Extra Credit, Wednesday Edition

Record U.S. CDS: 56 bp Things to be thankful for tomorrow: That we can pay real money for financial instruments insuring against the end of the world, which have almost zero chance of paying out if the end of the world actually happens, and even less chance of doing much good even if they did pay out.

Buffett Serving Free Lunch? (Part II): "The writing of catastrophe insurance has no significant effect on the occurrence of natural disasters. Financial trades are completely different."

Futures on Intrade’s Future: Is this a bit like selling a credit default swap on yourself?

SEC Outlines Its Reasoning For Shutting Down P2P Lender Prosper. Kedrosky is unimpressed.

What A Bear Market Might Teach Us: A very odd column from Jason Zweig. "Every August, almost like clockwork, the well ran dry. My brother and I then had to fetch water from the pond, which we boiled for drinking and cooking… As I look back on my childhood, it seems amazing that anyone could possibly regard it as having been poor." Yes, thrift is a virtue. But it’s hardly going to help the economy right now.

AIG Using Taxpayers’ $150 Billion To Annoy Comedy Blog

A Talk With: Joe Thompson: Parts 1, 2, 3. About the spectacular new Sol LeWitt installation at Mass MOCA. Wonderful stuff.

Big weekend: It’s Thanksgiving. A four-day weekend. Do you know where your Treasury secretary is?

Atlas Shrugged Updated for the Current Financial Crisis

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