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March 18, 2009 Permalink

Scenes from the recession

The state of our global economy: foreclosures, evictions, bankruptcies, layoffs, abandoned projects, and the people and industries caught in the middle. It can be difficult to capture financial pressures in photographs, but here a few recent glimpses into some of the places and lives affected by what some are calling the "Great Recession".   (edit: After reading some comments about this on Boing Boing, I was able to track down the location of the newspaper boxes in photo #30. The boxes belong to the San Francisco Chronicle, who I called and confirmed that the boxes had been removed per city rules, not due to recession. The photo came across the wire with the caption below, the contextual error was mine.) (35 photos total)

Hotel property manager Paul Martinez kicks in a tenant's door after no one answered the knock during an eviction February 26, 2009 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The tenant said that he was laid off from his job in a retail store two months ago and had fallen behind on his rent payments at the low-budget hotel. (John Moore/Getty Images)
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593 comments so far...

capitalism is bad for people. we need some alternative way

Posted by tim March 18, 09 01:03 PM

Sad pictures.

This meltdown was largely caused by endless meddling by the U.S. government, the Federal Reserve and other central banks. I encourage everyone to read Tom Woods' bestselling new book "Meltdown", or google for 'Austrian economics' and start learning. There's no sense in asking the people who caused this mess (and/or who didn't see it coming) for advice on how to get out of it. Economists of the 'Austrian school' (Woods, Schiff, Rothbard, Hayek, Mises) have long predicted exactly what we're experiencing today. It's time to start listening to the people who got it right.

Posted by Jon Kovac March 18, 09 01:05 PM

The unfinished residential subdivisions reminds me of Cape Coral, Florida,

Posted by Sean Galbraith March 18, 09 01:06 PM

depressions are depressing

Posted by rico March 18, 09 01:08 PM


Posted by paulista March 18, 09 01:10 PM

and in the end, nature (life) prevails

Posted by Rhea Delisle March 18, 09 01:13 PM

What's the opposite of "sprawl"?

Posted by paul March 18, 09 01:13 PM

recession is recessive

Posted by Cpt. obv. March 18, 09 01:16 PM

Similar scene's in Ireland with "Ghost Estates" dotted all around the country
and unfinished construction sites around the cities.

Posted by Shane March 18, 09 01:16 PM

Too bad bankers have been gambling with peoples lives...
I'm happy that in europe the crisis hasn't hit yet and with a bit of luck it won't hit here at all...
Great article about the bank crisis:

Posted by Jeff March 18, 09 01:16 PM

Why Dubai is missing from the list? It is also hardly hit from recession.
20 % of cranes work in Dubai which are stadning still now.
hummm ....Bush has gone, now its time for capatalism to go.

Posted by Sam March 18, 09 01:17 PM

Simply frightening..

Posted by Davide Togni March 18, 09 01:18 PM

Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.
- Edward Abbey

The world needs strategies that incorporate scenario planning, too many countries are growing like there is no tomorrow without thinking about the consequences or how vulnerable and dependent they are.

We need sustainability and a green economy in the future.

Posted by Andrei March 18, 09 01:23 PM

"Capitalism is bad for people. we need some alternative way"

With socialism, there wouldn't be houses to mortgage or newspapers to collapse.

Recessions are part of the business cycle, can't do much but let it run its course.

Posted by MiqueMaus March 18, 09 01:23 PM

#30 looks.. fake? Or, like it has been manipulated. The racks looks so out of proportion, especially compared to the traffic cone?

Posted by Per Eriksson March 18, 09 01:25 PM

As always, GREAT photos. It is sometimes hard to look at the images you collect, but I suppose that is why we NEED to look at them. I also appreciate that you show scenes from the rest of the world. As much as our country is suffering right now, this is truly a global problem.

Posted by Joe March 18, 09 01:26 PM

#34. Creepy and beautiful. What a great shot!

Jon Kovac: don't use this beautiful photo essay as a platform for your misguided and simplistic economic worldview.

Posted by TT March 18, 09 01:27 PM

Until someone comes up with something better, capitalism is the best hope to save us from this mess.

Great pictures!

Posted by Jared Webb March 18, 09 01:28 PM

We could forgive all debt. That would end the crisis.

Posted by pseron March 18, 09 01:31 PM

1 said: "capitalism is bad for people. we need some alternative way"

Wowww... Capitalism has been and is the greatest system EVER devised to provide food, clothing, housing, utilities, health care, wealth, and a drive to do and be better. The "poor" in western capitalistic societies are far more rich than under regimes of Communism, Socialism, or other -isms. The majority of those under the poverty line in the US have two television, two cars, air conditioning, access to food, clean water, and shelter.

Go ahead, just try to name a better system. If you think capitalism is bad you should go live in an country with an alternate system for a year, I dare you.

Posted by UmYeah March 18, 09 01:34 PM


How can you know? We've never even had a free market.

Jon Kovac has it right. It's high time to start listening to the people who understood this mess well enough to predict it years and years ago - the Austrians. To add to what Jon said, look up Austrian Business Cycle Theory and search YouTube for videos of Peter Schiff.

Posted by thomasblair March 18, 09 01:39 PM

What, you mean oen that is correct? The Austrian School predicted this fiasco 4 years before it happened and is on record; as they predicted the Great Depression as well.

How do you argue with proven performance in the face of doing the same old thing and expecting it to work (aka insanity?)

Posted by Spinal March 18, 09 01:44 PM

I appreciate stellar photography just as much as the next guy, but don't really get the point of this post. Yes, it is reality, and we shouldn't ignore it. However, what good does it do? Does it enlighten us to something we didn't know? Does it give us a way to act or inspire us to do so? No. It's just blatant cataloging of the awful situation some people are in.

I guess I can just move on and choose to not look, but I don't really get it. Also, it's not hard nowadays to capture financial pressure in photographs, just walk down the street.

Posted by Todd Budnikas March 18, 09 01:46 PM

The Nance family needs to get real. $1200 a month to live in a hotel? I understand the husband is looking for work there in California, but it isnt the only place on earth. That man needs to ship his family off to a place like Iowa or Kansas and let them live like human beings for a reasonable price. He can bring them back once he finds work. This girls could be in a nice 3br home where I live for $600 a month, not living with drifters and truckers in a motel.

Posted by MikeN March 18, 09 01:46 PM

19 said: "We could forgive all debt. That would end the crisis."

Say the financial situation of Person 1 and 2 are equivalent.

Person 1: buys a $100k home they can comfortably afford while still saving for retirement, when they could have afforded a $200k with some serious stretching.

Person 2: buys a the $200k home by performing some serious stretching.

Then the market turns bad. So what you are saying is that the irresponsible person 2 should get their $200k forgiven and person 1 only get $100k forgiven?

Yeah that sounds fair. Person 2 should take it in the shorts for taking a risk, and Person 1 should be able to buy the house from person 2 because they actually were prudent and had some savings.

We should NOT reward irresponsibility.

Posted by UmYeah March 18, 09 01:46 PM


Posted by Anonymous March 18, 09 01:48 PM

I'm not sure the suggested "alternative way" is socialism. Maybe it's time to move beyond Adam Smith and Karl Marx and create a new alternative. With everything collapsing around us, the time is better than it ever has been. As it is, our economy is not sustainable and something's got to give.

Great pictures by the way. It's amazing how connected you can feel to people on the other side of the planet with a few simple pictures.

Posted by Nick March 18, 09 01:49 PM

Wow. Sure puts the real estate market mess in a new light for me.

Posted by Josh March 18, 09 01:53 PM

#27 looks like an artwork by Christo.

Posted by Alfred March 18, 09 01:54 PM

Very impressive posting. Especially the masses in China are breath taking. What are all those people doing and what can the Chinese goverment do?

Posted by Oliver March 18, 09 02:03 PM

I sold my house 6 years ago because I saw this coming. The Seattle market was becoming too exspensive for the people who live here.

People just have to have foresight and not be swayed by greed.

I love this blog as amazingly beautifully sad as it is sometimes.

Posted by ctrl+z March 18, 09 02:15 PM

You may think capitalism is great, but the Roman, Greek, Indian and Egyptian empires lasted for thousands of years. Capitalism has only been around for a few hundred. Empires work like capitalism doesn't. Anyone have Teddy Kennedy's phone number?

Posted by GM Waite March 18, 09 02:19 PM

@ #10, not sure what you are getting at. As far as I know most of the EU is already in recession. We didn't get hit as hard as the US, but still, you might wanna pick up a newspaper.

Capitalism is like democracy, it's a lousy system but it's the best we got. See also:

Posted by wdd March 18, 09 02:19 PM

I hate it for all! So very hard to go through. I know!
Thanks for sharing!

Posted by Judy Dement March 18, 09 02:28 PM

The entire global financial crisis started here in the US and I am so upset that the root cause was greed. No wonder it is one of the deadliest sins.

Posted by Nikonuser March 18, 09 02:30 PM

How about taking a picture of the 90% of the people in the US that are working and paying bills. This media hysteria is getting on my nerves

Posted by Working and proud! March 18, 09 02:32 PM

picture 1 - why is he kicking the door down? He's the manager, he should have a key. Even if the locks have been changed on him, hiring a locksmith is cheaper than fixing the damage he is causing.

Posted by cjf March 18, 09 02:42 PM

#30 looks as though it was taken of miniatures

Posted by Mark March 18, 09 02:48 PM

> "The entire global financial crisis started here in the US and I am so upset that the root cause was greed. No wonder it is one of the deadliest sins."

"Greed" is a common scapegoat for the real causes of this crisis. People have been greedy throughout history. What is it about today that caused all this greed to culminate in a collapse? And don't even say it's the fault of the 'free market' or 'capitalism'. We haven't had true free markets in the U.S. since at least the early 1900s. Learn about Austrian economics, central banking, all the 'moral hazards' our current quasi-capitalism has introduced. Read 'Economics in One Lesson' by Hazlitt. You can google for it and read it online.

Posted by Jon Kovac March 18, 09 03:07 PM

Capitalism has been around for a long time. Longer than any of the empires you mention, it's outlasted all of them. Maybe not in it's current form, but the exchange of goods for money has been going on a really, really long time, and was already well-established when the Romans had their empire.

One of the Roman Empire's biggest accomplishment was the establishment of a uniform currency, roads and other things we take for granted, like laws. Not to mention the establishment of a business class, who got wealthy through trade. Oh, I might also mention the slavery and religious oppression? Bloody proscriptions to raise money when the Emperor needed to fund a war? Or maybe the corruption and greed that permeated all parts of Roman society? And guess what else, the Romans killed Jesus. You can even read about it in the Bible.

As for the other empires you mention, they all seemed to know trade was essential to survival.

Posted by K March 18, 09 03:07 PM

And to think this is Bill Clinton's legacy ... big liberal dummy.

And why should I have to bail out those who bought beyond their means? I don't remember any of the people who made a "killing" in real estate sharing their profits with me!

Sad? Yes. But this too shall pass.

Posted by excuse me for being responsible March 18, 09 03:09 PM

Nikonuser is right. This was all caused by greed and, unfortunately, affected the innocent people who just wanted a job, a house and to feed their family. But rich bankers had to get richer and rich oil companies had to get richer...

Posted by Kara March 18, 09 03:18 PM

@GM Waite
Empires lasting thousands of years? You tw*t. If your talking about the Roman or British empires your looking at about a couple hundred years longer than capitalism, definetly not more than a thousands. If your talking about prehistoric empires... Your an idiot. Civilization basically stood still for thousands of years in the Egyptian empire with the greatest advance being the introduction of different metals into weaponry and farm tools. And that took THOUSANDS of years. There is no empirical system that is better than capitalism, and certainly no other type of government. "UmYeah" said it best.

Posted by bob March 18, 09 03:20 PM

@tim, and the "Austrian Economic" nutbags (although I doubt its really more than 1 nutbag posting under many names): if you get enough nutbags together they can and will predict anything you want, as long as you buy their books.

Its amazing though, how much our schools have let us down. Instead of learning valid things like our own history and how different government systems work and economics we lust over ancient European culture and fringe philosophers who preach non-nonsensical systems like Marxism and communism. Our teachers are like real world failures who blame "capitalism" and "the west" for their failures....oh wait that IS what they are....

Posted by bob March 18, 09 03:27 PM

"How about taking a picture of the 90% of the people in the US that are working and paying bills. This media hysteria is getting on my nerves"

According to the article 17% of Americans are facing foreclosure. Also don't you care about China? They make our stuff.

Posted by Shii March 18, 09 03:34 PM

#35 is a great ending. Life moves on and flowers bloom.

Posted by Kesava March 18, 09 03:35 PM

The saddest part for me is seeing the unused Onion newspaper stand in #30...

Posted by Joe March 18, 09 03:37 PM

Beautiful flower... maybe its good that the construction stopped.

Posted by flower March 18, 09 03:44 PM

#25, I live in Gilbert and that site is all too familiar. Many neighborhoods have huge overgrown tumbleweeds. So many residents depended on Home Owner Associations that they've paid money into to take care of the general use areas but all the HOAs are bankrupt since half the homes are vacant.

Posted by Ryan March 18, 09 03:55 PM

Americans are always looking to blame someone else.




Posted by Mark Mattington March 18, 09 03:59 PM

Blaming Bill Clinton for the current mess we're in is like blaming Ben Franklin for lightning strikes. Still, the right wingers need to blame anyone besides their own failed politicians. Thank God Bush and Cheney have moved on to Irrelevant Acres.

Posted by Susan Smith March 18, 09 04:13 PM

To comment #1, the current system is not capitalism or a free market.

The government creates money and sets the price of money, called interest rates. This money is not backed by anything. In a free market, people would be free to use real money that governments can't just create at will (as shown in picture #31). Our money is just a ponzi scheme, not unlike what Bernie Madoff did, but we buy into this scheme because the government does it.

Today the Federal Reserve Bank announced that it would buy $400B in US Treasuries, which are debts the federal government creates to pay for spending more than it takes in. Where does this $400B come from? No where! The Fed just creates it out of thin air. If you or I printed $400B and started spending it, we would be counterfeiters! How is what the Fed did today for the government any different?

Posted by puzzling March 18, 09 04:29 PM

Keseva, you stole the words from my mouth. I love the note this ends on: it catalogs the world's great economic sigh, but hope remains. Many of these photos are of course well-composed, but I felt 35 had the most to say.

For some reason, I'm reminded of William Faulkner's Nobel Prize acceptance speech. Find it - read it.

Posted by Not that Tim March 18, 09 04:31 PM

@40: You don't seem to understand what capitalism is exactly. It is more than the exchange of goods for money. I am not saying I disagree with your conclusion, just the uninformed manner in which you tried to make it.

Posted by Jeo Tapps March 18, 09 04:32 PM

Not to far from my house a massive development containing subdivisions as well as commercial strip centers just ran out of money. Now there are four unused parking structures and random roads that lead to nothing.

Posted by Ian March 18, 09 04:33 PM

Also, thank you for showing that this is global: USA, Latin America, Central Asia, Eastern Europe, China... as an American living in Eastern Europe, I appreciated the wide-angle view. The American media I get tends to ignore that.

Posted by Not that Tim March 18, 09 04:35 PM

Maybe this is all a shift in the market. Maybe ppl. do not want mini-mac-mansions, if you can call them mini, what are build like crap. Its time to build smaller houses with smaller carbon foot prints.

Posted by VNP2 March 18, 09 04:36 PM

@bob: We Austrian-school "nutbags" are everywhere and our numbers are growing, despite your epithets.

All who value truth should do themselves a favor and study the root causes of this and every business cycle.

Posted by Eric March 18, 09 04:38 PM

@bob I think you're asking for the very thing you deride: Austrian economists provide probably the most rational look at history and government and actually provide a decent argument against Marxism and Communism.

Are they right about everything? No. I think their theory that the market will take care of everything by itself is, at best, half the story. But they are right about a great deal. And they are only school of thought that is providing an alternative to both consumerism as well as communism.

Posted by josh March 18, 09 04:42 PM

Uh oh I the economy.

Posted by Robert March 18, 09 04:53 PM

Just like in North Korea, Cuba, and in the old days Russia and China, everyone should have their own home and also free food, a car, clothes, cable TV, recreational drugs and pocket money.

Capitalism sucks and, while I'm not saying Communism, we need to find a third way, which always winds up being delusional, utopian Communism anyway promoted by angry rich white people from Capitalist countries.

Demand Utopia Globally. Toss Your Feces Locally

Posted by Emerson March 18, 09 04:56 PM

I'm not sure if I feel "sorry" for all those shuttered suburban housing tracts.

And I'm not sure I'm ready to blame capitalism when the ugliest aspects of the same stem from government regulations.

Posted by Really now. March 18, 09 04:56 PM

No offense, but this article is retarded. "Ohh, look, a homeless person!" Yeah, because clearly, there were never unemployed or homeless people prior to the current Recession. "Ohh, housing prices are going down!" Yeah, because clearly, housing prices should have continued to go UP at the rate they did during an artificially-created Housing Bubble. "Ohhh, look, an unfinished building in that place that Borat's from!" Yes, there are many unfinished construction projects all over the world. Especially in 3rd World nations. Funny how sites like this always seem to find the people who are having bad luck. How about you hypocritical Fear Mongers do an interview with ME? My salary is up 50% from last year.

Posted by Maven March 18, 09 04:58 PM

27 said: "I'm not sure the suggested "alternative way" is socialism. Maybe it's time to move beyond Adam Smith and Karl Marx and create a new alternative."

I agree, the poster may not have meant socialism.

There is a spectrum of potential governments:
1. One all powerful benevolent leader to
2. a pure democracy where each person has equal say in every decision.

The problem with #1 is that we as a human race have been unable to maintain a string leaders who are both benevolent and all powerful. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. A benevolent all powerful leader would assure everyone had all they needed and there wouldn't be any waste or corruption. Problem is we end up with evil all powerful leaders.

So we have tended to see the most productive cultures and societies are democracies or near democracies, with the inherent waste that comes along for the ride. This is due to the nature of man, that requires checks on power and influence. If we all could live like the ideal... we wouldn't need the checks and balances of democracy.

It is a similar situation in economic systems. Capitalism works because it is based on how humans work. For me to pursue my self interest will often require me to address your self interest. If I start a company, I will need employees. We have created a system where each are pursuing their self interest.

Socialism and other -isms rely on humans acting in the ideal, not how they actually are. I.e. I am going to work really hard to get a few degrees and be very productive, but give it to you because you need it. From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. This sounds great, but it doesn't work as we are real humans not ideal humans.

Posted by UmYeah March 18, 09 05:00 PM

I think that the most frightening issue is that there are too many people in the world. Overpopulation is the cause of many of the world's problems.

Posted by suzy librarian March 18, 09 05:02 PM

So the Democrats want to blame the Republicans, the Republicans want to blame the Democrats. I blame the following Democratic and Republican administrations: Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush (the elder), Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon, Johnson, Kennedy, Eisenhower, Truman, Roosevelt, Hoover, Coolidge, Harding, and Wilson. Not to say there isn't complicity on the part of Taft, Roosevelt (Teddy), and McKinley.Probably the last President with any economic sense was Jackson.

Posted by Bonnie March 18, 09 05:03 PM

These desolate photos of ruins and bare landscapes made me think of Shelley's famous poem:

I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: `Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear --
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.'

Posted by Elizabeth March 18, 09 05:04 PM

this comment is for tim: yeah let's all not work for our livings. let's have the state take care of everything... you know they did try that in the people's republic of china. where the ideal was to crush the capitalists? oh wait. where is your marx now? maybe you selectively didn't pay attention to the pictures of the prc. stop blaming reality, knucklehead. change your immediate situation. cut spending and live on less. cut up your credit cards. sell your car. live on the street. comfort doesn't come as a given. americans alive during the depression had it much worse than we do now. where are the breadlines? is there one on your block?
learn your history and stop being such a mewling infant. we are NOT reliving the depression. hopefully you'll survive this. and if you don't, tim, i won't shed a tear for your ignorant carcass.


hell. we know that utopianism and weightlessness exist... just not here on planet earth.

Posted by jay ticsay from the slums of long beach March 18, 09 05:13 PM

Thanks for this post. It really humanized the recession for me and put it in terms I could get my brain around, both domestically and globally.

Posted by M March 18, 09 05:15 PM

Capitalism isn't the problem here you deadbeats. It's a big fascist government that is the problem. With bureaucrats influencing decisions in every party as well as the lobbyists, with the fact that people want to live beyond their means and be taken care of and due to the way credit is being disbursed without forethought. It's a ridiculous mixture of incompatible government systems that is ruining capitalism. Capitalism works fine when there isn't a big fat stupid government tampering with it. NO BAILOUTS, NO LOANS, SAVE YOUR MONEY!

Posted by Critias March 18, 09 05:21 PM

It's funny cause few people see that this is all part of the plan. Those in power don't care about you, they don't care about your family, and they don't care about money. They've used us to get to where there are now. It's a step in Globalization - 1. use people to do all the work for you after you've taken over their means to support themselves independently via a system you've created that (duh) sees you as top beneficiary.
2. Once you've acquired all possible means to power (money, military forces, technology, etc), cry recession and lower the standard of living of everyone else but yourself

Posted by EffinPissed March 18, 09 05:23 PM

smash the system!

Posted by unknown March 18, 09 05:25 PM

It appears to me in pics 15 & 16 that Mrs. Brittney is applying lip gloss, pushing what appears to be an extremely nice baby stroller, sporting some pretty fashionable attire and pricey purse for that matter.... and in the other pic, shes "working" on her laptop... Here is my analysis as someone who works 3 jobs.... DONT buy the lipgloss, trendy clothes, overpriced baby stroller, expensive purse etc. and if your paying $1,200 a month in "rent" for a hotel room... your getting RIPPED! I lived in Louden County Virginia, one of the most expensive counties in the country and paid $1300 for a 2 bedroom VERY nice apartment in the suburbs of Dulles VA. Sell the laptop and use the internet for free at the Library! I just have NO sympathy for these people who feel they have to live beyond their means like the celebrities they ARE NOT!!!!

Posted by Holli March 18, 09 05:26 PM

Depression makes depressions and it's even more depressing. Such a divide. Investors able to put up so many condos. Now those investors all greedily clinching their money while others suffer. I hate to need monetary systems, but it's so nice when you have it. Ugh. With all these varying feelings no wonder Schizophrenia is on the rise. I need multiple personalities and an excuse to get handouts. Oh wait.. It goes against my core values. Lets all Saddle up our horses and pull ourselves back up and do away with this greedy system!

Posted by russell March 18, 09 05:34 PM

Times are rough now, but the world as a whole will recover just as we did in the past. Rather than collapse like Socialism has done before (see the USSR circa 1990-91) the cycle of capitalism will improve when the time is right.

In the mean time, stop whining and spending more than you can afford. I can only laugh at those who laughed at me while using HELOCs to buy cars 4 years ago.

Posted by Mike March 18, 09 05:36 PM

You know what helped us get out of the great depression? Ending the alcohol prohibition. Now why can't we do the same with marijuana here in the U.S.? We have great farmland here on the east coast going to waste. Legalize, regulate, and tax it. I would much rather pay a big tax on it than pay super inflated prices to a dealer.

Posted by jqpublic March 18, 09 05:36 PM

"There is a spectrum of potential governments."

It's not really a spectrum but we conceive of it as one. Also, if it is a spectrum, you get an infinite number of points to choose from.

Oh wait, but then again, you can choose multiple points because you have different countries.

Oh wait, but then they can interact in many different ways.

Concepts that we abstract from reality can limit our options if we can view things from alternative perspectives.

Posted by Pittsburgh Jeff March 18, 09 05:40 PM


Posted by Pig Stomper March 18, 09 05:46 PM

We have people that need homes..... people that need jobs.. .. and people that need cars. Yet, we also have a surplus of unoccupied homes,... projects that need finished, and 57,000 cars sitting idle in a port. Those two sets of problems seems to solve each other - but no one seems to be willing to make it happen.

Those empty houses and 57,000 cars arent making your company a dime in profit when they just sit there. (in fact its costing you to store them unused). Hell, giving those cars away would probably do more net-positive for the image of hated car companies right now. (and it would help people get to work and ease their lives)

Posted by Jason March 18, 09 05:50 PM

Thank you George Bush and your cabinet!!

Posted by Sophie March 18, 09 05:50 PM

Good. I'm happy this is happening. Maybe, just maybe, we'll learn as a society the punishment that comes with our excessive greed, selfishness, vanity, egomania, and ignorance. Perhaps when this recession is over, people will know to spend within their means and stop relying on loans and credit. I am twenty three and a half. I have never used a credit card in my life. I have only taken out ONE loan in my life for only one semester of school. But yet I still have EVERYTHING I need, and enough money to pay my bills and eat.

Pure capitalism won't work. The have nots will always want to be the have mores, socialism will always be their answer, and so long as the have nots outweigh the have mores, socialism will always come back in a democratic society. Federal banking won't work, because they're half the reason we're in this mess now. We need a mixed method similar to the Scandinavian model. We need innovative minds from all the different schools of economics and governments to introduce a new model - a "third way" if you will. Otherwise this will just continue to happen.

Posted by Nic March 18, 09 05:51 PM

There is only one inevitable path that will be taken during this crisis, we will end up in another World War that started out of hundreds of civil wars. The depression was solved by things like labor unions and honest spending with government asistance. We already have the unions and those in charge are too corrupt to spend accordingly. Note AIG.

When people starve enough, when people fear enough, and when people die enough because of other people's idiocy, the ensuing chaos will breed war.

Posted by Torian Kel de Meridian March 18, 09 05:52 PM

63 said: "I think that the most frightening issue is that there are too many people in the world. Overpopulation is the cause of many of the world's problems."

A few numbers for you to consider...
Area of Rhode Island = 1,545 sq mi (wikipedia)
Population of the planet = 6,706,993,152 (CIA World Factbook)

If you put all the people in the world into Rhode Island, each person would get 6.42 sq feet of space. That is equivalent to each person having a seat in a typical NBA basketball arena.

Now Rhode Island makes up about 0.002% of the earths landmass. What could be done with the other 99.998%?

Of the world's landmass, 10.57% (CIA World Factbook) is arable or farm-able, yet we only use 1.04% for permanent crops.

Overpopulation isn't the problem. Education, Technology, and Generosity are the problem.

Posted by UmYeah March 18, 09 05:54 PM

I agree with #25! I could have bought a 150k house, and barely made ends meet, but I would have kept up with my friends and their cramped McMansion status.
Instead, I bought a small older home with some land for 60k and even if I lose my job tomorrow, my house payment is only 400.00 a month. I have enough room for a vegetable and herb garden. My friends are freaking out because they have 1,500 and 1,800 a month house payments and massive layoffs are in their future. they can't even have a veggie garden b/c it's against HOA rules. I feel so mean to say I don't feel sorry for them, but it's the honest truth. That was the lifestyle they wanted.. to project affluence while maxing out their credit cards in the process. Had they lived w/in their means & bought homes they could AFFORD, it would be a different pity party from me.
Same with the rest of america.
Who SAID we have to have a WALGREENS on every corner? or a sprawl mall on every block? Or have a McMansion subdivision on every acre of what used to be fertile farm land? 5 bedroom house and 4 cars for only 2 people? I was already thinking that the direction we were heading as a nation was all a big greedy mistake 7-8 years ago. Good thing I was thinking pro-active when I bought my little cheap house 10 years ago. My friends looked down on me then, but I see them looking up to me now.

Posted by coldwater71 March 18, 09 05:54 PM


WROOOOOOOOOONG try again... the Federal Reserve creates the money and sets the rate. The Federal Reserve is not the government. The government even borrows money from the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve is no more federal that Federal Express....

watch Zeitgeist (all of you)

Posted by D March 18, 09 06:04 PM

This is the saddess thing I have seen in a long time. The world economic is jacked. If our world leader do not get a grip on the economy, we will all be unemployed and homeless. That includes Democrats, Republicans, the left, the right and all in between.

