The Crash-Plus 1: What’s changed for you in the past year?

Out of work

Welcome to our post-crash society! How do you like it?

We’re passing through the first anniversary of the biggest stock market crash and financial calamity since the Great Depression.

The collapse of Wall Street spread like a virus, bringing down markets and economies around the world. Home values plunged and retirement portfolios almost vanished over night.

Venerable banks and the big auto companies survived only at the largess of government bailouts. Soon, companies started to slash jobs and unemployment rose and rose. My home state of Michigan leads the nation in unemployment.

Paper is the traditional gift for a first wedding anniversary; plastic is the modern alternative. These symbols seem fitting for the first anniversary of the crash–our wealth on paper is half of what it once was, and plastic is the new currency of survival.

A year later, we see a few faint signs of recovery. Some economic indicators look better. The banks are paying back their bailout funds. GM has restructured (though I doubt we’ll see bailout funds returned any time soon).

What changes have you seen in the past year–your life, your family, your community? What changes are permanent? What changes are temporary?

This week on, we’ll reflect on what’s happened during the past year.
    Has it changed our priorities?
    Has it clarified our values?
    What is really important now?

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