Imagining the Unimaginable
By: Rick Ackerman
Thursday, 6 January 2011
(Cam Fitzgerald posted the following essay in the Rick’s Picks forum, but I am presenting it as a guest commentary because it discusses the all-too-real implications of America’s economic crisis so bluntly. Many of you, even the pessimists, will be troubled by this grim jeremiad, and some will disparage its conclusions. But four years into what has come to be known, probably euphemistically, as the Great Recession, it is time we asked ourselves whether a collapse indeed looms that could prove equal to what we have imagined in our most troubled moments. RA)
On many levels, I have been in denial regarding the extent and severity of this downturn. Much of the hazard naturally revolves around the deflation of asset wealth – specifically, real estate. I only wish it was just money that was at risk. Collectively we seem poorly equipped to even contemplate the true consequences of the housing collapse. We are detached from its reality, mere spectators and pedestrians at the scene of an accident. “This” cannot really be happening — not to us, anyway.
And yet it is. And so we find ourselves in uncharted territory. We live in a disconnected time, without the benefit of eyewitness guidance from anyone who has experienced what we are now experiencing. There are several generations of people alive today with virtually no living connection to the traumas and realities of the past.