waking nightmares

In recent times, when one spoke of housing crises and victims, it was generally in reference to those who’d found themselves homeless due to foreclosure proceedings; those who’d seen the value of their homes cut in half; and those who were not in default but nevertheless had a lock put on their front door, all their earthly possessions confiscated, and their best friends kidnapped due to a trigger-happy bank that, for the record, never apologized for setting off a chain of events that resulted in a person needing to be prescribed anxiety medication for emotional distress.

These people, with all due respect, have no fucking clue what it means to suffer. Read more »

A lifelong practitioner of the art of defusing financial crises, he has spent his career hopping from one fiasco to the next—in Mexico, Asia, twice in Brazil—for the Treasury and the IMF. Which is why some argue that he should have seen one coming in the mid-aughts, when he took charge as president of the New York Fed, supervising many of the institutions that required federal assistance. When Obama first approached him about coming to Treasury in 2008, Geither suggested that unflattering details such as this might make him an unviable candidate. The decisions he had been party to at the height of the crisis—allowing Lehman Brothers to fail, bailing out AIG, deploying the hated TARP—might reflect badly on the new administration. He was trying to wriggle out of the job—“I knew it would be terrible”—but Obama wanted him anyway. [NYM]