LA has capitalism abandoned you? Really Really Free Market Nov 28. 1-5pm



Don’t let not having money bring you down. All you need is love AND you can still have a Happy Holidays with stuff, maybe not new stuff, but free stuff (continues click more…)

Friday (the day after Thanksgiving which has been traditionally been called Black Friday) at MacArthur Park (7th and Park View) on November 28 the Really Really Free Market will be taking place. It’s entirely free. You bring stuff, you get stuff or you can just get stuff or you can just bring stuff. You don’t have to work at UPS or the Post Office this year to get your gift giving on and besides they aren’t hiring this year, you know because of the economy.

So come to the Really Really Free Market this Friday and give the gift of re-gifting to a stranger or give the gift of giving to yourself, because its free, but remember thinking about yourself is how you got into this mess in the first place.

You can give stuff, but it’s the Really Really Free Market open your mind up to what giving means, concrete stuff isn’t the only thing that is valuable.

Browne Molyneux

11 thoughts on “LA has capitalism abandoned you? Really Really Free Market Nov 28. 1-5pm

  1. No Browne Capitalism hasn’t abandoned us, but it did exploit us for 300 or so years, now it is collapsing of it’s own inherent avarice after it was unleashed (deregulated) and finally left to it’s own devices and vices by proponents of supply side economics, Milton Friedman, Ayn Rand, Arthur Laffer, Ronald Reagan, Allen Greenspan, Phil “the conquering worm” Gramm (Americans are a bunch of whiners!), Dick Cheney, Dubya and his chief dispersal captain Henry Paulson, who is at present passing out what capital is left to the Robber Barons who just can’t seem to get enough.
    President elect Obama may be trying to resuscitate the old snarling dog of laissez faire Capitalism but it’s probably too late, which is a good thing. Maybe we can now concentrate on real democracy and free enterprise and instead of being a nation where success is determined by crass wasteful material accumulation we will judge our fellow citizens with a more enlightened measuring device based on science, the arts, humanitarianism, and by just doing one’s part in a democratic civilization.
    Looking forward to a bright future for all, peace,love, and happiness.
    Happy Thanksgiving

  2. it’s all about Economic Darwinism..

    personally: i give when i want to and take when i can

    i learned in kindergarten that “sharing is Caring” but that’s a lie…this 5 year-old new better: sharing means less for me!!!!


  3. We will judge our fellow citizens with a more enlightened measuring device based on science, the arts, humanitarianism, and blah, blah , blah. How about whether they can dance?

  4. I am a horrible dancer. I am doomed to remain at the bottom in this new world order.

    Oddly until I went to a house party in LA as a 19 year old I was under the false impression that I was a fabulous dancer. I was then told the horrible truth, that dancing somehow involved listening to the beat of the music and copying that, it did not involve doing whatever your head told you. I was also told that my singing was pretty bad, of course I knew about the singing part. Years earlier I was thrown out of choir, because the nuns thought that my singing was some kind of a joke, because there was no way that a black girl could sing that badly, but they had a narrow vision of what could be possible. I was also sent to the office several times and forced to wash my face because my big eyes and long eyelashes looked enhanced by cosmetics. I told them it wasn’t my fault, I just naturally looked like a cheap hooker. This was also not funny to the nuns.

  5. Can someone on this website break down what la crisis is, and what started it? I get two stories form the corporate media and NPR, but both are so different it confuses me more. I have an idea of the situation, but would love a clear concise breakdown of what happened/is occurring from someone with OUR perspective and demographic.

    I also want to know about the whole clinton/fannie/poor-folks-loan conspiracy BS, and how it is wrong and being used by Fox news so much.

  6. Art I know this seems a little longwinded but I think it is one of the clearest and concise explanations I have found. Hope it helps Mano.

    Down the Republican Rabbit Hole
    by Devilstower
    Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 07:00:03 AM PST
    History may be written by the winners, but that doesn’t stop the losers from wasting a lot of ink in the attempt. This time, it’s the GOP revanchists who are busy trying to come up with a reason — any reason — for the economic crisis that doesn’t point directly to their conservative ideology and the greedy green horse of the Apocalypse, deregulation.
    There are dozens of letters percolating through Republican chain mail, and a matching number of posts on right wing blogs, all trying to spread the same message: Democrats loaned money to black people!
    Here’s an example plucked from my own mailbox.
    We’re on the brink of an economic disaster and another Great Depression. This was not caused by Republicans. This was caused solely by Democrats.
    In 1977 Democratic President Jimmy Carter passed the Community Reinvestment Act to provide housing to poor people. In the 1990s Bill Clinton had Attorney General Janet Reno threaten banks under red lining rules into giving loans to people who could not afford them. Then in the last 8 years, the leftist group ACORN, which has ties to Barack Obama, went to banks and threatened them to relax their rules again. Banks had to give loans to people who had no jobs or no identification.
    You have to hand it to them. In terms of bringing together the maximum number of Republican demons — Carter, Clinton, Reno, Obama — with the smallest amount of connecting narrative, this is a keeper.
    It’s a satisfying bedtime story for the right. They can snooze and dream of revenge, when the wonders of True Conservatism will pave the streets with a mixture of gold and liberal bones. Unfortunately for them, it’s not only simplistic, not only demonstrative of deep prejudice, it’s also dead wrong.

