the whole world burns

Archive for category 'finance'

The Big Takeover

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Awesome take on the financial crisis from Matt Taibbi:

Once the capital requirements were gone, those top five banks went hog-wild, jumping ass-first into the then-raging housing bubble. One of those was Bear Stearns, which used its freedom to drown itself in bad mortgage loans. In the short period between the 2004 change and Bear's collapse, the firm's debt-to-equity ratio soared from 12-1 to an insane 33-1. Another culprit was Goldman Sachs, which also had the good fortune, around then, to see its CEO, a bald-headed Frankensteinian goon named Hank Paulson (who received an estimated $200 million tax deferral by joining the government), ascend to Treasury secretary.

The modern art bubble

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The bubble in contemporary art is about to pop. It has exhibited all the classic features of the South Sea bubble of 1720 or the tulip madness of the 1630s. It has been the bubble of bubbles--balancing precariously on top of other now-burst bubbles in credit, housing and commodities--and inflating more dramatically than all of them. While British house prices took six years to double at the start of this century, contemporary art managed it in just one, 2006-07.

Small things, links and miscellany, sparkling with light. Sam's tumblelog.

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