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October 15, 2008

Has the Financial System Disconnected?

Before finding any Internet access – and so before we had any news in English – we found an ATM. Tried Mary's card and it failed authorization; tried mine – Oh oh: same problem.

Our first thought was that the world financial system had simply disconnected at the retail level! Maybe I should'nta been so antibailout. Now there's personal panic; conserve cash at all costs. Eat only at restaurants that take Visa. But is Visa working?

Tried our Visa and it still worked for purchases. Not a complete disaster yet.

Tried another ATM machine and it took both cards fine. Panic over.

But we do depend on a lot of stuff working. Hope when the banking system is put back together (if it doesn't become a government agency) that it is much less concentrated and centralized – sort of like the Internet. Not what's happening now at all with consolidation despite the fact that "too big to fail" entities caused the current problems.

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