Saturday, November 29

The Jones have to be a joke.

NYT article about two engineers in Silicon Valley that have a hard time living within their means of...wait for it...$250K a year. Usually I'm a fan of the New York Times, but this time, they've engaged in what I like to call Sorority Journalism. It goes something like this:
There are these two totally, like, middle-class people who were totally like trying to live on, like $250K a year, right? As if! And now they're totally trying to live like "within their means" -- sooo 1993, right? So, apparently it's like really really hard to do that and they talk about how, like, it's sooo hard to do that, right? I know -- bananas! But now they're all like, "We don't spend any more than we make." and all. I know, tragic. No more Coach for them. They're so totally Target now.

Tuesday, November 25

Credit Cards: The Next Shoe to Drop

The NYT blog has published an email from an anonymous banker regarding the lax standards in consumer credit card practices.  A nugget:
As a banker, let me describe what we do wrong when we accept and review an application for a credit card. First, we don’t verify income. The first ‘C’ of credit: Capacity to repay, is completely ignored by the banks, just as it was in when they approved subprime mortgages.

Monday, November 17

I am pissed at Eliot Spitzer.

Not because of this article at the WashPost that clearly lays out the parameters to see our way through this crisis, but for the fact that he was weak enough to make himself vulnerable to attack because of his previous extra-marital activities. He would make a great contributor to the Obama administration in designing a new financial regulatory system.
In fact, I think this article is going to be the beginning of a groundswell to absolve him from his previous activities and draft him into this administration. We could use someone who has a first-hand understanding of the current system's weaknesses in fixing the system.

Tuesday, November 11

Goldman Sachs Shits Where it Eats

Goldman Sachs is out telling investors to short California state bonds. The same bonds it underwrote into the market. This should be illegal and prosecuted as such. The stench emanating from the financial markets is overwhelming.

Saturday, November 8

If investors started this, why are we bailing them out?

From a great NYT article: "“Investors said, ‘I don’t want to be in equities anymore and I’m not getting any return in my bond positions,’ ” said William T. Winters, co-chief executive of JPMorgan’s investment bank and a colleague of Ms. Masters on the team that invented the first synthetic. “Two things happened. They took more and more leverage, and they reached for riskier asset classes. Give me yield, give me leverage, give me return."

Why are we bailing these guys out again?