According to Eric Dash’s article in the NYT (“A Film That Explores Humanity on Wall Street”), Kevin Spacey has a new Wall Street film coming out: “Margin Call.” The headline is taken from Spacey’s comment: “I am trying to humanize bankers.” But Dash opens his article with the remark “Finding humanity on Wall Street, some might say, can be a little like finding a good mortgage in a bundle of C.D.O’s. Traders, after all, tend to pride themselves on their dispassionate objectivity.” Notice how exactly backwards that is. Subprime mortgages were precisely those based not on “objectivity” but on “humanity.”
Wretched Ingratitude Update. According to an Associated Press story (“Apple, AT&T Class Action Advances”):A federal judge says a monopoly-abuse lawsuit against Apple Inc. and AT&T Inc.'s mobile-phone unit can move forward as a class action. . . . An amended complaint filed in June 2008 takes issue with Apple's practice of ‘locking’ iPhones so that they can only be used on AT&T's network, and Apple's absolute control over what applications iPhone owners can and can't install on the gadgets.” You know, folks, nobody made you buy it.
Don’t Try This at Home. According to this Wall Street Journal story by E.S. Browning “Small Investors Flee Stocks, Changing Market Dynamics.” Well, thank heavens! “Small investors’ faith in stocks, which surged in the 1990s, has collapsed since the technology-stock debacle and the Enron and WorldCom scandals of 2000-2002. The 2007-2009 financial crisis only made things worse. Now, the pullback among ordinary investors means they are a declining force in a market that is increasingly dominated by professionals.” Perhaps if there are fewer fools in the market, there will be fewer fools parted from their money and therefore less political demand to make the market fool-proof.