IT’S BACK & IT’S HERE: Mandelman’s Monthly Museletter – Version 9.0

Yeah, I know… it’s been several months since my last Monthly Museletter.  So, what’s your point?  I try to keep up but it’s not easy.  The banks are such pond scum that their crimes and abuses come out so frequently it’s hard to keep up.  I get a Museletter outlined and by the time I finish it, everyone’s already covered everything… and I don’t want to post stuff that everyone else has already posted.  I only post stuff that MATTERS, remember?  Okay, so there you have it.  I can come up with additional excuses if you’d like.

But, all of that being said… in time for Thanksgiving, may absolute favorite holiday of the year… here’s another hopefully somewhat riveting issue of Mandelman’s Monthly Museletter, and I’ll try harder to keep ‘em coming as close to monthly as possible from now on… I promise.  Why is Thanksgiving my particular favorite holiday?  It’s simple really: Comes mid-week, so short work week.  Great food, and okay to gorge yourself.  Macy’s Day Parade – always fun to watch with my daughter while eating pumpkin pie with Cool Whip at 9:00 AM.  Alcohol friendly.  Annual reason for me to throw football around in front of house.  Twilight Zone Marathon, or reasonable substitute.  Time to give thanks, because no matter what, it could be much worse.  Close friends and family around, but it’s a no gift holiday, so no pressure shopping.  Guests bring food.  What’s not to love?

INSIDE THIS ISSUE:

1. Help is NOT on the Way…

2. Go see the documentary “INSIDE JOB”… if it’s not already too late.

3. One and Done… I Agree… Obama Shouldn’t Run in 2012.

4. The Government is Launching Criminal Probes Into Bankers, But Which Ones.

5. UH OH… CISCO…

6. Chris Dodd Uses Hearing to Tell Geithner to Do His Job… And DDay’s Interview With N.C.’s Rep.Miller… A MUST READ!

7. Richard Zombeck’s Article on HuffPo Offers Compilation of Crisis Commentators & I Offer My Reading List.

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1. HELP is NOT ON THE WAY…


There’s a cheery, uplifting way to kick it off, don’t you think?  But, I can’t kid anyone, with the midterms now behind us, and with the Dems having received the shellacking that I kept saying they’d receive… like, for the last 18 months… and with Obama apparently happy with “hitting singles” at a time when we need to do more than that… well, help is not on the way.

Maybe I was naïve to think that getting their butts tossed out of Congress, the remaining Dems would rise up and realize that allowing the banks to abuse tens of millions of homeowners isn’t good politics.  And maybe now they’ll try to do something… I’m afraid we’re in for two years of gridlock, and one of those years we’ll spend watching… painfully, I imagine… Obama run for re-election in 2012.  Oy vey… (I’m not even sure what that means, exactly, but it seemed to fit right there.)

Obama has said that no more help for homeowners is coming because, as he put it, that would mean helping irresponsible homeowners… and for saying that, he’s proven to me that he’s an idiot.  Yeah, that’s right Mr. President… 20 million irresponsible homeowners popped up out of nowhere.  They all ran out to buy homes that they couldn’t afford.  The banks are right and doing all they can to help.  And we’ll let you go back to bed now.

So, my point is that we’re on our own.  Help is not on the way.

We should feel like that guy in the movie, 127 Hours, that I have not seen because I’m too scared to see it alone and I haven’t been able to find anyone to go with me as yet… you know… the guy who had to cut off his own arm to save his life when he fell into a deep hole in the Utah desert and was trapped by a boulder.  At some point, he must have realized that help was not on the way… and it was time for drastic measures.

The human spirit is always amazing, and although few among us think we could have saved our lives under those same circumstances… I think more of us might have were we faced with the same choice.  It’s time to get tougher and do more about the foreclosure crisis.  I’m sure as hell going to try… and that’s all I have to say about that at the moment.

