In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 18, 2008 / 11 Adar II 5768

A crisis grows into its prime

By Wesley Pruden

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Nothing frightens a man like bad news about his money. The war in Iraq, health care costs, gay marriage, abortion and tooth decay are all bad, but not as bad as a faltering economy, stupid.

Everybody's watching to see whether the greedy men at Bear Stearns and others like them will pull down the rest of Wall Street and eventually the shops on Main Street and finally the houses on Coffee Pot Lane. Empty assurances from the wonderful folks who brought this misery to our doorsteps are not very reassuring. The chief executive of Bear Stearns was reassuring everybody that his company was in fine shape only two days before rival JP Morgan bought him out for only $236 million, which is mere parking-meter change on Wall Street.

"Our liquidity position in the last 24 hours has significantly deteriorated," he explained yesterday. Translation for Bear Stearns stockholders: "We've blown a lot of your money and had a lot of fun doing it, and yesterday the vultures came down to feast." The buyout of Bear Stearns over the weekend didn't reassure anyone: Markets were down yesterday all over the world.

Native wit and sense are always more reliable than the expensive advice of consultants, analysts and other soothsayers of the voodoo persuasion, but wit is inevitably drowned by the noise of the voodoo priests. "Last week [President] Bush dared to wander from the [soothsayer] script," the Wall Street Journal observes, citing his remark "that a strong dollar 'helps with inflation' and rued its weakness against the euro. He was quickly reeled in by his advisers, and in his Friday speech to the New York Economic Club, Mr. Bush reverted to the boilerplate language that investors now interpret as favoring a weak currency."

The current terror is traceable to the "subprime crisis" of last summer, when the investment bankers — Bear Stearns first among them — paid the price for greed and incompetence in the form of granting thousands of loans to unqualified buyers of houses, many of them decrepit properties. Such loans turned out to be worthless paper.

Two English entertainers, John Bird and John Fortune, capture the absurdity in a routine for London television. (A YouTube video capture of it buzzes even now about the Internet.) Proving again that satire works best when it cuts closest to reality, Messrs Bird and Fortune, in the persons of an investment banker and his interviewer, explain what happened in the subprime crisis with a devastating mixture of fact and fancy.

What happened, says the faux investment banker, is that a mortgage salesman typically encounters a layabout sitting in his undershirt on the porch of a crumbling house "somewhere in Alabama" and offers to lend him the money to buy the house before it falls down. The resulting worthless mortgage is packaged with a hundred other identical dodgy mortgages into something called "a structured investment vehicle."

"I ring up someone in Tokyo," explains the investment banker, "and say I've got this package of mortgages and do you want to buy it? They ask what's in it, and I say I haven't got the faintest idea, and they say 'what do you want for it?' I say a hundred million dollars. They say 'fine,' and that's it. That's how the market works."

An exaggeration, perhaps, but not by much. The public understands instinctively that a Ponzi scheme like this has been going on, and thus the president's reassurance now is not very reassuring. "One thing is for certain, we're in challenging times," the president told reporters yesterday after huddling with Henry Paulson, the Treasury secretary. "But another thing is for certain: we've taken strong decisive action. We've shown the country and the world that we're on top of the situation."

Maybe. We must all trust, and hope, for the sake of the president and everybody else, that events will verify.

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JWR contributor Wesley Pruden is editor in chief of The Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.

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