It’s official. U.S.A. is in a RECESSION. All the official statistics have shown it. Just right behind the UK figures, basic consumer spending receded.
Just out today (3rd November) are worrying stats in Australia with the “job advertising” numbers falling at record levels and gloomy forecasts of a 50% increase in unemployment by this time next year to over 600,000. How everything changes in three months.
All of a sudden the affected Nations are holding meetings, “nationalising” Big Banks and other Financial Institutions in Crisis. Where will it all end? Who can predict that – they ignored all the signs that caused the whole darn thing in the first place.
In Oz, we have an illustrious program, “4 Corners” with four decades of quality broadcasting. In March of 2007 the craziness of the US Mortgage crisis was highlighted and repeated in October of this year. Record mortgages foreclosures, while on the flipside were those who bought and sold the same property in twenty four hours (at a higher price).
Since that broadcast the Financial Meltdown finally erupted. The “good” times are over, my friends. As a leading US economist stated, “they have such incredible short memories”. US. has been in a recession since 1973 – it just gets deeper into it at every rollercoaster ride downwards. The rollercoster rides on Wall Street keep on comin’ and the rest of the world follows.
On a personal note, while the financial world was “booming” my mortgage rates kept on rising – 12 times until it tipped over the 10 percent mark, and it took a financial crisis on a global scale to send the rate on a downward spiral. The official rate has dropped one and a quarter per cent to 6% as I write this article, and had been tipped to go to 4% by the middle of 2009. Typical Catch22. While the world “booms” our home affordability gap widens and we, the average worker, suffer; when the “bust” comes the affordability gap only worsens (with falling interest rates no less) as jobs diappear. You just can’t win in the Free Market.
The Free Market of Greed and Manipulation. Nothing else. “The Bold Riders” “The Smartest Guys in the Room” and “Other Peoples Money”-the Australian Corporate collapses of 1987 and beyond, the Enron story and the HIH saga respectively make a point of the greed and corruption that oozed in the boardrooms of the now not so rich and famous.. Ignorance is never an excuse at the high end of the Corporate level. And more recently,to shrug your shoulders as a head of liquidated Lehmann Brothers after sucking over $600 million from the failed company is the ultimate in hypocrisy. I trust that every Board Member of every collapsed company that’s being propped up by Tax payers’ funds is sacked and even tried in a Court of Law for their arrogance and greed.
Poor cousin, the Global Warming Crisis has been virtually left out in the cold. In the State of New South Wales the government there have just announced the cancellation of the proposed multi-billion dollar rail link to the expanding North Western suburbs of Sydney. 100 overcrowded,polluting buses are to be added. Even the South East rail proposal has been vastly scaled back. One cannot help but feel the frustration of the suburban population and their “decent public transport” dilemma.