A big financial crisis: 2008

This crisis will reshape America.  We do not yet know in what way or how much.  It will strip bare our pretensions, showing what we value most.  It has long been forecast by many, including in articles on this site.  Even now that we are in the whirlwind, these provide valuable background material on its causes — and speculation about the results.


Click on the title to go to that section.

  1. Other relevant topics discussed on this site
  2. Situation Reports
  3. Causes of the crisis
  4. Analysis
  5. Economics – theory and practice
  6. Forecasts and warnings
  7. Theft Pretenting to be solutions
  8. About Solutions
  9. Speculation about the future, about structural changes to America and the world
  10. Links to Treasury Department documents

1.  Other relevant topics discussed on this site

For a full list of topics, see the FM reference page on the right side menu bar.  Of esp interest these days:

2.  Situation Reports

  1. The US economy at Defcon 2, 11 March 2008 — Where are we in the downcycle?  What might the world look like when it ends?
  2. The most important story in this week’s newspapers, 22 May 2008 — How solvent is the US government?
  3. Another warning from our leaders, which we will ignore, 4 June 2008 — An extraordinarily clear warning from a senior officer of the Federal Reserve.
  4. High priority report: a geopolitical sitrep on the financial crisis, 15 September 2008 — We’re in the “golden hour”
  5. A new sitrep, as we move into phase 3 of the financial crisis, 19 September 2008
  6. A sitrep on the financial crisis: why has the treatment been so slow, so small?, 8 October 2008
  7. Status report on the financial crisis: we’re at a critical point in time, 10 October 2008
  8. Situation report: global economy, December 2008, 19 December 2008
  9. Situation report about the global economy, as the flames break thru the firewalls, 26 January 2009
  10. About the US economy. Where we are. Where we’re going., 17 February 2010
  11. A look at US unemployment, 6 August 2010
  12. A look at US employment (the big picture), 9 October 2010
  13. A briefing about the foreclosure fraud crisis: its origin and impacts, 14 October 2010
  14. A situation report about two headine issues – and a more serious problem, 18 October 2010
  15. Arithmetic of decline: America’s lost decade for jobs, 27 November 2010

3.  Causes of the crisis

  1. The post-WWII geopolitical regime is dying, 21 November 2007 — Why the current geopolitical order is unstable, describing the policy choices that brought us here.
  2. Diagnosing the eagle, chapter I — the housing bust, 6 December 2007
  3. Death of the post-WWII geopolitical regime – death by debt, 8 January 2008 – Origins of the 1982 – 2006 economic expansion; why the down cycle will be so severe.
  4. Let us light a candle while we walk, lest we fear what lies ahead, 10 February 2008 – Putting the end of the post-WWII regime in a larger historical context.
  5. A vital but widely misunderstood aspect of our financial crisis, 18 September 2008 — Too many homes.
  6. A picture of the post-WWII debt supercycle, 26 September 2008
  7. Debt – the core problem of this financial crisis, which also explains how we got in this mess, 22 October 2008
  8. Causes of the financial crisis (no, its not the usual list), 29 October 2008
  9. Government policy errors and the Great Depession, 1 November 2008
  10. A look at our government’s debt – rising because we like to spend, 29 December 2009
  11. Economics is not a morality tale, 14 January 2009
  12. Q&A on the FM website – who to blame for the mortgage crisis?, 16 January 2010
  13. Who caused the housing crisis?  Why do people not believe all the studies?

