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Crap, crappity crap

Some People Are Scared
     I think I'm scared, too. The absolutely no-shit real disappearance of ungodly huge financial institutions that have provided the background hum of modern life, and the way those vanishings and transformations will reverberate in the body politic, the body social, the body civilization,  are too bloody huge to completely comprehend, but they are real, and we'd better not only comprehend them, but figure out what the hell we're going to do to keep the globe on the stand. Or we won't.



( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 17th, 2008 02:02 pm (UTC)
Um, OK, so....

Not to make light of this, but remember the savings and loan scandal, when we were told that our grandchildren would be paying for this awful mess and the face of banking would be forever changed, and all that? And, then.... there was nothing else the notice or say, because it just didn't make any difference at all?

Sep. 17th, 2008 04:25 pm (UTC)
What K said. Also remember the Governor in Blazing Saddles: "We've got to protect our phony-baloney JOBS here, gentlemen!" They will, mostly, and with them the little folks; and the globe will keep spinning just fine, thanks to Conservation of Anguish Angular Momentum. :) --MMB
Sep. 18th, 2008 08:43 pm (UTC)
My dear, you show admirable faith in the efficacy and goodness of trickle-down self interest. Heh.
Sep. 18th, 2008 08:31 pm (UTC)
I do remember the savings and loan scandal, and I wonder whether it might have planted at least some small number of the seeds of our current situation; if, in fact, we thought the SaLS had been exorcised, but really hung around in the form of changed attitudes towards bailouts, towards real estate investment, et al.

In addition to that, I am reminded that, although things do go in cycles ("this has all happened before, and it will happen again"), and we are wise to remind ourselves that our grandparents thought the world was coming to an end because of [fillintheblank] and it didn't, history isn't truly cyclical. It's a spiral. It goes forward, and - while actions or events may resemble previous events, history actually does move ahead and not in circles. Things do change, they do move forward for good and ill. This situation appears so much broader, geographically and economically, that I rather think it's a lurch forward into something new.

(And if I write Brobdinagianly byzantine sentences like those in the preceding paragraph again this week, hit me, OK?)
Sep. 17th, 2008 04:42 pm (UTC)
One of the aspects I've been trying to incorporate into my guesses/expectations is the critical time difference of housing being the slowest consumer market.
For reference, we had the screwup with United Airlines last week, when the panic button got pushed over a six-year-old news clipping resurfacing without its date. UA lost like, 75% in 3 hours (or something like that -- multi-digit precision unnecessary for my illustration).
But people move on an average of every five years, so while 100% of a company's stock could turn over in half a day, theoretically, the housing market takes years to turn over. So if it were to go into free fall, it could take years to hit bottom. I don't think anyone is working from a model of a crash in such slow motion.
Privatizing the profits and socializing the losses is business as usual, as we sadly know, but no one knows how long this will take to shake out. For instance, how many balloon mortgages are scheduled to pop in 2009? 2010?

But, as they say, let's talk about something more cheerful. What news of the cholera in Warsaw?
Sep. 18th, 2008 08:45 pm (UTC)
Ooo ... I like that. From now on I shall use that phrase when I want to find a sunnier subject of conversation, if y'all will allow me.

And I think you're largely right about the housing market, she said dolorously.
Sep. 18th, 2008 12:48 am (UTC)
Yes, I'm joining your absolutely scared shitless camp on this MamaK. AIG bought out one of the largest employers in my old uni town, the employer that donated over $1 million to build the addition to our fine arts building. At least the government is helping, but I hope that this is the end of the financial woes.

Of course, I have the tendency to be Chicken Little shouting that the sky is falling.
Sep. 18th, 2008 08:50 pm (UTC)
Chicken little has been vastly maligned by those who lack preparedness and other similarly sinister people. The Coolidgians and Hooverites who'd taken over Folk Tale Land redacted the real end of the story: the sky fell, but young Little and those who helped build the anti-sky shelter remained safe. Through teamwork, they finally forced their way out of the shelter days later, shoving jagged pieces of sky out of their way, got their bearings, and successfully repaired the firmament with the help of an FDR-style civic works project, over a period of 10 years.
Sep. 24th, 2008 05:08 am (UTC)
You forgot the part where noted scientist-activists told everyone that the anti-sky shelter was impossible and escalatory. --MMB
Sep. 18th, 2008 12:14 pm (UTC)
It's just as scary over here. Our first notice of the crash was when a big bank just about folded and had to be bought out by the government.

The bank I've been with all my life was taken over by another big bank yesterday in a move that would normally be blocked for competition reasons but has been allowed by a public interest clause to stop it from folding. I was this close to loosing my life savings and there was nothing I could do to stop it.
Sep. 18th, 2008 08:53 pm (UTC)
I know that helpless feeling. I'm glad that the bank takeover appears to have solidified your savings. I have no doubt that Scottish, British, or EU financial rules and laws differ from Canadian or American laws; I can only hope that those guidelines affecting your part of the woods keeps you safe.
Sep. 27th, 2008 06:09 am (UTC)
Related: a new piece by Bill Whittle: Pain

"The economy is passing a kidney stone. Here’s one man’s guide to survival."

Yeah, it's on NRO. Don't let that distract you.

Sep. 27th, 2008 08:38 pm (UTC)
Re: Related: a new piece by Bill Whittle: Pain
I read his piece, and for the most part I agree with it. Very well written.
(NRO? Ah. National Review. No problem.)
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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