Toxie, We Hardly Knew Ye

Some of you may remember that last year we brought you a link to Toxie Cam , where folks at NPR purchased a so-called “toxic asset” to help them understand the mortgage crisis and the financial crisis more generally. To wit,

We bought Toxie for $1,000 earlier this year. Every month, we get a check. It’s a small piece of the payments people are making on their mortgages. And every month, more houses get foreclosed on and sold off by the bank. When enough houses get sold off by the bank, Toxie will be dead.

Hilarity ensued, of course, when they dedicated a live streaming web feed to a stack of paper, a la the live feed of the BP platform gusher. They went on:

She’s not dead yet — but things are looking grim. Last month, we got $72.41; so far, we’ve received a total of $449. This month, our payment was zero dollars and zero cents. We could still get another payment next month — maybe.

Well, it looks as she’s pretty much dead now, and as the value of the “Toxie” is converging to the paper it’s printed on.  So, in a final hurrah, NPR gives us some back story from before Toxie was toxic. This in includes a rather spectacular aerial photo of a neighborhood that was planned but never developed.

The Toxie Cam was part of an NPR series that seems pretty engaging.   Certainly not the worst thing you’ll read about the financial crisis.