2008 - Closer Than You Think!

2008 – Closer Than You Think!

15 years have passed and yet, we, as a people have gone further astray from the Christian values that we have been taught.

Before we enter into 2008, turn to Daniel 9:14—”For the Lord our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.”

There is a TV commercial today where Progressive Insurance runs a TV dad giving the same advice as his real father and yet the son will only accept that very same advice from the TV Dad.

Fellow Christian, I recently read an article from my friend, Brooks Alden in the Thy Kingdom Come, March issue on the wake-up call where he says back in the early years of the twentieth century Henri Poincare wrote, “Doubting everything or believing everything are two equally convenient solutions, both of which save us from thinking.”

Please take the time to re-read this quote and let it sink in—Are we no different than sheep who think of only following the leader?

In today’s society, communication is only seconds away with the advent of the internet, television, cell phones, faxes, e-mail and any device or means to communicate.

We communicate, but do we actually listen to what the other person is saying or are we tempted by all the outside devices to momentarily or only give the appearance that we are listening?

In the past, we were told that prominent people in high positions would never lie, that journalists would tell the truth, that jurors would swear on the Bible and tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, that members of the cloth( pastors, evangelists, tele-evangelists, bishops, the pope, and rabbi or any member of the cloth would speak the truth and never lead his or her flock astray.

Government leaders, male or female, of all races, creeds and colors, have said read my lips, I did not have sex with that woman, I am looking out for you if you vote for me. Yet, when you look at the campaign promises in writing and you look at what they actually did, the truth comes to light for they did all so little and said all so much.

But you want to know the kicker—Re-read the verse again– —”For the Lord our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.”

The difficulties and troubles that have been afflicted on us is our doing! The responsibility of each person is not to blame God but to blame themselves for we have not obeyed his voice.

It is so easy to put the “blame game” on others for the mistakes that you made and it is quite easy to blame God for the predicament that we are in today. Yet, if we analyze ourselves and take account of our thoughts and actions for a few moments, then we realize deep down in that, we obeyed not his voice.”

If you believe that the troubles in today’s world that afflict all nations today are the responsibility of God, then take a few moments, look back at past generations and to the generation of today and look at whether or not you or I or your family or our people obeyed his voice?

Have we walked to the Divine laws of God or have we polluted ourselves and subjected ourselves to the temptations of Satan?

How does one expect to blaspheme God for the creation of their problems? Why do we not listen and discern instead of believing or doubting everything? Are you charging God with wrong-doing because you did not listen to his voice?

I hear those in the media who talk about the “woke culture” and I wonder when, we as Christians, will awaken and adhere to his commandments, statutes and laws or will we be like the Israelites who walked, grumbled, complained and blamed God for their troubles. Are we no different? When will we awaken?

In closing before the lesson, turn to Jeremiah (5:30-31) NLT–

30 A horrible and shocking thing has happened in this land—

31 the prophets give false prophecies, and the priests rule with an iron hand. Worse yet, my people like it that way! But what will you do when the end comes?

Do you fit in the category as a person who is Doubting everything or believing everything are two equally convenient solutions, both of which save us from thinking.”

So what will you do when the end comes and it will come for in Daniel & Revelation we read about the four kingdoms, the four beasts and about the four winds. Who are the four winds that strove the great sea?

With each kingdom, you must have a country or empire and with each beast, you must have a ruler or rulers and with the four winds they would control the economic, military, political and religious systems of the kingdom.

Ah, prophecy, this is in itself another lesson or lessons, but when I think about the great sea, I insert the word people and how these four systems effected the people under these kingdoms and how it affects us in today’s world. As for 2008, let’s look back at the Great Recession and the facts surrounding this year in history–

2008 Financial Crisis

Courtesy of The Balance

The 2008 financial crisis was the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression of 1929. It occurred despite the efforts of the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The crisis led to the Great Recession, where housing prices dropped more than the price plunge during the Great Depression. Two years after the recession ended, unemployment was still above 9%. That doesn’t count those discouraged workers who had given up looking for a job.

Causes of the Crisis

In 2006, housing prices started to fall for the first time in decades. At first, realtors applauded. They thought the overheated real estate market would return to a more sustainable level. They didn’t factor in a number of factors, such as too many homeowners with questionable credit being approved for mortgage loans, even some for 100% or more of the home’s value.

