The talking heads at CNBC and Fox Business have developed a disturbing habit. Lately they want to bandy about the same phrase over and over again: "This is not 2008." True, last time I checked my calendar, it said "2011".
Of course they are referring to the year of the housing collapse, the debacle that really crippled our economy. Banks were lending money to people so they could buy houses they shouldn't have been buying to begin with. The banks weren't happy with just collecting payments on the resulting mortgages, so they bundled them up and sold them to each other. The payments slow to a crawl, pandemonium breaks out. The mortgage bundles are now worthless. They litter the financial landscape to this day after several long-standing institutions have disappeared from the face of the earth.
The recap above is over-simplified, but since this is a Random Blathering, I am trying to keep this post short. The point I am trying to make is this: Sure, it's not 2008 anymore, but we are still feeling its effects in 2011.