Zeitgeist of 2008 financial crisis
The world has seen many financial crisis and the one that will be remembered for decades to come will be the great recession of 2008 which came to light with the collapse of the 158 year old financial firm Lehman Brothers in 2008.
I had first hand experience of watching how the 2008 global financial crisis unfolded right in front of my eyes in 2008 and 2009 at the epicenter New York City. The unruly conduct of the financial institutions in western countries and especially United States spiralled out of control and pulled other countries into the crisis. Lot of small western countries like Iceland and the European countries that we drowning in debt like Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain got carried away with the cheap loans and investment banking greed and became part of the 2008 financial crisis.
This crisis put lot of families on the street with no welfare measures to help them to get back on their feet. Big banks got big bailouts, automobile companies got bailouts and people got nothing and not even proper unemployment benefits. This financial crisis showed how companies were able to socialize the losses and privatize the profits. If you want more information about this crisis read the book Boomerang by Michael Lewis.
Having lived in USA for 13 years I can say that one mood that prevails since their independence is their view “Government is the problem”. The recovery of giant corporations from the financial crisis at unprecedented speed showed that Wall Street is a powerful force that needs to be tamed. Remember the Occupy Wall Street movement that was started to tame the bull but could not put the noose around the neck of the bull.
When the economy was getting back on track and Mr. Barack Obama was getting ready for re-election an Indian origin man Mr. Devan Sharma then CEO of Standard & Poor’s rating agency did the unthinkable. S&P downgraded the US federal government credit rating from AAA to AA+ i.e from Outstanding to Excellent in Aug 2011. The backlash from Obama administration and US politicians showed the high-handedness of US government which again drove the anti-government sentiment to new level.
In 2008 during the onset of the financial crisis a white paper appeared on internet about launching decentralized currency and then bitcoin was launched in 2009. This initially looked like a technical project which then became an anti-establishment movement.
Cryptocurrencies are now clearly threatening the power of central banks, financial institutions and even government authority. One of the largest known investors in the bitcoin the Winkelvoss twins propelled the crypto movement globally. They were completely shunned off from investing in any firm in the silicon valley due to the revenge of Mark Zuckerberg. You can read more about that story in the book Bitcoin Billionaires by Ben Mezrich.
Fast forward to 2021 the country El Salvador has announced bitcoin as legal tender on par with US dollar. An article that carries a valid point of announcing bitcoin as legal tender is a folly was written in The Guardian.
The most beautiful truth about social networks is that it breaks the social silos and social structures and there by liberating people from their chains to connect with anyone in the world and take forward an idea. Bitcoin and blockchain are doing the same for the economic structures which were erected with protectionism and regulations in mind.
Today sending money from one part of the world to another part of the world without any government’s intervention or bank’s intervention is a reality.
I still here lot of stories from my friends around the world of how their future was turned upside down due to the financial crisis in 2008. Reflect upon where you were and how you got impacted by the 2008 financial crisis and post your experience in the comment section.
The idea of a decentralized world whose time has come cannot be stopped. I believe what Moisés Naím said in his book The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being in Charge Isn’t What It Used To Be that “power is easier to get, harder to use, and easier to lose” is a reality now across the globe.
Founder & CEO
He is an expert in emerging technologies like cloud, big data and analytics, blockchain and artificial intelligence. He is the author of the book Learning Google BigQuery. He recently completed his Masters in Blockchain from Zigurat Innovation & Technology Business School, Barcelona, Spain which is affliated to University of Barcelona, Spain. He lived in USA for 13 years and moved back to India in 2018 to start his own company. He lives in Chennai with his family.