2. Go see the documentary “INSIDE JOB”… if it’s not already too late…


I’m not saying this lightly… go see the movie “Inside Job”.  Like today.  Right now.  Like, nothing you are doing is more important that seeing this documentary, and dragging someone with you, if possible.  I’ve seen it three times so far, and I’m going at least one more time with another friend of mine, so don’t miss it.  And if you do miss it, then keep your eyes open for the DVD to come out… or download it… or download it illegally if you can’t afford it… I don’t care what you have to do… just see it, damn it.  It’s important.

Here’s a link to the trailer:


3. One and Done… I Agree, Obama Shouldn’t Run in 2012.

Well, a couple of Democratic Party pollsters writing in the Washington Post done went and stole my idear.  (That’s not a typo.  I’m trying to talk like that.) 

Actually, that’s not entirely true… I thought it, but I wasn’t going to write it ‘cause I figured it would have come out sounding mean.  But, now that they went and said it… what the heck, I might as well…

Obama should announce that he’s not going to seek reelection in 2012.

Now, some think that by him doing this, it would allow him to be the “man-of-the-people” that he pretended to be… I mean… “seemed to be,” when he was running around Iowa during his two-year trek on the campaign trail.  You know… free from the influence of lobbyists and their ilk.  But see, I think that’s all crap.  He’s who he his, and I’ve seen enough of that.

President Obama has had two years to fix the housing crisis, and I don’t even care that he didn’t do didley squat about that at the moment.  The point I’m making is a simpler one:

He’s known that the banks of this country have been literally torturing and abusing the millions of people at risk of foreclosure SINCE HE’S BEEN IN OFFICE.  Bankers lying their moneyed asses off, lying to people and lying to government… he damn well knows that… hell, I know pre-teens who think Lady Gaga is actual royalty… and they know that.

And don’t give me any of that nonsense about the “sanctity of contracts,” and how the president can’t control the banks.  He may not be able to force them to modify a loan, but he can damn well speak up when they’re torturing American citizens.  And I don’t care whether someone can afford their loan or not, there’s no possible justification that makes the way banks have treated my fellow citizens okay… okay?

And I for one will never stop screaming about it.  I won’t bank with them, and I’ll do whatever I can to influence others to not do the same.  I’m not even nice to tellers anymore, I steal their pens… and if I were smoking a cigarette, I’d put it out on the bank’s floor or an executive’s desk if I get the chance.  Can I use your rest room?  Yeah, well I’ll throw the extra rolls of toilet paper away just to cost them something extra.  And then I pee on the floor.

Obama hasn’t even found it necessary to give a follow-up speech to the one he gave when introducing his Making Home Affordable plan February 19, 2009!  He knows about what banks have done to people, the way they’ve treated them… millions of them… and you know what… he’s an African American… and the fact that he’s done nothing to ensure that people are treated like human beings I find so offensive I can’t even comment on it any further.

So, don’t try telling me that he’s in a “bubble” and he doesn’t know and there’s nothing he can do.  BULLSHIT!

He should announce that he’s not going to seek re-election because if he doesn’t, he might actually win the 2012 election and then we’re really screwed.  He blew the midterms and now we’re facing two years of gridlock.  And does NOW seem to anyone like a good time to play gridlock?

I know, some of you don’t think he’ll win, but watch what will happen…

The Republicans are so fractured they don’t know whether they’re praying or shooting.  They’ll run Mitt Romney or some reasonable facsimile, and Sarah Palin will run as in independent… split the vote… and BAM!  Obama wins with 34% of the vote.  Remember 1992?  Well, I do.

Either that, or he’ll lose to God-only-knows-who… excuse me… whom.

I think he should announce that he won’t seek re-election, and if that frees him up in some political way, then fine.  But at this point, my expectations are pretty low.

