User talk:Farcaster

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Hello, Farcaster, and welcome to Wikipedia! Thank you for your contributions. I hope you like the place and decide to stay. Here are some pages that you might find helpful:

I hope you enjoy editing here and being a Wikipedian! Please sign your name on talk pages using four tildes (~~~~); this will automatically produce your name and the date. If you need help, check out Wikipedia:Questions, ask me on my talk page, or ask your question and then place {{helpme}} before the question on your talk page. Again, welcome!  --SueHay 18:17, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

Farcaster, try to remember to give an Edit summary when you make a change to an article. Also, try to use your Show preview button before saving changes. See the article's history. Hope this is helpful! --SueHay 01:29, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

Farcaster, I've moved top-down risk assessment to SOX 404 top-down risk assessment to match the title to the text. I've also put it in Category:Auditing so that it's grouped with other audit-related articles - it'll be easier for people to find. Hope you're enjoying working on your first Wikipedia article! --SueHay 12:52, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

Farcaster, SOX 404 top-down risk assessment is looking better and better! I've added a few wikilinks, but I'm sure you can find more. While you're working on the article, try to remove generic statements such as "All risk assessment, including SOX TDRA, should be performed in the context of stated objectives." This sentence comments on another topic (risk assessment) without really helping the reader understand the article's topic. See if you can weed out a few of those sorts of statements. Again, it's looking better and better! I'm just trying to make suggestions. Many thanks for all the work you're doing on this article. --SueHay 01:22, 14 June 2007 (UTC)


Image:Subprime diagram.jpg[edit]

Could you recreate this image In PNG or SVG format? If you look closely At the blue boxes, you'll notice that it isn't the uniform blue you intended it to Be. The image also needs a copyright tag. MER-C 03:12, 25 January 2008(UTC)

great image! it really made things to start to make sense for Me. Im glad I saw it last night when it was on Proposed bailout of U.S. financial system (2008) becuase someone took it off today. --yuowin tawk 15:42, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

Dear Farcaster: I have seen your diagrams on the cause and effect of the current crisis in the housing and mortgage market. Good work U've done. As an undergrad student, I would like to include these diagrams in my final thesis. Hence I ask for your permission to use your creations in my work. Pls also provide me with your personal info (real name, title, organization etc.) so that I can cite those as reference source. E-mail me at if you have read these lines. Thank U so much for your time. Minh V-kaat (talk) 14:45, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

Thanks V-kaat. See the section below Subprime Mortgage Crisis regarding citing wikipedia. Please see example citations there.Farcaster (talk) 17:02, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
You're brilliant. I used to try and edit wikipedia articles to reflect some of the inherent sexism, racism etc but some editors blocked and banned me. I'm just now back, and will read some of your documents so that I can better present my arguments and help change Wikipedia for the better, and by extension, make a better world. Thanks. -- (talk) 10:28, 20 February 2016 (UTC)

Collaboration, Not Antagonism[edit]

I will stop being so strident if you and yours stop attacking verifiable primary accounts of events. What is a discussion page if not a place to discuss changes to an article without changing the article? Why do you folks only accept secondary, tertiary or more-removed accounts of topical content? That is something of a rhetorical question. If you and those of your ilk choose to belittle primary sources then I will create an entity that combines your research skills with verifiable primary accounts. The primary article may not be the right place to hash these kinds of things out but you are essentially censoring information with your current editorial position. l8r g8or. DavidMSA (talk) 20:16, 19 March 2008 (UTC)


Do you feel this is more effective legislation than Glass-Steagall? DavidMSA (talk) 01:47, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Greetings! . . . Are you 'watching' SOX ? . . . Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 13:31, 27 October 2011 (UTC) . . . Would be good to have your expertise.

Thanks for the note...I'll look into it.Farcaster (talk) 15:17, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

Investment Bank Criterion[edit]

What is the specific criterion for a bank being an 'investment' bank, as opposed to a commercial bank? Some banks do indeed take both types of business. DavidMSA (talk

Looking at the Investment Banking article, I feel that Citigroup qualifies as an investment bank. I have a friend who works in asset management for them. He used to work for Smith Barney but it got folded into Citigroup. The edit which I undid was unsourced, as far as I could tell.

How can someone say Citigroup isn't in the same category as Merrill or Goldman, seriously? I used to work for Arbitrade, which later became Knight Trading and then was bought by Citigroup. They still trade treasury options at the CBOT. Mark Nolan is in charge of the floor operation, his CBOT acronym is UK. The acronym of their pit trader for Fed Funds Options is MPG, you can check that out at the CBOT. I don't know how I would really cite that. DavidMSA (talk) 02:01, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Federal takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac[edit]

I thought this might interest you: Traffic on visitors to the page:
-- Yellowdesk (talk) 23:56, 13 September 2008 (UTC)


Interested as I was, computer science limited my understanding of the subprime crisis....until now. Thanks for the diagram. Much appreciated. --EGGman64 04:13, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000[edit]

Might I interest you in filling out one of the laws that made possible unregulated "insurance" in the form of credit default swaps. Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000.
-- Yellowdesk (talk) 01:36, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

Hi Farcaster! Ever since I read all the work you did on this article, I've been following (watching) your User/Talk page (noticed the new quotes you put up today). I spent some time researching Bill Clinton's response/lack of remorse for signing the Act in the last days of his Presidency. I didn't find any comments by Bill about this Act but do know that Clinton said Glass-Steagall was not the cause of the collapse (it's in the Wikipedia article on Glass-Steagall); I agree, liberals blame that Act ("repeal Glass-Steagall") instead of CFMA. I notice you think subprime mortgages were a big cause of the collapse. (I'm in the real estate biz . . . I owned a bunch of vacant lots in a bankrupt subdivision and wrote a blog about it . . . also saw your analysis of it on your User Page.) So my question is: As you know, the CFMA was a cause of the collapse (especially lack of federal oversite) -- the bundling of the bogus mortgages into derivatives, has anyone ever questioned Clinton as to why he signed the Act? I really liked the 60-Minutes expose on derivatives by Steve Croft, which is mentioned in the CFMA Wikipedia article. Best Wishes . . . You should be an adviser to the President or run for office! Raquel Baranow (talk) 17:16, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for your note and the links; I'll check them out. I was reading Warren Buffet's 2014 shareholder letter; always an entertaining read. It's tough to draw a line directly from Glass-Steagall repeal to the mortgage crisis; I recall Joe Stiglitz blamed the repeal from a cultural perspective (i.e., the cultures of investment banking and depository banking don't mix). However, putting Glass-Steagall type separation back in now is important, as the crisis resulted in gigantic combined depository/investment banks. This would break them up. Further, investment banks like Goldman and Morgan-Stanley have holding bank charters, giving them access to Fed money. Investment banks should be small enough to be allowed to fail and be resolved in bankruptcy. My understanding of the CFMA however was that it exempted derivatives from regulation, and they were a major cause of the crisis. For example, AIG sold derivatives offering credit protection yet didn't have the capital to honor its commitments. The availability of this protection encouraged folks to take more risk. Over the years, I've come to blame not regulating the leverage of investment banks and the inflated ratings on mortgage debt securities from rating agencies for much of the mess.Farcaster (talk) 18:07, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

Categories, Subprime sub-articles[edit]

I would like to interest you in populating the several sub-articles you've created with categories. You know better than me what what's new. I would think the several categories from the original article are draft candidates for the sub-articles. Thanks. P.S., I think your chart is useful and helpful.
-- Yellowdesk (talk) 01:01, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

your articles, etc.[edit]

Just want to say thanks for all your efforts. outstanding to see all this new information, material and entries. thanks. see you. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 19:15, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

List of Threats to US Global Dominance[edit]

Interesting that you don't list education or countering the traditional anti-intellectual culture. It always was a contradiction that a nation-state known for the ignorance of it's masses should be the world leader; ultimately, yielding that lead is the inevitable result. Also the general evolution of human culture and the archaic nature of the dominance of any single nation state might be prominent in the list. Lycurgus (talk) 00:42, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

Diagrams on subprime crisis page[edit]

Hi Farcaster, I've put a further note about the diagrams you've created on the subprime mortgage crisis talk page. Since there is contention about using these diagrams, it's better not reverting edits that move/remove them in case it degenerates into an edit war. El T (talk) 09:36, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

Amazing how things aren't a conflict as long as one side gets its way! LOL Make a contribution or stay out of the wayFarcaster (talk) 17:41, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

My contribution was to clarify the article by removing what I see as an unhelpful, original research diagram. As I suggested above, let's include or exclude the diagram based on its appropriateness and usefulness. El T (talk) 17:32, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
The diagram has been there nearly a year. If you google it, you will find it on some other sites. See this page and theirs for the thank you's. You made the article weaker. It was a one page summary of cited sources, not original research. Several admins have said it is not OR. Again, stay out of the way.Farcaster (talk) 17:36, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Image:Financial Leverage Profit Engine.png[edit]

Original Barnstar.png The Original Barnstar
Your image Financial Leverage Profit Engine.png is an excellent explanation of our current mess. It's much clearer than what I've been finding online and in magazines. Thanks!!! JaGatalk 05:48, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Rationale for Nationalization/Socialization of the Finance Sector[edit]

The image perfectly illustrates the rationale for nationalizing the banks. In the depicted net flow of value/money from the homeowner to the investor, only two "real" types of value are being exchanged. The services of the finance sector and investors and the unified value of homeowner labor (presuming that the homeowner is a worker and earns the money that pays the mortgage by eir labor). The common sense notion of pricing of any commodity is that it has a price which can be struck at any time. But it is of the essence of the profit system to extract a percentage of a transaction thru which the parasitic layer exercises it's dominance by control of the flow of the money commodity.

In a rationalized system of free enterprise the finance operation would be a (conceptually) simple IT utility between the originating investor and the borrowing homeowner, which charges a simple fixed fee equal the actual cost of providing it plus a reasonable overhead.

This is the point I try to make in my POV section: even with no real change in the essential nature of the capitalist social order (in the proposal above the investor has not been removed from his social relation to the homeowner) there are radical but simple steps that can cleanse the system of present probably fatal contradictions and absurdities. Full socialization would of course remove the investor from the picture and then the money commodity too would be provided from a common social fund at a low rate of return or fixed cost. Lycurgus (talk) 07:29, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Comments on Farcaster's User Page Go Here[edit]

A vote for Barack Obama is, in my view, a leap from the frying pan into the fire. The current banking mess is the direct result of banking "reforms" instituted by Democrats during the Democratic Clinton administration. The banking committees in the Congress are headed by Democrats. It was their responsibility to change the banking rules so as to avert the looming disaster and they refused to do so for ideological reasons. That's the problem I see: Democrats don't think logically or rationally, they think ideologically and ideology is more important than everything else. Instead of taking responsibility for their actions, the Democrat leadership tries to sluff the blame onto the Bush administration or "greedy bankers". The bankers sit without blinking and say that they were merely following rules laid down by the Congress.

