Monday, September 22, 2008

Scenes From The 2008 Financial Crisis

One of the things that Megan and I talked about offline this past week was how all the shitstorm in the financial markets would have really made Moe Tkacik a more timely Crappy Hour partner, since these matters are far more squarely in her wheelhouse then mine. But even though I had to muddle through it on Crappy Hour, Moe was on the case all the same. This insanity stood out:

Inspired by this story about an insane Merrill Lynch investment vehicle called NORMA one expert quoted in the Wall Street Journal called "a tangled hairball of risk", I'm holding the Awful Vodkas I Have Drank of the plutocracy, an "Absurd Financial Product Some Rich Person Actually Bought" contest. I asked one of our tipstering financiers about the most retarded investment vehicle he'd ever seen.

ABSURDISTBANKER: Last year, I built a fund that invested solely in a hedge fund, but it leveraged 2X to do it - so it was a leveraged vehicle to enhance returns on a leveraged equity long/short hedge fund
MOE:: oh god
a SINGLE hedge fund?
MOE: That is fucking nuts. Not even a "fund of funds." A fund of fund. A truly innovative investment strategy.
ABSURDISTBANKER: I remember saying to the product team that designed it
"People who buy this are insane"

The mind reels.

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