Big Corporation Offers Support To Those Who Hate Big Corporations

Obviously, has to be Ben&Jerry’s (via death+taxes)

We, the Ben & Jerry’s Board of Directors, compelled by our personal convictions and our Company’s mission and values, wish to express our deepest admiration to all of you who have initiated the non-violent Occupy Wall Street Movement and to those around the country who have joined in solidarity.

The issues raised are of fundamental importance to all of us.

These include:
-The inequity that exists between classes in our country is simply immoral. –
We are in an unemployment crisis. Almost 14 million people are unemployed. Nearly 20% of African American men are unemployed. Over 25% of our nation’s youth are unemployed.
-Many workers who have jobs have to work 2 or 3 of them just to scrape by.
-Higher education is almost impossible to obtain without going deeply in debt.
-Corporations are permitted to spend unlimited resources to influence elections while stockpiling a trillion dollars rather than hiring people.

We know the media will either ignore you or frame the issue as to who may be getting pepper sprayed rather than addressing the despair and hardships borne by so many, or accurately conveying what this movement is about. All this goes on while corporate profits continue to soar and millionaires whine about paying a bit more in taxes. And we have not even mentioned the environment.

Of course, Ben & Jerry’s is one of those evil corporations which *GULP* lobbies, but, they lobby for gooooood things, like the nebulous “climate justice” and “caring dairy”. I’m sure all the board members of B&J’s will rush out and give tons of their money up to the IRS, right? And increase their minimum pay scale to $20 an hour, as the #OWS folks want, right? Pay for their employees to go to college? Stop lobbying? Oh, wait, I forgot, they’re not an evil corporation.

Except, the average hourly wage for someone at a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream store/customer service is $10 and under.

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20 Responses to “Big Corporation Offers Support To Those Who Hate Big Corporations”

  1. Word says:

    The first TARP passed by Bush was horrendously unpopular……

    So:

    In a decisive and hard-fought victory for President-elect Barack Obama, the Senate cleared the way today for Obama’s incoming administration to spend the second $350 billion of the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

    A measure to block the funds was voted down 42 to 52 after an intense lobbying campaign by the Obama economic team and by Obama himself.

    Just hours before the vote, Obama economic adviser Larry Summers wrote a letter promising the Senate that the Obama administration would take specific steps to ensure the money is spent more responsibly and with more transparency than the Bush Administration spent the first $350 billion in TARP cash.

    And so it was…before Obama even took office he was already pissing off part of his base who are now on Wall Street angry over bank bailouts as if it was the Republicans who bailed them out.

    Original TARP vote……….

    House

    246 democrats……YES
    10 Republicans…..YES

    Senate.

    40 Democrats….YES
    33 Republican…YES.

    However those who now occupy Wall Street are mad at the GOP for passing TARP and bailing out banks…….

    Yet it was Obama and the Democrats who did this…..Not Republicans.

    The tea party I guess is deranged because they do not want Obama’s tax on millionaires to take effect which everyone knows will affect Samll businesses.

    Small Businesses are the direct counter to Corporations.

    The OWS crowd hates corporations yet they want us to TAX the very entities that are the counter to corporations.

    There is nothing sane in their movement however the issues are so conflated and the American public is so ill informed that the Democrats just might get away with blaming Wall Street on Republicans when its ON RECORD that it was Democrats who voted to bail them out………..

    NOT REPUBLICANS.

  2. captainfish says:

    But, our repubes didn’t help matters by voting YES either. Damn RINOS.

    I hope we kick them all out and start fresh in 2012. Damn RINOS make me sad. They have no guts to stand for anything. Can’t even stand for their country.

    And, then they remain silent when being nailed for something they weren’t responsible for. UGH!! Despicable Spineless Wimps.

  3. gitarcarver says:

    And what was the alternative, Cap’n?

    Let the banks fail? Let a run on the money and currency happen? Let the Federal government be on the hook in the way of taxpayer dollars for the money in accounts?

    Like it or not, TARP for the banks worked. Unlike the housing and auto bailouts, the bailout of the banks was a good investment,and because the banks were loaned the money, the TARP program for them has actually made the country money.

