Reflecting on the “Once-in-a-Century Credit Tsunami”

23 10 2008

Alan Greenspan is on Capital Hill as I write, testifying before the House Oversight Committee. I’ve been following the story on the NY Times Web site, which they’ve been updating frequently. A half hour ago, their story quoted Greenspan as labeling our current predicament a “once-in-a-century credit tsunami.”

I feel so comforted. Thanks, Al.

And then I started thinking more…it’s bad enough Al is up there predicting high unemployment rates. “Given the financial damage to date, I cannot see how we can avoid a significant rise in layoffs and unemployment,” says he.

We know where that always leads — housing foreclosures, bankruptcies, under and uninsured unhealthy people, homelessness, undereducated, undernourished children, etc. The repercussions seem endless. And, don’t forget, the now shriveled retirement accounts. Even if you did all the right things with your investments, you’re likely looking at having to work much longer than you anticipated, and your so-screwed if you’re already on a fixed income.

Then I thought about the people Tom Brokaw calls “The Greatest Generation.” How must this generation feel now? They were born into the Great Depression, and they may very well end their lives in another. How sad.

I guess that’s why Al called it a “once-in-a-century” credit tsnami. For The Greasted Generation, it’s already twice-in-a-lifetime.