Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 24, 2008

Financial Crisis: Again on the Border of a Meltdown?

Four days ago we mentioned the possibility of a U.S. default. Via naked capitalism we now learn that some folks in Taiwan take such talk seriously:

Regulators in Taiwan ordered insurers to limit their holdings of Freddie, Fannie, and Ginnie Mae paper. The stated reason was that they could not assess the credit risk and could not rely on published ratings. The explicit repudiation of rating agency ratings seems to be the first move of this type. and may be the beginning of a trend.

This statement either shows considerable ignorance or is an early warning of worries about the creditworthiness of the US government.
...
What calls this action into question, however, is that inclusion of Ginnie Mae on the list. Ginnies are full faith and credit obligations of the US government. If you are worried about the payment risk on Ginnies, then you are worried about the creditworthiness of the US government, period.

On Wednesday Roubini gave a talk at a London hedge fund show (video 45 min, report.) He is getting gloomier again. The major points:

  • the worst is still ahead of us
  • we are again on the border of a systemic financial meltdown
  • 2/3 of global GDP (countries) is in recession
  • IMF may soon be out of money (see remark below)
  • a panic is the stock market is possible
  • expect stock market closures for several days
  • politicians are out of possible policy responses
  • we will have 2 years of recession
  • followed by Japan like stagnation
  • the crisis has geopolitical and social-political consequences (Roubini explicitly mentions China's possible demand of Taiwan)

The IMF has $100 to $250 billion it can lend to countries in need. This is now too little. As the NYT reports today, there are talks of 'western officials' to somehow enable the IMF to lend up to $1 trillion to emerging market countries (Brazil, South Africa, Turkey.) The piece does not say where that money would come from.

The Fed has now acknowledge a loss of $2.6 billion on the $29 billion of loans it took over in the Bear Stearns bailout. Those losses will grow. AIG got a $123 billion loan line from the Fed in its bailout. $90.3 billion of these have now been used by AIG to pay off bad bets on Credit Default Swaps. AIG will need more money.

As Roubini says politicians are running out of policy options. The only policy response that I can think of would make a real difference is to declare all credit default swaps null and void.

A finance professional from Shanghai was on Bloomberg TV yesterday and came close to that: Chua Says New Credit-Default Swaps Should Be Banned. He believes that CDS are now used to manipulate (short) some currencies and stock markets and threaten to bankrupt whole countries making the situation even worse than it already is. He may well be right.

With concern of U.S. solvency now being official, some CDS issuers and speculators may think about this and try a trick or two against the U.S.  If Soros could break the Bank of England, could some savvy rich folks from Asia or the Gulf try a similar trick on a different country?

The Taiwanese regulators seem to think so.

Posted by b on October 24, 2008 at 06:22 AM | Permalink

Comments

The wonders of Swaps: From the FT (behind free subscription firewall)Swap spreads turn negative

The turmoil in the financial markets has taken hold of the strategically important trade in long-term interest rate derivatives, pushing rates to levels once thought to be a “mathematical impossibility”.

Such interest rate swaps are the most widely traded over-the-counter derivative and are crucially important for insurers, pension funds and other companies that need to fund liabilities decades into the future.

Investors use swaps to lock in interest rates for 30 years or more, trading a floating rate, based on the London interbank offered rate, for a fixed rate, typically based on US Treasury yields, plus a premium, called the swap spread, which reflects the risk of trading with a private counterparty as opposed to the government.

On Thursday, the 30-year swap spread turned negative after briefly flirting with such levels earlier this month. This implies investors are somehow reckoning that they are more likely to be paid back by a private counterparty than by the government.

“Negative swap spreads have been considered by many to be a mathematical impossibility, just like negative probabilities or negative interest rates,” said Fidelio Tata, head of interest rate derivatives strategy at RBS Greenwich Capital Markets.

Traders and analysts believe this reflects aftershocks from the demise of Lehman Brothers and capital constraints at surviving banks rather than a loss of confidence in the US government.

Traders and analysts also once believed that it was "mathematical impossible" that interest swap rates would turn negative.

