How bad will this financial crisis get?

apocalypsenow.thumbnail.jpgThe last couple of weeks have been like watching a hurricane approach from over the horizon, waiting to see how much destruction will be done. It’s hard to imagine, but the politicians are behaving even more badly now then they have during other crises. And the economic consequences could be very, very hard on every American. I’ve vented about how this crisis should have been foreseen and avoided, and that the guilty parties who created it should pay, and hopefully they will. But without credit we have no economy or jobs–so we all pay. So a bailout is needed.

In a way I’m glad my father isn’t here to watch this unfold. His family lost everything in the 1929 stock market crash, and suffered terribly during the great depression. He lived his life fearing it would happen again, and he was constantly telling me it would. I think I became an economics major in college as a defense against the looming crisis my father constantly dreaded–I wanted to understand the economy and role of government. This gave us a lot to argue about–my father was a pessimist about government, and I was trying to be a young optimist in the face of his fears. The result was that I have long felt that I am a “child of the depression,” because even though I had a privileged middle class life, the experiences of my father had such a profound effect on me. And now the real prospect of another depression is here. I hope we get through it…

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