You see the outbreak of a new zombie strain of influenza with the ground zero being Mexico City plus the immediate secondary outbreaks in New Zealand, Spain, five US states, and Canada were something we didn’t need, or did we? Despite recent up ticks in various world stock exchanges, the underlying economic/ financial news remains no cause for celebrations. Current week’s stories about US automakers could set “a make it, or break it scenario” for both General Motors and Chrysler. Ford Motor Company seems to be the exception. Stories about major money center bank solvencies plus recent unemployment claims continued in negative trends. The drama of a human-swine-bird-swine 4X combo virus from Mexico gave a much needed focus shift from the economic travails. Hyping a potential pandemic seems to be just “what the doctor ordered” for now anyway!
I find it particularly interesting that ground zero for this most recent designer virus was Mexico. This nation was already on center stage because of raging drug lord wars occurring in the border towns which Mexico shares the US. Let’s face it... our shared border is totally porous! Will the quarantines and stay-at-home orders be expanded to these warring border communities and produce a much needed cease fire (and temporary peace)? This might allow government forces to gain some upper hand on both sides of the border and ultimately force them to deal with both the drug and the illegal immigration problems?
Hindsight is always 20/20. Given our present economic, banking, and financial problems; it would have nice if our US Treasury, Federal Reserve Banking system and Securities Regulatory Agencies had had the monitoring and proactive mechanisms of our Center for Disease Control. It would have been better still if they had them... and used them! The overly aggressive marketing of deficient loans and the securitization of them to the whole planet should have been dubbed as the toxic viruses they actually were, and quarantined early on. THAT didn’t happen, but have we learned any lesson that overpowering debt is a terminal illness? The Savings and Loan debacle is barely twenty years in our past, and just what did we learn from the history behind that crisis?
It took Phineas Fog in the Jules Verne classic 80 days to circle the globe. Now any circum- navigation is limited only by the speed of our jets and the world-wide reach of their flight plans. For years now, we have been warned of the inevitability of a recurrence of the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic which killed millions. THAT hasn’t yet happened. I seriously doubt despite the saber rattling that Mexico 2009 is the ONE. Still... we are all getting a glimpse of the current state of watching and monitoring technologies that can track our every move and scan crowds of people identifying those with higher body temperatures and above normal perspiration dampness. These unfolding events and the related international gyrations are something to watch and give us insight into the rapid progress of Orwell’s BIG BROTHER is WATCHING. Truly in the case of spying and tracking, our governments are of one world marching in locked step, if only for matters of health.
All the people of our planet are linked by economic, financial, health concern, and resource inter-dependencies. While the World Health Organization (WHO) holds an impressive UBER-lord status on the health issues’ front(s), certain respective national Centers for Disease Control still have their fingers on the pulse as well. The same is NOT true for OPEC, or the respective national energy ministries regarding energy pricing/allocation/ use fronts. We also see that there is no coordinated assault by the G7, G8, or G20 finance ministers on any collective economic/financial dilemmas. Maybe those are good things!
I’ve been thinking. You should be thinking, too.
Copyright 2008 Questions, Inc. All rights reserved. Fred Cederholm is a CPA/CFE, a forensic accountant, and writer. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois (B.A., M.A. and M.A.S.). He can be reached at email@example.com.
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This story was published on April 20, 2009.