Last year, I took some vacation time and went to Iceland. I love Iceland...it's an amazing place, very friendly to English speakers, with scenery that is about as spectacular as it gets.
So, it's with a heavy heart that I read about how the current economic mess has brought this country of hard-working, community-minded people to its knees. The UK actually invoked anti-terrorist laws against an Icelandic bank, seizing all of the UK assets. And this help cause the bank to dissolve.
Yes, the UK wanted to protect their money that was in the Iceland bank, but really...if any country could be counted on to meet their obligations, it's Iceland.
Not like my own, dear country. Our banks and investment firms were full of liars who sold bad debt to foreign banks, singing sweet promises of financial gain. How humiliating. Those foreign banks TRUSTED that the US investment folks were being honest about the risk involved with purchasing these assets. And they weren't. And the effect has been global...I don't know why I didn't expect that. I figured that our housing/mortage problems were ours alone. But I suppose no one country can work in a vacuum. A financial mistake (or blunder, or just idiocy) made in one country is bound to affect someone else.
Now, don't get me wrong, I choose to live in America, I still believe that there is the potential of greatness here, but when we go wrong, we go very, very wrong. The American Dream of owning your own home is wonderful, but encouraging people to live beyond their means is more of an American Nightmare, than a dream. What were people thinking? Both the people who lent money without restriction and those who actually took those loans.
What a mess. I've been hiding from looking at my 401K statements...I just don't want to see how much money I've lost. Or to think about the fact that I may NEVER be able to retire.