Thursday, January 8, 2009

US Economy

I read in another column the following stats:

By the end of last month, Paulson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke had engineered loans, pledges and guarantees of more than $7.4 trillion to the financial elite that was responsible for creating the economic crisis in which we find ourselves today:
March 11: $200 billion in loans to financial institutions
March 16: $29 billion in loans to J.P. Morgan Chase
July 30: $300 billion housing bill
Sept. 7: $200 billion for the U.S. Treasury to assume Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's debt
Sept. 16: $85 billion to AIG and $70 billion injected into the financial system
Sept. 19: $50 billion pledged to support Money Market funds
Sept. 29: $150 billion made available to U.S. banks and $330 billion made available to foreign banks
Oct. 3: $700 billion in Paulson's bailout package
Oct. 7: $1.3 trillion in purchase debt from companies
Oct. 8: $38 billion in additional loans to AIG
Oct. 14: $1.4 trillion in FDIC guarantees of interbank loans
Nov. 24: $20 billion loaned to Citigroup with the Treasury Department assuming responsibility for 90 percent of Citigroup's $306 billion in debt
Nov. 25: $600 billion in loans for mortgage-backed assets and $200 billion in loans for consumer-backed assets

There's likely a lot more of this on the way.
Is any of it working? Is the economy better off today than it was before this spending spree?

This is amazing, and yet we still want to think that everything is going to be O.K. It is simply a matter of allocating more government money somewhere else and things will eventually fall into place. The new elect president is calling for even more money packages.

The Pope has however given us the way out of this financial crisis that would eventually lead us to hope. His formula is simple, three ingredients: justice, sobriety/simplicity, and solidarity. If we really want to address the financial crisis then we must address these three issues. Justice is needed so that greedy people will not take advantage of those who are most vulnerable, people should try to avoid by the Golden rule and we would avoid so many headaches. A sense of simplicity is needed, we have too many things and most of them are superfluous, we live in a materialistic society that incites us to consumerism and to believe that the more we have the happier we will be, and we have bought into this lie. What people need to realize is that money is not everything, that perhaps God and family are the greatest treasures they have and they must learn to live simply and with a spirit of solidarity that considers the needs of those who are truly suffering and living in need. Our self-centered mentality is closed to the reality that in many countries people are starving and dying because of lack of basic vital resources, we simply lack sensibility and a sense of compassion. Even within our own borders we have many people that need our hand and support but we are too concerned with our own desires and whims that we have not time to go beyond ourselves and reach out to those who are in need and especially those who suffer. I think the Pope has give us a great formula to solve the crisis, it is a formula that implies the transformation of the hearts and minds of the people and not simply the pouring of more millions of dollars here and there, especially when most of that money will actually go to those same greedy people that got us into this mess to begin with.


  1. Father, have you seen this video? It'd be so funny if it weren't true.

  2. The government is trying to play God by offering these bailouts, these bailouts will never work precisely because the way out of this is through Faith in His Son, and the Church