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bobnutfield
February 23rd, 2009, 10:44 PM
Hello Everyone,

Just a question for fellow dabblers in the stock market. I am a low level trader, and I am drooling at the mouth to buy some of the dirt cheap bank stocks. I do not believe they will be nationalized, which would, of course wipe out the shareholders. If I am right, Citigroup, B of A, Lloyds, Barclays and Royal bank of Scotland will make a fortune for long positions of three to five years.

If I am wrong, and they are nationalized, I will lose every cent I invest. I haven't parted with my cash yet, but I was wondering if any fellow traders had an opinion they would like to share. Also, what other sectors to you believe are this undervalued. Many will say that the bank stocks are so cheap for a reason, but according to their REAL market cap, they are ridiculously cheap.

Anyone?

NintendoTogepi
February 23rd, 2009, 10:55 PM
I think nationalization is unfortunately likely :(

bobnutfield
February 23rd, 2009, 10:58 PM
I think nationalization is unfortunately likely :(

Dou have a reason why you think this? I have a number of reasons why I do not believe nationalization will happen, but if you (or anyone else) has a compelling reason that makes it seem inevitable, it might save me some money..

HermanAB
February 23rd, 2009, 11:15 PM
The US banking system is already nationalized. First the mortgage lenders were bought out, now the big banks are 40% gov owned.

bobnutfield
February 23rd, 2009, 11:31 PM
The US banking system is already nationalized. First the mortgage lenders were bought out, now the big banks are 40% gov owned.

Actually, the government investment in the commercial banks is, for now at least, a loan backed preferred stock, so the common shares are still being traded. It is 100% control that would wipe out the common stock shareholders. This is what I do not believe will happen. I do not believe that the government will take total control and will leave the banks as independent entities. The real question will be how they handle the billions in bad assets. If that question were answered, I would be on the phone to my broker now and buying.

HermanAB
February 24th, 2009, 12:39 AM
The problem is that one man's bad asset is someone else's home. Having millions of people homeless and sleeping on the streets and in the parks is not a good idea either.

bobnutfield
February 24th, 2009, 09:06 AM
The problem is that one man's bad asset is someone else's home. Having millions of people homeless and sleeping on the streets and in the parks is not a good idea either.


I am compassionate. I care about these things and help in ways that I can. But I guess I should have known that my question would spark moral issues.

But my question was about whether anyone agreed that investing in some of these banks now would yield long term good results. I am a capitalist through and through, and even though I think the unbridled greed of the banks is what put them in this position and they morally deserve what is happening to them, I will make money out of it if I can. If I were able to score big and make a fortune out of my investments, I could help the homeless even more.

mips
February 24th, 2009, 09:54 AM
I think nationalization is unfortunately likely :(

I don't support nationalization at all. Governments are inefficient as they are now they are going to run big financial institutions, blah.

What is need is tighter regulation and tougher laws. When greed is working overtime it will screw it's own mother over. In the process many innocent people get harmed and the few get rich.

bobbob94
February 24th, 2009, 10:01 AM
I think in the UK at least we're rapidly getting to a situation where the government has put in enough money that they might as well have nationalised RBS and Lloyds, but they're desperately trying to avoid formal nationalisation for ideological reasons (nationalisation being far too old labour for New Labour!). So I doubt we'll see formal nationalisation unless there's a further round of really bad news for the banking sector.

bobnutfield
February 24th, 2009, 10:23 AM
Investors in the market have a gang mentality. They tend to jump on or off the current popular bandwagon. If the major banks are nationalized, I can see a situation where underserving banks who have sound business would also see their share prices fall to dangerously low prices. That is one of the reasons why I do not believe the banks will be nationalized. As I mentioned, nationalization wipes the stockholder completely off the books. Untold billions would be lost by institutional and individual stockholder. These banks are so large that thousands of pension funds would be wiped out or severely damaged by natioinalization. I could be wrong, but I cannot see it happening.

As it has been mentioned, it would be a disaster if the government (US or UK) runs the banking system. Does anyone want the same people who run the NHS in the UK to also handle your money?

bobbob94
February 24th, 2009, 10:34 AM
As it has been mentioned, it would be a disaster if the government (US or UK) runs the banking system. Does anyone want the same people who run the NHS in the UK to also handle your money?

