When Banks Die, Markets Melt And The Economy Does A Free Fall – September 2008 – Past Daily Reference Room
Banks fail, Markets go haywire – a wave a fear and uncertainty that tomorrow might just be worse than today. An economy with a mind of its own – the proverbial chickens coming home to roost.
That’s what it looked like during September 2008. Only 15 years ago. Scary times – a lot of dreams and plans went flying out the window and a lot of apprehension over the future sank in.
Not that it wasn’t seen coming – there were warnings; a lot of them. The party could not go on forever. There was nothing really to sustain it. What looked really good on paper was suddenly reduced to so much confetti, so much mattress stuffing. That house of cards was shaky at best, but it was easier to look the other way, pretend nothing was wrong – it would all work out.
And, as you no doubt remember, there were bail outs – lots of them – enough to ease the panic, solemnly promise “never to do it again” – go through the motions of taking steps. Feeling the heat, at least for a little while – and slowly do it all over again.
Hard to say, looking at the perspective of 2023 if we are destined to relive 2008 all over again. Pick up where we left off – fall down the rabbit hole for real this time. Maybe just a case of the jitters, enough to bring about some sincere scrutiny. Some realistic assessment of where we are as an economy-driven/fear-based society. False starts – warning signs. Reminders.
As a reminder of what September 2008 was like, here is a podcast originally run by NPR as part of the Planet Money series. Could be a harbinger of things to come – could be a reminder we’re not infallible – could be a warning it could all happen over again.
You’ve got to admit, we’ve been through a lot, these past 15 years – pandemics, lockdowns and social upheavals. Seems only logical our economy gets another crisis on its hands – that thing about history and not learning lessons, or at least paying attention to warning signs.
Whether you agree with NPR and its take on the crisis or not, it was still a crisis and still came with plenty of anxiety to go around.
Press Play and dive back 15 years. Cross fingers, and hope for the best.
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