Friday, December 12, 2008

What Now?

When I made the short post Trillions for Finance! Not One Cent for Manufacturing! - it was meant to be tongue in cheek. I had assumed that for a mere $25 billion or so, Congress would throw Detroit enough of a lifeline to make it through Christmas.

I was wrong:

Failure Is an Option as Senate Kills Auto Bailout
By RANDALL W. FORSYTH, Barron's
LEGISLATION TO PROVIDE $14 BILLION in short-term loans to the U.S. automobile industry failed in the Senate late Thursday, setting the stage for a possible default by one or more car makers and sending global stocks into a nosedive.
"It's over with," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid after the bill was effectively killed on a procedural vote Thursday night. "I dread looking at Wall Street tomorrow. It's not going to be a pleasant sight..."

This was coming, I just didn't expect it so soon.

Now what?

Over the past few years, here at FutureJacked, we covered what we thought was a dysfunctional economic and political system, critiquing it, lampooning it and forecasting its demise. Some of the postings have been wrong, some of my takes a bit on the extreme side, but overall, it has been a good exercise in trying to worry through the end days of an insane system of croney finance capitalism harnessed to a warfare state apparatus run by third-rate apparatchiks who couldn't operate a McDonald's franchise profitably, but because they went to the right schools and knew the right people, they rose to heights of power and influence that have allowed them to guide the United States of America over a cliff.

"It" is happening now. The Great Collapse is here. It is sickening to watch.

What to do for yourself and family?

We will try to figure out some options going forward as we shift from critiquing the system to trying to find ways of building up something new from the ashes.

One thing to keep in mind - do your best not to get swept up in the great waves of emotion that are swirling around us. Keep your head clear. That is one of the great benefits of socionomics - it is a model that allows you some level of understanding of the forces propelling these events in politics and economics. Socionomics will allow you to avoid bad situations and gives you the perspective you need to catch the rebounds in mood and markets and, most importantly, it helps prevent you from identifying too deeply with whatever trend is in place. This will be important as I think in 2009 you will have huge numbers of shell-shocked suburbanites and chic city dwellers who will be unable to cope in a world where requirements for survival include growing much of your own food and squatting in a foreclosed home or commercial building. Think I'm exaggerating again? How many people are three paychecks away from losing "their" home? How many are one paycheck away? What do they do when the ripple effects from the collapse of the Detroit Three rolls through America?

We don't have a lot of answers right now, but we will at least try to find the right questions to ask.

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