September 17, 2008

It's Always Someone Else's Fault

I was reading Donn Esmonde's column in the Buffalo News today...already a sign of bad things to come....as he said that those bankers and investors ought to visit Main Street so they can understand how their decisions are impacting real people, people who can't retire because their 401K is in the tank, etc.

Esmonde may have some point, but the fact is, the market goes up and the market goes down. Everyone who thought they were going to be rich in the 1990's and early 2000's now has a dose of market reality.

But my own feelings today are about finger pointing. In tough times, everyone wants to point a finger so today, I'm going to do some of my own finger pointing for the tough economic times:

1) Mortgage companies that lent people more money they they ever should have.
2) People who took these mortgages with adjustable rates and didn't realize that adjustable meant both up and down.
3) Wall Street speculation that drove up stocks beyond value.
4) People who were getting close to retirement who got greedy and failed to move their 401K assets into safer investments.
5) Lack of government regulation on any of this stuff that allowed unbridled greed to carry the day.
6) Corporate boards who give big buy-outs to top executives who screwed all of this up.

Yes folks, we the average joes, own some of this problem. Greed is way to prevalent from the top corporate boardrooms right down to the need for 3 big screen tvs in our homes. We're at war, and yet there is no shared sacrifice. I'm not sure what government action can be taken to address in many ways what has become our collective failure.

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