Thursday, December 4, 2008


Your humble schlub has two articles out in the Post today about the housing bubble; one in which I talk about how the bubble has essentially burst and we are in for a great deal of pain (which I think is the more accurate of the two articles) and another about how the bubble has burst, but things aren't as gloomy as reporters like me say they are.

Curbed was kind enough to link to both articles.

But as long as we're talking about real estate and our economic woes, I would also recommend two other articles about the state of the financial world (and why it's so fucked up). For the macro view of things, check out John Cassidy's profile of Ben Bernanke in last week's New Yorker. (It's one of those articles that makes you feel both better and worse about Bernanke than you did before reading it. Mostly worse.)

But for a more micro (and more fascinating) article on just how banks and investors managed to create such poor mortgage securities, I would check out Michael Lewis' truly amazing piece in Portfolio. It's about a guy named Steve Eisman who shorted these securities and made millions doing it. (The guy is a pisser. The best part is when Eisman is seated next to the manager of a CDO -- collateralized debt obligation -- who begins telling him his investments. Half way through the dinner Eisman gets up, finds his host, points to his dining companion and says, "Greg, I want to short his paper... sight unseen.")

And, as long as we're talking bad mortgages, reeling economy, and the like, the profile on Lehman Brothers CEO Dick Fuld in this week's New York magazine isn't bad, either.