Virtual stability

I was perhaps a bit harsh in my condemnation of the Second Life banking system; it turns out that, compared with our real-life institutions, the virtual Wall Street was a model of financial rectitutde.

This is an old story, I know. Even George W Bush seems to have got his head around the details. I just wanted to put on record my admiration for all the erudite commentators who have filled the financial pages of the newspapers with explanations of the crisis, for the benefit of us poor rubes who would otherwise be completely unable to understand why borrowing money on the short term market, then lending it to people with poor credit histories so that they could buy houses at inflated prices, was a questionable business model. I am sure that there is some really good reason why they didn’t share this wisdom with us twelve months ago.

(In case that last link goes dead for some reason, I’ll note that it led to the “Awards and Recognition” page on the Lehman Brothers corporate website, wherein they boasted that Fortune magazine named Lehman Brothers the #1 “Most Admired Securities Firm” in its [2007] rankings of  ‘America’s Most Admired Companies.'”)

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