Crisis Economics

I’m reading Crisis Economics by Nouriel Roubini and Stephen Mihm. Roubini was the professor of economics who called the collapse of the economy several years before it happened. At the time he made his predictions, he was ridiculed. But it turned out that he was right on the money, so to speak. It’s an interesting book, even for someone who doesn’t really understand much of the time what Roubini is talking about. I’m with Henry Miller who asked, “But what makes money make money?” I just don’t understand.

As I read, one thing I notice is that Roubini’s underlying assumption is the same as the people he’s criticizing, namely that the most important human activity is economic. His issue with the businessmen who led the world into the abyss is simply that they were deluded about certain economic realities. I think that most Americans today—probably most people in the world today—would probably agree with the idea that economic activity, the creation of wealth, is our most important activity—which is to say that we live in a profoundly materialistic age. But it’s the road to ruin. The last crisis was a warning. We’re either going to let go of the chase gracefully or we’re going to be stopped, and in a most painful manner. “You cannot serve God and mammon.” It’s odd that they call this a Christian nation.

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2 Responses to “Crisis Economics”

  1. Kelley Says:

    Great entry! I agree 100% with you. The challenge is how to convince otherwise the billions (with a b) of people, who lead hard-scrabble lives and for whom money = food. It’s easy for me to say with a full kitchen and nice roof that we should focus on service to humanity and God and cooperation, but it’s just not a practical concern for dirt-poor people. Of course in the higher Cosmos, it’s this lack of love for God that creates a lack of abundance in the incarnating mass consciousness! “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

    I saw the parrot documentary a few weeks ago for the first time, and for some reason it had a profound effect on me, far beyond the nuts and bolts of the birds and the saga of caring for them! One person with a light can lead 1000 people out of the darkness 🙂 Or maybe in some cases, like Gandhi, a billion people!

  2. Kelley Says:

    Another thought about our cultural cult of economics: People have to get over the whole concept of “investment”. Investing in stocks is really just like gambling and playing the lottery–trying to make money without working or participating in anything meaningful. I try to ask people what they think about trying to make money without working, and of course they always say it’s a lame or bad idea. Of course then I ask them if they are invested in any stocks! Given our pervasive cult of economics and investment, it’s a bit shocking and alien for people to stop and think about the concept of making money without working (the stock market).

    A statement generally attributed to Buddhism is that we should be neither debtors nor hoarders–either one is an imbalance in our yin/yang.

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