Posted by Troy Wise March 18, 09 06:06 PM

Economic Democracy. Is that a form of socialism? It needs to exist in a healthy capitalist system. Stock holders and boards members didn't carry their weight, again. Short selling is evidence that human nature will do just about anything to get ahead. What's the next model gonna look like?

Posted by orange jones March 18, 09 06:12 PM

Results of the "greed of a few" and the unchecked "money changers"...Always remember that Christ beat the money changers out of the temples.

Posted by Lance K March 18, 09 06:12 PM

It doesn't mater since it's all gonna end anyway in December of 2012. If you can stretch it out that far, you're good.

Posted by MayanCalendar March 18, 09 06:15 PM

Results of the "greed of a few" and the unchecked "money changers"...Remember Christ beat the "money changers out of the temples"...enough said.

Posted by Lance K March 18, 09 06:16 PM

About the Austrian school....
What you have to understand about economics is that it isn't physics or chemistry; it's not an exact science. Yes, the Austrian school came up with some theories that roughly explain what's happening now. So did Marx and Keynes. And they all did it with about the same level of logical consistency and with lots and lots of evicence to back them up. So yes, please, start learning, but understand that any opinions on the free market or government intervention are just that: opinions. It's not a perfect science and predictions are often wrong or misguided. Markets don't behave in the kind of perfectly predictable patterns that molecules do. It's not about X always resulting in Y; it's about what we want our society to look like.

Posted by an economist March 18, 09 06:20 PM

"in the end nature prevails"
forget that! mother nature is my bitch! freakin hippies! go reduce your carbon footprint and quit breathing!

Posted by popnfresh March 18, 09 06:23 PM

"Capitalism is bad for people. "
What? The USA has THRIVED under capitalism for centuries, the problem is bad business and rampant stupidity. The subprime mortgages were horrible mistakes that we all saw coming. Excessive spending on credit cards and living pay check to paycheck are the problems. Lack of responsibility, and worrying more about what's trendy then what's smart. I always keeps an account with enough money to cover my bills for 6 months. in case i loose my job, or an emergency comes up. I have a friend that has a car note, a motorcycle note, and a boat note, and every time he has to pay $50 to take his son to the doctor, he needs to borrow money.
There are people that actually plan ahead making money right now. Stocks are cheap, homes are cheap, everything is ripe for the picking, if you're the kind to wait for the "adjustment" that has to come at some point. Dealerships are giving away new cars. In some cultures the word crisis also means "change" not just bad things, maybe everyone will learn to quit acting so stupid with their money.

Posted by pissy and Responsible March 18, 09 06:28 PM

Barney Frank. Chris Dodd. Barack Obama. Franklin Raines. Those are your main culprits. Barney Frank blocked every effort by Bush and McCain to rein in the GSEs. Buck Ofama.

Posted by Joe Bobe March 18, 09 06:28 PM

so sad~~~!! T.T

Posted by Anonymous March 18, 09 06:31 PM

Yeah, good job democrats! You finally got the majority and a seat in the White House - look what the crazies are doing to not only our country, but the whole world!!!! Did you know that democrats can't read? At least not big words like 'stimulus' and 'economy'. How bad was the economy when Bush was in office? Hmmm... pretty sure I wasn't hurting for anything. And I wasn't scared that the whole country was going to fall apart. I just started my 401-k and it's already been cut in half twice. Thank God for guns and a re-election in 2012.
Check out to stand up for yourselves.

Posted by Souther Revolutionary March 18, 09 06:39 PM

87 said: "Economic Democracy. Is that a form of socialism?"

No. Economic Democracy would be a free market: everyone setting the prices for goods and service they own or can deliver, and agreeing to purchase goods and services at a particular prices. Socialism is central control of prices.

If you offer apples you own at $4 an apple, you are free to do so, but I don't have to purchase the apples from you. I will go to the neighboring orchard and buy them for $1 an apple. You have just been checked and balanced like in a democracy. Competition forms the economic "Check and Balance." If you have the lowest price for apples but I still don't want to pay it... Well I won't be eating apples.

The other option is a central planning government, where one person or group sets all the prices to make it "fair" and "equitable." In this system the government would set the price of chicken at, say, $2 dollars a pound. To make this happen they will also have to set the price of store clerk wages, electric power to the refrigerators in the market, the price of land, butcher shop equipment, delivery truck costs, gas costs, plastic wrapping cost, chicken feed costs, chicken wire costs, water, sheet metal for the chicken coops, eggs, etc....

Can one person or group know the most efficient price for all these goods to assure the price of chicken will be under $2 a pound? Not bloody likely. If one of these costs goes up, say world oil prices, and the government doesn't allow the price of chicken to move up as well... We will have no chicken, because for one person in the chain, it will not be worth them doing their job, because they will lose money as they keep working.

Let the market with the "democracy" (checks and balances) of many people decide the prices for the goods they are expert at providing.

Posted by UmYeah March 18, 09 06:44 PM

When there are so many places that want online job applications, how do you suggest that family find work, if they have no computer? Without a computer, you cannot work on a resume, you cannot immediately answer email (they might not have access to a phone), and it is far more difficult to search for work ESPECIALLY with children to take care of - one cannot always go to a library to do these things. As far as the hotel, with the median price of a 2-bed Motel 6 room being $50 a night, over 30 nights? Hrm; looks like around $1500 a month, to me - so that $1200 a month they're paying is a freaking BARGAIN. And perhaps all the stuff they have came from before they were kicked out? How obtuse and absolutely oblivious to the world around you, you must be. Maybe you should get out and go around the country a bit, before you proceed to judge others, or presume to know how things work for everyone. I'm guessing you still have a job, and wouldn't last 3 seconds if you were evicted, because you'd be expecting to pay less than $500 a month for a hotel. Good luck with that.

Meanwhile, AIG still goes ahead with granting their idiot leaders millions of dollars in bonuses, and patting themselves on the back for a job well-done. Whomever said a lack of education in this country was a problem is RIGHT.

Posted by Jen March 18, 09 06:44 PM

December 21, 2012. I think it's pretty obvious humanity brought this on itself. You reap what you sow.

Posted by G March 18, 09 06:45 PM

Jesus Christ will condemn millionaires and bankers to hell, and we shall rise again in Heaven, save yourself from the redemption that is Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted by David Jones March 18, 09 06:47 PM

@Mark Mattington: I completely agree. This recession is completely due to people being greedy and buying things they never needed. Look at all the people who saved up their money....are they in a recession? NO WAY. People need to learn to save money and not spend it on useless stuff. I hope they learned now!!

Posted by ryan March 18, 09 06:50 PM

I would love to make Izabella my girlfriend.

Posted by me March 18, 09 06:57 PM

There have been complaints in these posts these are the failings of capitalism and democracy. Unfortunately, we haven't had free market capitalism in this country (US) in a very long time. The government has manipulated business for decades. And to consider America a democracy today is ludicrous. We are, at best, a soft fascism. Government runs at the behest of big business and banking. Lobbyists feed politicians and they look out for business, not American citizens. And, in case you didn't know, the Founding Fathers were very against democracy as a form of government because they observed they always wound up as totalitarian. The word democracy did not enter into reference to our government until the 20th century. Prior to that it was referred to as a Republic, which is how it was founded. If you don't know the difference between the two, please look them up. And then DO study Austrian economics, because the Founding Fathers' dialogue on national finance was quite similar. They were very frugal men and did not believe in debt financing, which is how our government has been running all the 20th Century, since the Federal Reserve came in. The real solution is for all of us to read the works of the Founding Fathers, restudy the Constitution, and Declaration of Independence, and make sure we understand these basic documents as well as the atmosphere our Founding Fathers lived in and their brilliance in laying out a government truly for the people. Once we are properly educated in how it's supposed to work, we vote out all the idiots in there now and only elect people who expressly agree to follow the Constitution. And we ask for term limits for Congress so we don't get career politicians but rather servants of the people. Yes?

Posted by Robbie Robinson March 18, 09 06:58 PM

Did you ever think that maybe the Mayan calendar just ends there and that's it?

Posted by Mattbastard March 18, 09 07:01 PM

Stealing from The Onion, Depression hits losers the hardest.

Posted by dlpowell March 18, 09 07:01 PM

"Necessity is the mother of all invention" so I guess we will be forced to find a way to make things work. Great pictures!

Posted by sabrina March 18, 09 07:07 PM

#84 I completely agree with you...its rediculous for people to pay 250k for a house and work at mcdonalds...I have to say I spend above my means sometimes but I dont live in a 1200 a month motel! btw thats freakin rediculous...overpopulation isnt the problem either...I do think that population centers are a problem...why would someone pay 3,000 a month for a 1bdrm apt in manhatten? I dont feel sorry for them at all when they lose their apartment...same people who drink starbucks...4 dollars for a cup of coffee and people wonder why they dont have any money...

Posted by poor college student March 18, 09 07:10 PM

Capitalism is NOT bad. Unfiltered greed and people that cannot keep their ego in check while doing the right thing is bad.

Just because something CAN be done - does not mean it SHOULD be done. The Golden Rule should be applied here. I don't mean the nefarious interpretation that says - Those that have the gold rule. I mean the version that says "Do unto others as you would have done unto yourself," This combined with the old axiom "you should NOT do something that you would be embarrassed to show your mother" should help some of these that seem to be morally and ethically challenged.

Posted by jeff shuey March 18, 09 07:15 PM
Posted by Ryan March 18, 09 07:17 PM

Capitalism, socialism, communism?
They all suck. For all its faults, the former has worked far better than the others, but are we saying capitalism is the best we can do?
Give me a break. There are far too many bright young men and women out there who can organize our financial system better than the rubbish we have now, one fairer and more inclusive than capitalism.
I think one of the main problems we have are that the hard-liners are in power; those who believe in the so-called ‘free market’ above all. They have even privatized the heath and education systems so the profit motive is the guiding light, and we now call kids in schools or hospitals ‘customers’.
What nonsense. I’ve worked(and owned) in business all my life, but to base everything on the profit motive? Insane.
My parents (in the early 60s) bought a house, worked hard to raise our family, and sold it for a modest profit, allowing another young family to do the same. The word ‘modest’ has now gone, and many young families now cannot afford to buy a house as the market is about ‘massive’ profit.
When we have able, honest people lining up for whatever work is available, or thrown out of their homes, the system needs to be changed.
It needed to be changed the moment poverty raised its ugly head. Poverty? Why the hell is that acceptable? Why should anyone, especially a child, have to live in poverty?
There are many here who will argue ‘that’s just the way it is’. Don’t listen to them. It’s just plain old laziness, or they like the system we have and couldn’t be bothered (or want) to change.
The first step, in my opinion, is to create real democracy, not the lite version we have now – in other words, to stop voting for parties (i.e. Republican or Democrat, left or right) and start voting for issues.
If that were the case, I’ve yet to see any Western democratic population that would willingly sell off its health and education system to the private sector.

Posted by paul w March 18, 09 07:24 PM

Too many people, it's cullin' time. Someone pass me the Soylent Green, please?

Posted by Stan de Man March 18, 09 07:26 PM

None of you understand this is the planned destruction before aliens invade your planet. Warren Buffet is an alien but Barack Obama is not - he's a normal person like the rest of you humans. Granted he's better looking, highly educated and extremely successful, but he's human so don't blame him for any of this. Bill Gates is human, too, as are Bill Clinton, Bill Cosby and Bill O'Reilly but we're not so sure about Michael Jackson and we aliens are not taking credit for whatever Paris Hilton is - or is not.

Supreme Leader Buffett has been planning this for a long time. Aliens will be here on Earth, en masse, by the end of 2015. None of you will have any wealth and you'll all work for us as slaves. Sorry to have to tell you like this but ... meh.

Posted by Algu de Lotherian March 18, 09 07:27 PM

There is no economy currently in existence that is pure capitalism. Therefore, your criticism of capitalism is misplaced.

The United States is a mixed economy. Make sure that you are criticizing the proper economic system please.

Posted by Vicki March 18, 09 07:28 PM

Suckers. Never had a job, never needed one.

Posted by Rich Prick March 18, 09 07:29 PM

It seems that the photography business is still booming !!

Posted by saintstef March 18, 09 07:37 PM

yes, the bankers gambled with people's lives, but the government freely gave them the money to do it with. this was not capitalism; in order to have capitalism, money cannot be free (as in 0% interest rates).

Posted by FullCampy March 18, 09 07:41 PM

Sad times. Hope everyone makes it through ok.

Posted by Goofydg1 March 18, 09 07:44 PM

There's too much blame and not enough action.

That money isn't being burned for warmth... where's it all going, if not to the people? If not to the government? I'd like to look into that.

Look at outsourcing. I'm not saying we're losing jobs... I'm saying we're losing taxes. Other countries don't have to pay for social security taxes, but at the same time, we need people working now to pay for those who are heading into retirement age. The whole system needs an overhaul... we have a right to change our government! It's in the constitution!

Posted by Snarfle March 18, 09 07:47 PM

Don't be so quick to throw out Capitalism. It is still the best economic model going. This recession wasn't the fault of Capitalism. In fact, the recovery will largely be fueled by Capitalism.

You probably already know that recessions are cyclical. We'll be out of this one before long. There are opportunities out there right now. I bought a house this month, for example. Got it at a fair price.

There was a housing bubble, a credit bubble, and other factors that led to this downturn. This recession is washing out the weak businesses and strong companies will blossom during the recovery.

Unfortunately, some financially vulnerable consumers have been caught up in the storm. Some of the loans that were being sold five years ago to people with weak credit and very little down payment, never should have been sold. Those consumers should have remained renters. Remember, YOUR HOME IS NOT AN ATM MACHINE. Build the equity. Don't take it out and buy the Escalade.

The US (and the world) will rebound in a very strong way (hopefully not overheated by all of the stimuli. That might be inflationary).

Posted by J. Teixeira March 18, 09 07:48 PM

Thanks to the bankers and goverment.

Posted by eyeye March 18, 09 08:07 PM

Stan de Man, only if we can stock the vats with some of the heartless I've-got-mine idiots posting above. I realize that it's mostly fear and ignorance blustering along up there, but it's a shame to have that garbage attached to this marvelous photo essay; it's a $1500 pair of shoes with toilet paper dragging behind one heel.

Posted by AG March 18, 09 08:13 PM

Anybody who blames this on Clinton is an ignorant kool aid drinker.

This is the result of 8 years of Bush's Authoritarian Dictatorship.

Posted by Mel March 18, 09 08:14 PM

You people who are against the free market should get what you deserve.
Show me one, All I ask is one country that has ever been successful that didn't follow the free market system.
If you want socialism then look at those pictures above and I guarantee you will see a hell of a lot more of that. Socialism breeds the poor and makes everybody equally poor.
Over my dead body will I let this country become a socialist nation!

Posted by Tom March 18, 09 08:27 PM
Posted by Jason Reposa March 18, 09 08:28 PM

WOW !!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Trent Mutchler March 18, 09 08:32 PM

Yet, the Military Machine keeps rolling on.
Stop the War effort, and poor the billions, back into the country.

I can see the America becoming the new Bangladesh

Observing from "Down Under"

Posted by da chook March 18, 09 08:33 PM

Obama will fix it....LOL!

Posted by BdG March 18, 09 08:35 PM

What we have in the United States isn't purely capitalism.

This whole mess was caused by the government tinkering with the markets, forcing banks to come up with fancy loans to get people into houses they can't afford. There was even legislation passed that forced the banks to do things they would not normally do, against good banking practices.

So to blame capitalism for this mess we are in is a little short sighted. in my opinion, there needs to be some oversight, but not to the extent that we have right now.

Posted by Mikey "Insane" Monkeypants March 18, 09 08:36 PM

greed is what got us in this mess. its the banks profiteering from people with exhorbitant mortgages. if housing was more affordable, and if the bottom line is not always for profit, life would be easier. making money, seriously never makes sense in the first place. its should be all about sustainable living.

Posted by peter March 18, 09 08:38 PM

The only way the world can get out of this financial crisis is by offering a helping hand. Now is the time to help others, not by insane amounts of money, but by kindness. Let's stop calling each other idiots and fix the problem, not complain about it.

Posted by Roxie March 18, 09 08:59 PM

This really captures some scenes we all should be thinking of. How did we get here? How do we get out of it?

I know a lot of people think that the families that got in over their heads (the upside down mortgages) were just plain stupid and risky, but you don't understand HOW it happened. I'm one of those people, and I can tell you how it happened to me. Maybe you can better understand then.

We were looking for a house in the $80k range when we were first looking to relocate to another state in 2004. We were flying back and forth from the east to the west coast looking at houses, and finally decided it would be easier to rent in the area while we look instead of flying all the time.

Once we were in the rental property (Sept 2004) the house prices started quickly climbing. In no time our realtor was telling us there weren't any houses in the $80k range anymore. We spoke with our mortgage broker and they said it would only be a few dollars more a month for a $90k house than an $80k house. Sounds reasonable, we started looking at $90k houses. Oops, no more of those either. Well, only a few dollars more for a $100k than a $90k house right? And our broker said we could afford it. Looking at $100k houses.

I know this may sound crazy if you haven't lived through it, but this pattern continued for months. Each time with "experts" assuring us it was just a little more a month and telling us we could afford it. It sounds dumb looking back, but it was persuasive at the time. Especially to 2 people starting to panic.

Before you know it, the houses were $200k. So we found one for $189k (a real deal it seemed) and bought it ASAP. It was panic. It was fear. We knew we were outside of our comfort zone, but we didn't feel we had a choice. The houses were LITERALLY going up $10k a month. We felt if we didn't just grab something, anything, we'd be priced out of the market permanently and we didn't know what our future options would be then.

We ultimately mortgaged $195k. It's insane. $195k after looking at $80k houses. If you haven't been through it, it is hard to understand.

We can't afford our $195k mortgage. And to make matters worse? My floors are cracking up. They are separating, and one side is rising... or is the other side sinking? I don't get it, because the house was 7 years old when we bought it. I don't know how it developed these problems AFTER we bought it when it was that old already? And (even worse still) my husband is having a lot of trouble with his back. Standing AND sitting for more than 10 mins at a time hurts him. Although I don't know how much it matters that it hurts him to work, since he is in home improvements & repair and never gets calls for work anyway.

Not trying to post a sob story for sympathy or attention. I don't get off on revealing my dirty laundry to the world. I just think many people out there are unaware how many of us got in this mess. Maybe this helps clarify it for you. I didn't want to put my family in this mess. I didn't want to have to think about this stuff 24 hours a day. I didn't want to have anxiety attacks nearly every day, and heart palpitations at only 32 years old. Did I make a mistake? More than 1 I am sure. I put my faith in "experts" who (I thought) were supposed to help me and guide me. I am guilty of trust, faith and ignorance. And I am paying for it every minute.

So before you judge so harshly, please consider maybe those of us upside down on our mortgages aren't total idiots. Maybe we are just people who wanted a better life for our children, and became convinced by experts that what we were doing was safe and reasonable. We have learned, but unfortunately it is too late. Now we suffer for our mistakes. Please don't make that any worse.

Posted by Sandy March 18, 09 09:07 PM

Isaiah 24

Posted by Boodle Doo March 18, 09 09:22 PM

Rent is that expensive in the states? Tough place to live.

Posted by John March 18, 09 09:25 PM

Have you noticed most of the housing pictures were ones of communities living in excess? People don't need houses that size.

Posted by Rusty March 18, 09 09:45 PM

My hopes for a propaganda free website are quickly diminishing!!...Every country has its problems.... but Beirut stopped being divided about 19 years ago!! :|

Posted by Stan March 18, 09 09:46 PM

I am more pleased than ever that us working-poor folks have to compete with illegal aliens for jobs, housing, health care, etc.

Posted by Obbop March 18, 09 09:55 PM

A friend at work lost her husband last night in an automobile accident in Los Angeles. I think that should put much of this in perspective. Things could be worse for most of the rest of us.

Todd Budnickas, did the responses here tell you why this is a good photo essay to show? Life is full of hardship and trouble. Seeing it inspires compassion. We hope anyway.

Posted by Eric March 18, 09 10:01 PM
Posted by jen March 18, 09 10:10 PM

An explanation of our current economic situation anyone can understand.

Pass it on.

Posted by Nick from L.A. March 18, 09 10:11 PM

I'm so sick of Circuit City being involved in these pity parties. CC was a victim long before this thing started. They suffered from moronic management that wouldn't react to a changing enviromnet, self-serving customer service and misleading sales tactics.
Of all the closures, this is the one I'm not sorry about.

Posted by Randy March 18, 09 10:14 PM

not to take away from the dramatic statement of some of these pics, but I live in Baltimore and the port ALWAYS has thousands of cars sitting there...even when the Dow was at 14,000. Just another incident of media fuled frenzy...

Posted by Frank March 18, 09 10:14 PM

I stared at pics. 10 & 14 for almost an hour,and I still can't find Waldo!!!!

Posted by Wilber March 18, 09 10:15 PM

Why don't we give those vacant homes to the displaced residents victims of natural disasters like Katrina ?
If every american would donate $1 dollar to aid the deficit, we could be in better shape than before ! Think about it !!!!

Posted by Indy March 18, 09 10:28 PM

Well-said. It's like the old saying : You hear, you forget. You see, you remember. You do, you understand.

It can't be easy, and unless people are of the 17% who have gone through this, it's hard to reconcile through hearing/watching.

We all do the best we've got, with what we've got, at the time. Same is still true today.

Posted by KazaDownUndah March 18, 09 10:28 PM

Great photos. But the title should read : Scenes from The Greater Depression

Posted by a faithful reader March 18, 09 10:40 PM

Oh. My. God. These pictures were sad, but what is even more sad are the comments here. Sorry, but: what a screwed-up bunch of back-stabbing morons. National unity is dead. We are deeply and profoundly lost. People arguing over different political systems, the left blaming the right, the right blaming the left, rich people saying "Good! I've got mine, screw you all!", idiots of all colors blaming things that are entirely unrelated to this economic downturn. Scary. I don't know where we go from here, but if we don't come together we are screwed. Together we stand, devided we will fall.

Posted by glenda March 18, 09 10:42 PM

god is good

Posted by fayez March 18, 09 10:43 PM

"The central bank is an institution of the most deadly hostility existing against the Principles and form of our Constitution… Bankers are more dangerous than standing armies… [and] If the American People allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the People of all their Property until their Children will wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered."

- Thomas Jefferson, the author of America’s Declaration of Independence on the threat posed by central banks

Posted by a faithful long-time reader March 18, 09 10:44 PM

I like fried chicken.

Posted by me March 18, 09 10:50 PM

To the one person: If your house is falling apart, you might have some kind of legal recourse. Look into it.

To the world in general: I don't know who would buy a McMansion in the first place. Tacky, tacky, tacky.

Posted by alex March 18, 09 10:58 PM

“Don't blame capitalism...”
“It's not pure capitalism...”
“It's a mixed economy...”

Give me strength. We live in a CAPITALIST system, people. It's not socialist or communist, it's CAPITALIST.
You lot are exactly like die-hard leftists that always say “there’s never been a PURE socialist/communist system…if it were a PURE system it would be different..”
Yeah, it would probably be worse.
Just like a PURE capitalist system…
But gee, can we at least accept that we live in a capitalist system…can we at least start from there?
As I said, capitalism is far better (note the 'far') than the other two, so let's try and remove the knee-jerk reaction that highlighting capitalism's faults - and there are many - is not support of socialism or communism.
Geez, talk about sensitive...
So, as I was saying. Is this the best financial system we can do? Can we not do better? Is this the best system on which to base our society? Can we not do better?
Let’s try, eh?


Posted by paul w March 18, 09 11:00 PM

Pathetic obese, TV lobotomized superstitious whiners . . . we ALL dug this hole together. If you BUY more than you EARN, eventually it crashes. Its been a fun party, but its over. Time to sober up and clean house. America, 6% of the worlds population has been consuming about 1/2 of its resources. A good gig if you can get it, a fun party, but not one that could last forever. Get over it.

I would recommend meeting your neighbors, growing a garden, and thinking ahead. If you want to blame others, point fingers, and feel shorted of some sort of entitlement? You will be part of the end of this nation in an orgy of pathetic whining violence.

History shows that NO empire, NO nation, stands as it is forever. The adaptable survive, the unadaptable do no. When the grocery stores are empty, the gas stations dry . . . don't pick up a gun. Pick up a shovel, pick up a rake. Otherwise, you Americans deserve what is coming. Hopefully you won't throw a temper tantrum and nuke the planet because "its all YOUR fault (sob, cry!)".

Good Luck!

Posted by Susan March 18, 09 11:13 PM

"Blaming Bill Clinton for the current mess we're in is like blaming Ben Franklin for lightning strikes. Still, the right wingers need to blame anyone besides their own failed politicians. Thank God Bush and Cheney have moved on to Irrelevant Acres."

That was a poor trolling attack at Bush, read up on what Clinton forced many of the lenders to do during his time in office. Maybe then you will know why someones' greed lead them to getting a loan 10x what they could afford. It took both sides' poor judgment to ignite this mess. Also, a recession is a natural part of a business cycle and sadly a lot of people are on the losing end. It will pass.

Posted by take me with a grain of salt, learn to think for yourself March 18, 09 11:15 PM

My God. It's like a botched game of SimCity.

Posted by Mike Abundo March 18, 09 11:20 PM

You go #63... I am building a beautiful small home right now. secluded and in the moutains.... have a dream a life of simple pleasures... sold a Million dollar home in New York,,,, got rid of the BMW and downscaled..... now I am growing a garden so I won't have to "fear " Monsanto and feel so much happier about it!

Posted by hEATHER March 18, 09 11:27 PM

I'm so sick of Bush being blamed for this whole thing. Iraq is a piece of the puzzle...Clinton and Barney Frank seem to be unscathed in this whole thing and it was their work putting pressure on the private sector to "give mortagages to the lower income" that got us here in the first place.

Posted by ShareTheBlame March 18, 09 11:41 PM

Who is John Galt?

Posted by James March 18, 09 11:42 PM

This too shall pass. Things may not get better overnight, but they will get better. It may take 20 years until we've gone through enough election cycles and had time for the old folks to die off and stop voting the same gray-haired stuffed shirts that they've been voting into office for half a century, but we'll get there. If we could only vote out the loudmouth "I'm an expert" fear monger CNBC hosts and all their so-called expert guests who claim that they have the answer but really sit there and wonder when and how this thing will end like the rest of us.
Also, congratulations to Maven (#63) who finally made it past the $20K/yr mark. Keep up the good work. We're all very proud.

Posted by Anonymous March 18, 09 11:47 PM

IMHO, the problem is greed. A society is supposed to help each other, When people are thrown into the streets because they can't afford to pay rent, that really shows that when it boils down to it , landlords dn't actually care. Shown here especially when a landlord would rather see his house empty than actually helping out his tennants when they go through a tough time.
How many of these shots were of homeless people, then empty housing, it doesnt take a genius to put two and two together...
My sympathy goes out to the homeless people, but to the greed mongers with multiple house, living off other peoples efforts, I'm laughing at you.

Posted by humanbeing March 18, 09 11:54 PM

Translation of # 155.

I was in way over my head and had to sell the expensive house because I never should have bought it in the first place, nor should I have leased the BMW, but thank God the lease expired, otherwise it would have been repo'd. I've resorted to growing my own vegetables because I can get a summer's worth out of a 99 cent bag of seeds. Enjoy the small house. I hope you don't plan for all of your old friends form NY to visit all at once. They'll never fit in the house.

