When I was in junior high school, we did a stock market simulation. It was, I think, a full-day exercise...we were all in a big lecture room and we were given a certain amount of stocks, then we could buy and sell during the day. "News reports" came via teachers throughout the exercise.
The president got sick at some point, but I held on. Other bad things (I can't remember) happened, but I hung on.
The market tanked, and I lost everything.
I remember thinking, "I should have known, when X and Y happened, to sell out." That was clearly the lesson of the day.
What was the lesson of yesterday?
Did you see it coming?
Over the last few years, DH and I have watched the proliferation of McMansions in the areas surrounding us, and said to each other, "Where are all these people coming from, and where are they getting the money for these houses!?"
We drew back in disbelief several years ago at the news that a family of our acquaintance, who had recently entered their second bankruptcy, was building a new home in a master planned community. "That can't be true..." we said to each other, "how could they get a mortgage?" It was. They did. And here we all are, together on this merry go round gone mad.
My question: What were we supposed to have done differently? In the past years I've paid off my sizable consumer debt, with the excellent assistance of Consumer Credit Counseling Service and the support and encouragement of my excellent spouse. My husband has built a thriving contracting business. I work in education.
Were we not paying attention? Were there smoke signals? Why is the "I should have known" not so very clear as that time when I was 13?
When is this simulation over, and when can we stop spinning?