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State of the US Economy – Scary Stuff or Nothing to Worry About?

by Debt Destroyer on September 18, 2008

Bear Sterns, Freddie & Fannie, Lehman Bros, Merrill Lynch, AIG…all big names that I normally don’t care anything about.

Until now.

Yesterday while I was mindlessly entering data (my new part time job) I was also listening to a Public Radio program called “Fresh Air”.  Joining host Terri Gross was Michael Greenberger, who proceeded to explain how Wall Street’s woes could affect other markets, including money markets.

It opened my eyes (or should I say ears) to how the recent headlines could end up affecting me.

Click here to listen for yourself.

Spoiler Alert!!!  Spoiler Alert!!! Even though Mr. Greenberger spent most of the interview describing rather negative scenarios, he did end by saying he doesn’t recommend putting your money under your mattress.

NPR also helped calm my fears by posting this article about history’s advice during a panic.

Which is, DON’T PANIC

Makes sense I guess.

On my way out a couple of older ladies I work with engaged me in a conversation about the current situation.  One brought up that she’s too old for her investments to recoup the recent losses and that she may have to put off retirement.  The other one said she was glad she was 62 and not 32, because she thinks things will be fine for her generation but not the ones after her.

Now even though I had just listened to 40 minutes of pretty gloomy stuff, I wasn’t nearly as pessimistic as these two were.

Should have I been?

What do you think about all the recent financial hullabaloo?  Is it something that we should be collectively worried about?  Or will things shake out so we can go back to being concerned about lipstick on farm animals?

At dinner Mrs. Debt Destroyer wondered what we’d do if the bottom fell out of America’s financial system.  I told her we’d probably just keep doing what we’ve been doing since we’ve discovered The Happy Rock:

  • Get rid of our debt.
  • Cut down on expenses
  • Do our best to stay afloat

Of course we’d probably have to act much faster than we currently are, but I think we’d pull through.

It’s not like I’m losing sleep over this yet…

Poor kid, I bet this week has been brutal.

Until next time,

-DD

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

John September 18, 2008 at 10:15 pm

I forgot all about that commercial. That was funny.

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The First Creditor September 19, 2008 at 3:45 pm

I’m not worried, but I’m concerned. I found THR because I was starting to feel the sting of the worsening economy, and I think it might get worse before it gets better. Check out Manias, Panics, and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises by Charles P. Kindleberger.

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John September 19, 2008 at 7:08 pm

I think we need to be very worried. Not only because of the economy that will keep getting worse for some time, but also because of the actions of our government. Personally I can’t afford to bail out every financial institution on Wall Street when they have a bad year.

I believe our kids and grandkids will be the victims of what is happening now. Because of the excellent welfare system that is in place for the rich they will be fine, but the middle class will not exist in the future.

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Glory September 23, 2008 at 6:28 am

I entirely agree with John. It is impossible to be indifferent towards the action of the government and life of future generations!!!

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The Debt Defier September 27, 2008 at 1:15 pm

As always, thanks for the comments!

@ John – This commercial was the first thing I thought of, when I heard about AIG needing help.

@ First Creditor, John, & Glory – I too think things will get worse before they get better and I’m not in favor of a gov’t bailout. I think it shows who the gov’t really works for. But if it happens I hope we make money on these “assists” in the long term.

Hmmm, I wonder if the gov’t will buy my van and throw me a bonus while they’re at it.

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