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Naked came the shorts

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Saturday, November 01, 2008

I’VE BUILT THIS MONTH’S column out of a house of cards and it’s only a matter of time before the bubble bursts. My only hope of getting out of this bad metaphor with my investment intact is to sit tight, do nothing. Irrational exuberance has given way to irrational panic. I’m hiding under a TARP. All I want is to default-swap my toxic verbiage.

I could have made deadline and had something really interesting to say, but I was busy breaking the buck all weekend, taking Mark to market and painting the town with commercial paper. Then the naked shorts came by and who can concentrate with that kind of thing going on? I’m only human. I tried to reverse-auction my way out, but by that time the run on my creative bank was serious.


I invested heavily and early in toxic sub-prime ideas, hoping that I could fool my regulator, the managing editor, with some fast talk, and betting that in our deregulated newsroom, no one would be the wiser. We go on the honor system around here. Can you believe that? And frankly, my regulator is a member of the media, so how smart can he be? He’s one of those business journalists I’m blaming for my failure to perform even though he told me every day for almost two years what my deadline was. I happily ignored him. He trusted me. Who’s the schnook? I wouldn’t be in this shape if he had made sure I was following the Strunk and White rules. As soon as I can gather a like-minded media-hating crowd, we’re going to light the torches and chase him down Broadway.

The media is to blame for me missing deadline!


The Democrats are at fault! They said Fannie and Freddie were nice people, so I spent all weekend partying with them. But they trashed my house and stole my wallet and now I’m deleveraged up to my eyeballs with poor sentence structure and weak transitions.

The Republicans are to blame! If they had supported the first bailout vote, I wouldn’t have wasted all that time trolling end-of-the-world blogs. I could have written a column with unregulated adjectives, plenty of free-market associations and offshore banks full of rich hyperbole.

If only I could get a little more stimulus.

Yes, I know my column hasn’t had a good week, but I believe the fundamentals are still strong. I’ll face the TED spread with courage. I’ll take my lumps, downsize my ending paragraph, cut a few loser verbs, but I will not lose faith that the American people will forgive me for writing a column that is seriously derivative and artistically bankrupt. Who among us hasn’t faced a moral hazard and come back writing an even better narrative?

I’m thinking of writing my next column on Iceland. I hear they like exotic nouns and unsustainable plots. Sounds like my kind of reader.


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