Posted by Anonymous March 18, 09 11:57 PM

I am reminded about something that my mom mentioned about recession.

Earlier when men (humans) were getting out of control… God Would bring forth a flood or any other natural devastation and cleanse the economy….
Now… God realized that, this isn’t working any more…. So he thinks What is it that will affect the whole world…. Cause the whole world is at wrong… it isn’t one section of the people… It isn’t the Americans or the Europeans or the Asians or the Arabs or the Indians….. It’s the whole god damn world…. Then he realized its MONEY!!!!! Money rules the world…. So let me bring about a devastation in that area and let’s see if that cleanses the world!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now.. People don’t bring in negative comments cause I mentioned God Is responsible for the recession ;-)

I just wanted to share with you another person’s point of view

Any way it’s high time the bubble broke….. Hopefully the economy will be able to stand in its own feet soon…

Alan: This time I found a lot of photos irrelevant ( just this time though…. And it’s just one person’s opinion)

Posted by febin March 19, 09 12:13 AM

Don't you worry, your hero King Africano Messiah will wave his magic teleprompter to make everything tip-top again, so you can all get in debt up to your eyeballs with crap from China. Now please go pay your carbon taxes to support the luxurious lifestyle of European banksters, in order to save Al Gore's fluffy polar bear, like the good domesticated sheeple you are.

Posted by Enzo March 19, 09 12:17 AM

People blaming this on CRA loans that the govt "forced" banks to make simply are fools parroting other fools like limbaugh

How did that cause a housing crisis in Spain?

CRA had nothing, and I mean nothing to do with this... its been 30-40 years in the making anyways....

Posted by Pete March 19, 09 12:34 AM

As always, the vast majority of you are SO generous of heart when it comes to anyone you don't personally know (and for the guy with the $60K house, evidentially even those you do).

In reading these posts, I'm struck over and over by the self-satisfied smugness of my fellow Americans. The family living out of a motel who needs to 'downsize' a baby stroller and lipgloss. The jerk claiming that if you've lost your house you must have borrowed against it to buy cars. And most of all, by the harshness.

I would guess that all but a slim minority of you have yet to be impacted by this recession. And by that, and in a very REAL way, job loss. For those who HAVE, and HAVE SAVED over the years, it is still not a cake walk. And it does not necessarily have anything to do with frugality, money sense, or morality. One can be the most conscientious of savers and planers. Among my friends are people who didn't buy a home until 15 years out of college with very good jobs. They saved for the downpayment and got in, in the early 2000's while prices continued upward (as they had for more than 15 years prior). Fear of being priced out if they didn't act. Yes guilty. As were many of us. But irresponsible? Foolish? Hardly. Only with hindsight and a crystal ball. One of those folks has since lost his job. And I'm guessing his home is not far behind.

One person summed up what so many of you are saying when he quoted The Onion - "losers impacted more by recession". You all are really saying that ill in this world is always deserved. I hope for not only my own sake but for this country's that these blog comments represent a tiny, angry, voice that will always be here but hopefully relegated to talk radio. And I promise each of you, that no matter what you believe, at some point in your life you will suffer a significant loss, a death, an illness, something. And unfortunately, when it impacts you PERSONALLY, that is when, and only when, you will learn how that personal tragedy, financial or otherwise, is not personal, it is not earned, and it is not a judgement from God.

Posted by Ryan March 19, 09 12:35 AM

wow this is crazy

Posted by kay March 19, 09 01:15 AM

Hey !!! The rest of the world looks as boring and braindead and lifeless as the cookie cutter subdivisions of Easton, Raynham and Taunton. We're winning !!!!

Posted by Douglas Watts March 19, 09 01:15 AM

The issue of global overpopulation has little to do the amount of available dry land per head, and everything to do with (1) a finite amount of resources and (2) inequality of the distribution of such resources, be it food, money, fresh water, medecine, housing, education, or otherwise.

I'll throw this out there - if trends continue no amount of governmental/political/philosophical shift is going to resolve the issue in the long term. However, a large scale population reduction (through pandemic disease etc) would benefit the human race as a whole.

Posted by Rob Walker March 19, 09 01:25 AM

thanks for this... i'm reminded of how lucky i am to have a job. i pray it will fight thru this downturn.

Posted by jetmech March 19, 09 01:35 AM

Now, I've read most of your comments and agree that WE as ONE PEOPLE have a challenge ahead of us’ and no one is going to do it for us – especially the plutocratic and corporacratic governments that we have. You think the U.S. has the first dibs on its “government” screwing it’s people – either by a capitalist money system or the end of a bayonet?
The first thing you must stop doing is sniveling, ok. Set your watches for 5 minutes, that is all the time you’ve been give to grieve, then get past it. Erase the following phrases from your vocabulary: No more “would-a, should-a, could-a, if only I’d-a.” The past is over and you all survived. Have a heart-to-heart with the Universe, Holy Spirit, H.S., your internal co-pilot, and ask where you should go, how to get there… What do you want? What feels right to you. Intuitively, I mean. Reach inside yourself, without casting blame or heaping guilt upon yourself and assume responsibility for your life. That’s it. Plain and simple. Our grandparents survived the Great Depression, our parent survived WW2, Korea, Viet Nam, and putting up with our shit, was probably the toughest part! LOL
The Buddhists believe: Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. ; )
Yes, I agree, this is a fucked-up situation were in as a planet, and there is a reason and a purpose for everything and it IS there to serve us. Once you’ve survived the rapids, take a deep breath, look about you and get your bearings. Educate yourself as to the current state of affairs. No, I don’t mean that bullshit you hear on corporate news or Congressman, Bernie Sanders of Vermont reaming Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, a new asshole. Actually, that was rather entertaining. However, you want to turn YOUR life around? Your community must join you in your endeavor. Mind you, this can be a community of two or two million, listen to your heart and trust without guilt or fear and do what “feels right.” We are all in school and if WE are to succeed, we must do it serving each other for the benefit of the planet.
For your first assignment, I want you watch the following documentaries from YouTube:
1. Zeitgeist the Movie
Note. Don’t give up your religion, if it works for you. Challenge the dogmatic paradigm s.
2. Zeitgeist the Addendum
3. The Obama Deception by Alex Jones.
Note. I think you can download it in an flv. format from

The second thing I want you to do is research growing food, naturally. Consider using Permaculture. Research delicious , high-protein foods like amaranth and quinoa. Seeds can be found at the following places:

1. Horizon Herbs
2. Seeds of Change

None of that GMO poison, there. Learn to become resourceful. Be aware of who is pulling your strings and be at peace with yourself and the Universe.

Posted by Dennis March 19, 09 01:45 AM

welcome America. We in Africa have always been there. Think about us too.

Posted by Patrick Onguso March 19, 09 01:46 AM

As always great pics. Sadness everywhere, so to make everyone laugh, look at pic #4. Imagine wearing those outfits to a job fair :)

Posted by citykitty617 March 19, 09 01:47 AM

#30 the onion! who doesn't pick up an onion?! Seriously though, a recession does not lend itself to big, stunning, photos, this should have been another topic.

Posted by robert ivan March 19, 09 01:57 AM

Dear Maven aka #63. I agreed with you on everything except for the last line. That last line probably just got you into a lot of trouble with a lot of people, no one likes a slap in the face when they're already down. Good luck with that.

Posted by emma goldman March 19, 09 02:13 AM

At B00b #44: If we'd listened to the Austrian School, we wouldn't be in this mess right now.

Posted by islander March 19, 09 02:15 AM

Holy sh*t. The financial crisis doesnt affect my area that much, and i seriously didnt know how bad it just speechless, those poor people...i hope and pray for a quick recovery.

Posted by Eikuy March 19, 09 02:35 AM

Pic 17 is a sea of low quality garbage, usa car companies fail because american cars are terrible in quality, fit and finish and materials used at almost every price point. This is in almost every case of american cars. Start giving us good cars and I would gladly purchase one.

Posted by CHRIS March 19, 09 03:08 AM

My wife and I just moved into our RV fulltime. After about 20k initial costs to get set up we're looking at about $1,200/YEAR to pay for a place to stay. That includes water/electricity/garbage. We move about every three weeks so throw in another $1,000 or so for gas. And we get to stay in fantastic places and move around where the weather is temperate. It's a great way to live.

I'm a freelance software developer and my wife is a freelance writer. And of course it helps that we don't have children.

We did this as a choice in lifestyle change and not because the economy is tanking. Now that our monthly expenses are down I only need to work about 10hrs a week. If you have the chance I'd jump at the RV life.

Posted by polyGeek March 19, 09 03:12 AM

Thanks for the wonderful gallery -- these are some fantastic, depressing photographs.

Posted by jinky March 19, 09 03:32 AM

Cuba's been getting screwed like this for 20 years

Posted by tod March 19, 09 03:38 AM

It's amazing how Americans can totally ignore shades of gray; they go from "masters of the universe" optimism and bravado to Steinbeckian depression era pessimism....Hope for the best

American-Italian living in Italy

Posted by Spek March 19, 09 03:47 AM

#18 please write Bulgaria with a capital 'B'

Posted by Rosen March 19, 09 03:49 AM

I agree with #146.
I was all set to forward on these photos, which communicate more than any thousand words, but the toxic, caustic nature of the comments made me change my mind.

We're in worse shape than I thought, first from seeing the pictures, but more so from reading the comments about them.

Posted by Disappointed in You March 19, 09 04:00 AM

lost job,don't lost believe!
we will give you chance to earn more money!
add us on msn,and talk more!

Posted by susan March 19, 09 04:04 AM

Eat cake if you can't find bread

Posted by Shlomo Mizrahi March 19, 09 04:09 AM

The major financial Cartels controlled by a very few have deliberately pulled the carpet from under everyones feet. The Governments of the world are left powerless because they cannot print their own money. It's all in the hands of the major banksters. This is a deliberate pull down of the worlds economies so that a New World Order can be ushered in. This will happen because the people will be made so desperate that they will beg for it. This is in fact their plan for you all.

We are all being manipulated into poverty. The only way to stop this is by the people organizing mass non-participation. Start looking after one another and refuse to acknowledge and play along with the banksters plans. It is now down to all of us to defend morals against their controlling dogma. There's is a big game that can only be played out if we all agree to it.

Everyone, including the military must stand together and peacefully refuse to serve those who would have us enslaved. Marches and protests will make no difference now. There have already been many world-wide, and it has changed nothing. It is time for neighborhoods to come together and organize in the spirit of togetherness. Care for one another and place morals and humanity before, and above money. If everyone stands together then the few who want to reinforce their financial oligarchy will fail. Refuse to acknowledge them en masse and trust me, and more importantly yourselves that they who would continue to have us all enslaved will buckle under the weight of their monstrous shame.

Their power over you is your belief in there power. The truth, and they know it, is that you the people are the true power in this world. Our leaders have failed because they have almost always been owned, especially since 1913 by the very financial interests the likes of President Jackson and others like him opposed. It is time for each and everyone to understand that only as individuals can we serve those around us in the spirit of Humanity.

Do not look to those for answers who have all along been creating the problems. Simply withdraw your permission so that they can no longer manipulate your lives. Stand together as individuals and then you would have solved the problems. Get on with it today, this very minute.

Posted by Ian deMontfort March 19, 09 04:10 AM

Great Pictures... Just a few thoughts..... Somehow this ideology of a "New World Order", may be what's been in the works all along. Corrupt governments condensing themselves into 1 World Government. People of "less fortunate" nations are being exploited for "cheap labor" as we speak to make the "rich man richer". Some NOT all Americans are greedy, we have voted in what's happened to us. Unfortuneately, Obama has inherited a mess. Don't think it was any coincidence when NY was attacked and the Bushe's were honkering down in Florida...hmmm and Cheny's company Haliburton is in Dubai (an Arab Nation)? Hmmm, What about the thousands of foot lockers of American money found in IRAQ? What about the IRAQ war "bait and switch" -- Someone in Afghanistan attacks us, so we draw stick people on a board and take the Americans to war in IRAQ -- The administration of the last 8 years needs to have a major investigation launched against them all!!!!

Posted by LD March 19, 09 04:15 AM


-Stop with the narcissism & Botox injections
-Quit whining and do something, pass something good forward to someone you see in a struggle!
-Scale down and reap what the voters have sewn from the past 8 years!
-Pull up your bootstraps and organize -- divided we will fall!
-When you point 1 finger at someone else, there are 3 pointing back at you, come up with solutions -- not blame!!

Posted by LD March 19, 09 04:21 AM

You Americans are a menace. You deserve ALL YOU GET.
You wanted an empire, you got it. Now you must pay for it, if you want to keep it.
And you are paying for it.

The world IS overpopulated... by first world people CONSUMING 10x the resources of underdeveloped nations, so sure, sit back in your gas guzzler and be proud that your corporate dictatorship is being eco friendly in managing world affairs by impoverishing nations, bring war and destruction wherever your tax paying money goes.

Posted by a european March 19, 09 04:40 AM

We live in a mixed economy, the world's largest semi-collectivist remnant capitalist banana republic. Definitely not capitalist -- most of the big spending decisions are made by the government.

Open the books of the Fed to see where the trillions in bailouts are going.

Posted by Mark March 19, 09 04:43 AM

This is all the intentional work of the globalist, international, bankers who've engineered all recession/depressions since time immemorial. They have done this so people will clamour for a fix. The fix will be a One World Government and currency. In this One World Government. you will be told how to live in every aspect of your life. It is time for all nations to recliam their autonomy and control of their money supplies from the international bankers that currently hold these powers. Listen to Alex Jones at infowars(dot)com

Posted by diggity dogg March 19, 09 04:52 AM

Eriksson: #30 is not fake or manipulated... It looks like it was shot from a distance, with a long lens and zoomed in, which flattens the image and makes the proportions look unnatural.

Posted by Luis March 19, 09 05:03 AM

Last I looked Ron Paul called this one. Something about sound money and watch out for the Credit Bubble. There is a greater scandal on the horizon, Naked Shorting and Failure to Deliver, it's electronic stock counterfeiting. Goto YouTube and do a search on Dr. Patrick Byrne of, Wes Christian his attorney, Bud Burrell an expert witness in these matters and or Jim Puplava. There are as many naked short positions as shares outstanding on the market. If you don't believe me, listen to the above mentioned..Bloomberg was nominated for an Emmy on this subject.

Posted by Aridzonan March 19, 09 05:12 AM

No pity for new suburban housing tracts. The more empty and uncompletes the better. Plenty of housing in the city or the country. Urban and Rural. The Burbs are for turds.

Posted by Frank White March 19, 09 05:22 AM

#14 - What a powerful metaphor for the global economic climate...

Posted by Alex Jones March 19, 09 05:23 AM


Posted by Jerry from Belgium March 19, 09 05:26 AM

It is like the everyone feel asleep at the wheel, not just the ones driving but the passengers too. Leaders who lead a country and whole world econemy to ruin and still go home to sleep in warm beds and eat hot meals and allow money to go in the form of bonuses to those who enginered this dibacle should reminded of the peoples will to vote them into the private sector. Maybe the United States Citizens should call for early elections as many other countries do when the people no longer have confidence in their leaders. At least there would be a job opening for each seat in the House of reps and the Congress which could be filled by Americans who know what it is like to loose it all, and through this have empathy for the rest of America.

Posted by Christopher March 19, 09 05:27 AM

for 10 long years Americans will be experiencing a Depression due to the fact it will take that long to get a handle on the debts that the banks have saddled the American people with.
A 1.8 quadrillion dollar debt bubble must be unwound and it is going to cause much pain over the next 10 years.

Posted by dave March 19, 09 05:32 AM

This sight is a very beautiful. I am very satisfied.

Posted by chandan pal March 19, 09 05:39 AM

There are many people saying that President Obama is turning the United States into a socialist country by enacting all this government spending. What do these people call it when tax payers money goes to finance 75-80% of major league sports arenas. I guess it is not socialism when the money goes to the filthy rich to make them even more money. There is something wrong with this picture when some of these same major league team franchise owners and those in local government scream socialism when the money goes to projects that help to put people to work.

These owners and city officials should get real and play ball with those who are trying to help their neighbors rather than hold to the fundamentally flawed ideas that supports the rich in become richer and the poor to be kicked when they are down.

Posted by Christopher March 19, 09 05:41 AM

This would be the time I unleash several tornados, floods and monsters and finish them off

Posted by T. March 19, 09 05:48 AM

The only solution IS A REVOLUTION...

Posted by MIKE March 19, 09 06:08 AM

The problem is not socialism or communism, the problem is greed emphasized by lack of proper regulation. This crisis has gone beyond these two political systems. For instance what has happened to some banks in the US is called nationalization and was initially done by communists. Furthermore, in China, the government gives loans to factories employing university graduates, a normal technique in a capitalist country.

I am afraid that greed has finally come against us. Yes, us, like in "We, the people".

Posted by Robintel March 19, 09 06:21 AM


Posted by as March 19, 09 06:35 AM

How emotive. You could take pictures like this at any time in modern history. There are still plenty of construction projects going on and plenty of people doing better than ever before.

Posted by Andrew March 19, 09 06:51 AM

Many of these pictures are stunning, but one of the captions really stood out to me. 1 in 8 home owners is effected by foreclosure. Thus 7 out of a 8 home owners and 100% of renters aren't in trouble with a mortgage. Why are we spending so much to bailout the people who got in over their head?

I do feel for those who will lose their home because of job loss, illness and other things which happen to people in the run of life, but that has always been the case when things went sour in the economy. I just can't bring myself to feel bad for the people who are getting crushed by their ARMs. Its their wanton greed, along with the banks which enabled them to act on that greed. that led us down this path. No common sense was applied. I can afford a Mercedes Benz SL 550. I might not be able to pay the rest of my bills, but I can afford that one payment. People didn't check themselves, not one little bit.

Now, to save a few ignorant fools, far more renters will be foresaken.

There is nothing quite like waking up one day to find out that the President is going to use your tax dollars against you and your American dream by propping up unsustainable price levels. It makes me wish I had been a fool and bought a McMansion I couldn't afford..

Posted by Ross March 19, 09 07:06 AM

The reason why Americans suffer the most is then never save money .. Thats it from my end

Posted by Zubin March 19, 09 07:07 AM

v nice photography

Posted by shailesh d vartak March 19, 09 07:11 AM

An interesting collection of informed and uninformed comments. Of the latter, I especially liked the one saying that our leaders need to "get a grip on the economy." It's exactly their grip that IS the problem.

Posted by wrminto March 19, 09 07:24 AM

Our Uber-rich coupon clippers and dividend folk have moved production off-shore to take advantage of low wages in Asia. Even the mighty GM has been undermined, Please be advised, before you read the next paragraph, Warren Buffet is a major investor in this Chinese company! SEE:
“The astounding Chinese have epoched the great GM, of U.S.A. in producing an Electric/gas/plug-in car! They are driving them in the streets of China as we speak, they will be retailed in the U.S.A. by 2011, they will cost half the price of a "Volt" and they are "On Order" for Israel! GM, take a deep breath, your naughty parts have just been cut off by a Chinese high-tech competitor, and the "Volt" is still "Vapor-ware"!” See:
Understand: The capital that ran the U.S. has moved to the Shanghai, and other Asian markets, for a "Bigger bang, For the Buck" The American people, in general, have been forsaken for an unending stream of self-propagating, 98 pound, rice-burning, 85 cent and hour, 12 hour a day, seven day a week, factory dorm domiciled workers - a capitalists wildest dream! We must now fend for ourselves in a very changed world, and it happened overnight, in China by communist design. China now "owns" the U.S.A. and has aquired all it's capital invstors, manufacturing, and holds huge loans in American money over the heads of the piones in the American streets!

Posted by Uncle B March 19, 09 07:26 AM

I have to comment because the ignorance is amazing.
A lot of people want to blame Bush. The reason for the subprime mortgage collapse is due to the legislation put in place by Clinton. Don't believe me Look it up. He put pressure on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to free up the stringent standards and give loans to people with less than stellar credit. The consequences aren't felt from this decision for years. You can blame Bush for not retracting that initiative. The problems in this country started when the congress turned to a Democratic majority and you have a republican president. The system becomes lame duck. Gas prices went through the roof and the mortgage and banking industry collapsed. Now we have Obama in office, his policies won't be felt for years and if it doesn't turn around in two years then the republicans will be voted in and there will be another lame duck system in place.
I would love to see the statistics of the foreclosures and how many are homes that people bought to flip when the market was booming and got caught versus how many were owner occupied.
Couple other comments, Circuit City made a decision a while ago to fire all their high paid sales force and hire lower paid untrained people. They thought it would save them money but what it did was cause a huge drop in customer satisfaction and people, including me went elsewhere and they collapsed. Bad decisions not the economy caused their problems.
A lady asked how people with no computers can apply for online job applications, Answer, your public library. They have computers to use, you don't need your own
The cost of new housing isn't going to go down until the cost of material goes down. Labor, now that people are desperate is down but the cost of material is still high. Manufacturers blames high gas prices for material increases but now that gas is 2.00 a gallon the material pricing has not followed suit.
Best of luck to everyone.

Posted by Jymuller March 19, 09 07:42 AM

impactante.. me quedé mudo

Posted by gustavo Lazzari March 19, 09 07:42 AM

Then, the AIG executives earn millions and millions in corporative bonus, and our people die. What the hell are we waiting for to save our population?. I still believe in America. I don't believe in our representatives.

When I think in 'we the people...' I feel rage, I love my country, but so many skunks are destroying illusions, dreams and lives.

We need a revolution. People need to be free again in America.

Posted by Frank March 19, 09 07:52 AM


Posted by James March 19, 09 07:55 AM

Capitalism has collapsed and now there will be a dawn of a new economic system will emerge which was forced to be hidden and called as terrorism but in reality capitalism was terrorism in which billionaires used people for there wealth and destroyed there moral,ethical values and made them slaves for money ....

but now wind of change is expected soon.........there will be Islamic economic system which will be the best,because it does not allow rich to grow rich by using excessive money to be lend over interest and let the others suffer paying Interest's on it.....

Posted by Faraz March 19, 09 08:14 AM

Stan de Man, and the rest who agree with the "cullin" time" agenda - here's a cyanide capsule. You take it first, then the NWO elite, politicians, banksters and lawyers can take theirs next. The rest of us will enjoy the show.

Posted by Karl Fuchs March 19, 09 08:19 AM

The stage was set for these events on the day they signed the Federal Reserve Act and turned over our lives to the banks.

Posted by Matt March 19, 09 08:31 AM

Never assume conspiracy where incompetence is an equally good explanation. There were (still are, stupidly) entire television channels devoted to shows about real estate flipping. America is (was) the new Roman Empire and the bigger they are...
You have to "add value" or your organization inevitably will fall, whether it's a company or a country. Your gov't. allowed your oligarchy to sell out your collective ability to add value and Americans have become a net-consuming country. Everybody else loses their best customer. Crash!
These pictures are very sad and all our hearts should go out to these people. There but the grace of God go I. May God bless us all with a fast recovery.

Posted by March 19, 09 08:33 AM

Somebody, somewhere is conjuring something (probably a war) that will divert all our attention away from this recession. That's what usually happens.

Posted by jimmy March 19, 09 08:57 AM

Recession makes us to re season our brains to think about how we spend the money unwantedly.
Its time to sharp our brain.
We will fight back and engrave our future for the forth coming generation!!
And Finally.. Good Pictures ....

Posted by PreZ March 19, 09 08:59 AM

First off, we ARE a socialist state! Believe it or not, Japan is actually more capitalist than us (they just recently privatized their national mail system), and China is catching up fast. Its just that the USA promotes and supports capitalism more than anyone else. If we were PURE capitalist, the roads would be owned by a company, not the government, there would be no welfare, no social security, no control over utility companies (the only reason they are so cheap is because the government makes them a natural monopoly and sets price caps). Obama is not "turning us all into commies and socialists". Is FDR still considered a socialist because he implemented the New Deal? Using government money to employ thousands and help us out of the great depression? What we need now is a Newer Deal.

Just my 2 cents...

PS - great pics

Posted by chris March 19, 09 09:04 AM

Reasons for the crash:
1. Spending ended... For a long time Americans were told to keep spending... they did so by taking on more and more debt. Statistics showed on average people spending more than they earned - this was financed off of mortgage and credit card debt. Does anyone recall that post 9/11 Bush said - don't let this dissuade you from buying - and to go shopping! Most of the economy is based on spending. Eventually the bubble burst as interest rates on home loans rose.
2. Relaxed rules on lending. Im not from France but I read there that a mortgage can be only 3x salary and a mortgage can't be more than 75% of the property value. No crazy low interest rate starter mortgage rates for 2 years followed by a massive leap.
3. A nation spending hundreds of billions in Iraq (to try and ensure cheap energy for the future).
4. The oil price. Oil is the fuel for 99% of all transported goods. Oil and gas are essential to all food production. The runup in resource prices (food, metals) and personal transport costs has been a big cause of the recession. I read that after every big oil spike there's a recession. Basicly short the DOW next time oil goes to $150!

Posted by mark smith March 19, 09 09:06 AM

What's the difference between the Great Depression and now? The photos are in color now.

Posted by reality sucks March 19, 09 09:06 AM

You're right, we're not living in "pure" capitalism right now, that was back in the late 1800's with Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Schwab. Times were better then... for Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Schwab. You capitalism drum-bangers need to realize that success is built on the backs of other people and if society wasn't there to buy your product you wouldn't get rich.

Think about more than A number 1 for once in your life. Stop thinking all or nothing, black or white. You can have a bit of capitalism and a bit of social programs and make things better for everyone.


Posted by Jeremy Putnam March 19, 09 09:16 AM

poverty has always existed and probably always will

Posted by Anonymous March 19, 09 09:36 AM

these pictures show the rich folks as poor .
seems paradoxical.

Posted by venkhat March 19, 09 09:36 AM

Sad. Not one person mentioned toxic derivatives. The investment bankers pooled mortgages into securities, and then borrowed against the value of those mortgages, sometimes as high as 100-to-1. That means you take the total value of the mortgages and multiply that by 100 and that is what these banking institutions borrowed.

THAT is why we are in this mess. Everything else is smoke and mirrors. BTW, there are over $700 trillion of these types of leveraged securities and debt instruments out there. The value of all world markets combined is less than $100 T!

Posted by Joe Schmoe March 19, 09 09:37 AM

whatta load of bs, put up any pic and then add some sad label....

as far as the banks being responsible, when did they start holding guns to peoples heads and force them to buy all the new cars/toys/houses they could not afford. personal responsibility people.

Posted by walt March 19, 09 09:38 AM

Guess you wish you voted for Ron Paul now don't you? He predicted all of this back in 2007.

Posted by Elvis March 19, 09 09:38 AM

To all those that post here, regarding Capitalism. The economic results shown in pictures here, have nothing at all to due with Capitalism. Capitalism is not based on a fiat currency system. True Capitalism has never been practiced in America since we have been taken off of the gold standard and all labor is taxed. That is not Capitalism, but instead, it is socialism and fiat robbery. That is what has caused the current world economic crisis. Capitalism has nothing to do with it.

Posted by Jedi Pauly March 19, 09 10:07 AM

Well that was depressing. Why don't you show photo's of new luxury cars and jewels, yachts being bought by TARP-bailout funds. This is just way too depressing.

Posted by serenitynow March 19, 09 10:13 AM

So, would now be the time to put Social Security into the market as suggested by Bush administration?

Posted by dross1260 March 19, 09 10:18 AM

The end is nigh!

Posted by Jimbo March 19, 09 10:24 AM

Posted by Sandy - God Bless you and your family - I know whats its like to have everything you want or need and then something unfortunate happens and life as you know it is no more. Everyone thinks this could never happen to me! I would never let my family get into a situation like this. Well let me tell you it could happen to anyone at any time because life is what happens while your buys making plans. Keep your head up, take it one day at a time,and may God smile on you and your family really soon!

