And if you bundled together the middle-aged schoolteachers and strictly private dentists with the unemployed single parents and moonlighting plasterers, then sliced the bundles into high-, medium- and low-risk tranches, you could persuade the credit rating agencies like Fitch, Moody's and Standard & Poor's to award the top tranches a triple A. After all, even though the risk is pretty high that there'll be one or two defaults on those NINJA mortgages (No Income No Job No Assets - what the hell did they expect?) they're not all going to default, are they?
He smiles. It's at times like this that you need a sense of irony.
People are so stupid. They don't understand about risk. They let themselves be dazzled by returns of 7 per cent, 8 per cent, 9 per cent. Whoever is going to pay you that kind of money unless there's a reason? Then the Government started laying down the law, saying it wasn't their job to bail out reckless gamblers. Too right. But they bailed them out anyway, because they realised they had no choice. As Chicken so brilliantly put it, 'If I owe the bank £10,000, I've got problems. But if I owe it £10 million, the bank's got problems. Ha ha.'
Marina Lewycka, em Various Pets Alive and Dead.