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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Casualty We Cannot Afford

Good Morning Papamoka Bloggers - I love prognostication, predicting all kinds of world events, mostly in business and politics/world affairs.

So, I would like to share a little theory I have that isn't being discussed much yet. Unless Obama can prevent it, we are facing years of American decline. Not because of domestic problems alone, but due to A LOSS OF RESPECT AND TRUST IN THE WORLD. Now, to speculate.

Our American financial system has been the envy of the world for over a century. We took the best parts of the British system and over time developed many advancements that helped build it into the wealthiest on Earth. I won't go into all the historical details that made it great, but suffice to say that it developed into the most trusted system.

Ignoring many citations, allow me to say that things are not looking good. The nightmare of the Bush Administration and its lack of oversight is the main reason why so many people around the world are now losing faith in the American financial system. Despite huge investments worldwide, the incompetence of the Bush years has resulted in instability and market turmoil.

I would argue there have been many final straws - that broke that proverbial camel's back, but the most recent and offensive was the announcement of potential billion-dollar writedowns worldwide caused by exposure to the Madoff hedge fund mess. Foreign losses alone could run as high as $11 billion (€8 billion).

Europe's largest financial companies and institutions revealed their exposure in the billions, and the European governments who own large percentages of those companies are due to lose billions in taxpayer money. That is not good news people. Those were our FOREIGN CUSTOMERS.

Think about it people! What Americans aren't hearing on their cable and local news is HOW ANGRY AND BETRAYED FOREIGN INVESTORS ARE FEELING RIGHT NOW. It's a main topic of daily conversation in the foreign media. It's only Americans who aren't talking about it. To be clear, they're angry at many countries, especially Iceland, but they're VERY ANGRY with US. Actually, to be blunt, they're FURIOUS!

This is serious people. The American financial system is LOSING MORE THAN JUST MONEY, IT'S LOSING THE TRUST OF CUSTOMERS WORLDWIDE. So, ask yourself, what is usually the result of a loss of trust. Well, in most businesses it means the customers will stop doing business with you. That has some pretty serious ramifications for Americans.

Once things begin to get back to normal, and foreigners stop buying American financial instruments based on a worldwide panic, they will begin to withdraw from American financial institutions. They will look to countries that will enforce regulations and promise stability. They're not like Republicans, they value financial stability above all else.

The result will inevitably be a falling dollar, higher interest rates, less investment, and a VERY SLOW ECONOMY due to our overwhelming debt (thanks to you Republicans) that will be very difficult to manage.

The real IRONY here is that Republicans still think they're trusted by people when it comes to money. I hear it everyday with my Republican friends. They still believe they know what's best when it comes to the economy. It's amazing. It never ceases to amaze me just how good Republicans are at lying to themselves and others. They have a true gift.

Well, like most things when it comes to Republicans, it's a lie. Average Americans and people worldwide have started to see that American market deregulation and Republican-led economic theories have created market chaos. WE have LOST CREDIBILITY and they don't even see it. Then again, they never do.

People everywhere (except rich Republicans) have lost both respect and trust in the American system. Unless Obama can assuage our customers, then we are looking at many years of being the world's bad boy. Foreign investment will be harder to find.

In a way the nation will be like it was in the early 1800s, saddled with debt and unable to borrow money. The only difference this time is we don't have tons of natural resources to sell and cheap labor to offer an industrial revolution. That is, of course, unless we're willing to make some pretty drastic changes to our system.

So, there you have it. We can only hope that Barack Obama and his brilliant team will do something to restore that respect and trust. It amazes me, but I really believe that my countrymen, especially Republicans, fail to see the whole picture. It's important people. We need to learn, to care, and to be aware of what's happening in the world. We need to care about how they see us more than ever. We can no longer afford to turn inwards.

Republicans are especially ignorant. They need to stop believing the propaganda. I don't care what FOX "News" says, we do not have the best of everything. Learn the FACTS people. We need to learn to see the forest through the trees. We need to be less xenophobic and more global. Unless we can do it, I predict severe hardship for America in the future. I welcome your perspective.

Michael Boh
Papamoka's Left Coast Contributor
from Our Rants & Raves Blog
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