Global Turmoil

How did we get here? Here are some of the words on the washingtonpost.com home page right now: fear, foreboding, meltdown, trampled, pain, ugly.

One other word on the home page: End.

As in "Is this the end of American capitalism?" That's the question posted by Anthony Faiola.

It certainly seems our most recent brand of it -- hypercapitalism -- is over. The relentless pursuit of more stuff is not a sustainable strategy. Bill Taylor cites academic research on the economics of happiness.

"The relentless pursuit of wealth may fill your bank account, but it will leave you empty as a human being," he writes. Even Warren Buffett, Taylor writes, thinks this crisis is the product of catastrophically stupid and unethical greed. "You can't stand to see your neighbor getting rich. You know you're smarter than he is, but he's doing all these [crazy] things, and he's getting rich...so pretty soon you start doing it."

In Buffet's world view, innovators produce imitators. And imitators produce idiots.

Or squirrels. That's how HarvardBusiness.org editor Sarah Green describes investment bankers in an excellent post for which she interviewed Walter Kiechel, the former managing editor of Fortune magazine and former editorial director of Harvard Business Publishing, to get the long view on how we got here. Far from the innovative geniuses they fancied themselves, Green writes, investors were "more like squirrels inching ever-further along an increasingly skinny branch, fighting for the last nut. Then, when the branch snapped, they realized they were holding an empty shell."

And now, because of them, we're all holding empty shells, everywhere around the world.

As the crisis deepens we encourage you to visit our page devoted to surviving the downturn, where you'll find a special section where all of our financial industry coverage is collected.

By HarvardBusiness.org Editors  |  October 10, 2008; 2:40 PM ET  | Category:  Economy Watch
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The Words We Will Never Hear
WilliamBanzai7

Fellow Americans,

As you have heard by separate announcement,
the United States Treasury Department today announced
that it is extending an emergency line of credit in the
amount of _____________ Billion US Dollars to ACME Bank.
In addition, it was announced that the
Treasury Department by means of the recently
enacted "TARP" legislation, will be injecting an additional
____________ Billion dollars in the form of fresh equity
capital.

The purpose of this statement is not to provide
the details of these matters which are covered
elsewhere. Rather, we the management and employees
of ACME Bank want to extend our sincerest
thanks and appreciation to the American taxpayers for
providing this financial lifeline to our company at
a time of dire need.

Although the recent events in the financial
markets are unprecedented, we take full
responsibility for the difficult position we
find ourselves in. We also want you to know
that we recognize the hardship being caused
by this crisis to each and every one of you. Many
of the activities recently engaged in by ACME
have contributed to this crisis. We a sincerely apologize
to each and everyone of you in this regard.

As a Company we pledge to
do everything in our power to redeem
the trust and confidence you have extended us.
Your trust and generosity is our
most valued asset.

Further, we pledge that from this moment on, we
will work 24/7 to rebuild ACME for the
good of the United States of America as well as our
stakeholders.

We look forward to your continued support.

God Bless You All

Sincerely,

ACME BANK

Posted by: williambanzai7 | October 11, 2008 9:36 AM

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