4. The Federal Government is Launching Criminal Probes Into Some Bankers, but Which Ones?

AP News has reported that the federal government has opened criminal investigations into something like 50 bank executives and directors that worked at banks that collapsed during the financial crisis.  The story reported that Deputy Inspector General Fred Gibson told the press this past Wednesday that the inspector general’s office at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is working in conjunction with the FBI, and are looking into the role of these individuals in their banks failing.

I can’t decide whether I’m happy about this or not.  I mean, on one hand, of course I’m happy anytime a banker gets criminally prosecuted… hell, at this point I’d be happy to hear that a banker got a nasty hangnail.

But, you see, this is the problem with losing trust in one’s government.  I can’t help thinking that they’re going to go after some poor schmuck from a bank in Nowheresville who forgot to staple paycheck stubs to some handful of loan docs all related to loans made to people who couldn’t afford them… just to make that example emblematic of the mortgage crisis.

Because then I’m going to have people writing to me saying things like: “See… those people never should have been given those loans in the first place… see… I told you so.”  And then I will have to shoot them, and if they do not die, I will have to shoot them twice.

5. UH OH… CISCO…

Sing it with me… “You better watch out… You might want to cry… Who cares what The White House Spouts… You know it’s a lie… Cisco cut it’s sales forecast again today!”

Did you feel it… I swear I walked out side my house and felt the wind change last Thursday when Cisco Systems’ CEO, John Chambers not only rocked the tech world by lowering the company’s sales forecasts for the second quarter in a row, but also by saying that the company’s situation is the result of outside forces beyond the company’s control.

Michael Malone, a writer for Forbes who follows the techie world, made note of the announcement, pointing out that Cisco pointed to “declining orders from cable companies and government agencies.”

Here’s what Malone had to say about the impact:

“The market responded quickly and strongly to such depressing news from one of the linchpins of the U.S. economy:  the Dow fell nearly 74 points, or 0.7 percent to close at 11,283.10.  It could have been a lot worse – at one point in the day trading was down as much as 126 points.

Needless to say, Cisco stock was bloodied as well:  it fell $3.97 (more than 16 percent) to $20.52.  That instantly erased nearly $24 billion in worth from one of the world’s most valuable companies.”

Oh no, Cisco?  Remember what happened the last time Cisco made this sort of announcement?  I do because it took the country a couple of years to get the bubble gum out of its collective hair.  Here’s what Malone, who was running Forbes ASAP magazine back in 2000-2001, had to say…

“… despite the Cisco announcement, both the stock market and the tech world ended the week about where it began, with an attitude of More of the Same. . .and awaiting that one message that will point which way the economy is going to go:  towards recovery or a double dip; inflation or deflation, optimism or despair.

But what if that message just got delivered?  Anyone who knows the history of tech – especially if they were journalists in early 2001 – must have shuddered with a sense of déjà vu.”

When you look back at the Cisco of 2000, Chaambers’ announcement was the pin the popped the tech bubble and what was to come was a recession that could only have been rescued by an even bigger bubble… the housing bubble.

I know, IBM and Motorola have both said that things are turning around, but my money’s on Chambers… he’s battlefield tested… he took his company from the bottom to the top… and then again from the bottom to the top.  And, as any experienced CEO will readily agree, and I’ve said for years… you learn a lot more on the way down than you do on the way up.

6. Emptywheel Blog: Chris Dodd Uses Hearing to Call on Geithner to Do His JobAnd Much, Much More on DDay’s Interview With Rep. Miller…


People, I keep telling you to not give up the ship just yet, because although we’ve long since struck the iceberg, and help is not on the way, there’s always two wild cards out there: One is the increasing strength of the citizen revolt that grows stronger as each house hits foreclosure.  And the other is that the banks are insolvent and Timmy and the Treasury Boys can’t keep this masquerade going forever, even with Ben Bernanke and his magic money printing presses.

