Thursday, December 27, 2007

The World Tries to Escape Natural Consequences

This article from the Wall Street Journal illustrates a symptom of a much broader problem. The writer compares the subprime mortgage problems to the parable of the 10 virgins in Matthew 25. The foolish virgins bet tons of money on subprime mortgages, and had huge profits for a time, followed by the current huge losses. Now, the government is coming to bail out these foolish lenders. The article says, in part:
There were five other virgins. They worked hard in industry rather than finance, saved rather than borrowed, paid their taxes, didn't speculate on subprime mortgages and didn't run hedge funds. They didn't get fat bonuses, either, during the bubble or during the crunch. They weren't running risks -- or, at least, that's what they thought. The snag is that, after the Federal Reserve's Ben Bernanke and his French cousin, Jean-Claude Trichet started spraying around cheap cash to bail out Stan, Chuck, Fannie and the like, inflation started seeping into the economy. That eroded the real value of the "wise" virgins' savings.
The real disease is the desire to escape the natural consequences of foolish choices. This disease manifests itself in all aspects of life. People everywhere refuse to take responsibility for their own actions and then expect someone else to come in behind them to rescue them from the law of the harvest.

This echoes another time in history when people thought there was no benefit to wisely following the commandments of God. The wicked were fat and happy:
Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts?
And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.
The only problem is that "the Lord would not always suffer them to take happiness in sin." CEO's artificially inflated stock prices with these subprime loans, took their huge bonuses, and left their businesses in shambles. Lots of innocent people are being hurt because these businesses are in such trouble, and now, all of us that have been wise with our finances are faced with higher inflation and lower value of savings.

Heeding the Prophet's counsel from way back in October of 1998 would have saved many troubles both in the post-Clinton recession and 9/11 recession. That same counsel, if applied today, would have saved many from the risk of foreclosure and the whole US economy would be stronger.

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