25 September 2008

'entire economy is in danger'

Oh dear . . . when the President of the United States says this on national television, well, I pay attention. The words demand a bit more than my viewing the everydayness of death, disease, and destruction I'm bombarded with every news day.
What's the snappy "D" word for the economic meltdown of an entire economy. A "deaccessioning" of the private banking sector into the federal governments' hands. This "D" word is associated with fine-art so the metaphor quickly breaks down. We're in uncharted water.
On a visceral level I have complete sympathy with the forgotten man or woman, the forgotten family. There are ordinary prudent people, families, who do the right thing. These are the folks, some 50% of Americans that either own their home or are renting, the 95% of homeowners who make their house payments on time, the 99% of folks who did not and do not behave irresponsibly with their hard earned financial resources, who will ultimately pay off any loss that occurs.
What is a fearful financial soul to do? Well blabbering at the end of the bar in an crowded saloon doesn't help. I'm not even sure writing this will help. But in case one person stumbles on this I suggest,
  • Look and Reappraise. Is it just a paper loss or must you liquidate.
  • Put Yourself in a Different Pair of Shoes. Think of questions you might ask yourself ~ as if you were in that other pair of reasonable and responsible shoes.
  • Track and Write Down Your Feelings. You may not want your stewardship of your financial resources to be driven by your emotions. So put some distance between them and your left brain. Write your feelings down on paper. Do you want to be held hostage by your feelings?
  • Try Planning. When events cool down make intentional choices to make a plan. Once you make a plan try executing it. After you've done that for awhile, and you've stopped, for whatever reason, start again. That's right, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again. I call it personal forgiveness.
Ah . . . . here is where each of us begins again. I know it's difficult and it takes time. But each of us souls, especially the souls who want to do, who try to do, who may not do as much as they would like to, need a second chance. Everyone of us, even the schmucks who got us into this mess and the ones who think they can get us out of it, need forgiveness.

And despite my fear, maybe because of my fear, that in the end, is why I will probably just shrug my shoulders and pray this one trillion dollar bailout is about all that I can do and expect.

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