Posted by: b | Oct 24, 2008 6:34:10 AM | 1

@b - new post : http://market-ticker.denninger.net/

Posted by: DM | Oct 24, 2008 7:01:18 AM | 2

http://itulip.com/forums/showthread.php?p=54679#post54679

Posted by: DM | Oct 24, 2008 7:06:45 AM | 3

Thanks to DM and b.
A quote from a link within DM's first link


"Freddie Mac, the mortgage lender that was seized by federal regulators, has asked a bankruptcy judge to investigate the whereabouts of $1.2 billion that Lehman Brothers borrowed."
... Freddie Mac loaned the money in two chunks -- first $450 million then $750 million -- in mid-August.

Huh? Since when was Freddie Mac a bank or other firm that had free rein to loan money out to various entities? Why would Freddie Mac loan Lehman money? Where was this disclosed in Freddie's corporate filings? In its quarterly reports? How many more loans have been made, to whom, and why? And why aren't the executives of Freddie in the dock on this - right now?

Were these allegations to be further substantiated, one could only conclude that the larcenous shenanigans going on in the financial fortresses of "market capitalism" are exactly what its worst enemies have always claimed. Substantiation will arrive as either indictments for malfeasance or, more likely, a further and deeper slide in U.S. equities markets.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Oct 24, 2008 7:33:09 AM | 4

This meltdown might not be far away. As in, happening right now.

A good roundup of whats happening today on DailyKos ends with a not so reassuring reassurance:

The New York Stock Exchange has just released a statement saying that the US markets will in fact open for trading today. Never a good sign when folks have to say these kinds of things.

Posted by: DharmaBum | Oct 24, 2008 7:35:28 AM | 5

re: Taiwan action, NC concludes your link with statement:

Despite the overwrought tone of the Barron's story, this development appears more damaging as a precedent than an actual move (but given the size of the Barron's readership here, do not discount the odds of a serious adverse reaction by US investors).

I've been watching very, very closely, & I think that's accurate. For me, greatest significance is continuity of the suicidal trends:

* This type of thing should hardly be unexpected. As you've trendlined here on MofA and any sane human being following most of the same sources you regularly cite, who could not have been expecting something like it since FEB '08 or so... only surprised it's taken this long. There's a number of other institutional foriegn managers who would be (are?) remiss in not taking similar action as Taiwan.

* we (eg: US populace, congress, WH, news in general)continue to watch all this unfold in the rear view mirror w/seemingly detached ho-hum ignorance. Everything that's driving this entire mess seems to be a big surprise to all the folks here who should'a could'a been anticipating it for at least 3 quarters. Or if they were actually doing their jobs, given Greenspan's statement yesterday of awareness what was coming in mid-'06, since then. For my $.02 (now +/- .016USD and dropping fast), the alarm was sounding in '98.

* And comment on above 2: the drip drip drip incremental seeping of news like this manifesting in incremental point-in-time actions by FED/TREASURY/(and now w/TARP) congress seems to leave all these folks acting like it's all ok now... just sit tight, plan investments for the long haul while markets "stabilize", etc etc. It's almost like there's a fire in the theatre, and all the patrons are ordering more popcorn.

Assuming Obama's elected, he's gon'a have some big buckets to lift. I keep saying it, but since I haven't heard anything yet, it's really time for him to start speaking directly and specifically to all this as his econ guys certainly are aware of all this. We just can't sit around 'till inauguration day.

There's gon'a be much gnashing of teeth...

Posted by: jdmckay | Oct 24, 2008 8:11:37 AM | 6

I have to wait up tonight (AUS) to watch this ...


Roubini
Early Friday Morning Update:
Yesterday Thursday I gave a speech in London (see video below) arguing that markets were in sheer panic and becoming literally dysfunctional and unhinged. I also made the point that policy makers may soon be forced to close financial markets as the panic selling accelerates.

Indeed, we have now reached a point where fundamentals and long term valuation considerations do not matter any more for financial markets. There is a free fall as most investors are rapidly deleveraging and we are on the verge of a a capitulation collapse. What matters now is only flows - rather than stocks and fundamentals - and flows are unidirectional as everyone is selling and no one is buying as trying to buy equities is like catching a falling knife. There are no buyers in these dysfunctional markets, only sellers and panic is the ugly state of this destabilizing game.

And while panic and destabilizing market dynamics is the driver of financial markets even economic fundamentals are awful as investors are finally realizing that a severe US and Eurozone and G7 and emerging markets and global recession is coming and will be deep and protracted. As I have argued for a while equity prices may have to fall another 30% based on fundamentals alone before they bottom out. Why so? In a severe two year US and global recession S&P 500 firms earnings per share (EPS) could realistically fall to $50 or $60. If P/E ratios fall to 12 this implies the S&P 500 index falling to a 600 to 720 range. If P/E ratios fall - as likely in a recession - to 10 then the S&P 500 index could fall as low as 500 to 600. So even based on fundamental factors alone there is another 30% or more downside risk to US equities; and now, on top of such fundamentals, thee is also an ugly and nasty panic-driven market dynamics at work.

