Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Where do we go from here?

The new Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner announced this morning his plan for rescuing the banks. Strip away the politico-speech and he said that our financial problems are complex; that he and his staff, including Obama, are not sure what needs to be done; but they are optimistic they will figure it out. No surprise, right? But the stock market reacted and plunged over three hundred points.

What does this mean?

Most economists and financial thinkers assume the market is a good leading indicator of what lays ahead. Does this mean the economy is in worse shape than previously thought? What should we do with our money, if we have any? There are many questions, few answers.

Where do we go for answers? Who can we believe?

It's a little troubling: the world is spiraling out of control and no one really knows what to do. This is not a bad thing; hopefully, we will end up creating a better world. It's time, though , to raise our game. We need to see things more clearly. I mean all of us. We can't depend on leaders, politicians, talk show hosts, journalists, or so-called experts to tell us what to do. We need to work on strengthening ourselves and our awareness so that we can contribute to the solution. It sounds scary, but we can't keep depending on the people that got us into this mess to get us out.

For years we have been convinced by the collective power of businessmen, marketers, advertisers, psychologists, and trend setters that we need to buy things we don't need with money we don't have. This has been the mantra of our western consumer society. Now we're paying the consequences. How can more spending and more debt be the solution?

But what is the truth? We don't really know. This admission of not knowing is a great starting point for an exploration that may lead us to safety.

Where do we go first?

I'd like to think about that.

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