Sunday, September 21, 2008

It’s hard to compile my thoughts on the last seven days (or seven years) in the financial industry, trying to figure out what (if anything) these events mean to most people day to day. I’ve just started reading a book Hot, Flat and Crowded which deals with global warming, an economic environment that allows easy entry/exit to business no matter your location or background and the growing population on Earth.

To say that these three components have had an effect on the financial market recently might be a grasp, but in some ways not. More of us make a living the brings us to the middle class (or perceived middle class); we all want more (more Ipods, blackberry’s, access at our finger tips etc.). This has created a mass consumerism, not just in the US but globally and therefore has created a greed that has allowed for sub prime loans, business decisions based on keeping the customer happy (versus taking care of the customer). How many home loans shouldn’t have been made? How many were made to make someone a little richer, to make Bear/Lehman/AIG/Merrill/Countrywide/Who is next more money? Would we (the human race) been better off making a few less people homeowners, saying no to a few loans, doing a little less shopping after 9/11? Remember George W. Bush recommending to the American public to (this is a paraphrase) spend to show we weren’t afraid in the aftermath of 9/11.

So onwards, policy was set that created a consumer society both in the US and global that has increased demand on energy resources and resources in general. Are we now seeing the effects? A global economic crisis, a situation where global energy demand increase 10% a year and there is no firm renewable energy source to meet these needs.

Is the world in crisis? Will our plague be that of energy and overcrowding? Can we do anything about the energy crisis? Does the next President care? I don’t know, but make sure you ask and press the issue.

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