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But Sanders reappointed three Centre City boardmembers who hadn’t done their due diligence on Graham, and the council agreed by a 7-to-1 vote. Donna Frye dissented, saying Centre City needed an ethical overhaul.

When she was running for mayor against Sanders in 2005, Frye said that Centre City should pay back $100 million that it owed to the City. Sanders “said it would kill a cash cow; he was all gloom and doom about the idea,” recalls Frye. But in his new budget, he is asking for money from Centre City, “and everybody says what a great idea he has. I find it entertaining,” chuckles Frye, who sees Sanders’s biggest problem as “the failure to deal with the financial problems.”

San Diego’s basic fault, says Frye, is that “it continues to reward bad behavior,” just as Congress rewards Wall Street’s bad behavior. It takes hubris and buckets of horse manure to do that.

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Anon92107 Oct. 1, 2008 @ 12:42 p.m.

The amazing thing is that U-T Editorials are written by tabloid writers who insult the intelligence of everyone who thinks.

Thus the worst problem is the non-thinkers who believe the U-T Editorials keep electing puppeticians like Golding, Murphy and Sanders, and the consequences have been deadly and destructive.

Still NOGAS, yet.

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Duhbya Oct. 1, 2008 @ 1:31 p.m.

File under: Words, famous, last.....“unfortunate rumors or conspiracy theories that get started around here.” Priceless.

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paul Oct. 1, 2008 @ 3:06 p.m.

Funny coincidence; While reading this article at lunch, I was also listening to an interview on NPR with Steve Fraser (Author of Wall Street: America's Dream Palace, among others). He described his next book which is going to be a comparison of what he termed Americas two gilded ages dominated by Wall St. types, roughly the age at the end of the nineteenth century (I didn't get the exact years), and the age from the time Reagan was elected through last Monday. He said one stark difference between the two was the moral outrage from religious leaders which helped lead mass protests against the robber barons the last time around. He noted that this time around the moral outrage is almost completely absent, in this day and age where televangelists are preaching how to get rich. The old christian ethic that gambling was an egregious sin and that Wall St. was full of money lenders and gamblers has all but completely disappeared. The flip side to the lack of moral outrage is that there is not likely to be a backlash against Jews this time around.

It was interesting to listen to that while reading Don's article.

I haven't read anything by Fraser. Does anybody know if he is worth reading?

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a2zresource Oct. 1, 2008 @ 4:42 p.m.

It seems that the only way to counter the hubris and horse manure of government and the financials that pull government's strings is to start slinging some of the latter of my own.

I am in the process of starting campaigns in every state for a grassroots campaign leading to a constitutional convention over the following, in four simple sections...

The following language is made available to the people of the several United States of America. It is not a proposal for members of the Congress of the United States, unless the people of a State instruct their Representatives and Senators to recognize their call for a Constitutional Convention (pursuant to Constitution of the United States Article V), convened for the purpose of debating the adoption of the following language:

PROPOSED BARTER BILL OF RIGHTS

Article __

Section 1. Congress shall make no law regarding the reporting or taxation of private transactions between persons not involving the legal tender of the United States; all such existing laws are hereby repealed or limited to those other transactions as defined by law.

Section 2. No State shall make any new law or regulation, or amend any existing law or regulation, regarding the reporting or taxation of private transactions between persons not involving the legal tender of the United States without a two-thirds majority ratification by the people of the State, with abstentions not counted.

Section 3. Congress shall have power to declare that the purchase or sale of any present or future class of derivative financial instrument or similar commercial paper is not a transaction exempted by this Article from reporting or taxation, where at least one party is a natural or artificial person, or any combination of such persons, subject to the laws of the United States.

Section 4. Congress shall have power to establish and adjust taxes on the profit in any interstate commercial transaction not involving the legal tender of the United States, where at least one party is subject to the laws of the United States.

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Don Bauder Oct. 2, 2008 @ 9:42 p.m.

Response to post #7: Just try to get your plan enacted. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 2, 2008 @ 9:52 p.m.