4.  Analysis

  1. Is the US Government deliberately underestimating inflation?, 8 November 2007
  2. The most important story in this week’s newspapers, 22 May 2008 — GAO estimates the government’s liabilitis:  $57 trillion.
  3. The myth of media pessimism about the economy, 13 June 2008
  4. Can the European Monetary Union survive the next recession?, 11 July 2008
  5. Can you see the signs of spring in the coming of winter? A note about the recession., 10 September 2008
  6. What do we know about the financial crisis? What are the key questions?, 20 September 2008
  7. Essential steps to surviving the current crisis, 23 September 2008 — analysis
  8. Is the US economy in good shape, or in terrible shape?, 27 September 2008
  9. The economy is in shock. The effects of this will soon become visible, 11 October 2008
  10. Damage Reports from home and abroad, 12 October 2008
  11. The coming collapse in business spending – made visible today, 15 October 2008
  12. Miscelaneous news and thoughts about the financial crisis, 16 October 2008
  13. More reasons why the government will be taking over allocation of America’s capital, 27 October 2008
  14. The US economy must go to Defcon 1, 13 November 2008
  15. A certain casualty of the recession: the US Government’s solvency, 25 November 2008
  16. “What Barack Obama Needs to Know About Tim Geithner, the AIG Fiasco and Citigroup”, 3 December 2008
  17. Three people look at America’s economy, 5 December 2008
  18. Future generations will never understand our shopping madness, 13 December 2008
  19. Destroying houses in order to boost home prices
  20. President Bush: “I’ve abandoned free market principles to save the free market system”, 20 December 2008
  21. An Epistle to the good savers of America, 6 January 2009
  22. A warning from Paul Krugman of what should be blindingly obvious (but is not obvious to many experts), 7 January 2009
  23. “We are likely enduring a depression today”, 27 January 2009
  24. IMF official says the world’s advanced nations are already in a depression, 9 February 2009
  25. Locked into the bailout state, 4 March 2009 — Similarities between now and 1929.
  26. The housing crisis allows America to look in the mirror. What do we see?, 9 March 2009
  27. A look at America’s future – grim unless we get smart and pull together, 12 March 2009
  28. Fetters of the mind blind us so that we cannot see a solution to this crisis, 1 April 2009
  29. Why has the worst recession since the 1930’s had such a mild effect on America?, 14 July 2009
  30. Hidden truths about the state of the US economy, 23 July 2010
  31. Some Americans worry about we’ll have a lost decade. Bad news – we just had it., 31 August 2009
  32. Update: why has the worst recession since the 1930’s had so little impact on the economy?, 5 October 2009
  33. Yes, it is a “mancession”, with men losing more jobs than women. Just like all recessions., 5 October 2009
  34. The falling US dollar – bane or boon?, 14 October 2009
  35. Has the US financial system been nationalized?, 28 October 2009
  36. Another crack in the foundation: the maturity of the government’s debt, 30 October 2009
  37. Update on the “mancession”, 2 December 2009
  38. Government economic stimulus is financial heroin, 26 December 2009
  39. A look at the engines of Amercan job creation, 12 January 2010
  40. The periphery of Europe – a flashpoint to the global economy, 8 February 2010
  41. News from the front lines of the economic wars, 13 February 2010
  42. About the US economy. Where we are. Where we’re going., 17 February 2010
  43. The Fed is not wildly printing money, as yet no hyperinflation, we’re not becoming Zimbabwe, 2 March 2010
  44. We might default on our governments’ debt in the future. Do you know how often we’ve done so in the past?, 4 March 2010
  45. All about deflation, the quiet killer of modern economies, 19 July 2010
  46. Some thoughts on the political effects of a long recession, 27 July 2010
  47. Housing Update – dynamite to blast us out of our lethargy?, 27 July 2010
  48. About the morality of saving, 28 July 2010
  49. A situation report about two headine issues – and a more serious problem, 18 October 2010
  50. Important things to know about QE2 (forewarned is forearmed), 21 October 2010
  51. A look at US employment – and how’s that recovery doing?, 6 November 2010
  52. A snapshot of the recovery so far, looking at the most important factor: employment
  53. Important information in today’s jobs report, telling us about our past and future, 2 September 2011

5.  Economics — theory and practice

  1. The greatness of John Maynard Keynes, our only guide in this crisis, 4 December 2008
  2. About the state of economic science, and advice from a famous economist, 8 December 2008
  3. “A depression is for capitalism like a good, cold douche.”, 17 December 2008
  4. Words of wisdom about the global recession, from the greatest economist of our era, 29 December 2008
  5. A very important article by an expert, discussing the necessary next step to solve the financial crisis, 17 February 2009
  6. Economic theory as a guiding light for government action in this crisis, 10 March 2009
  7. Fetters of the mind blind us so that we cannot see a solution to this crisis, 1 April 2009
  8. A look at Faux Economics, increasingly popular but bizarrely wrong, 15 June 2010
  9. Keynes comments on our new-found love of austerity, 21 June 2010
  10. Why have mainstream economists lost the arguement about the need for more economic stimulus?, 27 June 2010
  11. Economics can explain events in America and the world; here’s where to find those insights (updated from the archives), 12 September 2010
  12. Bernanke leads us down the hole to wonderland! (more about QE2), 5 November 2010

