Saturday, October 4, 2008

Worth a Listen

A friend of mine sent this to me, and I actually spent the hour listening to it. It's fully worth the time to get some more info on what's going on with the financial crisis and some educational talk around it.

And my personal opinion? This is bad. I work in the financial industry, and I can see what's happening. I am watching what's going on behind the scenes where companies that have cash won't lend it because it's too risky to lend it to anyone, and companies that don't have it (be they large ones like Citi that had a hard time raising capital a year ago, God forbid they try now, or mom and pop companies) can't get it or can get it only at onerous rates that make it infeasible.

The bailout is not perfect. It won't be the magic elixir that fixes everything. But the wheels were not turning, and the Super Glue was almost set. Had the financial wheels stopped turning, well I can't picture the catastrophe that would be -- or rather, I'm afraid to. The bailout provides some WD-40. Will it keep things turning for now? Yes. Is it the best solution? Probably not, but it's the best we've got in our toolbox now.

Railing about the companies that made it happen and how we're rewarding them for their mistakes feels good but doesn't help. The horse is out of the barn, and if we don't do something, we're going to burn the barm to spite ourselves. If the company you work for can't get a loan to cover the operating cash it needs to, just as it's always done, what do you think is going to happen?

Anyway, just my thoughts above.... This NPR show is definitely worth listening to.


Laurie October 5, 2008 at 2:13 PM  

Michelle, this whole thing makes me so sick and like you I try not to think about, but it's there whether we do or not.
I know what you are saying, I just think it sucks things were ever a loud to get this way, this bad and so on.
What really scares and depresses me too, is my husband and I had just moved back to Minnesota from Florida and we couldn't decide exactly where we wanted to look into buying a home, what part of Mn. so we moved into an apartment and with what I am seeing happening who knows about us buying a home in the near future.

Angela October 7, 2008 at 6:16 PM  

ITA. I was against the bailout at first, because I am a dyed in the wool, card carrying free-market capitalist, but as you said, I can see where this is heading if we don't take action, and Main Street is ultimately where the hit will end up, not Wall Street (however richly deserving it may be). So yep, I support it. I just hope it's enough - the market was down another 500 today.

Michelle October 8, 2008 at 9:53 PM  

wblmom - It's horrible, isn't it? And today a 50bp cut, and calls for another 50bp at the regular Fed meeting. This is getting depressing. MN is a great place (I grew up there, sorta). Good luck finding a good home -- good news is that you have open enrollment so you don't have to be in the right district at least!

Angela - Yup, I'm right there with you carrying that same card. But no one knows what the levers will do or how soon or how well. Inaction is not an option, however.

J'Ollie Primitives October 10, 2008 at 12:42 AM  

I listened to the piece on Saturday and had planned on finding in the NPR archives so I could listen again. Sure I'm not the only one who had never heard of many of the things mentioned.

I love Ira Glass. Or his voice.

Good post.

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