Response to post #16: I agree that this plan is a redistribution of money from Main Street to Wall Street. And that's what's been going on for almost three decades. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 2, 2008 @ 9:43 p.m.

Response to post #8: Whatever happened to Ross Perot? You don't hear about him much -- if at all. Best, Don Bauder

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Anon92107 Oct. 2, 2008 @ 4:11 a.m.

Thus it has been proven again that we have legislators corrupted by banking and trading special interests in exchange for free passes to commit grand larceny against taxpayers/voters/families of America.

And the worst case scenario consequence is that out of control numbers of voters/taxpayers/families are going bankrupt, which defines a crime against the American people by those we elect in this so-called American Capitalist Democracy.

With Nov. 4 coming up there has never been a better time for Americans to demonstrate our outrage by replacing all incumbents in Washington.

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Anon92107 Oct. 3, 2008 @ 2:02 a.m.

Response to post #17:

Don, as you well know more than most, Wall Street could very easily bail itself out if it really practiced what capitalists preach, Invest In America.

Specifically, there are $Trillions available to strengthen Wall/Main Streets from the Forbes 400 Richest American list, like the Waltons who export hundreds of thousands of jobs out of America to maximize their profits. And from corporations that have received $Trillions in tax break windfalls since Bush entered the White House, like the oil companies alone could do it.

Buffett should show some true leadership himself by forming a Coalition To Bail Out American Capitalism.

But the truth is that all they want to do is maximize their greed at the expense of the American taxpayer regardless of the destruction they cause to American families.

And that is the republican legacy.

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paul Oct. 2, 2008 @ 9:29 a.m.

Anon92107,

If it were only that simple. The Donkeys and Elephants have legislated a two party system such that it is almost impossible for anyone else to gain a foothold. It is essentially another form of gerrymandering.

There is no incumbent running for president, but your choices outside of McCain/Obama are polling around a combined 6% and are not even invited to debate.

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paul Oct. 2, 2008 @ 9:54 a.m.

Our two party system has failed America. We end up with two polar opposite ideologues who represent the rabid fringe of their respective parties. That guarantees that 75%-80% of Americans will be disappointed with whichever one is elected.

Here is what I see when I shut my eyes and dream:

When was the last time a presidential candidate was not a current or former Senator/Congressman/Governor? I say screw the current party system that drags the presidential election out for a ridiculous 18 months or so, and throw every current or former Senator/Congressman/Governor into the hat for a series of votes over 8 weeks. After two preliminary votes knocking out 75% each followed by two voting rounds knocking out 50% each, we would be left with around 14 serious candidates for the final 4 week push. The first two week cycle would require 2 debates a week and then a vote to select the final four. Each of the final four would then announce their vice-presidential choices.

That format would remove a ton of wasted time and money, while splintering the two major parties, giving a much better chance that a moderate from either party representing the majority of Americans would emerge, and would give a legitimate chance for third party candidates to be heard and make a splash (Which is why it will never happen).

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JohnnyVegas Oct. 2, 2008 @ 12:21 p.m.

If it were only that simple. The Donkeys and Elephants have legislated a two party system such that it is almost impossible for anyone else to gain a foothold.

100% correct.

I am still mad as hell that H. Ross Perot was excluded from the 96 Presidential Debates, after he pulled 20% of the vote in 92 with half a campaign.

Remember, Perot was LEADING CA. the largest state in the union, at 45 points before he dropped out in 92.

Blocking him from the debates in 96 shows how the two parties are hijacking democracy.

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Don Bauder Oct. 2, 2008 @ 9:37 p.m.

Response to post #5: Remember, senators are up every six years. You can't replace them all in one election, no matter how desirable. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 2, 2008 @ 9:47 p.m.

Response to post #14: Wow: 25 percent chance of a deficit of $1.75 trillion in 2005 dollars. Best, Don Bauder

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JF Oct. 2, 2008 @ 5:47 p.m.

