Sylvia Chappell Memorial Fund at

Several people have asked if there is some memorial that they could donate to in memory of Sylvia, so I have set up an account at the micro-lender in her name. Anyone who is interested can just send a gift certificate to I will lend the money out to third-world entrepreneurs in […]

This American Life — “Bad Bank”

Where you’ll hear a former IMF economist paraphrase a global bank’s recent strategic white paper as: “That sure is a nice global economy you’ve got there… …Be a shame if anything were to happen to it…” This is the third big program on the economy from the This American Life/National Public Radio team that brought […]

Toxic Mall Wife

I must write up the wonderful Saturday that I had with Industry Figure Larry Helmerich, but this is…well, easier, and I really laughed at the metaphor: Here, ladies and gentlemen, is the crux of the problem: We are reliably informed that whatever part of the economic crisis can’t be pinned on Wall Street — or […]

Outstanding Article on the Financial System Failure

I especially liked this part: …Indeed, one of the great social benefits of the Madoff scandal may be to finally reveal the S.E.C. for what it has become. Created to protect investors from financial predators, the commission has somehow evolved into a mechanism for protecting financial predators with political clout from investors. (The task it […]

Tanta Passes Away

From the New York Times: The blogger Tanta, an influential voice on the mortgage collapse, died Sunday morning in Columbus, Ohio. Tanta, who wrote for Calculated Risk, a finance and economics blog, was a pseudonym for Doris Dungey, 47, who until recently had lived in Upper Marlboro, Md. The cause of death was ovarian cancer, […]

-55% is the new -40%

Christopher Thornberg, the most bearish of the housing experts quoted in the Los Angeles Times earlier this year (predicting in March that Southern California home prices would eventually fall 40% from their peaks), now expects that prices will keep dropping throughout 2009, until they’ve fallen 55% from their peak. Even I found that a sobering […]

Unintended Consequences
(You Push In Here, It Pokes Out There)

From the Financial Times: US mortgage rates have soared this week in an unexpected reaction to the latest Treasury financial rescue plan, which has prompted investors to buy bank debt and sell bonds backed by home loans. Interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, as measured by, rose to 6.38 per cent on Thursday from […]

Ok, Made Me Laugh

…and like all of you, I could probably use a laugh about now. “DOW drops 1000+ in last 3 sessions. The Bailout Goggles! They do nothing!” –seen on a headline mid-week. “This is worse than a divorce. I’ve lost half my net worth and I still have a wife.” –seen on The Times of […], Mark 2

A previously-unknown Swiss guy, Yves Kilchenmann, contacted me out of the blue about buying my old domain,, and eventually we agreed upon a price, which is enough to put me into, for instance, a nice LEGO robotics set (actually a Danish product, but very possibly what I’m going to spend the money on). Their […]

Calculated Risk: Why the FDIC Fears Bloggers

I’ve probably mentioned before my admiration for the great financial blog, Calculated Risk. They’ve done a terrific job of publicizing and quantifying the Doom. There was a funny editorial cartoon referring to it, drawn by Eric G. Lewis, a freelance cartoonist living in Orange County, CA. You need to know that Calculated Risk is written […]