Posted by: DM | Oct 24, 2008 8:22:22 AM | 7

In what way is a mathematical impossibility more impossible than "gay marriage". My point is that the whole logic of existence has been upended by the belief that laws are normative instead of Nature. Nothing will be fixed until an absolute upheaval of the order of things occurs, mind you I don't say is done, because reality does not follow our wishes reality is a being by itself and we are mere little cells in it.

Posted by: jlcg | Oct 24, 2008 9:18:46 AM | 8

man, i just cannot get enough of this stuff !!

being a cross between a Chaosist and a Maoist, i cannot wait for running gun battles in the streets to commence !!

Happy Days Are Almost Here Again !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: ClusterPhuck Nation | Oct 24, 2008 9:27:04 AM | 9

another thought - don't the Red Communist Chinese have quite a bit of loot ( like $ 2 - 3 TRILLION ) stashed away in the vaults as a result of taking over the globe's manufacturing base / jobs ??? maybe they could be 'encouraged' to share the wealth / help tide everyone over for a while.

Posted by: ClusterPhuck Nation | Oct 24, 2008 9:31:44 AM | 10

In his testimony before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Tuesday, Joe Stiglitz offered some very concrete and moderate suggestions for reform in regulation of financial markets and institutions. The link is
here .

Stiglitz's testimony is well worth reading in their (19 page) entirety (although there are a few minor typographical errors in the text). Here are a three excerpts:


Many, looking for simple and simplistic rules, hoped that capital adequacy requirements would be all that was required--a minimal intervention in the market by those believing in free markets
but recognizing that free banking has been a disaster everywhere that it has been tried.

and, music for b's "externality" ears,

I noted that there has to be an alignment of private rewards and social returns. Those who impose costs on others (externalities) must be forced to pay those costs. This is not just a matter of equity; it is a matter of economic efficiency. More generally, costs of the regulation and bailing out of financial systems are part of the costs of financial intermediation. There is a presumption that efficiency requires that these costs be borne within the sector. In environmental economics, there is a basic principle, called the polluter pays principle. Wall Street has polluted our economy with toxic mortgages. It should now pay for the cleanup.

and finally another bit of "new music"

many in the past--there has been excessive leverage. Tax laws encouraged leveraging. For this and other reasons we need to rethink the preferential treatment given to capital gains. So too,
new bankruptcy laws that made it more difficult for the poor to discharge their debts may have encouraged predatory lending practices. Reform in our bankruptcy law--including a new homeowners' chapter 11--would help us in dealing with the rash of foreclosures and provide incentives against bad lending in the future.

The testimony is well reasoned and moderate in tone and substance, but I suspect that even a president Obama seeking to don FDR's mantle of conservative reform will be unable, perhaps even unwilling, to reach the end of the path that Stiglitz so clearly indicates.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Oct 24, 2008 10:23:20 AM | 11

don't the Red Communist Chinese have quite a bit of loot ( like $ 2 - 3 TRILLION ) stashed away in the vaults as a result of taking over the globe's manufacturing base / jobs ???

sheesh... what a difference a few little words can make. "taking over the globe's manufacturing base/jobs???"... are you kidding me?

US packaged all our "manufacturing / jobs" up in crates and shipped it over there under the patriotic moliker of "free trade". Invoking all that along with other tasty little morsels of "incentive" ("creating wealth") as smokescreen, these industries took advantage of the "opportunity" to pocket increased "margins" (profits) between what over here would be considered "slave labor" and ensuing wages and "fair market value".

Going back +/- 10 yrs or so, for a still massively impoverished China this was a good deal. That China managed to save mammoth amounts from those meager earnings is, to me, remarkable. Especially so when one considers that in real currency, their huge purchase of US Bonds/treasuries has cost them money based on US largess.

What China has done has been by the rules our "free marketers" asked for, bought off Delay's congress for agreeable laws (eg: they paid for it fair and square), and fueled by Wall Street "marketing" which resold this as US "prosperity", "increased productivity", and all the other poop that came w/it.

