The Mess We've Made

Want to understand the economic mess in layman terms?

…The earlier peak, which is way over on the left part of the chart, where debt is 100% of GDP, was in 1929. This is a map of twin peaks. One in 1929 and one in 2007.

Does that chart scare you?

Yes. That chart is the most striking piece of evidence that I have that what is happening to us is something that goes way beyond toxic assets in banks, it’s something that had little to do with mortgage securitization, or ethics on Wall Street, or anything else. It says the problem is us. The problem is not the banks, greedy though they may be, overpaid though they may be. The problem is us. We have over-borrowed. We have been living very high on the hog. We are, our standard of living has been rising dramatically over the last 25 years, and we have been borrowing to make much of that prosperity happen.

This American Life tries explains whats gone wrong, and more importantly, why we haven’t been able to fix it. Oh and one more really scarry note form the transcript on the topic of bank nationalization –

… if they WERE planning to take over the banking system … they wouldn’t announce it beforehand. They’d probably say exactly what they’re saying right now … wait till  everything’s set up … till they hired enough people and got all their plans in order … and then one Friday evening, they’d make an announcement, and nationalize the banks over the weekend.

If anyone needs me, I’ll be in my super secret survival bunker.