6.  Forecasts and warnings

  1. A brief note on the US Dollar. Is this like August 1914?, 8 November 2007 — How the current situation is as unstable financially as was Europe geopolitically in early 1914.
  2. We have been warned. Death of the post-WWII geopolitical regime, 28 November 2007 — A long list of the warnings we have ignored, from individual experts and major financial institutions.
  3. Geopolitical implications of the current economic downturn, 24 January 2008 – How will this recession end?  With re-balancing of the global economy — and a decline of the US dollar so that the US goods and services are again competitive.  No more trade deficit, and we can pay our debts.
  4. What will America look like after this recession?, 18 March 2008  — The recession will change many things, from the distribution of wealth within the US to the ranking of global powers.
  5. Making us dumber, chanting “Dude, where’s my recession?”, 3 June 2008 — Economic columnists do a disservice to their readers by ignoring the data showing a weakening economy.
  6. Another warning from our leaders, which we will ignore, 4 June 2008 — An extraordinarily clear warning from a senior officer of the Federal Reserve.
  7. When did “Dude” predict a recession? How severe?, 6 June 2008 — Why accurate economic forecasting is difficult, what we know about current conditions, and warnings from a top economist.
  8. Consequences of a long, deep recession – part I, 18 June 2008
  9. Consequences of a serious US recession – part II, 19 June 2008
  10. Consequences of a long, deep recession – part III, 20 June 2008
  11. A look at one page of what lies ahead in America’s history, 7 August 2008 — Death of an American industry.
  12. “The Coming US Consumption Bust”, by Nouriel Roubini, 6 September 2008
  13. The most important news of the month. Perhaps the year., 29 September 2008 — Warnings from our foreign creditors.
  14. Forecasting the results of this financial crisis – part I, about politics, 13 October 2008
  15. Forecasting the results of this financial crisis – part II, a new economy for America, 14 October 2008
  16. Miscelaneous news and thoughts about the financial crisis, 16 October 2008
  17. The Coming Global Stag-Deflation (Stagnation/Recession plus Deflation), 28 October 2008
  18. A look at the next phase of the crisis, as it hits the real economy, 31 October 2008
  19. A look at out future, 2009 – 2010 … and beyond, 9 November 2008
  20. A look at 2009 economy – some guesses, 28 December 2008
  21. America on its way from superpower to banana republic, 28 March 2009
  22. Inflation or Deflation? Nobody knows what path will we take., 21 July 2009
  23. What follows our lost decade? Looking ahead to the next decade…, 1 September 2009
  24. About the coming crisis in public pensions, 8 January 2010
  25. Republicans have found a sure-fire path to victory in the November elections, 5 February 2010
  26. About the US economy. Where we are. Where we’re going., 17 February 2010
  27. Would a default by the US government help America?, 21 February 2010
  28. Can Obama turn America into something like Zimbabwe?, 22 February 2010
  29. A great speech by the PM of Greece. How soon until an American President says similar words?, 3 March 2010
  30. Worry not about America becoming like Zimbabwe. Worry about becoming like Argentina., 4 March 2010
  31. Quote of the day, about the birth of a new world, 11 March 2010
  32. We are following Japan’s path of decline. The real test comes later this year, 23 June 2010
  33. What lies ahead for the US economy? the global economy?, 26 July 2010
  34. This might be the turning point in the global financial crisis, when bold action puts us on the road to recovery, 8 August 2011
  35. The coming weather blow to the global economy, 6 October 2011

7.  Theft pretending to be solutions

  1. Slowly a few voices are raised about the pending theft of taxpayer money, 21 September 2008
  2. The Paulson Plan will buy assets cheap, just as all good cons offer easy money to the marks, 30 September 2008
  3. A reminder – the TARP program is just theft, 24 November 2008
  4. A solution to our financial problems: steal wealth from other nations, 2 February 2009
  5. Stand by for action – more theft of our money being planned in Washington, 4 February 2009
  6. Update: yes, the Paulson Plan was just theft, 14 February 2009
  7. Now is the time for America to get angry, 24 March 2009
  8. America on its way from superpower to banana republic, 28 March 2009
  9. Bush’s bailout plan is now Obama’s. His quiet eloquence guides the sheep into the pen, 30 March 2009
  10. The best way to rob us is to own a bank, 10 April 2009
  11. “The Greatest Swindle Ever Sold”, by Andy Kroll in The Nation, 28 May 2009
  12. More about “Government Sachs” (they own America; we just live here), 31 July 2009
  13. Former Central Bank Head Karl Otto Pöhl says bailout plan is all about ‘rescuing banks and rich Greeks’, 20 May 2010

