Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Good Wednesday to you all.  I can hardly believe this week is half over already.  I got the tomatoes pulled and all but the Vietnamese peppers.  I have delayed taking those because they are still quite pretty.  But I can't delay much longer.  Their leaves are turning and they clearly don't much like the cold temps over night.  Or the lack of sun now that the house shadow covers the entire patio to the level of the top  of the fence.  My gardens are anything but a jungle these waning days of the growing season.

Reading Robert Reich's piece this morning I had a moment of 'historical' flashback.  Greece has borrowed heavily from European banks who have borrowed heavily from U.S. banks.  And Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke expressed a basically open ended pledge to backstop the world's financial system.  What kind of historical event can possibly provide a parallel, you wonder.  Well the period between 1919 and 1929.  The Treaty of Versailles saddled Germany with both the onus for starting WWI (a fair assessment of the situation) and a massive reparations debt motivated by a equally massive thirst for revenge rather than fairness (and therefor probably very unfair).  Germany had to rebuild as well as transfer large payments to the 'winners' of the war.  To accomplish that they had to borrow heavily and they borrowed from their former enemies, especially the U.S.  England and France also had to rebuild and they wanted (and needed) to trade with the U.S. who needed to trade to pay down the debt incurred from the war.  So England and France (primarily) insisted on full payment of the reparations so they could pay for goods from the U.S. and rebuilding.  The U.S. wanted to get paid so our banks loaned to the Germans who used part of the payments to pay the reparations.  So between 1919 and 1929 the U.S. made loans to Germany who disbursed it to pay interest on the U.S. loans, to pay the reparations and to pay for their rebuilding.  England and France received the reparations and used the monies to pay interest on the loans they received from the U.S. to fund the war, buy goods from the U.S. and to rebuild.  The U.S. needed to bolster trade to keep their factories going so they continued to lend to Germany.  By 1929, this spiral collapsed helping to propel the world into the Great Depression.  Today we have a similar spiral and sometime the spiral has to collapse.

1 comment:

Looking to the Stars said...

Wow, I found this fascinating! I did not know any of this. And yes, it looks like we are headed for a big downfall. The Depression was a terrible time for America's people. How are they going to get us out of this pickle?

take care