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Americans rate Fed worst among 9 key agencies
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turtle777
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Jul 27, 2009, 01:24 PM
 
The Gallop poll, conducted in mid-July, found that only 30 percent rated the Fed as doing an "excellent/good" job.

The CIA, the Department of Homeland Security, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Internal Revenue Service and the Food and Drug Administration all earned scores higher than the Fed's, the poll said.
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/...whnnQD99MTO000

Seems like Ron Paul has hit the nail on the head with demanding more transparency.
People don't trust the Fed, rightly so.

The Fed is way too much in bed with the Treasury and the government.
People understand that the problems can't be solved by printing money.

-t
     
Atheist
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Jul 27, 2009, 02:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
The Fed is way too much in bed with the Treasury and the government.
People understand that the problems can't be solved by printing money.

-t
I think you give the average American too much credit. I would wager most don't even understand what the Federal Reserve does.
     
nonhuman
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Jul 27, 2009, 02:08 PM
 
My list would definitely be different: the top two spots would go to the Legislative Branch and the Executive Branch.
     
turtle777  (op)
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Jul 27, 2009, 02:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by Atheist View Post
I think you give the average American too much credit. I would wager most don't even understand what the Federal Reserve does.
Maybe yes, maybe not.

See, all that Fed's economic mumbo-jumbo, explaining how printing billions of $ would not hurt the US economy or the USD might confuse people, but deep down, they actually have enough common sense to understand that all this is just propaganda.

And many people have bought in to that lie that "house debt" is good debt that will help to leverage your networth. Bullsh!t. People now realize that this was just a ploy.

-t
     
nonhuman
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Jul 27, 2009, 02:15 PM
 
Actually, I take that back. Those would be 3 and 4. Number 1 and 2 would be a tie between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party.
     
smacintush
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Jul 27, 2009, 02:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by Atheist View Post
I think you give the average American too much credit. I would wager most don't even understand what the Federal Reserve does.
Exactly right.
Being in debt and celebrating a lower deficit is like being on a diet and celebrating the fact you gained two pounds this week instead of five.
     
turtle777  (op)
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Jul 27, 2009, 02:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by Atheist View Post
I think you give the average American too much credit. I would wager most don't even understand what the Federal Reserve does.
Perhaps, but isn't part of the reason that the Fed started doing sh!t (monetizing debt, keeping Fannie and Freddie alive, rescuing broke and failed businesses) that was never their intended mission ?

-t
     
Atheist
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Jul 27, 2009, 02:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Perhaps, but isn't part of the reason that the Fed started doing sh!t (monetizing debt, keeping Fannie and Freddie alive, rescuing broke and failed businesses) that was never their intended mission ?

-t
It's one reason why any government agency does what it does. Lack of understanding and accountability.
     
Chuckit
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Jul 27, 2009, 02:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by Atheist View Post
I think you give the average American too much credit. I would wager most don't even understand what the Federal Reserve does.
Word. I bet if you did a poll asking people to describe various agencies, the Fed would probably get the fewest accurate answers (beyond "stuff with money"). People just heard that the Fed is responsible for the current crisis, so they don't like it.
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turtle777  (op)
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Jul 27, 2009, 02:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
People just heard that the Fed is responsible for the current crisis, so they don't like it.
Snarkiness aside, but this is EXACTLY how this sh!t got started.
Easy money from the Fed after 9/11 and the dotcom bubble burst.

Sure, there's plenty of people who like to blame it on the greedy banks and/or the greedy consumer, but fact is: there would NOT have been any greedy banks and consumers if the Fed didn't supply cheap money. Or, to be more precise, they could not have acted on their greediness.

-t
     
wallinbl
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Jul 27, 2009, 02:33 PM
 
People understand that the problems can't be solved by printing money.
Some can and some can't.

I would wager most don't even understand what the Federal Reserve does.
Absolutely. Not only do they not know what they do, but people don't know how the Fed does the one thing people think they do (ie the Fed Funds Rate isn't "set"), nor do people likely realize why the interest rate is what's targeted instead of the money supply itself.
     
wallinbl
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Jul 27, 2009, 02:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Sure, there's plenty of people who like to blame it on the greedy banks and/or the greedy consumer, but fact is: there would NOT have been any greedy banks and consumers if the Fed didn't supply cheap money. Or, to be more precise, they could not have acted on their greediness.
What? Do you think that subprime loans are solely because of Greenspan keeping the Fed Funds Rate too low for too long? Even if he had raised it a few points, lenders still would have gone to town with handing out interest only, variable rate loans to people with stated income. There are a variety of problems in this situation, the interest rate is only one of them. Deregulation is a big problem. Not showing derivatives on the financial statements of banks is a big problem.

