Is the financial crisis too complex for simpletons like me to understand?

March 13, 2009

No it’s not, and I’ll tell ya why. Read on:

I have always lived by the golden rule of DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU. Call me sappy. Call me naive. Call me a Methodist. But that rule just makes sense to me. I basically try to wake up each day and treat others like I want to be treated. This simple rule helps me live a pretty nice life. 

For example, kids like me. Because I’m super cool? No. It’s because I talk to them like they have valid opinions. I ask them questions instead of giving them commands all the time. That’s how I like to be treated, after all.

But beyond interpersonal relationships, I think this rule makes sense in many other areas of life. Take the current financial crisis. Some people are saying that certain institutions like Citigroup, AIG (American Insurance Group), and others are Too Big to Fail. But I don’t think so. And I say this because I wouldn’t want anyone to treat me as if I was Too Big to Fail. I don’t think we should treat certain people as better than or inferior to anyone else. The same goes for businesses. If the people who run the businesses have made lots of mistakes, both unwillingly and willingly, they won’t survive. 

After educating myself a little bit about the financial crisis, I have determined that it is really simple. It is NOT complicated like so-called “financial experts” want you to believe. It’s okay that your main interests are fiction books or physical sciences or gardening or your children or your classic car or dogs. You can TOTALLY understand what’s going on with the economy.

If you think the banking crisis and the related home mortgage crisis are too complicated to understand and you can’t have an opinion, fortunately, you’re wrong!

All you need to do is listen to this entertaining and simple explanation from episode 375 of the National Public Radio show This American Life. And this interview by Terry Gross. Educate Yo-self!

I, personally, have decided that it all comes down to one simple problem: people and businesses with power and money have not been treating others very nicely. And so we should not treat them nicely. Sorry. You fail. 🙂

Hugs and kisses,



9 Responses to “Is the financial crisis too complex for simpletons like me to understand?”

  1. When I agree that they are Too Big to Fail, it’s not the banks and companies that started all this crap that I’m worried about. It’s the huge ripples/tsunamis of lay-offs that result from that failure. We’ve already seen some of that and I’m afraid it would be much worse if we let more companies go under.

    But I also don’t think the answer is to just give them more money. Screw the cries of “socialism”; I want a government takeover, dammit. If a boat is running unattended and goes up on shore, you don’t just give it more gas, you put someone at the wheel who knows how to steer.

  2. spring Says:

    I’m looking forward to nationalization myself. It just sucks that all the Obama critics who warned that he would bring socialism will think they were right.

  3. Jenny Jen Says:


  4. beamish Says:

    thewhatifgirl and spring: i am right there with you!

  5. beamish Says:

    ALSO: This American Life is the god damn bomb.

  6. Sarah Says:

    That was a terrfic episode of This American Life. My favorite part: “My baby! My baby! Where will my baby sleep?!”

    I also recommend NPR’s Planet Money podcast. I never thought I’d be able to grasp the whole economy situation (and I’m still not quite sure I do), but I definitely understand a lot more than I did.

    And I agree with you…screw these guys and their huge-a$$ bonuses. Seriously.

  7. spring Says:

    HA HA HA- yes! 🙂

  8. hopi Says:

    It seemed to me that the mortgage bankers concocted a legal potion called “mortgage backed securities” to create trading in mortgages as easy as pork bellies. This legal potion was deemed “safe” by the people who evaluate the risk of investments — the insurance companies. The people (and there were some big banks within this category) who invested in such things as Mortgage backed securities and Credit Default Swaps did not consider whether or not they understood these things and the way these things are evaluated and rated. This failure of feduciary responsibility should be identified and reacted to. However, when you track the responsibility back all the way, it goes to the US Congress for failing to enable regulatory agencies to act early and prevent unethical (but legal) behavior in credit markets.
    Perhaps by re-electing the same congressional reps that were in office during the years of failure to watch over the commercial activities in the credit markets, eventually the electorate came around to pay the price !! It is almost like we had searched to punish the guilty party and it turned out to be ourselves.

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