I’m going to try a new fifteenkey feature to help me write when I’m uninspired… like lately. I’ll grab a book from my shelf and open it to a random page. Wherever my left thumb lands, I’ll copy the passage here and rant about it. Okay? Ready? Here we go… Tonight’s random passage is from Nick Hornby’s “High Fidelity:”
“He must be terrible to work with the morning after a wine-tasting session: not because of the reek of stale booze, or the bloodshot eyes, or the crabby behavior, but because of all the facts he has swallowed. He’d spend half the day telling people things they didn’t want to know.”
I regurgitate a lot of facts and I wonder if people just turn me off when I think I’m so fascinating. Leaving the office tonight I chatted for a few minutes with my boss Joyce. In hindsight I wonder what she was thinking when I laid my latest “sky is falling” story on her. This one was a marketwatch.com article called, “Derivatives the new ‘ticking bomb‘.”
It’s the uplifting story of “derivatives,” described by legendary investor Warren Buffett in 2003 as “financial weapons of mass destruction” that could harm the whole economic system. At that time, the derivatives market was $75 Trillion Dollars. Today it’s $516 with a capital “T,” or 34 ½ times the US annual gross domestic product of $15T.
Today’s other news is that the Federal Reserve and other Central Banks are pumping $200B of “liquidity” into big banks like Bear Stearns and accepting teetering mortgages from the sub-prime mess as collateral… I’m feeling like the US/world economy is a giant leveraged house of cards and if one falls, we’ll all fall so the rich money traders who obscenely profit get bailed out when they fuck up, but for the rest of us:
“As life closes in on someone who has borrowed far too much money on the strength of far too little income, there are no fire escapes.”
–John Kenneth Galbraith