Friday, November 14, 2008

Great read from Micheal Lewis

If you are a baseball fan, you know Micheal Lewis as the author of "Moneyball". He first became famous, however, for "Liars Poker", about his brief stint on Wall Street in the 80's. He has written a rather long but excellent article in Portfolio about the sub-prime mortgage mess.

Here are just a few quotes from the article to tantalize you;

In Bakersfield, California, a Mexican strawberry picker with an income of $14,000 and no English was lent every penny he needed to buy a house for $720,000.

big Wall Street investment banks took huge piles of loans that in and of themselves might be rated BBB, threw them into a trust, carved the trust into tranches, and wound up with 60 percent of the new total being rated AAA.

We always asked the same question,” says Eisman. “Where are the rating agencies in all of this? And I’d always get the same reaction. It was a smirk.”

Very scary stuff! Enjoy!

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