I would remind, when trade liberalization (NAFTA/GAFT) were on the frontburner here a decade or so past, Clinton pushed for it. Ok fine... in concept AFAIC a good idea. What was stuffed down Bill's throat by repub congress, however, was the complete deregulation of everything: labor standards, environmental standards, and currently slapping the whole planet's monetary system, complete deregulation.

AFAIC, a very appropriate anology would be banks leaving the vaults open every night because... well, shucks, "free trade" & "building wealth" is the moral equivalent of Divine intervention so, thusly, only good can come of it.

It's easy to pluck the vault and hold up the contents proclaiming "wealth creation". It's a whole 'nuther thing to legitametly produce value in "stuff" which over time replenishes the vault... a whole 'nuther thing.

That we've gotten very good at "plucking vaults" further obscures the underlying dysfunction systematic in the malaise induced by all this smoke & mirrors economy... eg. the rigamortous is not going to be easily worked out: there's no pill for it, and listening to ITunes (ignoring it) won't make it better.

The utter lack of production of what's desperately wanted & needed... eg. identifying & solving the planet's real problems & challenges staring everyone in the face, but roundly ignored for a decade or more... we aren't even up to the starting line AFAIC.

Water comes directly to mind: in US alone, drought is on the brink in a # of regions across the country. I haven't heard a whimper about it politically, other than neocon wetdream to privatize it's managment. The US is not alone, BTW... Israel in terrible shape on this front. Same all over Africa, and a number of places in ME.

Anyway...

maybe they could be 'encouraged' to share the wealth / help tide everyone over for a while.

Going to be very interesting to see how that plays out. Somehow, seeing Condi Rice's recent globetrotting "think of all we've done for you" speeches & pleas to various nations to whom BUSHCO has been sticking the neocon thumb-in-the-eye for last 8 yrs... not so inspiring.

Posted by: jdmckay | Oct 24, 2008 11:31:55 AM | 12

The fact that China or any other nation has $2 or $3 trillion laying in its vault doesn't mean anything in the teeth of the current crisis. Economic whiz kids like Mike Whitney and Ellen Brown are writing about $55, $65 trillion worth of worthless derivatives. I have seen numbers as high as $400 or $500 trillion mentioned here and there.

The long and the short of it is that there isn't enough money in the world to buy anywhere near all the bad paper that's out there. The only sensible thing to do is shake all the banks down and find out who's holding what. Then go into those banks and snatch their derivative holdings, pile 'em up in the street, and burn the flippin' things.

If that's done, lenders can start lending again without fear that the borrower will shoot craps two hours from now when his derivative investments dematerialize/evaporate/incinerate/disappear. Nothing short of such a massive jubilee (extermination?) will save the current system. More money isn't what's needed. What governments lack is the guts to do what's necessary.

The deluge of bad news may in the long run prove to be good news. As the meltdown grows more and more catastrophic, as the consequences start to become apparent, governments globally may find the political will (guts) to do what needs to be done. A lot of banks WILL close; a lot of people WILL go to jail; a lot of wealth WILL evaporate before this is over. But if we the people refuse to sit quietly and be bound in some hideous NEW set of chains, we may yet realize a better world from the rubble of the old one.

Oh, Happy Day! Ummmm -- Uhhhh -- Right, folks?

Posted by: Jimmy Montague | Oct 24, 2008 1:27:46 PM | 13

Krugman (08) and Stigliz got Nobels...(Stigliz was deserved, I think, within the unwritten rules of the Nobel committee, and his contributions..)

Roubini goes with mainstream sway, being considerably more gloomy than the yelling clowns on NBC. He has taken on the role or measured pessimist nevertheless solidly within the conventional framework. CNBC talks of V (curves with an up), he says L (curve just down), to put it in nutshell.

He adjust his predictions, tempers them, transforms, dampens them, so that ppl may listen. This is normal, he probably believes that he is presenting a pov so important that it can, should, be adjusted to get media exposure. To get his word in.

No way is Roubini any longer honest re. his thoughts, and he is aware of that. (imho)

So take it to the bank (sic!), what Roubini lays out is the carefully calculated edge of what can appear in the mainstream media. Like a moving average.

I admire him though. He has tread a fine line with elegance and skill. But what effect has he had? He is a commentator presenting one side of usual useless ‘balanced’ pov.

