Can You Find A Ray of Light in the Darkness?

By Shlomo Maital  

  In my personal life, I truly believe in optimism and in being upbeat and hopeful. This perception alone is often enough to change reality. It dispels learned helplessness and spurs action instead of despair. 

  But this week, in reading the Financial Times, I cannot recall another time, in the past 40 years, where so much gloom gathered and so much doom threatened.  In fact, in just one issue, Thursday July 26, the FT reported on:  The futility of the Fed’s policy of creating money (nobody’s lending it, nobody’s borrowing it), the stupidity of American farm policy (using corn to feed thirsty cars with biofuel instead of hungry people, helping, together with drought, to make corn so expensive that beef, pork and poultry, which use corn for feed, may become unaffordable); the drought in India, threatening food price inflation; the drought in Russia, threatening to boost the price of bread; the imminent departure of Greece from the euro; China’s slumping economy and property bubble (if China joins the EU and America in stagnation, there is no growth left in the world economy).  We have deep recession in Britain, despite 8% budget deficits.  We have Syria massacring its citizens.  And this is just a start. Everywhere, there is a failure of political leadership.  Politicians do not know what to do. Economists don’t know what to advise.  At a time when economics, capital and technology are global, policy too must be global – but increasingly politics are local, and policy is made through politics. 

    There is comfort in the fact that we live our lives as families, not as countries. Most people are simply getting on with their lives, facing economic challenges and just getting on with life.  Babies continue to be born, couples continue to marry, and life goes on. 

     But, it would be nice if we could see a light at the end of the current dark tunnel of economic depression.  If you see one —   let me know.