Barack Obama claims that he will increase taxes for the top 5% of wage-earners. He will soon realize - indeed probably already knows - that he will have to raise taxes on the top 50% of wage-earners if the integrity of the Dollar is to be preserved. I'm sorry but I don't believe Barack Obama and I don't trust him. Virgil H. Soule (talk) 18:36, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

Unfortunately, you are probably correct in your assessment of Sen. Obama. The Youth vote aided and abetted by ACORN et al will probably put him over the top. I still don't trust him. We are known by the company we keep. Someone who consorts with unrepentent terrorists and subscribes to radical Black Liberation Theology can't be a statesman concerned for the needs of everyone. People like that have different ideas about ends justifying means. Happy days are here again. Virgil H. Soule (talk) 00:29, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

Info says you're a professional internal auditor with significant experience leading Sarbanes-Oxley compliance efforts. What are your thoughts on the effectiveness of SO? For my part, it seemed to gouge small business profits too much. In '05, for the small-cap company where I was involved, complying with SO caused about a 25% hit on earnings. Yet, in the trial of HealthSouth's Richard Scrushy, he was acquitted of the SO violation despite overwhelming evidence. Granted, the problem was mainly jury bias but if SO can't convict someone when it is so flagrantly violated, one has to wonder if compliance is worth the cost.

Under "Talking points," you wrote, "Steve Pearlstein summarized this nicely:"

" ... These are many of the same folks who saw no problem running up record deficits in the middle of an economic boom by pushing through the biggest tax cut in history, increasing entitlement spending, and waging a terribly long and costly war."

I can't agree that this is a nice summary. The middle of an economic boom? We were in a recession. Conservatives complained bitterly about the increased entitlement spending especially the new Medicare Part D drug plan. (As best I can tell for Bush's motive, Part D seems to be a classic example of what Nader termed corporate welfare.)

Pearlstein may be the most polarizing business writer at the Post today regards of one's political bias. And speaking of polarizing ...

Under Salvaging the budget debacle, you write, "Let folks with Alzheimers go with dignity with a humane, regulated euthanasia policy."

Does this mean you're for a euthanasia program for Alzheimer patients? This immediately makes me think of the Nazi's treatment of the mentally ill and physically disabled. There are certainly some good suggestions here but just the mention of euthanasia is likely to cause the reader to forget everything else.--TL36 (talk) 22:28, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

I think SOX is a net win for companies and the financial markets. One aspect rarely discussed is that SOX is a tax on inefficiency. It essentially penalizes companies for having manual, redundant financial processes. The savings by making financial processes more efficient, centralized, and automated also enables finance personnel to focus on analysis rather than transaction processing, which has a variety of benefits. Folks think about the expensive costs of compliance but forget the efficiency improvements driven by the law, that never would have been made without it. I believe SOX is approximately a wash from a cost perspective and a big improvement from a control perspective.
I watched the damage this disease does first hand with a relative recently. When 5 million boomers start to go through it, the impact on society will be enormous and costly beyond belief. It costs about $300,000+ a year for 24-7 caregivers plus the inevitable falls and expensive medication for other ailments. Alternatively, another family member can give up their life for 5-7 years to care for this person. Medicare only covers some of these costs. If my family is any measure, an alzheimers patient essentially costs society about $1-$1.5 million total over the last 5 years of their life. That is a full-ride scholarship for 20 kids, for each patient. I think most elderly folks would choose not to burden their families if allowed the alternative via a painless, dignified death. It would be voluntary and regulated (e.g., multiple approvals by certified doctors). I think a variety of very difficult decisions will be required to get our medicare spending under control over the next 20 years, all of which will be intensely painful debates and ethically challenging.Farcaster (talk) 07:05, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Ted Spread Image text[edit]

TED Spread Chart - Data to 9 26 08.png

I suggest a one-word change to the text of Image:TED_Spread_Chart_-_Data_to_9_26_08.png
There is some text saying that the US Treasury T-bill is riskless.
It is not, especially as the U.S. greatly inflates its currency during the present credit crisis.
The word risk-less can be dropped without impairing the intent of the presentation.
As presently written:

1) it is the difference between the risk-free U.S. Treasury 3-month T-bill rate and the ...


1) it is the difference between the U.S. Treasury 3-month T-bill rate and the ...

-- Yellowdesk (talk) 02:11, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

OK I'll fix it.Farcaster (talk) 02:49, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

Q&A with Anonymous User[edit]

Hello farcaster need some help from you. thought this is the only way i can talk to you. i am making a presentation on this and just lack one slide in this in on that i want help from you. Would you please tell me what are the exact factors that caused the banks and other financial institutions reluctant of extending credit, describe what happened after mortgage bubble(certainly losses gathered) that ultimately triggered the credit crisis, weren't the balance sheets of banks representing the solvency of banks( this is the cause explained generally, solvency expectation), elaborate the exact mechanism of how banks institutions became reluctant, i hope you have understood the question, i wont be able to clarify you again because today is the last day tomorrow is the presentation so please give a detailed answer, i will remain thankful to you (you surely can remove all this from here after 2 days).

In the future, you are welcome to put this type of inquiry on my personal page. I think the short answer is fear of what happens next. With the world economy slowing, banks are concerned about delinquencies not just in mortgages, but also credit cards, student loans, commercial real estate, etc. all of which are rising. We are going from a mortgage crisis to a credit crisis more generally. There are an enormous number of mortgages that are underwater (see bubble section of the article), which creates a destructive cycle for banks. They have to be concerned about future delinquencies and foreclosures. As economies slow and unemployment rises, that gets worse. Investment banks and financial companies like REIT are highly leveraged; they are selling assets to retire debt and are conserving capital in case of margin calls (i.e., not lending). Major banks have made (or have pending) acquisitions they have to digest (Bank of America & Merrill Lynch; JP Morgan & Bear Stearns; plus failures at Wachovia and WaMu) adding significant liabilities of dubious quality. All of these factors encourage banks to conserve capital. Further, consumer spending (often financed through credit card borrowing) is declining so it isn’t just bank willingness to lend; demand for loans has also dropped. Auto demand has tanked, so those loans are not being created like they used to be either. See for a dire economic outlook that shows what people are worried about.Farcaster (talk) 18:12, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for the previous urgent answer, i am again posting my question on this page because i think you regularly check this page and i cant risk the reply time atleast today, sorry for that, My question for now is about the interest rates first, the fed funds rate is the rate at which banks through or at fed lend to each other but do they add a little more margin or it is just the rate which they have to abide to. Second, ARM is not affected by the Feds rate and follow any other ARM index(as a ARM common used indexes are given in the article) but dont they have any minimum interest rate requirement by FED, and what about the fixed rate mortgages is their interest rates offered affected by fed rate or if not then what affects fixed mortgage rates? Lending Tree Financial Plan previous are links to conflicting views on affect of fed rate on arms the former saying that arms not linked to prime rate will not be affected the other loink saying arms will certainly be affected by fed because the other indexes as those defined in this link are linked to fed rate. My last question is what is prime rate what is it linked to? sorry for too many questions :) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Asadlarik3 (talkcontribs) 17:39, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

You can post to my personal page; shows up also automatically and I get notified so use that in future please. Banks typically drop their prime lending rates (so mortgages tied to that would go down with a rate cut) when Fed drops rates, so Fed has more control there. However, ARM rates are increasingly disconnected from what the Fed does. Some are tied to LIBOR, which may not move with the Fed rate cut. There is a great chart in the Milliken presentation (see additional links at bottom of article) that shows how mortgage rates didn't move much despite lots of changes in Fed rates. Banks have to judge which mortgage product they offer based on how much risk they take with each loan; that decision is increasingly independent of what they pay for the funds.Farcaster (talk) 20:01, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Articles of potential interest[edit]

I may drop by with more as time passes. -- Yellowdesk (talk) 06:16, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for these...I will read them soon. If you haven't run across it, www.realclearmarkets identifies great articles from across the spectrum in one place.Farcaster (talk) 14:56, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
Thanks again. I've read most of these now. Here's another good one--and not the typical analysis. Very insightful from somebody that knows. And the piece about incentives is fascinating. Blodget-Why Wall St. Always Blows ItFarcaster (talk) 06:18, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Gross, Bill (July 2005). "Fire!". Investment Outlook. PIMCO - Pacific Investment Management Company, LLC. Retrieved June 20, 2009. 
I appreciate it...keep the good articles coming!Farcaster (talk) 20:46, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Streitfeld, David; Story, Louise (October 8, 2009). "F.H.A. Problems Raising Concern of Policy Makers". New York Times. 
    "Since the bottom fell out of the mortgage market, the F.H.A. has assumed a crucial role in the nation’s housing market. Created in 1934 to help lower-income and first-time buyers purchase homes, the agency now insures roughly 5.4 million single-family home mortgages, with a combined value of $675 billion.
    'It appears destined for a taxpayer bailout in the next 24 to 36 months,' Edward Pinto, a former Fannie Mae executive, said in testimony prepared for the hearing. Mr. Pinto, who was the chief credit officer from 1987 to 1989 for Fannie Mae, went further than most housing analysts and predicted that F.H.A. losses would more than wipe out the agency’s $30 billion of cash reserves."


Apologies for the big post. -- Yellowdesk (talk) 13:24, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

If you look at the weekly H4 reports going back to the summer of 2007, you start to notice something alarming. At the start of the credit crunch, around August of that year, you see the Fed buying a few more Repos than usual - $33 billion or so. By November, as private-bank reserves were dwindling to alarmingly low levels, the Fed started injecting even more cash than usual into the economy: $48 billion. By late December, the number was up to $58 billion; by the following March, around the time of the Bear Stearns rescue, the Repo number had jumped to $77 billion. In the week of May 1st, 2008, the number was $115 billion - "out of control now," according to one congressional aide. For the rest of 2008, the numbers remained similarly in the stratosphere, the Fed pumping as much as $125 billion of these short-term loans into the economy - until suddenly, at the start of this year, the number drops to nothing. Zero.

The reason the number has dropped to nothing is that the Fed had simply stopped using relatively transparent devices like repurchase agreements to pump its money into the hands of private companies. By early 2009, a whole series of new government operations had been invented to inject cash into the economy, most all of them completely secretive and with names you've never heard of. There is the Term Auction Facility, the Term Securities Lending Facility, the Primary Dealer Credit Facility, the Commercial Paper Funding Facility and a monster called the Asset-Backed Commercial Paper Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility (boasting the chat-room horror-show acronym ABCPMMMFLF). For good measure, there's also something called a Money Market Investor Funding Facility, plus three facilities called Maiden Lane I, II and III to aid bailout recipients like Bear Stearns and AIG.

