Things have gotten really, really bad in the past few days, economically speaking. Massive Wall Street firms, insurance companies and other financial institutions have been either on the verge of collapse or failing. Credit is tightening. Money Market mutual funds are actually losing value, when they should hold value. I don't know about you, but I am really starting to worry about the money I have in the bank, and the money I have invested in mutual funds and other diversified investments. Could I lose them? Could you?
A few days ago, without the intervention of the Federal Government, I would say the answer was yes. Our bank deposits could potentially have been at risk. Our mutual fund investments, 401k, the whole enchilada could have evaporated before our very eyes.
Not to spend too much time on this one, folks, but what the devil is going on here? Are we the most intelligent, hard working country on Earth or are we simply a bunch of greedy bastards? It seems a combination of the two, heavily weighted towards the latter. You can't tell me that there wasn't one guy, at the Fed, or Treasury or SEC or on Wall Street that didn't know this would happen? Challenge!
One common thread I have noticed is the tendency to be reactionary rather than pre-emptive. (PS Isn't the Federal Reserve's job to be pre-emptive by the way?) How is it that most U.S. airlines had never even thought of taking a forward contract on jet fuel? Rather, they play the market and when oil skyrockets, cry to the government that they are close to failure. Same story with U.S. automakers. They watch Toyota's market share catapult as their sales of fuel efficient and hybrid vehicles soar, yet GM and the rest of them continue to make more and more SUVs because "that's what the market demands." Then once gain, the price of gasoline soars, and automakers head to Washington asking for money "so they can get moving on building energy efficient cars." What a joke. How about the mortgage crisis? Wall Street and mortgage companies knew darn well that if housing prices turned, their high LTV loans and pay option ARMs would be next to worthless, yet they kept going, because they were making a bloody fortune. Now that housing is drifting downward, the crisis is so large that we can even afford to let these places of business fail becuase of the incredibly damaging repurcusssions for both Americans and the global economy. Do you mean to tell me that Greenspan didn't see this coming? Bernanke? Bueller?
Time to become pro-active, not reactive folks. Greed is not good, Gordon Gekko, it's killing our freaking country! Then again, that was the 80's and we are in the 2000's so we need a new approach. I say renewable, clean energy is the answer! Join the fight with Al Gore and the Alliance for Climate Change.