Thursday, May 17, 2012

Economic Uncertainty-Something's Out of Whack!

In business news you read such headlines as, "The trading losses suffered by JP Morgan have surged in recent days past the bank's initial $ 2 billion estimate by at least $ 1 billion...."
Billions lost, just like that. Heads roll, some people will be fired, others already have and the average person can't even get their head around how much a billion dollars is. A bad trade and a company loses billions and only a few people even understand what happened and those are the experts.
Then there's the Facebook billions. I'm not on Facebook and probably never will be. This blog is plenty of exposure for me. But in the latest news, the networking giant has an IPO value of $104.2 billion and make the offering worth $16.08 billion. Whatever that means.
Today I visited Kykuit, the magnificent hilltop estate, overlooking the Hudson River which was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family, beginning with John D. Rockefeller, the philanthropist and the richest man of his day. According to the tour guide, he was America's first billionaire. The Rockefellers are great philanthropists, billions made, billions given away. Kykuit is now an historic site. Very commendable. I look up to philanthropists, generosity is a blessed attribute.
And so I was thinking about all this, having been to Kykuit today. Billions of dollars buys lots of luxurious things such as expensive art, beautiful gardens and estates and that's fine. Capitalism is a great economic system, it helped my family climb the ladder of economic success in this country.
But there is too much income disparity in our country and it's growing wider everyday. Income inequality and joblessness causes hopelessness, anger and an increase in crime and domestic violence. That's the cold reality. You can't hide from hopelessness or from disenchanted and frustrated people. All people deserve to live with dignity and hope.
Three billion dollars in losses, (at least) that amount of money could have helped a lot of poor people and yet it's lost, lost in "financial outer space".........and no one really understands what happened, oh well a few people do.