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Old September 30th, 2008, 09:52 AM   #1
howell_jeep
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Default Forest fires, bailouts and rebirth

by Dan Mulhern


"I saw the most amazing thing in Yellowstone Park last night week. Perhaps
you have seen it. There was a tremendous fire in 1988 and thousands of
acres of trees were lost. Twenty years later you can still see the signs:
hacked off, perfectly straight logpole pines dot the landscape; forty feet
high with no branches or needles. But the most amazing sign of the fire is
the dense and rich growth of gorgeous pines 10-15 feet high now. I asked
in disbelief: "None of these were planted by humans?" "No" came the
answer. "The forest regenerates naturally, as cones in the soil sprout up
in the wake of the fires." Scientists predicted the remarkable growth we
can now witness there.



The cycle of death-to-life is surely one of the core laws of life -
natural, spiritual, economic and social life. It makes me wonder about
leadership in tough times.



Consider the current, baffling bailout situation. Should we just let it
all burn down? Some wildly free market folks say "do nothing and watch the
market work." They remind me some of those who manage the forests who say
"let it burn." It will take care of itself. Although there is a parallel,
forests and financial markets can also be distinguished in any number of
ways. And increasingly the architects of the bailout are pointing out that
the reforms do involve the market. The government will be buying (not
paying for someone else to maintain) assets, and acquiring them at pretty
low prices. We taxpayers will be investors! Let's hope they're right.
Let's hope with our investments in assets that have burned nearly down to
the forest floor of the market, that same "forest" of capital will soon be
teeming with activity.



I wonder though how we turn around a situation in which people increasingly
expect their leaders to solve all their problems. People took crazy loans
and are now eager to be bailed out. People extended crazy loans and now
want to be bailed out. Of course CEOs made equally if not more ridiculous
moves - as they supposedly had knowledge of economic history and basic
economic laws. We have an instinct to "blame the leader" and to expect
rescue from the leader. As well as I can understand it, the markets do
need to be supported - and gratefully protections are being put in for Main
Street. But WHAT IF some trees needed to die? Sometimes the kid needs to
feel their mistakes and not be rescued at the school office by the parent
and the lawyer. Sometimes the worker who has made a terrible decision has
to be let go, if s/he is to learn and become more effective. Sometimes we
need a few more consequences, which may not be fatal for the individual,
and which may strengthen the forest, the business, the economy, or the
family.



Sometimes leaders have to find ways to let people experience the "deaths"
that will cause their people to be "reborn" with strength. Sometimes when
you're leading you need to choose not to rescue in order for you and them
to



Lead with your best self,



Dan
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Old September 30th, 2008, 10:57 AM   #2
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sadly, humans have to mettle thinking they can fix it.
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Old September 30th, 2008, 10:59 AM   #3
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Default Good point

in October 1987 the stock market "crashed" and lost 20% of its value....
in the "90's" there was a stock market correction ( dot com bubble).....
Today there is a mortgage crisis the market lost 6.8% with more to come... how much more no one knows.
6% of mortgages are in default 94% are Ok. Less than 7% of americans are out of work, 93% are employed....

The bailout is a bandaid for the cancer that has run rampant through out the Government over the last 20 years. Many groups ( R & D) have supported policies that create social engineering by allowing people who are not responsible to own things they should not own.

Many (as reported by the news media when the defaults began) were realestate speculators who were buying 2-3 houses in addition to the one they were living in. When the housing market went south most of those people lost all the houses, the banks and mortgage companies were providing the paper fully knowing that the speculators could not financially support those properties.

When I bought my first house in 1982, the interest rate was 16%. I had to show up at the closing with 20% of the value of the loan. I did that by turning over the deed to the property the house was going to be built on. I had a stake in making sure I made the payments. The loan company checked 5 years of back tax paperwork to verify that had the means to pay back the loan. They would not allow me to to have payments in excess of 25% of my take home pay! Guess what, I paid the loan, sold the house and bought a bigger one, I used the same formula for the second one and guess what, I'm in no position to loose that house.

The market would not have allowed the questionable loans to be made without the encouragement and support of the Federal Government. The Government having access to 700 billion extra dollars of our money is foolish, there are no controls that can be put on this deal that the Gov. will not weasel out of in the up coming years.
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Old September 30th, 2008, 11:16 AM   #4
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That's all well and good but when the forest fire is burning towards your house you'll want someone to help you fight it.
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Old September 30th, 2008, 11:25 AM   #5
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20 years later, the forest would be thriving much more if fire fighters were able to put it out.
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Old September 30th, 2008, 11:26 AM   #6
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yeah foresters like fire promotes healther forests
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Old September 30th, 2008, 12:49 PM   #7
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So we should burn Wall Street?


IMO, everything in the past 10 or more years has been wildly overvalued, two years ago my house was valued at $150,000- if someone would have actually given me that much for it I'd have taken the money and ran! But it was all smoke and mirrors, other houses in my area were overvalued so the owners could get equity loans to buy cars and take vacations. Imagine, spending your home to go to Hawaii?
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Old September 30th, 2008, 01:25 PM   #8
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I like yellowstone, it's a really nice place.
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Old September 30th, 2008, 01:36 PM   #9
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worst analogy EVAR
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Old September 30th, 2008, 02:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I like yellowstone, it's a really nice place.
i like turtles
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Old September 30th, 2008, 02:14 PM   #11
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gayest analogy EVAR

fixed for accuracy
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Old September 30th, 2008, 04:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bones View Post
worst analogy EVAR
The only thing worse than that analogy is this response

Quote:
Originally Posted by clarkstoncracker View Post
20 years later, the forest would be thriving much more if fire fighters were able to put it out.
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Old September 30th, 2008, 05:44 PM   #13
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The Monterey and Pond pine trees release cones that won't EVEN SEED (open) unless they have been exposed to fire.
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Old September 30th, 2008, 05:47 PM   #14
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worst analogy EVAR
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