Ask the MBA

What can I do about this crisis, ask anxious readers.

This is just the sort of public-spirited citizen Uncle Ben's been looking for. If you have, say, a few billion you'd like to use to goose the markets . . .

Ah, you want to know how to protect yourself from the fallout?

Ummm . . . . good question. Pay down your credit card debt as fast as you can. You might think about skipping dinner and a movie this month and applying that towards the Visa. Of course, this was good advice a year ago, and it will be good advice a century hence, so I'm not sure how much this helps.

But other than that, there is no virtuous behaviour you can undertake now that will let you avoid whatever economic fallout emerges from this. If the credit markets contract violently, you will be just as likely to be laid off if you live in a small, sensible house as if you live in a big, extravagent one. Your Mean Time to Bankruptcy (MTTB) will be longer . . . but at this point, it's probably a little late to start regretting your past consumption.

Unfortunately, other than the unhelpful observation that "it's probably not a good time to buy anything on revolving credit", I don't have much advice.