  4. captainfish says:

    Ummm, I’m sorry, but I can’t agree on that. I have not seen anything that points to TARP helping out the normal banks, home lenders, and thus homeowners. Perhaps you can show us where TARP has made us money?

    How can giving money to the LARGEST banks and INVESTMENT FIRMS do anything for the country and its people? I’m sorry. If they made bad investments, let them fail.

    I may be wrong, but I don’t recall that TARP was even used to bail out Fannie and Freddie. Wasn’t that a separate bill? Thus, if true, TARP was solely a bailout for big bank investments. And … the government is never on the hook for bad investments.

    The government is on the hook for savings and checking accounts in a bank that fails. Let the bank fail and cover the expenses. We had to do that anyway. Much of the stimulus was used to cover FDIC expenditures.

    If you are in favor of bailing out investment firms and Wall Street, then you have to also be in favor of bailing out any other business, ala Chevrolet and Dodge.

    How about bailing out homeowners directly, or student loan holders, or small businesses? WHy stop with just the largest investment bankers? Cronyism possibly? U betcha!

  5. Perhaps you can show us where TARP has made us money?

    Although many of the largest financial firms have repaid the Treasury for their TARP assistance, they continue to implicitly benefit from the TARP funds that bolstered their balance sheets during a period of great economic upheaval,” the administration states. A fee of an unspecified amount “will be restricted to financial firms with assets over $50 billion and will be imposed until all TARP costs have been recouped.”

    Last month, the Treasury Department raised the government’s estimate of taxpayer losses due to the auto bailout by more than $400 million to $14.33 billion.

    Overall, the Treasury Department hiked its estimates that it will lose $36.7 billion on the TARP program, including the value of some AIG shares. That’s up from an earlier estimate of $29.6 billion. The administration’s long-term forecast is a loss of $48 billion from the program.

    About $126 billion of the $470 billion used in the Troubled Asset Relief Program is outstanding. The losses include $46 billion used by Treasury for housing programs.

    What you seem to forget is that many people’s retirement funds and investments were tied into the investment banks. Allowing them to fail would have ruined this county and its people. As it is, much of the TARP fund went out and the responsible companies have gotten back on their feet and paid it back. Others aren’t even trying and they should be held accountable for that. (Companies like GM and Chrysler.)

    Generally speaking I am not for bailing out firms, but when the firms are put in the position of losing money due to regulations and laws, I don’t have a problem helping them back on their feet anymore than I have a problem helping someone who had their neck stepped on regain their breath.

    In some cases, the consequences of not helping the firms is so great that to help them is the better course of action.

  6. captainfish says:

    Ok. First thing I noticed was that the quotes confirmed that TARP was not paid back, and that it sparked a memory – and confirmed above – that Obama had to threaten a tax on the companies for not paying back the “loans”.

    “Generally speaking I am not for bailing out firms, but when the firms are put in the position of losing money due to regulations and laws, I don’t have a problem helping them back on their feet “

    And for me, I would get rid of the regulation first and foremost that causes businesses to lose money. But, the gov’t should not be in the position of forcing companies to pay out so much as they are forced to close, and then come in and bail them out.

    You know what they call that… a forced takeover. You put so onerous of regulations upon businesses that they are forced to leave the free market. You then come in on your white horse and save the day by using tax payer dollars to bail them out and take ownership of a private company.

    Is that really how we want America to operate?

    The emotion of having people’s investments tied in to the losing and failing investment banks is illogical. Investments are born to grow or die. There is risk in that game. There is risk in investing in companies as well. Losing companies need to fail. Or let free market principles take over and let other better positioned companies come in and rescue or buy them out.

  7. gitarcarver says:

    I should not have expected you to read beyond the quotes. That is my fault.

    Here is another quote from the article which proves my point.

    The government is expected to make an overall profit on its bailout of most financial institutions — but that will be offset by losses in autos and the housing program.

    As I said, the government will be making a profit on the financial institutions, but losing money on the housing and car automotive bailouts.

    that Obama had to threaten a tax on the companies for not paying back the “loans”.

    False memory. I would support a fee on the companies that had not paid back the TARP funds. That is not what Obama has proposed. He has proposed a fee on only the largest financial companies, regardless of whether they even participated in the bailout or not. Any financial firm with assets of over $50 billion are subject to the fees. The housing institutions (such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) as well as GM and Chrysler are NOT paying the fees under the Obama plan.

