Thursday, September 25, 2008


When everyone calls an economic situation a crisis, then there may actually be a crisis. The proposed bailout, which congressional leaders have just agreed upon, is really a momentous piece of legislation. As you know, they want the U.S. government to spend $700 billion to buy up bundles of questionable mortgage loans. The face value of the loans is actually much more than $700 billion, but those holding the loans can’t find anyone to buy the loans at anything near face value.

Theoretically, the government could MAKE money after a few months when they sell these loans again in the open market. I’m not holding my breath. Even if the government did make money, it would be used for more spending, not for paying debt or tax rebates.

But even if the government could make money with this deal, I don’t believe it is the right thing to do. The government does not need to interfere in the free market. The market naturally has ways to correct itself. But in this case, the government wants to step in, ostensibly, to protect us from the fallout of the bad business practices which led to the problem.

Whenever there is government intrusion, there will be government regulation. Government regulation always has unintended consequences. In fact, government regulations, put in place after the Enron collapse several years ago, are partly to blame for today’s situation. Accounting practices which are now required have made financial statements look bad for firms holding the bundles of sub-prime loans. This has sent them into panic, as they try to sell the loans – to improve their balance sheets – in a market where no one will buy them.

With the current proposal, there will certainly be more regulations and more unintended consequences. The government will be in the business of selling off sub-prime loans. And we will have to print billions of new dollars to pay for the party.

Talk about inflation.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


I heard a saying a couple of weeks ago which has really stuck with me.

“You were destined to achieve what you were designed to love.”

God has designed us all with various preferences, passions, and abilities. He has designed us all differently, and we love different kinds of things, from activities to foods to employment.

God has placed within our hearts certain desires which, when fulfilled, will build his kingdom and bring us joy. Paul told the Ephesians that “we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God has prepared in advance for us to do.” We are destined, through his work in us, to achieve those very things which will bring joy to our hearts.

Only God can work these things together. We are made to love certain things. We are destined to achieve these things. He has prepared them in advance so that we can do them.

This gives me some assurance that in pursuing kingdom work, I am fulfilling God’s destiny for me. I am learning that he builds great love for the work he has shaped me to do.

Since he has prepared these things in advance, I can trust him to bring them about. Right now, it is hard for me to see the plan he has worked out in advance. I need to listen. I need to watch. I need to pray. He will bring it all about in his timing. I also need to step forward in faith, following his lead. Wherever he leads, he will provide all that we need.

OK, God. Here I go.