Wall Street Blues


Reading a book on the Wall Street debacles in 1997-9 and 2007, and not quite getting why investors who have no insurable interest were (are?) legally OK to purchase an insurance policy on debt for which they are neither lender nor borrower. Oh, and if that sentence didn’t make sense, no matter, because it took me about 20 minutes to understand about three sentences describing what I just tried to write. 
And by the way, that “insurance policy” I mentioned? In the book it’s called a “credit default swap,” or CDS. My math major and physics minor just don’t cut it in the world of high finance. Clearly I am unprepared if not just plain dumb. 
I can’t promise to write more about this book – hold your applause – because I can’t guarantee I’ll understand anything about it. The author is Scott Patterson and the book is “The Quants – How a New Breed of Math Whizzes Conquered Wall Street and Nearly Destroyed It,” Crown Business, 2010. 
I’ll keep reading in imitation of Mark Twain’s comment about remarriage: the triumph of hope over experience. I can only hope the rest of my reading comprehension is better than it is for the 150 pages I’ve read so far……

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