    And for me, I would get rid of the regulation first and foremost that causes businesses to lose money.

    It does not have to be one or the other. You are making a false choice.

    The emotion of having people’s investments tied in to the losing and failing investment banks is illogical.

    Only when you fail to understand what happened. Yes, people did invest. Other retirement funds were bundled into investments that were little or no risk until the government demanded more regulations and bad loans.

    That is what was so horrible about the failure. The vast majority of people weren’t sitting there trying to pick winning investments. Their retirement funds as run by the financial institutions were tied into investments mandated and forced by the government.

  8. captainfish says:

    I should not have expected you to read beyond the quotes. That is my fault.

    Sigh…..

    Ok. I will recognize that the banks have paid back their TARP funds, but you also stated that others have not paid back what they received. So, can you really say the gov’t made a profit when it either came out even or less than what it gave out – due to the failure to pay by the other sectors?

    And, because investments were bundled upon bundle upon bundle wrapped within a home mortgage investment business…. and then overseen by Freddie, Fannie, BOA, Wells Fargo, IAG, etc… and when those investments fail.??? still is no reason for the gov’t to bail anyone out. No one. The gov’t should not be in the business of propping up one business over another? Whether through subsidies, tax breaks, tax debts, or bailouts.

    Just my humble opinion stated without malice.

    And now, the gov’t has run up tons of debt and may fail.. should we continue to bail out the gov’t or should we insist and force it to live within its means and fail where it needs to fail?

  9. Word says:

    I was opposed to the TARP and yet I knew it had to be done. For a myraid of reasons sometimes you have to take the liver oil. Sometimes you have to take the chemo therapy. Sometimes you just have to take the knife when nothing else works and in this case nothing else was going to work.

    It was bad. So bad that Bush was pale and scared when he announced it. America was on the verge of being the SOVIET UNION…during his watch.

    As for the TARP…..

    From CNN MONEY:

    After receiving $7.4 billion in TARP repayments Wednesday, the Treasury has now received $251 billion from banks participating in various bailout programs, which is good for a $6 billion profit from the $245 billion originally handed out to banks.

  10. captainfish says:

    That doesn’t make a lick of sense. You knew it had to be done, yet are in opposition to the encroaching Socialism. For what good was it done? For the precedent? That bailouts are the quick and easy fix for things that should be let go? That the gov’t can make a quick buck off of the failures of others? Failures caused BY the gov’t!!

    I already agreed, Word, that the banks paid back their “loans” with interest…. but the other sectors caused TARP repayment to be in the red.

    Can’t believe this is coming from WORD….

    You either believe in free-market principles and let bad companies die, allow other companies to absorb, buy out, or the lessons learned from, the failed company… or you keep the recession going.

    Think about this for a moment.. the banks have repaid their “loans” with interest. Where did that interest come from?!?!??!!??! Banks can’t print their own money. They got that money from someone.

    Encroaching socialism is still socialism and must be fought against at all times.

    For example, continue to pay out unemployment benefits sure sounds good. Makes people feel good. Helps people out during hard times. But, that is an outlay from the gov’t that is already in debt. If you want your gov’t to be fiscally sound, then you must put your foot down on all over-extended outlays. If it is not paid for, it should not be funded.

  11. gitarcarver says:

    So, can you really say the gov’t made a profit when it either came out even or less than what it gave out – due to the failure to pay by the other sectors?

    No Cap’n, I am saying that the loans to the financial institutions worked. They have, for the most part, paid back the loans with interest. The country was able to stabilize what would have been epic failure of the entire economy. The “investments” you so blithely dismiss were people’s life savings. They were their retirements – their futures.

    Is your solution really to have let the financial institutions fail and then have grandma and grandpa on the government dole the rest of their lives? That is your solution? What do you think will cost more money, Cap’n – having the financial institutions stable, having paid back the government (with interest) or the government cutting checks for every person who retires for the next 50 years?

    See, you are making the mistake that all of the financial companies that took TARP funds were “bad companies.” Some actually were forced to take the money by government regulators. This was not a case of the companies not being able to compete in the “free market.” The market wasn’t free because of the regulations placed upon the financial institutions.

