Friday, July 17, 2009

What do fireflies have to do with the economy?

I love the summer time. Especially, I love fireflies. They are nature’s little fireworks. When it starts to get dark, you see these little flashes of light dispersed throughout the night air. It brings out the child in all of us. My children love collecting these insects, studying them and then releasing them. Ironically, this spectacle of lights signifies more adult like activity then child’s play. The fireflies have a mission. These lights are the equivalent to a man at the bar sending a drink over to a female to get her attention. And like any male in this natural bar scene, they are competing with hundreds of other males trying to do the same thing. The night sky is not some natural landscape. It is an insect singles scene.

Unfortunately, the attendance of nature’s singles night is dwindling. There has been a considerable drop in the firefly population. It is not due to the firefly population finding marital bliss and coming off the singles market. There are variety of reasons cited, such as pesticides, light pollution and change in the weather patterns. No one is truly certain for this decrease and scientist continue to study the causes. In fact, you can go to the following website to read more about it and assist in the research:

So what does this have to do with the economy? Most likely, you did not realize there is this firefly population decrease and you only would have become aware of the problem when there were no more fireflies. This is similar to the economic crisis.

Many of us did not realize that we were in a recession until a year after it officially began. More importantly, almost all of us did not realize the problems we were creating with sub prime loans, credit default swaps, and collateralized mortgage obligations until the crisis hit last year. The problem existed before that; however, everyone ignored it.

They say history never repeats itself; however, that is not true for human behavior. As my wife reminds me, I need to pay better attention. Perhaps, we all need to be more aware of our surroundings. Go out and enjoy the natural beauty of the summer. Watch that natural firework show. Maybe if we pay a little more attention to our surroundings, we can prevent the next crisis from happening as opposed to dealing with it when it happens.

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