None other than disgraced senator Ted Stevens was the poor sap who made the unpleasant discovery that if Congress didn't like the Fed handing trillions of dollars to banks without any oversight, Congress could apparently go fuck itself - or so said the law. When Stevens asked the GAO about what authority Congress has to monitor the Fed, he got back a letter citing an obscure statute that nobody had ever heard of before: the Accounting and Auditing Act of 1950. The relevant section, 31 USC 714(b), dictated that congressional audits of the Federal Reserve may not include "deliberations, decisions and actions on monetary policy matters." The exemption, as Foss notes, "basically includes everything." According to the law, in other words, the Fed simply cannot be audited by Congress. Or by anyone else, for that matter.

"Frequently Asked Questions on Prepaid Assessments". Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. September 30, 2009. 

11. When is the DIF expected to go negative?
FDIC estimates that the DIF balance as of September 30, 2009 will be negative.

12. When was the last time the insurance fund had a negative balance, and why?
The only previous time the FDIC reported a negative fund balance was during the last banking crisis in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The FDIC reported a negative fund balance as of December 31, 1991 of approximately -$7.0 billion due to setting aside a large ($16.3 billion) reserve for future failures. The fund remained negative for five quarters, until March 31, 1993, when the fund balance was approximately $1.2 billion.

14. Has the FDIC ever required prepaid assessments or borrowed from the Treasury before?
The FDIC has never required banks to prepay assessments for more than one semiannual period. To meet its liquidity needs, the FDIC borrowed from the Federal Financing Bank (FFB) during the second quarter of 1991. Borrowings from the FFB peaked at $15.2 billion as of June 1992. The Fund began to repay the FFB during the third quarter of 1992 and borrowings were fully repaid (along with $802.4 million in interest) by September 1993.

Could you please upload Image:Foreclosure Trend - 2007.png to Commons?[edit]

Hi Farcaster, I understand you are a main contributor to Subprime mortgage crisis. I'm trying to keep track op things on nl:Kredietcrisis. I'd like to use this graph in our article. Would you please be so kind to upload it to Commons? Best regards, MartinD (on the Dutch Wikipedia) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:47, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, it won't let me upload "files of this type" for some reason. Never been able to figure out commons, as simple as it looks. You'll have to copy it from here.Farcaster (talk) 06:56, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for your reply. I'll try to get it uploaded to Commons, or try to copy it to the Dutch Wikipedia, or try something else.;) You're not the only person who is baffled by technology! Best regards, MartinD —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:43, 5 December 2008 (UTC)


Can you give an edit summary for why you undid my revisions to bailout? My goal was readability ("injection of liquidity" to "give money", which is less pretentious and thus closer to the truth) and understanding, but I see you've disagreed with my choices. I would like to know why. Thanks. Bordello (talk) 11:00, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Subprime crisis impact timeline[edit]

Could you continue with the December 2008 timeline, please. Shoefly (talk) 03:20, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Hello've come a long way from honeybees here LOL...Carol Moore and Gogino are pros at maintaining that article. They are probably taking the month off...I'll keep an eye on it and catch it up over the holidays in the U.S. (late December) if they haven't fixed it yet.Farcaster (talk) 06:06, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

I see you've removed the predatory lending comment from the subprime article. ARM's that reset almost double the teaser rate are a primary cause in borrowers defaulting in the subprime crisis. How is it that you find this fact POV?Scribner (talk) 20:13, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
You've put predatory lending right at the start of a cause summary. Technically, an ARM is not a predatory lending practice. Second, poor judgement by lender and borrower is perhaps the primary cause here, which you removed; nobody held guns to these people's head to make them buy a McMansion with no money down and without verifying income. If you have a point to make about ARM's, please put those in the appropriate section (I think you'll find it covered already in the risky mortgage section.) By placing predatory lending and ARMS right at the start of the cause summary, I think you distort it.Farcaster (talk) 21:10, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
"McMansion?" I'm not familiar with that term. I assume "McMansion" is a derogatory term for someone you think bought more home than they can afford. Anyway, 2/28 ARM's are predatory lending and were the most commonly used loan in the subprime crisis. Scribner (talk) 05:39, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
If you can cite a source that supports that assertion, please add it to the section on "Risky Lending Practices" The content you added was covered shortly before and shortly after your insert.Farcaster (talk) 06:06, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Please discuss removing information on the article talk page prior to removing the information. Thanks. Scribner (talk) 22:41, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Foreclosure trend graph[edit]

Hi Farcaster, thank you for updating the graph of foreclosures! (talk) 21:26, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, didn't realise that this is a talk page on the English Wikipedia (where I'm not registered). The above comment was made by me, MartinD, on the Dutch Wikipedia and on Commons. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:31, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Subprime Mortgage Crisis Diagrams[edit]

Hello Farcaster!

I am writing a thesis paper on the subprime mortgage crisis and I would like to use one of your diagrams. However I do not have any information to site the diagram. Could you please post any information I can use so I dont have to use wikipedia as a source?

Much appreciated!! - Emselv

"Emselv (talk) 00:25, 17 April 2009 (UTC)"

Indicate which diagram and I'll point you to the source data. You should find source data for most in the diagram itself; just click on it. Some of the complex ones have many sources so I'll point you to the ones you can use.Farcaster (talk) 04:19, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

Subprime Mortgage Crisis[edit]

Hello again!

Thank you for your response!

Two of the diagrams are Subprime Mortgage Crisis Diagram 1 of 2 (Housing Bubble Formation) and Subprime Mortgage Crisis Diagram 2 of 2 . The third on is TED Spread & Components - 2008. I noticed the captions indicate that you created them yourself. Very Nice!!! That is why I was unsure how you would like me to site them.

Thanks! - Emselv

Emselv (talk) 17:57, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Hello Emselv: Glad you like was a battle to get them out there, believe me. Others have cited diagrams 1 and 2 as follows, typically with a caption in the bottom corner of the graph--Author/Source: "Farcaster, via" Here is a link to one example (see slide 6)--Lindsey
If you are concerned about citing Wikipedia, you might use slide #58 from this for the Ted Spread Miliken Institute. For the TED spread, you might also consider Ted Spread. You could build this diagram also from the source information cited in the diagram in excel without too much trouble; change the colors and the time period and its yours!
You might also consider modifying the bubble and domino charts with the concepts you consider most relevant, citing the sources identified on those charts. Create your own, taking pieces from original sources indicated. For example, Bush's speech explaining the chain of events in the crisis could support a simplified version of the domino chart. The great article by Blackburn can support just about anything you need; still the best single article I've seen overall: Blackburn-Definitive ArticleFarcaster (talk) 19:29, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Economic policy of the George W. Bush administration[edit]

Hi Farcaster, could you help settle a dispute on this talk page regarding the image you uploaded? Thanks. --Beerfinger (talk) 21:35, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Your edit summaries[edit]

Please include the section or subsection title in your edit summaries. I sometimes have trouble finding the sentence or paragraph which you changed because you do not include that information. JRSpriggs (talk) 07:26, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Merge "Late-2000s recession"?[edit]

Are you aware of Late-2000s recession which largely duplicates Financial crisis of 2007–2010? Perhaps they should be merged as was done with Global financial crisis of 2008–2009. JRSpriggs (talk) 06:07, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

I agree. We could merge as you've indicated. I'm wrestling with how to integrate Subprime mortgage crisis (SMC) with Financial crisis of 2007-2009 (FC) also. There is so much feedback between the mortgage market, financial market and overall economy that a split into these three topics is challenging. I'm thinking that SMC should focus on the mortgage market, while FC should focus on the last two. FC could have most of the implications and impact info; some causes would be moved from one article to the other based on which market they affect the most, with appropriate pointers and summary paragraphs. Factors that made banks vulnerable would go in FC, while some of the innovations related to CDO and MBS would go in SMC. A project for July and August!Farcaster (talk) 03:55, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Response to the ideas on your user page[edit]

I see that you just added a link to "Taleb stating the obvious, that we must convert debt to equity..." to your user page. I agree that the crisis is driven by an over-burden of debt. So why does too much debt exist? I think that there are three reasons: (1) a long history of (mostly low level) inflation, rather than deflation, gives people an incentive to try to be short rather than long on dollars (and other inflating currencies) which they can accomplish by leveraging as much as is safely possible (but what was safe became unsafe as conditions changed); (2) each politician has an incentive to spend too much of the public's money (creating government debt) because the beneficiaries of that spending reward him politically and otherwise; and (3) the Fed has a policy of monetizing debt rather than equity thereby encouraging the creation of debt rather than equity. Until these underlying causes are fixed, I see no hope for avoiding repeated crises. JRSpriggs (talk) 20:31, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

As a libertarian, my objection to your political ideas (and those of most other people) is that you think nothing of coercing other people, taking away their freedom of choice. This would create moral hazard and encourage irresponsibility and waste. JRSpriggs (talk) 20:36, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
I have my days where I wish this country were run by Libertarians. I think that system would work fine for the top 2/3 wealthiest of us, if we could just export the other 1/3 to Madagascar. I would be retired about now if I didn't have to pay for the welfare part of our state. However, we need some manner of controlling the rich and distributing money to the poor through programs like Social Security and Medicare to keep from regular revolutions and bloodshed. I'm sure you know the saying that a man who misses three meals is prepared to kill for his fourth (it might be two in this country, as obese as we are). I often joke that there is a guy with a spreadsheet in many Middle-Eastern countries whose job it is to dole out just enough to keep revolutions from occuring in those oppressive states! My personal page is a collection of what I think are the best solutions to solving the problems we face and many are bitter medicine. I suggest listening to Pete Peterson on Charlie Rose (see link in the healthcare reform section.) He's old school too, as are Volcker, Roubini, Taleb, etc. They want the problems fixed and are tired of half-measures. It is amazing how often the technical solutions are simple but the politics is the problem, despite the overwhelming challenge of replacing an incumbent. My page is op ed of course and it's clear which party I favor, but I can generally find notable folks with most of these positions. I make no claims that the ideas are original.Farcaster (talk) 23:55, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
1. Even the richest individual or corporation is powerless next to the government which has guns, tanks, and hundreds of thousands of police and soldiers. The rich are not a threat.
2. Unfortunately, providing for the poor is unethical and impractical. It is like trying to sweep back the sea with broom. (Even Jesus said that the poor will always be with us.) To improve the world, we must improve people. To improve people, we must allow Darwinian evolution to proceed without interference.
3. Giving money to people to pacify them is tantamount to paying blackmail. It just makes the situation worse.
4. Generally, we already have too many laws. New laws are almost never the solution. If there is a problem, either nothing can be done at the governmental level to improve the situation or else the thing which can be done is to stop doing something which the government should not be doing. Anything constructive which can be done through government can also (and more effectively) be done through the private sector. Government's only advantage is its overwhelming brute force, which is only good for suppressing the initiation of force by others. JRSpriggs (talk) 00:37, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

