to quickly update, everyone arrested on Friday was released with no bail, and Kerrey seems to have stopped trying to control the narrative, at least for the moment. So let's see what I missed last week.
What's the Real Price of a Toxic Asset?:
This is why I'm still having trouble wrapping my brain around the notion that even a very large increase in the default rate can wipe out something like 2/3 of the value of these assets. Most of these loans will perform. And in the case of those that don't perform, while the value of the underlying collateral has fallen, it hasn't fallen to zero.It's called a "real estate bubble", Megan. Read about it. There have been pieces on it in every major publication in the country.
The Problem with Chris Dodd:
I have to say, the worst allegation I've heard about Chris Dodd is not that he's in the pocket of banks and insurers--financial companies naturally seek to curry favor with the Senate Banking Committee, but I don't really see the case that he's sold us out for his benefit. No, the more damning case is that the Senate Banking Committee was basically non-functional in the early part of the crisis, because Dodd was running for president. Even if early action could have saved us money and pain later--and that's a big if--I recently heard a plausible case made that such action was made impossible by his presidential campaign. But somehow, no one finds that offensive, or even notable.Plausibility, in this case, depending on your willingness and desire to find ways to blame Democrats for Bush's mess. If only Dodd had acted boldly in unspecified ways back when people like Megan were still claiming there was no recession in need of a response there would be no financial problems now.
What's the advantage of a system of public transportation that doesn't require massive tunneling projects or add directly to the smog problems faced by most major cities?
Most Unnecessary Health Story of the Day:
Who the fuck cares that the economic turmoil is impacting the mental health of a wide swath of people across the nation and not just the newly unemployed? Duh, and so? It's not like we're talking about the self-esteem of banking executives.
Man, people are whiny today, what with all the "I've been evicted" and "I can't afford lifesaving cancer surgery" and "I just lost my job and have three kids to feed and clothe at home in a house I haven't finished paying for". Shut up already! People had it worse in the past, you spoiled brats.
The Incredible Shrinking Public Pension Funds:
The partial collapse of the global financial systems shows that any particular governmental initiative which Megan is ideologically opposed to is a bad idea, because if the markets collapse those initiatives could be badly underfunded.
But it would still be a good idea to privatize Social Security.
N that's enough of that.