The definition of rape is usually associated with a woman being physically forced to have sex. However, it is also "an act of plunder, violent seizure or abuse; as in the rape of the countryside," or in this case the rape of our world money system. Though hundreds around the world invested in the credit default swap market, 15 Hedge Fund managers went ALL IN and placed enormous bets that American finance would go up in flames. In other words they bet that the easy finance house of cards bank created would collapse and they could cash in. That's exactly what happened. Even though these financiers were betting against us, a few tried to warn Bear Stearns and later the goverrnements about what was coming. But, the ostrich phenomenon kept everyone from listening, or most importantly, taking action, until it was too late.
The very sad and still scary part of this story is that the fall is far from over. The world economy has never had the kind of debt it now has. For example: in 2002 world debt went from $84 trillion to $195 trillion. To give you some understanding of the numbers: Ireland's debts were more than 25X it's tax revenues. Spain and France 10X annual tax revenues. No where to go financially but down. Iceland, (I'll blog separately about the lessons from that country) ended up with debts amounting to 850% of their GDP. The U.S. 350%. Yow!!
If you haven't understood what exactly happened to put the money world in the predicament we're in, then read Michael Lewis' "Boomerang." He concisely explains the series of events that led us to the precipice we're on. Events that were predicted back in 2004. Here's a quick summary: In 2004 Wall Street created the credit default swap which enabled investors to bet against the price of any given bond - to "short" it. This is like default insurance on another person's investment.
The Solution to our world financial crisis? No one really knows. But it's interesting that the "Occupy Wall Street" Marches have sprung up and people are waking up to the fact that SOMETHING different needs to occur with our financial system and the way corporations plunder while everyday folks suffer the effects. What do you think?