Friday, September 19, 2008

September's Embers

Maybe, without any warning, the Iraq war has shifted to New York, specifically Wall Street, although that is a typically Americentric way of looking at an unbelievable financial meltdown that is shaking up the markets worldwide.

It started about a year ago with “the housing crisis,” too many financial institutions lending too much money for mortgages that most likely could not be maintained. Real estate has fallen apart (cf. “My Family Budget,” by G. K. Wuori), home building is on the skids, layoffs have occurred in all businesses affected by the housing industry, and home values have fallen in some areas by as much as thirty percent.

Still, it didn’t get globally interesting until the investment firm of Bear, Stearns went belly up, to be followed shortly after by Lehman Bros. investment bankers, and then the old stalwart, the bull in the market shop, Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner and Smith (its old name, a.k.a. Merrill Lynch). Banks are beginning to default on their portfolios and, really, everything is, financially, kind of a mess.

The federal government (a.k.a. Cherubs) has been throwing money wildly into the wind in order to preserve its ethic of corporate socialism, and our two presidential candidates, Obama and McCain are dancing wildly trying both not to interfere with a real crisis, while showing how they would act in a true financial emergency.

As far as the election goes, nearly everyone but the candidates and the two parties has known for a long time it was all about the economy. Really, it always is. We can prate all we want about the Middle East or immigration or health care or even whether or not Sarah Palin (McCain’s V.P.) has a functioning brain, but people really just want their leaders to preserve the flow of money that lets them live and from which all other concerns, views, opinions, beliefs, and prejudices flow. Without the family income we’re all just paper tigers farting dreams.

To quote that great philosopher, Bill Clinton: It’s the economy, stupid.

(from, Cherub: An Iraqi War Diary, by G. K. Wuori, © 2008)