were watching developments and would act as necessary. All told, it was an impressive show of central-bank co-ordination.

    Financial markets have been seizing up for weeks. The spreads between the federal funds rate and the prices charged by banks to borrow from each other have widened dramatically since early November (see chart). By some measures, the financial system is more blocked than it was in September. And it has long been clear that central banks' attempts to sort out the mess were failing. The Fed's discount window, for instance, through which it lends direct to banks, has barely been approached, despite the soaring spreads in the interbank market.
    it's terrifying
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/03/op...03krugman.html

    this one (below) is MUST READ ... and that IS, at the end, the important question, where are the bodies buried, how many, how big is each one

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/14/op...14krugman.html

    If it is fundamental solvency, if enough bad dept is found, What happens?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mystery Shopper
    it's terrifying
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/03/op...03krugman.html

    this one (below) is MUST READ ... and that IS, at the end, the important question, where are the bodies buried, how many, how big is each one

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/14/op...14krugman.html

    If it is fundamental solvency, if enough bad dept is found, What happens?

    That's what happened at Northern Rock in Great Britain...much like the run on banks in 1929.

    But the biggest problem is that the people who hold this paper won't write it down. In Canada the banks have grouped together and frozen redemption of these notes and are holding it on their books at book value. Same in the U.S....because if they were to write it down to it's true value, they would simply not have the money to increase their reserves.

    They were hoping to stop the lawsuits, but that is now beginning to unravel.

    This is why CitiBank needed that $10 billion from the Arab states...

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    Quote Originally Posted by JM01
    That's what happened at Northern Rock in Great Britain...much like the run on banks in 1929.

    But the biggest problem is that the people who hold this paper won't write it down. In Canada the banks have grouped together and frozen redemption of these notes and are holding it on their books at book value. Same in the U.S....because if they were to write it down to it's true value, they would simply not have the money to increase their reserves.

    This is why CitiBank needed that $10 billion from the Arab states...
    not being very business oriented, I don't understand this "they would simply not have the money to increase their reserves"

    Is it better or worse to write it all down ASAP, or to drag it out? Sooner or later it has to be written down, right?

    (I ask all this as a moran.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mystery Shopper
    not being very business oriented, I don't understand this "they would simply not have the money to increase their reserves"

    Is it better or worse to write it all down ASAP, or to drag it out? Sooner or later it has to be written down, right?

    (I ask all this as a moran.)
    Banks, by statute, must keep a certain percentage of their loans in cash as a reserve against losses...if they were to downgrade a billion of their assets, they'd have to increase the reserve by a corresponding amount. They could do this only by selling assets, calling in their loans, or borrowing from other banks.

    There is simply not enough money out there to do this

    Loan Loss Reserves

    Valuation reserve against a bank's total loans on the balance sheet, representing the amount thought to be adequate to cover estimated losses in the loan portfolio. When a loan is charged off, it is removed from the loan portfolio as an earning asset, and its book value is deducted from the reserve account for loan losses. Lenders also set aside reserves for a nonaccrual loan, in which interest and principal payments are no longer being collected. Recoveries from the liquidation of collateral repossessed from the borrower are credited to the reserve account. The Tax Reform Act of 1986 disallowed the tax deduction of loan loss reserves held by banks with assets over $500 million.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JM01
    Banks, by statute, must keep a certain percentage of their loans in cash as a reserve against losses...if they were to downgrade a billion of their assets, they'd have to increase the reserve by a corresponding amount. They could do this only by selling assets, calling in their loans, or borrowing from other banks.

    There is simply not enough money out there to do this

    Loan Loss Reserves

    Valuation reserve against a bank's total loans on the balance sheet, representing the amount thought to be adequate to cover estimated losses in the loan portfolio. When a loan is charged off, it is removed from the loan portfolio as an earning asset, and its book value is deducted from the reserve account for loan losses. Lenders also set aside reserves for a nonaccrual loan, in which interest and principal payments are no longer being collected. Recoveries from the liquidation of collateral repossessed from the borrower are credited to the reserve account. The Tax Reform Act of 1986 disallowed the tax deduction of loan loss reserves held by banks with assets over $500 million.
    what you're saying is that by legal definition, they are insolvent

    What happens next?
    When?

