A Decade That Was . . .

By Paul Chong Friday, 11 December 2009

The concept of “Too big To Fail” proves to be otherwise

as shown by the collapse of General Motors & AIG.

When at the top, the only other direction, is down.

The bigger you are the greater the fall!

The old proverbial wisdom says: “Pride comes before a fall.”

The American Dream is dimming as in the wake of a wink. Historically, America couldn’t have a worst time than the decade that is going by. There’s been a series of one disaster or catastrophe after another . . . a decade of debacle chiefly 9/11 to financial wipe-out (2001 – 2009). This is the most dispirited & disillusioning decade the Americans ever lived through! Call it “The Decade of Broken Dreams”?, “The Decade from Hell”?,“The Decade of Reckoning”? Or “The Lost Decade”? . . . you’d soon run out of the superlatives!

General Motors Collapse

Could this be just a glitch or false alarm? The dreaded millennial meltdown never happened? No major wars were fought, yet thousands died – 9/11, Iraq & Afghanistan – both victims & soldiers, not counting the innocent dead & millions of displaced refugees.

Has God been conspiring & most unkind? God certainly forbids the falsehood & lies about the invasion. God has also been thrown out of every aspect of American life! God’s been forgotten but is God forgiving?

Perhaps all these catastrophes are signs from Heaven – one after another – two market crashes — one at each end of the decade. You might recall the first Wall Street crash, when swooning tech stocks tanked the market from 2000 to 2001, not long after the Nasdaq hit an all-time high of 5049 on March 10, 2000. (Recent levels: 2150-2200.)

This was followed by the defining moment of the decade, the terrorist attacks of 9/11, which redefined & impacted global politics for at least a generation and caused US to question the continental security which they rarely worried about. US waged war in Afghanistan that drags on for eight years now and today it is deadlier than ever. Then came the fiasco in Iraq. Don’t forget the anthrax letters and later the Washington, D.C., snipers and the wave of Wall Street scandals highlighted by Enron and WorldCom.

Hurricane Katrina which occurred right in the midst of the decade 2005 (August 29) in Southern Louisiana killing more than 1,500 & causing $100 billion in damage. This is the single largest natural disaster in US history – problems of which have largely been unsolved.

A housing bubble fuelled by the availability of cheap money and excessive borrowing set ablaze by derivatives, so-called financial weapons of mass destruction, put the economy on the brink of collapse. The Americans will be sorting through the damage for years. Meanwhile, the living, breathing symbol of this economic sordidness, the great con artist. Bernie Madoff, rots away in a N.C. jail cell, doing 150 years for orchestrating the biggest Ponzi scheme in the history of humanity.

The United States of America has failed to lead by example. Its dollar value is collapsing, its economy is faltering, its unemployment hits double-digits, the list just go on & on. Has Western capitalism seen the end of its road? Is America, its citizens known famously as “the ugly Americans” now becoming old & weary . . . no longer having the zeal & zest to dictate?

You be the judge & jury!


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