Posted by Meme March 19, 09 10:38 AM

um, Sandy? What forced you to buy? You could've rented.

And would people stop blaming Bush ONLY? Clinton forced banks to lend to anyone. Study politics

Posted by blah March 19, 09 10:39 AM

Forgive me for being a little foolhardy, but why is no one in the U.S. staging sit-ins and blocking foreclosures. If you could get thirty people or so to sit in front of a house being foreclosed, you might not prevent the foreclosure, but you would certainly call attention to the process, and you might spark a change in the way this process is working. If people all over the country began doing it, we could very well halt the foreclosure process altogether.

Posted by Alex March 19, 09 10:42 AM

We must unite and work together to save our nation.
We currently number in the tens of thousands but need to be in the millions in order to be effective.
As an American who still believes this country can pull together, JOIN US.
We are national, peaceful and lawfull.
Google this : Continental Congress 2009

Google: Continental Congress 2009

Posted by Don Spector March 19, 09 10:46 AM

#188 - you're a dick.

Posted by a New Orleanian March 19, 09 10:51 AM

Should be renamed to "Dubya's Legacy in Pictures"

Posted by paus March 19, 09 10:51 AM

Lets put the blame where it belongs, on the private and for profit Federal Reserve Bank of the US and their brethrern Central Banks of Western Europe. Once you understand that money is only created as debt and loaned into existence will you understand that there must be at least 5% growth in the money supply annually to pay back the interest. Thats for every dollar created every year. When debt becomes oppressive it's depression time. Read Congressman Ron Paul's words to understand what has happened to us.

Posted by Larrs152 March 19, 09 10:53 AM

Nice pictures... can't say the same about the news. As economist I evoke everyone to ask yourself about the real beauty of capitalism. That's not the best way or choice to us all. Or do you really want to live under someone elses oscilation shadows company?

Posted by Daniel, from Brazil March 19, 09 11:01 AM

This photo essay demonstrates the problem-

Since when do we give a rats ass if people in China are unemployed- they're still a Communist Dictatorship. Maybe if we stopped buy goods from them and kept some of these manufacturing jobs here in the free world we wouldn't be in such a state.

Posted by jgkojak March 19, 09 11:11 AM

Please revise caption on #18 - Bulgaria is spelled with capital "B".

Posted by Ivan Velev March 19, 09 11:19 AM

There is no escape. How many people here have money in a bank? If you do, then you are contributing to the problem. There is no solution though. You can't live and function in today's society without money in a bank. Checks, Debit Cards, Cash, Credit Cards, all of these are attached to a bank in some way. How do I get cash? A bank. How do I pay my bills? A bank. On a greater scale, money itself is the problem. Just imagine if our world operated entirely on goods for services. No currency. Just straight up goods for services. Imagine how many problems this would solve. Our system of money is so primative. Why haven't we evolved? We have the capacity for so much more, and yet look at how we live! Our entire existence spent in the pursuit of little pieces of paper with dead people on them.

Posted by MattG March 19, 09 11:22 AM

The failure here was in lack of regulation, period.

I remember back in 2005 or so, I heard that people were getting interest-only loans. I didn't even believe that was legal at first. "Don't these people know that's a terrible idea?" This is the failure of capitalism - greedy companies and greedy people make bad decisions, and of course this is really THEIR fault. But that's why the US isn't straight-up capitalism, because capitalism needs regulation to stop greedy idiots from destroying the economy.

This disaster was obvious from years away, but the government and these companies stood around bathing in the profits pretending it would go on forever.

For my part, I got married in 2006, and pressured by the wife to buy a home. We looked around, and I said WTF to 30-40 year old homes people were trying to sell for 300k. My wife saved the info, and we didn't buy. 8 months later some of the same houses had dropped by 80-100k and were still on the market. We bought a condo that hadn't gone up and down very little. It's gone down 10% or so since then.

We bought based on my salary alone, and my wife has been partially employed since then, and my salary has gone up. If we had bought based on 2 salaries with 0 down (we had very little saved up) we would be in the same position as many people. Especially if we had bought one of those overvalued $300k homes.

We were smart, perhaps, but still stupid to have bought at all. When the worst case scenario comes true, it unfairly puts decisions under a microscope. These decisions people made would have been OK decisions in any other decade - but having house prices drop substantially, while everyone is simultaneously losing their jobs? This isn't the future anyone made their decisions based on. Except maybe pessimists like me, who got lucky.

Posted by Eric March 19, 09 11:26 AM

If my parents survived living in the US so can we. They came to this country without a penny to their names. They both worked minimum wage jobs, lived within their means. Never had credit cards, only paid cash for everything. If they couldn’t afford it they wouldn’t buy it. They owned 2 cars and two homes in their life time. They retired and managed to live on their savings and Social Security. When they died they still had savings in the bank left for their children. Why can’t we do the same?

Posted by Maurizia March 19, 09 11:27 AM

hey #188 its worldwide not just america and yes we do deserve what we get but then don`t you so don`t bore me with your ridcue of america we will get through it will you?

Posted by steve March 19, 09 11:32 AM

Hi there,
What national debt! It's all FIAT money. You don't owe anything to that lie. The Federal Reserve (private, internationally operated) Bank pulled it out of their behinds. If the lights went out and you had no power going to your fridge, and no way to jumpstart your furnace.... We are like little children, reliant on someone else for our food, coffee, fuel, clothing. Learn to become self-reliant. Why not co-op a portion of community taxes to buy several LOCAL farms for natural foods, milk, composted soils. Pay the farmer a decent paycheck, everything would be paid for and modified. All the farming practices would be sustainable. Local people would be given discounts for healthy vegetables without GMO poisons and pesticides, discounted meats, etc.

Note. All animals would be treated humainly, and would eat a natural diet and not be given excessive antibiotics and NO growth coumpounds. They will be treated as if they have sentience (which they do) and feel emotions like joy, fear and terror. How would you want to be treated? They would be given respect to the end.

All excesses could be sold at the town's "farmer's market" at a reasonable rate. That means way below the prices we're currently paying. Money would be recycled back into sustainable projects.


Posted by My thoughts... March 19, 09 11:41 AM

Why don't people in the US see who is destroying them?
It is their leaders in Washington the pupetmasters of the Banking Cartell and i can garant you those who are destroying you are also sitting in Europe, the old Boys club of secret societies, nobilities they will turn you in a 4.rd Reich you will get your dictator soon. Finally you have lost your independence War becauce you did not listen to your founding fahters, they are turning in their graves right now.

Posted by muller March 19, 09 11:47 AM

Read "How Deregulation Eviscerated the Banking Sector Safety Net and Spawned the U.S. Financial Crisis" by Shah Gilani

Posted by We're in a huge mess! March 19, 09 11:48 AM

Pictures of unfinished buildings in foreign countries (esp developing/3rd world, e.g. kazakhstan) may or may not have anything to do with the global economy. Anyone who has traveled outside of developed nations can tell you that is totally normal.

Other than that, the pictures are pretty amazing

Posted by Kevin March 19, 09 11:54 AM

I'm sorry for all those people being Foreclosed on, but none of you deserve any type of bail out.

NO BAIL OUT at all, you signed the dotted line. You got your home, now live with the consequences.


Posted by David Phan March 19, 09 12:01 PM

I'm always amused by complaints the US consumes more per capita than the average Buddist monk. The US produces 40% of all the worlds goods and services but consumes only 25% Who's getting the other 15? Kinda sounds like we were pulling our weight, before we turned socialist.

Posted by bennet43 March 19, 09 12:02 PM

I like the Gold Party! They sell the only thing of real value they own. How stupid!!!

Posted by Stefan March 19, 09 12:03 PM

I'm not American, but I admire your wonderful nation and think your president is a truly amazing man! Certainly the next Nelson Mandela (and I live in South Africa). I don't think that you can blame the presidents past for this - but you can, most certainly, have a look at things like the overpaid, overfed execs that were so bored and so greedy that they felt it would be okay to gamble the whole world's future just so that they could buy another car, holiday .. whatever.

Everyone on this planet has to re-examine their own spendthrift ways, their own greed and their own selfishness. Hopefully we'll start behaving like inhabitants of one planet and start looking after one another - no matter where in the world we live because, like it or not, we only have this one.

With a bit of luck your president can be the first leader of a new world economy.

Posted by Jacoba March 19, 09 12:04 PM

There are a lot of people who do not understand what has happened here. Basically is nothing but a huge criminal scheme orchaestrated by Wall Street. This depression was not accidental.

Posted by Bill Steven March 19, 09 12:05 PM

@159: I am a landlord of a two family house that my wife and I occupy and one thing you forget is that we have mortgages to pay on our property as well as sky high property tax (at least here in New Jersey). I do not make money on my rental apartment as it pays a fraction of the monthly costs of owning the house. I too feel bad for anyone who has been evicted (thankfully I have never had to do so) but they have to rely on the rent coming every month to keep their heads above water as well.

Posted by techViking March 19, 09 12:07 PM

This not Bush's fault the guy is not that smart. This is a result of Corporate greed and Global plantationisam. All of us need to wake up. The Legal systems haven't slowed down, the Lawyers and Judges still are doing just fine. Is there anyone in this world with any warm blood in the veins anymore?? It is not the "leaders in the USA" it is the "leaders in all our countries" controlled by the Corporations. It was great and wonderful when your money was worth so many dollars, was that not a clue to all of us that this was coming next? One world, one order, the Global Plantation, the rulers and then the masses. Keep the immigration coming in strong. make us believe our petty special interests matter. WAKE UP !!!!!

Posted by john March 19, 09 12:07 PM

Change starts with ourselves.

You can blame it on the AIGs of the world, or bailouts, or government, or mortgage companies all you want. But EDUCATE yourselves while you are at it. And stop making emotional decisions.

Don't get a mortgage you can't afford just because some commission-earning person says the 'computer says you can afford it'. EDUCATE YOURSELF about mortgages and house upkeep costs before you make that decision. And don't spend every dime of the mortgage offering.

Don't buy that 52" flatscreen HDTV monstrosity just because someone else has one. EDUCATE YOURSELF about your finances.

Don't buy that gas guzzling car - no matter what country it was made in - just because it is shinier / newer / bigger / cooler than your neighbors. EDUCATE YOURSELF about the car and the impact on the environment and your finances.

Don't kvetch about who is the president or other politicians. EDUCATE YOURSELF and get out and vote for who you think will do the best job - not just who will make the bigger headlines or is more popular.

Don't sit here on the web and whine, cringe, accuse, point fingers, or anything else. EDUCATE YOURSELF and ask - "What can I do to make things better for everyone, not just myself?". And then do it!

Everyone has an opinion. EDUCATE YOURSELF about the other opinions. Then THINK about them before you give some knee-jerk emotional reaction in a public forum and tell people they are wrong. There is no one 'right' way to do anything.

My favorite mantra: If you don't like something you have two choices - either do something to change it or quit your complaining.

Help yourself. Help the world. Help the universe. Be the mechanism for change instead of another voice in the crowd spewing the same 'it's not my fault' rhetoric.

Posted by DisappontedWithMyNeighbors March 19, 09 12:10 PM

To all those poor Americans crying hoarse about evil bankers, realtors, politicos, and sundry other professionals. Blame yourselves for your crises.

How is it that I stayed for 3.5 years in the USA (came back in Feb. 2009), I earned less than $21k (before taxes), paid my taxes, paid my share of the rent & utilities in a 1-bedroom flat, living with 2 other people of similar or lesser means, for 3.5 years. I also bought 2 fairly high end laptops for work use, $1100 (2005), $1300 (2008) (one after the other died), a $3000 digital camera (I am a keen amateur), spent close to $4000 for going home to India twice, and still saved close to $27000 at the end of it ??

Simple, I never bought a car,lived a walk away from my work place, then used the city bus service when spiralling rent forced us out to a farther place, never ate out on a regular basis, just may be once a month, never went to the cinema, never pubbed, we passed free time talking to friends, not guzzling drinks, or commuting or watching TV crap ... we made sure we bought fresh food, and cooked ourselves, made sure we switched off appliances and light to keep the electricity bill down.

Trust me I know people who saved money even supporting a wife and a kid on a similar pay ... and he didn't have the chance to save on rent by sharing. Americans have a wonderful system out there which makes the best use of a person's capabilities, they should be thankful to their founding fathers ... instead they blame everybody but themselves for their excessive material consumption and so-called maintainance of freedom and privacy.

It is time Americans grew up,and understood that their luxurious lives are being maintained at someone else's cost, the days of cheap oil, cheap labor from China funding unnecessary materialism and money from selling armaments are going to be over sooner rather than later. It is time to learn to live within means, modestly, even frugally, and enjoy the real freedoms, the freedom of faith, of doing what one wants to do and doing it well. But make sure you do it keeping Mother Nature happy.

The American Eden can be maintained, the flowers watered. Use a man and rake to clear off the leaves, not a behemoth-energy guzzling blower truck. May the Almighty give them the fortitude, the heart and the head to cope with this testing times.


@Faraz: Don't blame Capitalism, and don't hanker for Islamism. Islam is as obnoxious a political tool as this so called One World Super-government. Islam has till date just competed with Western meaterialism to enslave more men, and there is no perfect system, simply because there is no perfect human being. Killing people for their beliefs is Terrorism, not all of Islam is perfect. Believe first that Islam is not perfect, it too needs to be moulded with the times. If Islam was perfect then you would have Utopia in Arabia by now, no use blaming the West (they came for oil only 100 years back) for your misfortunes. Tribalism and power-hunger is the reason for the Middle-East's problem. Remember Islam's founder was a warlord, and he killed men for their beliefs or lack of it, he was no prophet. Believe instead in the original christian doctrine, "Do unto others, as you wish others to do unto you", no man is above another.

Or as the great Hindu sages said in the Way of Advaita: "... the Creator resides in all of us, and the Creation is the Creator."

Posted by EnSee, The Advaitin March 19, 09 12:15 PM

Looks like this is still the beginning of a very greate depression. Forclosures have to be forbidden immediately and the bank robbers as described in the new docu "The Obama Deception" have to be arrested immediately.

I live in Germany and we are overruled and enslaved by our politicians and the shadow government too. I would like the brave american citizens for their stand for freedom against tyranny. You are the only reason I can have my blog and express my opinion. Together we are going to hunt the robbers down and put them in prison.

Posted by Bugs March 19, 09 12:19 PM

251, as this trickles down ... you'll feel the pain too. WE all will.

Stock up on ammo. It will be worth it's weight in Gold.

Posted by Reverend Colin March 19, 09 12:21 PM

No pictures from India this time? fine :-)

Posted by nik March 19, 09 12:24 PM

It amazes me that despite the minority of circumstances of abuse or irresponsibility in this recession, and the many legitimate cases of suffering of families and people that were responsible (and just happened to lose their jobs, etc) that so many comments are so damaging and bitter.
I hope to those who left the comments of complete disdain and negativity, that you keep your job, that you don't have to wait in line for a job fair, and don't have medical bills due to an ill child, etc.
Compassion my friends...bitterness will only make things worse.

Posted by Mike March 19, 09 12:27 PM

No words..

Posted by CG March 19, 09 12:28 PM

Oh boy , sensationalistic journalism at it's WORST.
I work with banks in the foreclosure process.

I have yet to hear more than a handful of stories that involve legitimate losses.

Most of the people who are being foreclosed on, were loosing thier jobs, ect are all crummy workers and bought over their heads.

The american way has become a debt ridden live-for-the-day type of system so much that no one knows how to work or be compeditive. Yes the economy sucks, but even the poor of the poor have it so much better than 50% of the rest of the world

Posted by Brandon March 19, 09 12:29 PM

There is no economy currently in existence that is pure capitalism. Therefore, your criticism of capitalism is misplaced.

The United States is a mixed economy. Make sure that you are criticizing the proper economic system please.

Posted by Vicki March 19, 09 12:33 PM

Welcome to peak oil.....

Posted by John March 19, 09 12:36 PM

The great recession, when I was younger I think I lived through two, you tend to understand a lot more, feel it a lot more when it affects you. I think it will get worse before it gets better, like they say, the night becomes the most darkest just before dawn.

Posted by Jamal Ahmad March 19, 09 12:38 PM

Your photos bring it home. The truly tragic part is that this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Posted by Pacesetter March 19, 09 12:42 PM

Looking at these pictures just shocks the hell out of me. People down here (Puerto Rico) are battling over who has the iPhone, the best clothes, etc. while others are struggling to have a home or even food. It's one thing to read about how people are losing jobs and homes, but it's another to actually see images of these events taking place. I'm a college student with every-now-and-then jobs that while kill, I gladly take because I know there are people that would give out an arm and leg for it. I was planning on going to New York during the summer time with my family, but I can't bare the thought of spending money on something that I can always do later. I'm just saving up at this point in case things take a turn for the worst.

My thoughts and prayers go to each and every person out there with a struggling family.

Posted by JuanV March 19, 09 12:49 PM

I am appalled at the passing of judgment by the seemingly militant non-Americans on this board. This is affecting the entire world. And most of those in these pictures are just like you and your family - good people trying to make the best of things. Are these the type of things you said after 9/11? We were planning on having our honeymoon in Europe, but reading some of the immature and horrible remarks by some of you high-and-mighty Europeans, I'm certainly rethinking that. I'll spend my hard-earned money here in the U.S.

Now I'm going to continue engineering seeds so that those in third-world nations can grow better crops and feed their families.

You should be ashamed.

Posted by a New Orleanian March 19, 09 12:50 PM

@ 223.

The difference between now and the Great Depression is that now people are still playing their video games, still buying Wiis and struggling is not buying movies On-Demand and settling for only the basic cable instead of including Showtime and Cinemax (which is okay, his buddy will download the torrent and it'll be all good).

You guys serious? We aren't living on cabbage and flour cakes. It's not even close to "That bad" yet. I don't think this McDonald generation has any idea yet what "bad" even is. They have no cencept of history, of what true suffering even involves. They've just been so spoiled and glutonous that not shopping for more stuff is painful. By they, I mean all of them, and all of us. I have suggestion, watch the Veggie Tales, "Madame Blueberry" and then you'll see everything in a whole new light.

Posted by Chrissa March 19, 09 12:50 PM

243 said: "On a greater scale, money itself is the problem. Just imagine if our world operated entirely on goods for services. No currency. Just straight up goods for services. Imagine how many problems this would solve. Our system of money is so primative. Why haven't we evolved? We have the capacity for so much more, and yet look at how we live! Our entire existence spent in the pursuit of little pieces of paper with dead people on them."

Wow, my mouth is agape... Yes, if you want to go back to live in an agrarian society we could get rid of money. Any time you want to make or buy something that requires the efforts of more than one person or family, you will require a medium of trade, or currency. Here are a few examples that might, I hope, dissolve your notion.

Lets say you are a farmer and produce corn. Lets say you want to upgrade from the horse drawn plow to one of those new fangled tractors. But you can't afford to trade for the tractor as it costs more than one years crops. AND you can't store corn for the multiple years it is going to take to save up enough to barter because it will rot. Solution: Sell the corn each year for MONEY, save the money, then buy the tractor when you have enough.

Say you are the tractor manufacturer. It takes some time to design, manufacture, and test your new tractors. You are going to need a many skilled workers to build this over an extended period of time. How can you compensate them before the first tractor is sold? (Remember, it is going to take multiple years for a farmer to save once they realize they can even buy a tractor) Does the tractor manufacturer also have to be a farmer so he can pay his employees in wheat, milk, and eggs?

Any economy outside of bartering small goods that can be produced by a single "financial entity" such as a person or dependent family will REQUIRE a system of currency. You will find a set of currency in every major civilization during recorded history.

I guess we could all go back and live in caves and have lifespans of 30 years...

Posted by UmYeah March 19, 09 12:53 PM


Posted by Todd March 19, 09 12:55 PM

I agree with the feelings of post 259. (S)he mentions frugality and being thankful to our founding fathers. In Massachusetts, our constitution requires frugality. Our legislatures deny this and our right to trial when we seek to enforce it.

There is much that needs to be done.

Posted by James Fountas March 19, 09 12:55 PM

This crisis is engineered by the Global Cabal. Please note how the same (corporate) press that was cheerleading the bubbles is now (globally) trying to scare people by the "depression" boogie man.

This is GLOBAL FINANCIAL TERRORISM waged against you and me to strip away the last vestiges of our freedoms.

Don't be fooled by the orchestrated shenanigans over Madof or AIG. The Real Nasties stoled TRILLIONS of funny fiat money.

Remember that this "crisis" was triggered by the INTERNATIONAL BANKS refusing to issue more credit. (Credit being money that they create from thin air.)

Organize locally, establish barter systems, and tune out the TV and the "Press" and your elected "representatives" ...

Posted by General Grant March 19, 09 12:57 PM

Commenter 188, please do not lump all of us Americans into your vitriolic comments. There are a large number of us who are angered by the selfish, poorly reasoned actions of the few that have caused our hardships.

There are some of us who have not spent and do not spend extravagantly and are none the worse for wear during this global recession. I count myself among the lucky that I still have my job, but even if I were to lose it, I could live for 3 years on my savings.

Oh, and I'm 32, some of us "young'uns" aren't following in our parents footsteps...thank goodness.

Posted by skb March 19, 09 12:58 PM

have to agree



but not the suffering of its good people.

KaRmA for you evil governments actions.

Posted by Barry Stote March 19, 09 01:07 PM

even the Mexicans are buying one-way tickets south!

Posted by captain canuck March 19, 09 01:08 PM

Us Americans are going to pay a huge price for our lack of solidarity with eachother. We let corporate America outsource our jobs for decades without
any expresssions of anger or rage. We thought we could all be potential
millionaires. Every kid with a wit wanted to be an MBA, fashion designer, or
a lawyer. We degraded the concept of working to the point where "money
for nothing" became our motto. I remember real Labor Day parades years ago
where people expressed their pride as machinists and truck drivers etc etc.
We became so lazy that we didnt even want to clean our own houses and trim
our yards. We brought in illegals for that purpose.

Posted by Gary March 19, 09 01:11 PM

@ a european...
wasnt europe in the empire game long before the united states?
i just love when europeans remark on how progressive they are, yet throw bananas at players of color during football matches...
and if one dislikes america so much, we kindly request you return the following:
computer, internet, automobile, airplane, light bulb, phonograph record, the discovery of electricity, and anything i've left out

get over yourself buddy; all humans are swine...not just the yanks.

Posted by monstertruck March 19, 09 01:11 PM

First off, go around and look outside, I'm sorry but it still really doesn't look that bad. At least not here in Boston. It's not Great Depression levels yet. It's a bad recession sure. Anyone can cherry pick a few scenes and claim it's evidence of a Great Depression.

Bah, all you idiots want to blame everyone: new world order, Bush, capitalists, socialists, blah blah blah blah. Blame YOURSELVES! This is why this country is doomed, nobody wants to take personal responsibility for their own actions.

Posted by Rotten March 19, 09 01:12 PM

The point of this photo essay was that this is a global phenomenon. Those of you sitting smugly in Europe, where so much is provided for you, saying "I told you so", won't be laughing when the world currency markets collapse, taking the Euro down with them.

My story is not the story of a rich man receiving his comeuppance. My story is that of a teacher, one of the lowest paid, most overworked professions in the United States. I drove a 12 year old vehicle that I'd bought from my family because they couldn't find anyone else who wanted to buy it. I lived in a small condo, an hour's drive each way from the school, because I couldn't afford to live in the same county where I worked. I was forced out of my job because the school administration didn't have the balls to give me a pink slip after ten years of loyal service. I'd had two raises in ten years. Obviously, they determined it would save money to hire some greenhorn to take my place, because that's exactly what happened. That poor chump doesn't have a job there anymore, either.

I lived in the smallest apartment in my community for year before moving into the condo, tending a garden on a borrowed plot. I voted against Bush. Don't let U.S. Republicans fool you. They understand nothing of economics and care nothing for the well-being of this country or any other. Austrian school, my ass. The Austrians don't even practice so-called Austrian economics. Their beautiful country would be in ruins if they did. The Republicans apparently aren't aware that Austria is a social democracy. If they were, they wouldn't have a kind word to say about anything Austrian.

I bought green electricity, used green lighting fixtures, bought everything used when I could, and got all the use I could out of what I bought. I payed off my college debt, with no debt remaining but the mortgage on my tiny home.

The end result of these efforts? Half a dozen stress-related diseases, acquired in trying to live a simple life in service to others, that I can't be treated for, because I can't afford health insurance, and our government does not care for its people. My modest home, meager savings and aging vehicle, lost to bankruptcy. The only reason I'm not living on the street is because of the generosity of friends and family, who, I might add, are also AMERICANS, with very little to give in these desperate times. I am grateful every day for their kindness.

"God" had nothing to do with the global economic meltdown. Human beings had everything to do with it. We are in this situation because investment bankers, mortgage lenders, and hedge fund managers broke the rules. We are here because U.S. Republicans, the self-proclaimed stewards of fiscal conservatism, relaxed or revoked the accounting rules that made it possible for derivatives traders to make profits out of nothing. They will lie to the bitter end about their responsibility for this, the self-styled pundits of "personal responsibility", but the truth is there for all to see.

The next time you want to feel smug, whether you're a Republican or someone in another country where the shit hasn't hit the fan just yet, think of me. The majority of Americans are more like me than we are like the less than 1 percent of our population who perpetrated these crimes against humanity.

You can do your best in life. You can stand by your principles. You can participate in your government. And you can still be ruined by the actions of people with more power, more money, and more greed. So think twice before saying "I told you so." Think twice before you feel smug about something that hasn't really touched you yet. Yours may be the next neck on the chopping block.

Posted by Ben Lurkin March 19, 09 01:16 PM

Oh please! How corny. This is bullsh*t. Wait until you see people dying in the streets of starvation before you get all sappy of these pictures of failed capitalistic overshoot.

Posted by abraham March 19, 09 01:18 PM

@259 The Islamic system is perfect, its just that the so called Muslims of the Arab World do not know the true Islam, what they have has changed from the true version and has been a propaganda to show Islam in bad light. The Prophet was no Warlord. He never went to war in offense, only in defense or when there was a direct threat to his society.

"We sent thee not, but as a Mercy for all creatures."
The Holy Quran 21:107

Posted by Shaheed March 19, 09 01:19 PM

Yes, "abraham", let's hope it gets to the point of people dying in the streets of starvation so we can see a photo essay that meets your high standards.

Posted by Ben Lurkin March 19, 09 01:27 PM

1- Gee, all that money WASTED by sh-tf-ck Bush II in Iraq sure could have come in handy now, huh? Bush II cared MUCH MORE for Iraquis than HIS OWN people. Clearly, the worst, most POS prez in history and maybe the man that KILLED the USA!

2-There is a reason this one guy, Jesus Christ (you probably have heard of him), hung around ONLY with POOR people and always critized THE FILTHY RICH. Oh wait, could Christ be... a socialist???? Oooooooh SNAP!

Today, a Swede B&*TCH demanded MORE THAN $53,000 A WEEK from his ex-husband in a divorce dispute.

The excessively rich and greddy people like that B&*CH are SATANIC according to the freaking Bible so many people talk about. More "satanic" than people who have extramarital sex, BTW!

But hey, I'm not Christian anymore (God might have abandoned us forever) so I digress...

Anyway, those greedy a$$es who destroyed our economic structure oughta kill themselves! They p*ssed on the flag and burned it.

I am so f-ing angry.

