Monday, April 26, 2010

Authentic American Traitors

The financial crisis of 2007-2009 has made Jefferson [Thomas] a little less out of fashion.
(13 Bankers by Simon Johnson and James Kwak)

Ira Glass' This American Life on National Public Radio is one of the best listening experiences you'll likely have. Glass takes specific American themes on each of his segments and usually provides a compelling story, one that often lingers long after the program is over.

In particular is the one on the creation of a hedge fund that contributed to our global financial disaster and caused considerable pain for a great number of ordinary Americans.

While the program provides a "clear" explanation of the arcane world of credit default swaps, bundling, shorting, and equity tranch it is much more about astonishing greed, stupidity and, yes, betting against America itself. Those nasty terrorists couldn't have done it better. Is the system dysfunctional?

As well, while not discussed on the program, the question easily comes to mind whether or not our present political system is capable of making radical changes. No, markets are not self-correcting ... nor are they "efficient."

We Americans are angry in a general sense but clearly many of us are not really certain in a specific way about what exactly we are angry about. We may "throw the bums out," but we may also regret what we have created. This 40 minute segment is well worth listening to. Go to
Eat My Shorts

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