Oct 092008

Hello Journal. It’s been about a week. So much going through my head I haven’t had time to sit and process it let alone put it down to bytes on a hard disk somewhere in Virginia, I think.

Of course the big thing is the financial markets melting down. Seems the bailout and everything else is just throwing fuel on the fire. As expected.

This could be just a few months of tightness then right back to the climb, or it could be like the Great Depression. If so maybe it’s all for the best. Because maybe the world needs a break from constant accelerating more-ness. Work more, do more, get more, have more, more of everything except time to enjoy being here.

Someone else said it better than me:

But take this comfort: to whom little is given, little may be expected. You won’t make much but you probably won’t have to take work home with you, and no one with be calling you at night from the job when the power grid goes down. When you lose your pre-Depression advantages, you will also lose the need to strive, to keep up, to run yourself ragged. You may find yourself cultivating pleasant, inexpensive hobbies, like writing, painting, or maintaining a pigeon coop. Your kids, deprived of constant day-care and supervision, may play in sandlots or in the streets, using bats made out of broom handles to hit spaldeens. You may even find yourself adjusting quite happily to a life with lower expectations.

You can read the rest here:
9 Ways You’ll Save in the New Depression

Oct 022008

As far as I can tell, Warren Buffet is an admirable businessman and investor.  He’s been making a lot of headlines lately by putting large chunks of cash in to distressed companies that he believes will make good long-term investments – assuming the bailout happens.  I’m not sure I appreciate him banking on that.

Anyway, here are two Buffet-related Reuters articles that give some insight in to the current credit crisis.  What I find most alarming is the details on how banks have been acting like insurance companies, selling default protection to each other and not carrying reserves to cover even a fraction of the protection they sold. This sounds familiar. Oh, right. It was one of the major factors in the crash that caused the Great Depression. I smell sequel!

Buffett’s “Time Bomb” Goes Off On Wall Street
Buffett Dives Into GE Amid “Economic Pearl Harbor”

Apparently Mr. Buffett likes to use terms of war in discussing finance. Seems appropriate.

(image copyright wewantdemocracy used under terms of Creative Commons)