Some blamed the Community Reinvestment Act, which pushed banks to make investments in subprime areas. Several studies by the Federal Reserve found it did not increase risky lending.

Others blamed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for the entire crisis. To them, the solution is to close or privatize the two agencies. If they were shut down, the housing market would collapse because they guarantee the majority of mortgages.

Deregulation of financial derivatives was a key underlying cause of the financial crisis.

Two laws deregulated the financial system. They allowed banks to invest in housing-related derivatives. These complicated financial products were so profitable they encouraged banks to lend to ever-riskier borrowers. This instability led to the crisis.

The Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 (Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act) allowed banks to use deposits to invest in derivatives. Bank lobbyists said they needed this change to compete with foreign firms. They promised to only invest in low-risk securities to protect their customers. As banks chased the profitable derivative market, they didn’t keep this promise.

The Commodity Futures Modernization Act exempted derivatives from regulatory oversight. It also overruled any state regulations. Big banks had the resources to manage these complicated derivatives.

Among these products, mortgage-backed securities (MBS) had the most impact on the housing market. The profitability of MBS created more demand for the mortgages they were based upon.

Hedge funds and other financial institutions around the world owned the mortgage-backed securities, but they were also in mutual funds, corporate assets, and pension funds.

Stodgy pension funds bought these risky assets because they thought an insurance product called credit default swaps protected them. Insurance company American Insurance Group (AIG) sold these swaps, and when the derivatives lost value, they didn’t have enough cash flow to honor all the swaps.

In 2007, banks began to panic once they realized they would have to absorb the losses, and they stopped lending to each other. They didn’t want other banks to give them worthless mortgages as collateral, and as a result, interbank borrowing costs, called Libor, rose. The Federal Reserve began pumping liquidity into the banking system via the Term Auction Facility, but that wasn’t enough.

Cost of the Crisis

The chart below shows a breakdown of how much the 2008 financial crisis cost.

The 2008 financial crisis timeline began in March 2008, when investors sold off their shares of investment bank Bear Stearns because it had too many of the toxic assets. Bear approached JP Morgan Chase to bail it out, but the Fed had to sweeten the deal with a $30 billion guarantee. The situation on Wall Street deteriorated throughout the summer of 2008.

Congress authorized the Treasury Secretary to take over mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—which cost it $187 billion at the time. On September 16, 2008, the Fed loaned $85 billion to AIG as a bailout. In October and November, the Fed and Treasury restructured the bailout, bringing the total amount to $182 billion. By 2012, the government made a $22.7 billion profit when the Treasury sold its last AIG shares.

On September 17, 2008, the crisis created a run on money market funds where companies parked excess cash to earn interest on it overnight, and banks then used those funds to make short-term loans. During the run, companies moved a record $172 billion out of their money market accounts into even safer Treasury bonds.

If the nation’s money market accounts had gone bankrupt, business activities and the economy would have ground to a halt. That crisis called for massive government intervention.

Three days later, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Fed Chair Ben Bernanke submitted a $700 billion bailout package to Congress. Their fast response helped stopped the run, but Republicans blocked the bill for two weeks because they didn’t want to bail out banks. They only approved the bill on Oct.1, 2008, after global stock markets almost collapsed.

Troubled Asset Relief Program

The bailout package never cost taxpayers the full $700 billion. The Treasury disbursed $441.8 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), and by 2018, it had put $442.7 billion back into the fund, making $900 million in profit. It did this by buying shares of the companies it bailed out when prices were low and wisely selling them when prices were high.

The TARP funds helped in five areas:

  • $245.1 billion was used to buy bank preferred stocks as a way to give them cash
  • $79.7 billion bailed out auto companies
  • $67.8 billion went to the $182 billion bailout of AIG
  • $19.1 billion went to shore up credit markets. The banks repaid $23.6 billion, creating a $4.5 billion profit
  • The Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan disbursed $30.1 billion to modify mortgages
  • President Barack Obama didn’t use the remaining $700 billion allocated for TARP because he didn’t want to bail out any more businesses. Instead, he asked Congress for an economic stimulus package. On February 17, 2009, he signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which included tax cuts, stimulus checks, and public works spending. By 2011, it put $831 billion directly into the pockets of consumers and small businesses—enough to end the financial crisis by July 2009.

