The whole country is in a financial mess and all anyone seems to want to do is blame burn someone in effigy for it. There has never been a worse time to be a bank executive or CEO of a multbillion dollar corporation. In a recent poll*, banking executives beat out crack dealers and peddlers of children on the list of most reviled professionals.
Stealer of homes, futures, hopes and dreams
Ambitious small business owner
It’s so unfortunate, and I really hate that a bunch of people are losing their homes, and jobs, and are unable to retire as a result of this situation. But let’s be real. People were buying fabulous houses that were doubling in equity every six months. HGTV had everyone thinking they were real estate investors. Jim Cramer had everyone thinking it was a good idea to bet the farm in the stock market. Jeans were averaging $100-$150 a pair. Something had to give!
All the while our government was removing all oversight and accountability from the banking industry and the banking industry was merging and consolidating themselves into a handful of mega-financal Super Wal Marts. The result: a handful of people with nobody watching them holding the nations economic future in their hands.
Given this scenario there could be a couple of different outcomes.
Despite the lack of oversight, the banking executives responsibly manage funds by taking reasonable risks and experience modest but sustainable growth.
Seeing the opportunity to rake in unbelievable riches by making a few tweaks in banking policies, the banking executives turn the banking industry into a gigantic roulette table and make outrageous bets with ridiculously thin capital to back up the bets.
So what do you think happened?
So now our government is forced into an imposible catch 22. Sit back and do nothing and watch the economy fail or make hasty decisions to pump billions of dollars into the problem that may or may not help the situation. All because the economy is dangling at the mercy of a bunch of companies that are “too big to fail.”
Perhaps that’s the heart of the problem. Why should banks be allowed to grow to a point where, if they should fall prey to poor management decisions and greed, millions of peoples finances hang in the balance? And if they are allowed to get that big why shouldn’t someone be watching to make sure they are doing the right thing for the people who depend on them? Why should our banking industry even be a part of the legal gambling racket that is the stock market? And why should people be fed the idea that they can make a mint just by sitting back and letting people play with their money? Maybe instead of fixing an obviously fatally flawed system someone needs to sit back and rethink the system entirely. Maybe capitalism as we know it isn’t so perfect afterall.
There’s a slight chance that we all got too greedy, and the more money we had access to the greedier we got. But perhaps this economic crisis will serve as an opportunity for people to try to learn to live more simply, do more with less and learn to appreciate the little things in life.
Or maybe we’re all just biding our time until they fix this thing so we can cash out our home equity to buy a luxury boat and some designer jeans to wear on it like the good old days**.
*Poll was completely unscientific and consisted of only one imaginary participant.
**By good old days I mean days that people other than me or anyone I know personally were experiencing, but that we were all dreaming about.