Tag Archives | Bush-era crooks

How the economy went bad, in one easy column

When someone asks if I can explain how the entire American economy fell into the dumper, I’ve typically tried to explain the phenomenon of collateralized debt obligations, or maybe recommended reading Michael Lewis’s The Big Short . (After you read it I guarantee that for at least 10 minutes you will understand exactly what a synthetic collateralized debt obligation is.)

No more. Now I’ll refer people to Paddy Hirsch and this excerpt from his book, Man vs. Markets . It’s a clear-language explanation of how the deeper in the banks got making potentially bad loans, the more money they made, and the more they had to make more potentially bad loans. Depressing but great reading.


Rudy Giuliani, Roger Ailes, Judith Regan, Bernie Kerik, and the not-quite-sealed court records

Court documents revealed in a lawsuit show that publisher Judith Regan says that Fox News grand poobah Roger Ailes urged her to lie to federal investigators about her affair with Bush’s Homeland Security nominee Bernard Kerik, a crony of NY mayor Rudy Giuliani. Regan thought Ailes was trying to protect Giuliani’s bid for the U.S. presidency by keeping his homeboy Kerik’s reputation clean.

Wow. How many versions of “Eyyyew” did you find yourself saying as you read that paragraph?

Bernard Kerik 200x221 Rudy Giuliani, Roger Ailes, Judith Regan, Bernie Kerik, and the not quite sealed court recordsKerik is a Topic of Interest here because he went to prison after pleading guilty to charges of lying to White House officials and tax evasion. Yes, people go to jail for that!!

Maybe the best part of the whole story is that documents that led The New York Times to this story were supposed to be kept confidential, but the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan apparently never got an order to seal them and so they were in the public case file. The records have since been taken out of the public file, but you can read the whole entertaining saga here .