If the leaking of CEO memos and overheard Starbucks conversations are now constituting grounds for 'market confidence' heaven help us! Wall Street followers are awash with disbelief about the sudden convenient rallies. The surge in Financials on Tuesday was inexplicable. Oddly, Bonds have been moving sideways and later today we got mortgage rate improvements suggesting something is afoot among insiders. Now I understand that insider trading is illegal. But is Big Bank manipulation of our money supply similarly illegal? The powerful influencers in our market are trying to figure out who is in charge and where the money is. Our confidence and our fear move our market and we have the power to change it. Not our government. US.
I stumbled onto these very informative YouTube videos (links below) which neatly explain how we got here. It's our party folks and most of us played into the greed on some level, however unknowingly. These animated charts are easy to understand, if painfully obvious.
Crisis of Credit-Part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0zEXdDO5JU
Crisis of Credit-Part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYhDkZjKBEw&feature=related
These two YouTube videos well illustrate how Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan's lowering of the Treasury rate to 1% (to strengthen our economy post the dot.com bust and 911) caused a run on cheap money by the banks, eager to lend for a higher profit margin. Investors who wanted more than the 1% Treasury Rate of return created complex Credit Derivatives. The resulting demand for these high profit instruments led to the creation of easier mortgages, generating higher risk, and voila: our housing bubble was born, which in turn has frozen our financial system. We did this to ourselves, folks.
LET'S STOP THE BLAME GAME: While I don't care how the illustration lumps mortgage brokers as the only purveyors of these loans (Countrywide and Washington Mutual invented the most egregious of these loans and sold in their own retail operations) the facts are clear that the instruments were created to meet demand for high profits based on a shell game. The end game is stopping the madness and greed. Unfortunately the pain of unwinding these complex games are impacting many small time investors in hedge funds, bank stocks and retirement accounts. We have yet to see the full effects once all these ticking time bombs go off.
What can we do? As entrepreneurs, we are the backbone, the creative first responders who can quickly adapt to meet the needs created by the consequences created on Wall Street. We were trained to supply the demand that created the need that sold the land that funded the loans that built the houses that Jack unbuilt! Meeting real needs more creatively is our greater goal. We can choose a longer term commitment to ourselves, our businesses and our region. What are you doing about growing your business to meet new 'needs gaps' and earn an honest living?
DREAM MORE? I dreamed last night I was outside on a cold night and others were preparing a bed of deep mud to sleep in --which seemed odd to me but they were perfectly fine as they settled into the wet earth to sleep. It was a full moon. I think the dream was about reconnecting with the earth at this important time. I'll be thinking about that image as I ponder what next.
Creative solutions come in many forms. Blessings!
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