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It explains the history of credit default swaps and how they blew up. Please note that political arguments are discouraged in this forum and any bickering will get the thread locked down.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodity_Futures_Modernization_Act_of_2000

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/10/26/60minutes/main4546199.shtml

http://www.cjr.org/the_audit/post_140.php?page=all

Basically, a law passed right before Congress went on vacation preempted any state oversight over "bucket shops", which led to credit default swaps. This was a contributor to the collapse of Enron and the current crisis. The underlying cause is bad mortages though.
 

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I'm sure there was some legal distinction between bucket shops and credit default swaps. In any case, right now is a good time to buy. Although the market might be flat for a year or two, your time horizon should still stay at 10-15 years. When the market takes a nose dive, people suddenly only think in 10-15 days.
 

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My 401k has really taken a beating but you can't bail. At least Bush didn't put social security into the market, wow..
 

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WTH? The government is giving Citigroup $20 billion and a guarantee against $200 billion and the Big 3 can't even get $25.
 
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