Saturday, January 1, 2011

Financial crisis fallout

I have laid hands on a big stack of "old" quality newspapers from October to December 2010. Most of these are Financial Times. I'm slowly digging through this stack of several kilograms and performing an experiment. The experimental questions are:
  1. How much can I - as a total amateur - understand of the financial system? Can I spot invisible domains in the system?
  2. How big is the difference between foresight and hindsight? Can I predict trouble spots in the system? Can I predict problems for 2011?
So I'm looking at the financial system from the hacker's perspective. In the meantime I find a lot of interesting and curious details in these newspapers. For example:

One of the effects of an economic downturn is that fraudsters cannot keep up their Potemkin facade anymore. In the Internet bubble we had Enron and Parmalat. In the housing bubble we got Madoff. There is an enormous amount of fraud, failure, human misery and suffering condensed in this tiny (7*7cm) advertisement.

Saturday, November 13th, 10 A.M.
New York Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Metropolitan Ballroom
811 7th Ave. @ 53rd St., NY, NY 
Jewelry * Watches * Antiques * Art * Furniture 
All belonging to Bernard & Ruth Madoff 
Preview: Brooklyn Navy Yard, Sands Street Entrance, 
Bldg #25 on Friday, November 12th, 1·7 P.M. 
Gaston & Sheehan Auctioneers, Inc. NYC 1332970 
(512) 251-2780 or (512) 990-2838 

Financial Times, 2010

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