Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Busted Up

I think it's because I'm now a parent and (temporarily) our family's sole breadwinner, but the ups and downs of the financial markets are suddenly riveting to me. Not in the check-the-tickers-all-day-long kinda way, but in the will-my-401(k)-survive kinda way. As such, this column in the Financial Times is an especially good overview of the market meltdowns that started last week:

Financial markets, and particularly the big players within them, need fear. Without it, they go crazy. Moreover, it is impossible for outsiders to regulate a global financial system riddled with conflicts of interest and dominated by huge derivatives markets, massive trading by highly leveraged hedge funds and reliance on abstruse mathematics and questionable statistical models. These markets must regulate themselves. The only thing likely to persuade them to do so is the certainty that the players will be allowed to go bust.