Posted by: Tangerine | Oct 24, 2008 1:46:04 PM | 14

@Tangerine - Roubini goes with mainstream sway, being considerably more gloomy than the yelling clowns on NBC. He has taken on the role or measured pessimist nevertheless solidly within the conventional framework. CNBC talks of V (curves with an up), he says L (curve just down), to put it in nutshell.

Roubini was writing about the U.S. problems in 2006. Before this year few did know him and few did listen to him. You hardly would ever see him on TV or in major media. Only some shrill freaks and university economists were reading him at all.

I don't see why you think he is longer honest.

He has btw an interesting background:

He was born in Istanbul, the child of Iranian Jews, and his family moved to Tehran when he was two, then to Tel Aviv and finally to Italy, where he grew up and attended college. He moved to the United States to pursue his doctorate in international economics at Harvard."[2] Roubini resided in Italy from 1962-1983, and is currently a U.S. citizen[1]. He speaks English, Italian, Hebrew, and Farsi.
That plus he hunts any skirt that comes near to him ...

Posted by: b | Oct 24, 2008 2:23:44 PM | 15

Roubini (aka Doctor Doom) *is* MSM (that's why we are quoting him?). And 2006 was late to the game. A number of (less visible) pundits have been screaming about this since at least 2003.

Posted by: DM | Oct 24, 2008 4:25:15 PM | 16

Anyone who has been reading Roubini long enough would know that Tangerine's points are a load of crap. Sorry to be so blunt but I have been reading Roubini (found via Brad Setser) for years before anyone on MoA mentioned him, let alone the MSM.

I have always regarded him as a blogger not an MSM figure, the same way I regard MoA or Billmon. I guess he is not really a blogger, but my point is that I read him for the same reason I read any blog. Purely for the quality of the posts he put out and how much he increased my understanding, NOT for who he is or MSM appearance.. I was shocked when I saw MSM quoting him. I felt they you would on seeing Billmon quoted in the NY Times. If you doubt him then go back and read his posts over the last few years. Its probably close to the best way of understanding the financial crsis. If you think he's an MSM whore or something like that then you probably are just following him via soundbites filtered through the MSM which is a bit silly when his full and considered opinions are much more interesting and only a few clicks away.

His views have been quite consistent for that whole time within the framework of what is actually happening in the real world and they were pretty much the same when no-one had ever heard of him. His opinions have not, and never has been extremely radical and have always mostly fit within the conventional economic range of thought, though obviously they are close to the boundaries. That's a strength and a weakness, but not something he's been tweaking to get on the MSM.

Posted by: swio | Oct 24, 2008 8:17:12 PM | 17

We're #1!
7/16/03
State of Shock
10/23/08
Imagination deficiency eh?

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Oct 24, 2008 8:24:32 PM | 18

crash dance

lol

Posted by: annie | Oct 24, 2008 8:40:41 PM | 19

Where do you find these Uncle $cam ?

Guess there are a few US politicians (Bernard Sanders) who are not so clueless.

Posted by: DM | Oct 24, 2008 8:43:48 PM | 20

Have you seen " They shoot horses don't they" movie?That movie was deeply engraved in my mind...
So much suffering...

Posted by: vbo | Oct 24, 2008 10:33:00 PM | 21

It is not unreasonable to bet that an Obama administration will bend more in the direction of justice, than the alternate version, run by the goons, wearing the mask of McCain & Palin. We have to put in motion, if this is still possible, a government that will bear some responsibility for its people and make their lot, over time, a little bit better. I saw a video of a recent interview of Professor Chomsky. The man showed his years, and looked so tired and world-weary, that it seemed a real effort for him to speak.

Chomsky said there was a point even to choosing the lesser of two evils, since the effect over time for the real interests of the people would be tangible, and their lives would be measurably better in the hands of the Democrats.

He observed that one should vote for Obama then, "but without illusions".

Posted by: Copeland | Oct 24, 2008 10:40:13 PM | 22

copeland

classic chomsky. short & sweet @ i think we all feel as weary as chomsy, nay as weary as big bill broonzy

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 24, 2008 10:44:16 PM | 23

i linked to the chomsky vid in the open thread here

Posted by: b real | Oct 24, 2008 11:08:20 PM | 24

I know who I would have voted for in 1932. And I would have felt pretty good (not extatic maybe, but) about it too.

