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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Return of the Mortgage-Based Bonds: Another Bubble in the Making?

In case it has been a while since you have been entertained by going around in circles while sitting on a painted wooden horse, permit me to re-introduce you to the Merry-Go-Round, a staple at virtually any amusement park.

The world itself might just be such a ride, with us mere earthlings playing out our respective roles while spinning around and around as the world goes by once and then again, and again. Lest it seem monotonous to go around in circles, it is possible—at least in principle—to learn something new on each pass.  Weighing against a learning-curve that might thwart an eternal recurrence of past failures are other, less salubrious proclivities of the mind. These include (but are not limited to) avarice, power, and even the force of habit. More damning still may be the arrogance of pride—the hubris of presumption. 

The anti-epistemological mechanism of human presumptuousness may dwarf greed and power-aggrandizement in holding us back as a species from realizing the better angels of our nature—our human, all too human, nature. Lest all of this comes off as too abstract, dissolving in your hand as you grasp it (something like jello), fortunately we have Wall Street, which can always be counted on to render such matters sufficiently concrete, if not utterly banal.