This paper was solicited, and written, specifically to address
the “subprime mortgage crisis.” At the time, it was a micro issue seen to be at the core of a possible global economic disaster. The exigencies of law review deadlines, as well as the vicissitudes of the economy, necessitated completing the piece before the broader clouds on the horizon came to dominate the news. However, the issues underlying the subprime debacle are the same as those defining this broader economic “melt-down.” The themes discussed here are, in a limited context, equally applicable to the global and seemingly chaotic current economic turmoil. It is more than ironic, albeit inevitable, that the systemic virus nourished by the excesses of the subprime problem, and spread through the slice-and-dice derivatives packages discussed infra, has now infected and threatened the global economy.