Monday, September 15, 2008

On armageddon

As it relates to the current financial meltdown, and the notion that bankers sold and invested in securities too complex to fully comprehend the risks, here is a quote from famous software engineer Brian Kernighan:

Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place. Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by definition, not smart enough to debug it.

I am also reminded of a story from July that wonders aloud: are bankers hurting most of all? In previous downturns, industrial workers, "Main Street" felt the crunch most of all. Certainly average Americans are under increased pressure, but damage does seem to be centered largely in the financial services sector. Taxpayers foot the bill for Bear Stearns, but is that really having a major impact outside of Wall Street? Americans still have access to food, shelter, health care, and a job to pay for it all. Unemployment, while rising, remains at historic lows. Recession seems likely, but doom! seems unlikely...

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