Friday, October 31, 2008

Blame Aquaman For The Financial Crisis

[Financial Crisis]
I understand that we're in a financial crisis. Understanding why we’re in a financial crisis is another matter. I’ve read the articles and analysis but I still was left scratching my head. It took the scathing wit of Rolling Stone political reporter, Matt Taibbi, to break down the crisis in manageable terms for me.

“On the betting with money you don’t have to front, the CDS (Credit Default Swaps) is basically a form of insurance in which two idiots make promises to pay each other sums of money if some third totally unrelated person defaults on his debt.

Let’s say Aquaman takes out a million-dollar bond to open a gay strip club. You’re gay and you like superheroes so you think it’s a good idea – but your mother doesn’t, so you agree to pay your mother a million dollars in the event that Aquaman’s strip club fails, in exchange for her paying you, until that time, regular monthly payments of $10,000. All your family members agree with your mother and they, too agree to pay you $10,000 a month in exchange for a promise that you’ll pay them a million bucks if Aquaman defaults…So a year later your entire extended family is betting against Aquaman’s place and when it finally does go bust, thanks to Superman opening a far superior and better-managed club down the block, Aquaman’s one-million-dollar loss creates a hundred million dollars in losses for you (and, it turns out, for society in general, which might end up having to use tax money to pay your mother and everybody else for the bet you couldn’t cover).”

Sure, Taibbi isn't an economist but he took National Review's Byron York to task for spewing the right wing's talking points blaming the financial crisis on minorities and desires for an "ownership society."

Taibbi's insights and columns kept my sanity for this extra long political season. If you haven't read his skewering of Sarah Palin, check it out. I hate the phrase laugh out loud but it’s hilarious. And just to be clear Taibbi isn't a party hack. During the 2004 elections, he followed the Kerry in a gorilla suit. (Joseph Bateman)


  1. Hey, Joe the Intern: Thanks for blaming the economic crash on us gay superhero strip-club fans! Next time you need rescuing from a burning skyscraper or evil-genius supervillain, be sure to give us a call. We'll get right back to you, I'm sure.

    Oh--that was a Taibbi quote? Punctuation moment!!!

    LOL. Love you, dude.

    --the beleaguered copyeditor

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