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In Defence Of The 'sheeple'


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True enough, but what has subjectivity got to do with it? Sheeple isn't an objective term in the same sense that calling someone a greedy moron isn't an objective term. That doesn't preclude someone from making the observation.

Fair enough, but when would you necessarily call someone a greedy moron if they'd been told by a cardiologist (or several cardiologists) that eating chips and piling on the pounds was a healthy option and salad was for losers?

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That's not my experience fluffy. Do your friends and family with no interest in finance seem to turn into George Soros when discussing their houses, kids' houses and outlook for the market? I know mine do.

You should see me in front of a football match - I'm suddenly an expert on off-side rules, and can offer a detailed critique of the game. And I bloody hate football and only watch under duress...

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The sheep people weren't to blame.

How many of you check the maintenance schedule off a plane you are about to catch or check through the hand luggage of the other passengers?

Do you insist on checking the brake fluid level before jumping in a taxi?

We all rely on professional knowing what they are doing. I blame Gordon Brown and the banksters.

Nicely put.

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Who do you judge responsible for the mess? The bankers who lent irresponsibly, knowing they would be bailed out?

I'm wonder how true this is - the bankers models told them they wouldn't need a bailout. The models might have been a tad off...

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But even If you do research there is no guarantee. The gold bugs will tell you you are a fool for holding fiat. But the gold bugs may just be the biggest fool.

I though house prices were to high in 2001 but still bought because I needed some where to live and was prepared for a small fall.

Every thing that happens in life is 50% luck.

No doubt there are lots of good people who had home ownership as their goal, who were swept up in the mania and pressured into buying by their peers. Some of them are my good friends, and they own depressing houses in depressing areas despite being hard-working, honest and successful people.

It's not black and white as you point out and who knows, maybe the joke is on HPC for taking an (unhealthy?) interest in finance and economics and sitting on the sidelines renting.

Doesn't mean there aren't a bloody lot of greedy, feckless Sheeple out there though :P

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You should see me in front of a football match - I'm suddenly an expert on off-side rules, and can offer a detailed critique of the game. And I bloody hate football and only watch under duress...

The football match is an inconsequential game, the outcome of which is not affected by your opinion or the aggregate actions of your fellow armchar pundits. I say this as a former fanzine writer and editor :)

Housing, on the other hand...

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As a society were are so infantilised that we rely on experts for everything. Notice on HUTH etc.. they mostly call them "property experts" rather than EAs. Terrorist atrocities are followed by hordes of "terrorism experts". And so on. Other experts tell us what to eat, not to smoke, how much we can safely drink, how to sit, how to lift heavy boxes ad infinitum. Basically use of the word "experts" is a way for VIs to scare or batter the rest of us into submission.

Example

On the cardiology/economics thing. How a heart works is a matter of fact. How an economy works is a matter of opinion. Cardiologists are heart experts, economists are not economic experts. I tried to study Economics at a UK university and quickly realised rather than being educated I was being indoctrinated.

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I'm wonder how true this is - the bankers models told them they wouldn't need a bailout. The models might have been a tad off...

The models failing didn't cause the mess in isolation. The bailout from the pols has exacerbated & prolonged the shambles. This has been done in the name of electoral success because the flock want to deny economic gravity.

Think of anyone you know that is of average intelligence. Half the flock are dimmer than that person.

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so why would lenders make highly-leveraged loans that had no chance of being recovered?

Exactly- in order to answer that question you would need to understand the transformation in mortgage lending created by the invention of the MBS and the way this allowed lenders to evade the downside risks of their lending, which in turn led to a very lax lending regime.

It's just not reasonable to demand that the average house buyer should know this stuff- they just went with the assumption that if the bank approved the loan then it must be safe to take on the debt.

We could- as a society- choose to educate our children in the realities of fractional reserve lending and the fragile nature of fiat currency systems, along with the debt based nature of the entire edifice- but the choice is made to keep this material off the radar and I suspect any attempt to introduce it into the schools would be met with fierce resistance from the elites who do very well out of this system and fear the outcome if it's mechanisms were widely understood.

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I thought I'd stick in a word of support for the 'sheeple' (or at least the suggestion that it's a demeaning and illogical construct).

Many on this site like to characterise them as X-Factor watching, fag-smoking chavs (another suspect word imho), and even those who admit that that is rather reductionist seem to happily heap scorn on them for their financial naivety.

I would humbly suggest that a working knowledge of MBSs, CDSs, FRB, shadow-banking, fiat, etc. should not be essential in life. If I'm unlucky enough to become seriously ill with, say, heart-disease, I would sincerely hope that I can count on the knowledge of a cardiologist, rather than being dependant on my own rather rudimentary understanding of biology. And that very same cardiologist might well not be able to explain FRB, but why the hell should he? His spare research time is, I hope, spent reading cardiology papers rather than trawling financial blogs.

I've been taking an off-hand interest in economics for a couple of years now, and I still need a bit of paper to check that I've remembered the details...

