Monday, April 25, 2011

No One Likes A Prophet Of Doom – Unless?

Karen Maley must be a bear to live with - or so her detractors must fear. Karen Maley is a journalist who writes regular articles in all sorts of places about the economy, investment and finance. She certainly belongs to the camp who would describe themselves as bears, as she is, by and large, quite pessimistic about the world economy and its prospects. Here are a few of the headings of articles that she has written recently in an online finance news site called Australian Business Spectator.
·      Gold glitters and America dwindles (An article warning of the demise of the US economy)
·      US Economy gets Standard and Poor’s slap down (Reminding her readers of the significance of the warning to downgrade US AAA debt rating)
·      Will collapse follow Greek's debt marathon? (Warning that Greece’s debt has not gone away)
·      Goldman hears the QE2 music stop (Explaining that when and if the US stops printing money, things may seem a lot worse than they look at the moment)
·      Will Iceland’s austerity chill spread? (Reminding that when countries are so heavily in debt, cutting back spending may prove politically unpalatable)
·      America’s dance with default (Quite self explanatory)
And the list goes on.
To some, Karen Maley is a pessimistic scaremonger. But if you wake up one day and discover the Global Financial Crisis has not been solved, just postponed (and made worse), then remember that Karen Maley will be writing 'I told you so’. Karen Maley and a few friends like Nouriel Roubini, Ken Rogoff and Steve Keen continue, in the minority, to warn that all the warning signs that worried them before the GFC are still there – only it’s now much worse. Of course most of the central bankers, respected economists and politicians of the world believe that these prophets of doom are alarmists, whose depressing message should be ignored at all costs. Time will tell who is right.
The point is that bad news is never popular and rarely listened to.
In the Bible the greatest exponents of bad news were a bunch of unhappy, unliked and almost universally ignored guys like Jeremiah and Isaiah. They preached a bad news message that the foolishness, the greed, the selfishness and the idolatry of their age would result in economic, political, spiritual and national devastation. By and large no one listened until it was way to late.
In spite of the repeated notion that Christianity is good news, the reality is that good news only makes sense if you first accept the bad news.
To be saved you have to accept that you are drowning.
Ignoring God is dangerous.
Believing that we don’t need God is arrogant and fatal.
Knowing that one day we will have to face the judgment seat of God is, sadly, not a message that sells. But it still might be true!
Jesus said. ““Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.”  Matthew 7: 13

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