Firedog Lake is a blog that I like more and more every day, and that has a bunch of different bloggers on it, and one is Emptywheel.  A few days ago the “Wheel” and FDL posted a video and transcript of the Financial Stability Oversight Council reminding Tim Geithner to do his job and take action to prevent the foreclosure fraud problem from becoming a systemic crisis.  It’s definitely worth reading, if for no other reason than to get a glimpse at just how hypocritical Chris Dodd can be.

But wait, there’s more… and it’s a good kind of more…

DDay, another FDL blogger, David Dayden, posted an interview he conducted with House Representative Brad Miller (D – NC, 13th District) and I love the guy.  Among other things, Rep. Miller said during the interview:

“Protecting bank solvency has been a goal of Treasury that I do not share.”

So, woohoo!  Come on… I said: WOOHOO!  Here’s the interchange from DDay:

Q: There was that extraordinary moment in the hearing when you were questioning Adam Levitin, and he said that the regulators don’t want to fix the foreclosure crisis because it would show that the banks are insolvent. Can they ignore this forever?

Rep. Miller: The letter, and the contents of the letter, would certainly make that difficult. I do not place a high priority on protecting the solvency of the banks if they are insolvent. Protecting bank solvency has been a goal for Treasury that I do not share. It has prevented them from doing anything about foreclosure crisis which is killing the economy. Millions of people are losing their homes. Millions more, pretty much everyone, are seeing the value in their home decline, which for most Americans is the bulk of their net worth. This is a huge burden on families.

And, lest you think it doesn’t get any better than that, it does.  Here are a few snippets from the interview and then when you’re done reading me, read the interview yourself.

Rep. Miller: We all knew we were going to have a correction. But the failure to get this under control has made it much worse, and there’s no end in sight.

Rep. Miller: During the Depression, the HOLC turned a slight profit by the time it ended in 1951. They bought mortgages at a low price from failed banks. This was before safety and soundness regulation, so the banks were happy then to sell mortgages and get them off the books. The current eminent domain authority might extend to buying mortgages, so you wouldn’t have to come to Congress. Or maybe state and local governments could buy them, and we’ll buy it from them. Especially the hardest hit states may be willing.

Q: I hear all the time that somehow Congress is going to be able to swoop in and fix this, do you think that can even happen legally?

Rep. Miller: I don’t. Professor Levitin’s proposal was my original idea for bankruptcy reform in 2007 (Levitin has proposed a global settlement, where servicers are removed from the process, and homeowners who can pay get principal reductions, with a quieting of title on securitized properties, and a restructuring of bank balance sheets to absorb the attendant loss). It quickly became apparent that it was preferable. We may eventually get to that point if the document problem becomes bad enough.

Q: Do you get the sense that Republicans are paying attention to this issue at all? What will they do with it in the majority?

Rep. Miller: Blame borrowers. Or, I’m sure they’re going to find some way to argue that it’s all government’s fault, liberals’ fault. I’m sure they’re scrambling. They probably have a full team at AEI and Cato working on that now. They’ll have some experts with a complete explanation come January.

Like I’ve said in my recent posts… Obama has shown me that he’s not the guy, but be careful who you vote for because the other side of the isle is still completely nuts.

Okay, so there’s some good news… now there’s one more section of the Museletter, and you can go back and read the interview in its entirety… and I’m thinking I’ll probably do a feature on it over the weekend as well, as it points to the potential for change to come… late, perhaps, but as they say, better late than never.


7. Richard Zombeck’s Article on HuffPo Provides a Very Nice Compilation of Crisis Commentators…

Richard Zombeck (http://www.shamethebanks.org) who is a very good writer, a fabulous cartoonist, and someone who I consider a good friend, recently published, in the Huffington Post, a very nice compilation of pieces written by various commentators on the mortgage and foreclosure crisis, including another close cyber-friend of mine, Steve Dibert of MFI-Miami.  It’s absolutely worth reading, if for no other reason than to see how much broader the coverage has become as the crisis has… well… broadened, I suppose.

It’s great that the issue has gotten more coverage from more mainstream journalists and editorialists.  It is also about time, still woefully inadequate, and hopefully only the beginning… in my view anyway.

