But it may be the end of capitalism as we have known it. Let’s face it, without herculean and unprecedented concerted global governmental intervention in the financial markets around the world, to the tune of almost $2 trillion since last summer, there would be rioting in the streets of nearly every major city in every developed country in the world. I mean full scale social unrest not just by young hoodlums, but by seniors who used to have pensions.

Now what do we have? What do we call the current financial environmental conditions after such massive efforts? Who’s in charge of figuring out the real problems and then powerful enough to lead – force the world to drink the very bad tasting medicine of doing more with a lot less?

First of all lets not forgot one thing. The same people who said let, ‘Lehman Brothers fail’ (the dumbest decision especially in light of the saving of Bear Stearns – a much smaller investment bank). This was the first big explosion and tipping point giving rise to the current global mess. The same guys who made that decision are still in charge. Let’s hear a hip hip hooray for the Bernanke / Paulson team… most arguably the best and brightest minds we have at the financial tiller. I don’t know about you, but the little confidence I had before the Lehman failure, is totally non existent today.

Q. So what IS the real problem?

A. LACK OF CONFIDENCE

It’s not just a lack of confidence that banks are suffering from that is keeping them from lending, it’s the total lack of confidence across the board from Main Street, to the factory floor, to the farmer’s tractor, to the airlines’ pilots… and you guessed it – the automobile industry. Everyone, not just the banks are frozen solid in fear. And I don’t care what that Goldman Guy – Mr. karmanzan or Mr. Krackhead says. Very little real progress is being made, and the problems are certainly much larger than we are being let to believe.

One must understand one central tenet about markets; they are driven by human emotion. The avoidance of pain – fear, or the attainment of pleasure – greed.  And without repeating myself, the world is in a vice grip of fear. President “W” or president “stupid” as I like to call him, is about as inspirational as someone who’s brain dead. Bernanke has some brain waves, and motor skills, but not much more. and Hanky Panky Paulson would be inspirational at a bank robbers convention, but not at many other locals.

Enter… maybe just at the right time, Mr. “Yes We Can”. I don’t know how you voted, but if you voted for Barack Obama simply because he CAN speak inspiration-ally, and compellingly, and he is a guy with a full tool box when it comes to brains, composure, and ideas, then you did a good job, You voted for the right man. Given that the Dow Jones Industrial Average traded below 8000 last week, the 44th president can’t be sworn into office soon enough.

Yes he’s a Democrat, and Republicans fear that there will be too much government meddling in our lives, thus snuffing out the free market – no regulation “Capitalist” environment. Ben Bernanke, and Hank Paulson have already started us down a path of American style socialism. The question that I have is; what will the final mixture of capitalistic free market activity we’re  left with after the government owns the auto and banking industry look like?

Personally, I think the airlines are next. Of course, we know that private healthcare  is simply looking for a plot to put its coffin. Thus this articles title… it’s not the end of the western world… but it is the end of the western world as we have known it. And the lightly regulated free market capitalism culture of the past has a lot of explaining to do!

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Walter Schubert, a third generation member of the New York Stock Exchange is the Founder and CEO of GFN.com: The Gay Financial Network.

Photo credit: stock.xchng.