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During these holidays, while everybody is busy drinking, eating, drinking and luckily not bugging me, I've taken some time to read. And one of the books I've read is "A colossal failure of common sense", that details the failure of Lehman Brothers that, according to many and the author of the book too, is the root cause of the economic crisis we're in today.
Now, I admit that I read this kind of books in a (desperate) attempt at understanding what the heck is going on in the world. And everytime my hope in the human race gets a beating.
The book should explain the facts and give some kind of understanding of the rules and mechanisms that controls the functioning of the economic system (at least, this is what I was hoping for) but it doesn't! What it does is simply to retell the events as seen by the protagonist. And every time he begins talking about cdo, triple-As, bonds and the like, I keep having flash-backs of too many meetings with conslutants that keeps talking about "computational paradigms" and farts out acronyms with every breaths, but fails to dispel the sensation that they don't know what the heck they are talking about!
My impression is that these self-proclamed "financial geniuses" and "superclever and prepared" peoples are nothing more than idiot savants and not too "savants" either. When the author begin to explain how a megacorporation borrow several billion dollars from them and then they takes these cdos and wrap them into several vrf and then distribute them into a thousands bonds.... all I can think is that he is blabbering about a lot of small coloured numbers in a huge spreadsheet that exists only in cyberspace and these peoples are superexpert in taking these little numbers and adding, subtracting and so on with each other and then they talk about "losses" or "profits" that exists only in cyberspace, or they point to cell AHILM,1804570 and proclame that the number can only go down, or up, but they never explain what the number represent or what the heck does it means.
So, what we have here are experts in taking virtual money, give them to a virtual corporation that will use them to buy virtual products, sell them to some other virtual customers for more virtual money, and the end result is that some number change place in a virtual spreadsheet that only exists in virtual cyberspace. And it doesn't make any sense.
In fact, the book doesn't explain anything. When the author says that "looking at the graph xyz the this-or-that index have gone up of 300 points and this is a disaster" what the heck does he mean? What is the XYZ graph? And what does a point in such graph means? All I can understand is "blah blah blah yada yada yada". And worse than that, he doesn't explain why Lehmans went down. He point his finger to the CEO, but the CEO has been a CEO for over a decade and has always done the same things, so it doesn't really matter. The author explain (somehow) how Lehman collected debt for trillions of dollars (virtual dollars and virtual debts of course) but 'till the day before nobody seemed to give a toss about it, so why suddendly somebody got up, clicked on a button on his computer and started the crash?
I don't know, maybe is because I'm attached to reality, and with 'reality' I mean something you can see and touch, and everytime I go have a chat with my "financial advisor" and she is trying to convince me to pour some money into one of her "product" (that is nothing but some numbers in her computer) I can't help but laying back in my chair and ask her what is this "product" of hers and why am I supposed to "buy" it and how is this different than buying (for example) a new cover for my bed. Ignoring the fact that the cover will keep me warm at night of course. And she begins babbling of compound transactions or performances connected with the IAX or something and I can't hear anything but "blah blah blah yada yada yada".
The whole mess make me think that these peoples have completely lost touch with reality, they are totally lost in a personal fantastic world full of coloured numbers cheerfully playing on a huge cyberspace spreadsheet. And the really worrying thing is that the rest of the world seems to agree with them!
Comments are added when and more important if I have the time to review them and after removing Spam, Crap, Phishing and the like. So don't hold your breath. And if your comment doesn't appear, is probably becuase it wasn't worth it.
Perfettamente d'accordo By Lorenzo posted 25/12/2009 11:30
@ Lorenzo By Davide Bianchi posted 25/12/2009 11:39
@ Davide Bianchi By Lorenzo posted 25/12/2009 17:46
Percezione della realtà... perduta! By Stéphane posted 25/12/2009 16:16
@ Stéphane By Davide Bianchi posted 25/12/2009 17:10
Finanza By Anonymous coward posted 25/12/2009 17:52
sarò duro By Andrea Ballarati posted 25/12/2009 19:56
Ho visto i video ora By Verzasoft posted 25/12/2009 22:46
Ma il VP ha trovato un nuovo modo per far soldi! By Anonymous coward posted 26/12/2009 00:09
Il discorsetto By Mallin Shetland posted 26/12/2009 09:19
manca qualche pezzo By Locomotiva posted 26/12/2009 13:24
Non farò politica, ma... By Herr Franz posted 27/12/2009 20:02
Confermo By Dinogen posted 28/12/2009 09:35
interessante analogo By Adriano posted 28/12/2009 13:14
@ Adriano By Davide Bianchi posted 28/12/2009 13:24
@ Davide Bianchi By Adriano posted 28/12/2009 15:08
Eh la finanza... By maxxfi_dacasa posted 31/12/2009 10:53
@ maxxfi_dacasa By Davide Bianchi posted 31/12/2009 10:58
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