There's No Such Thing as Financial Armageddon and It's a Good Thing Too

Alan Powdrill | Getty Images

When New York City couldn’t find investors for its debt in the 1970's, 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 eek its way through the 1980's. 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.

Apocalypse 2012
Apocalypse 2012

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.


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