“We have had to struggle with the old enemies of peace – business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.”
I wish these words, spoken in 1936 by Franklin D. Roosevelt, were not as true today as then. Yet over the past eighteen months this nation has faced a financial crisis second only to the Great Depression. It is a crisis that in many ways was predictable and preventable – one that the smartest experts had seen on the horizon for years. In the end, like the market crash that fueled the Great Depression, the current financial crisis may have been inevitable, fueled by systemic flaws that require systematic repair.
By many accounts, we did not lack the ability to foresee the looming crisis. Rather, too many of us lost sight of the need to guard against it. We lacked some of the courage and commitments that FDR brought to the last century, commitments that might have made us question the sources of dizzying profits for a few and the decay of security and prosperity for the many.
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