Don, I'm trying to remember.... who was it who set up the SEDC and CCDC? Oh yeah, Pete Wilson. And who was it who got General Retirement members in the SPSP system? Hmmm... Pete Wilson. And if I'm not mistaken, who's the first one who raided the pension system? Yep, Pete Wilson. Can anyone tell me why folks call him our best mayor ever? Fingers point at Susan Golding as starting the downfall, but I feel it was really Wilson.

One little point, Don. You've let your hatred for the retirement system get in the way of truth again. Your writing implies that the city pays into DROP. That is not true. DROP is a tapping of the employee's own retirement. That percentage maxes out at 90%. It is not a flat out 90%. In fact a General Member cannot reach 90% at age 55 unless they start working for the city full time at age 19. But hey, what's a little exaggeration to make a point.

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Don Bauder Oct. 2, 2008 @ 5:47 p.m.

Response to post #1: U-T endorsements may help judges and other unknowns, but I am not sure they help well-known candidates. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 2, 2008 @ 5:48 p.m.

Response to post #2: She said it. I have it in my notes, and I remember saying it. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 2, 2008 @ 5:57 p.m.

Response to post #3: First, in my post #11 above, it should be "I remember HER saying it." Then to your perceptive observations. One thing you can say of the robber barons of yore: they were helping finance the industrial revolution. They were building railroads, steel companies, auto companies, etc., or greasing the financing of them. By contrast, Wall Street today is mainly obsessed with gambling on derivatives. Venture capital is a small part of its business; it is busy effectuating hostile takeovers, as well as the derivatives gambling. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 2, 2008 @ 6:01 p.m.

Response to post #4: The Senate passed a bailout measure. It should have done something to demand stiff re-regulation, and to effectuate the orderly phasing out of derivatives, excepting some essentials such as commodities futures. Best, Don Bauder

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JohnnyVegas Oct. 2, 2008 @ 6:07 p.m.

One little point, Don. You've let your hatred for the retirement system get in the way of truth again. Your writing implies that the city pays into DROP. That is not true. DROP is a tapping of the employee's own retirement. That percentage maxes out at 90%. It is not a flat out 90%. In fact a General Member cannot reach 90% at age 55 unless they start working for the city full time at age 19. But hey, what's a little exaggeration to make a point.

Hahaha...JF with more of his pie in the sky baloney to try to keep his scam going!

BTW JF, where have you been at???? Now back to the action. JF, these pension scams are BKing the City, County State and Country, and DREOP is one the biggest scam going because you do NOT RETIRE!!!! You just keep on working, earning TWO, yes count them, TWO paychecks. That is ripping off the taxpayers.

BTW, here you go JF, public pensions BKing the country:

The Intergenerational Transfer of Public Pension Promises

Robert Novy-Marx University of Chicago - Graduate School of Business

Joshua D. Rauh University of Chicago - Graduate School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

September 2, 2008

Chicago GSB Research Paper No. 08-13

Abstract:
The value of pension promises already made by US state governments will grow to approximately $7.9 trillion in 15 years. We study investment strategies of state pension plans and estimate the distribution of future funding outcomes. We conservatively predict a 50% chance of aggregate underfunding greater than $750 billion and a 25% chance of at least $1.75 trillion (in 2005 dollars). Adjusting for risk, the true intergenerational transfer is substantially larger. Insuring both taxpayers against funding deficits and plan participants against benefit reductions would cost almost $2 trillion today, even though governments portray state pensions as almost fully funded.

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1156477

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JF Oct. 2, 2008 @ 7:14 p.m.

Johnny, Sorry buddy, but you do NOT get two paychecks. You get one paycheck and one retirement check. Is that a technicality? Not really, when you consider that millions of military retirees collect a military pension and continue to work for the government as contractors. Consider that McCain (who we both dislike) collects a paycheck as a US Senator AND Social Security. No wonder he wants me to pay into a Social Security system I'll never get the benefit of.

I hate to disappoint you, but I don't spend every waking hour here just waiting to see what you say. I pop in occasionally to see what the latest BS exaggerations are.

