Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Office of the Prescient of the U.S.

There are people who warned of the financial problems and saw them coming before hand:
A vocal critic of rivals Moody's, Fitch, and Standard & Poor's, Egan has a track record of warning investors about poor credit quality long before the Big Three ratings agencies...

In 2005, Roubini said home prices were riding a speculative wave that would soon sink the economy. Back then the professor was called a Cassandra. Now he's a sage...

Mayo said in 1999 to sell banks stocks and has not wavered from that call, which cost him his job at Credit Suisse and friends on the Street...

Anticipating an economic slowdown, Rodriguez began moving his stock mutual funds into cash in 2004. Big warning signs for him included the mania in the mortgage market and lax corporate lending covenants. "We clearly no longer had lending standards," he says...

[Poole] warned in 2002 that Fannie and Freddie didn't have the cash to weather a storm, and he's pessimistic about their future ...
(CNN). And on and on. We seem to have become a people that will not take warnings if it has to do with the future.

It is as if "no one knows the future" has been warped into the notion that there is no such thing as vision.

But obviously there is such a thing as vision, and those who have it most often can articulate the details that form their vision for how things are going and also how things are going to go.

Even the poets and musicians can do that, although more often than not it involves more mystery than those used in the above example and article linked to. Katrina was foreseen by many, as are other disasters. Notice:
I've stepped in the middle of seven sad forests,
I've been out in front of a dozen dead oceans,
I've been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard,
I heard the sound of a thunder, it roared out a warnin',
... the roar of a wave that could drown the whole world,
Heard one hundred drummers whose hands were a-blazin',
Heard ten thousand whisperin' and nobody listenin',
Heard one person starve, I heard many people laughin',
Heard the song of a poet who died in the gutter,
Heard the sound of a clown who cried in the alley,
I'm a-goin' back out 'fore the rain starts a-fallin',
I'll walk to the depths of the deepest black forest,
Where the people are many and their hands are all empty,
Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters,
And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, and it's a hard,
And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.
(Hard Rain, by Bob Dylan). A verse about ecological disaster, people hurting as a result, and as always, the warnings going unheeded.

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