I am sharing with you first, before I post this to my Lists, a message given me late Sunday by Councillor Asheoma. To put his message into context, we need to recall that recently, the huge Countrywide Financial homes-financing institution declared bankruptcy. This was followed by the giant Wall Street financial firm Bear Stearns also going insolvent.
Last week on September 7 the enormous semi-autonomous home lending institutions, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, who made many of the home loans and mortgage guarantees in the United States, declared themselves insolvent, and were taken over by the U.S. government, lest their collapses cause the housing and mortgage markets to entirely crumble.
The timing of Councillor Asheoma's message for today was prompted by the development that the New York Stock Exchange was opened on Sunday for an extraordinary special session, to permit the largest financial houses to clear out their deposits with Lehman Brothers financial institution, before it declared insolvency before midnight yesterday. This morning Lehman Brothers announced that it's filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. "Who cares?", you may say. Or even, "Serves those fat cats right." But wait. There's more.
Asheoma essentially said that the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy marks the beginning of the very large financial collapse that Star Nations has seen developing for a while.
While there are many more dominoes left to fall against one another over the weeks and months ahead, today (or yesterday, if you will) marks the beginning of what might be indelicately labeled The Great Bush Depression. While under President Clinton the U.S. budget had a $117 billion _surplus_, under President Bush the U.S. has a budget _deficit_ of $9.7 trillion dollars.
News reports state that other major financial houses are "near the edge". These include Merrill Lynch, Citibank, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan, to name some of the best known.
Nouriel Roubini, the head of the RGE Monitor consulting firm which investigates banks' solvency, said today, "It's clear we're one step away from a financial meltdown."
Nor will the financial hardships be confined to the United States. Reverberations of the cascading failures of financial institutions will impact economies around the globe, since they are so inter-connected in today's world.
Councillor Asheoma commented that the times ahead will bring hardships to many people. We will all be presented with situations where neighbors, friends, and others in our and surrounding communities will be without the necessities, and we will all have to pull together to get us all through. If we turn a cold shoulder when others are in dire straits, then the situation will get ugly, miserable, and destructive. If we rise to the challenge with a communitarian and family-like attitude, then we will emerge a better people than before the crisis just ahead of us struck.
Let us use this heads-up by Councillor Asheoma to resolve now to not panic, to keep our priorities clear as moral and spiritual persons, and, like the Biblical injunction of old, operate with the clear understanding that in fact, yes, we _are_ our brother's (and sister's) keeper. Together we can get through this.
This crisis can be handled in ways which help usher in a reformed Fifth World society, or usher in chaos and societal devolution. The choice is ours.
in the light,
Richard Boylan, Ph.D.
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