The Joke's On Us

Posted by: Ben Levisohn on October 7, 2008

In his October 1 testimony before the House Committee on Banking and Financial Services, Henry Hu, Allan Shivers Chair in the Law of Banking and Finance at the University of Texas, Austin, took a minute to tell a joke that he believed explained the cause of the financial crisis:

Three econometricians were hungry and went out hunting and came across a large deer. The first econometrician fired but missed, by one meter to the left. The second econometrician fired, but also missed, by a meter to the right. The third econometrician didn’t fire but shouted in triumph, “We got it! We got it!”

Hu didn’t tell the joke last week, however — he spoke in 1998 following the collapse of hedge fund Long Term Capital Management. Ten years later, we’re witnessing an economic deep-freeze because no one got the joke.

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Bloomberg Businessweek’s Ben Steverman focuses on the latest moves in financial markets and emerging trends in stocks, bonds, and funds, always with an eye toward giving readers a better understanding of the sometimes confusing and often chaotic world of money. Standard & Poor’s senior index analyst Howard Silverblatt will also provide his take on companies’ finances and the markets. Voted one of the “Top 100 Finance Blogs” in 2007.

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