…in a long and detailed post on the subject and the Washington Post article that it is based on. You should read it all but there are two points he makes that are worth emphasizing:

For many years, lenders were able to get away with making high-risk loans because of the steady upward trend in the housing market.

“Asset value” in a rising market meant that if you loaned $300,000 on a house and the borrower defaulted –hey, no problem! Foreclose on the loan and re-sell the house for $350,000. So it didn’t really matter how shady the borrower might be, as long as the value of the asset kept going up.

When the housing bubble was really cooking – 2003 through 2006 — both the borrowers and the lenders were thinking of the houses as investments.

I know my house is an asset and it has a market value, but that market values comes from it being a place to live. Yeah my wife would like to build a new one and someday if I have the money to build her that house she wants I will, but until that day comes the value of my house to me is based on the roof and walls and the shelter it provides, it has value because is it home. Who cares what the bank says it’s worth? My eventual goal is to pass it on to one of my sons to give his life a jump start.

If more people thought that way maybe we would be in better shape.

The Second bit is more about human nature:

We can generate new regulations designed to prevent a repeat of the WaMu collapse, but those new regulations — like the old regulations — will only be as good as the officials who enforce them. New regulations will inspire new evasion techniques, equally risky new ventures will attract investors with an appetite for lucrative risks, and the next “bubble” boom-and-bust will occur in some as-yet-unsuspected market sector.

There are two lessons here, it’s like computer security, you password is only as secure as the least careful person who has it. This means you have to have good people willing to enforce any rules you have. The second is about human nature, you can’t repeal it, you can only reveal it.

For example I’ve always thought the laws about not accepting a meal from a lobbyist are foolish. An honest person can’t corrupted by a meal and a dishonest person will find a way around it. That’s why campaign finance laws are a sham, they restrain the honest while giving the dishonest the veneer of respectability as they skirt the rules. Much better to just have full disclosure so people know where the money is going.

And now a word from the press specifically the Japanese press’ Yushin Sugita:

He is a very nice guy but I had bad luck with him, my initial interview was corrupted and his business card seems to have disappeared.

Nick’s class attended the Boston Rally on a field trip.

The downside of getting on that bus is that I wasn’t able to follow up with people I would have liked to, so Nick if you are reading this e-mail me or send a comment so I can e-mail you.

During the Doctor Who special I mentioned yesterday they showed a clip from episode 4 of this year. (Not broadcast in either England or the US yet). The episode features the return of Alex Kingston as professor River Song who keeps meeting the Doctor in different relative timelines.

In the clip she points out something called “blue stabilizer” and insists they are needed to land TARDIS. When the says the ship has landed the Doctor disagrees pointing out there was no “Woosh, Woosh”. Song replies “It’s not supposed to make that sound, you leave the breaks on.”

Now this post isn’t about the canonity of that statement (Cough: episode 1 of the Pirate Planet 4th Doctor and Romana: Cough) nor the fact that the sound is the most unifying item in the show, constant since that first episode back in 1963. it’s about something more interesting.

Update: Well Luke cancels out the hole premise of the post in comments, but he’s right.

Shortly after the show I googled the phrase “you leave the breaks on” and the word “Tardis” to see what people were saying about it. Nothing, no results at all. I ended up falling asleep on the couch waking up just before 5 a.m. the next morning, the machine was on standby so I logged back in and repeated the search and this blog entry came up:

There’s a section in the special where they talk about the TARDIS, and they inserted the cutest scene where River lands the blue box and Eleven starts wondering where a certain noise was and he made the little sounds. Then River was like, “It’s not suppose to make that noise. You leave the breaks on.” Eleven replies, “It’s a brilliant noise.”

Mind you this was the ONLY entry that came up. Nothing else. Now I don’t know this blog from Adam but I do know that within a few weeks there will be hundreds upon hundreds of web sites with that phrase in it and by the end of the year it will be thousands or more.

It’s very rare to see the very first entry on something that will become part of Science Fiction pop culture, so proprietor of the blog Timey wimey, take a bow you, are the first ever blog to use the phrase. It’s an odd and in the scheme of things unimportant distinction; but it’s all yours.