Given the horrendous mess they created I certainly don't want the people who've been running the banking system to handle my money ;)

daverich
February 24th, 2009, 10:35 AM
Investors in the market have a gang mentality. They tend to jump on or off the current popular bandwagon. If the major banks are nationalized, I can see a situation where underserving banks who have sound business would also see their share prices fall to dangerously low prices. That is one of the reasons why I do not believe the banks will be nationalized. As I mentioned, nationalization wipes the stockholder completely off the books. Untold billions would be lost by institutional and individual stockholder. These banks are so large that thousands of pension funds would be wiped out or severely damaged by natioinalization. I could be wrong, but I cannot see it happening.

As it has been mentioned, it would be a disaster if the government (US or UK) runs the banking system. Does anyone want the same people who run the NHS in the UK to also handle your money?

well,- if they can do away with the absolute insult that is BACS payments taking 5 days to clear then I'm all for it.

The banks need to be nationalised because they're currently profit driven,- whereby we need them just to do a decent job.

Kind regards

Dave Rich

handy
February 24th, 2009, 10:37 AM
Nations are just different branches of the same banks.

The title of this post makes me laugh.

bobnutfield
February 24th, 2009, 10:38 AM
Given the horrendous mess they created I certainly don't want the people who've been running the banking system to handle my money ;)


Ha! Good point....but my mattress gets to lumpy when I put my money under it.

bobnutfield
February 24th, 2009, 10:45 AM
well,- if they can do away with the absolute insult that is BACS payments taking 5 days to clear then I'm all for it.

The banks need to be nationalised because they're currently profit driven,- whereby we need them just to do a decent job.

Kind regards

Dave Rich

If it currently takes 5 days for a BACS payment to clear, imagine your money controlled by the same people who make you wait a year for knee surgery.

NintendoTogepi
February 24th, 2009, 10:47 AM
Nations are just different branches of the same banks.

The title of this post makes me laugh.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_c6HsiixFS8?

etnlIcarus
February 24th, 2009, 10:51 AM
It's highly unlikely that any western gov't is going to go down the path of literal nationalisation. They can't afford the hit investor confidence would take. Even if shareholders were compensated at current going prices, it would be eliminating the speculative value of those shares, contributing to the overall investment slowdown. Nationalisation simply isn't a pragmatic response to the current crisis and all but the fringe pollies understand this. The current strategy of partial buy-outs as investments and not turning a blind eye to any and all market/industry/lender conduct is about all a gov't can realistically hope to do, given the modern economic machine.

Also, I fully expect this thread to be locked in 3, 2, 1...

bobnutfield
February 24th, 2009, 10:54 AM
It's highly unlikely that any western gov't is going to go down the path of literal nationalisation. They can't afford the hit investor confidence would take. Even if shareholders were compensated at current going prices, it would be eliminating the speculative value of those shares, contributing to the overall investment slowdown. Nationalisation simply isn't a pragmatic response to the current crisis and all but the fringe pollies understand this. The current strategy of partial buy-outs as investments and not turning a blind eye to any and all market conduct is about all a gov't can realistically hope to do, given the modern economic machine.

Also, I fully expect this thread to be locked in 3, 2, 1...

Well said.....locked? Couldn't imagine why.

etnlIcarus
February 24th, 2009, 10:57 AM
Well said.....locked? Couldn't imagine why.

This is too close to politics for most mod's comfort. It'd be great if economics didn't have to verge on ethical territory (or this forum's rules weren't so munted) but it does and as is already apparent in this thread; people are getting pretty emotional. This forum is very much a passion-free zone.

bobnutfield
February 24th, 2009, 11:00 AM
This is too close to politics for most mod's comfort. It'd be great if economics didn't have to verge on ethical territory (or this forum's rules weren't so munted) but it does and as already apparent in this thread; people are getting pretty emotional.

Good point....guess I will just abandon it myself. Besides, I wanted to hear from other stock traders who had an opinion about going long on banks. Didn't happen, so, oh well.....

etnlIcarus
February 24th, 2009, 11:04 AM
You have to keep quoting my posts before I get a chance to edit them, don't you? :p

bobnutfield
February 24th, 2009, 11:08 AM
You have to keep quoting my posts before I get a chance to edit them, don't you? :p


Sorry...

etnlIcarus
February 24th, 2009, 11:10 AM
I beat you that time. Now no one will ever know about that incorrectly placed comma... wait, shi~!

etnlIcarus
February 24th, 2009, 11:50 AM
Well since this thread's still going, might as well give it a crack.


Governments are inefficient as they are now they are going to run big financial institutions, blah.


Given the horrendous mess they created I certainly don't want the people who've been running the banking system to handle my money ;)

Really you've got a lose-lose option on your hands.

On the one hand, you've got self-interested parties running the loaning institutions, being pressured by the major stock holders.

On the other hand, you've got the option of an indirect popularly appointed bank board (it's implied in this thread that your local member would be running your local branch. This is inaccurate. Most likely, the legislative body of your choosing would appoint a committee, which would be charged with appointing an independent bank board based on credentials).

Theoretically, the latter option is slightly better. However, when I say theoretically, I mean in the same way the democratic process works theoretically; in reality, 'results may vary'.


well,- if they can do away with the absolute insult that is BACS payments taking 5 days to clear then I'm all for it.

The banks need to be nationalised because they're currently profit driven,- whereby we need them just to do a decent job.

Kind regards

Dave Rich"profit driven", and, "decent job", are not mutually exclusive. Any operation needs to be financially sound and should aim for a surplus. Having aptly served your purpose and coming out of it with a net profit is a pretty good measure of efficiency. However, it's not a full-proof measure of efficiency, as the following quote will address:


If it currently takes 5 days for a BACS payment to clear, imagine your money controlled by the same people who make you wait a year for knee surgery.
I'm not sure what the healthcare system in the UK is like but in Aust, when a gov't body provides poor customer service, it's usually deliberate. Things like gov't healthcare and welfare are usually, to some degree, "privatised". They roughly operate on the premise of the gov't only giving the private bodies certain resources to operate and in order for those private bodies to be profitable (or even sustainable), they go about short-changing their clients.

Privatisation of gov't services it usually touted as, "efficient", and that's correct from the gov't expenditure point of view but not from the citizen's, when it comes to quality of service.

Banks are inherently a profit-making enterprise so comparisons aren't exactly solid and nationalising them isn't likely to result in their becoming a loss-making, subsidised industry - depending on what law makers decide to use their new wholly owned banks for.

A good example of a bad use for a gov't [partially] owned lending institution is the Fannie Mae/Freddy Mac debacle in the US: gov't policy throughout the last few administrations has attempted to make more American citizens the owners of their own homes. This is an admirable goal but the degree to which they pushed these policies (by lowering the standards required for a home loan) lead to an unsustainable level of sub-prime mortgages circulating around the financial institutions and ...whatever you call those crazy-**** 'businesses' who were buying up sub-prime mortgages on Wall Street, under a premise I can't remember (help me out, here). Edit edit: actually, I think they were operating under the premise that most of the people with those bad mortgages would eventually make good on them, still resulting in a profitable outcome, when bought cheap from the original banks/credit groups. The banks and credit groups then had an infusion of capital to continue loaning. Could be wrong but I'm pretty sure that was the idea.

A certain level of sub-prime mortgages is okay; the interest on the good loans will still result in a gross profit greater than the gross losses incurred from the bad loans. Incorporating sub-prime loaning practices into your business model is a good example of how a gov't can re-purpose a nationalised industry to better serve the commonwealth - you've just got to make sure politicians don't make promises your industry can't keep.

zakany
February 24th, 2009, 03:02 PM
I don't support nationalization at all. Governments are inefficient as they are now they are going to run big financial institutions, blah.

Actually, both times the federal government ran a national bank, it has been a financial success (retired the debts from both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812). I don't see them nationalizing our banks because there are so darn many of them. It would be more efficient for the federal government to just establish the Third National Bank rather than assume operation of failed institutions.

The history of banking in the United States is interesting, but the claim that our government runs an inefficient bank - especially compared with private institutions - is wrong.

thisllub
February 24th, 2009, 07:20 PM
If governments aren't getting equity out of the money they have tipped into banks and auto manufacturers they should be crucified by electors.

Once these banks and companies become profitable again the equity can be sold back to the market and the taxpayer benefits.