How It Could Happen Again

Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act to prevent banks from taking on too much risk. It also allows the Fed to reduce bank size for those that become too big to fail.

Meanwhile, banks keep getting bigger and are pushing to minimize or get rid of even this regulation. The financial crisis of 2008 proved that banks could not regulate themselves. Without government oversight like Dodd-Frank, they could create another global crisis.

Securitization, or the bundling and reselling of loans, has spread to more than just housing. To prevent further destabilization, stronger regulations of these derivatives should be considered.

Let’s begin with the dissection of the above article from 2008—what efforts did the Federal Reserve and Department of the Treasury provide to deter or eliminate this destruction of all so many who lost their life savings?

Wall Street deteriorates, Bear Stearns gets a 30 BILLION DOLLAR guarantee from the Federal Reserve, the United States tax payer pays the bill and why? Too many toxic assets!

Folks, where is the accountability? To add insult to injury, the Treasury Secretary takes over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac costing the tax payer another 187 BILLION DOLLARS at that time.

Hang on, we are not done yet as, in the fall of 2008, the Fed loaned AIG 85 BILLION DOLLARS as a bailout. You thought we were finished, in October and November, the Fed and Treasury restructured the bailout, bringing the total amount to $182 billion. By 2012, the government made a $22.7 billion profit when the Treasury sold its last AIG shares.

By the way, did you receive any of the 22.7 BILLION in Profit when the Treasury sold its last AIG shares? Is this not CRIMINAL?

But why? Like a broken record, let’s review the problems:

Housing Prices declined for the first time in decades—Sounds familiar?????

Lenders approved too many homeowners with questionable credit, even some for 100% or more of the home’s value. Sounds familiar?????

The government deregulated the in-housing related derivatives as investments which encourage banks to lend to even riskier borrowers. GREED!

Again, the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 (Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act) allowed banks to use deposits to invest in derivatives. And the outcome, they promised to only invest in low-risk securities to protect their customers.6 As banks chased the profitable derivative market, they didn’t keep this promise.

The conclusion to the above is simple—History repeats itself, banks can not regulate themselves no matter the size and the government is in the business of being profitable, no matter the circumstances.

2008 showed that the American people were going to be saddled with further debt or as the Bible says.

Please turn to Jeremiah 27: 8-11 (NIV) “‘“If, however, any nation or kingdom will not serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon or bow its neck under his yoke, I will punish that nation with the sword, famine and plague, declares the Lord, until I destroy it by his hand. So do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your interpreters of dreams, your mediums or your sorcerers who tell you, ‘You will not serve the king of Babylon.’ 10 They prophesy lies to you that will only serve to remove you far from your lands; I will banish you and you will perish. 11 But if any nation will bow its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him, I will let that nation remain in its own land to till it and to live there, declares the Lord.”’”

2008 or 15 years ago has showed us that we are not immune to economic destruction. As you read the verses above and the introduction of gold into the international monetary standard, please be reminded of the yoke that is around your neck.

You may say what yoke—Think about it or better yet, look at your paycheck and look at the taxes that are being taken from you. Look at the information that you must send in each year on or by April 15.

When you go to make a purchase, look at the taxes that you pay or the taxes that you pay at the federal, state or local level. The yoke is getting tighter and it seems there is no relief in sight.

As for the good news, 2008 is in the books—Let’s look at the future and 2023—Here is an interesting article from CNN:

Silicon Valley Bank collapse has echoes of 2008. Here’s why things are different this time

Courtesy of CNN

The failure of Silicon Valley Bank is rattling markets and raising uncomfortable questions: Will it undermine the broader banking system and start a new meltdown?

Billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman has compared SVB to Bear Stearns, the first lender to collapse at the start of the 2007-2008 global financial crisis.

“The risk of failure and deposit losses here is that the next, least well-capitalized bank faces a run and fails, and the dominoes continue to fall,” Ackman wrote on Twitter.

Prepare yourself for the next chapter as we begin 2023 and facing the impact of the economy, military, political & religious systems that effect each of us.

Are we beginning to see the ending of the age and is the final curtain being opened for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ?

In closing, Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. John 14:1 (KJV).

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