So you may have noticed that the economy is, to borrow a phrase, fucked the fuck up. To people not closely involved in finance, the events of the past week are confusing. You’re probably asking yourself, what exactly is going on? And should I convert my savings to weaponry inspired by George R. R. Martin’s fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire? (They’re only going to go up in value!)
Well, luckily, while waiting in line at the taco truck, I happened to run into nine or ten op-ed columnists and that MBA guy who keeps cornering you at parties. They were generous enough to take the time to explain the whole thing to me. Turns out they’re really smart, and people should ask their opinion more often! I wrote down everything they said. So here, now, and you won’t find this anywhere else, is the complete explanation of our current financial misadventure, as told to me by people who understand this kind of thing:
Alright, Henry, you’re standing in line, waiting to buy a burrito. But what if, instead of buying a burrito with four dollars, you just told the guy in the taco truck that you would pay him four dollars later? Sound like a good idea? Well guess what. You just ruined the economy. And gave four dollars to China, and by the way, I care about human rights now.
This is what happens when you borrow money you can’t pay back. This is what happens when you take out a mortgage with low payments which can quickly rise. My mortgage, by the way – It’s fixed rate. Actually, it’s not really even a mortgage, I have this, uh, it’s kind of an arrangement. Anywho.
It’s a house of cards, built on nothing. There’s no money holding it up, just promises to pay money later. What’s so frustrating is that it’s so. Blindingly. Obvious. My dog could have predicted this would happen. I remember, the first time I heard of a subprime mortgage, I said, this path only leads to one place. And that, I said, is a government loan to a major insurance company in exchange for a controlling stake in the company. Yes, insurance company. Well, no. Not out loud. But it’s just so plainly obvious, I didn’t think it was necessary.
I mean, you’d have to be real idiot not to see this coming. A real out-of-touch, hoity-toity fancy-lad. Anyway, I hope some of that got through to you.
So you there you go. I certainly feel a lot better knowing that so many people are totally on top of things.