It might be tougher on shareholders but at least their assets are saved from complete wipeout.

bobnutfield
February 24th, 2009, 11:15 PM
If governments aren't getting equity out of the money they have tipped into banks and auto manufacturers they should be crucified by electors.

Once these banks and companies become profitable again the equity can be sold back to the market and the taxpayer benefits.

It might be tougher on shareholders but at least their assets are saved from complete wipeout.

Probably the best comment on what is likely to happen....

Thelasko
February 24th, 2009, 11:24 PM
If governments aren't getting equity out of the money they have tipped into banks and auto manufacturers they should be crucified by electors.

Once these banks and companies become profitable again the equity can be sold back to the market and the taxpayer benefits.

It might be tougher on shareholders but at least their assets are saved from complete wipeout.

This is exactly what they are doing.

Depending on what you consider nationalized, you could say one bank already is, IndyMac. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IndyMac_Bank) Washington Mutual was nationalized for a while, but the government sold it to JPMorgan Chase (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_mutual). The Government is currently looking for a buyer for IndyMac, but no one wants it.

The worry on Wall Street is that the Government will increase it's ownership of Citibank to 40%, giving the government control of the company. The Government already owns a large number of shares due to the TARP program. The government would pay cash for the shares, and would sell them if, and when, it becomes stable again.

If The Government buys a stake in any bank, it will want a share price lower than what can be obtained on The Street. The Government offered to buy Bear Sterns for $2 a share (through JPMorgan...it's complicated), but it was latter negotiated up to $10. Price on The Street was $30!

Bottom line is, your money could be tied up in these bank stocks for years before they have any value again. That is a big risk!

MasterNetra
February 24th, 2009, 11:26 PM
No the banks will be Globalized then removed entirely after i conquer the world and deem currency to be a inefficient system for use.

doas777
February 24th, 2009, 11:30 PM
I don't support nationalization at all. Governments are inefficient as they are now they are going to run big financial institutions, blah.

What is need is tighter regulation and tougher laws. When greed is working overtime it will screw it's own mother over. In the process many innocent people get harmed and the few get rich.

What? you trust govt to create laws and implement regulation, but nationalization is somehow a big scary thing?

personally i trust govts a bit more than I trust corporations, if only barely. also you may want to research some labor theory. govt learned bureaucracy from private corporations, and copied it because it was more efficient, not the other way around.

mips
February 24th, 2009, 11:51 PM
What? you trust govt to create laws and implement regulation, but nationalization is somehow a big scary thing?

personally i trust govts a bit more than I trust corporations, if only barely. also you may want to research some labor theory. govt learned bureaucracy from private corporations, and copied it because it was more efficient, not the other way around.

Maybe it's OK for you guys in Western Countries but look where I live. The corruption, imcompetance, negligence, nepotism that goes on here is frightening (And don't tell me it's the same everywhere). These bastards will help themselves to my money and they are pretty much above the law. At least in business the guys still get locked up if they get caught with their fingers in the cookie jar. All I can say is hello Zim.

handy
February 25th, 2009, 01:26 AM
At the highest level of government there is a revolving door system, where members of banking cartels & other huge corporations move into top level government positions & back into their top level corporate positions.

The revolving door has been spinning like this forever.

Actually the documentary called "The World According to Monsanto" documents some very interesting revolving door position switching that has been going on.

etnlIcarus
February 25th, 2009, 03:05 AM
If governments aren't getting equity out of the money they have tipped into banks and auto manufacturers they should be crucified by electors.

Once these banks and companies become profitable again the equity can be sold back to the market and the taxpayer benefits.

It might be tougher on shareholders but at least their assets are saved from complete wipeout.Probably the most incisive comment I've heard throughout the current economic meltdown came from, of all people; Ashton Kutcher, who suggested that half the reason the US auto manufacturers are in so much trouble was due to their being in-bed with big oil. Accordingly, it should have been big oil who returned the favour and bailed out, "the big three".

Granted, I don't want to think about the kind of guzzlers Ford and co. would be churning out if the oil industry were the ones providing the capital...


Maybe it's OK for you guys in Western Countries but look where I live. The corruption, imcompetance, negligence, nepotism that goes on here is frightening (And don't tell me it's the same everywhere).It is the same everywhere, just perhaps not to the same degree as where you live.


