The Wall Street inflated the value of all kind of securities over the past 15 years. They took lots of profit and reaped lots of fee.
Now the PONZI game has collapsed, and the bagholders -- your 401k and pension funds -- are suffering huge loss. I think that most the loss are permanent.
The projected budget deficit over the next ten years would likely exceed $10 trillion. Who would buy these new debt? Chinese or OPEC countries? No, at most, they could only absorb 1/3 of it given the declining demand for cheap exports and oils. Federal Reserve has to print money to buy the rest, about $7 trillion. So inflation would be an issue sooner or later.
For those people who have already retired or would soon retire, my advice is "brace for impact". The next ten years would be tougher than most have expected.
I think that selection of Obama is no coincidence. His populist message "redistributing the wealth" was carefully designed by the ruling Elite. Why?
Because they have probably foreseen a long and hard economic downturn which people have not experienced for more than thirty years, and they also foresaw such prolonged economic hardship would naturally bring the need for social and polical changes.
A perception of less economic inequality and enhanced social justice could help to stablize the political system during these times, in additional to stronger state power to crush any domestic dissenting voices.
Will it work? It is hard to say. But in some way, the future has been pre-ordained. It would unravel slowly, sometimes with surpises and fireworks. Learn to enjoy it. ;-)
If you believe that Obama is chosen by the Ruling Elite, then your excitement about change would fade away.
Unfortunately, the changes only come when the giant PONZI has already collapsed, and average American who are suffering the consequences start realizing the truth about the current economic/financial crisis -- they were defrauded and suffered permanent loss of wealth.
Universal healthcare would help. "Redistribution of wealth" would help. Sweeping finanical regulations would help. But they are, in my view, probably too late.