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The Perfect Storm

Thursday, March 13: The International Monetary Fund announces that governments might have to intervene with taxpayers' money to shore up the financial system and prevent a downward credit spiral from taking hold.

Friday, March 14: The Fed makes a surprise announcement that it would t emporarily inject its own money to help teetering brokerage big boy Bear Stears Cos. Economist Allen Sinai of Decision Economics Inc in New York worries & ldquo;We will lose, in some form, several major financial institutions before this is over. & rdquo; &

Saturday, March 15: President Bush states & ldquo;The government must guard against going too far in trying to fix the troubled economy. One of the worst things you can do is overcorrect. & rdquo;


Monday, March 17: Former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman, Alan Greenspan, warns & ldquo;The current crisis rocking the markets and global economy could turn out to be the worst since World War II. & rdquo; & &

Tuesday, March 18: The U.S. dollar nose-dived to its lowest levels in 12.5 years in Asia. The daily Gallup poll shows Americans pointing to the economy as the most important problem facing the country and rating the U.S. economy as "poor." More than 3/4 of Americans say the U.S. economy is now in a recession.

Wednesday, March 19: Detroit News' Money and Life Editor Brian J. O'Connor worries & ldquo;The fact a cut was needed at all means the U.S. economy, if not already in a recession, is headed there soon."

I'm no economy expert, but none of this sounds good to me.

I've been reading headlines from around the world that declare the U.S. dollar is headed for collapse. Not if, but when. America is in serious trouble.


Stephen Studdert, former White House advisor to three U.S. Presidents recently wrote in his new book ldquo;Things feel of late like the planet is on a downhill runaway train and picking up speed, growing ever closer to the mountain cliff. The inevitable crash is around the next bend. There are frightening clouds of instability on the close horizon and they are easily seen by those who look. In many respects we are a nation sinking under its own weight. & rdquo;

Is there a presidential candidate who can solve our financial woes? Which political candidate is best prepared to handle a financial crisis? Is it the place of government to intervene in the economy? It's foolish to think the government is going to bail you out of your debts when the stimulus package of $160 billion refund to taxpayers is a refund of taxes not yet collected, so in reality it's $160 billion more debt on the back of the American public.

Our national debt is a ticking time bomb. It's time to get our houses in order, and I'm not just talking about our heavy mortgage payments. While we can't solve all of the nation's problems this week, we can take responsibility to care for our own families.

Here are some things we can do:

  • Prepare an emergency kit for your family to keep in each car and in your home. Don't expect help to arrive in a disaster for 72 hours. Help yourself. Know your neighbors. Keep a little extra cash, food and water on hand.
  • Add a few gold or silver coins to your portfolio.
  • Take another look at your mortgage and see if a refinance is in order.
  • Pay off your credit cards and get out of debt.
  • & Raise your awareness level.
  • & Speak up and write your legislators.
  • & Demand accountability. &

- Citizen Voices blogger Trina Boice is an author and mother of four who lives in Carlsbad. &