Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Where's My Money Going?

Everyone knows right now that we're in the middle of a financial crisis here in the US. And truthfully, it's not just a US issue, it's affecting the entire global economy, but the US seems to be at the center of it. I find myself more and more fascinated by the financial news each day, but not because the topics are necessarily interesting or because I have lots of vested interest (I do hold a relatively moderate number of stocks and funds so I would like them to turn around), but more so because of the "car crash" effect of it all. Just like when everyone slows down on the highway to gawk at a really bad car wreck, I find myself doing just that with the financial news.

I don't really have anything to add that many people haven't already said. I found Ryan's digging up of an old article from 1999 interesting in how, looking back, you can really see how this all went wrong. I'm also a big fan of Obama's speech on the bailout plans. Then there's the analysis left and right about Paulson's and Bernanke's plans, the ups, the downs, the big questions marks, and everything in between. Regardless of what eventually does happen, this is a monumental time and I hope everyone is paying attention to the situation that's around them. This isn't going to affect just the fat cats on Wall Street, the oil barons, rich people, and the politicians. If everything goes according to the proposed plans, the everyday taxpayer is going to be on the hook for a lot of government spent money on failed investments and companies. I can't say I'm a fan of it, but I also can't say that if we let everything fail we'd be in a better position.

All I do know is that I'm tired of seeing red in my portfolio and I'm tired of sitting on the sidelines of the investing game because of all the uncertainty, corruption, greed, and toxicity that has invaded the markets. It would be nice to see some regulation, some stability, and a little less dumbass investments made available, but as we all know greed is too big of a motivator to keep things simple. What's the next crazy derivative that's going to be designed that'll make a chunk of people rich while others get ripped off? I wish I knew, so I could get in on some of that action at the ground level and then let taxpayers worry about the aftermath.

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