Best Of The Web
“In the years leading up to the financial crisis, Wall Street figured out how to spin relatively obscure activities into gold.
What resulted was a jumble of products designed to profit off of the relatively mundane business of mortgage lending. From the mortgages themselves to products created to bet on risk and credit worthiness, soon enough, Wall Street had created an extensive and complex array of securities with funky acronyms, in some cases magnifying the risks two- and three-fold.
Banks, insurance companies, hedge funds and others were hungry to partake, but what seemed like easy profit at first stopped working when borrowers stopped paying on their loans. Losses cascaded across the financial market, requiring massive intervention to prevent the banking system from failing.
On Sept. 19, 2008, days after the failure of Lehman Brothers and the government action to shore up American International Group, the Treasury announced its remedy in the form of its own acronym: the $700 billion TARP. The Troubled Asset Relief Program would buy the toxic securities from banks and infuse them with capital to get over the crisis. TARP ultimately bought $426 billion of these assets and recovered $441 billion for a profit of $15 billion.”
JJ Best Of The Web
"Like many Western analyses of the Middle East, they reduce Iraq’s complex internal conflicts to catchall explainers of ‘sectarianism’ and ‘tribalism’ – presuming that some groups of people are intrinsically primed for antagonism."
" he's a loser in the precise sense that his singular accomplishment in American public life has been to lose a Senate race to the stupendously unpopular Republican Ted Cruz."
"While applauding the social impetus, Israelis are divided in opinions on an American-based initiative and question its grammatical integrity."
A look at the networks that churn out nonstop, formulaic Christmas movies; the actors who star in all of them; and the fans who can't stop watching.
"The Department of Homeland Security wants to use credit scores to determine immigration cases. That sets a dangerous precedent."
"Traffic. Congestion. Pollution. Hours-long commutes. What if you could leave it all behind and trade it in for an environmentally friendly and energy-efficient personal copter—all without a pilot’s license?"
"“But Qutb saw something else. The dancers in front of him were tragic lost souls. They believed they were free, but in reality they were trapped by their own selfish and greedy desires.”"
Cliches can be used as a political tool. "Prefabricated language helps everybody from prime ministers to CEOs disguise what they really want to say."
"Santa is nothing but stress for families who don’t believe in him. Trying to keep other kids from finding out the truth can cause a holiday-season-long headache."
"Umami is hard to describe in words. In the New Yorker, Hannah Goldfield defines it as “that deep, dark, meaty intensity that distinguishes seared beef, soy sauce, ripe tomato, Parmesan cheese, anchovies, and mushrooms..."
"The designer babies have thus been called the “future-we-should-not-want” for each new reproductive technology or intervention. But the babies never came and are nowhere close. I am not surprised."
"Thousands of secular Israelis became newly observant and joined Haredi communities in the 1970s and ’80s. Now, their children and grandchildren are searching for a place of their own."