But, when Richard closed his article by referring to Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone, and William Black, a former Senior Regulator from the S&L’s days of wine and roses, as coverage of today’s crisis by “the heavy hitters,” I had to wonder… those guys… heavy hitters… really?  What makes them heavy hitters?  I think Richard and Steve are both fairly heavy hitters, themselves.

Don’t get me wrong… personally, I’ve loved Matt’s recent articles about Wall Street and his recent piece about the foreclosure crisis in Florida, but other than that, the last time I read Rolling Stone was when Peter Frampton adorned its cover.  And I wouldn’t have known William Black from a can of black paint.

Of course, it’s entirely possible that it’s me and I just don’t get out much.

I figured, in the same vein as Richard’s article, I’d offer my reading list for those interested in reading a few more words than can be offered by an article.  So, presented in alphabetical order… here goes…


Aftershock, by Robert Reich – I found this book to be nothing short of transformational.  Reich’s thesis is fascinating.  His view is that we didn’t borrow too much over the last 30 or so years, we simply “coped” in response to the “essential bargain” that has been inherent to our society since 1947 having been broken by Wall Street’s dominance.  Not being a devotee of cable news shows, I wasn’t all that familiar with Reich before reading “Aftershock,” so I came to the book with an open mind.  For my money, I think the book is a “10”.


All the Devils Are Here, by Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera – These two well-known writers were guests on The Daily Show a couple of nights ago, promoting their recently published book.  I caught the show and bought the book online right after Jon Stewart offered me my “moment of Zen.”  McLean was the author of another book I read some years ago, The Smartest Guys in the Room, which chronicled the ENRON catastrophe.  In “Devils” she focuses a bit too much on the loans as being the cause of the crisis, but Nocera seems to balance that perspective quite well.  I’ve still got a handful of chapters to go, but I’d certainly recommend it because it does offer a degree of detail into certain players in the crisis, AIG comes to mind, that I had not gotten elsewhere.


The Big Short, By Michael Lewis – Okay, like if you haven’t read this one you’re really missing out.  Lewis’ first book, Liar’s Poker, which chronicled his experiences working as a bond salesman at the Solomon Bros. of the late 1980s has quite deservedly become a classic, as it takes the reader inside the first bubble of my adult life.  But with “Big Short,” Lewis knocked it out of the park once again, which was no easy task.  What can I say… the guy is just a great writer… and thinker… so whatever he writes from this point forward… well, let’s just say… I’m in.


Crisis Economics, by Nouriel Roubini & Stephen Mihm – Don’t let the title fool you… there’s no need to get your degree in economics before attempting to read Roubini’s expose on the financial meltdown.  It’s simply outstanding.  Roubini’s blog, however, isn’t quite so easy to get through, but it does show that he’s obviously a brilliant economist and not one obviously paid off by Wall Street to say things like “recovery is just around the corner.”  He was also one of the first, alongside Peter Shiff, to warn of what was to come.  No one listened to Nouriel back then… well, I did actually, but there weren’t many others that I knew… but we’re listening now, aren’t we?  I sure do hope so.  He’s also one of those interviewed in the documentary “Inside Job,” which I can’t stress enough, is a movie you must see.


The End of Wall Street, by Roger Lowenstein – If you haven’t heard of Roger Lowenstein it could be because his last book was titled: “While America Aged: How Pension Debts Ruined General Motors, Stopped the NYC Subways, Bankrupted San Diego, and Loom as the Next Financial Crisis”. Seriously, Roger?  Okay, so the guy’s not great with titles, but “End of Wall Street is his fifth book, and the guy’s been reporting for The New York Times since… I don’t know… a while ago.  The thing about this book is that Lowenstein has written extensively on subjects closely related to today’s financial meltdown several times before, so you get a perspective you don’t get elsewhere, and that’s what I look for in a book.  Here’s a link to a video in which he discusses this book.


