An optimistic view on the crash
An article from Rob Atkinson at The Atlantic (which, by the way, has been producing some really good commentary recently). I wholly agree with him.
About the crash in stockmarket prices (and retirement fund values etc):
So did this wealth actually disappear? Of course not. My house is still here. The companies in which my mutual funds own stock are still there.
And if the asset owners have lost, who benefits? Their children:
...if the collapse in stock prices means that more people now in their 50s and 60s (including me) have to work an extra few years before retiring, it is all to the good. It is grossly irresponsible for the baby boom generation to expect Generations X and Y to be saddled with our national debt, our trade debt, and our infrastructure debt -- and the retirement debt created by baby boomers enjoying long retirements supported by future tax increases on their children.Of course it might be easier for me, at the age of 33, to agree with this than for my parents. But if I am better off than they are in a few years and some redistribution of wealth is called for, it would only be fair payback for the twenty years or more of support that I've had from them. I won't complain.
If today's government policy can help to restart economic growth at a decent rate, there will be plenty of wealth to go around anyway.
p.s. my mother reads this blog, so I guess I have to put my money where my mouth is. Hi Mum!