And speaking of Henry Blodget and Clusterstock, he brings us this report:
Credit default swaps are “instruments of destruction” that should be outlawed, billionaire investor George Soros said on Friday.
Soros said the asymmetry of risk and reward embedded in CDS exerted so much downward pressure on the bonds underlying the contracts that companies and financial institutions could be brought to their knees.
“Some derivatives ought not to be allowed to be traded at all. I have in mind credit default swaps. The more I’ve heard about them, the more I’ve realised they’re truly toxic,” he told a banking conference.
I’m still waiting for my check and 72 virgins, George.
At any rate, I’m inclined to think Soros is right, although I’m sure there are a bunch of you who could explain how they truly could be useful tools. And while I am at it, I should probably note that while I take potshots at Clusterstock a lot, I really do like their website. I kind of have the same sort of love-hate relationship with it that I have with the TNR. Sometimes I think their stuff is really good, sometimes I think it is just horrid. Jonathon Chait is the classic example at TNR- when he is good, he is superb. When I think he is bad, I just think he is atrocious.
Maybe that is what makes them compelling websites and authors to read. I think one of my biggest flaws as a blogger and flaws with this website is that we spend an inordinate amount of time pointing out when I think the media does shoddy work. I’ve had caustic things to say about a lot of journalists, but then I rarely spend equal time highlighting their good work. I trashed Jake Tapper mercilessly for what I think was some hackworthy stuff, but if you watch his blurbs on the ABC Nightly News, which I have been doing, they are actually very good a lot of the time. In short, we’re heavy on the criticism, short on the praise, and then kvetch about a lack of balance in the media. In other words, we’re hypocrites.
The nature of the blogging beast.