Posted by: anna missed | Oct 24, 2008 11:43:48 PM | 25

So long, suckers. Millionaire hedge fund boss thanks 'idiot' traders and retires at 37

The boss of a successful US hedge fund has quit the industry with an extraordinary farewell letter dismissing his rivals as over-privileged "idiots" and thanking "stupid" traders for making him rich.

Andrew Lahde's $80m Los Angeles-based firm Lahde Capital Management in Los Angeles made a huge return last year by betting against subprime mortgages.

Yesterday the 37-year-old told his clients that he had hated the business and had only been in it for the money. And after declaring he would no longer manage money for other people, because he had enough of his own, Lahde said that instead he intended to repair his stress-damaged health; he made it clear he would not miss the financial world.

Posted by: vbo | Oct 25, 2008 12:00:37 AM | 26

"The low-hanging fruit, ie idiots whose parents paid for prep school, Yale and then the Harvard MBA, was there for the taking," he wrote. "These people who were (often) truly not worthy of the education they received (or supposedly received) rose to the top of companies such as AIG, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers and all levels of our government," he said.

"All of this behaviour supporting the aristocracy only ended up making it easier for me to find people stupid enough to take the other side of my trades. God bless America."


Hahaha

Posted by: vbo | Oct 25, 2008 12:03:12 AM | 27

Latest Jim Willie

http://www.321gold.com/editorials/willie/willie102408.html

Posted by: Rick | Oct 25, 2008 12:20:09 AM | 28

Have been reading Elaine Supkis on the gnomes of the financial world, goddesses deflation and inflation, the hole of infinite debt from infinite money, the giant derivatives beast. It's a kind of Daily Show with global financiers as the bash recipients in place of the RNC. Even saw a Q comment there, as an AA had at itulip, on good B's notion on invalidating swaps, that whiskey gets around.

..

Posted by: aumana | Oct 25, 2008 2:53:35 AM | 29

Tsunami

To switch metaphors, let's say that we are witnessing the two stages of a tsunami. The current disappearance of wealth in the form of debts repudiated, bets welshed on, contracts canceled, and Lehman Brothers-style sob stories played out is like the withdrawal of the sea. The poor curious little monkey-humans stand on the beach transfixed by the strangeness of the event as the water recedes and the sea floor is exposed and all kinds of exotic creatures are seen thrashing in the mud, while the skeletons of historic wrecks are exposed to view, and a great stench of organic decay wafts toward the strand. Then comes the second stage, the tidal wave itself -- which in this case will be horrific monetary inflation -- roaring back over the mud flats toward the land mass, crashing over the beach, and ripping apart all the hotels and houses and infrastructure there while it drowns the poor curious monkey-humanswho were too enthralled by the weird spectacle to make for higher ground. The killer tidal wave washes away all the things they have labored to build for decades, all their poignant little effects and chattels, and the survivors are left keening amidst the wreckage as the sea once again returns to normal in its eternal cradle.

Posted by: vbo | Oct 25, 2008 7:29:46 AM | 30


The Nausea Express

In a few months, America will be full of angry economic losers. We're not the same nation that crowded around the old radio consoles for Franklin Roosevelt's fireside chats. Back then, we were mostly a highly-disciplined, regimented, industrial society full of citizens who mostly did what they were told to do, and mostly trusted in authority. Today we're a nation of tattooed barbarian "consumers" with no impulse control, a swollen sense of entitlement, ruled by a set of authorities ranging from one G.W. Bush to the grifter-billionaire pantheon of Wall Street CEOs -- now heading into secret bunkers with their stashes of krugerrands, freeze-dried veal Milanese, and private security squads armed with XM-8 carbines.

Posted by: vbo | Oct 25, 2008 8:10:04 AM | 31

http://www.columbia.edu/acis/networks/advanced/ei/fall2008/1020_arch.ram

Just watching the above link -- a recent forum with Roubini, Soros, and Sachs. Thought I'd post for those here who might be interested.

Posted by: Dan | Oct 25, 2008 5:44:12 PM | 32

more quotes from link @ 26:

"The low-hanging fruit, ie idiots whose parents paid for prep school, Yale and then the Harvard MBA, was there for the taking," he wrote. "These people who were (often) truly not worthy of the education they received (or supposedly received) rose to the top of companies such as AIG, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers and all levels of our government," he said.

"All of this behaviour supporting the aristocracy only ended up making it easier for me to find people stupid enough to take the other side of my trades. God bless America."

and these people are supposed to self-regulate ???

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Oct 25, 2008 8:40:52 PM | 33

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