Monday, March 16, 2009

Financial Monkey Business

I'm way too cautious and practical to enjoy gambling.

My parents always hounded me to be conservative with my finances. Living on my own since high school has also made me more reluctant to waste hard-earned money on risky endeavors, like gambling on anything. That's one reason I find the rampant greed and irresponsibility behind the world's financial crises to be so offensive.

Unfortunately, huge corporations and financial institutions have neither the guidance of parents nor a natural moral compass to act responsibly. The scale & complexity of the current economic situation makes it hard for people to focus blame or action toward any one entity, whether it be government officials, companies, their CEO's, central banks, or corporate media.

There is all kinds of coverage of dreadful economic news flooding the airwaves and interwebs. I am a visually-oriented person, so the best way for me to generally grasp these nebulous concepts is through infographics. I really don't enjoy dealing with numbers, so graphic interpretations are much more apppealing to me.

Here's a great set of visualizations that I remember clicking on somewhere. Even in semi-simplified form, it's a tremendous amount of information to absorb...

You only need to look through a few of the presentations to get a feeling for the absurdity and scandalous nature of the whole system.

I thought this one was especially clear & easy to follow:

Solutions of varying degrees of practicality exist out there for many problems facing the state of America's economy. Right now, Obama still has the popularity to take some pretty drastic measures, but he'd need superhuman will and overwhelming public support to accomplish even a fraction of what should be done.

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