... so, a lot of people took out loans that, realistically, they can probably not pay back, particularly if/when interest rates go up. And if I was a cardiologist, I might feel rightfully annoyed with a patient who ate nothing but chips all day... however, in this case, the cardiologist has been the one prescribing the chips, telling us all that they were a perfectly healthy diet, and crashing the whole financial system in the process.

Bottom line, we should be able to trust professionals enough not to need a first class degree in economics every time we want to use a cash point, and when they screw up, we should hold them to account, not the 'sheeple'.

The cardiologist has been the one prescribing the chips can rightly expect the patient to check out the media (very easy to do with the internet) to see whether or not such advise is wise and request a second opinion but when it comes to money the 'patient' in most cases seems perfectly happy to consume the advise of a very vested interest group and do no further research on the matter.

Take for example my mother who when the question was put to her "Whos money is is when you deposit in the bank?" replied "Mine" and would not accept otherwise because that is what she is led to believe by her bank, the BoE and the gubberment and rather than seek sources of information and verification/repudiation is happy to accept. So she is a member of the sheeple.

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Think of anyone you know that is of average intelligence. Half the flock are dimmer than that person.

And if everyone doubled in intelligence, half of them would still be dimmer... (was it Reagan or Bush who was supposedly appalled to hear that half of all Americans were below average intelligence?).

To put it another way, if more intelligent people had acted more responsibly, the bankers would just have moved further down to food-chain to find the greater fool... and if any of us had been really smart, we'd have piled into BTL in 2000 and sold up late 2006, thus exacerbating the problem...

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Who do you judge responsible for the mess?

There are lots of people to blame for the mess we are in today and they are to blame for different reasons, although I'd say ignorance would fit them all quite nicely. People are not interested in how things work any more, money, food, energy, mechanical devices, etc, etc. That's fine, there are professionals who are knowledgeable in such areas, and regulatory bodies that make sure said professionals adhere to standards and good practices. This works well in most industries, accept finance, where greedy bastards are simply running amok taking what they can however they can while the regulators and government smoke pot at the wheel.

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And if everyone doubled in intelligence, half of them would still be dimmer... (was it Reagan or Bush who was supposedly appalled to hear that half of all Americans were below average intelligence?).

To put it another way, if more intelligent people had acted more responsibly, the bankers would just have moved further down to food-chain to find the greater fool... and if any of us had been really smart, we'd have piled into BTL in 2000 and sold up late 2006, thus exacerbating the problem...

True, and I freely admitted to following the flock in a previous post. The difference is those who expect to be bailed out (without thinking where the money comes from), and those who know/understand that there is no such thing as a free lunch.

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The sheep people weren't to blame.

How many of you check the maintenance schedule off a plane you are about to catch or check through the hand luggage of the other passengers?

Do you insist on checking the brake fluid level before jumping in a taxi?

We all rely on professional knowing what they are doing. I blame Gordon Brown and the banksters.

I do not think that is a reasonable comparison. There was clearly something very wrong with the housing market back in 2005-2007. People who were on 18k were coming into work telling everyone how they had 'made' 50k on their flat in the last 18 months.

If you were about to get on a plane - and one of the wings was falling to pieces then that would be a fair comparison.

You didn't have to be an expert to see the housing market was ******ed in 2007. Anyone with a few minutes of thought could work that out. Exactly what was behind it ? How the banks and politicians were involved ? Of course - that would take far more delving to worj out.. However simply knowing something was very wrong ? Nah - anyone could see it if they put a bit of effort in.

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And if everyone doubled in intelligence, half of them would still be dimmer... (was it Reagan or Bush who was supposedly appalled to hear that half of all Americans were below average intelligence?).

To put it another way, if more intelligent people had acted more responsibly, the bankers would just have moved further down to food-chain to find the greater fool... and if any of us had been really smart, we'd have piled into BTL in 2000 and sold up late 2006, thus exacerbating the problem...

I freely admitted to being part of the flock in a previous post. A bit of me wishes that somebody somewhere would make my negative equity go away with a click of their fingers. And yes, I helped inflate the bubble.

The difference is that I accept that I was responsible, and I will pay down my debt. Too many others don't accept their role, and are impoverishing their children so that reality can be denied for another year or 2.

Our economy has become a cargo cult. If we maintain the facade of normality, "prosperity" will return.....

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The vast majority were trying to do the 'normal' thing, buy a house to settle down and raise a family. It's only in the world of finance that every transaction anyone ever makes is automatically treated as a chance to profit.

I wanted to do this too. Prices were going up at a rate which concerned me.

Now we've got your victims who just wanted this that and t'other, whatever the price. Shared ownership first start at £200,000 on the ladder, and wave goodbye to the dumb renters wasting their money.

If prices had fallen I would have been able to pay the mortgage long term. In fact, with overpayments, would probably have paid it off by now. They didn't fall due to your victims willing to pay higher prices to full-fill their simple needs over the needs of others.

