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By Mandelman

The idea of turning worthless metal into gold has fascinated us for thousands of years. The word, alchemy, is derived from the Greek meaning, “The Egyptian Art”. And Lapis philosophorum, referred to as the philosophers’ stone, is the legendary alchemical substance, that was said to be capable of turning base metals, especially lead, into gold.

Legend has it that a 13th-century scientist and philosopher named Albertus Magnus discovered the philosopher’s stone. In his writings, Magnus reported that he witnessed the creation of gold by “transmutation”.

Sir Isaac Newton, the same guy that I was taught, needed an apple to fall on his head to figure out the whole gravity thing, was also a famous alchemist.

I imagine that the whole idea of lead being turned into gold was probably involved in the world’s first securities fraud case brought by an investor, like maybe Sir Issac Newton was really just an 18th century version of Bernie Madoff, and all that gravity stuff was just the work of a public relations firm putting the right spin his image.

“Let’s go with the gravity pitch… and also… I’m gaga over that whole Apple thing… I want to see some sketches on my desk by Old Hallowed Eve”

Anyway, it’s easy to see how the idea of turning something of little value into gold would capture man’s attention. It’s the ultimate winning Powerball ticket. Like Jack’s magic beans getting him the goose that lays golden eggs.

It’s impossible, of course. You can’t turn lead into gold.

Or can you?

Securitization… We’re Forever in Your Debt

I think you have to be at least in your forties to remember what life was like before securitization took hold of out society.

Before that, people used to say that the only way a bank would give you a loan was if you could prove you didn’t need one. Once securitization was driving our national pride, banks made loans as fast as they could in the form of credit cards, auto loans, and every other flavor of debt imaginable.

Before securitization kids grew up with fewer presents for their birthdays and holidays, and I don’t need a source for that statistic. Hotel rooms never cost $600 a night pre-securitization. In fact, there were simply far fewer “luxury goods” before we were all sold on the idea that taking on debt was the hip-hop-happening thing to do.

Just take look at what’s happened to cars.

Before securitization I wanted a Ford …read more

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