Posted by George The Brain That The World Rejected March 19, 09 01:37 PM

I agree that it is time to stop acting like spoiled brats and just deal with what we have been dealt. We can get through this is if we ban together and make the best of what's going on here. Our internet sales business was dealt a crippling blow and we are sinking fast, but instead of panicking My husband and I have been scooping up cheap properties in the bad parts of the city to rent to Section 8 tenants ( on government assistance ). You live, you learn, you survive the best you can. I may still lose my house if our plans fail, but will not kill us and as long as you're not dead yet, you still have options. Life is tough, things suck, you can dwell on it or not let it get you down. I can still feel the sun on my face and it feels good, so I am happy.

Posted by evilqueen112 March 19, 09 01:40 PM

We live in a Bankocracy. The banks gamble our money using 35-to-1 leverage and then pay themselves billions in bonuses. Then, when they eventually lose, they get spectacular bailouts from the public purse and then they collect insurance from AIG also funded by the public purse. Instead of using a trillion dollars to create new healthy banks or encourage existing healthy banks, the government gives all the money we have to the most corrupt banks. Clearly, those Banks run the Government.

It is a modern feudal system where Banks overlend until everyone is beholden to them.

There has not been a government with the interests of the American people as a priority since JFK.

Posted by Paxalot March 19, 09 01:41 PM

Read ISHMAEL by Daniel Quinn. Quit your job... and start a tribal existence. I plan on starting a commune at some point in the future. Unfortunately it requires SOME capital first just to aquire land.

Posted by StrawberryFieldsForever March 19, 09 01:50 PM

What is Obama going to do for me? Why do I have to bail-out someone who wanted a champagne lifestyle on a beer salary????? Huh???? I do not blame the banks AT ALL!!! I blame the no nonsense people who were too stupid to realize what they could afford and what they could not afford. You buy what you can afford idiots!!! I still have my house... I make my mortgage payment every month so what am I getting in return? I will tell you what I am getting..... I am going to get the luxury of bailing out stupid idiots who want to live beyond their means! Real nice... Thank you for letting me do that!

Posted by Nicole March 19, 09 01:55 PM

We are Americans. We live in the most blessed country on earth and these pictures only show a very skewed, small proportion of what is happening right now. I do not deny that many families are facing hard times as homlessness and unemployment rises. But everyone can better their own positions by accepting their current situation and just asking, "Where do I go from here?" Job fairs are crowded, but they are still happening! It never hurts to send an email to an employer asking if there are available positions. It never hurts to touch up your resume. It never hurts to go out and meet someone who you think may be able to help you. Just ask!! Just try!! We can do this, America.

Posted by Chip March 19, 09 01:55 PM

Spec said, "It's amazing how Americans can totally ignore shades of gray; they go from "masters of the universe" optimism and bravado to Steinbeckian depression era pessimism....Hope for the best"

Haha...sorry, but it's true. We're a young country and we act exactly like little kids (see all posts above.) The good news is we have to grow up some day...right?

Posted by L March 19, 09 01:56 PM

stop living beyond your means!

Posted by me March 19, 09 01:58 PM

I still have my house and I still have my job because 1) I worked my butt off when times were good, 2) I saved no less than 10% of EVERY paycheck even if it meant eating leftovers for a week instead of going out and 3) I spent WELL within my means. I had one credit card for emergencies only and the only debt I had was my 6.75% fixed mortgage. While my heart goes out to the CHILDREN of the idiots that are penniless due to greed, i do NOT feel sorry for any of the people who lived on credit cards and borrowing for the last 10 years. Anyone who spent beyond their means or let greed blind their common sense deserves what they get.

Posted by Lance March 19, 09 02:02 PM

The only reason for having currency is that we have not found a better way. That's the bigger problem. As long as you have currency, you will always have rich and poor. There will always be "Haves" and "Have Nots". Thus the suffering will continue. Even now, the median, the "Middle Class" is deteriorating. Soon, they will be extinct. It is inevitable that the paradigm will shift to polar opposites- you will either be wealth or poor. There are enough resources in this world to maintain life on the planet. It's funny how we put value on things that don't matter. We put value on a piece of paper, and say it's valuable, and it becomes "valuable". Let's say a catastrophe were to strike that planet? How valuable would currency be then? You would need to develop ways of surviving, which would require great technical skill. But currency would not be the impetus. You would develop greater technology in order to survive. You would have to- and no amount of currency would influence that. This is part of the problem. The only reason we haven't moved past the idea of "currency" is because we haven't needed to. No evolution has occurred on our parts.

Posted by MattG March 19, 09 02:13 PM

Brandon #265 makes an awesome point.
Secondly, I love how Liberals want to spend even more money that we don't have which is what put us in the situation we are in now, yipeeee!

Posted by J March 19, 09 02:20 PM

Everyone wants a better standard of living and the World population has risen 3 fold since 1950. That's the real cause of it

Posted by Peter Brown March 19, 09 02:48 PM

The economy is deliberately being crashed so the Elites can usher in their New World Order. You can google it. When most of the country is jobless, homeless and hungry, they can declare Martial Law and completely take us over. Our military is already in place to put down "civil unrest." This has been their plan for decades.

Posted by meanjean March 19, 09 02:52 PM

#254, thank you for that inspiring message!

Posted by CHE March 19, 09 03:06 PM

If you still have credit cards just max them out on canned food and other survival needs and then file bankrupt...

Posted by Jack is Back March 19, 09 03:17 PM

@297, what's this with trying to blame liberals? Conservatives (despite the ill-fitting name) overspend as much as anyone. Businesses both big and small got hit hard by operating off credit and praying that they would someday hit a boon where they could pay it all back.

Both democratic and republican administration played a part in relaxing regulation that could have stopped this from happening. Bush lost the game of hot potatoe but it really doesn't matter. We're all equally losers, and only an idiot would keep following the claim that "half the country is evil the other half is perfect".

Stop blaming the boogeyman next door - it's everyone, not "that 50% over there". Think for yourself a little, it's not that hard.

Posted by Eric March 19, 09 03:18 PM

Sic transit gloria mundi.

Posted by Dave March 19, 09 03:19 PM

I was laid off from my job in 1982 when the unemployment rate was 10.8% (as opposed to today's 8.1%) with one child in high school and two in college plus a wife enrolled in graduate school. Because we always lived beneath our means we were able to survive for the almost year it took me to find a new job. Our only debt at that time was our home mortgage, which was relatively modest. During that time I activated my dormant teacher's certificate and ultimately began teaching in an inner-city school. The pay cut from my previous job was 75% not counting the almost no benefits teachers receive! Because my philosophy has always been to be prepared for the unexpected and to always be fiscally conservative with finances, although we were hurt by that recession, it was not catastrophic for us. I know some people have been hurt through no fault of their own, and for them I have the greatest sympathy. But they are the few. I am not particularly sympathetic, however, with the majority of the "me" generation who overspent, overindulged and have exhibited no personal responsibility and are now whining about their situation and lack of foresight. Not only are they suffering because of their own irresponsibility, they have hurt the rest of us who have taken our personal responsibility and self-reliance seriously. This country was conceived on the concept of self-reliance and personal responsibility and it has morphed into an entitlement society that blames everyone else except those responsible!

Posted by DWTJST March 19, 09 03:21 PM

"Sandy March 18, 09 09:07 PM"

And you actually thought that the prices will continue to go up "10K" a month without reversing the other direction? Where you looking to make a quick 10K/month just like "everyone else"? If you weren't other were and took a gamble that their house will make them millionaire in 2 years and lost.

Sorry but you got yourself caught up on the speculation. i didn't gamble like you! I shouldn't have to pay for your mistakes.

Posted by Jack March 19, 09 03:22 PM

Ninguna foto de España?

Posted by julius March 19, 09 03:22 PM

Wow... nice pictures.. it captures recession perfectly across the whole world.. but the housing is taking an upturn now starting march... hope this recession won't last longer than couple of more months...

Posted by dhruv March 19, 09 03:23 PM

Just another day in Teleprompter Jesusland...

Posted by John Galt March 19, 09 03:24 PM

At last, the world is revealing on a global scale how it cannot sustain so many people.

Breed less, enjoy more.

Posted by Dewshane March 19, 09 03:25 PM

What Jymuller says is true. Fannie / Freddie announced their sub prime mortage plans back in 1999, before Bush ever took office. Search NY Times to find the press releases and articles about this. Of course back then it was all roses and rainbows, and how poorer people could finally buy their own homes.

Posted by Arby March 19, 09 03:34 PM


Posted by YADABUSTER March 19, 09 03:45 PM

A recession in interest on national debt. It's one big ponzi scheme. Money as debt google it

Posted by Joe March 19, 09 03:45 PM

I'm going to sit and think of ways to make a garden and play my violin. I hope you come over and stay for a while. You can have the big bed by the window that looks out over the pasture. The one in the room with the white curtains Grandma made. It's nice here when the garden is in full bloom. I can hear birds sing the best in the morning. Sweet dew drops flavor the vegetables so tender they fall apart before you get them to your mouth. A tiny stream splashes through the yard where frogs play and bees hide from the sun when it is hot. The mud feels great between my bare toes in the late summer after a rain storm pushes through the valley. I can hear locusts buzzing around while the Kudzu creeps over another branch hung with vines. Moms calling, gotta go. peace


Posted by Chris Cain March 19, 09 03:49 PM

George The Brain That The World Rejected: You are quite simply completely wrong.

Read posts 210, 265, and 266.

Spot on ...
"A lot of people want to blame Bush. The reason for the subprime mortgage collapse is due to the legislation put in place by Clinton. Don't believe me Look it up. He put pressure on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to free up the stringent standards and give loans to people with less than stellar credit. The consequences aren't felt from this decision for years. You can blame Bush for not retracting that initiative."

Anyone recall Barney Frank's comments on the housing bubble in 2003? "I want to roll the dice a little more" on this.
Look up the facts and stop regurgitating the stupid "failed economic policies of the last eight years" lie. I can't believe so many people were fooled by that line.


Posted by Tim March 19, 09 04:03 PM

Mauritiza - #245 - I am not sure how old your parents are, but if they were earning minimum wage in the US in the 1950s or 1960s, it was worth a lot more then than it is today. Minimum wage hasn't kept up with inflation. At one time, you could earn minimum wage and just about reach the poverty line, but today its not true. Its up to Congress and the President to raise the minimum wage, and they've failed to do that very often in recent decades.

Don't forget that other services used to be available for much lower prices too. For example, you could attend the University of California and get a college degree for almost no money several decades ago. Utilities were cheaper. Housing was cheaper. Transportation was cheaper. Its not fair to compare your parents situation to what is possible today, with much lower average wages and higher prices.

Posted by jennifer March 19, 09 04:05 PM

wow is really not that bad. Lets stop pretending that this is the end of the world. 9% of the US pop is out of work...oooo noooooo. THis is not the Great Depression or anything close when unemployment was 25% TWENTY FIVE PERCENT! People brought this on themselves buying things with no money down or credit cards. Very few people actually have lost capital since things were purchased with other peoples money. Stop crying, start looking for a solution.

Posted by Matt March 19, 09 04:24 PM

"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."

-Thomas Jefferson
3rd President of the United States of America

Posted by James Scott March 19, 09 04:30 PM

Funny how everything comes to a halt when a virtual (!) resource is depleted. Money is a mind game, and we all fell into its trap.

Posted by Leonard Ritter March 19, 09 04:33 PM

245 has it right- if you cant afford it, don't buy it:
"If my parents survived living in the US so can we. They came to this country without a penny to their names. They both worked minimum wage jobs, lived within their means. Never had credit cards, only paid cash for everything. If they couldn’t afford it they wouldn’t buy it. They owned 2 cars and two homes in their life time. They retired and managed to live on their savings and Social Security. When they died they still had savings in the bank left for their children. Why can’t we do the same?"

So does 261:
"Stock up on ammo. It will be worth it's weight in Gold."

The sad truth of the matter is that someone will always be rich, and someone will always be poor: look at capitalism, and its the smarter, more ingenious (Henry Ford comes to mind); look at socialism, its those placed to "protect" the system (Why not? You can get away with it!).

An analogy: do people get mad when their football team loses? Sure. But why did they lose? Were the rules of the game in favor of the other team? No, the other team was better. All we can do is ensure that everyone has an equal OPPORTUNITY to succeed in life, and those destined to fail or not cut out to survive, won't. It's called Social Darwinism, and that's how it was, is, and will be.

Instead of whining about how bad things are getting or pointing fingers, I think everyone's time would be better spent getting to work on solving the problems that have beset us.

Posted by Herbert Spencer March 19, 09 04:40 PM

There are a great many interesting and mainly correct views here.

The thing I see that is most encouraging is that people, yes you people, are really starting to GET IT.

Articles predicting our current situation written years ago were derided as tin foil hattery , doomsaying, cassandra-like and such.

I guess not. Somebody must have forgotten that Cassandra was RIGHT.

The current economic paradigm of endless growth is a dead man walking. What is so disturbing is the extra-ordinary lengths our government is going to to keep it alive.

The day will come when we have to accept that infinite growth on a finite planet is not possible.... Think yeast/petri dish.

The silver lining of these hard times is that they will cause an awakening in America. A new focus among Americans. Not on petty disagreements like flag-burning or gay marriage, but the ONLY issue that matters.

Like who is responsible for this mess and then establish some old-fashioned American accountability.

Posted by Roy March 19, 09 04:41 PM

I really hate to see the way Americans think they're the most awesome people in the world and that god will help everyone through this.
As most people (outside of the fairly conservative US way of thinking) seem to have come to the conclusion that God does in fact not have much to do with anything whatsoever regarding these things.
Also, capitalism cannot really be blamed for what has happened here - the lack of actual thinking can. If the banks had not decided to go crazy with their loans, which were solely based on the rise in property values, there would never have been a bubble to burst. Make a bad decision and you’ll pay for it, I suppose.
If people had not decided that property and realty was the Holy Grail to investment, things would not have run off like this.
Unluckily, people were not paying attention to the fact that a house can only have a value that correlates to supply and demand – and that while a large part of the demand was in fact for resale purposes, the massive demand meant that new property and real estate was shooting up everywhere due to the rising prices.
Now if anyone were to get these pieces of information and put them together, they would probably see that their inflated demand for more reselling would at some point be supplied completely, lowering prices ever so slightly. This would not be such a big problem if people weren’t expecting to resell, but seeing as they suddenly see their houses or other properties begin to lose value, they sell. Demand goes down the drain, prices drop further, people decide that they’re better off buying in a few months, since the prices will be lower by then (meaning an even further decrease in demand).
So houses are worth nothing and a large portion of Americans are sitting in their houses that they’ve taken out loans for 150% of the current value of, which they’ll need to pay back - which of course, they can’t, as they’ve been expecting a rise in wages and property value to pay off their loans.
So Americans lose their houses, which are then foreclosed and auctioned off at lower-than-market prices, deflating the market even further.
So yes, there are loads of people, institutions and corporations to blame, but in reality, people should know not to take out loans that go way above their heads, and banks should know not to give out loans on the sole base of a single market.
The people giving examples of how the US would have better spent their money without wasting it on Iraq – most of the money spent was indeed dumped in the US’ arms corporations (Lockheed surely enjoyed it, to say the least), meaning that the US society as a whole has lost only the raw materials and whatever money has been spent in Iraq. So yes, billions have been spent on the war, but most of them have stayed in the US and have been rerun through the system, actually ensuring jobs for many people, along with the soldiers who are actually in Iraq currently.
You can compare it to the rearmament of Germany, which lead up to WWII – almost every German had a job (even though a large part was making weaponry for later use in the war) and the German economy was thriving. War is not necessarily bad for a country’s economy in the short run, as it circulates money through society very effectively.
This leads me to the fact that someone else stated back a lot of posts, that some war would probably shoot up to overshadow the recession – and it might actually be in America’s best interest for the reason stated above, along with the old Roman Empire style of keeping enemies on the outside, which ensured peace on the inside.

Posted by Frederik Holse March 19, 09 04:42 PM

In light of the present financial crisis, it's interesting to read what Thomas Jefferson said in 1802:

Banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies . If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.

Doesn't this sound eerily familiar to what is happening in America today?

Posted by bsprtsgrp March 19, 09 04:45 PM

When Benjamin Franklin was called before the British Parliament in 1757 and asked to account for the prosperity in the American colonies. He replied, "That is simple. In the colonies we issue our own money. It is called Colonial Scrip. We issue it in proper proportion to the demands of trade and industry to make the products pass easily from the producers to the consumers. In this manner, creating for ourselves our own paper money, we control its purchasing power, and we have no interest to pay to no one."

It was the struggle for financial sovereignty that precipitated the American Revolution when the (Rothschild) Bank of England forced the colonies to give up their Scrip and intense poverty followed.

That war never ended.

Throughout their political lives Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Andrew Jackson fought off the European bankers who intermittently controlled the nation’s money supply through privately-owned banks. When Abraham Lincoln issued ‘greenbacks’ that deprived private bankers of their monopoly control of the nation’s money supply he was assassinated. The European bankers battled for more than a century to establish a private central bank in the United States with the exclusive right to print their own paper notes and exchange them for government debt. They succeeded in 1913 with The Federal Reserve Act, a coup that authorized a private cartel to create money out of nothing, lend it to the government with interest and control the national money supply, expanding or contracting it at will. Representative Charles Lindbergh called the Act "the worst legislative crime of the ages." Fifty years later, President John F. Kennedy defied the central bankers when he issued debt-free Treasury Notes. He too was assassinated.

Posted by history March 19, 09 04:53 PM

we are a world away in melbourne, australia but the greed of some is hurting here as well, the worker is the one that has to pay for it all in the end.

Posted by les takacs March 19, 09 04:53 PM

Tim: I think I've heard this one before. What you're saying is that the CRA forced banks to extend credit to non-deserving people, solely because they were minorities. And that it somehow led to a worldwide economic crisis. Damn that Clinton! Wow, this whole thing could have been prevented if we hadn't strayed from Republican wisdom!

Now, here's reality: the CRA basically only said that banks have to lend to minorities on the same terms as whites. The real cause of this bubble and burst all this is the assumption that housing would go up and up, forever.

The GSEs were held to decent standards but once private lenders decided to hop into the subprime market (again, under the assumption that housing would go up without fail) even the GSEs got careless and greedy. These guys *wanted* to pick up bad mortages, regardless of whether they were square with the regulations. Because good or bad, they made money on the swap. Do you not understand that?

Greenspan (who BTW Reagan and Bush appointed, not just Clinton) played fast and loose with the interest rates. Partly as a result, investors got out of T-Bills and into mortgages. Demand got out of control.

Those of you who don't understand these markets and are just looking for an excuse to hop into a discussion and pass out Democrat or Republican talking points, as if either of those parties even gave a crap about preventing this, GROW THE HELL UP.

Posted by John March 19, 09 05:06 PM

#253 I know!
I can't imagine having enough gold lying around to have unwanted gold jewelry in the first place. .... I can't say I feel very sorry for these people.

I wonder how much the hand bag cost in images 16....

Posted by Julia March 19, 09 05:14 PM

Just lack the FEMA concentration camps pictures designed for all the opponents who would protest too much in the next few months.

Posted by Tony March 19, 09 05:37 PM

271 -
Hey you keep adding that bug DNA to plants and developing plants that will only grow well if you add poisonous chemicals (RoundUp Ready Plants). Not to mention that your genetically modified will give forth their pollen from those "patented" plants polluting my organic crops causing them to produce mutant fruits and grains that I can't save and use for seed next years crop because your company owns the patent.

Posted by BillyJoeJimBob March 19, 09 05:58 PM

What we don't see here are the employees of AIG standing in line at the bank to cash their bonus checks, That must be scheduled for future expose's.
We need to remember, the financially horrific times the world is engulfed in, did not start when the Democrats took the White House, nor did it start when H.W.Bush took office. No, this happened years ago, with the creation of rampant credit. The governmental response has been lagging for decades, letting the banks and Wall Street do as they wish. It is my friends, the Banks and Wall Street Moguls that have put the WORLD where it is today. The world economy should be allowed to go bust, and start over from scratch.

Posted by a dick March 19, 09 06:00 PM

Logic unburdened by greed would have been of great use in this situation. Economics and politics are not a game. When you are elected to office, you bear the responsibility of directing policy to the best interest of the people you serve.

This is deplorable. Give Bush a tour of these neighborhoods.

Posted by Katharine March 19, 09 06:10 PM

drugs, drugs, drugs...get them out of high schools and keep them out!!

Posted by drugsinhighschool March 19, 09 06:15 PM

The bottom of the financial downturn has been reached in the USA. Consider this insider information. Now go buy something for your hungry neighbor.

Obama! If you are listening at all, please do the following things.

Provide jobs converting all of those new cars in storage into electric vehicles even if they only get 40 mp charge. Jobs!

Allow anyone that makes electricity to sell it to his neighbor at what ever price they


Posted by Keith March 19, 09 06:26 PM

I agree with anyone else that says these photos stink. Even the captions are as boring as the imagery.

I guess it's a fact that true photojournalism has died with true written journalism.

Posted by Charles March 19, 09 06:30 PM

Note to Matt, Larrs/52 and My Thoughts: You are but a handful of the individuals' who've figured it out by being smart and curious enough to connect-the-obvious-dots. Americans became overworked, complacent, willfully ignorant, consumed with dumbass celebrity worship/cultural pollution to even question how our ENTIRE media apparatus came to be owned by an oligopolistic, ethnic tribe of six corporations. And to perhaps wonder why their is never ANY close scrutiny of their brethren, the bankster gangsters nor our treasonous Plutocracy who is completely beholden to them. Everything (and I do mean EVERYTHING) to do with the disemmination of information ( the print media, the publishing houses, televison and radio channels, movie production) is in THEIR hands which is why everything you've been told or progandized by is censored, filtered or sanitized. The timeless Money Masters unconstitutionally gained control (in what has been accurately dubbed the Fraud of the Century) of our monetary system/policy in 1913 with The Federal Reserve Act in collusion with the financial pirates infesting our government and in particular, Senator Aldrich (banking scion of his day and grandfather to the current crop of New World Order elitists/bangster/gangsters - the Rockefellers).

Google and research the many, many exemplary, informative videos on the parasitic, criminal operation known as The Federal Reserve that have been made readily available by our educated, patriot extraordinaires who've been desperately trying to knock us from our stupors and inform the American people of this long-time pillaging and final epic fleecing by these banking vultures. This magnificent freedom forum (the blogosphere) which RESTORED OUR FREEDOM OF SPEECH is likely short-lived as these same tyrants inch ever closer EVERY single year in controlling it with their despicable, totalitarian "hate speech" laws. Learn the truth whilst you still can.

Wake up fellow Americans' from thy long, long slumber. You are residing under increasing tyranny and your complete impoverishment/indebtedness/servitude is the end-game. Time to resurrect the French guillotines...!

Posted by Voir Dire March 19, 09 06:35 PM

good stuff :=)

Posted by Duda March 19, 09 06:39 PM

So we're mixing in pictures of various third world countries? Why? To make things seem worse than they are?

Wake up people. This isn't even the worst economy in the last 30 years, much less since the great depression.

Posted by ozarkrunner March 19, 09 06:53 PM

Hey, Walt, people are easily lead if you know how, and banks deliberately find people who know how so they can gets as much money as possible. when people stop being easy it'll help, but when greed stops leading this crap, it'll stop needing to. everyone is to blame, including you and me, so shut it and start becoming part of the solution.

Posted by Liz March 19, 09 06:56 PM

Perhaps now the rest of the world industries should rethink their dependence on cheap third world labor and the unions should rethink their behavior of greed.

Posted by ron March 19, 09 06:57 PM

Stage a sit in at a forclosure?? The banks own the bitch until it's paid off, I mean, yeah it sucks to see someone lose there home, but you got to pay for your house, haha. Most forclosures, people paid way to much for a house that wasn't worth it in the first, (good job housing boom...) by borrowing money that banks where loaning way to easy (those banks deserve to lose there ass)... Don't worry Obama will use some of our taxpayer money to keep some suckers in their overpriced, depreciated homes.

Posted by Matt March 19, 09 07:00 PM

* I believe this song by the band Switchfoot, written before this whole crisis started, accurately depicted aspects of our society....

When success is equated with excess
The ambition for excess wrecks us
As top of the mind becomes the bottom line
When success is equated with excess

If you're time ain't be nothing for money
I start to feel really bad for you honey
Maybe honey put you're money where your mouth's been running
If you're time ain't be nothing but money

This ain't my American dream
I want to live and die for bigger things
I'm tired of fighting for just me
This ain't my American dream

When success is equated with excess
When we're fighting for the beamer, the lexus
As the heart and soul breathing the company goals
Where success is equated with excess

Cause baby's always talkin 'bout a ring
And talk has always been the cheapest thing
Is it true would you do what I want you to
If I show up with the right amount of bling?

Like a puppet on a monetary string
Maybe we've been caught singing
Red, white, blue, and green
But that ain't my America,
That ain't my American dream

Posted by two cents March 19, 09 07:17 PM

the tent city in sacramento has been roaming about the area for over 10 years. There is a high population of homeless near midtown and downtown areas. This is not a result of the economy.

Posted by ken March 19, 09 07:20 PM

Life is about ups and downs! Take ownership and please don't complain it's due to the economy. Retrain, move back with family, share an apt. do whatever it takes to get back on your feet!

Posted by shaman March 19, 09 07:35 PM

I've lived in Ukraine for 16 years and photos # 19 and 23 don't mean a thing. There have ALWAYS been large numbers of half-finished buildings in Ukraine, Russia and probably Poland because the mortgage industry is so undeveloped that they build everything as they get the cash. In this part of the world, first you buy the land and save up to dig the hole and save up to buy the bricks and save up to build the basement and save up to put on the shell and save up to put on the roof and save up to put on windows and doors and save up to finish it inside.

Posted by Roger Kovaciny March 19, 09 07:43 PM

Too many people living way beyond their means....."gotta have that McMansion, gotta have that big SUV, gotta have that big TV, gotta, gotta, gotta....", added to the fact that the government started this mess by demanding that mortgage companies give low interest, no down payment, loans to minorities so that they can live near good white people and out of the ghettos. And now, the "Guv'ment" with that de facto president, Obama, who has zero experience, and his silly crowd are in charge (illegally), and are just printing money like nobody's business........which will eventually make the dollar worth a lot less than it is today.

Posted by John March 19, 09 07:43 PM

This is what happens when people live like a rock star on a Rodie budget. If people sign a contract saying "Yes I will pay this much" and they don't, then they are being irresponsible. Don't expect me to bail you out.

Too bad your house lost money. My car lost value the minute I drove it off the lot. The computer I bought, would sell for 70% of what I bought it for, the minute I cracked open the box. A house is a place to live, not something to flip after you squeezed all the value out of it with a second mortgage. Maybe people are finally waking up to their own responsibilities after reality evicts them. I know I'm being harsh, but I'm tired of being a nanny nation.

Posted by Terry March 19, 09 07:45 PM

To the sad know-nothing who "doesn't care if people are unemployed in China":

Here's why you need to care, laddie.

If America's Chinese sugar daddy doesn't buy more U.S. Treasury Bills to keep the bankrupt empire going, you'll be eating dog food soon.

Posted by Your Uncle Karl March 19, 09 07:51 PM

Come on I know you people are not simple minded don't you remember when
(sweet willie) Bill Clinton put pressure on Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac to sell to people with low credit ratings or bad credit. Wake up America!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They walk Among us. Read posts 234,314

Posted by Skidboot March 19, 09 07:51 PM

Hey 241
If people in China are not working, then they are not making/ producing things. Consequently, the factories where they work in China will not be buying the materials they need from abroad (countries like the USA) to make those things. If the factories in China are not buying materials from abroad, then those factoroes from abroad find they have less customers asking them for materials. If they have less customers for materials, then the factories (maybe like the one you used to work in) close down and people lose their job. Its not China thats the problem. Its the global capitalist system that messing you about. We need to care about what happens in other countries because what happens there will affect us here, wherever that may be. The USa is not invulnerable to that anymore.

