As someone with an obsessive penchant for good song lyrics, the first thing that popped into my mind when I thought of the 10-year anniversary of the September 2008 market meltdown was lyrics from the Led Zeppelin classic, “Ten Years Gone”:
Then as it was, then again it will be
And though the course may change sometimes
Rivers always reach the sea…
It’s human nature to forget about the horrors in life, especially the emotions attached to those horrors. That’s because the ability to forget is a feature of our consciousness, not a bug. Yet there are some emotions associated with events that are nearly impossible to forget, no matter how hard we try.
Unfortunately, two of those events happened to have occurred in September.
The first, and most horrific, was the events of 17 years ago this month. That, of course, was the terror attack on our nation on September 11, 2001. Much has been said over the past few days of the heroism, valor and tragedy associated with this anniversary. Yet, what stands out for me is the difference between the brotherly sense of unity so many Americans felt on September 12, 2001, and the sense of division so many seem to feel on September 12, 2018.
Suffice it to say that “blame” for this division can be found in many places, including our universities, our cultural discourse, our social media interactions, our sporting events, and, of course, in the highest branches of government.
I just hope it doesn’t take another devastating attack to bring America back to the sense of unity we felt 17 years ago today.
The second event, while less devastating than the terror attacks of 9/11, was no less jarring from a psychological standpoint — especially if you had money invested in the financial markets.
You see, it has been 10 years since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, a fantastically swift implosion of the sort that hadn’t happened to an American financial institution since the 1930s.