It has been an eventful week in the investment world. Like many others, I have stock investments, and have been riding the rollercoaster for the past few years, but the what has happened in the past few days has been like nothing I have ever seen. I can't help but wonder if this is a taste of what my parents and grandparents experienced when the Great Depression hit, sans the bread lines.
I am not suggesting that we are headed for the Great Depression Part Deux, but it certainly is causing a lot of nervousness here. What is even more troubling, is the government stepping in and taking over what once were private financial institutions, such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. I keep reading in so many places that this was the right thing to do in order to stabalize them. But now comes this news, and I really wonder if it is a good thing that the government is stepping in a taking over. While it is not a nationalization of hte banks, they are going to have a huge stake in them.
Let me state for the record that I am a card-carrying capitalist, though not in an Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged sort of way. Her methods were far too radical. I shudder at the idea of the government taking over what were heretofore private financial institutions. (Update on this point: http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/09/17/business/rescue.php)I have to wonder if that is a slippery slope. I see Greenspan's point about taking it over then re-sellling them in chunks as smaller insitutions, but one has to wonder if the government would be willing to give up control of these institutions once they have them. I'm glad they let Lehman Bros. go under. If they screwed up, then it is their mess, (Lehman's) and they should fix it.
I don't pretend to be an economist, a banker or anything even remotely related to those professions. Hell, if I can manage my Quicken, I'm having a good day. It just seems a little odd to me that these banking and insurance behemoths would not have a better grip on reality. The housing debacle that seems to have started this mess is certainly a major culprit, but I am forced to wonder why there was no one in these companies that couldn't see this coming a mile off. Isn't this what they are schooled in? Don't they have enough savvy and experience to know when a bad investment is staring them in the face? This is the type of unbridled, Ayn Rand style capitalism that I don't agree with. There has to be accountability and responsibility to more than one's self.
The rest of us here in the trenches are left to just sit and wonder when the other shoe will drop.
air mail blue - First issued in 1952, this Canada Goose flying over water (possibly a Great Lake) on its way to the USA. The airborne goose design was meant to suggest t...
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