Mar 17

In January, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission issued their final report, titled The Financial Crisis Inquiry Report.

While I’d not want to ruin a good cliffhanger of an ending, the web site itself puts it conclusion on the front page:

The Commission concluded that this crisis was avoidable—the result of human actions, inactions, and misjudgments. Warnings were ignored. “The greatest tragedy would be to accept the refrain that no one could have seen this coming and thus nothing could have been done. If we accept this notion, it will happen again.”

These words are encouraging, but I suspect the lessons learned here will soon be forgotten. Do you remember the Savings and Loan Crisis? I do. I was young, but bright enough to notice CDs from Lincoln Savings and Loan were not FDIC insured, not the ones they were pushing. Weren’t we supposed to learn our lesson then? The real question is whether our collective memory can last even a full generation. Will the next generation fall prey to the claim of this time being different?

This document is available as a (free) PDF download, and runs 662 pages. It’s organized in a way that makes it manageable and even interesting to read. I’m not betting, but let’s hope it’s really lesson learned this time.

Joe

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Oct 22

In August, I posted an article to point readers to a public radio show This American Life where they had aired a program titled “The Giant Pool of Money,” focusing on the subprime meltdown.

Recently, they aired Another Frightening Show About the Economy which goes into even more detail, this time focusing on the commercial paper market and credit default swaps. I offer this as a sample of the explanations out there that are actually understandable by the average Joe, in this case from a radio show I’ve enjoyed for years.

Joe

Note: as the comments here are not seen without the extra click, this one was worth adding right to the post, a note from one of my regular readers (thanks, JAL!):

If you enjoyed the economic related episodes on NPR’s This American Life, you’ll probably also like NPR’s Planet Money daily podcast. In the same style as This American Life, it features discussions and interviews about the current economic situation in a plain easy-to-understand form. Check it out:
http://www.npr.org/rss/podcast/podcast_detail.php?siteId=94411890
Best regards,
JAL

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Oct 03

Between the market, and lack of sleep due to JaneTaxpayer 2.0 getting her braces and being uncomfortable, it’s been quite a week. The highlight of this week was being invited to offer a guest post at the Fraud Files blog on some of the math behind my pet peeve, the Money Merge Account. I received one of the kindest complements there I could hope for, “Joe is possibly the most active and effective person warning the public about the Money Merge Account. His points are well-written and in a calm tone, and completely bulletproof.” This makes writing worthwhile for me.

But I digress. We seem to back to the vote on the bailout package that may pass later today, but meanwhile I found yet another primer on the origin of the mess we are in which I will add to my Subprime Meltdown links, titled “Great Depression 2.0: Tracing the Meltdown“. A good, brief, clear, explanation.

Joe

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Sep 20

From “The Economist” Magazine.
Have a great weekend,
Joe

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Aug 14

I enjoy the public radio show This American Life, hosted by Ira Glass, and listen to the podcast, but having fallen a bit behind, I just heard the May 9th show, titled “The Giant Pool of Money.”

It offers yet one more view on the subprime mess, this story centers around a lot of investment money looking for a home. The episode is no longer available as a podcast, but may still be streamed on line. It’s worth listening to. (And I will add it to my list of subprime links page.)

Joe

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