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  • For far too many of us, the economy is a world of pain today. Millions of families can’t make end meet. People are angry and confused, and don’t know where to turn. Many think they can power out of their predicament if they can only find a good job and pay off their debts. What they fail to realize is that they can’t do it on their own through sheer fortitude. If they try to, their debts will surely multiply.

    To truly, effectively come to terms with our bleak financial condition and master it, we must recognize our predicament and submit to a higher power. We all recognize the immensity of this power. It sustains us every living day. Its omnipotence is beyond the ability of mortals to comprehend. We know it as The Market.

    Only by submitting to this higher power can we end our penury. This approach is the basis of many twelve-step programs aimed at eliminating addictive behavior. When entered into sincerely, they have proven for the most part to work. I believe that what we need is a self-help organization that addresses the anxieties of contemporary economic life. To that end, I propose creating chapters of a personal finance support group across the globe. I call it Assets Anonymous. Here are Its twelve steps:

    1. We admitted we were powerless over money—that our finances had become unmanageable.
    2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to wealth.
    3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of The Market as we understood it.
    4. Made a searching and fearless inventory of our assets.
    5. Admitted to the marketplace, to ourselves, and to another economic actor the exact nature of our errors.
    6. Were entirely ready to have the market remove all these defects of investment.
    7. Humbly asked it to consolidate our debts.
    8. Made a list of all economic actors we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
    9. Made direct amends to such economic actors wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
    10. Continued to inventory our assets and when we were over-optimistic promptly admitted it.
    11. Sought through self-help to improve our conscious contact with The Market as we understood it, praying only for knowledge of its will for us and the power to carry that out.
    12. Having had an economic awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to debtors, and to practice these principles in all our transactions.

    If we follow these steps with open hearts and minds and submit to The Market, we will find new peace, strength, and ultimately prosperity, don't ya know.
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