Posts Tagged ‘Bailout’

Miracle on the Hudson – Miracle on Wall Street?

Friday, January 16th, 2009

Yesterday’s USAirways crash landing on the Hudson River between Manhattan and New Jersey has been fodder for wall-to-wall news coverage since it happened just after 3:30 yesterday. But while the word “miracle” has been used over and over, I haven’t heard many people reference God in the equation, although “miracle” carries with it the connotation that God did indeed perform the act. Of course, Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger III certainly played no small part in what happened, but then miracles usually do have human heroes as well.

What I am really driving at is that God really does still perform miracles, and we see them every day. This one, in full view of Wall Street is perhaps also a sign … a sign that we can all survive the crash, pick up the pieces and go on with our lives. The global economy is like a large and very complex aircraft whose engines have sucked in a couple of birds. And it may be unsalvegeable in its present form (or not), but the key is that our leaders (political and financial) have the opportunity to scramble to build something better. If they fail to do so, it will cost lives. If we pray for them and they are guided by Godly principles and create a structure that accords with such principles, we will all be better off.

Great Depression II? Or a bump in the road?

Friday, October 10th, 2008

As I write this the Dow is at approximately 8360 (This is October 10, 2008). We are at the bottom that Jim Cramer so recklessly proclaimed Monday on the Today show. Stock markets around the world have just endured punishing days of mounting losses, or have had to stop trading entirely. The central bankers have decided (to paraphrase Ben Franklin) that they will all have to stick together because separately they’re all stuck. We have lost Countrywide, Bear Sterns, Wachovia, Merrill Lynch, Washington Mutual, Lehman Brothers, had to rescue Fannie, Freddy and AIG (’cause it’s the CIA’s insurance company, don’t you know) and it looks like Morgan Stanley will go down as well, not to mention the small fry. Plus, Bank of America has plenty of hot paper on its books and is surviving by pursuing a “Much Too Big To Fail” strategy of gobbling up troubled financial giants so that half of Congress will be in its pocket and tarred with scandal should it go under. Citicorp will survive by a slightly different strategy, it’s Robert Rubin being a co-chair of the Council on Foreign Relations and thus such a heavy hitter his company can get what it wants both here and abroad.

Is this the end of the world as we know it? Are we looking at the prologue montage of Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior where “Their leaders talked and talked” but ultimately civilization spiralled downward toward anarchy? I don’t believe so, but that is for us to choose. What I do know is that we are witnessing the end of a cycle. These cycles go by many names, some of the popular names for them are Kondratieff or Elliot Waves, or generational “turnings” (this is the “Fourth Turning”) that predict massive changes in attitudes from generation to generation as ways of thinking that prove successful for a time play themselves out and are replaced by long-discarded ideas in an eternal round-robin.

As Dickens said, it is the best of times and it is the worst of times. Or one could look to Yeats’ poem “The Second Coming”. In any case, don’t let your life be ruled by how GM is doing, or by whether there even is a GM. America’s past is full of industrial behemoths that either had to be broken up or that failed spectacularly. The bankers may have beggared the country for a time, and they may even have beggared you personally. But no matter who you are or where you are, if you focus on what is eternal and not what is temporal, and you join hands with your neighbor instead of pushing away, we can only emerge stronger and more interdpedendent from what has happened to us lately through our own shortsightedness, greed and inattention (and those who saw this coming far enough back to be really ready are few and far between). The time is now. Never give up, and never give in.