Friday, March 13, 2009

There's A Storm Coming, oops, It's Here!

View out my office window this morning...

Currently reading When Genius Failed and listening to audiobook Dumb Money.

When Genius Failed is a "storm coming" book. It tells the story leading up to the crash of a company called, ironically, Long-Term Capital Management, in 1998 after 5 years of incredible returns. Running this company (into the ground) were two Nobel Prize winning economists and a coupla other shysters. The operative word here is Hubris.

Dumb Money is the only book I've seen (or heard) so far about the present rapidly imploding situation that seems to name the names of the perpetrators of this debacle. However as they were read to me in stereo, the names went in both ears and out, presumably, of my eustachian tubes and into my sinuses because I'll be fucked if I can remember what those names were...

Most of the other books I've seen around either tell how you can turn a nice little profit from this desperate humanitarian disaster, or how it was all the government's fault.

Needless to say, I skipped those and went straight to the blame game! Exactly WHOSE fault is it? I'm thinking it's either Jim Cramer or Jon Stewart.



Stephen Folan said...

I haven't bothered with 'When Genius Failed' because it was covered in all the business press at time. Other books like 'Fooled by Randomness' and 'Liars Poker' confirm that herd mentality, hubris and greed make a heady combination. The banking community has a good supply of it (still) and will regard all the hand outs and talk of stronger regulation as a slap on the wrist as they work on their next wheeze.

Dick Headley said...

I'm enjoying the hurt look on Cramer's face lately. How dare Stewart suggest he might be nothing but a Wall Street shill?

Momentary Madness said...

I just knew the Eustachian tubes had something’ to do with media.

There’s opportunity in - desperate humanitarian - crisis. Anyone will tell you that except a Buddhist (or Boodist if you’re American) monk as they’ve dropped it from their vocabulary because of the present day predicament.
Anyway, things are goin’ to get worse. Tell that to Obama, and the newly hailed Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman who feel you cant pump enough money into the system.
Forgive me, I’m not a genius, but there’s something contradictory about Krugman I just can’t get my head around; O yes, I’m not a genius, but I know one thing and I’ll say it straight: to continue on with a financial policy that has as its foundation SLAVERY is something I will never accept.

No, it was, shall we say Thatcher, who revived inequality.

Let me just say: once a scab always a scab.
One for all and all for one.

expat@large said...

H-G: Lowenstein's written another one since WGF, but this one seemed more specific. I've read half of Black Swan - really I got the point by the end of chapter one but kept going hoping for some other insights, but no.

DH: Cramer; the words 'weasel' 'slimy' 'creep' 'two-faced' just don't take it far enough.

MM: I am sure you are a fan of Naomi Klein and her 'Shock Doctrine'. As far as fixing it all, I don't know. It would be good if there was some infrastructure spending to drag America's utilities out of 3rd standards, but giving more money for the perpetrators to keep doing the same thing is definitely a hairy option.

expat@large said...

3rd world standards I meant. Public transport, trains etc are a disgrace.

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