Regardless of the interest rate, not all banks got in on the greed fest, so the fact remains that greedy people share some of the blame here.
     
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Jul 27, 2009, 03:00 PM
 
I'm actually surprised that NASA scored as highly as it did, given the bad press it gets.

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Chuckit
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Jul 27, 2009, 03:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Snarkiness aside, but this is EXACTLY how this sh!t got started.
Easy money from the Fed after 9/11 and the dotcom bubble burst.

Sure, there's plenty of people who like to blame it on the greedy banks and/or the greedy consumer, but fact is: there would NOT have been any greedy banks and consumers if the Fed didn't supply cheap money. Or, to be more precise, they could not have acted on their greediness.
Um, OK?
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turtle777  (op)
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Jul 27, 2009, 03:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
Um, OK?
Yes ?

-t
     
Chuckit
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Jul 27, 2009, 04:57 PM
 
I don't understand why you were telling me all that.
Chuck
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hyteckit
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Jul 27, 2009, 05:44 PM
 
I thought the Fed was the FBI.

Are you a Fed?
Bush Tax Cuts == Job Killer
June 2001: 132,047,000 employed
June 2003: 129,839,000 employed
2.21 million jobs were LOST after 2 years of Bush Tax Cuts.
     
SpaceMonkey
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Jul 27, 2009, 06:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
I don't understand why you were telling me all that.
Turtle thinks the government should protect people from themselves. I don't know, sounds vaguely socialist to me...

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turtle777  (op)
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Jul 27, 2009, 06:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
Turtle thinks the government should protect people from themselves. I don't know, sounds vaguely socialist to me...
What ? I hope you're not being serious.
Where did I ever say that ?

My basic tenets are:

a) people and companies need to take responsibility (and fail, if they make stupid choice)
b) the government needs to stay put, and not save some people and companies from themselves

-t
     
SpaceMonkey
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Jul 27, 2009, 07:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
What ? I hope you're not being serious.
Where did I ever say that ?
From a few posts ago:

Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Sure, there's plenty of people who like to blame it on the greedy banks and/or the greedy consumer, but fact is: there would NOT have been any greedy banks and consumers if the Fed didn't supply cheap money. Or, to be more precise, they could not have acted on their greediness.

"One ticket to Washington, please. I have a date with destiny."
     
Chuckit
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Jul 27, 2009, 07:29 PM
 
Do you not think there is a difference between saying "The government should not actively encourage people to be bad" and "The government should protect people from their own badness"?
Chuck
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finboy
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Jul 27, 2009, 08:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/...whnnQD99MTO000

Seems like Ron Paul has hit the nail on the head with demanding more transparency.
People don't trust the Fed, rightly so.

The Fed is way too much in bed with the Treasury and the government.
People understand that the problems can't be solved by printing money.

-t
I'll take an independent Fed over what the Sheeple think any day. I'll give that the Fed has been oversolicitous through this latest crisis, but the LAST thing we want is for Congress or BHO to come up with "something better". Perhaps they should be more transparent, but I think if we'd known what they knew in 2007, most folks would have panic'ed pretty hard.

I think we'll find that by the time the liquidity crunch is all over with, the net effect on rates will be zilch (ie no inflation). The Fed is lending into the normal ebb and flow of the monetary system, that's all. There should be no long term effects. At least that's what I've been telling my students and media contacts. The TALF and other programs won't really have any effect, IMEO.

Now, if we want to get concerned about something, we should jump on the TARP, which is turning out to be a morass of buddy-money for Treasury. Goldman is at the heart of the whole thing.

We should also be concerned about the huge spending package rammed through Congress, but it looks as though most of those things won't happen until after the midterm elections, so they'll probably get reversed anyway.
     
turtle777  (op)
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Jul 27, 2009, 08:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
Do you not think there is a difference between saying "The government should not actively encourage people to be bad" and "The government should protect people from their own badness"?
Thanks, Chuckit, that's exactly my point.

-t
     
wallinbl
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Jul 27, 2009, 09:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by finboy View Post
I'll take an independent Fed over what the Sheeple think any day. I'll give that the Fed has been oversolicitous through this latest crisis, but the LAST thing we want is for Congress or BHO to come up with "something better".
Absolutely. Congress are a bunch of lawyers. Economics isn't exactly an easily discernible science, but I'll take an independent Fed over 500 attorneys making up stuff that makes them look good in the press and in elections. The fact that Fed members get 14 year terms is in part to shield them from this crap, and to make sure that no one president could appoint more than 4 of them.
     
