Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Financial Meltdown and You (and Me)

It's hard to open the paper these days without dreading what you're going to read about the financial situation. Yesterday I heard Congressman Barney Frank tell us on NPR that an agreement was near; today I opened the paper to read that it had all fallen apart. Meanwhile, the taxpayers are left wondering why the government can think of coming up with $700,000,000,000 (yeah, it looks like more when you put in all the zeroes, doesn't it?) to bail out greedy and moronic financial institutions and their CEOs, but it can't help individuals who are losing their homes. If you want to read a serious and sober analysis, you could do worse than this summary from Common Cause: Ask Yourself Why...They Didn’t See This Coming.

That'll get you bristling about the way Congress gets bought off by special interests. But a perhaps more entertaining look at the matter is found in a Powerpoint presentation called The Subprime Primer. (This came to me in an email, but when I did a search, I found it on a bunch of sites. This is just one.) If you click the link, it'll ask to open a file in Powerpoint. My Avast! virus-scanner said it was okay.

It's hilarious. And it's also the most concise explanation you could ask for, of how this all happened.

For another funny take, go over to Woot! and read their description, ostensibly, of an iRobot Scooba that was up for sale yesterday. (You'll have to scroll down. I didn't write this in time to clue you in to the sale on the Scooba, but they keep their descriptions for a while in their blog. So zoom down the blog until you come to a Scooba.) It's great fun.

These days, we need all the fun we can get. Right?



At 11:40 PM, Blogger substandardTim said...

yeah it's all pretty sickening right now. democrats and republicans both bear responsibility in this. don't believe it when you hear one side blame everything on the other. president bush himself warned about the implications of fanny mae and freddie mac all the way back in 2001 and yet nothing was done.

as for the people losing their homes...i feel bad for them but at the same time i don't like the idea of them getting a bail out too much more than i like the corporations getting one. No one made any of those folks buy homes that they couldn't afford.

At 12:35 AM, Blogger Jeffrey A. Carver said...

If you look at the Common Cause papers, you'll see one reason why it was allowed to happen--the very generous campaign contributions made to members of Congress by the real estate industry. Much of the blame, though, I put on the fever for deregulation that has dominated the federal government in recent years.

At 8:39 AM, Blogger Charlza said...

The whole thing makes me sick. Almost all of the politicians are to blame, regardless of party affiliation.


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