A slightly new direction for EV, as his latest doodles report on the rally against the guy who leads Iran whose name Muffti can’t spell so he won’t even try. Check it out here.

On the other hand, you can read some more drivel from Rabbit Boteach at Jpost. Here’s a particularly nice snap shot of the wisdom:

AMERICAN VORACIOUSNESS is what caused the economic collapse. We have gone from being citizens to “consumers,” as if our very raison d’être is to devour. We and our children are becoming larger and more obese. Even when we eat, we rarely feel full. Three meals a day and we’re still hungry. We are now governed by the reptilian brain where size alone governs our tastes. Bigger TV’s, bigger portions at restaurants, bigger people. Supersize me!

It was over-eating that did it? It wasn’t banks reselling mortgages, adjustable mortgages being given to people who wanted houses but really couldn’t afford them…

Latest posts by grandmuffti (see all)

About the author

grandmuffti

16 Comments

  • And why did the banks sell poorly secured mortgages? Why did they trade in badly backed credit derivatives? Because they were greedy. Since when did you become so literal? Boteach doesn’t blame the economic meltdown on over-eating! He blames it on voraciousness. Right there. In black and white.

  • Yah, but he blames it on general american voraciousness. You, so far as Muffti can tell, put the blame where it seems to belong: overly clever bankers and investment bankers and a lack of oversight on mortgage companies and reselling of mortgages.

  • i.e. he, as usual, stretches and distorts reality in desperation to make a moral point and convince us that the west is a pit of emptiness and despair which fortunately can be fixed up with religion and a healthy diet of books by, ummmn, him.

  • Well you don’t need a bunch of books to know that there is indeed something seriously wrong with America. A society of unhindered consumption has developed and it’s just not good. Not good for the environment, not good for people’s health and clearly, not good for the economy. Pointing out the common denominators here isn’t such a hard thing to do. Gluttony does not apply uniquely to the consumption of food – and people need to be told that. I’m no big fan of Boteach, but in this respect I have to agree with him. Not everything he says is complete bullshit. Besides, how many voices like his are there? And what do those voices amount to in comparison to the marketing might of Madison Ave?

    I’m serious. People just don’t know the implications of otherwise banal activities. Buying your kids cereal loaded with sodium and sugar is going to kill them. Popping off to McDonalds every once in a while for a Big Mac washed down with a coke is going to make you a fat ass. And no. Chicken Nuggets or a Filet of Fish are NOT a healthier alternative! And all that beef you eat is horrible for the environment. I mean I can go on and on.

    The point is that there’s a lot we can fix in the world. I know you and Valley hate Boteach and that’s cool and all. But like I said, not everything he says is total bullshit.

  • “It was over-eating that did it? It wasn’t banks reselling mortgages, adjustable mortgages being given to people who wanted houses but really couldn’t afford them…”

    Oh, those poor, poor homeowners, too stupid to understand their own finances….

  • “Buying your kids cereal loaded with sodium and sugar is going to kill them.”

    No, it’s not.

    “Popping off to McDonalds every once in a while for a Big Mac washed down with a coke is going to make you a fat ass.”

    No, it won’t. Those claims are just slogans rooted in hysteria.

  • Seriously, CK, Muffti loves you and all but (and this is true of Muffti too, so don’t get all huffy) when you talk out your ass about stuff without careful advanced planning, it shows pretty bad.

    In fairness, Eric, whether the poor homeowners did or didn’t, in most of their cases, they just wanted homes. They weren’t especially greedy or otherwise. They just didn’t qualify for mortgages under old systems and then all of the sudden someone said to them ‘hey, need a house? We’ll give it to you so you can live in a house and don’t worry, it’s appreciation will cover the fact that right now you have no hope of paying it…’ (and p.s. we have to do this because we’ve alrady encouraged so much house building that there are too many and someone’s gotta buy them or that previous promise of appreciation will fail!)

    That’s voraciousness?

  • The builders and bankers were clearly voracious. The housing market was on a tear and that presented new opportunities for fun and profit – as long as prices continued to increase. But anyone with half a brain ought to have known that the home prices could not maintain their upward trajectory indefinitely – not in the medium term and certainly not for the course of the underlying mortgages. But no one cared! As a banker, the money made on these mortgages and credit based derivatives was too good to pass on. So why stop? At some point someone ought to have said “Hey! This is all based on bullshit.” And even when the Feds, mindful of the potential for disaster, tried to regulate some of these practices, the banks, hopped up on easy money did whatever they could to stop the regulation that might have prevented the mess we’re in or at least diminished the impact of the housing bubble bursting. Why? because they didn’t want the party to end. They were greedy. So how is that talking out of my ass? Not that I never do it of course, but how am I talking out of my ass now? And I’m not making this stuff up either. It’s a synthesis of the extensive conversations I’ve had on the subject with people in the eye of the storm – guess who is a VP at JP Morgan working in credit derivatives? You’ll never guess…

  • Eric: Ok so what’s the hysteria? Obesity rates are not rising? The incidence of Diabetes and Obesity-related ailments is not rising? Are we imagining this stuff?

  • “Obesity rates are not rising? The incidence of Diabetes and Obesity-related ailments is not rising?” Maybe they are; that’s a statistical question.

    Where’s the hysteria? “Buying your kids cereal loaded with sodium and sugar is going to kill them.” Um, no: Cinnamon Toast Crunch will not kill your children. Neither will Golden Grahams

    “Popping off to McDonalds every once in a while for a Big Mac washed down with a coke is going to make you a fat ass.” Um , no; stopping into McDonald’s “every once in a while” won’t make you obese unless you live an obese lifestyle. It may be a bad idea in terms of eating kosher but it is not going to cause a health crisis. Claiming that it will is just an attempt to induce hysteria in people.

    People have the option to choose what they wish to eat (what a concept!), whether to exercise and how active to be. That is true now, it was true 500 years ago and it will be true tomorrow.

    And for the record I suspect that a lot of these recent “OBESITY CRISIS!!!” statistics are just as fabricated as innumerable other media sensations.

  • “And even when the Feds, mindful of the potential for disaster, tried to regulate some of these practices, the banks, hopped up on easy money did whatever they could to stop the regulation that might have prevented the mess we’re in or at least diminished the impact of the housing bubble bursting. Why? because they didn’t want the party to end.”

    That’s just not the case. Well, more precisely, it’s a quarter of the case. Banks were encouraged and told *by the government* to make bad loans — i.e. loans with a below-average likelihood of being repaid.

    The entire purpose of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was to enable real estate ownership by people who couldn’t afford it. To that end they guaranteed that no matter what loans the banks made, Fannie and Freddie would take care of them. Politicians in Congress charged them with that mission and ensured that they had plenty of cash to fulfill it. If anything was under-regulated here it was the government’s own agencies and the politicians who give them their missions.

    The current credit meltdown isn’t a case of “insufficient regulation” of banks but rather about regulation itself on a holy mission — to enable something whose mathematical impossibility eventually had to come home to roost.

  • Uh.. have you seen how much money was spent by industry lobbyists to make sure that legislation to curtail these practices would not pass?

Leave a Comment