New York Times' reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin's excerpt microscopically examines the actions of some key regulatory and Wall Street players, in this case during the period immediately after Lehman failed.
The response to volatile markets is not plain-vanilla financial products, but more complex products that use market mechanisms to cope with uncertainty. Plain vanilla can be as ugly as adjustable-rate mortgages.
We should all try harder to write more accessibly. But can the complexity of finance (and economics) be effectively captured by the kind of simple explanations required by an audience that barely knows the basics?
In the run-up to testimony by Bank of America chief Ken Lewis on the Merrill Lynch & Co. affair, e-mails are suddenly leaking from the Beltway colander, though their ultimate source, strangely enough, is that opaque wonderland, the Federal Reserve.