I feel like I should just continue to channel Paul Kedrosky:
I pity taxpayers wandering into the credit crisis story at this point. It is absurdly complex, and centers on a subject that most people neither care about nor understand. And the last time they looked in they were told this was about subprime and housing, which it no longer is — at least not in large part.
Instead, it is a costly and complex saga involving the unwinding of global credit markets, overlayed with debt syndication, new derivatives, the collapse of the investment banking business, the changing nature of leverage, flawed risk models, structured finance, greed, the housing bacchanalia, savings, paranoia about prior credit crises, and the paradox of thrift. Don’t forget, of course, populist political pandering in an election year.
It also kind of sucks and is obnoxious to say the equivalent of ‘you don’t get it’ – I mean, people are paying for this, everyone deserves to know what’s going on. It recalls for me not the Big Lebowski, but Ocean’s Eleven:
Clooney: This place houses a security system that rivals most nuclear missile silos…
Damon: Smash n grab job, huh.
Pitt: Slightly more complicated that that.
It’s not just about housing debt, that was the catalyst.