We continue to struggle with the consequences of financial melt-down. It takes time but it makes its presence felt absolutely everywhere eventually.
I was interested to see Andreas Whittam Smith’s article in the Independent yesterday.
He’s calling the beginning of the end of the crisis. Not a financial or economic judgement. More a spiritual discernment. He describes a series of business conversations which were characterised by a new realism. He says that ‘the people round the table had resolutely confronted the end of their dreams and their own worst fears’ These things are as old as time. It’s pride, arrogance, selfishness, wilful blindness, greed ….
The end of hubris. Masters of the Universe tamed. People who said that economic cycles no longer applied … People who said that markets were a perfect system of self-regulation. And all that stuff. Allen Stanford. Over. Prodigals heading home.
It’s going to be difficult for the church. We don’t have cushions or safety nets. So we will end up having to decide what is really important for us. So far as I am concerned, that is clergy ministering in congregations. Everything else is secondary to that.
I know. The consequences of that level of bad debt are unknowable. And how could it have been allowed to happen? You could certainly see it happening – the building boom in Donegal for one.
France seems to be heading for similar political instability.
The sums in Britain seem so much more modest. Property company shareholders being asked to put up £3 bn seems an easy task compared with the problems at Anglo Irish Bank, where 15 borrowers owe at least €500 m each (in a country of 4 million.
Unconvinced that there are many prodigals heading home; to what would they be heading?
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