You know, a few weeks ago I did a blog on recognizing the signs – really looking at reality. My point was that so often we don’t want to look at reality and see how things really are. In our lifetimes, as we grow up and become adults, it’s about problem solving, isn’t it? In business and our personal lives, managing our households, managing our business…it’s about solving problems that come up everyday. And we cannot solve any problems unless we look at the reality and understand that there is a problem.
Let’s talk about this financial meltdown that we are experiencing. And let me tell you that in my 68 years, I have never seen anything that approaches this! I read everything that I can read about what Ben Bernanke is saying and what Henry Paulson is saying, and what all of the European financial leaders are saying, and as we get more information, we are seeing that this meltdown did not jut happen overnight. This has been coming for years and years and years. The sub-prime mortgage meltdown did not just happen. All of these credit swaps did not just happen. Our great financial minds on Wall Street or Main Street or in Congress, Democrats or Republicans, financial experts in America and in Europe….they had to see that this was coming. I’ve talked with people whom I have known for years, people who are brilliant in business and history and the ways of the world, and they all say that this time has been coming for years. They had recognized this and sensed it, and yet our markets went up and even hit record highs just a year ago. People were spending money like crazy buying airplanes and cars and traveling and so forth because at the very top level of our financial geniuses around the globe, they saw the signs but ignored them. The politicians saw the signs but ignored them. Allen Greenspan, Bernanke, Paulson…they had to see the signs, but they ignored them. At every level. And you and I at our levels, even though we probably do not have the same level of understanding, we saw the signs and we ignored them. It’s another lesson for us – bad news doesn’t get better with age. In all of our lives, in everything that we do, we have to look at the reality. If our kids are doing drugs, we cannot ignore the fact. We have to deal with it. If we are spending more money than we have and our budget is out of balance, we have to deal with it. We have to look at the reality of whatever our situation is because that is the only way that we can make a difference. I hope and pray that our financial leaders across the world, who are much smarter than me about these matters, and our political leaders will understand it is not about politics now. It is about survival. It is about looking at the signs, looking at the reality. It is about telling me the truth and telling yourself the truth. It is about recognizing the problem, and I think we are right now. Once we recognize the problem, we can start to deal with the problem, and deal with it in every way that we can. We have to understand that it is not going to change tomorrow. These problems have been brought on by years of financial abuse that didn’t have to happen. And if you hear any Republican or Democrat trying to blame it on the other party, shame on them! Because this cannot be about politics. This has got to be about survival, not only of America but the rest of the world financially.