Fashionable Fictions

by Chidem Kurdas

Vanity Fair is not a magazine I follow, so I was taken aback when I flipped through an issue someone left behind at a café. According to the Editor’s Letter, “the chain of catastrophic bets made over the past decade by a few hundred bankers may well turn out to be the greatest nonviolent crime against humanity in history.”

Really? A few hundred bankers made millions of people live beyond their means, buy wildly over-priced houses, drive gigantic SUVs and put huge amounts of debt on their credit cards. Without those actions, the twin credit and real estate bubbles could not have inflated and hence there would have been no collapse.

“Never before have so few done so much to so many,” writes Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter.  That’s a very convenient way of looking at it—some banker made me do it, he should pay for it and be hung, drawn and quartered. Always a handy story and right now supremely fashionable. Continue reading