Salvation, being saved, and self-saving

“Fire Fighting” is a history book of the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis. It detailedly records the roots, causes, experiences, climaxes, and solutions of the birth of the subprime crisis and Yu Xu’s experience. The classification in Chinese style should be “the fire extinguishment of the subprime crisis” or “the epitaph of the subprime crisis”.

The three authors who wrote the book are all big names in American politics: Ben Bernanke, a former chairman of the Federal Reserve, successfully led the United States through the severe economic crisis since the Great Depression. Timothy Geithner, the 75th U.S. Treasury Secretary and expert in financial crisis management, worked with Bernanke and Paulson to help with the financial crisis during President Obama’s term, known as the “market rescue trio”. Henry Paulson, the 74th US Treasury Secretary, was named the “king of power on Wall Street” during his tenure at Goldman Sachs.

They were the witnesses of the 2008 financial crisis and the most important solver of the crisis. We see their attribution to the crisis: the basic driving force of the mortgage boom is excessive optimism in the real estate market, so the quality of the mortgage loans issued is too low, and financial institutions are frantically increasing leverage until they are out of control. ——You must have remembered the things around you a few years ago, but this is not important. What is important is how we should reflect, summarize and respond.

The subprime crisis was a severe economic recession since the Great Depression of 1929. The crisis began on Wall Street in the United States, spread across the world, severely impacted the global credit market, and quickly spread to the international financial system. At the critical juncture of the crisis, the Ben Bernanke, Timothy Geithner, and Henry Paulson we just mentioned formed a three-person rescue team to successfully save the US economy through a series of ultra-conventional emergency interventions. Avoid crashes.

However, things are not easy. In 2019, the United States seems to have completely shaken off the shadow of the subprime mortgage crisis. The unemployment rate has even reached a new low of nearly 50 years, and US stocks have continued to rise. However, if we look at the drawings and tables at the end of the book, we will find that US government bonds, corporate bonds, and personal liabilities are also hitting record highs. The authors are fortunate that they asked themselves, “Are we safe now?” Then tell the reader: “A rebound is inevitable.” No matter how good the original intention of the measure is, another force will eventually form, and this force will once again push the economy into the abyss. Although they are trying to find a pattern of crisis outbreaks, they also acknowledge that the emergency arsenal is very weak, and we can not do much in the face of crises.

This book brings us to the perspective of some Americans: who they are, how they think about the economic crisis of 2008, and how to tell a story about solving the crisis.

In addition, we should remember what happened more than ten years ago, those that happened around us, such as the four trillion yuan to save the city, such as attracting foreign investment and ubiquitous infrastructure. China has made outstanding contributions to the resolution of the economic crisis. These are not written in the book, but they also persist because of our memories.