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historymatters Oct. 2, 2008 @ 8:14 p.m.

Last night on AM 600 whistleblower and Investment adviser Catherine Austin Fitts stated "We've been draining value out of the real economy, and the proposed bailout will just funnel investments into propping up the bubble, the plan will actually send money from Main St. to Wall St., instead of the reverse. What's going on with the bailout is more than theft, "it's a coup d’état" –-a "reengineering of government institutions,". She also pointed out that there is 4 trillion dollars that has disappeared off the books in the NY fed reserve bank and no one can or will account for it. And this "plan" will give Paulson the authority to shred the documentation. Write your reps. Oppose the bill.

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Don Bauder Oct. 2, 2008 @ 9:38 p.m.

Response to post #6: Six percent? Is that mostly Barr? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 2, 2008 @ 9:49 p.m.

Response to post #15: JF and Johnny: love thy enemies. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 3, 2008 @ 7:34 a.m.

Response to post #24: By concentrating its fire on hundreds of trillions of dollars in derivatives, Wall Street has not been INVESTING in anything, much less America. Wall Street has been gambling. Derivatives are not investments. Yet American taxpayers will bail out the touts at the track. Best, Don Bauder

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Anon92107 Oct. 3, 2008 @ 12:20 p.m.

Response to post #25:

Yesterday and today shall go down in history as the two days that the U.S. Congress and the White House sold out American Democracy, both democrats and republicans betrayed every American.

The historical lesson that nations always fail because of failures of political and intellectual leaders to meet the challenges of change defines our fate.

Ike's gravest fears about America's future have now been realized now that lobbyists have total control over the U.S. Congress, and the dreams of our nation's founders have been betrayed.

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Anglophiliac Oct. 3, 2008 @ 2:14 p.m.

There's an angle on the Wall Street bailout bill that Congress just passed that hasn't gotten much, if any, attention in the US press: 25% of the $700 Billion US bailout funds are going to the five largest British Banks.

British banks HSBC, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, HBOS and Lloyd's TSB are slated to receive up to $175 billion (25%) of the $700 billion US taxpayer bailout of Wall Street, according to a September 26, 2008 article in The Times by Miles Costello. The story noted that “Combined, the five British lenders hold securities worth $175 billion, which they could transfer to a federally backed Treasury fund. Under the proposed terms of the rescue package, non-US financial institutions must have significant operations in America to qualify.”

Congress recently passed a Bill that provided $25 billion to US automakers to shore up their balance sheets and retool to build more energy efficient cars. Can you imagine the hue and cry if even $1 of US taxpayer bailout funds were directed to Japanese or German of Korean or British automakers because they have “significant operations in the US”? So why has no one in the know uttered so much as a peep about $175 billion of the Wall Street bailout going to Britain? What is this Lend Lease II?

The Times article of Sept 26, 2008 by Miles Costello is at www.business.timesonline.com.uk

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Don Bauder Oct. 3, 2008 @ 4:37 p.m.

Response to post #26: I was glad to see the stock market react negatively, at least at the close. The bill is an abomination. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 3, 2008 @ 4:41 p.m.

Response to post #27: It was decided some time ago to buy up toxic assets of foreign banks with significant operations in the U.S. I don't know if that includes offshore tax havens, but it well might. Best, Don Bauder

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Anon92107 Oct. 4, 2008 @ 12:59 a.m.

Response to post #28:

Speaking of bailouts, how about Gov. Schwarzenegger's warning to Treasury Secretary Paulson on Thursday that the state might need an emergency loan of as much as $7 billion from the federal government within weeks? And then there are also the escalating San Diego budget failures.

Why don't California state and local government employee retirement funds like CalPERS dedicate their funds to investing in the future of California, San Diego, etc. by bailing out the people of California?

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Don Bauder Oct. 4, 2008 @ 6:34 a.m.

Response to post #30: That would open a Pandora's box. Pension funds must be invested safely. Already, such funds are taking too many risks. Remember when John Moores wanted a local pension fund to invest in the ballpark? Mercifully, the idea died. Best, Don Bauder

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JF Oct. 4, 2008 @ 6:46 a.m.