    It is similar to you building a house and a contractor coming to do some work on the house and he burns it to the ground. In your world, you should just say “oh well….. I should have hired a contractor that doesn’t burn things down.” The free market says “the contractor caused it and he is responsible for it.”

    Think about this for a moment.. the banks have repaid their “loans” with interest. Where did that interest come from?!?!??!!??! Banks can’t print their own money. They got that money from someone.

    Because the financial institutions were able to get their assets in order. That is what the bailouts did. And yes, they paid a price for the time the government loaned them the money. That would also be a part of the free enterprise system. When someone loans you money, you pay them back with interest.

    Encroaching socialism is still socialism and must be fought against at all times.

    But you aren’t talking about the real socialism here. You are railing against the banks. The real socialism is at the auto industry and the home lenders. Unlike the banks, they have been taken over by the government.

  12. Word says:

    Sometimes your choices are always/or.

    But you are not going to be persuaded that this crisis had to be solved.

    In the 1980’s the Savings and loans all were in danger of going belly up. Reagan and the government stepped in and saved them.

    Should we have let them all go bankrupt too? Sure why not….fuk the people who put all their money in a savings and loan that was then screwed by deregulations under the Carter era.

    So extrapolating….if all these banks had been allowed to go belly up the FDIC would have been out 300 billion because we federally insure banks and savings accounts…..yet many, many thousands of businesses who have all their money in banks like these would be out a lot more then the 100k insured.

    They would have been out millions and they would have ceased operations over night. No money to meet payrolls…because Exxon does not put their money in mom and pops local bank of the amazon….they put it in Citi and Bank of America and Chase and Wells Fargo.

    We were in a either/or…….

    either you bail them out or you spend 300 billion and watch business after business and corporation after corporation cease meeting payrolls.

    Sure we could have done that….

    I just happen to believe that the consequences would have been so dire as to be unacceptable.

  13. captainfish says:

    What do you think will cost more money, Cap’n – having the financial institutions stable, having paid back the government (with interest) or the government cutting checks for every person who retires for the next 50 years?

    I say neither choice. I say let those organizations that made bad investments either fail, or seek funding, buy-outs from other places. It is not the govt’s place to prop up private businesses. If it is bad for the car industry it is bad for the banking one too. And, no, I am not anti-bank. I am anti-Socialism. Whether it is bailing out the banks, the car industry, or alternative energy industry.

    Did our country die and wilt away during the last few Great Depressions when gma and gpa weren’t doled out by big government? No, during the times we had smart control, the government lowered taxes and the economy turned around, business that were doing well were able to expand their markets due to being able to buy in to new markets because of the failing companies or to buy out those companies at a lower cost.

    Just because a company, or bank in this case, is failing, does not mean everything associated with it will go POOF!! The free-market says that something else will take its place due to market pressures and exposure. An institution that is failing will have a much reduced buy point. This will allow them to be more easily purchased, taken over, or sold, thus… as you point out… save gma and gpa’s investments.

    But, like I have said, investments are and never were meant to be guaranteed by the government. Doing so, that is far from where our founding fathers meant us to be and closer to where Marx wanted the world to be.

    It is similar to you building a house and a contractor coming to do some work on the house and he burns it to the ground. In your world, you should just say “oh well….. I should have hired a contractor that doesn’t burn things down.” The free market says “the contractor caused it and he is responsible for it.”

    Actually, if you use a contractor who does not have insurance (or a bank that is not sound and spread out your investments – hello Enron?), then yes, “OH WELL” when your house burns down. You screwed yourself for not protecting your investment. And it is not the free market that makes the contractor responsible, it is law. Free-market principles are that another contractor who does have insurance would be MORE suitable for your needs. Free market principles suggest that another contractor who has insurance AND can do the work cheaper is more suitable. Free market principles gives people choices, options, and makes THE PEOPLE responsible for their choices.

    That is what the bailouts did. And yes, they paid a price for the time the government loaned them the money. That would also be a part of the free enterprise system. When someone loans you money, you pay them back with interest.

