Monday, October 6, 2008

Are We Headed for another Great Depression?

Posted by Dean Morgan of Project Liberty

Some say we are, so at the end of this message I will discuss what you can do to prepare for it.

But first, what I am about to tell you may shock you. In short:

1. Government intervention made the Great Depression worse, not better. Depending on who’s elected President, the same could happen again.

2. Too much government intervention, not a lack of regulation, caused our crisis.

3. The government is to blame, not irresponsible borrowers or greedy executives.

4. California is next in line for a government bail out.

5. Things will get much worse because of a game of financial chicken.

While we aren’t anywhere near another Depression (25% unemployment then vs. 6% now), some experts say a Depression is actually possible, especially if government makes the same mistakes it made trying to fix the Great Depression which started in 1929. As a result, the stock market didn’t recover to it’s pre-Depression level until 1954!

***Government Regulation Made the Depression Worse, Not Better***

Contrary to the popular belief that President Roosevelt’s big government programs caused a recovery, the Depression actually lasted much longer than it should have because President Roosevelt raised taxes and many businesses had to shut down leading to more unemployment.

***Too Much Government Intervention CAUSED our Current Crisis!!***

Will the Government save us this time? Don’t count on it. You simply cannot legislate a recovery. In fact, while many are calling for more regulations, if history is any indication, government intervention is likely to make matters WORSE.

And more to the point, the current financial crisis was actually caused by TOO MUCH REGUATION, not a lack thereof like most people assume. Here’s why:

Most of you know that lots of bad mortgages owned by Freddie Mac and Fannie May and other banks and brokerage firms is why we have a credit crisis. But exactly WHO is to blame?

DON’T BLAME THE BORROWERS: Sure, people shouldn’t borrow beyond their means, but let’s be real. When someone hands people free money for a house, car and anything and everything else, people will simply take it! It’s human nature.

DON’T BLAME GREEDY WALL STREET EXECS: Yeah, sure they ARE greedy, but greed is an unavoidable in a capitalist society. Fear and greed drive free markets, and always will. The FBI is investigating some firms, and they might find a few instances of fraud, but the fact remains that if you allow people to make easy money without breaking the law, they will!

DO BLAME THE GOVERNMENT!!: Not only was what the wall street companies doing legal, but the government encouraged it! Even worse, some in congress prevented attempts by those who saw the writing on the wall to pull the reigns.

Yes, blame the Government, because well-intentioned politicians, starting with Bill Clinton who enacted some low income lending policies, FORCED Fannie & Freddie to increase their portfolios of sub prime debt to unprecedented levels so that poor people could own homes.

And to ensure banks were loaning to people who couldn’t afford to repay the loans, a liberal group called ACORN, funded by Congressional Democrats, went around suing banks that refused to make what they called “financially irresponsible” loans.

In 2004 the Bush administration sounded the alarm and proposed legislative changes to reel in Freddie and Fannie that were voted down strictly along party lines in the Congress. In 2005 Josh McCain made another attempt, but the reform never made it out of the Democratic controlled committee to the Senate floor for a vote.

To ensure these bills would never pass, Fannie and Freddie spent hundreds of millions of dollars on lobbyists to ensure they could keep loaning to everyone and anyone. Senator Chris Dodd (D) Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee received the most campaign contributions of anyone in Congress throughout his many years. Barak Obama is #2 on the donation list after only 3 years in the Senate.

Here you can watch a bunch of politicians in one party saying Fannie & Freddie are just fine, while others try to sound the alarm unsuccessfully:

So, in the name of “fairness”, bad loans were made to people who couldn’t afford them, and the institutions doing the lending “kicked back” money to the politicians who protected them.

You see, it wasn’t a lack of regulation, but government interference in the private market FORCING banks to make bad business decisions that caused this mess.

***California may be Next in the Government Bailout***

Because of the current credit crisis, the State can’t get the loans it needs until tax time. The Governor has sent a letter to US Treasury Secretary Paulson stating that if things don’t improve by the end of the month, the State will need $7 Billion. 15 other states are in the same situation!

***Chicken or Egg? A Nasty Game of Chicken***

Banks are simply unwilling to lend until home prices start to rise. But it’s the availability of credit and loans that cause home prices to rise and fall! So banks and the housing market are playing a nasty game of chicken. And there’s a lot more properties in foreclosure that will get dumped on the market adding to the current supply, with few who can get loans to buy them, even if they qualify.

Unfortunately, the “bail out” bill won’t spark a recovery. It’s simply a plug in a leaking dyke. Even worse, some experts say 1 in 8 jobs are related to housing. Plus people aren’t spending, either because they won’t or they can’t. A new report says 1 in 5 car dealerships are about to fail.

***Prepare Yourself***

So what can you do? First, ensure you have reliable sources of income. Since anyone who has a job is susceptible to a layoff, ensure you have other methods for making money. In a down economy most people get hosed. Only a few prosper.

If you want to prosper too, determine who they are and do what they do!

In that regard, SOCALCIA has scheduled 2 of the most successful money makers in SoCal to speak: Jeff Adams and Bruce Norris. Jeff Adams will be our keynote speaker at this Thursday Oct 9, and Bruce Norris is coming November 20. Learn more at

Any other comments related to preparing yourself?

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