Last Friday we all knew SOMETHING was going to happen. But who could have predicted the week that now was? LEH, MER, AIG and even RTC2…. 500 down, 500 up: certainly a time to understand the new science of decision-making!
Early in the week, I had the enormous privilege of attending the CME’s Global Financial Leadership Conference. Beginning with Paul Volker and ending with Burton Malkiel, the 36 hours taught me more than I think I have ever learned at any other single conference.
The question that keeps coming back to me is what if there had been a public market for structured mortgage products, market-makers for credit default swaps? Would we be here now? While DC raises the value of regulation and tends to blame the speculator, all I can think is specs could have helped us avert this problem altogether. Bob Schiller, who wrote Irrational Exuberance and The Sub-Prime Solution, and others at the conference seemed to agree.
Not an easy task, no. But clearly a necessary one.