    Again, you are missing my point. Sure, the banks became solvent again. But 1) the onerous and corrupt regulations are still there, and 2) the money they got to repay the loans and WITH INTEREST came from those same people who’s investments you so cherish. The gains the people would have normally gotten in their investments went to the government. Had the institutions been allowed to fail, and more than likely bought out by other more sound banks, the tax payers would not be more in debt, the investors would be happy as they would be covered. If not, they should then get out of that bank or out of that market, or out of the game altogether.

    But you aren’t talking about the real socialism here. You are railing against the banks. The real socialism is at the auto industry and the home lenders.

    How is the auto industry and home lenders examples of Socialism? Those are prime examples of Free Market at work. Someone needs a product and someone else has a product or service to sell.

    The Socialism, again, is the government encroaching upon free market workings and forcing itself on to and into private industry. Socialism is telling the car industry WHAT they must sell and where. Socialism is bailing out certain auto companies with restrictions allowing the gov’t and unions to own the business. Socialism tells the people that they can’t make it in this bad evil unkind world without the govt’s financial help.

    The banks have been taken over. Look at the massive over-regulation that is imposed upon them. Look at how much control Freddie and Fannie and their children have in our economy. Over half of all home mortgages are controlled by the gov’t.

    And WORD, the FDIC did pay out that money, in fact, it was nearly a Trillion dollars. THAT IS the preferred method as the FDIC is meant to protect consumers.. not the banks. It is the consumer’s insurance.

    Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair said Friday her agency may tap its $500 billion credit line with the U.S. Treasury to replenish its deposit insurance fund,”

    As FDIC’s Funds Dwindle, Regulator May Need To Ask For More Money

    Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd is moving to allow the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to temporarily borrow as much as $500 billion from the Treasury Department.

    It won’t take many more failures before the FDIC itself runs out of money. The agency had $45.2 billion in its coffers as of June 30, far short of the $200 billion Whalen says it will need to pay claims by the end of next year.

  14. gitarcarver says:

    I say neither choice.

    You don’t have an option. It has to be one or the other.

    Just because a company, or bank in this case, is failing, does not mean everything associated with it will go POOF!!

    Nice theory that is wrong in practice.

    And it is not the free market that makes the contractor responsible, it is law.

    Exactly. When the contractor is at fault, he has a responsibility to make it right. When regulations helped the banks fail, your response, (unlike the contractor) is “oh well. Too bad.”)

    You aren’t consistent.

    How is the auto industry and home lenders examples of Socialism?

    Does “Government Motors” ring a bell?

    Yes, there are banks that have been taken over by the government, but many (most) have not. They are still independent in their board of directors. Obama is wanting to curtail those boards and literally take over all of the financial business in this country, but the banks you seem to hate are fighting him.

  15. captainfish says:

    I guess I am not being clear. Again, I am not against the banks. I love banks. I hate the Socialistic Government. Because I want a bad failing bank to fail, does not mean I hate them.

    I the local Dairy Queen is losing money and is threatening to close, I say either sell the business, get another partner, or close down. That does not mean I hate DQ. It means I believe and follow free market open market principles.

    Ummm…. every day shows examples of how the free market works GC. Every day a business is bought out. Every day a business that is about to close its doors is bought by another company. Companies would rather buy a company at a lower price due to it being in a failed status, than spending more to buy it during its hey day.

    How many restaurants have you seen with signs that say, open under new ownership!??!! Free market works and it works every day!

    How is the auto industry and home lenders examples of Socialism?
    Does “Government Motors” ring a bell?

    Only because the government itself took it over. The industry itself is not Socialistic. Besides, only two of the various auto makers accepted to be taken over.

    Again, my whole take is against the encroachment of socialism in the practice and motives of our gov’t, not for any business industry.

  16. gitarcarver says:

    It means I believe and follow free market open market principles.

    Do you honestly believe the “free market” is one where the government can tell a business what it has to do?

    In one sentence you seem to be against it and then in the next sentence you seem to be saying “if the result of the government orders is the business fails, that is too bad. It is on the business that it failed.”

    There is a lack of consistency in your thought process here, Cap’n.

    Only because the government itself took it over.

    Which is socialism.

    Thanks for playing.

  17. captainfish says:

    GC, you and I have had our discussions before and you have helped me flesh out my thoughts and have helped me see certain things. However, this time it is still you that is not seeing what I am still saying.