These bastards will help themselves to my money and they are pretty much above the law. At least in business the guys still get locked up if they get caught with their fingers in the cookie jar.I think it's more a case of you get your occasional token corporate jailbird but the vast majority of a nation's rich and powerful are just as above the law as gov't officials, due mostly to their close ties with said gov't officials. When they're not silently breaking the law, they're just plain having it rewritten.


At the highest level of government there is a revolving door system, where members of banking cartels & other huge corporations move into top level government positions & back into their top level corporate positions.

The revolving door has been spinning like this forever.

Actually the documentary called "The World According to Monsanto" documents some very interesting revolving door position switching that has been going on.
Assuming you're not suggesting any wild and deliberate conspiracy theories, pretty much.

thisllub
February 25th, 2009, 03:29 AM
Probably the most incisive comment I've heard throughout the current economic meltdown came from, of all people; Ashton Kutcher, who suggested that half the reason the US auto manufacturers are in so much trouble was due to their being in-bed with big oil. Accordingly, it should have been big oil who returned the favour and bailed out, "the big three".

Granted, I don't want to think about the kind of guzzlers Ford and co. would be churning out if the oil industry were the ones providing the capital...


Curiously the real reason that the US auto manufacturers are in so much trouble is at the core of the US economy if not the entire US society.
That is the way that healthcare and retirement benefits are deducted from employers.
Here in Australia the only parallel is the Federal and State governments unfunded superannuation liabilities. When that passed the 100 billion dollar mark Costello was bludgeoned by treasury into setting up the "Future Fund".

Put simply GM has to pay up to $1500 per vehicle in benefits to ex-employees because they weren't provided for at the time of employment.
A very poor accounting and management strategy.

If Obama brings in universal healthcare it will be more likely motivated by the need to save US manufacturing by factoring out health costs.

Grant A.
February 25th, 2009, 04:26 AM
You could just sell all of your bank stocks and invest into something else before they get nationalized. Unfortunately for stock holders, though, banks always seem to get nationalized during severe recessions or depressions.

etnlIcarus
February 25th, 2009, 04:48 AM
Curiously the real reason that the US auto manufacturers are in so much trouble is at the core of the US economy if not the entire US society.I wouldn't put the failure down to a single, "real", factor in this situation, let alone most. It's no secret that the US auto industry has barely been competitive in the US, let alone in the rest of the world, for some time. Foreign subsidiaries have been the only profitable part of companies like Ford for a few years. Failure to meet the evolving market of the last five years or so is certainly a large part of the auto crisis.


If Obama brings in universal healthcareThe only, "if", is if they manage to avoid a filibuster which, in this case, might not be such a bad thing. The house and senate Democrats are probably going to have to settle on a more moderated plan if they're going to come close to satisfying one of the core platforms upon which they were elected.

stopie
February 25th, 2009, 08:24 AM
The long version
Thanks to bureaucracy, nationalization of industry is too costly (just look at the UK before it decided to privatize) and ineffective; however at some points in economic history, it has been a necessity. I highly doubt that America's banks will be nationalized because the government has learned from the past (in this specific case, not meant for flame wars). With said knowledge, the government will most likely continue to try and save jobs buy acquing large sinking businesses, and then selling them to other companies, as with JP Morgan in several aforementioned posts. This allows the market to set, and eventually operate at, the most efficient point.

tl/dr
Economic advisors know that messing with the market is one of many reasons why we are where we are, so they want to stay as removed as they can, while still protecting the economy - if your looking for long-term investment, I think you'll be fine

Undervalued
GE - its so undervalued I want to cry because I have no cash on hand! The company is stable - very stable - with lots of capital and cash, and it is as diversified as the market itself. They got in trouble because their lending side took a few too many risks, but they still are one of like 3 companies with the best credit rating a business can get. The lending side can get help from the bail out, even though a loss wouldnt knock the company down and out. I honestly think, along with Smart Money's article, that when things are about to come around, people will realize how under valued GE is, and its value is going to hit a new high. The only problem is the same as it is for the economy...it all hinges on the word "eventually"

stopie
February 25th, 2009, 08:27 AM
The only, "if", is if they manage to avoid a filibuster which, in this case, might not be such a bad thing. The house and senate Democrats are probably going to have to settle on a more moderated plan if they're going to come close to satisfying one of the core platforms upon which they were elected.