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Jul 27, 2009, 09:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
Do you not think there is a difference between saying "The government should not actively encourage people to be bad" and "The government should protect people from their own badness"?
I haven't given much thought to it, but that's not really how Turtle framed it. He said specifically "they could not have acted on their greediness," as if the greediness was a given and not, "the government encouraged them to be greedy."

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hyteckit
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Jul 27, 2009, 09:35 PM
 
What turtle is saying is:

free market - Good
government control - Bad
Bush Tax Cuts == Job Killer
June 2001: 132,047,000 employed
June 2003: 129,839,000 employed
2.21 million jobs were LOST after 2 years of Bush Tax Cuts.
     
SpaceMonkey
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Jul 27, 2009, 09:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by hyteckit View Post
What turtle is saying is:

free market - Good
government control - Bad
Yes, that's his predisposition, but I don't think it's the conclusion that his argument naturally leads to. At least, not unequivocally.

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hyteckit
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Jul 27, 2009, 09:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
Yes, that's his predisposition, but I don't think it's the conclusion that his argument naturally leads to. At least, not unequivocally.
Well, you have to understand turtle logic to understand how it leads to that argument.

Often times, it's circular logic.
Bush Tax Cuts == Job Killer
June 2001: 132,047,000 employed
June 2003: 129,839,000 employed
2.21 million jobs were LOST after 2 years of Bush Tax Cuts.
     
turtle777  (op)
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Jul 27, 2009, 11:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
I haven't given much thought to it, but that's not really how Turtle framed it. He said specifically "they could not have acted on their greediness," as if the greediness was a given and not, "the government encouraged them to be greedy."
You didn't get my point.

If the Fed had not created cheap money, Joe Blow with an annual income of $ 30,000 would have NEVER been given a mortgage for a McMansion worth $ 700,000, no matter how greedy Joe Blow was and how bad he wanted it.

Instead, the Government decided that owning a house is a God-given birthright, and made Fannie and Freddie the lenders, and the Fed the money source.

Now, here I said it: it's not the Fed's own fault, the government is as much at fault. But: the Fed was supposed to be independent. Well, whoever believes that fairy tale should come and see me for oceanfront property in Iowa.

-t
     
Chuckit
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Jul 27, 2009, 11:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
I haven't given much thought to it, but that's not really how Turtle framed it. He said specifically "they could not have acted on their greediness," as if the greediness was a given and not, "the government encouraged them to be greedy."
Well, their greed was a given. But the government encouraged them to act irresponsibly on their greed instead of being rational and restraining themselves. I think that's the nutshell version you're trying to get at.
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SpaceMonkey
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Jul 27, 2009, 11:58 PM
 
The more you explain it the more I think the distinction is not really there. If the government is loosening credit then you might say that they are encouraging greed. But if the government is tightening credit then you might say that they are protecting greedy people from themselves.

Regardless, you're still describing a situation where the government can't "stay put." There's no "default" non-regulatory position for the Fed.

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turtle777  (op)
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Jul 28, 2009, 12:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
The more you explain it the more I think the distinction is not really there. If the government is loosening credit then you might say that they are encouraging greed. But if the government is tightening credit then you might say that they are protecting greedy people from themselves.

Regardless, you're still describing a situation where the government can't "stay put." There's no "default" non-regulatory position for the Fed.
Well, if you read my comments as being totally against regulation, that's not what I mean.
There needs to be some regulations in place when

a) markets can't function properly due to specific design / circumstances (e.g. monopolies - municipal power)
b) consumers can't get the necessary information to make an informed decision, and companies taking advantage of that fact

-t
     
SpaceMonkey
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Jul 28, 2009, 11:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Well, if you read my comments as being totally against regulation, that's not what I mean.
There needs to be some regulations in place when

a) markets can't function properly due to specific design / circumstances (e.g. monopolies - municipal power)
b) consumers can't get the necessary information to make an informed decision, and companies taking advantage of that fact

-t
Sure. As I tried to indicate with my smiley, I was mostly poking fun at your expense. But I do think that the issue of whether a piece of regulation is worthwhile, or whether it is just "protecting people from themselves" is more of a slippery slope that you seem to acknowledge. I think that in most cases, supporters of regulation will justify it based on those two conditions above whether or not they are conservative or liberal. The conservative and liberal outlooks differ, though, on what constitutes "necessary information" or which market circumstances are fundamentally flawed. Knowing your general ideological outlook, I found your comments in this thread inconsistent in that you seem to put the burden on the government to regulate the market in an active way (in terms of literally setting parameters on what loans are too "risky") rather than educate consumers. It's an interesting contrast with your comments in the credit card thread, for example.

