OK, that tech bubble thing didn't work out so well for us, and that housing bubble thing did even worse. Dammit, there must be some new bubble we can inlfate to make this economy look like it actually functions! Think, think, think ...
... I've got it! We can use DEATH:
The earlier the policyholder dies, the bigger the return — though if people live longer than expected, investors could get poor returns or even lose money.
As they say on the Internets, go read the whole thing. The banks interested in inflating the death bubble are not fringe players - Creidt Suisse and Goldman Sachs, among others, are heavily involved with this. And with good reason: the authors of that New York Times article claim that securitized life insurance policies could be a $500 billion market.
I'm guessing that the old-fashioned way of investing - you know, find a company that is either performing well or is poised to start performing well, give them money, get money back - is just too dull or too slow for the modern investor. Besides, it's so much more fun to root for people to die:
In addition to fraud, there is another potential risk for investors: that some people could live far longer than expected.
In other words, these securitized life insurance policies function pretty much the same way a dead pool functions: a young starlet overdosing is worth more money than 92-year-old Walter Cronkite dying after a long illness.
With no end in sight to the current economic crisis - and don't let anyone fool you, it won't end until companies actually start hiring again - there should be no shortage of people willing to cash in their life insurance policies in order to eat, or to pay for the prescription drugs that are keeping them alive. Of course, by staying alive they lessen the value of their securitized life insurance policy, which hardly seems fair. If we're serious about turning this economy around we're going to have to nip this whole longevity thing in the bud.
That's why I'm suggesting that whatever health care reform bill we end up passing have actual death panels in it. Oh, sure, we all know the death panels were just something concocted by the wingnuts to fire up the base, but now that I see the big picture I think we could have a golden opportunity on our hands. Why, once investors get wind of actual death panels being formed the market for these life insurance policies will go through the roof. Presto! New economic bubble! Who doesn't love economic bubbles? The Republicans will, of course, bitch and moan about the death panels but once Goldman Sachs tells them to STFU they'll fall into line.
Think of it - health care reform AND an economic turnaround. I think we have a winner here.