Wall Street, with its army of brokers, analysts, and advisers funneling trillions of dollars into mutual funds, hedge funds, and private equity funds, is an elaborate fraud.
What are the odds that people will make smart decisions about money if they don't need to make smart decisions--if they can get rich making dumb decisions? The incentives on Wall Street were all wrong; they're still all wrong.
The CDO was, in effect, a credit laundering service for the residents of Lower Middle Class America. For Wall Street it was a machine that turned lead into gold.
Looking into it a bit, Jamie found that the model used by Wall Street to price LEAPs, the Black-Scholes option pricing model, made some strange assumptions.
The model used by Wall Street to price trillions of dollar's worth of derivatives thought of the financial world as an orderly, continuous process. But the world was not continuous; it changed discontinuously, and often by accident.
The big Wall Street firms, seemingly so shrewd and self-interested, had somehow become the dumb money. The people who ran them did not understand their own businesses, and their regulators obviously knew even less.
I didn't think one day something would happen that would bring me back to Wall Street to write what is essentially a sequel.
Wall Street is not being made a scapegoat for this crisis: they really did this.
I thought instead of a good rule for survival on Wall Street: Never agree to anything proposed on someone else's boat or you'll regret in in the morning.
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