I guess Moores didn't get his Faberge egg?

So did the new version of the bailout include the language that Johnny Vegas quoted earlier for bailing out public retirement systems? That seems to make sense from the perspective that they already bail out private systems.

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Anon92107 Oct. 4, 2008 @ 11:32 a.m.

Response to post #31 RE: "Pension funds must be invested safely. Already, such funds are taking too many risks."

I always find it interesting how aggressively California government employees fight investing in state and local governments they work for.

They know exactly how corrupt and incompetent the state and local governments are.

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Fred Williams Oct. 4, 2008 @ 3:15 p.m.

Hedonism Song by Fred Williams

The world is f***ed so give it up! Hedonism's rational in the face of doom I'll smoke and drink and live it up! The end of our time is coming soon

Hedonism Gonna get some Hedonism Know I need some Hedonism If it's up to me I'll set myself free

I'll smoke and drink and live it up! Hedonism's rational in the face of doom The world is f***ed so give it up! The end of our time is coming soon

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Don Bauder Oct. 4, 2008 @ 4:54 p.m.

Response to post #32: Moores didn't get SDCERS money. It was brought up at a SDCERS meeting and, as I recall, the attorney for SDCERS said it would be illegal. It was never heard from again. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 4, 2008 @ 5:01 p.m.

Response to post #34: I understand that as the year 1000 A.D. neared, people rushed to get absolution and indulgences, believing that the year 1000 would be the end of the world. You are doing the opposite: eating, drinking, being merry before the apocalypse. Best, Don Bauder

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JF Oct. 4, 2008 @ 8:08 p.m.

Response to #35: Good. There was too much thievery as it was.

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Don Bauder Oct. 4, 2008 @ 9:30 p.m.

Response to post #37: You're not kidding. I always said the ballpark district should be named Pillage Village. Best, Don Bauder

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Fred Williams Oct. 5, 2008 @ 6:27 a.m.

The San Diego Ballpork Song

Rip me off with a ballpark Give me corporate pork Buy me a mayor and council seat After the vote our team always gets beat

'cause it's fraud, fraud, fraud In our downtown Taxpayers lose It's a shame

Then it's one, two, three billion gone In Moores' big shell game!

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Don Bauder Oct. 5, 2008 @ 8:27 a.m.

Response to post #39: That is a tender and touching song, although it won't sit well with the establishment, which will refuse to sing it at the seventh inning stretches. Best, Don Bauder

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JohnnyVegas Oct. 5, 2008 @ 3:42 p.m.

So did the new version of the bailout include the language that Johnny Vegas quoted earlier for bailing out public retirement systems? That seems to make sense from the perspective that they already bail out private systems.

By JF 6:46 a.m., Oct 4, 2008 > Report it

If you're referrign to the Fed's PBGC, the bailing out is substantially lower than stated/earned "retirements".

Take a look at what happened to United Airlines (BTW-this could be you very soon JF);

Court approves termination of United Airlines pension plans By Patrick Martin 13 May 2005

In a devastating blow to 122,000 workers and retirees, a federal bankruptcy judge ruled May 11 that United Airlines may default on its pension obligations and turn over control of its pension funds to a federal agency that is already swamped by corporate pension defaults. Judge Eugene Wedoff approved the airline management’s request to terminate four pension plans—for pilots, flight attendants, mechanics and other ground service workers. The $9.8 billion pension plan default is the largest in US history.

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation will take over the plans, but federal regulations limit the amount of pension payments it can make to a maximum of about $45,000 a year. The highest paid UAL workers, such as pilots, will face pension cuts of up to 50 percent, while lower-paid workers could lose as much as 20 percent.

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2005/may2005/unit-m13.shtml

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JF Oct. 5, 2008 @ 5:21 p.m.

