9 Things We'll Probably Forget When This Is All Over
1. Economics is a bunch of bushwah. Now we know it. Economists are obviously not only behind the curve on what has occurred, they are in many cases the cause of it. It is not a science. It is not even an art. At best, it's a craft, like pottery. As things improve, we can expect a bunch to begin operating pretty much as usual, though. Why shouldn't they? It's a living. 2. Wherever there's money around, there will be crooks. Many of these crooks are well dressed. Often they are at the top of whatever game they are bilking. Next time this all happens, people will once again be surprised that a seemingly legitimate guy managed a Ponzi scheme. 3. The Law is a ass. I believe it was Mr. Bumble in Oliver Twist who said it, but recognition of the unique aspect of the legal profession goes back to Shakespeare and beyond. Virtually all of the regulators and legislators who were supposed to be monitoring the finance industry were certainly lawyers, as were the lawmakers who were asleep at the switch until they could be assured of airtime on cable on the subject. 4. In God We Trust. All others pay cash. Every panic in history has been precipitated by the same stupid sequence of events. In Rome, for instance, a huge panic not that dissimilar to ours happened when some rich bankers underwrote a bunch of ships that were sent to the east. The ships foundered. The banks had overextended themselves. They ran out of cash. People freaked out. In 1837, following another crash a few decades earlier, the banks once again forgot about the whole debt/equity thing and doled out huge amounts of money in western real estate. The market went bust. The banks went boom. The economy went into the tank for 10 years. A few years ago, my own corporation almost went belly up after its Financial Services Division lent a bunch of dough to a sleazy real estate outfit in New Orleans that just didn't pay us back. Now we have this, and everybody asks, "How could all these smart people lend out so much stupid money?" Because that's what they do to MAKE stupid money, Sparky. As soon as nobody is looking they'll do so again.