    The Community Reinvestment Act and other red lining laws weren’t passed to force banks to make loans to African-Americans and other minorities. They were there to make the rules consistent. Previous to the passage of the CRA, minorities were often required to have better credit, and make larger down payments to get loans equivalent to those awarded whites. Nothing in these laws required that banks lower their lending standards, only that they be fair, consistent, and operate in a “safe and secure” way. There was no evidence then, and no evidence now, that minorities with the same initial credit rating as whites tend to default on their loans at any greater rate.
    Want proof? Mortgage failure rate in 2000: 1%. 2001: 1%. 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006? One (1) as in ONE percent. But wait! Everything that Carter, Reno, and Clinton could do was already in there. The nefarious community organizers of ACORN had already grown their little oak trees of pressure. Carter’s poor people had been sitting in their new homes so long, that many of those initial mortgages were paid off and gone.
    What does legislation passed 31 years ago have to do with problems today? Nothing. Neither do tweaks Clinton made to that legislation in the mid 90s. The real culprits require a much shorter trip down memory lane.
    Subprime mortgages (and all mortgages, really) are a fraction of the current problem. The bailout would have been enough to buy out every subprime mortgage in foreclosure across the country. In fact, it was enough to do that several times over. So why not do that?
    The reason is that the purpose of the bailout (at least as Treasury Secretary Paulson sees it) isn’t to stop mortgage foreclosures, but to save the banks. And the banks have some self-inflicted problems that make those mortgages an afterthought.
    For example, the wonderful credit default swap. In essence, credit default swaps are (or were) nothing but insurance policies for loans. And yet in 2007 the total number of credit default swaps traded far exceeded the value of all loans. In fact, it may have touched $70 trillion dollars, which puts it above the gross domestic product of the entire planet.
    How is that possible? Come with me back to the primitive world of 1999, when SUVs ruled the roads and cell phones did not yet shoot video, and let’s see how this clumsy bit of fiscal jargon conquered the planet.
    The Evolution of the Credit Default Swap
    Stage 1 (Perturbo mutans)
    You have just made a loan to someone, and now you’re nervous that this scoundrel might not pay. What to do, what to do? Ah, but you need not worry! I happen to have assets on hand that can easily cover your petty loan. What’s more, for a small monthly fee, I’ll be happy to provide you with insurance of a sort. Should the person to whom you’ve extended a loan prove unreliable, I’ll shoulder the burden — so long as you keep up the payments. Let’s call this insurance a… credit default swap.
    In 1999, these credit default swaps already existed, but they were a niche product. Only a fraction of banks employed them and then only on a fraction of loans. Without some knock to the system, swaps would probably have remained a relatively small player.

    Stage 2 (Perturbo furtiva)
    Knock, knock. In 2000 Republican economic hero, Phil Gramm, with the assistance of a small legion of lobbyists, created the Commodity Futures Modernization Act. Along with ushering in the Enron disaster, this bill provided the one thing that credit default swaps needed to grow and mutate — invisibility. Thanks to the CFMA, not only were credit default swaps unregulated, they were impossible to observe directly. Like black holes in deep space, you could only spot swaps by looking at how other things acted nearby.
    So, now you’ve made a loan to someone, and you’re worried about it. I want to offer you a credit default swap so I can collect the fee. Trouble is, I don’t have the assets to cover your loan. So how can I… hold on, credit default swaps are so unregulated that no one says I actually have to be able to deliver on my promise. Hey, over here! Have I got a swap for you, and it’s a bargain.
    So now the CDS is a means of moving the risk, but the risk is still as high (or higher, since the original lender might have been better able to cover the loss). In fact, credit default swaps have gone from being a risk mitigator, to a risk magnifier.

    Stage 3 (Peturbo veloxicresco)
    You have a loan you’re worried about. That’s good, because lots of people want to offer you swaps. After all, you don’t have to have any assets to issue a swap. The investment bank of First Me and The Change I Found In the Couch Cushions can offer swaps for all the debt at Morgan Stanley, and that’s okay. I get free money for issuing the swaps, and the swaps have value on the books. So both me and my pal Mr. Stanley have values that are inflating faster than a tick in a blood bank.
    Now you can get a swap for any loan you want, and with all the competition, the cost of these swaps is lower, and lower, and lower. Here’s an idea: why not go out and make more loans, riskier loans. Why not offer anyone you can collar on the street a loan, no matter whether or not they can pay it off, not because some 30 year old law makes you do it, but because your friend the credit swap makes it perfectly safe!
    So many people are offering these things that you could give a loan to Saddam while the bombs are falling without a care in the world. You can always get a swap.

