"How can a guy who can't speak English lie?"

A few days ago I finished the new Michael Lewis book The Big Short (amazon). In typical Lewis fashion it’s a somehow-entertaining story about markets, their bizarre circumstances and the equally bizarre personalities who dwell there.

While it does get a bit dense when it delves into the intricacies of credit default swaps and tranches of debt and so on (it reminded me of the middle portion of Moby Dick where Melville just goes on and on about whales) it’s still a very entertaining and unbelievable story. Few people actually saw the subprime mortgage crisis coming (which in itself is remarkable) and those who did were on the very fringes of the market, and it’s their stories Lewis follows.

You should read it, if only to see how a one-eyed recluse with Asperger’s (seriously) outsmarted the whole system.

At least I didn't land on Bono

A few days ago Joey DeVilla blogged about the OKCupid politics test and, well…I just can’t resist a blend of politics and charts.

type1

Here’s the text the test spit out for me:

Social Liberal (73% permissive) / Economic Liberal (23% permissive)

You are best described as a: Strong Democrat (the test was quite American-centric)

You exhibit a very well-developed sense of Right and Wrong and believe in economic fairness.

I’d say that’s about right. I’d also wager I’m one of the very few people with the letters ‘MBA’ behind my name who’d come in under the 25% mark on economic liberalism.

The test also tries to tries to lump you in to a broad descriptive category:

type3

Again, because of the American focus you could probably substitute ‘Liberal’ for ‘Democrat’ and ‘Conservative’ for ‘Republican’. That would put me on the border between plain old vanilla liberal and socialist, which feels about right.

Finally the test results plot you on a list of famous (mainly American) people, and I agree with Joey that it seems pretty skewed.

type2

I would consider myself more socially permissive and less economically permissive than both Hilary Clinton or Barack Obama (or at least their policies or policy statements), and there’s no way Obama’s at the bottom right extreme. I mean, if the Unabomber and Stalin are corner-dwellers, I don’t think Obama (or Huckabee, for that matter) belong in the same range. Paging Dr. Marx…