As investors are well aware, the data points for stocks, the markets (financial and otherwise) haven't been too pleasant lately.
Further, the rhetoric and embellished barbs that occur on the 24-hour news channels -- some argue it's their life blood -- frequently present distorted views of current conditions, sometimes inflaming investors and other citizens, when what's needed is calm, candid analysis, peppered with optimism.
With the above in mind, here's a dose of reasoned optimism: The United States is going to make it through this crisis, and the U.S. economy will recover and thrive again.
Self-evident truths don't disappear
The nation has not determined how best to rid the banking sector of toxic assets (my colleague Peter Cohan provides a good analysis of the issue). Nor will the solution be cost free (it will involve hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars and federal guarantees), but know that the American economic system in place will continue, as will its many benefits, the chief among these being: entrepreneurship, innovation, ingenuity, dynamism, risk taking, wealth building, a relatively efficient deployment of resources, and the primacy of commerce.
Some will chime in about 'socialism' and 'the U.S. going the way of France and Sweden.' Please, ignore these ridiculous and vacuous observations and assertions. None of my relatives and friends in France will suddenly move to the States because they know it will offer comparable social policies.
Still, the above is not to say that all will benefit equally from any reforms implemented, or that some people who helped create the financial crisis in the first place will not be involved in the solution, or that they won't benefit from it. New York Times (NYT) business journalist and columnist Floyd Norris put it best when he said, "Solving the financial crisis is one of those instances in which justice and success don't come together."
And in this crisis, the policy makers have chosen the goal of success over justice. Further, it may not appear that way to some, but it looks like President Obama, D-Illinois, also has chosen success over justice in the banking crisis.
Some may view that stance as being unfair. They have a legitimate point.
But the view from here still argues it beats the alternative.
Financial Editor Joseph Lazzaro is based in New York.
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