The Karma of an Economic Crisis

It’s been an era of extreme naivety. For more than a decade now, the world populace has been gleefully prancing through life under an ever-darkening veil of maya, or illusion, as though it were somehow possible for millions upon millions of consumers to accumulate the riches of their wildest dreams through little more than positive thinking.


With the aid of a fresh and “sophisticated” financial ideology, which in reality amounted to little more than unbridled borrowing, the average person was able to mimic the lifestyles of a higher class.

They were, in fact, encouraged to do so by scores of over-zealous pundits who let themselves get swept away in the utopian enthusiasm of boundless material prosperity.

Global financial leaders, from the chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve down through money managers and financial advisers at all levels, told us that economic seasons were a thing of the past, that we are now in an eternal summer of affluence.

In mistaking a mountain of debt for a mine of gold, they encouraged a reckless pursuit of material indulgence. “You can afford that house, a second car, and a luxury family vacation. Dine out to your heart’s content, and pick up another pair of fancy shoes on your way home too.” “Don’t worry”, they said, “you can now have your cake and eat it too.”

New and incomprehensible financial tools, such as derivatives, collateralised debt obligations, and structured investment vehicles, we were assured, contained the magic to deliver not just the homes, but all the goods of a high rolling lifestyle too. With sub-prime wizardry at the centre of it all, the blind led the blind straight toward certain disaster. For the millions around the globe who have enjoyed, without restraint, the fantasy of continually spending more than they were earning, a harsh reality is now setting in. We are now in an unfathonable economic crisis.

Those who proselytised for this foolishness indeed have much explaining to do. But with all the finger pointing going on in Washington and on Wall Street, the fact of the matter is that the culprit is much nearer than anyone wants to admit. Just stand in front of the mirror and you’ll see the guilty party.

We are not children, and we have no-one else to blame. When somebody tells us that we can spend more than we earn without worry, then who but a fool wouldn’t stand up and say, “How is that possible?” But we didn’t do that. The spoils were simply too enticing, and at the end of the day, entire populations of people managed to turn a blind eye and convince themselves that somehow, everything was going to keep coming up roses.

The point is not about how many will lose their homes, their jobs, and their dignity. What matters is that the party is over, and like any booze fest, a terrible hangover awaits. The reality of this economic crisis is that life will now be different, for everyone.

No one seems to have noticed, however, that the problem doesn’t lie in banking structures, or in rules and regulations; it lies within the very mindset of people today. No one seems to recognize that we have, right in front of us, right in the midst of this economic crisis, an opportunity for profound global change; or at least nobody seems ready or willing to make that shift yet. …  [ continued ]

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