    I am in no way in favor of the government bossing, bullying, supporting, killing, or taking over private businesses.

    The only role the gov’t has it to assure that businesses play fair, follow laws, and protect its citizens from harm.

    Nothing I have said, is counter to these statements or can be misconstrued such that I am a proponent of the gov’t forcing the closing of businesses. Or even forcing them to stay open.

    you stated above:
    The real socialism is at the auto industry and the home lenders.

    I countered that those industries are not socialistic. I then point out that a couple of auto makers have been taken over and you make a snide remark “thanks for playing”. GC. Come on.

    Even still, if a business has been taken over by the gov’t and told how to operate and what to make, that does not mean the BUSINESS is Socialistic. It is the gov’t that is Socialistic because of what it is doing to the business. And again, that is what I am arguing against – gov’t control.

  18. gitarcarver says:

    I am in no way in favor of the government bossing, bullying, supporting, killing, or taking over private businesses.

    The problem is that you fail to see that not only has is happened, but that you are unwilling and unprepared to addressing the results of those actions.

    You seem to think that these actions happen in an vacuum. You think that when a bank fails it is the same thing in scope as a drive through ice cream joint failing.

    Your attitude has been “the banks made bad investments…. oh well. That is on them.” But you never address that it isn’t “on them” when they are forced to make those investments. You seem to think that an ice cream store playing with their money is the same thing as a bank playing with the money of others.

    It is appalling to think that you would have been happy to see the life savings of people – savings over which they had little control – be lost because of the government. It is a shame that you cannot understand that the loans made to the banks prevented the country from collapsing.

    I countered that those industries are not socialistic.

    Which is a false argument. No one said the industries are socialistic. What was said was that you can find socialism in those industries in that companies like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, GM and Chrysler are run by the government and given preferences within the marketplace.

    Even still, if a business has been taken over by the gov’t and told how to operate and what to make, that does not mean the BUSINESS is Socialistic. It is the gov’t that is Socialistic because of what it is doing to the business.

    That may be the single strangest thing I have ever read. You really believe that a company that is taken over by the government is separate from that government?

    I am sorry Cap’n, you can say that you are against socialism and government takeovers all you want, but the fact of the matter is that while you may stand up and say “that is wrong,” you aren’t willing to say “the effects are wrong.”

    It is akin to saying “theft is wrong but thieves are simply misguided. And those things they steal? Well, that is okay as well.”

  19. captainfish says:

    I’ve been civil. I’ve answered your questions and countered your accusations.

    But, again, you mischaracterize and you impugn.

    How do you know what I fail to see when I am only arguing over actions. Repercussions can be debated if necessary. However, emotions of outcomes and actions play little part in how the market works. Or how our country was created and its purpose.

    You may believe what you want. You can even believe others are more ignorant than you. However, your statements here show a dangerous level of a despicable bias and intolerance. Your statements here show you refuse to listen to counter arguments and are incapable of redirecting your preconceived biases.

    I used to count you as one whom I have had similar beliefs. However, it is patently obvious you are nothing more than a mean-spirited blatherer.

  20. gitarcarver says:

    How do you know what I fail to see when I am only arguing over actions.

    The problem is that you don’t see the actions, Cap’n. You have said the banks made bad investments and that is their problem. You don’t seem to take into account the actions of the government on those investments.

    I almost get the impression you think that the loans the banks were forced to make are the same as the decisions made by the executives at Solyandra. They are not even close.

    However, emotions of outcomes and actions play little part in how the market works.

    And once again, the market isn’t free when the government is telling companies what to do. There is disconnect that I can’t seem to either get you to address or even see.

    You are against governments in the market, and I agree with that. Where we disagree is when the government causes such a massive failure of an entire industry, you think the government has no responsibility to help that industry recover from the failure the government caused.

    Your repeated response has been “that is not the way the free market works” but you don’t address the fact that the market is not free with government forcing companies to make bad investments. At that point the market is no longer free yet you seem to keep blaming the company for the government having a gun at the company’s head.

    Your statements here show you refuse to listen to counter arguments and are incapable of redirecting your preconceived biases.

    Please point out a bias, Cap’n.

    I have said and maintain your position is inconsistent in that you bounce back and forth between wanting a free market but holding industries accountable when that market is not free.

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