Monday, December 01, 2008

Sound of the Year: 2008 – The Housing Implosion

The 2008 Critical Noise Sound of the Year belongs to:

The Housing Implosion.

According to Wikipedia,  in the controlled demolition industry, an implosion is:

"...the strategic placing of explosive material and timing of its detonation so that a structure collapses on itself in a matter of seconds, minimizing the physical damage to its immediate surroundings".

Unfortunately for homeowners and institutional investors, however, the bankers on Wall Street don't give two hoots about whether or not the bombs they drop into investors laps cause collateral damage or not.

As a result, the Housing Implosion began as the sound of a real estate bubble floating heavenward in 2006, finally popped in 2008, just about the time everyone on the planet finally believed the BS being mainlined to us from downtown Manhattan. Oddly, the echos of the pop cascaded into a Subprime mortgage crisis that only seemed to magnify in tragedy as time passed, rather than diminish.

Irish property bubble? Icelandic financial crisis? American foreclosures?

Strike all that bad juju up as unintended collateral damage and blame the borrowers appears to be the banks' collective strategy. Well, good luck with that. And it may very well work out for them. Because, now it seems that it will be years before anyone sorts this mess out. Which means, if they're lucky, 9 out of 10 living CEOs will be dead before the law catches up with them.

Crazy, too, because while the US military is deployed looking for terrorists and bad guys in Iraq and Afghanistan, who would have thunk we could have saved billions if we just sent a few SEALS downtown and wiped out Goldman Sachs. No doubt, if someone thought of that, we could have saved a mint of human misery.

Maybe someone will figure it out eventually, that not all terrorists wear turbans; some wear custom tailored suits. In the meantime, kudos to everyone on Wall Street who blew up the balloon, because, yeah, that was one magnificent pop.

And hey, no worries, bro; so long as it was 'legal', or so complicated that no one can figure it out, your bonus is guaranteed.

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The Critical Noise Sound of the Year goes to that sound source, event, entity, happening or concept which so effectively produces wide response and reaction, whether intentional or not, such that it stirs collective emotion, inspires discussion, incites action, or otherwise lends itself to cultural analysis and resonates across the globe.

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