In the recent credit market fiasco plaguing our nation and world economy, there exists macroeconomic and microeconomic fault. The most publicized facet of our problems is what went wrong on a macroeconomic scale. If you’re like millions of Americans and aren’t really sure what caused the problems we are in now, let me offer some suggestions.
Macroeconomically our banking system suffered from greed and laissez-faire governing that was originally instituted with good intentions when we labored under what now seems to be the delusion that markets will correct themselves. Banks made too many high risk loans, hoping our real estate bubble would continue to expand outward without popping, and thusly justifying questionable lending.
Moreover, on Wall Street, investors overvalued stocks that could have risen immensely; again, if only that darn real estate bubble wouldn’t have popped. Now, banks are dissolving right and left, and in this election year, our focus is on presidential candidates and what they can do for “main street America.” There has been much postulating with no solid responses coming from either candidate.
Sen. John McCain usually issues a general statement about how government has lost its way, and Sen. Barack Obama espouses typical democratic postulation about cutting taxes for the working-class American and getting America back on track from the bottom up.
America became the most powerful nation in the entire universe because it pulled itself up by the proverbial bootstraps. We started with nothing, and we worked extremely hard to get to where we were. The evolution of the American spirit and attitude toward a self-serving, materialistic and shallow shell of what we were is the reason that America has fallen from the heights that we have come to know and take for granted. I am not a markets guru, and there is an immense amount that I don’t understand about why our economy is the way it is right now, but in my opinion, if “main street America” is forced to pull itself out of the mess that they have created, perhaps it will build some fortitude of character and will prevent something like this from happening again in the near future.
Let me clearly lay out my recommendation for fixing our banking crisis. As Sen. Obama states, “we need to fix this problem from the bottom up.” I agree with him, but I do not think that it needs to be fixed with tons of money. Regulation may be necessary. Good parents let their children feel the sting of their consequences. It is how children learn from their mistakes. Likewise, consumers need, but do not want, to feel the sting of the consequences of their actions, and then they need to work like hell to fix the mess that they are wallowing in. That may further debilitate Wall Street, but in the long run, I believe it is the most efficient and effective way to start to fix America.
Hayly Mickles is a senior finance-real estate major from Rocklin, Calif.