Friday, January 9, 2009

Economics Junkie

I try to maintain the belief that everything happens for a reason. That's an easier way to digest the economic and business-related news of the day. See my pal K's post from today.

In other related news, as I sit here, my hands are so cold it's difficult to type. We moved a space heater into my 18-mo old's room last night, because apparently, when they built houses in 1949, they didn't think it was necessary to prevent cold from coming in. I live with the frugalist of the frugal, the minimalist extraordinaire, a man who takes pride in a lifetime ban on non-essential spending. I've been doing my part to counter that, no doubt.

But the point remains, we are not very leveraged. We have a generous amount of equity in our tiny cold house, we don't really spend a lot and we're saving. So, when I see that foreclosures are at an all-time high, non-farm payrolls were abysmally worse than expected in Dec., nobody bought anything for the holidays, Madoff is still walking around the streets of NYC, and the nationwide unemployment rate released today is 7.2%, I have to think, "this must be necessary."

It is painful. It is scary. It is unequivocally the worst financial crisis of our time when traders screwing around with mortgage-backed securities and credit default swaps can take down Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, shake Fannie and Freddie to the core, bring Merrill Lynch and AIG to their knees and chase Wachovia into the arms of Wells Fargo. It's a horrible fact that some of these Wall Street jobs just might not be back. Party over!

But... in the back of our collective minds, are we asking ourselves, "is this a necessary evil?" Are we living Joseph Conrad now, choosing our future Responsible Lender/Spender selves as a lesser evil over the past hyper-consumerism? Were ours Hearts of Darkness, now destined to be lighter, in spirit and in debt? Aware of a greater collective purpose?

I hope so.

2 comments:

K January 10, 2009 at 2:48 PM  

I hope so too.

We aren't actually in a bad situation finacially - we can afford our fixed mortage, we have an emergency fund, medical insurance and all that. But it all still kind of freaks me out.

CDB January 10, 2009 at 3:51 PM  

No doubt.. it's a freaky thing. But I'm holding on to the thin hope that these economists I follow are right about wading through the worst of it!

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