The Forgotten Man, by Amity Shlaes – This is probably the single best history book on The Great Depression I’ve ever read, and I’ve read more than a few.  Shlaes was a magna cum laude grad from Yale… she writes a syndicated column for Bloomberg News, she’s a senior fellow in economic history at the Council on Foreign Relations… she wrote for The Financial Times for five years… she was a member of the editorial board at the Wall Street Journal… and if that’s not enough, she currently teaches a graduate level class at NYU’s Stern School of Business titled “Economics of the Great Depression.”  Oh, and in 2009 she received the Hayek Prize, which is awarded by the Manhattan Institute.  Yep… she’s an underachiever, no question about that.  This book brought tears to my eyes more than once.

Freefall, by Joseph Stiglitz – I like this book so much that I’ve given it as a gift to several of my friends on their birthdays, and I reviewed it on my blog shortly after it his the shelves.  It’s great.  Stiglitz is another econo-super-brain… he’s currently a professor at Colombia, used to be the Chief Economist at The World Bank… and he’s won the Nobel Prize in Economics and John Bates Clark Medal… but he writes like he’s a regular guy, and having a beer with him is on my bucket list.  Here’s a link to my review of Freefall, in case you’re interested.


The Great American Stick Up, by Robert Sheer – This book was just plain fun… no, it was even funner that that.  I mean, it’s not fun in the sense that you’ll go: “Weeeee!”  But it’s fun, nonetheless.  The full title of the book is: The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street. See?  Fun!  Sheer pulls no punches, which I like, and he tells a great tale.  Easy to read and a good time… although you may want to put your fist through a wall a couple of times while reading it.

The Great Depression Diary, by Benjamin Roth – This was another book I reviewed on my blog last year, you can find that review HERE… and suffice it to say that I loved it dearly and hope someone write a screen play from it… I might even take a shot at that if no one else does.  It’s great, and that’s that.  The book is actually a diary written by a lawyer in Youngstown, Ohio during the 1930s.  You live The Great Depression as it unfolds for him.  Nothing like it.  Nothing close.  I even bought the audio copy of the book, in addition to the hard copy, and often listen to it before bed.  (Maybe I shouldn’t have admitted that.)

The Hellhound of Wall Street, by Michael Perino – Perino is the Dean George W. Matheson Professor of Law at St. John’s University School of Law in New York.  His interests, according to the St. John’s site, are “securities regulation and litigation, corporations, class actions, and judicial decision making.”  I wasn’t familiar with him until I read his latest book, “Hellhounds” but now that I am, I look for his commentary wherever it pops up.  The “Hellhound” in this book is Ferdinand Pecora, a lawyer during the 1930s in this country, who became famous when he put the bankers of the that era on trial and exposed them for the pond scum that were… and obviously still are today.  Bankers have a rich tradition of being pond scum, you might say, and I just did.  I researched Pecora for a talk I was asked to give at the Judicial Conference for 9th Circuit judges last April in Santa Barbara.  It’s a great story, and I’m praying for what’s referred to as a “Ferdinand Pecora Moment,” every single day.

On the Brink, by Henry M. Paulson – Yes, the ex-CEO of Goldman Sachs, and Secretary of the Treasury under G.W. Bush wrote a book… he admits in the introduction that he had help and that it wasn’t easy… but I think he did a very good job.  This book is obviously written from a point of view that I might not readily share, at least that’s what I was thinking when I bought it, but I liked it… quite a bit, actually.  Paulson is known as a candid guy who speaks his mind, and he certainly does write that way.  Yeah, he’s a zillionaire, but he doesn’t impress me as being the same sort of pond scum that the others on Wall Street today so clearly are.  Maybe I’ve been fooled, but I don’t think so.  This is book offers an insiders perspective on what happened leading up to and following those heady days in 2008 when we were literally… “on the brink.

