Lowell Deeds

The latest on real estate recordings and new technology from the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds in Lowell

December 4, 2008

Understanding Wall Street

by @ 5:51 pm. Filed under Real Estate, Current Events

Hedge fund, short sale, CDO, synthetic CDO and tranches are all terms that float through the air when anyone tries to explain the current collapse of our economy. But they’re all terms that almost defy an easy, logical explanation. When commentators say that one of the problems was that even the heads of the biggest investment banks didn’t really understand what their employees were doing, that observation has a ring of truth to it. Now Michael Lewis, one of my favorite writers and the author of bestsellers such as Liar’s Poker, Moneyball and The Blind Side has taken a shot at explaining the mess on Wall Street. Lewis is particularly suited to the task, having worked as a bond trader at Salomon Brothers in the 1980s, but it seems that even he has a hard time explaining what happen. He’s made a gallant effort in a piece called “The End” which was just published in Conde Nast Portfolio. I’ve read the article twice now, with the same diligence I used reading cases during my first year in law school and I still only understand about 80% of it. But we have to start somewhere because we’re in the midst of a mess of historic proportions and it certainly would be nice to know what happened and why, if for no other reason than to try to prevent it from happening again in another decade or two.

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