Women and Children First

titanicToday is the Labor Day holiday in the USA, so to honor the more vulnerable parts of our society and economy I’m engaging in this fantasy rethinking of our current economic crisis.  If only……

When the “unsinkable” ship Titanic hit an iceberg and sank on its maiden voyage in 1911, as any teenage girl will tell you, the rich people got nearly all the lifeboats (except for John Jacob Astor IV who ordered another drink, giving up his seat), dooming the lower-class passengers including, of course, poor Leonardo DiCaprio. Much the same thing seems to be happening in the case of the current economic crisis, where the people who are hurting the most seem to be […]

Wall Street and Main Street Don’t Cross


When Barack Obama was running for President one of his favorite sound bites was that any financial bailout should not just involve Wall Street, but Main Street, too – that the government’s responsibility was to help both bankers and homeowners. But now that the election is won and Obama is in office, the two streets are still being treated very differently, with Main Street getting a lot less help from Washington.

This is a HOUSING crisis, not a BANKING crisis, yet $700+ billion has gone to help bankers and only $75 billion to “help” homeowners. The banker’s money has mainly been spent and the homeowner money has hardly been touched. If this is a […]

Wall Street Can't Count

This post first ran on January 29th on my mortgage blog.  It got some traction there and  a  few mentions in the press so, lazy bastard that I am, I’m reproducing it here in a slightly improved form that corrects my own math error.

Take a look at this chart that someone sent to me a couple days ago.  I’m making it big so you can see as much detail as possible.  Have a look and then come back, okay?

Pretty scary, eh?  It’s a chart showing the deterioration of major bank market caps since 2007.  Prepared by someone at JP Morgan based on data from Bloomberg, this chart flashed across Wall Street and the financial world a […]

Bob the Impaler

vlad1Microsoft announced this week its first-ever layoffs, which brought out the naysayers and predictors of doom, but not me.  I see cutting these 5000 jobs as good, with my only caution being that it really should be 20,000 at least. Fifty thousand would be better.

I am not, nor have I ever been, a big fan of Microsoft.  Lots of smart people at Microsoft do great work and lots of other people at Microsoft do not do great work.  It would be nice if most of the 5000 being let go were the latter variety, but who really knows?

This is a complex subject so I am going to take it one piece at a time.  First […]