What's Financial Armageddon? CNBC Editors Weigh In
Since we were on the topic of doomsday anyway, we thought it might be interesting to take a financial view. We lived through the Financial Crisis of 2008, which some thought was financial Armageddon. But we're all still here, chugging along mostly intact, and awaiting ... what, exactly?
Is there such a thing as financial Armageddon? And if so, what is it? We asked some CNBC personalities, commentators, bloggers, and editors to answer the question: What's your definition of financial Armageddon?
Let's see, it would be a run on some major banks, it would be the closing of some important brokers, and it would be the collapse of the mortgage and auto industries.
Oops! Hmm....let's see, Wachovia, Washington Mutual, Citigroup , Lehman, Bear, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and GM . Looks like I already had financial Armageddon. And we lived to tell about it, and profit from it!
Herb Greenberg, Senior Stocks Commentator, CNBC
About five or six years ago I bought the Grizzly Short mutual fund and the iShares Gold Trust as hedges to my IRA. They worked spectacularly well, but rather than selling my entire positions, once the market collapsed (or in the case of gold — skyrocketed), I kept some for a rainy day (or Financial Armageddon!) In the case of an all-out financial apocalypse, I'm convinced I'll be the last guy standing! (Or darn close to it.)
John Carney, Net-Net Blog
When New York City couldn’t find investors for its debt in the 1970s, the best and the brightest all urged a bailout. David Rockefeller, the head of Chase Manhattan Bank (one of the largest holders of NYC debt), warned that if New York City defaulted, the entire financial system would come crashing down. Others said it would mean capitalism had failed.
Well, New York did default.
And the world didn’t end. Even the financial system managed to eke its way through the 1980s. Capitalism—or something like it—kept on keeping on for a couple decades more.
So what’s my definition of financial Armageddon?
It doesn’t exist. Finance is finance—it is not the still place of the turning world.
A day will come when no one in the world has ever heard of Goldman Sachs or JPMorgan Chase. That day won’t be the end of the world—or even the day after the end of the world. People will still help their friends, rely on the kindness of strangers, thwart or be thwarted by their enemies. We’ll still live and love and fight, just like people always have, everywhere.