Of all the reading I've done on the issue, this is the most succinct explanation I've come across for how the economy went to hell:
While the housing bubble was still inflating, lenders were making lots of money issuing mortgages to anyone who walked in the door; investment banks were making even more money repackaging those mortgages into shiny new securities; and money managers who booked big paper profits by buying those securities with borrowed funds looked like geniuses, and were paid accordingly.
Read the whole thing here. Read some ideas about what to do about it here.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
And now, some of my favorite punchlines. In some cases, the jokes these come from are among my favorite jokes:
"He had a hat, God."
"No, I think Doctor broke it."
"I can see your house from here, Peter."
"Jesus is missing, and they think we have something to do with it."
And my all-time favorite punchline, from my all-time favorite joke:
Naw, I should tell the whole joke.
Woman gives birth to a son. He's the youngest, and her baby. He grows up completely healthy, a fine young lad except for one thing. He never says a word.
This concerns his mother. At first doctors say it's just that his speech is developing slowly. The boy is clearly intelligent, putting together blocks and puzzles and all the things a boy does as he gets older. He just doesn't speak. His mother takes him to a variety of specialists, but the conclusion is that he can speak, he just doesn't seem to want to do so. So she takes him to psychiatrists, but they can't figure out the boy either. Nothing works, except the boy, who continues to grow older, grow smarter, and grows abler. He plays sports. He gets good grades. He plays music. He does everything a young man should do. He just doesn't talk.
Finally, the boy graduates from high school (at the top of his class) and goes off to college. He's back for Thanksgiving, with all his siblings there. The family sits around the table for dinner, and his mother puts bowls of soup in front of every one. They say grace and begin to eat when suddenly the boy spits out his food and says "This soup is atrocious!"
Everyone is shocked. They've never heard his voice before. His mother drops to her knees, thanking God, crying because she is so joyful. She thought she would never hear his voice, and now she has.
In the midst of the bedlam, his father asks "Why didn't you ever speak before now?"
The boy pauses, then says "Well, up to now, everything's been more or less okay."
Special Extra Punchline for the Locals:
"They ate him."
For some reason, the Blogger menu at the top of my screen is in German. Now, I speak ein bischen Deutsch - four years of high school German will do that for you - but aside from ordering kartofflen pfankuchen, I don't remember enough to do me any good. So what up, Blogger?