The Quants, by Scott Patterson – Okay, this book annoyed the heck out of me.  “Quants” is the term for those ostensibly brilliant mathletes that have gone to work on Wall Street and for hedge funds that turn everything into some insanely complicated formula in order to make zillions of dollars by buying and selling stocks and bonds at the speed of light.  Personally, I don’t even think it should be allowed.  If they were doing what they do today in a Las Vegas casino in 1965… they’d all have gotten their legs broken and then been run out of town on a rail… and deservedly so.  But please don’t take that to mean that I don’t think you should read it.  The book’s full title is: The Quants… How A New Breed of Math Whizzes Conquered Wall Street and Nearly Destroyed It, and Patterson is a staff reporter for the Wall Street Journal so he knows his stuff.  We know the ending, and sure… these guys lost too… but not enough, if you ask me.

The Return of Depression Economics, by Paul Krugman – Okay, so you’re probably thinking… no mystery here… we all know Paul Krugman, if not from his columns in The New York Times, then from his well-publicized fights with conservative talking heads on cable news shows.  But, you’d be wrong… this book is absolutely worth reading.  Professor Krugman is a Nobel Prize in Economics winner, and a professor at Princeton and at the London School of Economics.  The guy knows what he’s talking about in terms of his grasp of economic history… especially the Asian economic crisis of the 1990s, and even takes us into what caused Iceland’s demise.  It’s not about whether you agree or disagree with his interpretations or solutions, it’s about learning about how we got here, and what we’re going to be challenged by in the years ahead.  And he makes fun of himself, making sure that he doesn’t talk over our heads, even though he admits he’s quite capable of doing so.

Too Big to Fail, by Andrew Ross Sorkin – This book reads almost like a John Grisham novel… but many will be intimidated by its length… 624 pages that looks like it might be 1,000 when you first pick it up.  One good thing, it’s already out in soft cover, so at least you won’t have to shell out the $35 that I did.  TBTF is written by Andrew Ross Sorkin, a writer that I didn’t warm to right away.  The kid writes for The New York Times, and he looks like he’s 19… okay maybe 23… and that’s annoying.  He went to Cornell and joined the Times while still in High School.  You read that right… he even published 71 articles before graduating.  But, after reading TBTF, I liked him.  He really is a great writer and he tells the story of 2008 like no other.  Someone will make this into a movie… probably several.


13 Bankers, by Simon Johnson and James Kwak – This is another book that I reviewed this past year on my blog, mostly because I’m a huge fan of Simon Johnson and James Kwak.  I’ve been faithfully reading their blog, The Baseline Scenario, since its beginnings, and I go out of my way to watch Johnson whenever he appears on television.  He’s also a big fan of Elizabeth Warren, and she… as you may recall… is my girl.  Read my review of 13 Bankers to get an idea of what the book is about, but just know that if you don’t read it… you can’t possibly fully appreciate what our banking oligarchy has done and continues to do to prevent our recovery.  It’s that important a book.  And you can’t complain about its length… it clocks in under 200 pages as I recall.

So, there you have it… and now you know why I didn’t get to watch much television this past year… not that I’ve missed it.  We’re watching and experiencing history in the making.  And we’re only at the beginning of what will one day be seen as pivotal years in our nation’s future.

How will it end?  I guess no one knows for sure, but as we sit here today… it doesn’t look so good.  So, why not turn off the tube and curl up with a good book?  Knowledge, as they say… is power, right?  Well, no… I guess banking is power, but knowledge is cool too.

See, these Museletters are a lot of work… whew… but you made it through, and so did I.

Okay, now let’s get ready for Thanksgiving!

ERGO BIBAMUS!

Mandelman out.

Now, as you may already know, I signed up as an Amazon Affiliate, so if you’re thinking about buying any of the books described, click the links in the box below that takes you to my Amazon page. I make about 7% of whatever you spend, but it doesn’t cost you a dime, so come on… if you’re going to buy it, please buy it here.


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