Thursday, July 24, 2008
A Tale of Two Economies
1. You see a line of badly dressed people snaking along the sidewalk, seemingly oblivious to the wind and rain. A guy with a beard is pouring himself a steaming cup of something from a thermos. You conclude that they are: (a) outside a bank, desperately trying to get their savings out, (b) outside an Apple store, desperately trying to get their hands on a 3G iPhone. 2. The mortgage-backed bond market is dead, murdered by lax lending standards that destroyed investor faith in the quality of home loans. (a) We need rules to ban introductory teaser rates that reset two years later, (b) We need rules to stop unqualified home buyers lying about their incomes, (c) How are my Wall Street pals supposed to generate bonus-boosting fees without an asset-backed bond market to play in?