What factors changed Market Supply & Demand Fundamentals to Freakohnomics gone berserk? From cheaper goods and services available to all through continual advances in science, technology and mass production, to 'Whatever The Market Will Bear' depending on how great the need for sustaining Life?
The Deadly Dangers of a Mis-informed, Dis-informed & Un-informed Population, Ultimately to Itself, History Provides Ample Evidence.
The Solution: The Promise of New Energy Systems & Beyond Oil
Evaporates the Problem: The ill designed "Corporism: The Systemic Disease that Destroys Civilization." when devoid of a Bill of Rights for Human Life, devoid of scientific parameters necessary for Life's evolution, sustainability, and survival
Mild shock and disbelief barely registered in the nation of the most productive, overworked, underpaid, underinsured, vacation deprived, low paid slave/workers in the world, as they watched their bridges fall down along with their retirement savings in equity & stocks, while their taxes, gas, energy and food costs continued skyrocketing to uncharted realms and many continue to lose their homes and go hungry; as the masses stagnated in unmovable traffic, and government departments threatened to close due to lack of funds - On the bright side, the worldwide corporate 2% greedy guts, individually, had aplenty, more wealth than 30 nations combined, apiece.... irrelevant to who is paying for their errors (as in subprime loans).
As common sense in science is lost with the continued stagnation of our energy base and deep troubling theoretical foundational issues in physics, so too, Civilization's Survival Parameters fly out of sight, out of mind, along with the values and morals inherent within new scientific understanding which new energy systems would reveal. Scientific Stagnation bodes an ill wind to evolution, sustainability, and survival as "cycles of humiliation, dumbing us down, violence, and Unrestrained Corporate Greed prompting resource wars with nuclear finality" join hands with global warming and ecological imbalance to precipitate the historical "rise and fall of civilization" - a Tsunami accelerating toward us with a far more spectacular event than the legends and myths of 'Atlantis and Lemuria"........ had more people known that Energy from Corn (or going backwards to a dimwitted concept of radioactive nuclear power application ) sounded a wee bit kindergartenish and senile for the twenty first century......the Future may have had a chance.
November 2, 2008
From Midwest to M.T.A., Pain From Global Gamble
By CHARLES DUHIGG and CARTER DOUGHERTY
“People come up to me in the grocery store and say, ‘How did we get suckered into this?’ ”
— Marc Hujik, of the Kenosha, Wis., school board
On a snowy day two years ago, the school board in Whitefish Bay, Wis., gathered to discuss a looming problem: how to plug a gaping hole in the teachers’ retirement plan.
It turned to David W. Noack, a trusted local investment banker, who proposed that the district borrow from overseas and use the money for a complex investment that offered big profits.
“Every three months you’re going to get a payment,” he promised, according to a tape of the meeting. But would it be risky? “There would need to be 15 Enrons” for the district to lose money, he said.
The board and four other nearby districts ultimately invested $200 million in the deal, most of it borrowed from an Irish bank. Without realizing it, the schools were imitating hedge funds.
Half a continent away, New York subway officials were also being wooed by bankers. Officials were told that just as home buyers had embraced adjustable-rate loans, New York could save money by borrowing at lower interest rates that changed every day.
For some of the deals, the officials were encouraged to rely on the same Irish bank as the Wisconsin schools.
During the go-go investing years, school districts, transit agencies and other government entities were quick to jump into the global economy, hoping for fast gains to cover growing pension costs and budgets without raising taxes. Deals were arranged by armies of persuasive financiers who received big paydays.
But now, hundreds of cities and government agencies are facing economic turmoil. Far from being isolated examples, the Wisconsin schools and New York’s transportation system are among the many players in a financial fiasco that has ricocheted globally.
The Wisconsin schools are on the brink of losing their money, confronting educators with possible budget cuts. Interest rates for New York’s subways are skyrocketing and contributing to budget woes that have transportation officials considering higher fares and delaying long-planned track repairs.
And the bank at the center of the saga, named Depfa, is now in trouble, threatening the stability of its parent company in Munich and forcing German officials to intervene with a multibillion-dollar bailout to stop a chain reaction that could freeze Germany’s economic system.
“I am really worried,” said Becky Velvikis, a first-grade teacher at Grewenow Elementary in Kenosha, Wis., one of the districts that invested in Mr. Noack’s deal. “If millions of dollars are gone, what happens to my retirement? Or the construction paper and pencils and supplies we need to teach?”
The trail through Wisconsin, New York and Europe illustrates how this financial crisis has moved around the world so fast, why it is so hard to tame, and why cities, schools and many other institutions will probably struggle for years.
“The local papers and radio shows call us idiots, and now when I go home, my kids ask me, ‘Dad, did you do something wrong?’ ” said Shawn Yde, the director of business services in the Whitefish Bay district. “This is something I’ll regret until the day I die.”
Whitefish Bay’s school district did not intend to become a hedge fund. It and four nearby districts were just trying to finance retirement obligations that were growing as health care costs rose.
Mr. Noack, the local representative of Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, a St. Louis investment bank, had been advising Wisconsin school boards for two decades, helping them borrow for new gymnasiums and classrooms. His father had taught at an area high school for 47 years. All six of his children attended Milwaukee schools.
Mr. Noack told the Whitefish Bay board that investing in the global economy carried few risks, according to the tape. ... full text