Tag Archives | subprime crisis

The Sub-Prime Mortgage Crisis – Some interesting reading

As someone who started their first job in the financial services industry in New York in the late 1990’s, the book Liars Poker by Michael Lewis was compulsory reading.

As someone who worked in Salomon Brothers in New York back in the 1980’s, he was around at the development of the products we now know as sub-prime mortgages and the like. He’s left that business over 20 years, but he went back to write a very interesting article about why things are the way they are in the financial markets – in America in particular at the moment.

You can check out the article here. The clincher:

Long Beach Financial was moving money out the door as fast as it could, few questions asked, in loans built to self-destruct. It specialized in asking home­owners with bad credit and no proof of income to put no money down and defer interest payments for as long as possible. In Bakersfield, California, a Mexican strawberry picker with an income of $14,000 and no English was lent every penny he needed to buy a house for $720,000.

If you have a chance to read any of his books, I can highly recommend them.  Though it’s about baseball in the US, his book MoneyBall is brilliant  – it deals with how statistical analysis is taking over sport. As an example, there are actually a couple of English premiership managers who cite MoneyBall (and the people in baseball behind the story) as influencing how they manage their teams now.

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Sub-Prime Crisis? Think of the …… pets!

If I told you about the research I was doing in order to come across this Animals in the Press website, you definitely wouldn’t believe me.

Their most recent story, Family pets fall victim to subprime crisis, was what caught my attention. Those damn capitalists have a lot to answer for:

Shelters across the country have seen sharp upticks in the number of people giving up their pets in recent months because they have been forced out of their homes. And — more tragically — neighbors, police and foreclosure agents are finding increasing numbers of pets left to fend for themselves in abandoned homes.

“We’re finding too many animals who have starved to death,” said Stephanie Shain, director of outreach for the Human Society of the United States.

While some people dump their pets on the street, others go so far as to lock the animal in a closet where their cries for help are harder to hear, she said.

It can take weeks for an animal to starve to death and desperate scratch and bite marks are usually found on doors and windows.

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