The Other I

December 12, 2008

Fascinated, indifferent, or worried?

Filed under: Political thoughts — theotheri @ 3:35 pm

I have tried out at least three possibilities, and I still can’t decide how to respond to the world’s current financial situation.

Sometimes I find it fascinating, and I have spent hours trying to understand how men and women who were supposed to be among some of the world’s foremost mathematical and financial geniuses could possibly have blindly created such a mess.  I understand a lot more now how it was done, which has given me some opinions about what should be done to keep the global financial system safer for the future. 

Still, it occurs to me that there must be something else to life besides worrying about the arrogance and short-sighted greed of the world’s best brains.

So I have tried indifference.  This approach says nobody knows what’s going to happen, and besides, there is nothing I can do to influence events anyway.  Governments seem to want us to both save money and to spend it, two opposing strategies for the cash flow in this household.  So we are simply trying to do what we think is best for us – whatever that is.

Indifference works for short periods of time, but then, unbidden, Approach Three sets in.

Approach Three is worry.  Worry for millions of people in the world, for social unrest and starvation and increased crime.  And worry for ourselves.  We are not starving and we are not freezing.  We’re not anywhere near it. 

But what if the dollar crashes?  what if China decides to sell some of its huge reservoirs of US treasuries?  They announced shocking trade figures two days ago, indicating a slow down there that nobody saw coming.  China was supposed to be a major engine pulling us out of recession.  Now analysts are talking about depression.  What if the US auto industries go bankrupt in triplicate?  What if oil production is cut, sending the price back up over $100?

How bad can bad really get?

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