Posted by Dougie Wells March 19, 09 08:06 PM

Most do not understand what is happening,and it is your own fault for not understanding,because if you understood it,it would probably not have happened.
The sins of the fathers

Posted by robert March 19, 09 08:21 PM

@ EnSee, The Advaitin: you talk about Islam as if you know what Islam really is. Go learn from the proper sources and not from propaganda shows and websites. If Islam was spread by violence like you really claim, Islam won't be admired by billions of people around the world and won't be the fastest growing religion ever today.

Posted by mkgc2006 March 19, 09 08:22 PM

Quando um time de futebol está só perdendo a gente troca logo o técnico e o time se recupera logo. Aqui no Brasil já fomos os melhores no futebol e quanto ao governo estamos tentando melhorar a economia justo agora que vem este tsunami lento mas implacável para piorar as coisas. Agora que George Bush deixou a economia do seu país em frangalhos só resta a êle (Bush) procurar o nosso ex presidente Fernando Henrique Cardoso, pois se ambos se unirem conseguirão quebrar o mundo ràpidinho. (Favor alguém traduzir este texto para o idioma inglês)

Posted by M. Tigre March 19, 09 08:24 PM

Regarding photo #12: The city of Homestead was virtually wiped off the map in 1992 by Hurricane Andrew. It's likely many of those empty lots were never rebuilt.

Regarding photo #32: The Great Depression had "Hoovervilles." Perhaps this Diversity Depression (see post #344) will have "Barack barracks."

Posted by Strider March 19, 09 08:53 PM

I think this recession is really a prelude to war. Most of the time people hate war. The idea of killing is horrible, but when they are losing their houses and are unable to support their families, maybe war doesn’t sound so bad. I think the recession has been manufactured, because Oil was at an all time high right before the crisis started, and all spending around the world is stopping except military spending. No I’m not talking about Iraq or Afghanistan spending, but all global military spending. (Why do you build more tanks and bombs if no one can afford to attack each other, and while your economy is failing)
Those values do not include war time spending... like all that money spent on Iraq and Afghanistan...
Also I read about peak oil theory, and it seems logical. It’s kind of strange in my opinion that right before the so called financial crisis, oil was at 140 dollars a barrel. That would mean to me that there isn’t enough supply going around to feed the whole world. See when everyone stopped buying products, oil was not used to make the products, causing the price of oil to drop quickly. When we do get out of this so called recession and have just as many people consuming oil, wont the oil prices shoot right up since we need all that extra oil to make stuff. Now that china, India, & Pakistan are on the world stage and have industrialized, the world seems to need more oil than ever before. So it would seem that I am thinking that governments made the world stop producing so they could figure out what to do about the energy problem (or is it a consumption problem). I don’t know how you stop the use of oil by a large percentage of the population without eliminating them.
Either way it looks like there is war coming.

Posted by Rahim March 19, 09 08:56 PM

Who would have ever thought that Enron would be a trail blazer?
Rememeber when it was cool to repeat the "Greed is Good" quote from "Wall street"?
I would like to start on my new book, written about the current economic situation. I have a working title of " Granite countertops and Stainless appliances". What do you think?

Posted by Google search :Peter Schiff March 19, 09 09:05 PM

#241, You are a dick. So people suffering under communism needs to suffer from the likes of you who thinks they also need to be subject as a low class world citizen as someone who is beneath you, don't pretend that you care about democracy.

And lastly, don't forget US bailout is funded by the Chinese!

Posted by rick March 19, 09 09:10 PM

The world economy is fine. Don't question your elected officials.The stock market will go back up. Your house can make you rich. Buy now pay later. There are no conspiracies. Ignore the weather, global warming is a fact. Believe all experts since you are ignorant. Only troublemakers ask questions. Always side with the majority. Your local supermarket will always have plenty of food at good prices. Famine and epidemics are a thing of the past. It can't happen here. Go back to sleep.

Posted by Sleeping March 19, 09 09:21 PM


Posted by Anonymous March 19, 09 09:33 PM

- comment removed --

Posted by Anonymous March 19, 09 09:55 PM

- comment removed --

Posted by Anonymous March 19, 09 09:57 PM

Amen to all the posters. Where else can you post your opinion than in the good ole USA. Too bad that will be taken away from you soon too. Communism just doesn't allow free speech.

Posted by The Fat Lady March 19, 09 09:59 PM

Hmmm, it would seem we aren't so bankrupted materialistically that we can't afford our internet connections and high speed computers.
As far as it being the past admin's fault......It was my impression that Obama was elected because "he had the perfect plan that was going to stop the economic problems immediately!" At least that's what I was told, yet in the 50 some days since he has been in office, he has spent more than the last dozen (+) administrations with no end in his spending in sight and the economic condition is worsening faster than ever...Maybe spending ISN'T the answer, after all and maybe he should stop his "Christmas List" granting and focus on the economy since he has brought so much "hope and Change".

Posted by Roswell Grey March 19, 09 10:31 PM

It's only a flesh wound! Come back here and fight like a man!

Posted by Charlie T March 19, 09 10:32 PM

consider this...the internet ruined our country.

Posted by avisioncame March 19, 09 10:36 PM

@259 :

How comes some capitalists are not living "frugally"? They stuffed themselves before, and continue to do so. But the already poor should learn "frugality"? Are you out of your mind?

Posted by Traroth March 19, 09 10:37 PM

#355....You are right on top of it.


Posted by Roswell Grey March 19, 09 10:38 PM

The "Great Recession" was a phrase coined / trademarked by Thomas McCarthy of Phoenix, AZ. He put out a news release about it here---
***And he even blogged about it on his financial website***
I doubt he'll collect anything by suing the IMF but we should all give credit where credit is due.

Posted by Danny Kegley March 19, 09 10:59 PM

243 said: "On a greater scale, money itself is the problem. Just imagine if our world operated entirely on goods for services. No currency. Just straight up goods for services. Imagine how many problems this would solve. Our system of money is so primative. Why haven't we evolved? We have the capacity for so much more, and yet look at how we live! Our entire existence spent in the pursuit of little pieces of paper with dead people on them."

You have the correct root - money in its current form is itself the problem. However, you are looking at it the wrong way. The concept of money is inherently fair - after all, it is only symbolizing the value of objects that you own or once owned. It is now a necessity for modern progress, and we will never go back to a completely agrarian society. Yet how has money become an object of scarcity and not prosperity? Interest. Our system, somewhere along the line, decided that not only will money hold its value indefinitely, but it will actually increase in value. The problem is that our goods do the opposite - they degrade. This provides a drive to liquidate as much as possible, and push for the largest lump sums one can obtain. I can't explain this very well in the space provided, but if you are interested, please read this article, which is prehaps the most comprehensive and intelligent piece I have ever read on the internet.

Posted by Scott March 19, 09 11:13 PM

Ok, we form two lines...
In the FIRST line, I would like all those who think on their feet and arrive at their own solutions. These people think beyond the confines of their own mental "box", question everything coming from government or the press as possible BS, and recognize that a world without business cycles is not a real world, but a fabricated game of Monopoly. These will be the survivors, the future "producers", and the people who will recover the fastest.
In the SECOND line, I would like all those who demonize Capitalism as a disease, who often think of themselves as someone else's victim, who spend most of their free time WATCHING "Survivor" rather than BEING a survivor, and who would rather hand over control of their own futures to someone who promises "security". These individuals will BE the new "victims" in the new Kingdom. Centuries ago these people were known as "subjects" or "peasants".
We still have choices to make. Which line will you choose? Or perhaps, you will form your OWN line... for the TRUE pioneers. Pick one!

Posted by benh March 19, 09 11:17 PM

Everything in China is vastly more hardcore than everything in America.

Posted by jeff jackson March 19, 09 11:21 PM

how do you know those are unused containers in the Hong Kong port? They stack all of their containers that high!

Posted by pnugg March 19, 09 11:24 PM

God Bless America !!!!!

Posted by GS March 19, 09 11:43 PM

Looking at the comments, the obvious cause of all these problems is that most people are morons and imagine their opinions are relevant. It's called the Dunning-Kruger effect.

A little less video game and a little more textbook would seem to be in order.

And capitalism hasn't failed. The capitalists have convinced the m0r0n in the White House to throw money at them.


Posted by Michael Z. Williamson March 20, 09 12:23 AM

This is the fault of no more than a few hundred greedy bankers and elitists who are trying to rule the world. They better not leave their castles os they will have HELL to pay.

Posted by Robin Hood March 20, 09 12:30 AM

Phew #341

I was beginning to worry!

Posted by Runar Thor March 20, 09 12:32 AM

Reading these blogs, there is only one solution. Bring back the Guillotine!

Posted by Paul March 20, 09 12:33 AM

If we were interested in truly stimulating the economy, we would be opening these empty homes for dirt cheap rentals, maybe subject to inspection for damages for a condition of you staying. These places that are going out of business, I find it hard to believe that no one is buying anything. Something has changed. The price of overhead? Rental space? There is so much more to this crisis than we are seeing. Throwing bones to the banks is not going to get this economy going. Sending checks to people is not the way either. Where are these jobs that were promised to be created? Daily, I see more and more are being shut down and lost!
I am not in a position of authority that I can see all that is going on, but there is more than we are being told. I do not like it one bit. I feel like we are being led down this road and that this is just part of the plan. Money is being shifted to the rich. The poor are being shifted to the streets. Many are just a paycheck away from being on the streets. You say, "Not me!", I am just waiting and wondering when it is going to happen, praying I am wrong. Things are only going to get worse.

Posted by Amay Ganson March 20, 09 12:36 AM

funny how i make $1000 a month, and i'm comfortable in my two bedroom house with my son, and the bi@ch that flicked me off two moths ago in her escalade that lives in the 5700 sq foot house on the corner..well.... i saw a rollback picking up her ride the other day, the re-po man doesnt care who you are. Must suck. Americans are selfish, spoiled, cruel human beings that just don't understand what it is that they have. I think this needs to happen, for the better good of America. Wake up and stop being so cocky.... blessings happen to people that deserve them, not people that make the most money.

Posted by Mersa March 20, 09 12:45 AM

may god give all people's of the world courage to cope up with this recession, the only thing one can do is pray for the well being of all. pray GOD not only for yourself but for all.

Posted by hemang sanghavi March 20, 09 01:22 AM

Sitting in India, am learning what not to do!! But I am sure our politicians too, will make sure that i still end up on the wrong side of my financial plan

Posted by Sonam March 20, 09 01:43 AM


Posted by Santhosh March 20, 09 02:43 AM
Posted by wifiwaves March 20, 09 03:03 AM

Build it and they will come.

Posted by LeeO March 20, 09 03:27 AM

Too many greedy people who are too lazy to apply economic common sense. We live in a time that information is at a drop of a hat and yet we don't use it. Over priced home are the result of greed on all sides and the a$$hole realtor who are only looking for commissions. We all forgot the old adage to live within our means and to appreciate what we earn. We can learn from the WW2 generation and how they survived.

Posted by XXX March 20, 09 04:47 AM


Posted by PAUL ABSOLOM March 20, 09 05:36 AM

Hey you good people out there...dont worry....this is not going to stay and i know that we are going to make it happen.....we need to believe in ourselvs and fight it out....we have to....

Posted by Malay March 20, 09 05:37 AM

Capitalism isn't what caused the problem. Capitalism is what made the country economically strong from it's beginning. When we went off the golf standard and started with a fiat (paper) currency that allowed the government to PRINT money instead of keeping within a budget.

When the Federal Reserve was created they received the dollar. Today the dollar is worth the equivalent of 3 CENTS today.

They have robbed us blind for years.

Posted by Danno March 20, 09 05:59 AM

Can someone get me a jon. I'm great at Inventory

Posted by Jayesh Dutia March 20, 09 06:07 AM

The world economy is fine. Don't question your elected officials.The stock market will go back up. Your house can make you rich. Buy now pay later. There are no conspiracies. Ignore the weather, global warming is a fact. Believe all experts since you are ignorant. Only troublemakers ask questions. Always side with the majority. Your local supermarket will always have plenty of food at good prices. Famine and epidemics are a thing of the past. It can't happen here. Go back to sleep

Posted by satish chhagan thorat March 20, 09 06:38 AM

The cause: Hubris.

The antidote: Humility.

Posted by eric March 20, 09 06:42 AM

Some of the Coporates are Used this Oppurtunity to cut down the Job s / Workers and their pay . Maximum of them (Corporates) want to show it to the people as this image and make them afraid and demolish their stuff & confidence.
dont wait for tommorow, find it today

Posted by Dhandapani March 20, 09 06:48 AM

Onece we (indians) begged Americans. Now the trend capsized.

Posted by muthurajan March 20, 09 07:01 AM

"Welcome to peak oil....."

I want to think that this is an ironic joke that I'm not clever enough to get, but I know it isn't. Oil demand had very, very, *very* little to do with any of this. This recession was caused primarily by bad monetary policy, not a single commodity. If we were at peak oil, why has the price been going down?

Posted by Tim March 20, 09 07:04 AM

One of the pictures hit home. Picture 17 where the Dodge Caravans are stocked up . . . wondering if these vehicles were built in the US. Nevertheless, who can afford buying anything like vehicles and homes? I am not from the US, but I still feel the despair, panic, discouragement, etc. While our government boasts that we in Canada are not as bad, the hydro rates have recently increased, the tuition for students is rising, the go train rates have increased, the gas is steadily increasing . . . my husband was recently laid off and I thank God I still have my job. Shame to those who took advantage of bail outs (corporate bonuses). There will be a reckoning with the conscience sooner or later.

Posted by Jeannette March 20, 09 07:18 AM

Definitely a depressing collection of photos. In many you can see the despair etched on the faces.

Posted by Stock Photos March 20, 09 07:55 AM

1.still people live much beyond their capacity,credit cards are responsible,long credit is responsible.2.medical service unaffordable in any country.3.corporates the way they spend..rediculous.3person of large corporate from NY wanted to go to west coast.they were late could no catch plane ,next was after two hours. simply they chartered the plane. meeting was next day. 4.Hollywood must make movie on 1929. 5.still it has nor reach the bottom. it will reach bottom in June -July. one must watch wallet every moment.

Posted by DILIP NANAVATI March 20, 09 08:06 AM

Dear 271, I am not european but I do fluently speak French and Italian, and as such have lived parts of my life in Europe for quite a bit. I also travel monthly to every corner of the USA and know your country very well. I think I can safely say that europeans don't give a rat's ?ss if you go there on vacation.... They don't have bud light anyways out there and the cars are really small, in fact, they ride bikes and eat well so you may want to think again.

That being said, no offense, but the uropean union doesn't actually need you anymore. The US dollar barrel is the only reason the US dollar is still afloat. ItÈs you and the saudis baby, hand in hand...

Posted by lepere March 20, 09 08:09 AM

To sum up all the above: get ready for worldwide currency collapse!

Posted by greg_USA March 20, 09 08:34 AM

According to Bob Chapman of The International Forecaster, we still have 2-3 more years of a downward spiral with the real estate market while we go through hyperinflation. After that point in time, we will then see the bottom fall out and it will touch each and every one of us. His recommendations in order of importance are: Storable Food, Water Filters, Guns and Ammo and other essentials. Then if you have anything left then you can look into Gold and Silver related assets. We are only getting started folks. Please prepare yourselves.

Posted by KJP March 20, 09 08:49 AM

> If your talking about prehistoric empires... Your an idiot


Posted by Breenie March 20, 09 08:58 AM

Blame him, blame them, blame... Has anyone learned a lesson ? I doubt it :-(
In 10, 15, 20 years we will find ourselves once again buying homes we can't afford, owning 3 cars simply because we can, digging pools to keep up with the neighbors and spending our free time pulling out native plants to plant imported flowers. 5% of Americans will continu to own us, plastering our ears and eyes with buy, buy, buy slogans; hypnotizing, tricking or scaring us into consuming, Our basic moral values have somehow been depleted of humility, caution, restraint and control. We are now witnessing the decline of the American Empire.

Posted by Madison D March 20, 09 09:03 AM

Get a years supply of food, now! Check out, and Get prepared. Slap yourself and wake-up.
In this regard, it is worth repeating Thomas Jefferson’s warning, written in a letter to the Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin in 1802:
“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.”

"Who will govern the governors? There is only one force in the nation that can be depended upon to keep the government pure and the governors honest, and that is the people themselves. They alone, if well informed, are capable of preventing the corruption of power, and of restoring the nation to its rightful course if it should go astray. They alone are the safest depository of the ultimate powers of government"
- Thomas Jefferson

Posted by Shawn Gibson March 20, 09 09:12 AM

The same dynastic families who ran the British Empire still run the world today - it is not a question of "America" Empire versus past Europea Empires. The greatest crook in the whole AIG scandal is Hank Greenburg, but you never hear his name. Why ? He is former Vice Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, Member of Zbigniew Brzezinski's Trilateral Commission, and was nominated as Deputy Head of the CIA under Reagan. He is the top of the food chain.(As an aside, for all the innocents who think Obama represents change, I suggest reading Webster Tarpley's writings on Obama - Obama is a creation of Brzezinski).

Posted by Anonymous March 20, 09 09:21 AM

Did anyone else notice the immaculate furnishings, wine glasses, expensive oven, and expensive jewelry the people were still wearing in the jewelry sell off? Maybe it's just possible now they're turning a profit like good little capitalists now that gold is $1000 an ounce?

This is nothing but propagandist tripe.

Posted by bob dobbs March 20, 09 09:37 AM

We the citizens of this planet WILL Overcome, Adapt and Improvise.

Posted by Don't tread one Me March 20, 09 09:42 AM

ko vas jebe, ja imam posao :-D

Posted by Anonymous March 20, 09 10:05 AM

I picked through many of the comments. I am surprised how few of the individuals seem to have any memory of great grandaddy's tales of his youth. Maybe I'm just too very old. We'v e been through this before and we always come out of it; sometimes sooner -- sometimes much much later. Some will survive; many will not! Each one's survival depends on each individual's planning for the coming hard times -- years, not months!! During hard times in Iowa, I helped catch and cook anything that moved: opossum, raccoon, snakes. turtles,etc. (You can't eat ants; you will just throw up.) I seem to remember those times with some warm excitment. We always had something to eat -- dogs taste just like pork, rats taste like chicken. We cooked and heated with dried corn cobs and dried cow dung. The family was extended and very close. We prayed alot -- together. Our neighbors came over to eat, party and help. I know my family can and will survive, and they will be stronger for it. (If you can't kill and eat the barn cat, you will not survive.) This is just the normal rise and fail of economies, currencies and nations -- a normal cycle; some of these will survive and some will not. After it is over, maybe 5 or 10 years, we will start another great boom cycle and I'll get rich (again). [But I digress. Old people digress; young people undress.] Try to have more fun!!

Posted by J. W. MacThenife March 20, 09 10:18 AM

Saying that a company is to big to fail is like saying that a 320 pound person is too big to have a heart attack.

This is a heart attack that little jagged line that represents the Dow or the NASDAQ is like a heart rate monitor going up and up and up until the pop, the attack of when the Heart fails. It is just plain bad health practices to think that a body (World Economy) can continue to raise the pressure without eventually failing. We don't need economist to get us out of this mess of failing economic health we need a good doctor who knows how to keep a body healthy by not living to excess. One who can prescribe a way of healthy living which can be translated to the economy.

Case in point, shows like Cribs & My Supper Sweet Sixteen sicken me. Getting shown some rich out of touch persons closet with 500 pairs of sneakers and another 500 pairs of dress shoes really goes a long way to show how truly addicted people are to consuming. In the case of My Supper Sweet Sixteen what is the message here that these spoiled children will one day be in charge of making policy in our country. I would love it if one of these parents would take the 250 thousand they would spend on the party and do something that will help people, feed people, clothe people, and just buy a cake and a card for the spoiled child that clings to their purse strings like it's their life line. This obsession of having more that you can possibly use is just that, an obsession. It is not healthy it is not something to aspire to.

I think that most people are missing the point. Ask yourself, WHAT DOES MONEY REPRESENT? The answer is that it is a place holder for something that used to exist. Trees, oil, animals, water, lives, forest, mountains, whole echo systems that have been converted into little colored pieces of paper. Money represents what is gone and can never be brought back. As long as people will do what ever it takes, even if that means that this world we live on no longer can support us and we all perish and the only thing left is a lot of little pieces of colored paper then the future does not look so bright. We need bumper stickers put on gas guzzling sports cars, SUVS that say "WHO CARES IF YOU CAN AFFORD TO DRIVE THIS POLUTION MACHINE, WE CAN'T AFFORD IT. THE HUMAN RACE CAN'T AFFOR IT. Rich people some how think that their money will insulate them from global warmin, toxic air and water. Just goes to show you that not all who have the bucks have the brains. I hope that all people wake up and help each other. Our collective fates depends on it.

Posted by Christopher, from comments 196, 199 March 20, 09 10:25 AM

This is some of the most idiotic commentary I have ever read. No wonder we are going downhill fast.

"Capitalism" is not a system someone thought up. The market is what exists in the absence of centralized control by the state, tribe or other collective.

The market (what some here refer to as "capitalism") existed in Egyptian times, in Roman times, etc. Monarchs and theocrats were subject to market forces. As were empires throughout human history.

Our Founding Fathers are rolling in their graves. We will lose all of the liberties we deserve to lose....

Posted by barbedwiresmile March 20, 09 10:34 AM

in the 1970s we had an oil crisis. in the 1980s the savings and loan debacle. in 2001 we had the tech bubble. in 2008 and 2009 we had the housing bubble and credit crunch. when will we learn. the free market doesnt work without some regulation. once again the rich want to be bailed out by the poor and middle class. the rich dont want to pay taxes, to protect their savings accounts or investments. let the poor pay for it

Posted by saul March 20, 09 10:49 AM

Some of these (like the empty newsroom, actually a victim of new information technologies) would have happened anyway. Some, like the family getting a home for $6/SF in NY, are good news for the responsible family that bought it and got a bargain. There is always a bright side.

Posted by Brady March 20, 09 10:50 AM

Notice how just about every "recession" photo involving China has to do with thousands of plucky people at a job fair, and some line about how the government is going to help solve all their problems. No evictions, no starving people, no horrible factories full of toxic chemicals--wouldn't want to offend the Chinese or anything.

Posted by Dontwantto Offendthechinese March 20, 09 11:17 AM

Here in Utah the scenes above are also very common. Empty subdivisions, vacant lots, half built houses, are all over the place. Nice set of photos, good job.

Posted by Doug March 20, 09 11:46 AM

The picture of the subdivision in Maricopa, AZ.... That subdivision was designed by the civil engineering company that I got laid off from over 13 months ago. While I was designing this subdivision, (and others) I often wondered, "Who can afford these houses?" and "How many more SUBDIVISIONS are needed?" I can't help but feel a great sadness and dare I say shame. I know I am not to blame, but sometimes I look back and wonder why in the heck did I not go into another line of business. Perhaps I would be employed today... Please know that I am very sad.

Posted by Yvonne March 20, 09 12:13 PM

It just popped in my mind what`s gonna happen to the American entertainment industry. It seems rich people are just fine.

One solution: spend less.

Posted by Izabella Nagy Zsengeller March 20, 09 12:28 PM

Are we forgeting the not war but operation iraqi freedom... One day of war could feed 20,000,000 for a year,,, but ignore that.

Posted by Brai March 20, 09 12:38 PM

Surprisingly India seemed to have weathered this recession storm.

Posted by Ranjith March 20, 09 01:09 PM

#408, well said. what you said has pretty deep meaning.

Posted by akshay March 20, 09 01:25 PM

I don't understand these 'tent cities' that are sprouting up all over the southern USA. Here in Canada, when one becomes unemployed they have access to government resources such as Unemployment Insurance or Welfare. We also have subsidized rent-geared-to-income housing. I'm sure you have similar programs in the USA.. I know you at the very least have Welfare. Why aren't these people receiving Welfare benefits so they can rent an apartment?

Posted by Danny Las Vegas, Burlington, ON Canada March 20, 09 01:33 PM

"You say you want a revolution......." It's coming. The haves no longer have as much and the have nots have almost nothing. Desperate situations call for desperate reactions. The inner cities will be the first to erupt. No one is safe. Stock up and arm yourself before the idiot in DC stops all purchases of arms and munitions!

Posted by Earl Huntsville Alabama March 20, 09 02:37 PM

Read # 323.
THAT is the real TRUTH!

Who ever wrote that gets it more than anyone else.
I grew up in Eastern Europe under Communist
rule in the 1980s and then moved with my family to
the USA in 1987 as a young kid. I've seen both sides
and let me tell you Socialism is an ugly, disgusting
"alternative" to our own questionable "democracy".

I'm a Libertarian and I despise both foolish & naive
democrats & the idiotic Bush administration.
Bush is no Republican, he's a disgrace, but as
many already said: Clinton screwed us just as much
& the true root of the problem goes back to 1913.

As far as "New World Order" Global Governments go
I have this much to say:

The solution to 1984 is 1776.

I'm the father of two young girls & if my blood has to
be spilled it will be so they inherit a better world.

Google/YouTube "Ring of Power"

Posted by - March 20, 09 02:54 PM

This the result of unstructured capitalism(like in the USA) and communism (like in China).
World must accept that public-pivate colaboration is the best solution to steady but continuous growth.

Posted by Vikram, India March 20, 09 03:19 PM

i am in the uk and we are as f*cked as you.. take away x factor and we would have riots..take away their houses and they do nothing....we have -20% off our house prices so far only another 40% to go ..any of you believe in god???? thats why your f*cked because you are being sold a patsy in the name of god...

Posted by geoff March 20, 09 04:41 PM

A) on the thought that we should trade goods for services. Who isgoing to drive around a box truck in order to have GOODS to trade. They tried that before and the bufflal hides got to heavy.
B) YOU SAID "And capitalism hasn't failed. The capitalists have convinced the m0r0n in the White House to throw money at them." ---- THEY are not capitalists,m they are greedy opportunist. The true capitalists don't want to see ANY bail outs, we want to let the free enterprise system run its course and after the stupid & nept are gone the stystem will fix itself.

Posted by polly March 20, 09 05:33 PM

If the world's governments were worried about their own peoples well beings as much as trying to stay ahead of other countries military technology, the economy might not be in the crises its in now. Who has the bigger, more powerful weapons seemed to be the trend for the last century. Millions of dollars are spend on one bomb, just so they can blow it up? As if anymore weapons need to be invented, or researched. In some war torn countries, one can buy an AK-47 for a few bucks. I don't know about you, but I'm sure a bullet from one of those will do the same damage to someone as any new gun the military has now. How much does each country spend on their military every year? Its sickening.

Posted by Sean March 20, 09 06:00 PM

ha ganacia not later failure

Posted by sidney ferreira March 20, 09 06:59 PM


Posted by gerard pawling March 20, 09 08:04 PM


Posted by Hard to believe March 20, 09 08:19 PM

Oh God Kindly save all of us from these sufferings, Please make the rulers to realize the crysis and work for peaceful living Let us get rid of selfishness,and lets be altruistic

Posted by Rama Krishna Rao Immadisetty March 20, 09 08:24 PM

To John #344 post...

Morons like you make me sick. So now you are telling me that the economic downturn is the "minorites" fault, because they wanted to live next to "good white people". How absurd and idiotic that statement is. There is plenty of blame to go around, but your greedy white brethren who rule Wall Street created this mess. How can disadvantaged people with no money ruin the country's economic system? You're a blitering idiot and trust me, there are plenty of "good white folks" as you call them out on the street too for getting houses they couldn't afford as well. It's always soo easy to blame people of color for greedy whites misdeeds, isn't it? Go crawl under a rock you lowlife pig.

