Thursday, October 16, 2008

Is there a silver lining?

Fareed Zakaria writes there is one. Fareed writes that amidst all the fears of recession, global economic meltdown and the credit crunch, there is a silver lining for the United States--if it learns lessons from this crisis. The culture of overspending and over leveraging might finally end. The habit of having 10 credit cards and fancy cars and houses that we cannot afford will no longer remain the same. Accounting standards will change, regulations will change, all for the better and not worse. We will see a more disciplined America.

We are witnessing history in the making. Probably even the world's most intellectual economists are having a hard time figuring where's the bottom. The unpredicatable swings in Dow Jones everyday only indicate that maybe worst is not over yet. United States, as stated in Fareed's article, is on its way to having some fundamental changes not only in the way Wall Street operates, but in a way the economy is regulated and governed.

When the world markets are in turmoil and there's rampant fear of recession in the United States, two politicians, aspiring to take the most coveted seat (so far) in the White House, the Presidency of US, had their final debate this week in long island, NY. Obama and McCain fought tooth and nail last night, and all the pundits, analysts, media polls, republicans and democrats provided their own analysis of how they performed and who won. However, none of them talked about the global meltdown, the meltdown continuing in Asian markets and how prepared are they to take leadership in this crisis. Rather, Joe the Plumber took the center stage and became an overnight celebrity. Sure, they did mention their economic plans as part of their "key messages," however, both lacked a thorough, convincing, specific view on how they perceive the current situation and what exactly will they do about it. Ironically, they know that its the number one issue on everyone's minds right now. It is unfortunate that none of the candidates seem to have any grasp of what's going on in the world economic crisis and we are only 20 days away from selecting what was once the most powerful and coveted positions in the world, the President of US. I do not favor any party or leader. But it is sad that this crisis is not only of confidence, but also of capable leadership in the country today.

Economic downturns are cyclical, what goes up comes down and what comes down will surely move up. However, as Fareed writes, United States is undergoing some profound changes--in its culture, in its society, in its markets, in its government and in its leadership. It remains to be seen if the vision of the two presidential candidates will enable this country to cope in this changing environment.

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