Saturday, December 6, 2008

Put your faith into Someone eternal

NPR'sMorning Edition, which I listen to on KMST in Rolla, had an interesting story about the burst of the housing market bubble. Lots of people have lost and are continuing to lose money in that fiasco. NPR's David Kastenbaum asked "Where did the money go?" and got a couple of experts to help him explain. You can read about it by clicking here. There's also a way to listen to the report.
What I found especially interesting was this passage (the boldfaced type is mine):

The financial world was particularly vulnerable to the drop in housing prices because of something that doesn't show up in our little game. That something is a factor economists call "leverage." Remember, we borrow money to buy houses. Lenders count on us to pay off our mortgages. The property serves as collateral, to back up the loan. When the bubble burst, that property was suddenly worth less than the amount of the loan — the backup failed.
But why can't we all just go back to believing the houses are worth more? Wouldn't that actually increase their value?
(Russ) Roberts, the economist in the group, is skeptical. "Isn't that how we got into this problem to start with?" he asks. "We all kind of pretended these prices were going to go up and up and up. And that encouraged a whole set of behavior that turned out to be dysfunctional.
"You know, it's a funny thing," he continues. "When the bubble pops, everybody says, 'Where did the money go?' ... It didn't come from anywhere other than the belief that [prices were] going to keep going up. And when that belief didn't turn out to be true, the prices came down to their original level. So in that sense, there was no harm done. The problem was a lot of people made bets along the way. And when those bets didn't pay out, the ramifications of all that money not getting paid out like it was promised to be turned out to be very destructive."
In other words, the market was built on faith--misplaced faith it turns out. Now why is it that people are so eager to put their faith into property or material goods, but not in the Lord Jesus Christ?

He is far more worthy of your belief, faith and trust than anything or anyone else. Don't take my word for it, though, for I'm just a dumb old country boy from the Ozarks. Do your own investigation by reading the Bible and looking into the Resurrection.

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