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    farking Bush
    farking Congress
    farking RePukes

    they've probably given us terminal cancer

    http://www.yubanet.com/artman/publis...le_72998.shtml
    In a speech today at the National Press Club, he [Comptroller General of the United States and head of the GAO] said, "If the federal government was a private corporation and the same report came out this morning, our stock would be dropping and there would be talk about whether the company's management and directors needed a major shake-up." Walker urged greater transparency and accountability over the federal government's operations, financial condition, and fiscal outlook...

    "The federal government's fiscal exposures totaled approximately $53 trillion as of September 30, 2007, up more than $2 trillion from September 30, 2006, and an increase of more than $32 trillion from about $20 trillion as of September 30, 2000," Walker said. "This translates into a current burden of about $175,000 per American or approximately $455,000 per American household."
    who knew we would weep to have Clinton and Gore back again?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mystery Shopper
    what you're saying is that by legal definition, they are insolvent

    What happens next?
    When?
    many probably are...they have the assets on paper, but not the cash or credit. In most cases their good investments are still producing income....

    ...but they have to bite the bullet and write off all non-producing and non-active paper. The one time loss will be staggering for some, mostly brokerages and pension funds, but then they can get on with life. Taking a one time loss will free up money that would have to be locked up in reserves, and increase confidence in the system.

    It will also reduce global wealth by trillions (not only subprime is involved here), destroy pensions, investments, perhaps some companies...but this will happen anyway.

    A good example is Argentina, a few years ago...they effectively declared bankruptcy...

    a good read:

    http://mondediplo.com/2002/09/13argentina

    [SIZE="3"]Argentina: life after bankruptcy[/SIZE]

    Men and women, often with children, roam the streets of the city by night, rummaging in rubbish bins with bare hands. They use makeshift carts to carry away paper and cardboard, which they sell for 42 centavos (12 cents) a kilo. They also gather up any other items of value that might find a buyer - plastic, metal, glass. Many lost their jobs and are now eking out an existence. Since last December the effects of the financial crisis - social spending cuts, reduced incomes and the corralito (a partial freeze on bank accounts to shore up the Argentine peso) - have worsened the country’s serious social problems.

    Argentina’s gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 13.5% between June 2001 and June 2002, with a record drop of 16.3% during the latter six months. This drastically affected employment and incomes and caused a dramatic rise in poverty. The United Nation’s economic commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (Eclac) has predicted a 13.5% drop in GDP for Argentina for the current year (1). The country has a population of 35m, of whom 19m were classified poor as of this June, with earnings of less than $190 a month; 8.4m were destitute, with monthly incomes below $83.

    Young people have been showing visible malnutrition for two years and the situation has worsened in recent months in secondary and primary schools. Hungry children are fainting; absenteeism at school is down since primary school children do not want to skip the food offered at school, which is often their only meal of the day (2). Sometimes mothers appear at schools with empty plates, demanding food for sick children at home. Earlier this year this was happening only in the most impoverished province of Tucumán; now it happens nationwide, including in Buenos Aires province, where for the first time 100 schools kept their cafeterias open over the winter holidays.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mystery Shopper
    farking Bush
    farking Congress
    farking RePukes

    they've probably given us terminal cancer

    who knew we would weep to have Clinton and Gore back again?
    Sould SOX apply to government reporting?

    They are, after all, a public business entity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JM01
    Sould SOX apply to government reporting?

    They are, after all, a public business entity.
    Interesting thought.

    Or a modified SOX.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mystery Shopper
    Interesting thought.

    Or a modified SOX.
    Imagine, your president having to attest to the accuracy of every financial statement under penaly of jail

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    Quote Originally Posted by JM01
    Imagine, your president having to attest to the accuracy of every financial statement under penaly of jail
    Bush never takes responsibility for anything. His life is a series of disasters that he has ignored.

    Why did the American people give him the Presidency?

    What kind of idiots must we be?

    I cry now!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mystery Shopper
    Bush never takes responsibility for anything. His life is a series of disasters that he has ignored.

    Why did the American people give him the Presidency?

    What kind of idiots must we be?

    I cry now!
    Apparently they didn't...your Supreme Court gave him the presidency

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    Posts
    3,610
    Quote Originally Posted by JM01
    Apparently they didn't...your Supreme Court gave him the presidency
    the fruits of incompetence came home

    Thomas, a total idiot and fool.

    Scalia, a man of hate and scorn and practices Catholicism from the bench.

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