— No surprise: Millennials are like everyone else, only more so: based on research by Cornerstone.
David Denby, The Best Movies Of The Year
Easy credit has led to a debt overhang in China, and it’s a dangerous game:
Neil Gough and Keith Bradsher, Markets on Edge as China Moves to Curb Risky Lending
A complex and loosely regulated network of financial go-betweens has sprung up to profit from repackaging and reselling China’s new mountains of debt, turning loans into investment products. Such products have become popular among ordinary investors in China because they pay much higher interest rates than deposits in savings accounts, where rates are capped by the government to protect the state-owned banking system from competition.
But loosely regulated financial businesses can make a dicey business model, as Wall Street learned in 2008. And they pose a particular threat in an economy where growth is slowing, as it has been in China for the last three years.
“The final users of the money will not be able to earn returns high enough to repay the money and promised interest,” said Yu Yongding, a senior fellow at the Institute of World Economics and Politics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and a former member of the monetary policy committee at China’s central bank. “The chains of lending and borrowing can be long, just like the securitized subprime mortgages. The result can be devastating.”
This is smelling like 2009, all over again.
And meanwhile, back in the States, regulators are afraind to force banks to clean out their collateralized debt obligations. Another mess waiting to happen.
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The current financial crisis can make us overlook the fact that it originated in a profound human crisis: the denial of the primacy of the human person! […] We have created new idols. The worship of the ancient golden calf has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose.
While the earnings of the minority are growing exponentially, so, too, is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few. The imbalance is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation…. A new tyranny is thus born, invisible and often virtual, which relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules…. The thirst for power and possessions knows no limits. In this system, which tends to devour everything that stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule.
Behind this attitude lurks a rejection of Ethics and a rejection of God. Ethics has come to be viewed with a certain scornful derision. It is seen as counterproductive, too human, because it makes money and power relative. It is felt to be a threat, since it threatens the manipulation and debasement of the person. In effect, Ethics leads to a God who calls for a committed response which is outside the categories of the marketplace.
Money must serve, not rule! The Pope loves everyone, rich and poor alike, but he is obliged in the name of Christ to remind all that the rich must help, respect, and promote the poor. I exhort you to a generous solidarity and to the return of economics and finance to an ethical approach which favors human beings.
Sounding like a Marxist. He was known as ‘bishop of the slums’ in Argentina. I find myself liking this pope.
6-in-10 Republicans (60 percent) and those identifying with the tea party (63 percent) agree that discrimination against whites is as big a problem as discrimination against minority groups.
Compared to 36% of Democrats.