Town Hall Meeting

01 Oct 2010

Supply-Side Jesus vs. Pontius Pilate

Filed under: — Al @ 10:49 am

This clip by Al Franken and and Wes Ball is hilarious. It goes back to see what Jesus would be like if he was a supply sider, the economic theory that says giving to the rich helps money “trickle down” to the poor through their purchases of products and pedicures.

14 Aug 2010

Housing Collapse Was a Foreseeable Event

Filed under: — Al @ 12:19 pm

Mike Burry is a doctor who decided to become a hedge fund manager in 2000. He is one of the highlighted characters in Michael Lewis’ new book, The Big Short, who called the housing crash well before it started in June 2007. He recently wrote an article that was published in the NY Times back in April of 2010. For those that say “no one saw this coming,” he proves that not only was this not true, but he was trying to tell anyone who would listen that it was happening. He also lays out Alan Greenspan’s complicity, such as when he said in February 2004, just when the Fed was going to stop lowering interest rates and start RAISING them: “American consumers might benefit if lenders provided greater mortgage product alternatives to the traditional fixed-rate mortgage.” Wow!

I Saw the Crisis Coming. Why Didn’t the Fed?
By MICHAEL J. BURRY
Published: April 3, 2010

ALAN GREENSPAN, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, proclaimed last month that no one could have predicted the housing bubble. “Everybody missed it,” he said, “academia, the Federal Reserve, all regulators.”

But that is not how I remember it. Back in 2005 and 2006, I argued as forcefully as I could, in letters to clients of my investment firm, Scion Capital, that the mortgage market would melt down in the second half of 2007, causing substantial damage to the economy. My prediction was based on my research into the residential mortgage market and mortgage-backed securities. After studying the regulatory filings related to those securities, I waited for the lenders to offer the most risky mortgages conceivable to the least qualified buyers. I knew that would mark the beginning of the end of the housing bubble; it would mean that prices had risen — with the expansion of easy mortgage lending — as high as they could go.

Read Burry’s entire article here.

23 Sep 2007

The Shock Doctrine

Filed under: — Al @ 4:47 pm

Check out this short film (about 7 minutes). The film was made to supplement Naomi Klein’s new book, “The Shock Doctrine.” Klein is an excellent writer and is one of the smartest leaders of the young movement for peace and democracy.

Naomi Klein The Shock Doctrine

19 Feb 2005

Why We Do What We Do

Filed under: — @ 9:11 pm

In one of Town Hall Meeting’s first conference calls, we talked about how consumer-driven we are as a nation, often at the expense of a debt-free, balanced life.

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The “why” of this behavior is closely examined by Peter C.

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Whybrow, director of the Neuropsychiatric Institute at UCLA, in his latest book, American Mania — When More Is Not Enough.

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Whybrow examines the addictive consumption of the world’s most affluent nation and shows how people are so hooked into buying that they suffer epidemic rates of obesity, stress, depression and anxiety.

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Whybrow’s analysis looks at the roots of American culture as a laissez faire competitive free market economy and explores how the nation’s migrant temperament has created this environment.

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