Posted by: mattcolvin | May 26, 2009

“My Personal Credit Crisis”

I found this article astonishing in its frankness and folly:

If there was anybody who should have avoided the mortgage catastrophe, it was I. As an economics reporter for The New York Times, I have been the paper’s chief eyes and ears on the Federal Reserve for the past six years. I watched Alan Greenspan and his successor, Ben S. Bernanke, at close range. I wrote several early-warning articles in 2004 about the spike in go-go mortgages. Before that, I had a hand in covering the Asian financial crisis of 1997, the Russia meltdown in 1998 and the dot-com collapse in 2000. I know a lot about the curveballs that the economy can throw at us. But in 2004, I joined millions of otherwise-sane Americans in what we now know was a catastrophic binge on overpriced real estate and reckless mortgages.

I also don’t understand how this man can still have a job writing about money. This New York Times financial reporter is divorced and paying alimony at nearly 50 years old, and trying to start over as though his life were all ahead of him. Apparently, we have no more expectation of financial competence from our financial columnists than we expect Sports Illustrated writers to be able to play the sports they write about.

I cannot take credit for my own family’s solvency, but having just returned from a 9th anniversary getaway with my lovely wife, I am very thankful that at age 33, I am only 15 or fewer years from paying off my home, and that I owe no alimony and have no ex-wives to sap my income. That was the poor guy’s biggest mistake right there.



  1. I read a little about this clown last week. Apparently part of his problem was a new wife (half his age) who didn’t see why she should take a back seat to any ex-wives in the size of her house etc.

  2. Grandpa Mike,

    In fact, the new wife was a high-school classmate who he linked up with at age 48 after divorcing his first wife.

    More interesting, though, is that in his article Andrews never mentioned that his wife filed for personal bankruptcy TWICE, once in the late 90s when her first husband’s income was running over $100,000 a year, and then again in 2007. Megan McArdle writes about this here,, and then analyzes Andrews’s indirect response to her here.

    I’ve added this episode to my long list of stories that point out how foolish we are to put our faith in so-called experts. In this case I don’t know whether it’s more remarkable that yet another so-called expert turns out to be so stupid about his area of expertise, or that he’s so unreflective about his stupidity, or that even after hearing such stories we continue to look to him and others like him as experts.

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