I’m not very good with financial matters. I feel I understand some aspects of economic history fairly well, but where economics crosses into the management of my own resources, I start to feel very uncertain.
Largely I don’t worry too much about money because the basics of my own situation seem fairly good. Decent job with a lot of security built in, modest house in an area that I think will retain values, and so on. I worry politically about some of the larger social terrain of American life, about whether we’re really a society of opportunity any longer, about the Nouveau Gilded Age that we seem to be drifting into. Mostly I don’t try to read the tea leaves of the economic future with the intent to try and stay ahead on investments or anything like that. I leave that to other people who may want to try and maximize their investments, beat the market, what have you.
However, ever since the story about subprime mortgages broke, I’ve been reading more and more avidly about the underpinnings of this particular financial story. Last night, I had a hard time sleeping. The primal, reptilian part of my brain, the kind that generates premonition and dread when it thinks it heard a dangerous animal in the woods or sees a fight coming, was churning away. Being middle-aged opens the gates to that kind of dread in small ways all the time, I’ve found. It’s easy to fall into being the “worried well”.
This feels different to me, though. I can see a lot of plausible scenarios in which the entire economic and social world that I am part of could be seriously damaged through a cascading series of financial events. And that’s without the really unnerving scenarios like a global call on the dollar.
Anybody else starting to feel nervous? Besides the people who’ve been desperately trying to sound the alarm for some time, that is?