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View Diary: Bill Halter comes out swinging - SLAMS (!!) Lincoln for bailout vote (193 comments)

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  •  Really, nothing disappears (0+ / 0-)

    It's out there somewhere.

    You honestly believe that it magically went poof?

    •  Only insofar as that money (0+ / 0-)

      "magically" appeared in your stock portfolio without you having to put any extra money in while the market was expanding, or insofar as the value of your house "magically" grew during the housing boom without you having to do anything to it, sure.

      •  Unrealized gain is unrealized (0+ / 0-)

        The change in the appraised value of my house truly was an illusion. On the other hand, the missing money is somewhere because it actually existed. We know it was real because TARP was necessary to refill the till.

        •  Oh you bet your house value existed (1+ / 0-)
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          Your house value did exist, believe it or not.  If you sold it then, you would have gotten that much for it.  So it was no illusion.  So yeah, it existed.  Just like you lost your house value in the bust, banks lost the values of their investments.  You could sell your house after the bust, but you'd be upside down and you'd have to make up the rest of the money somewhere.  Same way with banks, they could sell their bad investments, but they'd be upside down and must make up the money elsewhere.  Ergo, TARP, until the values come back up.

          Money is not actually a physical thing.  Its only 'value' is as a means for exchange.  The value of the dollar itself fluctuates for that reason.  We decide "wealth" by collectively deciding the value of things you own.  The monetary value.  That monetary value fluctuates, like it or not.  It doesn't mean you own any less of a... thing... I suppose.  You still own your house.  You still own your stock portfolio.  It's just that they are worth half what they were a couple of years ago.  Hence, you lost wealth, and the wealth did go, in your terms, "poof."

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