Due to them being willing, and yes, able, to borrow to pay more than others, they've directly caused a negative impact on others who were rightly more concerned about sustainable debt levels and paying a mortgage off over 20 years. Any time I hear of a house repossessed I think of the renters the buyer denied that property to at a cheaper price years back.

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I thought I'd stick in a word of support for the 'sheeple'

(...)

IMO the main institutional failure (on the democratic side of this bubble) was the BBC. They failed to inform the sheeple (sorry) people about the credit bubble. Yes it would be unpopular, party poppers etc., but it was their duty, particularly their economic editors, such as Stephanie Flanders, Evan Davies, etc.

Technical publications like the FT and The Economist gave many warnings, but the BBC did not transmit / translate this warnings to the general population. Quite the opposite actually, with loads of property shows. Heck they still can't see the bubble, still have these property shows, and they still don't warn the population about prices being too high, and about the problems this causes (see my sig.)

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I don't agree with this position in respect of the banks or many other situations. I have to admit to being on that side in the past but have altered my conclusions in subsequent years.

I feel the banks have a duty of care towards their customers. Customers are not there to be confused, hoodwinked and missold. I don't agree that all is fair in love and war and 'buyer beware' because the information and power on the two sides is completely asymmetric.

I have come to the conclusion that there should be much more regulation not less...even down to how interest is calculated, what products may be sold and offered and for what benefits to the target consumers. That profit margins are strictly regulated (such as the exhorbitant levels on PPI).

What we should see is far fewer products sold and strict guidelines as to how they are priced. For instance, how many electricity products do we really need and why? How have we managed to introduce the equivalent of the past issues problem on savings into all utility contracts now?

No - more regulation, far fewer and closely regulated products allowed. No more rip off promotional type offers that simply subsidise the canny versus the unabe/uninterested/uneducated. The weak need protection.

I actually think the people working at the companies themselves would also like to go down this route, because without it, the competitive imperative becomes too powerful in pushing behaviour the wrong way.

Effin hell HPC swot starts getting it :o

Ditto the reason for keeping NHS going (without the elites getting their stooge 'underminers' (the management layers they inserted 10 yrs back) with all the ******** promises that that would sort all the problems)

Ditto why we have a welfare system cos the poor are abused first by companies ie they are more likely to be in insecure, seasonal/part time jobs and are first to be laid off by the million in a recession!

Just like the banks pay a fixed amount of interest on the (mortgage) money they have borrowed to lend for the term

A mortgage should be fixed for the 20-25yr term as they do in France and many other countries.

It stops the banks taking the piss with extra £1000 fees everytime overborrowed desperados try to get a better interest rate.

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Worse - they dropped reporting the monthly trade figures as a prime news item as though it were no longer important.

I've often wondered when exactly that happened and why.

Months ago Stephanie Flanders gave an interview saying she and Evan Davies gave loads of warning about the bubble. I don't remember any. I even started a thread about it, and IIRC, nobody could remember any either.

I'll Google it.

Here: http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=159864&view=findpost&p=2901782

"In bed" with Balls... (yack! :ph34r: sorry :( )

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If you are going to have currency and credit issued by a specially licensed select few whos one single purpose for having the advantage of license is the efficient allocation of Capital, it is simply not the borrowers fault, it is the allocator of Capitals fault, its the only thing they are being paid for. People tend to be a bit crap at finance (blame schooling for that) unless they are sad enough to have a genuine interest in it. Yes they have to live with the decision but its not really their fault, they dont whine any more than the savers on here who in reality were equally stupid to give the banks their money to lend (not that the systems gives much choice)

House prices are especially emotive because you cant be excluded from them, with the rent laws in the UK people were unsuprisingly rash driven by fear as much as greed, and do some research? 90% of the research from academia in the highest quarters and 100% from TV was telling people to pile in.

In reality Bankers and politicians should be doing porridge, instead the popn were prepared to bail out one lot and reelect half the other lot, thats what they deserve blame for

+1

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Months ago Stephanie Flanders gave an interview saying she and Evan Davies gave loads of warning about the bubble. I don't remember any. I even started a thread about it, and IIRC, nobody could remember any either.

I'll Google it.

Here: http://www.housepric...dpost&p=2901782

"In bed" with Balls... (yack! :ph34r: sorry :( )

Flanders - cloth of Gold etc wos where the Templars flogged all their sheep 'fleeces' ;)

The EC carry out their 'common purpose' fleecing today from Brussels (Saxe-Coberg-Gotha > Windsor) territory

Edited by erranta
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...the problem is the lack of personal responsibility and the need to blame someone else the victim...characteristics of today.... :rolleyes:

How does that platitude go again!?

By your own logic, the savers must also be held to account, given that they were the ones handing over the bullets.

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How does that platitude go again!?

By your own logic, the savers must also be held to account, given that they were the ones handing over the bullets.

I wouldn't describe banks as being constrained by reserves, this last decade. Would you?

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