Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Pending Financial Crisis: A Loss of Confidence

"You are the story of mankind" - J. Krishnamurti

Eastport Tug o' War 26832

The sun has calmed down drastically in recent months. While the surface of the Earth may benefit from this absence of sunspots, the creatures living on Earth's surface seem more agitated than ever.

All sorts of conflicts scar the landscape in Africa and Asia. There are battles in Afghanistan, struggles over water in China, killings in Sudan. Russia cannot seem to decide if it wants to return to Soviet-style domination of Eastern Europe. In Assam a war is taking place. In Sri Lanka there are regular battles between government forces and Tamil Tigers. Iraq appears to have finished the recent Civil War. Pakistan is at war with itself. Some people living in Pakistan find the war in Afghanistan to be an acceptable battle to fight. There are wars ready to break out at any moment in many places.
From Insights

Most of the world is at peace, this is also a common state of affairs. From the point of view of large scale violence most people could walk down their streets without fear. However that is not the case at all. Fear appears to be the most common sensation in most nations, even in the absence of the immediate threat of war.

People are afraid that all wealth in the world will soon be gone. A gripping fear has taken hold of workers in most large countries. This fear is coming from the depth of the minds of millions of people.

Banks are afraid to loan money, even to other banks. People are afraid to loan money to their neighbors. Businesses are afraid that they will soon run out of money. Everyone seems to be afraid to spend any money on anything other than a little food and the fuel necessary to take them to work.

On the one hand this fear seems quite irrational. We are afraid that our wealth will soon be gone? Does this mean that we are afraid of being unable to pay our bills, that we may lose our homes and our possessions? If this is the case then we need to find more work or better work or stop buying things we do not absolutely need to live. However our fear is so all-consuming that we cannot see that far down the road.

Could you live without your cable TV?

Could you live while driving a smaller, perhaps used, car?

Could you still live without jewelry or fancy clothes?

There are people who need to be afraid. These people already do not have enough money to pay their bills at the end of this month. These people may soon need to move out of their homes to some other place. These people should have been looking for more work months ago. Yet, these people, the most desperate or poor, can be seen walking with a spring in their step and seem to be the least afraid of anything.

The people I see showing the most fear are actually the ones with the most to lose. The people that have many investments, fine homes, and luxury cars are quaking with fear in the better neighborhoods in my town. They see the value of their investment in the stock markets dropping every day of every week, with no end in sight. Many of these people own a business or manage a business that is making less and less money each month. The collapsing economy means their luxury lifestyle must soon change. Obviously these people are very attached to the fine things that clutter up their homes.

The pending world disaster is not a physical problem. Seeds planted in the soil will still sprout. Couples will still be able to have babies. There is enough air to breathe and just enough clean water. Our problems have nothing to do with the strange absence of sunspots. It is all about a crisis in confidence.

If so many people remain afraid that growing fear alone will continue to feed upon itself. The problems are mostly all inside our own heads. If we do not find a way to help ourselves we might as well all go outside and find someone sensible to talk to or get some exercise. There is no point in trying to accomplish anything until we can calm ourselves down and get back to the business of living normally.

Irish Rowers 73115

2 comments: said...

Global crisis is not only about companies of financial services. It is about common people as well. The ones with loans, credits, mortgages. The ones with jobs to preserve, houses to retain, families to maintain, relatives to support, children to send to colleges. The ones with budgets, where every cent has its destination. How many of the people lose jobs, cars, homes? How many have to cut out the spendings, which they considered a normal part of their lives? -

TH Williams said...

It sounds like we agree on the idea that many people will have their day-to-day lives changed by this crisis, VotetheDay.

What You Can Do

I also wonder how the poorest people in places like Haiti will be impacted by this crisis. Aid organizations will probably get fewer donations and there is very little the International Monetary Fund (IMF) can do quickly to help.

Life In Haiti