Fiddlers on the Roof: Great Depression 2 – Why No Lessons Have Been Learnt From Other Stock Market Crashes and Could the Next One Be Cataclysmic?

Submitted by Terence Blackett

“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

Greece is on the verge of a calamity – with a cure worst than the disease; Italy’s financiers have issued a death knell about it debt levels; Portugal continues to teeter-totter on the precipice of a Greek-style implosion; Spain is destined to move from a “siesta” environment to outright social bedlam; France continues to contract with its economy froth with massive future job losses, possible riots and social anarchy not seen since the French Revolution; Britain is also in throes of a winter of discontent with mass labor strikes and social unrest as more and more jobs move off-shore – coupled with social and structural imbalances which could incinerate the fragile, fragmented fabric of British life. And all this is only a fraction of the EU’s woes.

The other irony is that the ripple effect and the contagion in this part of the world will have even more seismic repercussions beyond the Stock Market Crash of 2008. If the Euro implodes, (and many commentators believe it will) – the fallout will make the Wall Street debacle of 2008 pale into insignificance setting in motion a global crisis of apocalyptic proportions. What we could witness in our lifetime is unparallel poverty, biting hardship and evaporated life chances unseen on such a scale in recorded history.

The question many are still asking – how did we get to this point? Was this engineered? Why was nothing learnt from the Great Depression of the 1930’s? And out of the possible ashes – what will emerge?

Stuart Chase in his book published in 1929 entitled – “Prosperity: Fact or Myth commented that “ For [12] ebullient years the curve went swinging upward, and ended with a dizzy nose dive in the panic of 1837… In the year 1906, the (US) Secretary of the Treasury was publicly praying that the country be delivered from more prosperity. That his prayers were in order was evidenced by the glorious crash in the following year – the profound business depression of 1907…”

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Weiss Ratings Downgrades United States Debt To C-Minus

Many are familiar with the big three credit rating agencies – Standards & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch – however for those who follow the global finance markets Weiss Rating Agency has developed a reputation for issuing accurate ratings. How credit rating agencies contributed to the global financial debacle is well documented – see Dr. Justin Robinson’s BU presentation. In comparison it is interesting to observe the track record which Weiss has developed.

Today (16 July 2011) Weiss made the financial news when it downgraded United States Debt to C-Minus, a bold move when the politics of global financial markets is considered. Regrettably this is not news to be found in the local media. The downgrade by Weiss given its spiffy track record; they have had twice the number of US Banks under watch than the Feds. While several banks have gone under that were not* on the Feds Watch List, not one has gone belly up that Weiss had neglected to signal caution, bear in mind our dollar is pegged to the US dollar. What should add to the concern for Barbados is the protracted debate by the US legislature concerning budget cuts and raising the debt ceiling.

Here is what Weiss had to say in its press release earlier today, the government of Barbados and Governor of the Central Bank particularly should take careful note:

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