Johnny, I'm well aware of the limitations of the PBGC. There will obviously be some differences between public and private pension plans. And sorry, but that's not likely to happen to me soon, no matter how much you might wet your pants will glee over seeing public employees hurt.

By the way, today is the federally mandated "Fallen Firefighter Memorial Day". Did you remember to lower your flag to half mast? I'm trying to remember -- which day memorializes lawyers?

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JohnnyVegas Oct. 5, 2008 @ 5:41 p.m.

I have a park around the corner from my home dedicated to a fallen FF, with a memorial.

I will pay my respects today.

:)

BTW, I see no reason why the PBGC would treat a public pension failure any different from a privatse failure.

Last time I checked the PBGC was $23 billion in the red-but that was years ago, probably triple that today.

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Don Bauder Oct. 5, 2008 @ 7:31 p.m.

Response to post #41: There is no question: the PBGC is underfunded. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 5, 2008 @ 7:34 p.m.

Response to post #42: Are you sure BK won't happen soon? The odds are probably in your favor: it won't happen SOON. But it depends how you define "soon." Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 5, 2008 @ 7:36 p.m.

Response to post #43: I don't know how PBGC handles muni BKs. Worth exploring. Best, Don Bauder

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inactive Oct. 6, 2008 @ 9:15 a.m.

43 "BTW, I see no reason why the PBGC would treat a public pension failure any different from a privatse failure."

From the PBGC Mission Statement: The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) protects the retirement incomes of nearly 44 million American workers in more than 30,000 private-sector defined benefit pension plans.

Doesn't say amything about handling public pensons.

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Don Bauder Oct. 6, 2008 @ 11:19 a.m.

Response to post #47: I don't know that this is definitive. There may be more. It remains worth exploring. Maybe when the legislation was written in the 1970s, nobody dreamed that municipalities would be going BK. Best, Don Bauder

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JF Oct. 6, 2008 @ 1:08 p.m.

Don, That's why I asked about the clause in the bailout bill. Is there a change to the PBGC? What will the change(s) be?

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JohnnyVegas Oct. 6, 2008 @ 1:18 p.m.

Don, That's why I asked about the clause in the bailout bill. Is there a change to the PBGC? What will the change(s) be? ==================================

I don't see how the bailout bill can be used to shore up public pensions-it would be fundamentally unfair. it would also be immoral.

Public pensions should be the FIRST pensions to be allowed to go under because of they are the gold plated, Cadillac pensions.

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Don Bauder Oct. 7, 2008 @ 7:12 a.m.

Response to post #54: The bill as written permits the czar to purchase the kind of paper you mention. But will it? I don't think so. You do. We can disagree. As to your second question: yes, I believe the bailout is an election year fraud. It simply delays the day of reckoning until after the election. At that point, whoever is elected will have to admit that, given the fact that this is an international crisis, $700 billion is a drop of spit in the ocean. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 6, 2008 @ 5:52 p.m.

Response to post #49: The big change at the PBGC is the red ink. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 6, 2008 @ 5:55 p.m.

Response to post #50: Many public pension systems are excessively generous and abusive, but that doesn't mean that the PBGC should be banned from bailing them out -- if, indeed, the PBGC is permitted to bail out public plans. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 6, 2008 @ 6:01 p.m.

Response to post #51: It specifically permits the Treas. Secty. to purchase troubled mortgage-based derivatives. My guess is that they will be about 100 percent of what he chooses to purchase. This is not a bailout of Main Street. It is all about the socialization of Wall St. Best, Don Bauder

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inactive Oct. 6, 2008 @ 8:21 p.m.

response to #54: I respectfully disagree. I believe some portion of this money will be used to purchase or ensure residential mortgages and in the case of future failures, protect college funds and pension plans affected by those failures. That being said, I wish that Sheila Baer should refrain from having the FDIC take over anymore banks. Let them orchestrate their own solutions or let them go under. Natural selection in the financial world

BTW, do you still feel that this bailout is a hoax,that Paulson is trying to run up the stock market before the election and after that, the government will say doesn’t have the money to pull off this off and drop the whole thing?

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