Monthly Archives: December 2008

giving thanks

Last week, I flew to Chicago for a day, to be with mom as she required a surgical procedure to test some cells. Ya, we can call this a biopsy. This week, test results came back that she’s fine (Mmhm. How often does that happen, huh?). Through snark and snivel about life in New York […]

Stock market soars, financial crisis over

I’ve had this post title, with nothing in the body of the text, since October 13th. I keep waiting for the perfect moment…


Oh, I’m sorry, did you not notice that the organization that fed most of the profits to GM over the past decade or so was first sold and now trying to back-door into the financial bailout that is the TARP program? No? Well, let me put you at ease. GMAC is clearly part of the […]

Raindrops on roses, and whiskers on kittens

These are a few of my favorite things, mostly 2008: Drop Box, a ‘cloud’ storage site. On a Mac it looks just like any other folder, except it syncs across whatever computers you happen to use. Combine it with the uber-paranoia program TrueCrypt, and you can create an incredibly secure way to share files across […]

unknown unknown unknowns

I had a couple of interesting discussions with hedge fun friends this past weekend, who are fairly concerned with the latest bit of bad news (incidentally, one noted that people who invest in funds that invest in funds are, in fancy financial terms, ‘morons’). More interesting was a bit of thought on how much risk […]

Final Exam questions

This is my final from my Sociology of US Economic Life class. They get the questions in advance, and I’m choosing 3 for the final.. 1. Stiglitz (Globalization and its Discontents) argues that there is a “Washington Consensus” between the IMF and World Bank that directs most of the global efforts towards international aid and […]

Abstract finance: Securitization

One basic idea to help understand contemporary finance is securitization. To explain what securitization and how it works, first think about the following: what happens when you and your best friend decide to open a business together. How are you going to divvy up responsibilities, management decisions, profits, and losses? One way is to just […]

Cue music

Feeling down? Need some inspiration? Now, go get ’em!

The skill of gymnastics. The kill of karate. Master of…gymkata!

When they make akaratedemia, I’m looking forward to fending off a bunch of eastern Europeans with a thousand paper cuts and my katana of knowledge. (just so lucky that pommel horse was installed a few years back…)

Is it really a subprime crisis?

I want to argue in a longer post that the financial crisis should not be thought of a problem with subprime loans, nor a problem of leverage (so consider this a teaser/placeholder). Instead, I think the culprit is the securitization of risk and structured finance. Something down the line would have broke, if it wasn’t […]