The Trumpet Herald

Giving the trumpet a certain sound

November 2008

Economic Turmoil

Front-page news continues to be the economic situation in the stock market, credit situation, mortgage defaults, and financial institution bankruptcies.

The world is on the brink of financial meltdown, the head of the International Monetary Fund said Saturday. His bleak warning came as finance ministers tried to calm the frenzy in markets that saw share prices crash by more than 20 percent last week.

The IMF's chief economist added to the gloom by predicting that shares could slump by another 20 percent before stabilizing. G7 finance ministers pledged to take all necessary steps to support the banking system and stave off an economic slump.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the IMF's managing director, warned that the measures so far "have not yet achieved the goal of stabilizing markets and bolstering confidence."

He said: "Intensifying solvency concerns about a number of the largest U.S.-based and European financial institutions have pushed the global financial system to the brink of systemic meltdown." Countries would need to take further measures, including interest rate cuts and steps to bolster the banks. ("IMF Warns of Global Financial Meltdown," The London Times as reported on, Oct. 11, 2008)

Inspired commentary

Multiple causative factors have been mentioned in relation to the current economic turmoil. Writing to a situation in Australia in the 1890s, inspiration describes something like what we seem to be seeing today.

All these things are lessons for us. Few now are really industrious and economical. Poverty and distress are on every hand. There are men who work hard, and obtain very little for their labor. There is need of much more extensive knowledge in regard to the preparation of the soil. There is not sufficient breadth of view as to what can be realized from the earth. A narrow and unvarying routine is followed with discouraging results. The land boom has cursed this country, extravagant prices have been paid for lands bought on credit; then the land must be cleared, and more money is hired; a house to be built calls for more money, and then interest with open mouth swallows up all the profits. Debts accumulate, and then come the closing and failure of banks, and then the foreclosure of mortgages. Thousands have been turned out of employment; families lose their little all, they borrow and borrow, and then have to give up their property and come out penniless. Much money and hard labor have been put into farms bought on credit, or inherited with an incumbrance. The occupants lived in hope of becoming real owners, and it might have been so, but for the failure of banks throughout the country. (Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 317)

Homosexual Marriage in Connecticut

A third state supreme court has decided to legalize homosexual marriage.

Connecticut's Supreme Court ruled Friday that gay couples have the right to marry, making the state the third behind Massachusetts and California to legalize such unions. The ruling comes just weeks before Californians go to the polls on a historic gay-marriage ballot question, the first time the issue will be put before voters in a state where same-sex couples are legally wed.

The 4-3 ruling is the first time that a state that had willingly offered an alternative to marriage was told by a court that civil unions aren't enough to protect the rights of gay couples. Connecticut was the first state to voluntarily pass laws to affirm civil unions. ...

In the majority opinion, Justice Richard N. Palmer wrote that denying marriage to same-sex couples would create separate standards. ...

[Dissenting] Justice Peter T. Zarella wrote that he believes there is no fundamental right to same-sex marriage, and the court's majority failed to discuss the purpose of marriage laws, which he said is to "privilege and regulate procreative conduct."

Zarella added, "The ancient definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman has its basis in biology, not bigotry. If the state no longer has an interest in the regulation of procreation, then that is a decision for the legislature or the people of the state and not this court." ("Conn. high court rules gay couples can marry," The Associated Press, Oct. 10, 2008)

Inspired commentary

While the current situation in the economic arena seems to be enforcing certain economic virtues, moral virtues still are sliding.

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 2 Tim. 3: 1-5

China Tainted Milk Scandal

A large number of milk products in and from China have been found to have been contaminated with the industrial chemical melamine. The initial reports of this problem and a subsequent recall were apparently delayed to avoid bad news before the recent Bejing Olympics. Before and during that delay, a reported 54,000 children developed kidney stones and four died.

How did this happen? Some say the source of the problem is farmers caught between rising costs and a government cap on prices. The farmers, these critics say, added the melamine to boost the tested protein level of watered-down milk. Farmers, in turn, are blaming the operators of the thousands of milk collection stations scattered across the country, which purchase raw milk with little regulatory oversight.

Wherever the blame ultimately rests, this episode is a textbook example of how things can go terribly wrong in the opaque world of Chinese business and politics. ("The Story Behind China's Tainted Milk Scandal," (U.S. News & World Report), Oct. 12, 2008)

Inspired commentary

Some ancient bits of wisdom come to mind:

A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent. Proverbs 28:20

Whoso walketh uprightly shall be saved: but he that is perverse in his ways shall fall at once. Proverbs 28:18.

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. Proverbs 28:13

Page created:10/21/08. Updated: 10/21/08
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