Posted by Valerie March 20, 09 08:30 PM

Homeless Americans always look so well fed. Humm. Interesting how the U.S. and third world countries are looking more and more similar.

Posted by Bruce March 20, 09 08:31 PM

Ron Paul would have turned this around by now. Instead, Øbama will drive the US into the ground.

Posted by Buck Ofama March 20, 09 09:00 PM

God help us please. I can only hope it's over soon, though I know the worst is yet to come.

Posted by AJMGAL March 20, 09 09:08 PM

was Mr. Mel Gibson a bit tooooooo close to home and can the people understand and elect him Mayor of (well Tina Turner did) as a good auld Scotsman would say in one of his greatest films with the dirge in the background "WE WERE SOLDIERS" and still are wakey wakey but then again it drove him to drink (he could have bought anheinzer budd (nope you gave it to some Belgian company) and like Scotland then the U.K. parasittically emptied but we keep on keepin on sending our children into the holocause we're feckin thick

Posted by chas wilson March 20, 09 09:12 PM

#358, I hope you have medical insurance because you are cracked. But i guess that is someone else's fault as well. America's trouble starts with those unacountible citizans such as yourself

Posted by tank March 21, 09 12:14 AM

pray almighty god never to bring such recession in dreams and at the same time we should learn to save 25% money out of our earnings ,which will help us in such days

Thanks & Regards

Posted by pradeep j. mehta March 21, 09 12:27 AM

@mkgc2006, #350 - I do know that a religion is as its followers are, not some
walk the talk bookish ideology, and from what the vicious and the violent have
adopted over the past 14 centuries, Islam has been the most of it. Islam spread
by the sword in most parts of the world where it matters, South Asia (500 million),
South East Asia (250 million) and North Africa (150 million). The sufism and the
liberality over the even harsher forms of desert ideology came later as the forced
converts reverted to their pre-islamic ways to some extent.

And what greatly spiritual ideology spreads by the sword ? Can anyone deny that
Mohammad was a warlord and killed people for resisting his claims to prophet-hood ?
Islam was, is and remains a political ideology in the guise of a divine one.
Come sir, grow up. Unless liberal thoughts permeate the so-called Muslims' minds, they
will remain the infighting, violence prone bunch of exploited beggars that they are
today ... it happened to the Christians, they liberalized themselves over time, and
the Church's hold on day to day life disintegrated. Today hardly anybody goes to Church,
and even among those who do, a lot of times it is for intents other than divine
communion. Chriatianity was practiced by Jesus was hijacked pretty early by the Romans
for their political intentions, Europe took a 1000+ years to come out of that messing
up of Church and State. The Muslims must also do so some time or the other, otherwise
they will be either made to do so or perish.

No other religion, not even pre-Roman christianity had an institutionalized us-vs-them
persecution complex as Islam has, can you deny that Islam's books define how muslims deal
with so-called non-believing people (Kaffirs) in a violent manner. What Universal ideology
of peace and brotherhood has believers and non-believers defined ??? Is this a joke ?
Islam is in danger in the Middle East and Bangladesh where >90% are Muslims, in Pakistan
where >98% are Muslim, in Malaysia where >65% are muslims ... let us understand that this
is persecution complex, a fallout of Islam's maniacal need to control all aspects of human
lifes, instead of just the spiritual aspect.

@Traroth, #364 - Some capitalists, and most of them are in the US. I am talking about the average American vis-a-vis the average non-American (especially Asians) when I talk about
living within means, or even frugally if necessary. And have you ever seen the destitution
that the poor in other parts of the world suffer ??? By those standards most of the
American poor are kings. What #390 and #401 say is perfect ...

Posted by EnSee, The Advaitin March 21, 09 01:13 AM

I seem to recall circuit city going into bankruptcy before the majority of the financial crisis kicking in and news papers have been slowly dying off since about 2000. it's not really reasonable to scrape together all the sad vaguely economically related pics together under one 'financial crisis' umbrella.

Posted by zep March 21, 09 01:13 AM

I like butter.

Posted by quite a bit, actually March 21, 09 01:55 AM

Those pictures of unfinished homes and empty lots in Florida look bad but they fail to mention that we have such a surplus of homes in this state that no one was buying which played a big part in the housing market going to crap here.

Posted by FlaKnight March 21, 09 02:23 AM

Such pictures could be seen any time anywhere. Even by economy boom.
Anyway, nice work.

Posted by Grimm March 21, 09 04:20 AM

Import 1 million Indians every year for the next five years. They will buy troubled assets at higher than market price, work 18x7hrs, save 60% of whatever they earn and create at least 10 jobs for Americans per Indian in USA ie 150 million over a period of 5 years ( 1+2+3+4+5=15 ). That should take care of USA 's current problem and inculcate discipline for future. No amount of Uncle Sam 's funding is going to help, it wii all go into BONUSES.

Posted by Dileep K Gupte March 21, 09 04:20 AM

Wow, some of these responses are staggeringly stupid. Blame Obama, yeah that makes sense. Yes there are people who bought houses they couldnt afford, but none of this is their fault. If a homeless person asks me for $1000, should I give it to them and then blame them for missing my own mortgage payment because they didnt pay it back? No! It would be my fault, and these bad loans are the banks' faults. They bought these bad loans from mortgage brokers. And if we let everyone lose their homes, it will cost us all a lot more as taxpayers than it will to help them. please people, educate yourselves, this is an important issue! Regulation is not communism.

Posted by Jim March 21, 09 04:53 AM

Lets have a third world war its about time. We need to clean out some of the human population especially in the middle east

Posted by Muhammad March 21, 09 05:02 AM

So much for "Hope" and "Change"
Do you think you could have an any less positive outlook on the situation? Typical. We can't ever expect the positive and hopeful from journalists, it doesn't "sell." That's ok, 'cause I ain't buying what your selling either.

Posted by FBHidy March 21, 09 08:35 AM

Long live the revolution!
Hail communism!
Hail Lenin!

Posted by fallenmonk March 21, 09 09:03 AM

Being able to save 20% is a very nice but not everyone has that to spare and less and less people every year are able to do that. To blame the working class is short sighted. Yes, some people do live beyond their means but it's those who work very hard, every day and still can pay their bills that I relate to. Anybody ever look at how much even low income housing costs? Where I come from, there is no public transit so a person must have a vehicle if they want to work. You travel 1/2 hour to the nearest community to work at WalMart and by the time you pay your gas and your babysitter if you have children, you don't clear enough to pay your weekly bills. Welfare if for those who have an address. Do you believe that? Health care is for those who have an address. If you apply for work, how do prospective employers get a hold of you if you can't afford a phone and certainly not a cell phone. When you get in the pits of despair it is difficult to pull yourself out if there is no light at the end of the tunnel. I am not blaming any of this on the homeless, the average Joe, but on the government. Middle class have become lower middle class, lower middle class have become welfare, welfare have become homeless. I am grateful I have the little bit I do have. Just making ends meet, etc. There are some much worse off than me.

Posted by Jeannette March 21, 09 11:12 AM

Hey 351

Vá aprender portugues e economia primeiro antes de publicar "cumentarius" ignorantes a la Lula. Quanto a traduzir suas ideias de jumento estou certo que nao faltarão "cumpanherus" com domínio de ingles de Tarzan para auxiliá-lo na tarefa de envergonhá-lo junto a UM universo ainda maior de pessoas.

Posted by ZELITE March 21, 09 11:55 AM

outcome of peoples greed,selfishness,ego,foolishness,over population,no education,political greed,no ethical values---------this is the outcome.

Posted by arunaivr March 21, 09 12:20 PM

The world crisis start when A. Greenspan, in order to get Bush reelected, lowered the prime interests gradually to near zero from later 2003 to before the elections of 2004. Then the banks did the rest by getting greedy and allowing anybody to buy house with no money down, planning to raise the mortgage rate later with adjustable rates, and a complete lack of common sense. These buyers could not afford higher mortgages. In fact Greenspan start raise the prime interests after the elections of 2004, therefore creating the crisis.
For last 50 years the Americans used to refinance the house every 10 years or so, using the equity of the house to buy cars, boats, more house, trips, etc. so creating our wealth. But the price of the housing collapsed because of the millions of foreclosures, therefore, there's no more equity in the houses for refinancing so there's no more money to spend. That's what created the crisis.
Now we have the new President , who's to me, like a gift from God and is trying so hard to solve everybody's problem; he is very smart, in fact he is the only one that can talk to public without reading a single word. I believe on him, please help him to finish the job he started. It will take much more than 2 months. Give him the chance that he deserves, he did'nt start the world crisis, you know now who did.
Mario Pio Pelagalli, American-Italian retired.--P.S.--Pass it on.


and using

Posted by Mario Pio Pelagalli March 21, 09 12:22 PM

Greed and more greed (excessive exploitation of the lower class) is one of the major causes of this economic disaster

Posted by Irv March 21, 09 12:26 PM

Who is John Galt?

Posted by Rupert Frugalheimer March 21, 09 12:55 PM

#352, Strider.
I worked for a flood-plain determination company up to early 2007, when I started to suspect the housing market would drop, which would directly affect our company. So I left to pursue personal interests.
From what I saw happening in my workplace, Homestead was booming with new subdivisions popping up almost every week. Miami/Dade and other counties were my main areas of concentration. Builders were trying to push construction and home sales as much as possible before the impending crash.
So yes, those are probably new lots, not ones left over from 1992.

Posted by Kelly March 21, 09 01:55 PM

Is this the price we pay for the personal focus we put on to our leaders. With so much focus and attention, they will automatically start to "act". Afraid of losing their audience, decission making wll be heavily affected. We ask for their opinion 24/7 If some brilliant people off the limelight sit down and write a brilliant decission making computer program, that might be the solution. What to do when inflation/deflation/unemployment kicks in. How many government jobs can we afford and what to pay in taxes etc.

Posted by Erik March 21, 09 02:23 PM

For rejecting individual freedom, most people deserve to suffer poverty. I enjoyed the photos very much.

Posted by Mark in Ark March 21, 09 02:25 PM

attack on afghanistan,then iraq and now pakistan------the financial position of america is going to detoriate

Posted by Anonymous March 21, 09 02:39 PM

No, no, no, you're all wrong. The economic crisis in this world today is caused by pixies. Now, I'm not talking about the merry little pixies that sit on a toadstool, playing a tiny flute, no, that would be insane. I'm talking about the nasty little pixies, the feral, ugly imps that crawl into machinery, muck about with the works of man, and cause massive economic hardships not seen since the Great Depression. And we've all seen them, yes. Pixies, gnomes, gremlins, sprites, all manner of fairy folk. The worst ones are the invisible ones. I suggest we enlist an elite global unit of mercenaries to bait them with gingerbread crumbs, before this madness tears us all apart.

Posted by ZMannZilla March 21, 09 03:12 PM

It is impressive how lots of people are getting affected by the problems with the global economy. All this was expressed in advance by God, the Bible is very clear and He invites us to trust in Him, so our suffering can dwell in Him and He can carry our heavy weight.

Posted by Erick March 21, 09 03:22 PM

#438 zep has a good point. Newspaper have been dying since the advent of the internet. It was hard enough to compete against TV, but once the internet came, who wants to read yesteradys news in the paper? With TV you had to watch at certain hours (now you can tivo it) and it was slow.. but with the net, newspapers were dead.

Circuit City cant compete with the internet companies. I used to go to circuit city, browse the models, and then buy my TV online. I am sorry but a lot of people did this. Why pay $3k + $250 tax for their best TV when i can get it shipped overnight for $2200 online? heck, i dont even have to worry about delivery, it just shows up at my home!

So with the economic recession the businesses that were on a path of failure have now failed. Nobody wants to give circuit city money to continue operations and the newspaper companies are now hurting enough where they decided their business model does not make sense anymore.

New businesses will arrive. Maybe circuit city will be replaced by a company where you pay $20 admission for 2-3 days and you get to browse all the models and they will locate for you the lowest price vendor that sells the item on the internet and has it in stock? Who wouldnt want to go there and test the TVs models and then buy online? Maybe they get a kickback from the internet vendor.. but this is the new world. It is more efficient and better for everyone.

Posted by Steve March 21, 09 03:51 PM

@452. Judging by the level of correct grammar, spelling and punctuation used in the majority of the posts, I'm fairly certain very few people understand your reference.
The pictures do exactly as they are meant to; elicit emotional response. These are some great pictures.

Posted by Anon March 21, 09 03:54 PM

Thank Barney Frank and Chris Dodd and our government for not watching wall street and lending institutions better. Our Government failed us again! Greed is not good! Mh

Posted by Mike Wilson March 21, 09 04:26 PM

The cost of housing is one of the peculiar things about the United States. The population density is 8 times as high in the UK. How can they afford to live. Why isn't it dirt cheap here. Taxpayers money paid the troops that wiped out the Indians so why isn't land cheaply available to Americans.

It is an economic power game that most people are supposed to lose. When do economists suggest mandatory accounting in the schools? When do they talk about the depreciation of the trashmobiles designed to become obsolete? There have been 200,000,000+ cars in the US since 1995. At $1,500 in depreciation per car per year that is $300,000,000,000 per year. FOUR TRILLION DOLLARS since 1995 and economists say NOTHING.

Posted by umbrarchist March 21, 09 05:58 PM

You've outdone yourself again. I've taken to looking at the Big Picture for signal amidst the considerable noise. Thanks so much.

Posted by Kristin Wolff March 21, 09 06:10 PM

Global errorism.

Posted by Joe Taibi March 21, 09 06:17 PM

Picture #26 is a classic. Each one of those office chairs, the Aeron model, costs $1,000. No wonder the newspaper went out of business. They were overspending just like the average consumer was! When I was in sales, my company always had very uncomfortable chairs so we would instead go out and "pound the pavement". Looks like the news reporters for that paper were just waiting for stories to appear in their "in" box instead of going out and getting a original investigative story.

Posted by Dave in Philly March 21, 09 10:44 PM

Capitalism has failed for over 50 years and caused millions of deaths (Vietnam, Iraq etc). Time for radical alternatives. Countries will have to consider overthrowing their governments and allowing worker self-management. That is the only way such crises can be prevented.

Posted by Babu March 22, 09 02:11 AM

so long ..........e heee he he he heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

he he

Posted by; March 22, 09 02:25 AM

The real scarcity

Posted by farhad March 22, 09 06:09 AM

Please tell me good friend,
When will this depression end?
When will the homeless have a roof over their head?
When will the starving have money to buy bread?
When will you stop being part of a mob
Desperately looking for a job?
When will the good times return?
When will people have money to burn?
When will all this misery end?
I'll tell you, good friend.
When compassion fills the human heart,
Then this depression will depart!
Things will change at the hour
The rich think of helping the poor.
When the wealthy think it proper
To share their wealth with the pauper.
Everything will become all righty
When we'll all live in an egalitarian society!

Posted by Jal S. Desai March 22, 09 06:44 AM

Why oh why are the people of this country complaining. They did it to themselves.
Our jobs went out of the country for less pay, voted in representatives of the people based on their fast talking bull who dont represent the people,with no morals ,just how much money and power they can acquire.

America is a great country its just the idiots who dont look into the background of
the people they vote for and complain and complain and do nothing about it. Just complain. Write their congressmen get petitions if you dont like something.

Posted by Anonymous March 22, 09 09:55 AM

(picture 33) The Seneca Nation stopped the construction of their casino in Buffalo, NY largely because of a legal battle with the city of Buffalo and Erie County. Along with their casino and luxury hotel in the city of Niagara Falls in Niagara County, the Seneca Nation operates this casino in warehouse structure nearby.

Posted by Allison March 22, 09 10:09 AM

lets get all of our elected officials to give up their pay for one Year. Most of them are wealthy and they can afford to do this. Then lets recommend Your President give all the excess campaign money he has to go toward our debt. Where does all this money come from?? It is scary to see all the wealth belongs to just a few. Maybe this is what they want??? Understand?

Posted by Pame March 22, 09 02:26 PM

if you read the bible you will not be surprised with these global crises....the beginning of sorrow...its time to yield to our Creator...

Posted by wilma m dela cruz March 22, 09 02:30 PM

For some valuable perspectives, be sure to visit
Peter Schiff is worth reading and researching.

Posted by Dave Ferbrache March 22, 09 02:51 PM

People get ready, Jesus is coming...

Posted by Mariana Bolland March 22, 09 03:09 PM

With all the bad news about the economy, the world, that we are continually bombarded with,t.v.,newspapers,magazines,etc... The media has the power to influence the masses to do the right thing. We must care about each other,not only ourselves.That's what got us into this mess to begin with. There are good people and great things happening in the world today. The media needs to put more emphasis in these type of stories. It would give people hope and negate some of the mass histeria that is driving the collective people in the world to a vision of FEAR !

Posted by Hopeful March 22, 09 03:15 PM

Only Capitalism, Not Democracy can save the day .Obama is pissing on our back and try to tell us that it is raining . And they are the one who started this crap with forced lending to peoples who can not afford a bicycle .Thank you Mrs Franck Barney for your help in starting this scenario , along with all the clowns around you .

Posted by Guy Clericy March 22, 09 04:55 PM


Posted by Uncle Gropey March 22, 09 05:16 PM

El SOCIALISMO es la solución, revísense, den el paso definitivo, y prueben tomando algunas medidas de corte socialista, vayan poco a poco si quieren, pero hagan la prueba, total, ya están en quiebra....

Posted by Lilian March 22, 09 05:29 PM

I want a jon too.

Posted by Anonymous March 22, 09 07:25 PM

The world is coming to an end, I've lost my job, now my house, it's over for me so I'm off to jump off a bridge

Posted by Donny March 22, 09 10:20 PM

Es una pena,pero no entiendo el idioma inglés.Gracias:Rolando de Argentina

Posted by Rolando March 22, 09 11:33 PM

This is the outcome of limitless greed, more focus on manipulating wealth(derivatives) than on production and lack of saving habit. Let us hope this will pave way for a saner and dynamic new economic system sans old vices.

Posted by Vijay Asthana March 22, 09 11:38 PM

I told of this more than 10 years ago to everyone I could. I was told by respected elders that "...home prices never go down. It won't happen" I disagreed. In short, I said that if we continue to send our jobs over seas, there will be no demand for homes because the people will not have the money. In this country, we no longer create products from scratch and until we do we will NOT have a sustainable economy. People complain that the Union is killing the auto makers. I disagreed. The Union is the only thing protecting the workers from being driven into slavery. Don't complain that they are "...making too much money", realize that you are not making enough! Government officials are all "Type A" personalities. If you study this, you will find that ONLY "Type B" personalities have the depth to "see" the future. "Type A's" only know how to "do" not "plan" and typically only "do" for themselves.
Years ago, I found a job that would be as "recession proof" as possible for my skill set. I had to take a 40% paycut and no benefits but this is better than no job at all. My wife did the same. I started selling off all my material things that were costing me money and giving no return. I stayed in my 1000 sq. ft. home instead of "trading up" as my neighbors did. I live in Michigan, possibly the hardest hit state in the union, and I still have a job related to the manufacturing industry, I still live in my own home (which is mostly paid for) and drive a vehicle appropriate to my level of income. The "trick" to all this is simply to be brutally honest with yourself, take the time to think ahead and not to follow the pack.
Please know this: A "Global Economy" is an excuse for the rich to justify their greed. Even if we were all (the world) on the same page it would take the lions share of a century to organize the system to where it could work.
I'm saying this now (and have been for over ten years) to anyone who will listen. There is a revolution on the horizon. It will be war. It will start slow and spread like wild fire. Learn all the basics. Learn to hunt, fish, grow food, first aid, survival and most of all to protect yourself!

Posted by Eric March 23, 09 01:43 AM

Donny dont do that!!!

Posted by Anonymous March 23, 09 04:47 AM

This pictures don't have any good meaning, so people don't waist your time on that, just try to be as one with your families and make smth small good thing to each other. Look up back to your roots & believe that everything comes on its own place. Also your are welcome to visit beautiful Almaty, Kazakhstan on the Eurasian Media Forum.

Posted by Aliya Sharipova March 23, 09 05:36 AM

Dear Americans, most of you were arogant and ignored the problems of the world and problems of your own country. Most of you lived in your protected dreamland thinking that capitalism is holly. You were laughing when seeing a bum on the street of your own towns, right? Because they were lazy and not successful to persue the happiness. Now you are surprised with the cruelty of your so called capitalistic leaders. They are greedy and they do not care, not for "the bums" not for you, the "good" Americans. You had McDonalds, big cars, big houses, Hollywood, military and glamour, but behind it is a different face of reality.

Posted by Miranda March 23, 09 05:46 AM

@271 "Now I'm going to continue engineering seeds so that those in third-world nations can grow better crops and feed their families"

Now what?! Is it raining upside down?! What do you know about starvation and crops... You are all just one of a kind and don't know nothing.

Wake up, U.S. ... it's time!

Posted by R. Facuri March 23, 09 08:20 AM

To 259.

It is absolutely stunning how many third world losers from India like you have this out of proportion sense of self wonderfulness.

Posted by Fuck India March 23, 09 09:08 AM

This hit home world wide........Please keep your neighbors in your prayers and reach out to them ,if you are able to lay down in a soft bed and have food to eat.
WTH-Memphis, TN

Posted by Anonymous March 23, 09 09:45 AM


Posted by Amit Shukla,Hr.Co-ordinator,KGCCI March 23, 09 10:44 AM

397, your comeuppance is coming - much as you would like to believe it Europe doesn't stand alone. You think the saudi's have any interest in saving your "society". Welcome to the Wahabist University of Paris (ex-Sorbonne)

Better Learn Arabic and Farsi - they don't have to swim to get to you!

397.Dear 271, I am not european but I do fluently speak French and Italian, and as such have lived parts of my life in Europe for quite a bit. I also travel monthly to every corner of the USA and know your country very well. I think I can safely say that europeans don't give a rat's ?ss if you go there on vacation.... They don't have bud light anyways out there and the cars are really small, in fact, they ride bikes and eat well so you may want to think again.

That being said, no offense, but the uropean union doesn't actually need you anymore. The US dollar barrel is the only reason the US dollar is still afloat. ItÈs you and the saudis baby, hand in hand...

Posted by lepere March 20, 09 08:09 AM

Posted by Anonymous March 23, 09 11:12 AM

This is only the beginning, we've got a lot further to go down, then it could go
sidewards for a decade. It will get really nasty when people start going hungry.

Got God, Grub, Guns & Gold?
Panic Early, Beat the Rush!

Posted by Shane March 23, 09 01:15 PM

Panic, panic, and more panic... Take a minute to take a deep breath. (You still have access to the web, you can't be hurting that bad.) This is going to get hard, but keep your head people. Knuckle down and put your big kid panties on. Where there's a will there's a way. YOU CAN AND Will GET THROUGH THIS. Who cares where the blame lays provided it/they/them don't stand in the way of a decent solution? Watch out for your neighbors, pray to your god, protect your own but don't go out of your way to provoke violence, laugh often and look for the opportunity in the loss. Live within your means and provide basic financial classes in schools to prevent this from happening again.

Desperate times can make or break you. They can develop your spirit and character or destroy them. Prepare yourself accordingly, this is your sign

Posted by Bobbi March 23, 09 02:48 PM

I feel sorry for anyone who has lost their livelyhood. We in Canada seem to have faired a bit better. G-d bless us all.

Posted by Pearl Gertzbein March 23, 09 02:58 PM

we have not had free markets!! Capitalism is not to blame. How can the markets be free with floating currencies, with a private entity having the sole control over the money supply? This is a huge conflict of interest and it starts there.

Posted by Kenny March 23, 09 03:21 PM

Why is the property manager kicking down the door in the first photo. Shouldn't he have a key?

Posted by carl carlson March 23, 09 06:23 PM

Socialism is not the answer. Capitalism in America may, or may not, depending on which comment above you follow, have failed us, but now is not the time to become Socialist.
One thing I recently had explained to me was that most Americans try to live beyond their means. (I know someone will say I'm wrong, but this is my opinion.) They buy new cars often, have many lines of credit, and (in the past couple of years) buy large houses with many more rooms than they actually need, especially since the average American family size has fewer than two kids. Who needs a massive two story house with 5 bedrooms if no one lives in them? I come from a family of six kids and parents who believe in spending according to their means. This means that cars are driven until fixing them costs too much, and of course are bought USED. The house we have is utilitarian in size, and no, we don't have two stories.
Why did people buy homes that were so big when they knew they couldn't afford them? Is it foolishness, or was it their expression of the "American Dream"?

Posted by Yosef March 23, 09 08:41 PM

Picture #32 is just another "Bushville". They're sprouting up all over America as yet another symbol of Bush's failed legacy. Not unlike his inept response to Katrina.

I always say "Rush might be the new face of the Republican party, but George W. Bush will always be their a$$hole."

Posted by Harry R. Sohl March 23, 09 10:22 PM


Posted by AARON March 23, 09 11:20 PM

One should note that the 'have nots' have been suffering even before the recession started. They are the one who will survive. The 'haves' are the ones that caused the recession together with their leaders and the CEOs et al of all the conglomerates because of their greed. These 'haves' think they are 'suffering' because they cannot buy, for a now, the latest model of the vehicles in the market, change their whole wardrobe every few months, dine in fine restaurants only twice a week instead of every day, and I can go on and on. They will however still have a roof over their head, food on the table and clothes on their back.

On a cheery and hopeful note, the last picture says it all. Amid all the gloom and doom we have a beautiful sunflower rising high in all its splendor. We shall overcome.

Posted by Mabel March 24, 09 10:54 AM

hold your breath this too will pass

Posted by p.,pierod.d.s. March 24, 09 05:34 PM

No body is perfect. People made mistakes and now they learned forever.
Whatever happens, happens for the best.
This too will pass.
Live simple and try your best. Accept the results. If you get more money, enjoy and help others. If you get less money, try to manage things in your budget and hope for the best.
God helps- we don't know when and how- those who help themselves.

Wish a better tomorrow for all of us and our generation.

Posted by Well wisher March 24, 09 08:33 PM

Esto tambien pasara...

Posted by Aquiles Esquivel Madrazo March 24, 09 11:51 PM

Who can afford home witch cost 500 000 dollars , those who works still made usually 40 000 to 70 000 a year , can they pay 2000 or 3000 a month for 500 000 house (to build by builder cost about half rest is profit for blood suckers). Yeah buy GM cars , buy house , shop everyday, invest in stocks , pay bills , pretend every thing is ok . (JOKE !

Posted by BEBE March 25, 09 12:03 AM

We have to be religious to spend out of what we really have. It is all due to the habit of spending the money yet to be in our hands.

Posted by Abdul Karim March 25, 09 01:29 AM


Posted by Jazzy Jazz March 25, 09 02:49 AM

There is no doubt that both automation and computer use have increased unemployment. If restricted use of automation and computer is done, recession problem can be solved. What automation and which computer programs should be allowed should be decided by government committee.


Posted by Priyamukh Panalal March 25, 09 07:35 AM

good photoes

Posted by saurabh March 25, 09 08:21 AM

Let us pray more and put our hope and trust in Jesus.

Posted by Angel March 25, 09 01:55 PM

Jesus aint gonna save nobody.
Good Luck!

Posted by Jack is Back March 25, 09 06:10 PM

I think the decline of humanity is on..after a long period where ''our children'' lived better lives then we it's vice versa...ppl have no jobs, no money, no shelter, no in Greece we've seen lately a dramatic increase in crimes, stealing etc..and this is bolstered by the TV networks so ppl are now also afraid along with everything else..