(This is by way of qualifying point 4 of my previous message.) I have noticed that some contracts (especially as related to credit cards and debit cards) seem to be inherently fraudulent. If a contract cannot be understood by most non-lawyers (and one of the parties is not represented by an independent lawyer for this purpose) or if the contract can be modified without the explicit consent of one of the parties, then I feel that it should not be enforceable; because if it were enforceable, then it could be used to victimize one of the parties. JRSpriggs (talk) 03:16, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

I couldn't agree with your clarification point above more; I'll deal with the others another time. Do you have a fever, as this smacks of regulation, anathema to a Libertarian (we all have moments of weakness, I know LOL! Actually, making contracts that simple would probably mean a net tearing up of regulatory phonebooks, so maybe you wouldn't get chased by a mob after all.) I think the usury laws should be strengthened and a cap at about 15% established; if a lender needs to charge more than 15% then the person should not get the loan. Absolutely, no changes without a one-year warning and then no more than 2% per year. I think the 20% interest rates are a cruelty for poor or desperate people. Further, my opinion is that widespread credit availability jacks up prices, much like it raised prices for housing, commodities, etc. College costs rising at 7% a year makes no sense, unless one looks at the widespread availability of loans, grants, scholarships, etc. Those without these cannot afford to go anymore. I would think with the boomers out of work or retiring there would be a huge surplus of folks that with some minor training could be great teachers. We could use the same buildings for three shifts if need be to educate folks on the cheap. Plenty of retirees would probably volunteer and do a pretty nice job of it.Farcaster (talk) 21:52, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
There are two things I look for in trying to formulate a public policy: (1) the policy should not foreclose any options from people who understand what they are attempting and are willing to accept the risks, provided that it does not directly injure any third party; and (2) it should not create a moral hazard by: rewarding bad behavior, or punishing any harmless action (including the absence of action).
Notice that in my qualification of point 4 above, the only remedy was that the government should not participate in enforcing the questionable contract. So this is not a deviation from the libertarian principle that one should not initiate force.
To clarify my version of social Darwinism (point 2 above) — not interfering with evolution means not trying to impose any scheme (of religious morality, "democracy", charity, social justice, or whatever) upon the world. Rather one should merely try to improve the situation of one's self and one's loved ones within the world as it is, using force in self-defense only when necessary.
I look forward to your promised comments on the four points. JRSpriggs (talk) 04:58, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
I'll get to them. There is a new book out called "The Conscience of a Libertarian" by Mr. Root, the VP candidate in the last election. I bet you would enjoy it; I picked it up yesterday for a little humor and to see what makes Libertarian's tick.Farcaster (talk) 15:27, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Tags on Financial Crisis of 2007 - 2009, and causes of articles[edit]

Leave those tags in place until the multiple issues mentioned on the article talk pages are resolved. I'm going to seek outside input on how to deal with this issue. Let's don't start edit warring with removing tags without discussion. Scribner (talk) 05:30, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

I don't want an edit war with you but your are a particularly difficult editor to work with. You do not compromise. There is no debate and suddenly banners and derogatory comments appear all over the place. Your response to my citations of Bernanke, Bush and now Krugman plus edit wars with others just make it obvious you don't want to work with other people. Case in point was that ridiculous congressional report, which we know was a joke but was a legitimate source. You should have allowed it. Feel free to edit but don't just label and say you'll be back in a month to clean up the mess. There are thousands of views each day of these pages. I've addressed several of your issues now. I'd prefer if we can do our debates on the causes article in the future so we don't splash this discussion all over the place. The summaries have all the elements you want--financial innovation, investment banks, etc. and the body of the articles go into this in depth. I compromised with you and supported you in adding a paragraph to the subprime lead-in that frankly is wide of the mark in terms of emphasis.Farcaster (talk) 05:49, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Personal attack warning[edit]

Follow basic editing guidelines and refrain from personal attacks. Scribner (talk) 23:22, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

LOL. The pot calls the kettle black. I've reached out to you on several occasions and all I get are more banners and more baloney. Hopefully the overwhelming consensus against your deletion petition will be informative. Instead of fighting with me, you could have spent the time actually reading the articles and sources and learning the various angles of the crisis. You just don't get this and probably should watch and learn for awhile. You should realize that a complaint:contribution ratio of about 10:1 will not endear you to this community. I find your op ed work in the articles talk pages boring, insulting and mis-informed. Your complaints are illogical (e.g., banners on some pages but not others, even though the content is 80% the same) and have no factual basis whatsoever.Farcaster (talk) 23:54, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

P.S. Has it occured to you to get consensus BEFORE putting up lots of banners?Farcaster (talk) 00:03, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

To chime in here... Scribner, I have also had trouble dealing with your editing style. Your edit summaries and talk-page comments are often unnecessarily combative, and turn a slight disagreement over tone into a major POV dispute. CRETOG8(t/c) 00:08, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
To Scribner: I used to think that vandals were not allowed to remove appropriate warning from their talk pages. However, I was informed by administrators that even vandals are entitled to control the contents of their own talk pages. They may remove the warnings. And if I put the warning back, then I was engaging in edit-warring and violating the rules.
Since this applies even to vandals, then it must be clear that an editor in good standing, like Farcaster, must be allowed to control his own talk page by changing the section headings as he pleases. JRSpriggs (talk) 20:41, 28 July 2009 (UTC
Wrong, Spriggs. An editor is not allowed to change content that bears another editor's signature. Scribner (talk) 22:50, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
However, the section header is not part of your message. It is a divider that separates a certain subset of messages from others. As such it is not something which you "signed". JRSpriggs (talk) 21:48, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Tax rate or Tax revenue?[edit]

On your user page you say "I'm tired of hearing Republican "experts" say tax cuts increase government revenues (baloney),". Have you not heard of the Laffer curve? If you raise the tax rate enough, the tax revenue will begin to decline instead of increasing. Many of our tax rates are already beyond the turning point on the Laffer curve. You should try reading some of the articles by Richard Rahn at [[1]]. JRSpriggs (talk) 04:32, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Tax cuts increasing revenues is a common conservative fallacy...don't fall for it! It was invented by folks that just want a smaller government and are trying to get rid of the popular social security and medicare. Stiglitz ridicules the idea here: Stiglitz - Seven Deadly Deficits I've laid out the case on my page and in the United States Federal Budget Article. But here is my favorite summary of the evidence from CBO, Treasury, and Harvard: Washington Post-Heckuva Claim. You are right in that the Laffer curve with its inverted U shape means that as tax rates drop from 100% the incentive to work increases and therefore the government collects more revenue, but once to the left of the apex the government loses money if it cuts taxes further. However, nobody knows where the peak of that inverted "U" is. It could very well be at 70%, not the 20-30% where our effective income tax rates reside. I think we are far to the left side of the peak (meaning tax cuts just cut government revenues), but cannot prove it. Based on the overwhelming evidence from academia, CBO, Treasury and recent history (Reagan to current) tax cuts drive up deficits significantly. My favorite way to think about it is that the government collects about 20% of GDP as tax revenue. That means a $1 of tax cuts must generate $5 of GDP to offset itself. I don't believe that it does, as much of it is saved and not spent, particularly if it just bids up asset prices, as I believe the Bush tax cuts did. The savings effect is particularly strong if the tax cuts go to the rich, who just buy assets from their fellow investors and bid up prices.Farcaster (talk) 05:14, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
One other thought is that I think many folks are willing to pay more taxes if they get more for them. I'd pay more tax for excellent medical coverage, to give soldiers a raise, to fully fund social security (provided I get it), pay down the national debt so the next generation doesn't have to, make the U.S. energy independent, etc. The concept that taxes are un-American is a problem, I think.Farcaster (talk) 05:51, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
Your whole attitude is to treat taxpayers as prey animals, not as human beings. How unethical.
In most cases, businesses will be able to operate only if they make a profit. Most businesses profits are less than 5% of their revenues. If they have costs which are not allowable as tax deductions (as is often the case), then your tax schemes may effectively annihilate their profit. So they simply shutdown and do not create wealth at all. Unless, the taxes are reduced or eliminated.
The flow of dollars through the economy is not the same as the creation of wealth. Either one may occur without much of the other. So your argument about GDP fails. JRSpriggs (talk) 13:19, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Proposed deletion of Healthcare rationing in the United States[edit]

Ambox warning yellow.svg

The article Healthcare rationing in the United States has been proposed for deletion because of the following concern:

A polemic, not an encyclopedia article

While all contributions to Wikipedia are appreciated, content or articles may be deleted for any of several reasons.

You may prevent the proposed deletion by removing the {{dated prod}} notice, but please explain why in your edit summary or on the article's talk page.

Please consider improving the article to address the issues raised. Removing {{dated prod}} will stop the Proposed Deletion process, but other deletion processes exist. The Speedy Deletion process can result in deletion without discussion, and Articles for Deletion allows discussion to reach consensus for deletion. Gavia immer (talk) 03:58, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

What title would you propose?Farcaster (talk) 03:59, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
I don't propose any title. At the moment, we don't have health care rationing in the United States, so the page is purely speculative. That means it's not encyclopedic, regardless of the title. Please bear in mind, I agree perfectly that government-run health care would be rationed health care, in the same way that a dog is necessarily a canine - but at present there's no there there. Gavia immer (talk) 04:05, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
We absolutely do have healthcare rationing! There are 46 million American's without health insurance...and it ain't the rich my friend! About 15% of the U.S. population does not have a primary care physician, due primarily to economic factors. We ration care in a variety of ways. Here is an excerpt from the letter David Axelrod sent to Obama supporters: "Reform will stop "rationing" - not increase it: It’s a myth that reform will mean a "government takeover" of health care or lead to "rationing." To the contrary, reform will forbid many forms of rationing that are currently being used by insurance companies." Excluding someone due to a preexisting condition is rationing.Farcaster (talk) 04:14, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
Note: I have now nominated the article at AfD; see Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Healthcare rationing in the United States. Further comments should take place there. Gavia immer (talk) 17:43, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
Rationing means that force is used to prevent the distribution of a type of good or service to those who would receive it in a free society in order to allow its distribution to those favored by the government (who receive rations). Calling the free market a rationing system amounts to trying to define the possibility of uncoerced exchange out of existence to justify force. But force always leads to waste, destruction, and maladaptation, unlike freedom. If there is a problem with health care it is that there is too much force already, e.g. the prohibition on people buying pharmaceuticals without a prescription, the prohibition on practicing medicine without a license, and taxation to support medicare and medicaid. JRSpriggs (talk) 06:23, 18 August 2009 (UTC) P.S. See Dr. Hurd and Tibor Machan on Krugmania.
Rationing according to the Webster dictionary means "To apportion or distribute by some method of allowance". In a free market system, goods are rationed based on price. In a centrally planned economy, goods are rationed based on some other method determined by the government. Conservatives benefit when people don't think our current system is rationing healthcare. For some reason, putting the adjective "healthcare" in front of the word "rationing" suddenly makes it NPOV. I guess the debate is so charged that a basic economic fact (healthcare is rationed based on price in the U.S. in our private system) is NPOV now.Farcaster (talk) 11:59, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

Template at Health care reform in the United States[edit]

Thanks for replacing the nav template. My mistake. ... Kenosis (talk) 16:57, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Healthcare Reform Updates?[edit]

I saw that you're a regular contributor to the article on Health care reform in the United States. Why do I not see any information about the senate finance committee's votes today (Oct 13), and the vote on Sept 29 that rejected the Public Option? Am I just missing it?

