The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Mad Money

I have a confession to make. I’ve been trying to grasp the national global economic situation. I even constructed a (popular and recently updated) timeline. But I’ve never felt I could make any sense of it. Because, no matter how many times I’ve had it explained to me, it sounded like a bunch of people playing games with Monopoly Money; or some other  “worthless” paper (a phrase I’ve heard a lot in the past week). Then this handy video from The Guardian confirmed my worse fears.

During these last several months I’ve had to learn phrases like “debt securities “ and wrap my brain around concepts like “credit swaps.” Just when I think I’ve got a handle on it, I find myself thinking , “No, it can’t’ be that. Surely not everyone would fail to see what was wrong with what going on. Someone must have known that it couldn’t go on; that it was unsustainable, because nothing in the system had any real value.” )

It all sounds like a pyramid scheme or a ponzi scheme — one with the top 1.5% or so of the population at the top and the rest of us closer the bottom.

[Photo via Matthew Hull.]

One Comment

  1. I appreciate your efforts to penetrate that depths of our current financial mess (you are a glutton for punishment) but I think it’s probably hopeless. It’s not so much that Wall Street folks were evil – no, they were trying to make lots of money for thier clients and themselves, which is exactly what they are paid to do. No, the “fundamental” problem with out current crisis lies in the past 20 years of the Republican penchant for “deregulation” which, at its base, is a compenent of the Republican “anything that can be labelled free market economy” is ipso facto good! Those of us who are old enought to remember the Savings and Loan disaster (for which, you may recall, McCain was censured for inappropriate intervention activities) was limited to a specific segment of the financial world – the savings and loan industry. Since then, however, the Republican controlled Congress has seen fit to deregualte the entire financial/banking industry so that now everybody can do everything. I.E. brokerage houses can do banking, banks can do brokerage etc. etc. So rather than limiting this crisis to a segment of the financial sector, it affects the entire industry since there is no longer any distinction between the various sectors. And this is why its so dangerous because it is so pervasive across the entire spectrum of financial institutions.