I try not to think much about the rapidly decaying husks of self-important men of letters, but every time Tom Wolfe pops up in his ridiculous white suit I want to shove him into a lake.
Last time we heard from him, the author was whoring himself out to the right wing media — extolling the virtues of President Bush and his “great decisiveness and willingness to fight” and pimping his perverted interpretation of the college hook up scene.
This time he’s blaming the recent financial meltdown on computers.
The whole thing, starting with the subprime, is the fault of the computer. I was just talking to a banker the other day, and not that long ago, 20 years ago, an investment banking house, let’s say, Lehman Brothers, when it got a package of mortgages, they would go through every mortgage, every single one, and they’d throw out the ones that just seemed absurd, they just wouldn’t accept them. Things used to arrive on paper. Today things arrive on a screen, and a screen is back lit, and one of the biggest pains in the neck is trying to read something dully written and complicated on a computer screen. It will drive you nuts — I mean, try it sometime. Now they say, “Oh, to hell with it,” and they just accept the whole package. And if it hadn’t been for that, they’d be going over each loan. What’s happened is the backward march of technology.
So despite the fact that rapid advances in computing technology — represented on the consumer end by ever more powerful and lightweight personal devices and on the business end by massively scalable enterprise software applications capable of managing the minutest details of your average $30 billion a year corporation — have paid, directly or indirectly, for every Hummer, hummer and house on Wall Street for the past thirty years, it is the fault of technology and technology alone that the economy is in full-fledged collapse mode.
Oh, and investment bankers are too lazy to click twice when it’s much easier to sift through a six inch pile of paperwork while your secretary gives you a hand job under the desk.
Those were the days, huh?