this week i

opened christmassy biennale: gandhi's letter to hitler and much much more.  old man enjoying himself #2 transports peep-dyed live chicks in far cage

read the big short: inside the doomsday machine by michael lewis


who else studies the talmud so that they can find the mistakes?


writing a check separates a commitment from a conversation  -warren buffett


fedex couldn't get its night shift to finish on time; they tried everything to speed it up but nothing worked - until they stopped paying night shift workers by the hour and started to pay them by the shift


munger also has a fake eye


it was as if you could buy flood insurance on the house in the valley for the same price as flood insurance on the house on the mountaintop


in the early 2000s, the financial markets performed this fantastic bait and switch, in two stages.  stage one was to apply a formula that had been dreamed up to cope with corporate credit risk to consumer credit risk.  the banks that used aig fp to insure piles of loans to ibm and ge now came to it to insure much messier piles, which included credit card debt, student loans, auto loans prime mortgages, aircraft leases, and just about anything else that generated a cash flow.  as there were many different sorts of loans, to different sorts of people, the logic that had applied to corporate loans seemed to apply to them, too: they were sufficiently diverse that they were unlikely all to go bad at once

 stage two, beginning at the end of 2004, was to replace the student loans and the auto loans and the rest with bigger piles consisting of nothing but u.s. subprime mortgage loans.  "the problem," as one aig fp trader put it, "is that something else came along that we thought was the same thing as what we'd been doing."  the "consumer loan" piles that wall street firms, led by goldman sachs, asked aig fp to insure went from being 2 percent subprime mortgages to being 95 percent subprime mortgages


if it's such a great idea, why are you giving it away to us?

i'm not giving anything away.  the supply is infinite


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 $724,000


guys who can't get a job on wall street get a job at moody's


subprime borrowers tended to be one broken refrigerator away from default


subprime mortgage bond traders were long and wrong


those are big fat tail risks that caught us hard


alan greenspan will go down as the worst chairman of the federal reserve in history


on wall street, the lawyers play the same role as medics in war: they come in after the shooting is over to clean up the mess