How did this happen?

It should be obvious by now that I am a fan of the haunting photographs of Dorthea Lange who chronicled the people of the Great Depression. I have spent the past week researching the causes of the previous depressions and panics looking for patterns that might offer clues and perhaps help in dealing with the economic calamity unfolding all around us. I have derived some insights which I would like to share with my readers. I have some tentative conclusions although “conclusion” may be a bit too strong a word. Conclusions imply a measure of certainty which I lack. I am on a journey of discovery. My conclusions thus far are 1. Most people are clueless as to how we arrived to this predicament and I include most of the financial media, our governmental and corporate leaders and most economic thinkers. 2. Most of the solutions proposed are likely to aggravate, delay and ultimately worsen the crisis. I include in this all measures exchanging something of value, ie., treasury securities for trash eg., toxic mortgage debt, CDS, CDOs and a host of other derivatives. The ultimate payoff for us and our children is likely to be prolonged and sustained inflation and ultimately failure and collapse of our government and our economy. I have scoured the library and the Internet researching panics and depressions going back to 1837 and looking for patterns of similarity and dissimilarity to today’s panic which I shall hereafter refer to as “The Panic of 2008.” In the blogs to follow, I will attempt to analyze some of the features common to these previous depressions with the conditions we are experiencing today. Writing about an issue enhances my understanding of the issue and I hope my analysis will shed some light on a very dismal subject.
Meanwhile over in Iceland life goes on. The IMF might, just might offer a loan of $5 or $6 billion in aid and the UK has tentatively offered a loan of $3 billion to Iceland to try to repay some of the UK savers and municipalities who deposited pounds in Icesave accounts. It’s a peculiar offer as I see it. The UK prints up $3 billion in paper with a picture of the Queen and gives them to UKers and then sends the bill to Reykjavik. I have no idea of the terms and I can only assume this offer if that is what you call it, will go over like a a lead haddock. It hearkens back to the cod wars. I haven’t seen anything on what the Rooskies are up to. I have been reading as I said previously, online publications and interesting blogs posted in English.Reykjavik Harbor Watch by ECS is thoughtful and my latest discovery is Jessica B. Her URL is:
http://jrbowe.blogspot.com/. She writes in an entertaining fashion and the human aspects of the problem are everywhere in evidence. One final article is rather long and deals in exquisite detail
about what it is like to fall into poverty. It is poignant. It is written by John Dolan and is entitled: “5 pieces of advice for the new paupers. The URL:
http://www.alternet.org/story/102992/5_pieces_of_advice_for_the_new_paupers/.

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About cal48koho

I was born in Montana and raised in a dozen Air Force SAC bases. I attended Holy Cross,West Point and UNC in Chapel Hill(MD"71). Army doc in the last years of the Viet Nam fiasco. My wife and I live in a log cabin I built in Jackson Hole in 1975 when we aren't on our Cal 48 yawl. I've done a dozen different jobs and retired from ER and Anesthesia in 2004. I've written magazine articles and am writing a Kunstleresque novel about life in a past Peak Oil world. We are living in a beautiful alpine setting where we hike and ski when we're not thinking about economics and spreading the implications of PO to anyone who will listen.
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