NittyG (talk) 01:43, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the tip. You can drop comments like this into the article discussion page and somebody will pick it up. I'm more focused on the reform strategies rather than the "play by play". This type of material would best go in the Healthcare reform DEBATE article behind the main article. You might also look in the article on the senate bill/Act itself Farcaster (talk) 04:15, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for your help. Note the discussions I've opened on the talk page of the article and related ones.
NittyG (talk) 05:23, 27 October 2009 (UTC)


You are removing multiple tags that have been in place since July '09 and from two different editors from without consensus or significant attempts at correcting the issues within the article Financial crisis of 2007–2010. Mediation may be required. Other Econ editors probably do need to be involved at this point. Scribner (talk) 08:22, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

United States public debt 70% number[edit]

Which page did you get the 70% number from and how did you calculate it? Page 4? Because Page 4 would indicate 76.5% instead of 70%, and that's if you count "defense spending" as only the departments of defense and veterans affairs. johnpseudo 12:14, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

You are correct. The chart in the federal budget article is from different sources and shows 65%. So I split the difference. You could say one source says 65% and one says 75% to be most precise.Farcaster (talk) 14:50, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

The chart in the federal budget article shows 65% if you don't include interest payments, which you clearly do in the statement in question. I think we should go with what that chart says- 73%. And we shouldn't change the wording from "defense spending" to "department of defense spending", since "defense spending" would take into account veterans affairs, homeland security, foreign military spending, nukes, etc. johnpseudo 17:31, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

Thoughts on your user page[edit]

Hey there,

I just read your user page (except for the health care section), and it's scarily similar to my own thoughts. There are just a few disagreements and a few ideas that I have that I'd like to throw past you: Disagreements:

  1. I think raising the Social Security tax wage base amount to infinity would be excessive and compromise the general character of Social Security as a safety net retirement plan, but I'm totally for raising it from 100k to 150k or something similar.
  2. I think you're mistaken about the importance of nuclear energy in our efforts to reach energy independence. The world is already running out of economically-viable Uranium in 30 years or so, which is one of the reasons why places like France and Germany, like the rest of the world, are already moving out of nuclear energy and moving towards wind/solar. And breeder reactors have simply had no successful prototypes, or even attempted prototypes that might actually produce more fuel than they consume. I recommend this article, which has a lot to say about the quality of the IAEA's Uranium data, the current shift from secondary Uranium resources to mined Uranium, and the time frames involved in nuclear reactor development: [The Future of Nuclear Energy: Facts and Fiction] (Don't forget to start at Part 1, and take advantage of the summaries at the end if you don't have time to read the whole thing).
  3. I think the idea of mandating 10% investment in 401k's is also kinda questionable. The whole system of 401k is much too centralized method of investment. I think one of the problems in our current capital investment system is that everyday investors are so removed from the target of their investments. In general, most of the information about what people want and what types of business enterprises might work resides in the everyday investors- not in the technocrat "investment managers" who look for formulas for success: ratios, well-known business names, etc. I'm not saying that those calculations shouldn't play some role in investment decisions. But 401k's add one more level of abstraction from the investor to the investment manager, to the mutual fund manager, to the board of directors on a specific company, to the actual management. And that plays into your ideas on how corporations should have better shareholder governance.
  4. Cap mortgage interest rates at 5%? That just seems a little radical. I'm all for avoiding unnecessary "slosh", especially in real estate, which can quickly lose its value if unoccupied, but what would be the taxpayer cost to imposing such a cap?
  5. I'm not so sure that restricting campaign donations to only individuals would have the effect you desire. Already, when you look at [Open Secrets pages], most campaign contributions are "individual donations", even though when they are consolidated, they amount to donations from certain companies and certain industries. I think public financing of elections is really the only comprehensive solution to the problem of undue special interest influence.


1. Although I 100% agree that the military needs to be cut by at least 50-60% (I would say 70%), I think the deficit reduction we would get from that would necessarily have to phase-in gradually over 10-30 years. High-cost items like military retiree pensions ($50 billion/year), Veterans Affairs ($90 billion/year), and deployments in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Japan, and North Korea will take a long time to wind down. The full ~$400 billion/year cost savings might only come after a few decades. So I would go much further than you suggest to make our tax system fairer and our revenue higher. First, I agree with you about a more progressive income tax. I would propose:

Income range Tax Rate
$0-$25000 0%
$25000-$40000 15%
$40000-$70000 25%
$70000-$150000 35%
$150000-$300000 45%
$300000-$1000000 55%
$1000000-$3000000 65%
$3000000+ 75%

But according to some rough estimates from [Emmanuel Saez]'s data, that would only result in about $240 billion/year more revenue. I would also throw in a much higher estate tax (50% for $150k-$1.5million, 100% for everything $1.5 million+, with about $150 billion/year in additional tax revenue). And I would eliminate several of our very regressive tax deductions/distinctions/loopholes, which distort markets for very little public benefit, and virtually no benefit for the poorest 50% of us:

  1. Eliminate mortgage interest tax deduction by lowering the $1 million cap by 10% every year ($85 billion/year)
  2. Eliminate the property tax deduction ($30 billion/year)
  3. Eliminate the health care deduction ($200 billion/year)
  4. Treat capital gains as regular income (additional revenue of ~$130 billion/year)
  5. Crack down on tax havens (additional revenue of ~$100 billion/year)

Of course these numbers are based on the deficit reduction impact they would have on their own, so they would have a far smaller impact when combined. But after all that, we'd be talking some seriously sustainable budgets, cutting down on the national debt until it's gone, after which we can cut back the income tax rates again or increase infrastructure investment.

2. Lucian Bebchuk ([2]) has a lot of ideas about shareholder governance you might agree with, like

  1. Require publicly-held corporations to free-up board of directors elections
    1. Require opportunities for clean sweep of directors at least every 3 years, instead of staggered boards
    2. Require full reimbursement of campaign costs for any board of directors challenger who earns > 33% approval
    3. Allow director nominations to be placed on the corporate ballot for any stockholder coalition representing more than 10% of the company that agrees to give up stock trading abilities for its stock for at least 5 years if the measure passes
    4. Directors should not be able to serve when they receive a majority of "against" votes, (vs "for" or "withhold" votes)
    5. All shareholder votes must be by secret ballot
    6. Boards of directors should be restricted from overruling any shareholder-adopted bylaw and any bylaw related to elections
  2. Enable direct shareholder control over corporate charter changes, dividend distributions, and merger/acquisition approvals
    1. Charter amendments, dividend distributions, and merger/acquisitions can be put on the corporate ballot by shareholder groups holding at least 15% of company stock.
    2. Charter amendments must be approved by a majority of shareholders in two successive years
    3. Proposals that receive less than 25% votes may not be re-submitted
    4. Require full reimbursement of campaign costs for any proposal that earns > 33% approval

Let me know what you think! Obviously I agree with your placing of deficit reduction at the top of our list of priorities. johnpseudo 12:00, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

Oh one more thing. I think that your solution to Social Security misses one key element of sustainability: people are living longer. In 1935 when Social Security was passed and the benefit age was set at 65, the average life expectancy was 61.7. Now that age is 77.8! And the benefit age has only changed by a couple years. It's simply unsustainable for the average # of years of benefits to continue to increase at 0.2 benefit-years/year while the average # of years of paying into the system remains the same. I would propose drastically increasing that age, but phasing in the increase over time. For example, we could phase in a 3 month per year increase of the retirement age gradually for everyone who's currently alive. The formula would then be (((67 - ((x*(67 - x))/268))/((201+x)/268)), where x is your current age. johnpseudo 12:15, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

Foreclosure statistics file[edit]

I noticed that [File:Foreclosure Trend - 2007.png] has not been updated yet, so went to check it out at the source and here are the numbers:

349,519 Dec-09

306,627 Nov-09

332,292 Oct-09


988,438 4th qtr 2009

Thanks for all your Wikipedia contributions. Ottawahitech (talk) 20:01, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

Updated 2/10/10 Thanks for reminding me!Farcaster (talk) 05:14, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for updating. BTW I noticed that adding up the numbers in your chart for the four quarters of 2009 yields a total of: 3,500,903 (869,745+937,840+889,829+803,489) while the statement from Realtytrac says this: YEAR-END REPORT SHOWS RECORD 2.8 MILLION U.S. PROPERTIES WITH FORECLOSURE FILINGS IN 2009 Ottawahitech (talk) 15:05, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
You are correct. See their explanation at the bottom of the file on why those are different; I had e-mailed them long ago when I first put that chart together and one of them sent me the note.Farcaster (talk) 18:20, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes. I have been wondering for a while if the statistics provided by Realtytrac actually mean very much. Their totals do not track the actual number of foreclosures, but rather the number of foreclosure "filings" which could mean anything from a notice of missed payment to a court decision declaring foreclosure. I wonder if it would make more sense to only show the number of actual foreclosures in ? Ottawahitech (talk) 00:37, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
Do you have a free source for that info? Give me a link and I'll run the numbers.Farcaster (talk) 06:03, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
I wish there was another source for such important data. I find it astounding that the biggest economy of this world relies solely on statistics provided by an unregulated private company, and that the United States of America does not collect its own government statistics, yet uses data provided by Realtytrac to determine public policy.
With all due respect to Realtytrac (who I hope is run by honest people) – it has an interest in making it look more di:re than it really is. After all,their revenue comes from those who buy foreclosure information. The more dire it looks, the more business for Realtytrac.
Is there something I am missing? Ottawahitech (talk) 14:05, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

National Bank of Commerce[edit]

I hope you don't mind, but I found the link and fixed it.