    Stage 4 (Fatum casus)
    I have a swap. I really, really want someone to take my swap. Only even with every incentive I can offer, not enough people are loaning. Sure, there’s a record amount of hypothetical money sloshing around the system thanks to me and my swaps, but it’s still not enough. So what can I…
    Wait a second. Swaps are unregulated. No one says I have to have enough resources to cover the swap, and even better, no one says I have to offer the swap to the person who actually made the loan! Hey buddy, see that loan over there? You may think it’s iffy, but I think it’ll hold up. In fact, I’m so sure it will, I’ll sell you a credit default swap on it that pays off if it fails. You don’t make the loan, you don’t have to pay off on the loan, you don’t have anything to do with the loan. You just pay me the fee. And if that guy loses his money, you collect. How sweet is that!
    This mutation is enormous (see how the genera changed up there?). At this point, credit default swaps have become completely divorced from the original function. A single loan can be covered by multiple swaps. There’s a complicated fiscal term for this. It’s called gambling, and at this stage, that’s all that remains of those little “insurance” policies. They no longer protect anyone from anything, they just offer a chance to place enormous overlapping side bets on everything.

    Stage 5 (Fatum insanus)
    I have swaps! Get your swaps here! Want a swap on a loan you made? Okay. Want to bet that the bozo in the next cube is making bad loans? We can do that. Want to bundle up some loans and bet on those? Buddy we can do better than that. I can give you a swap on the value of other swaps. Now we’re really in business.
    Who owns the original loan? Don’t know, don’t care. Who’s actually responsible for the money if that loan should fail? Ehhh, can’t really say. Has anyone noticed that a single bad loan could cause a cascade of swap calls that bounce around the system like a rocket-power pinball? Shut up.
    Isn’t anyone worried that this is the most massive house of cards ever constructed in human history? Lookit, what part of “we took 120 billion in bonuses out of this place in the last five years” are you missing?

    Stage 6 (Fatum exicelebritas)
    Hey, my loan went bad. Can I have my money from that swap, please?

    Stage 7 (Fatum cerus)
    Oh shit.
    Now that people are paying attention, it turns out that the value of most credit default swaps is not just bupkis, it’s Bupkis Plus. More computer power went into modeling these things than has been invested in predicting climate change, but everyone overlooked the giant “and then a miracle occurs” at the center of all the equations that allowed credit default swaps to generate revenue ex nihilo.
    Trying to blame the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act for the current fiscal crisis is like blaming a spot on your windshield for engine failure while ignoring the gaping wound in you head gasket. Republicans are scribbling hard to create their new version of reality, and you never know what’s going to sell. After all, people bought a “Book of Virtues” authored by Bill Bennet.
    But in this case, even the Mock Turtle and the March Hare think the GOP line is too outlandish

  7. The crisis is primarily a credit crisis, and right now, it’s mostly due to the collapse of the commercial paper market.

    This crisis was triggered by a collapse of the house price bubble… but that was caused by the resetting of adjustable rate mortgages that were made between 2000 and 2003. This is the “subprime” part of the mortgage market — things like interest only loans and loans with low teaser rates.

    BUT, this mortgage problem was just the trigger. It sent the house of cards tumbling.

    (Also, the bubble didn’t start when tiny houses Compton sold for $400,000. It started with large houses being bought by dot-com money, stock market money, lowered cap gains, and mcmansions. All this stuff started in the 90s.)

    Originally the 700 billion that was supposed to bail out mortgages. It failed because the banks hoarded the money.

    They did this partly because, on top of the mortgages, there had been created a bunch of derivative products. These derivatives were like insurance policies that were riskier than expected. So, the banks were exposed to more risk than the actual value of these mortgages.

    The credit crisis is why the automakers are asking for a loan. Normally, big banks would be making those commercial paper loans. But, despite wanting a trillion dollars from the people, these banks are refusing to lend money. We give the banks 1,000 billion, with the understanding that they should loan it out, and then FAIL to loan it to the automakers.

    Credit is essential to a capitalist economy. It’s a way of bending time — so you can have money today on a promise of paying it later.

    Marx called credit fictitious capital. It seems somewhat less than fictitious to me, lately.

  8. It’s not just CDSs. There are a whole lot of derivative asset products that are not just unregulated, but are really at the forefront of fiscal inventions.

    Just do a search on insurance and derivatives. There are some expensive books explaining how insurance is now considered a kind of asset.

    The CDS is similar to the insurance derivatives.

    These things remind me of options on futures. It’s gambling.

    There’s also another thing out there that sounds fishy – mortgage securities with structured payments. Sell a bunch of mortgages, but sell the securities in subsets, called tranches. The first two tranches are set up so mortgage payments are used to pay back the investors. Later tranches may or may not get paid, but the first ones do. Why do this? So the rating on the security is high. By the time the first two tranches are sold, the security will have a good track record, and the suckers who buy the 3rd and later ones are going to get paid only if property values keep rising.

    Sounds like a Ponzi scheme to me.

    Being pissed off about Casino Wall Street isn’t going to get rid of these derivatives. They’ve been around since at least the early 1990s.

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