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... A owes B, which is a credit for B which was collateral for borrowing from C, so B owes C, which is a credit for C which was collateral for borrowing from D, and so on ... the total exposure can easily be many multiples of annual income, while at the same time the net payments to service the debt is only a fraction of annual income.

Of course, late in the Clinton administration, the Democratic administration and Republican Congress set up a system where a wide range of activities were immune from regulation. And competition among for-profit financial firms will always push them to scrimp on prudential reserves "under competitive pressure" if other firms are doing the same, which is why Panics, like the Panic of 2008, are regular events in non-regulated financial systems ... cf. the Panic of 1792, 1797, 1819, 1825, 1837, 1847, 1857, 1866, and etcera.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Oct 26th, 2008 at 04:04:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Panics, like the Panic of 2008, are regular events in non-regulated financial systems

A fact which is conveniently forgotten too soon after the previous panic...

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Oct 26th, 2008 at 05:06:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... followed as it was by an industrial "Depression" of nearly a decade, imprinted the risk on that generation. However, by the 1960's, those who experienced the Great Depression as adults were giving way to those who had not, and the process of ripping out the regulations imposed in the aftermath of the Panic of 1929 could begin.

Until in the US we could have a purportedly Democratic administration that was willing to trade away financial system regulation in order to pursue some small bore political successes that sounded good in speeches.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Oct 26th, 2008 at 05:10:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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