9/11 was big. This was bigger.

David Rothkopf – The Washington Post

Copyright The Washington Post
A snippet
…In other words, this crisis — which, last Monday alone, wiped away more value from the market than the Congressional Budget Office estimates has been spent to date in Iraq and Afghanistan — is not important merely because it represents the most profound global ideological watershed since the fall of Soviet communism. It is important because it is a harbinger of massive global threats that fester within the system. And our leaders, from the president on down, have been caught as flat-footed by these new dangers as they were complacent and complicit in their hatching.
We now know that the costs to the U.S. government associated with this crash will surpass those associated with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We also know that all such government cost estimates tend to be on the low side. We further know that the U.S. economy recovered quickly after 9/11 and that we are in the midst now of a global downturn that may last for many months and perhaps years. We know that there have been vastly more job losses — 600,000 recorded thus far this year in the United States — than were associated with the 9/11 shocks, and that the global job-loss totals that a recession is likely to bring will be measured in the millions. Among the poorest, the likely shocks to emerging markets caused by the United States’ inability to spend freely will take a devastating human toll.
By all the metrics available to us, then, the current financial crisis easily exceeds the post-9/11 war on terror in economic terms. Human costs are harder to measure, of course, and the tolls of both events have been devastating. But the financial crisis will certainly touch many more people in many more countries than did 9/11. And even greater crises may loom ahead, thanks to our unwitting creation of a financial Frankenstein’s monster of unregulated, risk-laden, global derivatives markets.
As the dithering U.S. governing class is grappling with the disposal of “toxic assets” in the U.S. economy, the world is moving on to debate what is widely seen as a toxic ideology: a form of market fundamentalism that promotes inequality…
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