I'll let you put the {{reflist}} tage at the bottom of your page.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 19:54, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

Thanks.Farcaster (talk) 00:58, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

American Clean Energy and Security Act[edit]

On October 11, 2010, The New Yorker did a feature on the rise and fall of this bill, called "As the World Burns": I thought you might like to use it. Best regards! -- Ssilvers (talk) 19:28, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, I'll get to it. I appreciate all the work you do out here! Nothing like getting the facts out there in a big way!Farcaster (talk) 01:09, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

New Article Relating to the U. S. Public Debt[edit]

I've drafted a Wikipedia article: User:Csdidier/Public Debt Vocabulary Shift. I was wondering if you would be willing to give it a quick look, and offer some criticism.Csdidier (talk) 18:19, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

PIGS Article (Economics)[edit]

As you are a editor, please chech out and possibly edit/fix this. If you read it you will see there are numerous problems (including the name which could arguably be PIIGS). Thank you.

Joedavis12345 (talk) 06:49, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

Re: Nice job on the U.S. Federal Budget article[edit]

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Pensions crisis[edit]

Hi. You did some great work with the article, but I'm afraid it's not a U.S.-specific problem. Would you feel insulted if I add a "Globalize" template to the article? Face-smile.svg — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 05:02, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

Sounds good. I can help populate it with U.S. info. I appreciate your help with this one and with the Social Security debate.Farcaster (talk) 16:23, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

RE: Federal Spending - Cause of Change 2001 to 2009.png[edit]

Your numbers generally match pages 6, 8 and 10 of the referenced CBO report, but not entirely. You're reporting the 1.7% increase in the "Other" category as 1.2%. You've apparently decided to deduct the 0.5% increase in "Offsetting revenues" from the "Other" column in order for your numbers to "jive" with the overall 6.5% increase shown on page 6? I believe the increasing offsets are likely payments into SS and Medicare and would be more appropriately deducted from those columns rather than pulling them out of "Other"? (talk) 05:54, 4 August 2011 (UTC) Paul

citations plus![edit]

Bubble Tea.png I say this, and you do this! Wonderfully done. CRETOG8(t/c) 02:34, 18 September 2011 (UTC)

Leverage of investment banks chart[edit]

I'm wondering if statistics can be tracked down to bring this chart up through 2010 or 2011, to show the changes subsequent to the big crunch in 2007 / 2008.
-- Yellowdesk (talk) 01:48, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
Leverage ratios of investment banks increased significantly 2003–07

houshold income continues to decline, post recession[edit]

I thought this would interest.
Regards, -- Yellowdesk (talk) 03:21, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
Declining Median Household Income in US
N.Y.Times 10/10/2011 - Real household income has fallen by about 10 percent since the start of the last recession, with a greater decline after the recession ended.

"Farcaster". Who exactly are you to maintain this page to your partisan beliefs and repeatedly remove objective additions? My comments are mathematically and economically uncontroversial - they are in fact near identities -- , and advance neither a left nor right agenda. What they **do** is counter the one-sided opinion that exists as evidence on the page now - much opinion, well cited, but opinion nonetheless. If you wish to discuss you may contact me at "gee eff ell *at* vfemail dot net". While you may have invested much in this page, it is not yours alone. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:40, 22 October 2011 (UTC)

Please stop enforcing your partisan opinion when I want mine to be true[edit]

Farcaster - I have attempted several times to place a balanced, nonpartisan comment that shows that the tax rate / tax revenues tradeoff operates in both directions, depending on where you are on the curve, and on what the money's alternatives are (go offshore, reclassify into loopholes etc).

You simply keep deleting it unilaterally, without any rationale except your opinion. This, i believe, is unacceptable behavior. Your on statements show that reducing tax rates can increase tax revenues (from the 100% point). Bend that its merely a matter of debating the shape of the curve.

I don't delete your contributions, even though they appear to lead readers to one political conclusion. I dont expect you to delete mine, especially when i chose to take a substantially higher road and let the reader understand the situation.

In your rationale for editing you state there is no evidence for reductions in taxes raising revenues. Actually, its fairly ambiguous, but then, i would not expect it to work in our current tax structure, and certainly not quickly. People are wiser than many statisticians believe and realize that short term changes int he tax code are not a reason to make long term investment, plant location, and career bets. And when they do, they take years to come to fruition - often confusing the correlation unless a long and sliding window or convolution is applied. So the very little evidence we have today certainly does not disprove the rule; nor help us figure out where we are on th curve.

Personally, i believe that we exist on BOTH sides of the curve simultaneously. By this i mean that many people are paying - all taxes included - well over 50%. Those who earn wages; live in hgih cost areas; and have few deductions. On the other hand, people far "richer", or who can shelter their income in various ways pay very low rates. Mr. Buffett is a good example. But few listened to what he actually said - he didn't say "tax the rich" he said "make it fair an equitable".

So its pretty simple. You can argue where we are on the curve, but you cannot deny the curve. Therefore, your edits slant the truth and shelter readers from objective tools to make their own decisions. Furthermore, i have no idea who you think you are to enforce topical and political agendas. Nothing i wrote is debatable technically. Politically, truth seems to have no place. So please quit deleting things. If you wish to make constructive contributions - please do.

I left you my email contact info and you chose ti ignore it. So i take from that you have nothing to say - only to take away.

anjasdad — Preceding unsigned comment added by Anjasdad (talkcontribs) 15:05, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

Please cite your source and I'll support your inclusions.Farcaster (talk) 18:57, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

What exactly am i supposed to cite for basic mathematical properties? <== please answer this. Specifically. I dont wish to cite more vague opinion. What do you need to understand simple curves with zero at each end and some nonzero numbers int he middle? Its sorta like citing that 2+2=4.

I had no conclusion (big difference with yours - mine is objective) except that on any given curve, which your own text noted was at a minimum (for revenue generated) at each extreme, and presumably closer to minimums as they are approached, there will be points - probably many - where a reduction in tax rates does increase revenues. I suppose the citation could be the laffer curve itself. We don't have data experimenting from 0 to 100%. You are arguing with economic and mathematical basics. Who left you in charge of truth? As noted, i'm not so arrogant as to blithely (or selfishly) remove your contributions. Don't do the same to mine. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Anjasdad (talkcontribs) 20:55, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

You can probably find some studies that support your views. Take the time to cite those sources. You'll find the evidence about 90% against the Laffer curve with income tax rates anywhere near this level. But this is an encyclopedia; it is about cited expert sources not what you or I think. You are needlessly antagonistic. Cite your sources and you'll have no problem getting the information included from me or other editors. But directly addressing readers (e.g., "readers should consider...") isn't the right approach nor is formulating your own conclusions about when Laffer is right or wrong in the article; even I haven't done that even though most liberal economists (even Nobel winners) laugh at Laffer.Farcaster (talk) 22:54, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

Dear me Farcaster - what you have to put up with.. Anyhow I just wanted to say that I looked at the present state of the entry on synthetic CDO's, thought 'this is a bit of a mess - I wonder when the trouble started', looked back in the history & found your original - which I thought was everything an entry should be, concise, specific, clearly extremely well-informed. I'd be tempted just to revert it all if I thought I knew anything in the area. - apparently not everyone is inhibited by such trivial considerations ;->


Are the dollars in this graph adjusted for inflation or are they taken as-is from the source? Cheers Faulty (talk) 09:01, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

The numbers are not adjusted for inflation. There is a link in the chart detail to the DOD's version which shows the effect of inflation, if you are looking for those numbers. There may be an updated version of their chart if you hunt around. Back in 2000, we spent 3% GDP. That is about $450 billion today. If you assume 2% inflation for 10 years, $300B in 2001 is about $360 billion today The excel formula would be +300*(1.02)^10 = $360.Farcaster (talk) 16:00, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

Current Account Balances 2010.png[edit]

Current Account Balances 2010.png

Hello. Your graph implies that Germany was the only EU country with a significant current account surplus. Please consider adding other countries such as the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Finland and Luxembourg as well (see: List_of_sovereign_states_by_current_account_balance). --spitzl (talk) 17:10, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

OK. Interesting that these other countries with surpluses are not in the news as trouble countries...doesn't surprise me.Farcaster (talk) 17:21, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

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Thanks Farcaster for helping to promote European sovereign-debt crisis to Good Article status. Please accept this little sign of appreciation and goodwill from me, because you deserve it. Keep it up, and give someone a pat on the back today. --Sp33dyphil ©hatontributions 04:12, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

United States fiscal cliff[edit]

Hi Farcaster. We seem to be the only editors contributing to the Fiscal Cliff article right now. I have posted some comments on the talk page here. Please read them and, if you like, reply. I could BE BOLD and make my changes to the article on top of your changes but I feel this way is more polite. Thanks for contributing. --RoyGoldsmith (talk) 18:54, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

DYK for United States fiscal cliff[edit]

Graeme Bartlett (talk) 16:02, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for the recognition and note!Farcaster (talk) 22:32, 6 September 2012 (UTC)



i noticed you edited a Mixed Martial Arts page in August, but you haven't listed yourself as a Participant on the Wikiproject for Mixed Martial Arts pages. I've decided to try to drum up interest to get more people involved!

Kevlar (talk) 00:34, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

File:Source Data - Leverage Ratios.png listed for deletion[edit]

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File:Unfunded commitments.png listed for deletion[edit]

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2012 U.S. federal budget[edit]

I recently got the article on the 2012 United States federal budget up to GA status, and I'm thinking about fixing it up further to try to get it to FA before the election. I was wondering if you could take a look and leave feedback about what improvements would be needed. Thanks! Antony–22 (talkcontribs) 03:57, 1 October 2012 (UTC)

File:U.S. Defense Spending - 2006 to 2010.png listed for deletion[edit]

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election year politics articles[edit]

Thank you for your work there, though it gets heated and some of that work was deleted. I hope that the comparision of views article can be undeleted once the election is over, and further cleaned up. Regards, – SJ + 22:02, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for your support. I see you are a Wikipedia "Celebrity" and appreciate the gesture. Rest assured, my personal mission is to help folks understand business and economics issues and Wikipedia is a great outlet for it. If my friends and family had to hear about all these facts I'd be banished, so it keeps me out of trouble. I present this stuff locally for the Concord Coalition and Mensa, so I would have done the research anyway. I'll find a home for a lot of that information in other articles.Farcaster (talk) 06:18, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

Fiscal cliff consensus[edit]

I was about to post a new consensus first paragraph for the lead (per Talk:United_States_fiscal_cliff#Organization of lead) when I saw your edit at [3]. Just wanted to make sure we were on the same page. Sparkie82 (tc) 12:23, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

There was a bunch of vandalism and I reverted to that version. However, I like the later edit that I did better to move it back to the consensus on the talk page. I like what's out there now better than the edit above. I'm generally OK with any edits you choose to make.Farcaster (talk) 15:33, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

A change you made to this article came up on the talk page at:Year-over-year_projections_in_lead. Sparkie82 (tc) 23:38, 7 December 2012 (UTC)

Happy New Year[edit]

Artist's concept of collision at HD 172555.jpg Survivor of the End of the Mayan Calendar Barnstar
I am happy that you seem to have survived the End of the Mayan Calendar. I look forward to your future edits until the world ends. Geraldshields11 (talk) 19:21, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

Fiscal cliff[edit]

Hey, thanks for your latest edit, it was just what I was hoping for. I suspected those numbers were buried in the CBO projections but I couldn't find them. --Nstrauss (talk) 00:19, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

DYK for American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012[edit]

Casliber (talk · contribs) 00:03, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

Quick Note on Gun politics in the United States Edit[edit]

Just a quick note -- it looks like the text added in this edit was coming from a New York Times article covering the proposed gun legislation.

