The Canaries are Falling
When I walk up the hill to the Metro each morning, I see that a parent has put up a small sign near the street. It says Drive Like Your Children Lived Here. Nice. If only.
This concern for children is sweet, but if they were thinking beyond the lttle block they live on and beyond the time their kids are toddlers, It would say something more along the lines of Live Like Your Children Will Be Adults on Earth.
Why do I keep harping on this subject? Why do the rest of us keep ignoring it? Is the worst-case scenario a ‘scare story’? What is the proper response when people aren’t anywhere near scared enough? The worst won’t happen? How bad is bad enough, would you say? A hundred or two hundred species going extinct every day? Would that be an attention-getter, to anyone who was paying attention?
But we don’t want to INCONVENIENCE ourselves, to protect species, or climate, or ecosystems, or arable land, or coastlines, or anything. If people were really driving as though their kids lived here, they’d get out of the car and walk up the hill and take the Metro. But we consider convenience, after all, vastly more important than prudence. That’s the lesson we’re teaching by example, and you can explain it all to your kids someday, when it’s too late for them.
Frauds were happened
I must return to the subject of fraud during the Mortgage-Packaging-Paloozathon that triggered the Great Financial Collapse of our Lifetime, because so few others do. I also mention this from time to remind you both of my correctness and ineffectiveness. When I started blogging lo those several years ago, I started by clamoring for jailtime for some financial malefactors. Didn’t happen then, and has only happened since to a handful of smallish fry. And yet.
Questions, questions. But never any satisfactory answers. This article, after a heroic bout of disclaimers and to-be-sures, showing a level of reasonable doubt that I’ve never been quite able to muster,, sums the situation up neatly. “Subprime mortgages, i.e., mortgages of dubious creditworthiness, increasingly provided the chief collateral for highly leveraged securities that were marketed as AAA, i.e., securities of very low risk. How could this transformation of a sow’s ear into a silk purse be accomplished unless someone dissembled along the way?”
How indeed? The why is less difficult to answer. In a culture where vasty vasty riches are required to be even considered rich at all, and where being vasty vasty rich is Coin of the Realm, so to speak, to coin a phrase, what do you suppose might just possibly happen? Especially if there was a suspicion there would be no personal consequences? Going forward, more than just a suspicion now.