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IS THE SECOND GREAT DEPRESSION COMING?
September 24, 2008


Or is the Second Great Depression already here???


Lately I have been fairly pre-occupied with all of the negative economic events unfolding around us at this time. Especially the last several weeks, I've been glued to the following websites:

     http://www.marketwatch.com

which gives probably one of the best, free, up-to-the-minute financial news ... it is owned by the Wall Street Journal. I've also been glued to

     http://www.minyanville.com

which interprets financial events, and makes predictions about where markets, stocks, the economy, etc. are headed. The site is run by Todd Harrison - a former hedge fund manager who seems to have called everything out fairly accurately in the past several months that I've been reading that site.

My take on the root cause of our current calamity is that it is entirely the fault of both the banking and lending establishments, as well as all those people who forgot that loans are things which need to be repaid.

It's the lenders faults for loaning money to people who were not qualified for such loans.

It's the investment banks faults for packaging those loans into mortgage-backed securities, and selling them as investments ... when the loans that form the basis of those securities are worth far less than their face value (because of the increasing default rates on those loans).

It's the fault of everyday people who took out loans they could only afford under the absolute best of circumstances ... before their adjustable rates adjusted. They call those loans "adjustable rate" because the rates do adjust upward after an initial teaser rate ... did anyone actually READ the loan paperwork they were signing??? Well now those people are claiming to be victims.

And now - people like me ... who pay their taxes every year ... who have never missed a mortgage payment ... who have always lived within our means ... people like me will be covering the asses of those who failed themselves, and failed our system.

So now the economy is imploding ... assets are being revalued downward as banks, insurance companies, and other businesses rush to sell off assets quickly ... to raise cash to cover their investment losses. [The only way to sell something quickly is to drop it's price, right?]

Will the $700B bailout package solve all these problems? I don't know. It should help, right? But I don't think anyone knows what really lies ahead for the economy. Is the second Great Depression coming, or is it already here?

End of Day UPDATE: Since I heard today that certain money market mutual funds have allowed their shares to drop below their $1 par value - I went and checked on the only possible such fund I might own ... the one in my 401K plan that I have very little information on. It is called the "Stable Value Fund" ... and the online information on it through my 401K provider is fairly vague. Now I don't want to shift that money into stocks obviously ... so I suppose I will simply put the name of that fund to the test. Is it REALLY a "stable value fund"? I sure hope so.


I originally posted this in our Midlife Forum, but since I've had a number of non-members email me about it, I thought it might be better to post this here - so that others can more easily find it.




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