The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Monday, March 17, 2008

Head Shake Day

Today can best be described as a "head shake day" in the financial markets. Friday was, too.

On Friday, I ran into a colleague from my previous firm (Blessed is the Lord who delivered me from there. Seriously). His firm has gotten crushed by the subprime mess. When we saw each other, neither of us said a word; we just shook our heads.

Today, in the wake of the sudden disintegration of Bear, there is a huge amount of head shaking going on. We all have friends and colleagues at Bear who, in a week, have lost a lot of their net worth and whose jobs are not secure. It is very sad. And scary. We are all thinking, "where does this end?"



  • At 7:12 PM, Blogger Gil Student said…

    This year the bloodbath on Wall Street is going to continue:

    Wall Street's Pink Slip Parade

  • At 8:01 AM, Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said…

    This had me freaked out all morning.

  • At 9:18 AM, Blogger MoChassid said…


    There is no doubt that the bloodbath on Wall Street will continue (although today's relatively positive news from Goldman and Lehman should put an end to the immediate craziness).

    What I don't agree with in the article you link to is that the jobs won't come back. While it's true that some mortgage related jobs may not come back, jobs on Wall Street seem to always come back over time albeit in different areas.

    One thing is for sure. As my mom would say, "this isn't good for the Jews".

  • At 10:13 AM, Blogger rescue37 said…

    What are you so surprised about? It was only time before the greed of those in the market, came back to bite them in the a$$. You lend money to people who should have never been considered for a loan and you further exacerbate it by loaning them more money then they could ever afford to pay back. I don't pretend to know even a little about the markets, but all the markets seem to me, is that anyone not investing long term, is basically a gambler who likes the odds better than the casinos.

  • At 10:19 AM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    A tiny percentage of the people on Wall Street were involved in the subprime mess yet its impact is being felt across the board. Most of the people I know are hard working men and women who are trying to do their jobs.

  • At 3:37 PM, Blogger rescue37 said…

    And it was only a small percentage of accountants that caused Anderen's downfall. I am sure that everyone knew what was going on, between brokers, underwiters, and any one in beween, the gambles should not have been allowed on the mortgages. Then you have the people that came up with the way to comodotize them. I don't think the investors are so stupid either. They all took risks and knew they were taking risk, when the dealer comes up with 21, they now cry we need someone to help us. I am not crying over the downfall. I will cry for those who now have to look for new jobs, but not those that made tens to hundreds of millions in bonuses because of this.

  • At 9:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Please consider, somehow, for MOCHASSID. thanks for a great blog--




    CEDARHURST, NY (March 18)— For the first time, supporters of KULANU, one of the community’s leading Jewish organizations for the disabled, will be able to help raise funds—and get some neat stuff too—with the launch of the organization’s first online goods and services auction. The auction, which can be accessed directly at or through a link at, will be offered from Tuesday, April 1st (at 12 noon) through 9 pm, Sunday, April 6th.

    “This ‘eBay style’ online auction allows us to offer a significant fund raising event to friends of Kulanu all over, while offering greater convenience, access, and at almost zero overhead cost,” said Mark Honigsfeld, Kulanu chairman. “Funds raised through the auction and other activities go directly to maintain and expand our educational and advocacy services; demand for these from all quarters of the community has only increased in recent years.”

    Our new online approach will better afford Kulanu’s friends a better chance to support us while getting a metziya (bargain) at the same time.”

    Sports memorabilia, summer camp and spa discounts, Judaica, fashion accessories, furniture and electronic appliances are just a few of the items and services that can be purchased through the Kulanu online auction. All contributions over the full value of any item, made via the auction, may be tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

    A catalog of available goods and services can be previewed from March 15th, and will be continually updated.

    “Our last auction attracted more than a hundred people and proved to be a great fund raiser for Kulanu,” said Honigsfeld. “Opportunities to support Kulanu in this way can now be made for anyone from their home, at their convenience.”

    KULANU is a local Jewish organization open to all people with disabilities. KULANU provides inclusion, support and advocacy services in social, religious and educational areas to individuals and families with special needs.

    For further information please contact our website or call 516-569-3083.



  • At 10:42 PM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    Kulanu is a great organization but I wish they had simply sent me an email. I would have posted a link to the website. As much as I respect Kulanu, this is annoying and contrary to blogging protocol.

    Rescue, it is silly to suggest that, for example, the people with whom I work, in the leveraged loan area, had anything to do with, or any knowledge of Bear's involvement in subprime (except, perhaps, at the most superficial level).

    The demise of Bear is a tragedy for countless families, including secretaries who spent 25 years there and amassed wealth by investing with the company, mid-level executives and, yes, big shots who made tons of money (and have now lost tons of money and may be unemployed). It is horribke for the city and the state, and, I assure you, not good for the frum community in particular. I don't really get your glee.


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