Saturday, December 20, 2008

Krugman nails it

This week Paul Krugman wrote: "Yet surely I’m not the only person to ask the obvious question: How different, really, is Mr. Madoff’s tale from the story of the investment industry as a whole?"

And not just the investment industry, the real estate industry, the post-9/11 military-industrial-war industry, the people who have accrued more debt than is prudent industry (including me) . . . and on and on.

Hopefully the economy is more resillient than a Ponzi scheme, yet Krugman's correct, too much of it did become a giant ponzi scheme--and through a crack smoking society we got high on real estate and easy credit in a completely unsustainable way. Hopefully the morning after won't be too rough.

In these times of a crashing economic system it's easy, even proper, to point fingers, but we must also, always ask: How much did each of us individually contribute to and benefit from the boom? Possibly, no, probably, more than we realize. It is amazing how we're all products of our times as much as responsible individual operators.