Is This Just a Financial Crisis?

Of course I ask the question because my answer is no! It is a crisis that has been gestating a long time and fingers in to every corner of activity. It all seems very arcane, very distant, and hard to understand how things can change so suddenly – in just a couple of years – from euphoric good living to threats of disaster.

The answer of course is that it has been going on a lot longer. Add to that that we are experiencing rapid changes in many aspects of life. There are many situations and conditions that have never been experienced before. And that means we have no prior understanding of how they fit in.

One of the effects has been that there has been credit sloshing around all over the place. And that is where we have come in. Debts of all kinds have boomed and one way or another we have all been caught up in the credit crunch.

The serious question has to be what effect the current crisis will have on that. And the best way I can give an answer is to give a broad idea of what has happened and what might put it all right.

It is my belief that the current text books of economics are not – cannot be – up to the new task. It is not that fundamental laws have changed, but that the complexities have become too great for easy understanding. In essence though, like a group of climbers ascending an icy sheer rock face, all nations are now tied together; each time one loses footing we all feel the strain and risk losing our own footing.

On top of this we are, like Atlas carrying the world, burdened with the great bubble of arcane derivatives that is the financial world, and overspent in the great debt crunch; as we should really call the credit crunch.

And our biggest problem is that, rather than pass out better quality pitons to hammer into the ice for safer footing, our oh-so-wise leaders and civil servants are trying to preserve the heavy weights of the derivatives. They might just as well be throwing sacks of money into a fast flowing river.

In fact the volatility of the exchanges round the world is a sign of the fast flowing river and the spinning boats caught in its flood. So far as I can see the only people benefitting from this are the crooks and gamblers who have already milked the system dry.

There are hard decisions to be made and part is to cut out the financial sector as one would throw away a barrel of apples that have gone rotten to the core. Hard? Of course. Possible? In the current climate probably not. But if it is not done, then a little way down the road the decision will be bigger and harder.

The actual mechanics of doing it are not obvious, but the first essential step is to stop throwing good money after bad. And that should be today’s resolution for Mr Paulson and Congress in America, and for Mr Brown and Mr Darling in Downing Street.

I do not paint a pleasant picture. And like the Cassandra you are already calling me, I forecast that it is not likely to get better. But the reason I am putting all this in this blog is because I believe that everyone, and in particular those worried about debt, should be keeping a constant eye on the situation and making their decisions about their own best route through bad times.

Normal blog service will be resumed as soon as I have stopped spitting tacks.

Joseph Harris
Debt Control Man

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2 Responses to “Is This Just a Financial Crisis?”

  1. UK Voter Says:

    The irony is that a few city types made a lot of money out of this situation leading up to the so called ‘credit crunch’ and as the countries around the world inject £billions, a few more city types (maybe different ones) will be making another fortune. Who pays, we pay.

  2. debtcontrolman Says:

    And sometimes UK Voter it is the same people, who play both ways. My question is: what happens when they have bled our pockets dry and can’t support the market on tax pounds [dollars, yen, roubles, euros] any more? Just think how they could have saved our hospitals with that money.

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