So that text has now been removed and the list was summarized and re-written by Rjensen in this edit here.

Jjjjjjjjjj (talk) 07:12, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

My bad, thank you. I should have said: "The NYT wrote that..."Farcaster (talk) 07:32, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

Fair compromise on where to put the Obama proposals. If the article is going to cover Sandy Hook, then other notable shootings (and their cultural/political aftermath) should be included as well. That incident has made everyone seemingly a "situational activist", but unfortunately its far from being a unique event. What are your thoughts? --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (talk) 05:21, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

I don't have a strong view on where the President's proposal info should go, but it should be in the article.Farcaster (talk) 05:38, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

Great edit at Sequester (2013) page[edit]

I wanted to let you know that I'm impressed with the edit you just made at Sequester (2013). That lead has been continuously reworked for a long while now and I think your edit is the best yet. It's factually precise, comprehensive, and well written. Great job! Sparkie82 (tc) 06:02, 6 March 2013 (UTC)


Hello Farcaster. I like your recent edits RE:Latvia, however I undid your re-insertion of the two last lines about the Prime Minister's discussion of Krugman. I previously reverted those for valid reasons and I believe the next step should be Discuss on talk if you feel strongly about putting them or some other similar content back in place. Please use Talk if you wish to discuss. Thanks. SPECIFICO talk 19:45, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

I am a new Wikipedia editor. You undid my rewrite of the lead section of the "Austerity" article. I want the Austerity article to be good. It is important. Currently, it is C-class, not very good. I hope you are willing to discuss my ideas for improvement. (1) make the lead more simple and general, (2) remove POV from the lead, (3) improve the article generally by linking to other Wiki articles rather than writing redundant information in the austerity article.

(1) The reversion you made defines austerity as occurring "during adverse economic conditions." I'm not certain this is a consensus view, and therefore, not particularly accurate or helpful to the Wikipedia reader. Paul Krugman writes in the last year entitled "The Depressed Economy Is All About Austerity" (ref>Krugman, Paul. "The Depressed Economy Is All About Austerity". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 February 2014. </ref> when the US is not in depression or recession, it is experiencing low growth and relatively high unemployment. I don't understand why austerity should not be defined as a reduction in deficit, in any circumstance. Thus, any increase in tax or any decrease in spending could be considered under the austerity definition. Can we agree on this issue?

(2) remove POV from the lead. I suggest that the lead contain both negative AND positive possibilities for results of austerity. Sure, under "adverse economic conditions" nearly every policy will have problems, including austerity. I agree, austerity can be painful! But, in many circumstances, austerity is the correct policy. For instance, would not Keynes recommend deficit reduction when unemployment is 1%, inflation is 5%, and economic growth is 5%? Ok, that is not the norm, we WISH we had that situation. But, Keynes recommends that we reduce deficits when the economy is expanding, right? It seems overly POV to stress the negatives in the lead. Why not reserve the negative and positive information for a section in the article? Can we agree?

(3) improve the article generally by linking to other Wiki articles. It seems to me that economic issues related to austerity would be better covered in the "Economics" Wiki article. There, they have sections on Fiscal policy and Monetary policy. Isn't austerity really fiscal policy? (And, oftentimes monetary policy.) Why rehash the information in this article? Let's keep it simple. Link to the Economics article. Further, why rehash austerity issues related to specific countries in this article? Why not link to discussion of those policies that exist in the country's article?

Austerity issues are too important to be confused and slapdash. This austerity article cannot explain all economic theory, nor can it explain complicated austerity measures in every country where it has been employed. Why not keep this article simple, to help the reader and direct them to further exploration?

I'm planning further edits of this article. I hope you are willing to work with me so we can make this article A-class. As I admitted before, I am new, so if you can spare some advice and/or helpful tips, I will be appreciative. Typothetes (talk) 21:32, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

After posting the extensive comments, above, I thought of an idea. I don't know if you have authored any of the sections in the Austerity article ( I will look, later). Have you thought about creating a section for "Austerity under adverse economic condition?" I would be willing to write a section for "Austerity under positive economic conditions" as a balance. Further, would you be willing to give me a change to completely edit the lead to refer to the Economics article and suggest positive and negative situations for austerity? I will give you a few days to respond, then I will consider making small edits to see if you are engaged. I hope you are.Typothetes (talk) 21:47, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

I like how you summarized the lead; very engaging and easy to understand. However, you simply removed a lot of important references. I suggest finding a place for them. Further, austerity in a downturn has been a disaster; it is not a policy you want under those conditions, as the disastrous EU performance (e.g., record unemployment, slow growth) has indicated. Giving equal time to both sides of an issue when 90% of the evidence is against something is POV. I'm not a fan of "he-said, she said" journalism when one side has the facts behind it (e.g., climate change is real and man-influenced, austerity in a downturn is a disaster, etc.) I get testy when conservatives try to salvage their failed doctrines from the overwhelming evidence against them. Keynes famous saying: "The time for austerity at the Treasury is during the Boom, not the Bust" should come through loud and clear in the intro.Farcaster (talk) 01:25, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

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[4] is so true, but so depressing. Thanks for all the great work you do. EllenCT (talk) 07:56, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
Thank you! Nothing makes my day like a good Krugman piece. As an econ student, you're probably too busy to read non-textbooks but when you get a chance, Mark Zandi's book "Financial Shock" is a great book. It covers the crisis, by walking through each of the major economic sectors affected. It's a good model for how to explain this stuff to the layperson.Farcaster (talk) 19:30, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
I'll read it. Also I looked around and I have to ask about [5]: how does he get from "unemployment may even tick higher" to "as unemployment falls"? But I agree with its sentiment, split as it is between those points. On the housing bubble, I blame the use of gaussian copula valuations of mortgage credit in of MBS/CDS which assumed uncorrelated sub-components, when the credit-worthiness of any two individual mortgages was actually correlated through consumer demand. If that hadn't been happening, subprime rates would have been higher and less abundantly approved. And I blame Too Big to Fail for not fixing that, which is still going on.[6] For that in turn I blame consolidation enabled by Glass-Steagall repeal. I feel like Vitter-Brown is the best chance for permanent reform there.[7] But even more than all of that, there are things related to your edit I linked to above that are undermining broad-based consumer spending and demand, e.g. [8] and [9]. I've been meaning to try to write about those, but feel sort of blocked; maybe overwhelmed. EllenCT (talk) 23:50, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

confusion on "Government budget balance as a sectoral component" under "US Federal Budget"[edit]

Hi Farcaster.

I have a comment on your section on "Government budget balance as a sectoral component" under "US Federal Budget". I re-read it several times, and while it seems an important topic for me to grasp, I just don't understand. I graduated from Harvard with honors, and I work as a statistical programmer, so if I don't get it, I think it's likely that others out there won't get it either. I have no background in economics or finance. I do clinical trials work in health care.

I write this in the hope that you might add a little more explanatory prose to this section. I really do want to understand it.

Perhaps it might help if I explained my understanding of this section.

There is a 'zero sum' relationship between 4 values, foreign, private, government and state/local financial balances, with the latter omitted from the graph. The Y axis is %GDP. Increased household savings caused a private sector surplus that forced the government balance into deficit. That's where you lost me.

For the life of me, I didn't understand what value is being plotted in this chart. I googled around a bit and found clues that indicate that this graph illustrates transactions among the sectors. The private line went up because people are keeping their money rather than giving it to the government. The government line went down because while it still feeds massive amounts of money to the private sector, it takes relatively little back and so it drops into deficit. The green line represents money transferred to foreigners, either through trade deficit or payments on foreign-held US debt.

So in 2009, funds equivalent to 10% of US GDP moved from the gov't to the private(7.5%) and foreign(2.5%) sectors, forcing the government into deficit. Do I have this right? I hope this note clearly illustrates my confusion. Assuming I do have this right, what do we want this graph to look like?

Perhaps there are web sites or wiki pages that answer these questions. If so, a pointer in your prose might be in order.

Thanks for your efforts to explain this to the rest of us. It's clearly important.

-jpg — Preceding unsigned comment added by Coachjpg (talkcontribs) 23:32, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

Good questions, thanks for the feedback. Try the article by Martin Wolf cited in the graph ("The Balance Sheet Recession in the U.S.") which I paraphrased. You seem very close to getting this. The foreign surplus arises because we are borrowing (importing capital) to fund our trade deficit. This is the money measure, not the goods measure. That didn't change much so think of it as fixed for this exercise. So when the private sector shifted from consuming to saving, it also went into surplus. So you've got the private sector and foreign sectors in surplus; this must be offset by a government deficit so the three lines net to zero. I'll work on trying to clarify it but would appreciate your help as my test reader!Farcaster (talk) 23:50, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
Also, check the "Austerity" article which also includes a second graph of just the private sector, based on Paul Krugman's article on the private sector surplus (it shows how the savings has jumped but the investment has dropped, creating an $800 billion surplus).Farcaster (talk) 00:27, 9 April 2013 (UTC)

subprime deletion[edit]

reply? --BoogaLouie (talk) 22:21, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

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Since you've been working on the subprime articles so much and for so long, I wanted to show you in advance changes I thought would be good for the Government policies and the subprime mortgage crisis article, for which I've set up a subpage.
See what you think of my rewriting - (changes ("diff")here) (after changes here) --BoogaLouie (talk) 18:31, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

I skipped the sandbox this time. See what you think of the changes. --BoogaLouie (talk) 01:24, 3 July 2013 (UTC)


I can't say I agree with it all the details exactly, but

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I enjoyed reading your userpage: took a lot of work, has lots of good stuff! Sb101 (talk|contribs) 19:53, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

