A recent book review, entitled "Greed Layered on Greed . . ." (The New York Times; 16, 2009) begins with the following paragraph:
"In her useful new book, Gillian Tett of The Financial Times writes that the global financial meltdown, which economists estimate could result in total losses from $2 trillion to $4 trillion, was "self-inflicted.' Unlike many banking crises, she adds, "this one was not triggered by a war, a widespread recession, or any external economic shock." Rather, the "entire financial system went wrong as a result of flawed incentives within banks and investment funds, as well as the rating agencies; warped regulatory structures; and a lack of oversight."
And even more people lost jobs, i.e. dependable income. These are real and painful losses to individual households. They can also be calculated in dollars. The term "loss"- implies that there was a "gain" somewhere. Who gained 3 trillion dollars lost by workers, and by owners of stocks, bonds and other "I will pay you" promises? Who benefited from a huge number of lost jobs? Thieves, like Bernie Madoff, and CEOs of major banks, did gain something. But that is still probably much less than 10% of 3 trillion. And most of their gain (in the form of houses, yachts, gold, secret bank deposits, etc. etc.) is probably recoverable. Where did most of our losses go?