Best Joke About the Financial Crisis *Updated*
Not being an economist, one of the things that I’ve been keeping my eye on to keep myself from going crazy is trying to eke out the best jokes about the situation. Until now, I didn’t think that it was possible to top Jim Henley’s one-liner: “Wouldn’t it save administrative costs if I just started giving my money to random rich people?”
However, I now have to say that it’s game over on finding the best one. I’m sorry, Jim, but Ezra Klein wins. Click through and read the whole thing.
Update: This Matthew Yglesias post mocks financial journalism, rather than the crisis per se, it doesn’t qualify to be listed as one of the best jokes about the crisis. That said, it’s still pretty funny.
That one’s been making the rounds for months. Last time I saw it it had Ben Bernanke’s name on it.
That is funny, hadn’t seen it before.
What makes it quite ironic though is that guys like Klein, et. al. would love a bailout. It is the epitome of what the government is supposed to do. Step into a crisis and make things right. The only reason why they oppose it now is pure partisan politics.
In short Klein is a complete political hack. For more evidence see his stance on Bush’s health care proposal about a year ago. At first he loved it. Got a beating in his comments and immediately about-faced like a good little progressive.
And Yglesias himself apparently doesn’t know what happened to oil prices, nor was it properly reported in most cases. Monday was the close (last day to trade, though settlement occurs the next day) of the October Delivery oil contracts (AKA witching). Lots of folks had invested (bet) wrong on the price of oil and there was a short squeeze, no different than a stock short squeeze. The price of November contracts did not change significantly on Monday, nor the price of refined products like gas and fuel oil.
Come Tuesday there are no more October contracts to trade. The November contract is the one quoted and it didn’t go berserk. That is why oil was up $25 on Monday, but on Tuesday it was at about the same level it started Monday but there was no -$25 (the delta is only November contracts, not Oct to Nov contracts).
This was a market artificiality but the average reporter will run and scream disaster. But I’m still wondering who got ruined by the one-day pop, and who got a windfall.
I’m also keeping this simple, there is more details to all this.