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turtle777  (op)
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Jul 28, 2009, 12:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
Knowing your general ideological outlook, I found your comments in this thread inconsistent in that you seem to put the burden on the government to regulate the market in an active way (in terms of literally setting parameters on what loans are too "risky") rather than educate consumers.
That's not what I meant, and agree to.

What part of my comment led you to believe that ?
Seriously, I read through all my comments, I can't find anything that would even go in the direction of promoting government regulation.

-t
     
SpaceMonkey
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Jul 28, 2009, 01:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
That's not what I meant, and agree to.

What part of my comment led you to believe that ?
Seriously, I read through all my comments, I can't find anything that would even go in the direction of promoting government regulation.

-t
You stated that your issue with the Fed is that they created an environment that allowed for more risky lending, and that the Fed has responsibility rather than the "the greedy banks and/or the greedy consumer" who took advantage.

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turtle777  (op)
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Jul 28, 2009, 01:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
You stated that your issue with the Fed is that they created an environment that allowed for more risky lending, and that the Fed has responsibility rather than the "the greedy banks and/or the greedy consumer" who took advantage.
So ?

And you are inferring that this means I'm pro-government regulation ?

You assume too much.

-t
     
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Jul 28, 2009, 01:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
So ?

And you are inferring that this means I'm pro-government regulation ?

You assume too much.

-t
I'm saying that you support increased regulation in this case, but in analogous cases you have not.

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turtle777  (op)
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Jul 28, 2009, 01:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
I'm saying that you support increased regulation in this case, but in analogous cases you have not.


Where do you get this from ?
What increased regulation are you talking about ?
What did I say to that regard ?

Does "not creating easy money" = regulation for you ?

-t
     
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Jul 28, 2009, 01:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777
Does "not creating easy money" = regulation for you ?
It falls under the general definition of the term, yes.

Perhaps I am writing imprecisely. It's not so much the level of regulation (as one could think of the Fed's regulatory capacity as constant, no matter what their specific policies are) but the specific policy of "not creating easy money" (credit). In this case, you say that the burden is on the government to regulate the economy in a way that makes it difficult for "greedy" people to act on their desires and obtain more credit than they can afford, which seems to me to be at odds with your general support for individual responsibility and letting people make their own mistakes.

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Jul 28, 2009, 01:47 PM
 
turtle, do you think there's no role for a central bank to play - that monetary policy should be abolished?

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Jul 28, 2009, 01:47 PM
 
The solution to restraining the Fed without government regulation is to cut the Fed loose from government entanglement as it's meant to be. Were the Fed truly independent of the government (and with it, the Treasury) this sort of manipulation of the credit market wouldn't have been possible in the first place.
     
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Jul 29, 2009, 02:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
There needs to be some regulations in place when

a) markets can't function properly due to specific design / circumstances (e.g. monopolies - municipal power)
b) consumers can't get the necessary information to make an informed decision, and companies taking advantage of that fact

-t
Yep, and both arguments can be made about mortgage markets. Home loans are too hard to understand, too hard to qualify for without a family history of thrift, home ownership is too difficult for folks without knowledge of homeownershp, it's too expensive over and above the actual mortgage (incidentals), etc. So Congress used "market imperfections" to say "Hey, Freddie and Fannie work REAL GOOD for geographic diversification of mortgage exposure, so let's use them to redistribute wealth."

It's happened before, and it will happen again.

Easy money from the Fed was a VERY SMALL part of the problem. Throwing Freddie and Fannie monies, and encouraging private underwriting standards to change via CRA, etc. was the real problem. In 1991, Congress decided to reward banks for selling to Freddie and/or Fannie explicitly, by allowing them to hold LESS CAPITAL if they sold their mortgages. It all went downhill from there.

In economics, that's what we professionals call "an arbitrage opportunity."

Cue HUD and the Clinton and Bush Admins making Brownie points, and the rest is history.

Sounds simple because it is. And the SCARY PART is that all of those guys in Congress/Admins knew it would happen and didn't CARE. Pump money into subprime and home prices will go up. How fundamental is that?
     
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Aug 20, 2009, 02:41 PM
 
Well given that the average American has more access to the mass media and independent outlets they know a lot more than you (the suppossed intellectuals) assume. I am an average American making a little bit under $10 an hour. I learned about how the Federal Reserve works through research. After receiving a Social Security summary in the mail the other day I realized the Federal Reserve and U.S. Government have taken more taxes from me than I could imagine. If we had held the Federal Reserve accountable for it's actions or just abolished it altogether I would be earning what I deserve. Then people like me could afford homes and cars and we wouldn't need loans. The Federal Reserve and our government is responsible and you know it.
     
   
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