8.  About Solutions

  1. A happy ending to the current economic recession, 12 February 2008 – The political actions which might end this downturn, and their long-term implications.
  2. Slow steps to nationalizing the US financial sector, 7 April 2008 — How this will change our society.
  3. How should we respond to the crisis?, 24 September 2008
  4. A solution to our financial crisis, 25 September 2008
  5. A quick guide to the “Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008″, 29 September 2008
  6. The last opportunity for effective action before disaster strikes, 3 October 2008 — How to stabilize the financial system.
  7. Prof Roubini prescribes first aid for America’s economy, 4 October 2008
  8. Effective treatment for this crisis will come with “The Master Settlement of 2009″, 5 October 2008
  9. Dr. Bush, stabilize the economy – stat!, 7 October 2008
  10. The new President will need new solutions for the economic crisis, 9 October 2008
  11. Results from the IMF meeting – just thin gruel, 12 October 2008
  12. The G-7 meeting was the last chance for action before the global recession, 12 October 2008
  13. A brief note about our financial system: Intermediation, disintermediation, and soon re-intermediation, 16 October 2008
  14. New recommendations to solve our financial crisis (and I admit that I was wrong), 23 October 2008
  15. Has the US financial system been nationalized?, 28 October 2009
  16. A look ahead to the end of this financial crisis, 30 October 2008
  17. Expect little or nothing from meetings like the G20 – or the Obama Administration, 18 November 2008
  18. Everything you need to know about government stimulus programs (read this – it’s about your money), 30 January 2009
  19. Bush’s bailout plan is now Obama’s. His quiet eloquence guides the sheep into the pen, 30 March 2009
  20. Cash for Clunkers is madness! Let’s expand it to new horizons!, 6 August 2009
  21. Economists discuss the impact of the stimulus on our recession, 6 October 2009
  22. The falling US dollar – bane or boon?, 14 October 2009
  23. Explaining the government’s response to the financial crisis, 3 December 2009
  24. Government economic stimulus is financial heroin, 28 December 2009
  25. A lesson from the Weimar Republic about balancing the budget, 10 February 2010
  26. Why the U.S. cannot inflate its way out of debt, 16 March 2010
  27. We’re still blinded by our fetters of the mind and so unable to fix the economic crisis, 13 September 2010

9.  Speculation about the future, about structural changes to America and the world

  1. Treasury Secretary Paulson leads us across the Rubicon, 9 September 2008
  2. Say good-bye to the old America. Welcome to our new socialist paradise!, 17 September 2008
  3. Another voice warning about the nationalization of AIG, 18 September 2008
  4. Another step away from our Constitutional system, with applause, 19 September 2008
  5. America appoints a Magister Populi to deal with the financial crisis, 21 September 2008
  6. Legal experts discuss if the Paulson Plan is legal, 21 September 2008
  7. German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück explains how the world is changing, 30 September 2008
  8. America has changed. Why do so many foreigners see this, but so few Americans?, 1 October 2008
  9. America is changing. Read some chillling words from a liberal economist, 2 October 2008
  10. Does this economic crisis make the State stronger – or is it another step in the decline of the state?, 16 January 2009
  11. This financial crisis is the transition to a new world; like birth, it is painful, 11 February 2009
  12. Everything written about the economic crisis overlooks its true nature, 24 February 2009
  13. A look at the new world – after the downturn, 19 March 2009
  14. Welcome to American, the new Japan, as we enter a new era of State Capitalism, 28 September 2009

10.  Treasury Department documents

A description of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, House Committee on Financial Services

We cannot plead the “we didn’t know the details in the fine print” excuse. The details about this massive nationalization have been clearly spelled out for us by the government.

See this page for a current list of Treasury Department documents.

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