For anyone in the money markets the last month or so has been a devastating one. I've been reading a bit about the way this whole thing started, with the bad debts in the USA and how this is now flowing on to the rest of the world. The biggest thing that irks me is the lack of responsibility being taken by people.
Take the people at the bottom line of things - those people who took out mortgages for homes that they could never effectively repay. Yes, during the first 6 or 12 months when they were paying 1% interest back they could afford it. When the honeymoon was over and their mortgage repayments became what they should be - well then they were screwed and many choose to walk away on their bad debts. Accordingly, the over-priced homes they had bought were then sold for less than the purchase price, so the debt wasn't covered by it and the lenders had to take a write off. Consider the massive inflation in home prices that was caused by all these cheap mortgages and people paying far more than a home was worth. It turns out this is a widespread thing, and it's happening in Australia too.
Deregulation of the financial sector is probably partly to blame, but the greed of these people in the financial sector is more to blame. It's not about responsible stewardship of people's money - it's about how much they can make and how fast they can do it. The major banks here in Australia are posting record profits. The executives are getting massive bonuses. If the market falls here like it has in the US and the Australian government bails them out that is the worst kind of financial mismanagement that there is. The record profits and bonuses should go back into the banks to keep them solvent. The people's money should be protected - both people with money in the banks and the taxpayers who are being asked to foot the bill (and by and large they're the same people).
In the US no-one is taking responsibility for the fall. Bailing them out only serves to indicate that you can do this sort of thing and get away with it. What a load of shit! It's like murdering someone and walking away with the smoking gun in your hand and a nation of witnesses. The US government should be ashamed of themselves. A cleansing needs to happen - all the bad debt, all the bad operators and all the bad investment groups need to be shutdown. That's the point of letting them crumble. Yes there will be some financial hardship for the people with their money tied up in this but it will pass. The cycle will continue and hopefully, the next loop around will be a better one that before. I've always refused to put money in the stock market. I can't see the pay-back on betting on confidence in companies and really, that's what it is. A company can still make products to a high standard but their share price won't reflect that - it'll go up and down based on the most absurd premises - the company's CEO shagged someone else's missus or something ridiculous. I wish I were joking.
The worst thing that could have been done was to provide a safety net for the people who have caused the financial melt down in it's current state. They are not being held accountable for their actions and I read recently that in the US they are not even being prosecuted! What the fuck!? Let's just allow them to get off without responsibility. I suppose that's the Bush way. I wonder if it will be the Rudd way as well?