How do they expect someone to buy their goods when that someone has none of the above???
Companies and banks for decades winning more than enough and not giving anything back to ppl. Companies moving factories to countries like China, leaving thousands of ppl unemployed and employing thousands of others there for 100 usd per month, then selling their products, which cost 1 or 2 usd, back to usa and europe for 100 and 200 usd..banks loaning everyone and for everything with huge interest. damn they even have a vacation loan here...IF U GOT NO MONEY Y THE HECK U GOIN ON VACATION?! works on a circle, how stupid can these ppl be not to understand that or not to care??? ''stupid'' can politicians be only to care about money, stock options and reelection? stupid are WE?

...WHAT will a person do when he is left with no job, no money, no hope??? Only two things come in mind...

P.S. Jesus died and God's gone missing...

Posted by Mrodd March 25, 09 09:06 PM

spend less? in order for the economy to bounce back, people need to spend MORE. learn a thing or two about basic economics before making baseless comments

Posted by student March 26, 09 12:17 AM

Interesting comments, but I do not believe anyone living in the First world knows what real poverty is. Come to Africa and check it out !! You think because you live in a tent or you cant get a car loan you are poor ? Unbelievable.. Think again people !!

Pete in Nairobi

Posted by Pete Hurst March 26, 09 03:35 AM

If everyone who responded to these sad photos made a serious suggestion as to what might alleviate this crisis, we would have a huge amount of brain power working on positive solutions. We would make more progress than we do in blaming others or moaning about our situation. Give us your good ideas!

I know that we can work together, not through government necessarily, to make things better. Those who have plenty should be generous to charities. Those who don't have can still volunteer to help these charities make their dollars go further.

Posted by Granny J March 26, 09 08:09 AM

recession tought us austerity. A lesson for future.

Posted by AJAY GUPTA March 26, 09 11:57 AM

What I'm going to say might sound cynical, but it seems to me that people think nowadays that it's a god-given right to have an upper middle class standard of living (at the very least). It's evidently impossible , so people overextend themselves -it's called hubris, arrogance- and lo!here comes the catastrophe!
I have a very modest lower middle class standard of living, dress cheaply, try to save money, and these wannabees keep looking down on me like if I was a piece of shit.

Posted by lionel March 26, 09 12:47 PM

the time of reckoning.

an end to living in excess, indulgence and selfishness.

a time for renewal, responsible living and respect for nature and each other.

Posted by Adrian -Singapore March 27, 09 12:39 AM


Posted by JO LEE March 27, 09 02:28 AM



Posted by laserstone March 27, 09 05:50 AM

very very SAD

Posted by Anonymous March 27, 09 07:31 AM

Picture 18 -
Lyulin project highway is not caused by the crises. It represents Bulgarian Government and administration corruptions. The project for this highway is from last century, last 9 years we have around 500 000 000 euro budget over-income each year. This over-income is always spent for 1 month - December instead to plan it for spending for next year. This is caused by legal issue - currently it is impossible to transfer budget money from one year to next one.

Please do not mix corruption of politics and administration in Bulgaria with worl financial crises!!!! In Bulgaria there is no law about administration officer responsibility!!!! We have very good elaborated corruption schemes, even ministers are firing administration officers for signals that same minister's order for smoking restriction is not respected.

Posted by abu abi March 27, 09 08:20 AM

Very nice site!

Posted by John1217 March 27, 09 10:11 AM

Very nice site!

Posted by John1048 March 27, 09 05:48 PM

Hi to all that read this:Pretty Sad situation, good thing I live in Canada. Things aren't that bad yet. I feel sorry for the rest of the world, especially family's in direr straits. God bless you all and I hope thing get better. James

Posted by James Pollock March 27, 09 08:55 PM

It is beyond my ability to comprehend the full impact of what is occurring.

Posted by dr. judie manulkin March 28, 09 02:18 AM

"spend less? in order for the economy to bounce back, people need to spend MORE. "

That is what you have been told hah?!
Whose economy?

Posted by from Tanzania March 28, 09 05:25 AM

Thansk to the Oil Merchants who occupied the White House (almost illegally) for 8 years. All this is the direct result of their greed for money when they artificially increased the oil price to $150.

too bad Americans elected them for the second term.

Stupid Americans!

Posted by kanjis March 28, 09 11:14 AM

First, it was Communism that "failed" because of the Greed & Selfishness of a few. Now, its Capitalism that has "failed" because of the extreme greed and ultra selfishness of a few.
So, its actually GREED that's the cause which has jeopardized the livelihoods of billions and put all our lives on the line. The selfish few still get Government "propping-up" and earn bonuses, while billions of people's lives hang by a thread.
Over-consumption, conspicuous lifestyles, destruction of the earth's resources, a single model of "development" etc...are issues to examine towards benevolent, safer, democratic nations

Posted by Ash T. Ruth March 29, 09 03:39 AM

It is overwhelming as an adult to realize that the only reason our society functions the way that it does is because of greed and capitalism. We have been bred into a society that teaches us to work, work, work, so that we can live slightly beyond our means.
I'd really like to know who is responsible for having lowered the qualifying criteria for these high risk, no money down, bad credit ok, forget about debt to income ratio, (but your payment will balloon) home loans. Inevitably wrecked!!!

Posted by Billie March 29, 09 02:09 PM

oh well

Posted by Anonymous March 29, 09 10:03 PM

Whether you like Obama or not, is it right to really blame him?

He's been in office for two months now. Did you guys really expect this economic crisis to turn around in that amount of time? A rather gullible thought in my opinion.

I'm not going to start pointing fingers when I see him working everyday attempting to prove our economy. It's not an easy job. I swear, half the people that are blaming Obama would drive the United States into the ground if they had to try what he is trying to accomplish right now.

Posted by Carl March 30, 09 04:28 AM

This CONSPIRATORIAL worldwide economic plunge is the result of too much government taxation, spending, regulations and tyranny in general, and is NOT the fault of capitalism, which has brought wealth and happiness to billions for the past 150 years or so. If we reject capitalism and bring back the feudalistic system of socialism, we will return to the dark ages of 1500 years back and before that. People should NOT panic and demand to our politicians to return FREEDOM to the marketplace, not more Obamanization and government tyranny.

Posted by Sam Taranto March 30, 09 08:11 AM

It is not capitalism OR socialism, captitalism is good but the exesses come forward every decade. We have therefore the need to think of something better. People work better when they work fore themselves and have responsablities, this is where communism failed and collapsed in 1989, this year 20 years ago. Capitalism took over since, but the free market works to good, it needs to be led, stuctured and contained by a GOOD gouverment. Ordinary people cannot see and don't have the knowledge to understand what goes on in the bankingsystem and in leading companies. The photo's are very good but they make me sad and angry what an economic system can do to people.

Posted by Ronald from the Netherlands March 30, 09 10:43 AM

The Carter-era Community Reinvestment Act forced banks to lend to uncreditworthy borrowers, mostly in minority areas.

Age-old standards of banking prudence got thrown out the window. In their place came harsh new regulations requiring banks not only to lend to uncreditworthy borrowers, but to do so on the basis of race.

These well-intended rules were supercharged in the early 1990s by President Clinton. Despite warnings from GOP members of Congress in 1992, Clinton pushed extensive changes to the rules requiring lenders to make questionable loans. [...]

Failure to comply meant your bank might not be allowed to expand lending, add new branches or merge with other companies. Banks were given a so-called "CRA rating" that graded how diverse their lending portfolio was. [...]

In the name of diversity, banks began making huge numbers of loans that they previously would not have. They opened branches in poor areas to lift their CRA ratings.

Meanwhile, Congress gave Fannie and Freddie the go-ahead to finance it all by buying loans from banks, then repackaging and securitizing them for resale on the open market.

That's how the contagion began.

With those changes, the subprime market took off. From a mere $35 billion in loans in 1994, it soared to $1 trillion by 2008.

Readers are strongly encouraged to review this entire fact-filled piece to not only better understand the roots of today's financial crisis, but also to get a sense as to just how absurd media accusations of this all being Bush and McCain's fault are.

Posted by Justin98 March 30, 09 12:17 PM

Every member of society needs to relook in their lifestyle namely in US and other countries. Spending and earning expectations should be kept at logical level by every individual. It is for certain that present crisis would make people realize that saving is essential. Despite understanding the risks , greed has overtaken the decision making capibility of investors, rule of global economy would now undergo many changes.

Posted by B.C.Roy March 31, 09 10:00 AM

It is very sad and depressing to see the plight of so many people.Who is responsible for this state of affairs? Who took the society on a ride? What lessons do we learn from this tragidy?Did not the coming events cast their shadows? Who noticed them but found it convenient to neglect them? Obviously we were not able to digest the excessive prosperity.This prosperity was not healthy. Will the culprits go unpunished?

Posted by ramesh P. Joshi March 31, 09 11:19 AM

This is only the beginning...economists who say we have hit bottom have been saying that for months.

The "Stimulus" bill will only work for a short time...then when the "bill" comes due...we will only see more of's just the beginning....

Obama will run this into the ground AND blame Bush for it.

Posted by DaveAZ March 31, 09 05:14 PM

#535, by Justin98, is the only post you need to read here. Although simplified, he hits all the major points, all of which will be deemed historically accurate over the next decade.
The point that I have not seen addressed is the home ownership myth. NOT ALL PEOPLE ARE QUALIFIED TO OWN A HOME. They require maintainence, discipline, and SACRIFICE. Heck, there are a lot of people who are not responsible enough to even own a car! But they were in line for home loans! You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink!

Posted by schiff_was_right March 31, 09 08:53 PM

el ness 3am tekol ba3da......

I wish all those who have lost their jobs the best of luck and I pray that this will all be over soon...

Posted by Rami Tabbara April 1, 09 04:09 AM

how can you blame obama he was handed this mess on a silver platter by some one who was saying i caused this mess you fix it

Posted by yvette April 1, 09 12:59 PM

I would just like to live the American deam...........Wait! I am, over taxxed, laid off, frusterated. All Hail Bush. Thank you former President Bush for the big sh*t sandwich. Remember fellow Americans it was his politcal party that put us in the situation that we're in. I DO Not Support a socalist President either, and where can I get one of those printers to make my own (fake) stimulus money.

Posted by Cowsta April 1, 09 04:55 PM

Depressing, very depressing. Do you know the opposite of government control/involvement and regulations? FREEDOM!!!! Do we not remember how many people died for our "FREEDOM"? Now we are just handing over our "FREEDOM" by the fist fulls. Thank you very much greedy people.

Posted by I found the weapons of mass destruction! April 1, 09 06:59 PM

#535 is full of misleading information that misplaces blame. CRA related loans make up only a tiny fraction of the overall lending market, and it's intention was to get rid of discriminatory lending practices in the industry. The real fault lays with unsound lending practices spurred on not by the CRA (as I said, the program is relatively minuscule), but with large hedge fund managers and security traders who greedily bought up a fiscal bill of goods that were all predicated on risky loans, the thinking being that, given the historical level of foreclosures and the supposed accuracy of risk-assessment behind lending practices from the low-level bank managers, these securities were just that, secure. This created a distortion in the market, and it quickly created a classic economic bubble which was obfuscated by the repackaging of the debt into difficult to understand financial packages traded at an alarming velocity.

Of course, pointing our fingers in a reactionary fashion at unpopular past presidents is much easier than attempting to understand all of this.

Posted by Michael April 1, 09 11:38 PM

"Hail communism!
Hail Lenin!"

To right man. Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away.....

Posted by Yipideedoda April 2, 09 09:50 AM

I have found a new hobby: I walk into the shopping center. I look in the stores. I feel relieved at how much I do not need, at how much I can do without. Great! Wonderful! By the way, it is greed that caused this crisis. Greed,:"The sword that killed many dead kings " ( Macbeth)

Posted by Macduff April 3, 09 06:22 AM

This is not the time to blame or criticize, we all need to work on this together, find out where we can help, and learn from these mistakes. Let us hope to be better persons and do the right thing!!

Posted by Sudha N April 3, 09 11:09 AM

How do you learn from mistakes without analysing what went wrong ?
If you personally made a mistake, who do you think is responsible ?
If the mistake was someone else's why shouldn't they be responsible ?
Criminals are running Wall Street, and not a cop in sight !
Who's responsible ?
The Government is sending your future earnings and those of your children and grand children to Wall Street as bailouts.
They should be sending the cops.
When will your government start working for you ?

Posted by Keith April 4, 09 07:11 AM

My friends, IMHO it all boils down to hungry people. The global governmental elites fear this scenario like none other (though some would see it as an hegemonic opportunity). Nothing else ultimately matters. This is the only true predictor of final collapse and consequent revolution(s). Hungry people have nothing to lose and everything to gain by ousting established governmental power structures (theocratic, democratic, socialist, totalitarian, etc.) perceived as failures. There must be a threshold percentage of hungry/starving people per national capita that can be sustained before revolution occurs. This percentage is the only statistic I truly care about. I would sure like to know what that number is...

Posted by TK April 4, 09 04:07 PM

Woke up? Slept well, I guess, that was "The American Dream."
Now move your ass.

Posted by Starwin April 5, 09 02:35 AM

This is what happens when the fox is called to watch the hen house. It seems to be a way of life here in Texas. Crazy!

Posted by Ga in TX April 6, 09 04:46 PM

The final convulsions of a universe based on quantitative factors, like money, junk, and time, would seem to be at hand. The time approaches when no amount of money will buy anything and time itself will run out.
------------ William S. Burroughs

Posted by love is the answer April 7, 09 11:31 AM

The world should learn from this recession. A corporate world that says spend, spend what does not belong to you and pay later. Just spend how much you can to improve your credit rating. How do you expect people to keep spending what does not belong to them without enslaving them later? I guess we all agreed to this false living so much that there was no difference between those who were really the owners of wealth and the borrowers of wealth. How can we deceive ourselves that way? Haven't we all contributed to this terrible economic downturn? We have all been less cautious and very greedy. The world's platform can never be the same as we have known. A new economic order will emerge: Prudence should guide our actions this time

Posted by Amankwaa, London April 7, 09 02:48 PM

It's funny that people dream about not working and doing nothing, but when they loose their jobs they stand in long lines desparate to find at least something. maybe this crisys will teach us to appriciate a lot of things. the prise might be way too high though.

Posted by Kateryna April 7, 09 03:28 PM

Very nice site!

Posted by John1217 April 8, 09 02:48 AM

This simply shows the value of work,how the people were careless about their work which results that condition,anyway,it is the time to learn from it to start work again.otherwise this will lead to criminal activities.

Posted by rahul indoria April 8, 09 03:51 AM

this is really sad but hopefully it makes people appriciate their work and not be so nerdy))

Posted by Anonymous April 8, 09 05:11 PM

Photo #17 warms my heart. Its fantastic to see all those gas-guzzling, overweight and poorly-designed cars off the road. Maybe somebody can figure out how to recycle them into scooters or something more appropriate for personal transport.

Posted by Marcus April 8, 09 11:05 PM

ecnomic crisis is getting worse day after day and this is because of miscalculation made by big gvts which are supposed to be blame for their mistakes.they followed false economic policy based on intrests.they did not calculate how long this policy may last successful.IT is obvious that the economic depression first hit in america and then expanded fast to other countries touching even those poor coutries.2008 economic crisis is like 1930s economic depression.So it is clear that new policies must be followed to get out of this disaster,and this means that gvts must not follow the same policy .Each gvnt must find its own policy so that to get out of this crsis because one policy for all is useless.

Posted by mos April 10, 09 08:25 AM

s its really a belleeeeeeeeeeeeeeee site but people shoud't b like tis

Posted by manoj April 11, 09 01:13 AM

I know why the world is facing recession !
Its just as Allah said that Allah always increases the money of Zakat(Charity) & always reduces the money of intrest !
Thanks to Allah that majority of the muslims who protect them from intrest are safe. My father's business is also going very good.
Islam is the best religion.

Posted by Muhammad Saeed April 11, 09 01:40 PM

This is a reality check, frist we should understand why is this happenning? how did this start? we became too good at what we do, the marketing people marketed so well, the sales: sold to every single person who they spoke to and we the cousumer, brough it. without a question, even when we knew that we could not afford it.
we had lost our faith in our creator (call him who or what ever) we believed in our new god: Money and the modernday church/mosq/temple: The Bank,
do we deserve this, oh yeah,, now do you understand how to get out of this..
HOw to

Posted by Sheriff April 13, 09 09:21 AM

La palabra de Dios relata todo esto que esta aconteciendo alrededor nuestro. la crisis mundial y espiritual que la humanidad. afrenta son prinsipios de dolores.
EN MEDIO DE ESTA CRISIS. SE HA MANTENIDO EN FE HACIA EL, AMIGO REFUJIATE EN EL EL, ES EL UNICO CAMINO LA UNICA ESPERANSA PARA TU VIDA. esto no lo arregla nadie e ira de mal en peol pero si tu de corazon le entregas tu vida a cristo te librara de la hora de prueba que ha de venir sobre este mundo de maldad y confucion. apocalipsis 3:10 aceptalo como unico salvador y tendras el privilegio de vivir con el por los siglos de los siglos amen.

Posted by carlos April 17, 09 05:42 AM

I don't know what to say, I'm really very touched by all these pictures. One thing I know is that the end of the world is fast approaching and Jesus is mounting the saddle to return. Let's take this time to reflect on our relationship with God, do we even have a relationship with Him? These times certainly will end, the question is what will I gain from it?
"All things worketh together for good to them that love the LORD"

Posted by Ubong Akpadiaha April 24, 09 06:51 AM

It is disturbing to note the effects of the global recession in the developed world. I shudder to imagine the ripple effect it will have on the developing world

Posted by Ken Mazhindu April 28, 09 04:00 PM

So much stress. So much strain. You grow up to think America America- and even my uncle said this is america, of course we will turn around! Now im starting to wonder if he is right. I hope for the sake of so so many he is correct. THIS is taking to much of a toll.

Posted by isabel L April 28, 09 05:33 PM

the 90 91 recession was bad. this is worst. for those who are into saints PRAY TO st JUDE

Posted by Carmal April 29, 09 08:14 PM

If the Lord, Allah and St. Jude would just nationalize the Federal Reserve (the people who are really running the country) we would not have to pay interest on the stimulus package. Then the problem would not be exasperated any further by borrowing money to give to the banks and renew the cycle.
Foreclose the Federal Reserve!

Posted by Doubting Thomas May 1, 09 12:41 PM

It's simple, really.
If you don't have the money to buy it, then don't.
Wait till you have saved up for it.
If you have to buy a house or car on credit, then go for the most basic ones and refrain from creating more debt.
Then work hard to pay off the house and car and you will eventually live a life, free from debt.
Don't participate in the world of usury.

Posted by Anver (South Africa) May 2, 09 01:17 PM

I am really surprised at a lot of these comments... I am a 28 year old male, recently returned and graduated from school and working in LA. I have a wife and 2 kids as well and we both have worked through school living within our means.

Neither one of us can a find a job now... Your telling me that this recession is my fault because the guy I didn't vote for made some really eroneuos choices? because I spent outside of my budget although I am living with the bare necessities... One guy said if you can't get a car note then you are NOT poor... But, contrary in most places you have to have a car to get arround successfully on schedule.


Posted by THUG LIFE RETURNS May 11, 09 08:22 PM

Foreclosures happened due to the banks forced people into loser loans for 10 years and ended in foreclosures properties and the economy is in a slump.

The United States will go bankrupt and banks should be held accountable they created this mess by the greed and capital ideas they dealed out. People are eating shit and reducing their expenses to have just enough money for basic essentials. The median and poor population getting poorer until they die and the banks and government trying to get bills passed to deduct more taxes from worker.

Posted by Anonymous May 23, 09 07:39 PM

Nothing will educate the people but hunger and cold. Only massive SHORTAGES will awaken them. By then it will be too late to recover easily.
The criminals in the Senate (BOTH DEMS AND REPUBS) MUST be booted out in 2010, preferrably in the PRIMARIES. No useful action will be taken by the current congress.
The other shoes have yet to fall: commercial and industrial realty and biggest of all, LOCAL governments.

Posted by deathbymagoomba May 31, 09 10:32 AM

Everyone who says that this is the end of the world is overreacting. Sure, things are pretty bad right now. But it's been worse. The world isn't going to end, because we aren't going to let it. I refuse to believe that one day in the near future, we will all drop dead simultaneously, or that soon all forms of government will collapse into anarchy. This is going to pass - Or at least, it will if we keep our heads.

Posted by Catherine June 7, 09 08:32 PM

how sad.wait.time change and will be hopful to futur.

Posted by kishor June 11, 09 05:28 AM

El capitalismo debe morir, los seres humanos de todos los paises deben tomar conciencia, qie este es el mal del planeta.Los habitantes de los paises del primer mundo deben saber que la tierra es para todo, si esto sigue asi ellos no se salvaran,debemos obligar a los gobiernos que se pongan del lado del ser humano y dejen de proteger al capitalismo.
Los transbordadores no los van a salvar

Posted by Héctor June 15, 09 07:31 PM

Very nice site,I congratulate

Posted by tahir June 27, 09 11:06 AM

wow , It's pretty scary. Hope we recover from this soon.

Posted by Anonymous July 3, 09 11:13 PM

Et tombent les anges en feu. La foudre les entoure de ses éclairs, brûlants dans les flammes ardentes d’Orc.
What greed of a few has made, rage from numbers must burn.

Posted by Fab July 7, 09 04:41 AM

Et tombent les anges en feu. La foudre les entoure de ses éclairs, brûlants dans les flammes ardentes d’Orc.

And the angels fall in flames. Lightning surrounds its lightning, burning in the fiery flames of Orc.

El capitalismo debe morir, los seres humanos de todos los paises deben tomar conciencia, qie este es el mal del planeta.Los habitantes de los paises del primer mundo deben saber que la tierra es para todo, si esto sigue asi ellos no se salvaran,debemos obligar a los gobiernos que se pongan del lado del ser humano y dejen de proteger al capitalismo.
Los transbordadores no los van a salvar

Capitalism must die, the human beings of all the countries must take brings back to consciousness, qie this is the evil of the planet. The inhabitants of the countries of the first world must know that the Earth is for everything, if this follows therefore they were not saved, we must force the governments who are put of the side of the human being and stop protecting to Capitalism. The ferrys are not going them to save

Posted by David July 13, 09 12:51 PM

please watch end game by alex jones on youtube. the economy is designed to crash to bring in world government. you will see world government and carbon tax and the rfid chip.

Posted by jon July 20, 09 01:04 AM

Some more scenes of the recession from the air:

Posted by Bob July 31, 09 07:12 PM

if the evolution of world is already programmed...and anything and everything will move accordingly within the allowed limits........creation and annihilation all are part of the different phases of evolution....we have to move from order to chaos and to new order (equilibrium).....we may ask if everything is pre-decided how could we be responsible for our actions...?!! yes ..we have been given a chance......with our intelligence and ability to act, a decision and action to move in the right path (as defined by us in our frame of reference) is allowed and we can act only within this is bound to happen...which is destiny....But correction if things go wrong is Bhagwat Geeta and read on what Lord says.....Yada Yada hi ...................sambhavami Yuge Yuge..(Sanskrit).

Posted by Pradeepkumar N August 2, 09 04:02 AM

I read a few topics. I respect your work and added blog to favorites.

Posted by Kouba August 2, 09 09:34 PM

Wake up americans?

Yes, i'm american. But unlike many, i've lived oversees. No one on this earth...which the exceptions of third world countries whom have far bigger things to worry about, is blameless. Every country I've lived in, every state, large or small has the same fast food chains, the same dependencies. Yes, i did enjoy living Germany more, and yes, the lifestyle is more healthy there. Yes your every day, atypical American is prone to excess. But what is coming is not based just on this excess. We as the human race are trying to extinguish the very things that give us life. We pave our forests, we pollute our soil and our water and our air. I grew up in a small village, it was 10 miles from the nearest town, and even that small town was small. In 10 years, from the time i started middle school, i watched farmland become golf courses set ACROSS from another golf course. What does a village of not even 5000 residents need with two full golf courses? Rich farmland wasted so a few people could play a round of a game. This waste isn't just American. Its global. And its going to kill us.

Posted by Dracornin August 6, 09 10:13 PM

Sad, really sad.
Jaane kya hoga ab?

Posted by Diva October 11, 09 10:03 PM

Many people from other countries seem to see only the good and fashionable side of USA before this recession hit but fail to see The dark life before the recession. The mothers that worked 3 jobs just to get her and her son by, or the families that couldn't afford insurance and died while leaving a $30,000 funeral to pay for. Now that the wealthiest country in the world is having economic downturn (As all countries will) all people can do is sit here and criticize Working Americans and there life style. But i do admit there Was many mistakes made by American officials That have to be fixed and learned from. USA is the fastest established country in the world with a stable government and a world effect (If USA sneezes the rest of the world gets a cold). USA has not had the chance to go through the large economic Problems in its 200 year history as other countries that have been here longer and have had the chance to tackle problems. I believe that this recession is a lesson to be learned.

Dandre Harris

Posted by Dandre Harris of Maryland January 7, 10 06:32 PM

Bateu muito no fundo do mundo,Mas o pior ainda está para vir.Acreditem

Posted by jose March 6, 10 02:08 AM

Bateu muito no fundo do mundo,Mas o pior ainda está para vir.Acreditem

Posted by jose March 6, 10 02:08 AM

sean this is the last part after i finish speaking i will show these pictures scenes from the recession this is the best part im so excited do u think we should all wear black pants and white shirts black shoes bc i dont want to look tacky which is basic business colors and for us girls open toe shoes are not professional can't wear them on an interview y wear them on a presentation u r the team leader so run that by the team everybody should have black pants and a white shirt

Posted by Denise May 10, 10 12:08 PM

Rancho Cucamonga California is in major decline. The city was formerly the 6th fastest growing city in the nation. It was amazing to see. Then the depression hit. Now our "crown jewel city" is in crisis mode. The fastest growing metro area in the nation became the worst economic region in the nation very quickly. My construction worker friends who are great at their trade suddenly went from making a decent wage to indefinite unemployment. Rancho Cucamonga's brand new office district has multiple empty buildings that still have never been occupied. Our neighborhoods to the north are still half built. Central Park is half built with no money to build the aquatics and tennis centers. The newly built hotel district with five business class hotels could not have come at a worse time. And the LA/ONT International Airport is failing with passenger levels lower than before the two terminals were built. Part of the terminals are shutting down.

There is good though. President Obama's stimulus plan has done much good here. A new rail bridge was constructed using stimulus dollars and this project was totally shovel ready and planned before the crash. The new bridge separates street traffic on Haven Avenue (55,000 cars) from the train traffic on the Metrolink Red Line (40 trains per day) (By 2020 the number of trains will double to 80). This is one of the busiest intersections in the nation now fixed and running smoothly for...well until the bridge needs replacing in say 150 years. The other major stimulus projects include the planned California High Speed Rail Ontario Station and the planned Metro Gold Line stations in Upland, Rancho Cucamonga, and Ontario. The new high speed rail and light rail lines will link all the affluent foothill communities to Union Station in Downtown LA and will also link up to the planned station in Ontario at the California High Speed Rail Hub at the LA/ONT Airport. The president also provided stimulus money to fund over 25 other projects within city limits including street, storm drain, and sidewalk improvements in order to spur development. If you don't live in cities that are growing you will not see the stimulus effects right away and you may never even see them at all. But it's working and I've seen it with my own eyes. I hope the Inland Valley can recover from the worst president in American history...President George Walker Bush.

Posted by Matt June 22, 10 04:41 PM


Posted by TSERING WANGDUE October 30, 10 05:00 AM

I honestly didn't consider this specific matter that way. I think that there's a point in all of this. Happy to be capable to get involved. Wish you luck.

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Posted by Eric Bruscino April 28, 11 03:40 AM
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