Gotta love that stimulus package...100% democrats...0% republicans (except for 3, lol)...liberals got their way with no moderate compromise with conservatives. I'm not politically biased either way, I just think its interesting and a bit silly...

etnlIcarus
February 25th, 2009, 09:20 AM
Gotta love that stimulus package...100% democrats...0% republicans (except for 3, lol)...liberals got their way with no moderate compromise with conservatives. I'm not politically biased either way, I just think its interesting and a bit silly...

I wouldn't say no compromise, it's not as if the two parties had completely different ideas of what a stimulus should be. 30% of the package was still tax cuts, IIRC and giving some rather vocal Reps the benefit of the doubt in assuming they don't really think 100% tax cuts is a sound idea; if the seating arrangement were reversed, I highly doubt a Rep majority would have gone a much different route.

I guess that's the fun bit of being the house minority; you get to promise your constituents all the best-sounding stuff, without actually having to live with the consequences of enacting such policy.

That said, I agree with you; promises of bipartisanship already seem to have failed. That's one of the few things I do enjoy about Aust's political landscape; minority parties (note the plural parties) do hold enough sway that deals often have to be sought with unlikely allies. Our two big parties may do a lot of polarised huffing and puffing but they're still capable of actual dialogue and compromise, when the need arises.

bobnutfield
February 25th, 2009, 11:50 AM
Well, I didn't really mean to create a forum debate over the root of the world's financial problems. But, the general consensus here seems to be that those who chose to comment about my original question is that the banks will NOT be nationalized. Here in the UK, one year ago Royal Bank of Scotland was selling for nearly 4/share. If it ever reaches that again (which I believe it will even if takes five years), that will a 20 time return on an investment now. There are similar possibilities with other banks, including Bank of America. I plan on making my decision tomorrow after RBS releases it's results.

Thanks for all the posts and comments.

mips
February 25th, 2009, 01:29 PM
Actually the documentary called "The World According to Monsanto" documents some very interesting revolving door position switching that has been going on.

You should have a look at "The Ascent of Money", very interesting documentary.
You will know where to find it ;)

Extra: http://chestertheinvestor.com/blog/2008/07/22/how-the-fed-controls-interest-rates/#more-7

Thelasko
February 25th, 2009, 04:20 PM
Maybe it's OK for you guys in Western Countries but look where I live. The corruption, imcompetance, negligence, nepotism that goes on here is frightening (And don't tell me it's the same everywhere).

Pfft, that's nothing, look where I live.

In case (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_Blagojevich_corruption_charges) you aren't aware (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Ryan#Scandals.2C_trial_and_conviction) of what (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_J._Daley) goes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_M._Daley) on here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Todd_Stroger#Criticism_and_response). That's just recently (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Capone).

P.S. Time Magazine has the Cliff's Notes (http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1865681,00.html).

etnlIcarus
February 26th, 2009, 01:24 AM
Posting to extend my thanks to the mods/admins who've (so far) declined to lock this thread. This has been great.

Grant A.
February 26th, 2009, 01:36 AM
Maybe it's OK for you guys in Western Countries but look where I live. The corruption, imcompetance, negligence, nepotism that goes on here is frightening (And don't tell me it's the same everywhere). These bastards will help themselves to my money and they are pretty much above the law. At least in business the guys still get locked up if they get caught with their fingers in the cookie jar. All I can say is hello Zim.

Actually most of the countries in Africa are considered Western countries due to Western European influences. South Africa is considered Western especially due to the fact that it is an Anglophone country that is still very influenced by Anglo culture, much like the U.S., but more U.K.-Like ;)

stopie
February 26th, 2009, 05:28 AM
For the corruption and such: here you go (http://www.transparency.org/news_room/in_focus/2008/cpi2008/cpi_2008_table) there are a few suprising ones on there, and please notice its not all of africa or eastern block countries.

As for the nationalization of banks...according to my lecture in microeconomics today, it has, technically, already happened.

idk...I need some cash to invest first anyway...

doas777
February 27th, 2009, 10:44 PM
In general (within a US context) public institutions are better than private institutions. just like open source is better than closed source.

I too am surprised at the lack of mods. usually any good discussion is silenced long before it gets going.