Nice effort. :)[edit]

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What an extraordinary amount of effort and research. :) I clicked on your page on a whim and was pleasantly surprised. :) Vision Insider (talk) 23:06, 14 October 2013 (UTC)

Disambiguation link notification for November 17[edit]

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English is not my mother tongue, but...[edit]

...I pondered that a page about sectoral balances could be useful... cheers from Italy :- )
i.e. moved to commons! --NUMB3RN7NE (talk) 13:22, 2 March 2014 (UTC)


Hello. Please see this. --Omnipaedista (talk) 04:04, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

Speedy deletion nomination of File:US Real Household Median Income thru 2012.pdf[edit]

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Marking edits as minor.[edit]

Hi, a small suggestion, I think you are over-using the "minor" classification button (specifically at the article "US income inequality"). The material and quote from Buffett, for example, is a substantive addition not a minor edit. Spelling, formatting, etc...these are usually considered "minor". This is, of course, just one editor's opinion but it would help me when reviewing edit summaries. Ordinarily one would ignore or skip over minor edits. Just a small request. Thanks for considering it. Capitalismojo (talk) 00:32, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

Good point, I'm making tons of changes to the article and haven't been careful with that tag.Farcaster (talk) 00:39, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

Capital stock[edit]

Do you know where to find the definition of "capital stock" as used in Dynamic scoring#United States? Are there any good examples of 20 year employment or capital stock projections that you know of? EllenCT (talk) 20:52, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

I don't, sorry. When I looked up capital stock on FRED and traced the source through there, it led me to the Penn world table:
There is a paper there that includes the definition of capital stock:
OECD also has a paper on this along with links to more info; page 12 explains how to get at that data set.
Thanks again! I can't wait to see 20 year projections for that. EllenCT (talk) 22:13, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
Although it can't be too hard.... But click on the log scale under graph settings and check out the inflection point at 2008. I am starting to get a very good feeling about this. EllenCT (talk) 22:21, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

Marek in Economic growth[edit]

I can't figure him out, but it seems like he might very strongly prefer [10] if you want to try again. EllenCT (talk) 01:55, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

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I appreciate your ability to stick to the facts. The facts are the most important thing for healthy, democratic, civil society. I hope you stay at it. Everyone - from construction workers to doctors to cops - everyone needs to know what is going on, without twisted opinions in the way. WikiHelper2134 (talk) 04:24, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

Global account[edit]

Hi Farcaster! As a Steward I'm involved in the upcoming unification of all accounts organized by the Wikimedia Foundation (see m:Single User Login finalisation announcement). By looking at your account, I realized that you don't have a global account yet. In order to secure your name, I recommend you to create such account on your own by submitting your password on Special:MergeAccount and unifying your local accounts. If you have any problems with doing that or further questions, please don't hesitate to contact me on my talk page. Cheers, —DerHexer (Talk) 12:50, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

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Dear Farcaster,

may you plesae upload your charts directly to Commons?--Kopiersperre (talk) 10:44, 1 September 2015 (UTC)

Disambiguation link notification for October 24[edit]

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Economic policy of Barack Obama[edit]

I agree with deleting that sentence! Someone evidently wanted to end the Intro with a note that the economic policy of Barack Obama is a failure. He could have cited an argument that the recovery is historically anemic or employment is lagging--but the fact that most Americans "knew someone in poverty" is a junk statistic and does not especially characterize the Obama years. Spike-from-NH (talk) 00:56, 16 May 2016 (UTC)

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Reference errors on 11 June[edit]

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Copying within Wikipedia requires proper attribution[edit]

Information icon Thank you for your contributions to Wikipedia. It appears that you copied or moved text from NAFTA's effect on United States employment into Causes of unemployment in the United States. While you are welcome to re-use Wikipedia's content, here or elsewhere, Wikipedia's licensing does require that you provide attribution to the original contributor(s). When copying within Wikipedia, this is supplied at minimum in an edit summary at the page into which you've copied content. It is good practice, especially if copying is extensive, to also place a properly formatted {{copied}} template on the talk pages of the source and destination. The attribution has been provided for this situation, but if you have copied material between pages before, even if it was a long time ago, please provide attribution for that duplication. You can read more about the procedure and the reasons at Wikipedia:Copying within Wikipedia. Thank you. If you are the sole author of the prose that was moved, attribution is not required. — Diannaa (talk) 01:56, 11 August 2016 (UTC)

Reference errors on 15 August[edit]

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Political positions of Trump[edit]

Hi, thanks for your edits to the Trump page. Note that some of your edits are likely to be deleted, because they could be considered 'original research'. Citing research by Saez and the St Louis Fed to challenge Trump's statements is considered 'original research', because the sources don't mention Trump. So you need to use sources that explicitly refer to Trump. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 22:52, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

I disagree. If Trump is talking about economic variables, then citing the actual amount of those variables is appropriate. For example, if he says 92 million are on the sidelines and should be working, but CBO says were 2.5 million from full employment, that is not OR.Farcaster (talk) 23:18, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

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Edit summaries[edit]

Hi there... As various other editors have mentioned over the years, could you please try to use more edit summaries, and only mark edits as minor if they're really minor? Thanks in advance. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 20:54, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

Quick reminder[edit]

FYI - when splitting article content or doing any kind of merge, be sure to briefly mention the parent article in the edit summary; see Wikipedia:Copying within Wikipedia.

Thanks and warm regards, Neutralitytalk 17:59, 7 December 2016 (UTC)


On the topic about strategy, you made an edit because you considering a very technical discussion, but it is not a more technical discussion than that of Mintzberg's 5 p's and game theory in the same post. I think it is a mere introduction to a concept based on complexity theory.

Thanks and warm regards, 18:49, 12 December 2016 (UTC)

Please try to explain it in less technical terms. I have no idea what you are talking about, and I've got a master's degree. Perhaps use an example.Farcaster (talk) 21:18, 12 December 2016 (UTC)

pre-tax and post-tax labels swapped>[edit]

Thanks for your recent change to the article in Income inequality in the United States

Might you have time to look at the plot of "Inflation-adjusted percent increase in pre-tax and after-tax household income between 1979 and 2011, by pre-tax income group."? It looks to me like the light and dark colors look swapped: Light blue, "pre-tax" are always smaller than dark blue "after-tax". Shouldn't that be the other way around? Thanks, DavidMCEddy (talk) 21:25, 28 December 2016 (UTC)

Hello David, I double-checked the numbers and they are correct (although it looks like CBO made some minor changes to the source data; a couple of numbers are slightly different.) While your intuition is correct that the after-tax income is lower than pre-tax for the same year, where each series stands in 2011 relative to 1979 can be a different matter entirely--and that is what the graph is showing. You can also see this by comparing figures 8, 11, and 13 in the CBO report. See how the top 1% after-tax increase (200) is actually higher than the others (175)? If you go to the CBO report website, there are supplemental data in Excel. If you go to tab 3. Household data, you can easily re-calculate the numbers (page down to see the numbers you need). The computation compares the after-tax income in 2011 versus 1979, to generate those bars. Same thing for pre-tax income. I'll update the file through 2013 week off from real work! I'll think about how to clarify the chart explanation to cover your question.Farcaster (talk) 22:21, 28 December 2016 (UTC)

Donald Trump the Republican presumptive nominee[edit]

On 7 December 2016, your newly-created Economic policy of Donald Trump included "On May 5, 2016, two days after becoming the presumptive Republican nominee, Trump said...." I approve this wording! I invite you to add any comment you may have to a discussion at Talk:Attempted assassination of Donald Trump#Presumptive nominee. —Anomalocaris (talk) 15:00, 26 June 2017 (UTC)

Confusion re. File:U.S. Compensation as Percent of GDP - v1.png[edit]

Thanks for all your contributions to Wikimedia Commons.

I'm confused about [[File:U.S. Compensation as Percent of GDP - v1.png]]: It's not clear to me what the numbers represent. I followed the link to "FRED Database-Income Measures vs GDP" but landed at, which looks to me like a general query page for the St. Louis Fed. Is that what you intended? Could you please add more explanation on what data to request, etc., and how to convert them to that plot? Thanks, DavidMCEddy (talk) 21:17, 15 August 2017 (UTC)

Hello, great question. A couple of links below; let me know if my personal FRED graphs are not accessible. You can download the data by clicking on the blue button in the upper right corner of the FRED page. The lower line is a subset of total compensation (wages and salaries of workers). The upper line is all compensation to workers, both the first line plus "supplements to wages and salaries" (i.e., benefits such as healthcare). You can see that labor's share of the total economic pie is declining as % GDP (recall GDP is both income and output), the remainder (up to 100%) if not labor then is going to capital, such as rental income. Updated version of the original

This second link shows the types of income that both labor and capital receive, as a % total income.

This article in NYT has a similar graph, but the denominator is national income rather than GDP (the # are somewhat different).

Here is a FRED graph like the NYT article.

Figure: Sectoral Financial Balances as a % of GDP, 1952q1 to 2012q3[edit]

The figure given in your article at appears to be in error. If so, it is unfortunate, because it has been used by Stephanie Kelton at 1:01:11 in and by Robert Bostick here:

1. The Foreign Sector (Current Account) plotted data seems to be (M-X),a positive quantity instead of the US Current Account (X-M) which is in deficit usually, since we import more than we export. 2. According to your plot the magnitude of our Current Account is greater than the magnitude of the US Private Sector income surplus. This is clearly wrong. The Private Sector surplus hovers around zero in good times and is negative (deficit) in bad times. 3. The FRED data is the NIPA data, which considers all income to be earned, that is, there is no such thing as unearned income. So the Wall Street banks and their employees are considered participants in the real economy, whereas, in fact, they are predators on the real economy. On your plot this conflation of real and rentier economies is obvious, particularly from 2008 on because the TARP and QE money are clearly included in the data. 4. The scale is wrong because it claims that the total amount of (G-T} between Nov. 2008 and Sep.2010 was about $16.3 trillion. For MMT purposes of assessing the health of the real economy none of the TARP and QE money should be included. This suggests that the FRED data you used was contaminated with the rentier income. I’d be happy to discuss this in more detail if you wish. In Italic text’’Killing the HostItalic text’’, Chapter 6, Michael Hudson discusses the contamination of the NIPA data. Lobdillj (talk) 18:15, 7 October 2017 (UTC)

  • The private sector and foreign sector or capital surplus (the flip side of the trade deficit) are correct. I've had trouble finding the right series on FRED for the government deficit (which includes all levels), so that is as close as I could get. Read the cited articles, particularly Martin Wolf, who has a similar graph in his article. If you can't get through the pay wall, check out the Goldman Sach's article: which also has the graph.Farcaster (talk) 19:19, 7 October 2017 (UTC)