Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Maybe he could take up golf

Lionel Tiger is an anthropologist who sees himself as an economist when he writes for the op ed page in the WSJ. I see him as a poet, because his writing about the subprime mess is so obscure and squishy, it just screams for the pages of Poetry. In today's piece he writes movingly of Maria (note the Hispanic, i.e. working class allusion) and her home loan problems. Tiger says that the savings and investment industry is built on optimism and overestimates--by all parties, but the blame when that goes awry does not go to Maria, however. Here's where I see the poetry.
    by Norma Bruce
    based on Lionel Tiger's essay

    For Allen who
    never checked Maria's paperwork,
    who assumed because she had a heartbeat
    she was both
    fine and subprime
    all at once and
    he didn't give a damn.

    For the companies who
    lurked outside
    the gated-city building sites
    promising the moonlight
    on the deck
    for just a little
    overestimate please.

    For the regulators who
    couldn't follow
    the trail of crumbs
    leading from an
    intimate overestimate
    by a hopeful Maria
    for a humble bungalow.

    For the massive banks of Paris who
    decided to close
    their cash windows
    and take
    a long lunch
    just when Maria comes
    to refinance.

    For the rating agencies who
    are largely paid by the
    companies they rate
    [without a word to condemn the social scientists
    who urged the high-risk, poor-credit workers
    before they were ready,
    to grab for the American dream.]
Read about banking on illegal immigrants, and see how business, the federal government loop holes and do-gooders work together, but we the people will pay.

No comments: