24
Oct
08

Your stories of the financial crisis

All day we’ll be sharing your stories with BBC listeners and viewers. Please post them here.

– Has your lifestyle been changed by the economic crisis? If so how? If not, how have you protected your finances?

– Do you have a particular experience that you’d like to share – maybe to do with your job, your home or your government?

– Are there elements of this crisis you don’t understand? Do you have particular questions you’d like answered?

We’ll do our best to share as many of your comments as possible with our listeners and viewers.


250 Responses to “Your stories of the financial crisis”


  1. 1 Jessica in NYC
    October 24, 2008 at 08:43

    Hi Ros,

    I’m still a bit flabbergasted that US former Federal Reserve Chairman Allen Greenspan admitted he made a huge mistake thinking the markets would regulate themselves. Greenspan is partly responsible for this financial crisis, so now what? How or when will all the people responsible be held accountable?

    I don’t understand how the 700 billion bail out was suppose to help the economy and bring confidence back to the market, clearly it has NOT had happened. So now what?

    Good luck!

  2. 2 Jessica in NYC
    October 24, 2008 at 08:49

    So I have more questions:
    Where is my money safe? Luckily, I still have 30-40 years before retirement. However, it concerns me to hear so many seniors and older people who are near retirement and have lost their savings.

    On WHYS we have heard people talk about how responsible they were, saved their money and did not live beyond their means yet still face an uncertain future, because of the money they lost. I do not want to be in their shoes when I get ready for retirement, but it seems that even if you do everything right, you can still be left without a safety net! This is not logical. What will happen to our economy if we have a bunch of baby-boomers are left homeless, jobless or bankrupt? How will it effect the next few generations?

    So where is my money safe? Apparently, my money as safe under my mattress as in the market. I do not trust the market and canot imagine ever trusting it again. People insist that the market will recover, but I have my doubts because the market has changed. What will happen if the government takes control of the banking system?

  3. 3 Marcel in Douala, Cameroon
    October 24, 2008 at 09:05

    I wanted to open a saving account in one of the largest bank in our country.
    Because of the global financial crisis I did not.
    I’ve decided to keep my money under matress.
    With this approach I’m spending too much. Because the money is not far from me.
    Despite all this, I can’t still meet all my needs. Commodities are too expensive.

  4. October 24, 2008 at 09:06

    I am very suspicious of this ‘ressesion’. I seemed to have lived in a ‘recession’, or a pending ‘recession’ or a ‘there could be a recession’ for as long as I can remember. I haven’t noticed the difference other than the prices go up and the wages do not. The poor stay as poor as ever, someone get little richer and the proverbial hard working taxpayer and the thrifty foot the bill.

    We have been riding a really scary administrative roller coaster for the last eight years. The collapse of the WTC, terrorism, Weapons of mass Destruction, Insurgency, More Terrorism, Don’t forget the Taliban and what happened to Bin Laden? The whole thing iced over with Global Warming. and just when everyone is getting bored of this, Recession! No Jack, you are not all right. Scary ride.

    But the official 9/11 line is looking a bit dodgy, Terrorism would seem to be largely a propaganda exercise and somewhat encouraged in a local fashion. The Weapons of Mass Destruction, well we can skate over that one.
    So what about this Recession? A Weapon of Mass Destruction if there ever was one. Who appear to be well bunkered down are the administrations financial and otherwise.

    Shares/stock are held on the whole by the ‘ordinary’ person. Falls in the stock market do not affect the Masters of the Universe, who seem to be doing rather well out of this latest ‘Recession’.

    Malc
    Berlin

  5. 5 Marcus in Malawi
    October 24, 2008 at 09:37

    The solution is not out of reach. Africa has unexploited resources. Africans must learn to make money work for them, not just working for money. If the west starts investing in Africa, she will eventualy learn to invest on its own.

  6. 6 Peter
    October 24, 2008 at 09:46

    Downturn, doom and gloom. Its all in the mind. Just press the reset and we start all over again.

  7. 7 Robert1987
    October 24, 2008 at 10:20

    Hi All

    Well it has affected me somewhat because I was going to move to Spain in 4 – 5 years. But the pay I need to do it is impossible to get because I have not got a job. For people like me who is unemployed there is a benefit that is JSA (Job Seekers Allowance) and currently there are 1.79m people who are on this benefit.

  8. 8 Simon from Ghana
    October 24, 2008 at 10:28

    George Bush is the cause of this money-crunch that has hit the world. Wars don’t solve problems. America,please vote for Obama!

  9. 9 Dave
    October 24, 2008 at 10:33

    As an American working in Zürich, I’m very concerned about the markets. I get paid in USD, and I never feel like I have enough to meet bills. I don’t live an expensive lifestyle, no big meals, no luxury holidays, and yet my bank account seems to dwindle every month as prices go up. And since my job involves working for banks, I have a fear that my job will vanish, leaving me a 46 year old with no way to meet expenses.

    What kind of world will my children have?

  10. 10 Raman in Michigan, USA
    October 24, 2008 at 10:33

    I’ve been in need of a car. Leasing seems to be a good option. But my question is, should I wait to lease the car? I’m getting mixed advice, and now I’m going crazy between what’s going on, and my need of a car. What do you think will happen with the U.S. economy??? As it is, Michigan’s economy is bad, and here I am – an architecture student about to graduate in December, but most likely I will have to move out of the state, to find a job. I’m not happy at all. It’s times like these I wish my parents were CEO’s of banks making $70 million profit a year.

  11. October 24, 2008 at 10:35

    So far our online UK shopping website has shown a little downturn but not a major one. When people are being more careful with their money many will check out online shopping deals and price comparisons because prices online are generally better than on the high street and many UK Shops are offering great online deals. The impact of all this on us should become clearer as we go through the Christmas shopping season.

  12. 12 Yvonne
    October 24, 2008 at 10:35

    If you compare the current situation to 1930 we are a lot worse of today .
    now the earth has a lot more people to feed and at the same time ecosystems are dying out. And we can not continue to feed ourselves on rising property values the dollar or the stock market .
    So what is Left ?
    We have to start to turn this crisis into a positive force and invest in new renewable technologies and try to repair the things we have destroyed
    Then eventually the stock market will have something to grow on again.

  13. 13 Julian in Singapore
    October 24, 2008 at 10:39

    Things are really slowing down here in Singapore. Small businesses are facing increasing pressure from the poor economic environment in Asia. We are not immune, if that is any comfort to the greedy americans who started this financial crisis.

  14. 14 Colin in Portugal
    October 24, 2008 at 10:41

    I really do feel that nature itself is at play here. The capitalist system depends on growth and that growth needs to be infinite for it to operate. Given that we have finite resources and indeed a finite natural rights to resources, as do all species in an eco system, infinite growth is impossible. It was the introduction of credit as a consumer currency in the early 1980’s that tipped the balance and led us to where we are now. Nature, known for its balance and the power of correction to achieve it, will and is, addressing the many side effects of mans psychotic greed, arrogance and disrespect for its eco system.
    We have now before us a chance to attempt to correct our mistakes and assemble a system that is sustainable. We must allow the capitalist system collapse. It will be painful. But from that a real system will form naturally and hopefully we will once again cooperate with each other in the name of Human survival.

  15. 15 EDDIE
    October 24, 2008 at 10:53

    I am a waiter in the States, but i know that even the world econ. is down. I work near the DFW Airport in DALLAS. I know how hard it is to save. I was fully vested in my company! Now I work for Brinker Int. so longing to go to London!! I feel like a Mexican wanting to go to another country, make mony, send it home! Wait I am an American that would be bad!!!

  16. 16 Jafar in Nigeria
    October 24, 2008 at 10:56

    The economic difficulty is affecting me because I was investing in shares to start a business but now I am stuck. It has really affected me.

  17. 17 Ravindra in Muscat
    October 24, 2008 at 11:11

    A lot can be discussed about how to navigate through the current crisis. More importantly going forward, it’s worth examining whether a worldwide government controlled statutory deduction (as in tax deducted at source), say 10-15% of salary income that goes towards investing in sovereign government securities and will come in handy in recessionary times as these.

  18. 18 Nisar in Dubai
    October 24, 2008 at 11:11

    We still have not seen any recession signs in Dubai, apart from a fall in the Share Market.

  19. 19 Andrew, Bangkok
    October 24, 2008 at 11:12

    Wouldn’t it have been better to help US homeowners with their mortgages?

  20. 20 Tony in Phnom Penh
    October 24, 2008 at 11:12

    There should be no bank bailouts unless the entire board of directors of the concerned bank resigns or is sacked.

  21. 21 Solomon from Ethiopia
    October 24, 2008 at 11:13

    A recession is obviously inevitable. The crisis seems to have non-significant effects on less developed countries’ economies like ours.

  22. 22 Kris Vengua
    October 24, 2008 at 11:15

    As a 28 year old freelancer living in Manila, my job and my salary has been in quandary for the past few months. My clients are mostly Americans, so I earn in dollars.

    If my countries economy grows stronger, it means the value of my earnings grow weaker. It used to be bittersweet news, but not when the Peso value grows stronger, it’s because the value of the dollar has again spiraled down into nothingness.

    Frankly, I am appalled at how the people in the US financial industry has dragged the world into this meltdown. We have had criticisms lobbied by these institutions such as Triple A and the S &P, claiming South East Asian countris have shaky economics and that has kept investor confidence at a minimum. Yet these are the same institutions that have certified these banks who have created this mess. We have been lead to believe that these are the people who knew better, when it seems like they have had the same agenda all along–to follow the money, no matter how it’s made.

    My confidence in the financial system has been shaken, and now I wonder if there really is any true value to the numbers that float on the screen when I watch the financial news, or they’re simply some empty number that some analyst came up with to make it seem as if earnings are lost or made. Who really knows what is happening? And why wasn’t there an auditing institutions to catch these anomalies? My country is known for having corruption, but this is the greatest form of corruption I have ever seen so far.

    I suppose we can all learn from this costly mistake, but it’s ridiculous that it’s at the expense of so many regular people around the globe. I just hope that once the dust settles, the people who put us into this mess gets to pay–with their million dollar bonuses liquidated to pay off some of this worlds debt!

  23. 23 Remo in Bangkok
    October 24, 2008 at 11:25

    I don’t think the economic situation will affect me because I have nothing saved. Sure I may pay higher prices for the things I want but this is better than throwing my money at people who say they are professional financiers and yet their business fails and I lose everything. When I get old! let the government take care of me.

  24. 24 Dan
    October 24, 2008 at 11:28

    @Jessica in NYC
    WHERE IS MY MONEY SAFE?

    Great question. If you have the time and it looks like you do and you believe in the United States and I do then you have little to fear.
    In the next 3-5 years the Stock Market will come back to where it was before the crash.
    My money is in stocks, money market and savings. As I got older I bought more practical cars and less flashy ones. When I bought real estate I did my research and was brutal in my negotiations never being emotionally involved in the house. Never use the home equity as a piggy bank for vacations or buying depreciating assets.
    As you get older you will start to move money from riskier investments into safer more solid investments.
    Never…and I mean NEVER buy a stock that a broker has a “tip” on unless he put his mothers money into it and the firm guarantees your investment.
    Lastly watch your stock broker to make sure he isn’t churning your account to make commissions.

    The real key is

  25. 25 Dan
    October 24, 2008 at 11:41

    @Colin in Portugal October 24, 2008 at 10:41 am
    I am curious that you would allow Capitalism to collapse but have no idea what will emerge. We all know what will emerge. It happened in the 1930’s and will happen again.
    Your understanding of Capitalism as a celestial Ponzi scheme is, I think, one dimensional.
    The pie expands as people introduce new products that spawn new industries. The computer comes immediately to mind but there are millions more.
    Capitalism frees up human creativity to create good & services that make life better and does not necessarily become a consumer of finite natural resources.

  26. 26 krish.radhakrishnan
    October 24, 2008 at 11:50

    It is worth having debate about today’s economic crisis but i would say all it starts from greed,…growth has to be in sustainable way but what happens today is mojority of us wants to be boss than employee, i am sure market will swing back but lesson to be learned is within us than looking else where

  27. October 24, 2008 at 11:52

    Dear , Sir/Madam,
    I hardly seen my account in credit from last six months.I’m doin two jobs at present. I’m earning about 2000.00 per month but after all my expenses it’s really hard to save even 100.00 a month. I’m not smoking or drinking alcohol.Only two major things I did in last two months is bought a car worth of 900.00 spend 1200.00 for driving and my baby born in april 08 so luckin after him and paying bills.I really wana lotto lottery becuause whenever letter coming for bills at home I’m getting so upset

  28. October 24, 2008 at 12:00

    If the governments did not have the control of the media, then the people could use it. This global financial crisis is a creation by the governments and not the people. They give the people reasons that are not true.

    Governments love power and what better way than to make the people work for less. Each government gets rich and controls the worlds wealth within their territories gathered from the unpaid worth of the people.

    The populous acceptance is forced upon them by the very measures of their calculated slave masters mind controlling dogma dictating what their citizens are to think constantly bombarding and creating for their citizens a demanded psyche.

    Through violence programmed their citizens to enact against anyone who tells the government what it is, lest they suffer reprisals, subordination is maintained. The government is a collage of inhumane and selfless suicidal citizens that form the beast. The beast is never satisfied and exist only to consume those that form it’s existence. It is never satisfied and picks the flesh from the bone of it’s own member.

  29. 29 Kimani from Nairobi, Kenya
    October 24, 2008 at 12:03

    The financial meltdown is one mysterious story here. Folks just can’t relate to it on a personal level. The bail out amounts are simply unbelievable. It’s one unequal world this one. However,our stock market here, little as it is, has crushed somehow. And local experts blame it on crushing world markets. It’s all mind tiring to many of us. I believe soon we’ll be hit directly.

  30. 30 Nas
    October 24, 2008 at 12:03

    I think banks and governments are equally to blame in this economic/financial crisis we are facing and it is unfortunate that so many people are suffering from it.

    I can still remember last year when just popping to my local EX-bank to transfer money and in each occasion I use to get harassed, YES! Harassed by bank employees and I hated it when they use to try to offer me credit cards and unlimited overdraft facility.

    My reply was blunt and simple…NO THANK YOU!

  31. 31 Allen in Beijing, China
    October 24, 2008 at 12:07

    If recession means people with money don’t make as much, then this should not be the major worry. What’s more woeful is to see those hungry Zimbabwean children forced to eat wild fruits and even roots due to extreme poverty. The U.S. and E.U. are rich, and overprotective of themselves, why now so fettered to seek help from China, when China itself has millions still struggling to make it through.

  32. 32 Shaun from France
    October 24, 2008 at 12:09

    Recession, what recession?
    If you take “production” to be 100% in 2000, at 2% compound interest, this gives 119.6% as the production figure at end 2008. ie We are producing about one fifth MORE.
    Zero growth is not the end of the world – but probably a desirable result as we are reaching the end of restricted resources.

    But the climate of fear being spread around – is being used to justify the WORKERS taking the brunt of a situation, where Banks and high-flying crooks get given billions of tax-payers money daily.

    Hasn’t the refrain “the workers must make sacrifices” been the problem for the last 20 years? The real solution – pay increases, is the one that is being avoided.

  33. 33 Archie in Ontario, Canada
    October 24, 2008 at 12:11

    I am the only economist who forecast this economic downturn.

    For years I have been telling the media and business people that the recession would start in 2007 and run until the second quarter of 2010. Those who listened to me lost no money and the others lost their pensions.

    This is not as serious as everyone thinks. It is a market correction.

    This recession was caused by fraud in the banking system and a consequent movement of capital away from small businesses and householders into the hands of billionaires.

    It is now necessary to tax billionaires and jail the bankers. Then tax them out of existence to get money back into the hands of entrepreneurs.

    If we concentrate upon development of new businesses and give tax breaks to the small businesses instead of the bloated international corporations, more jobs will be created.

    Government should concentrate upon rebuilding a GREEN infrastructure using the small businesses as suppliers.

    This is how we are going to come out of the recession.

  34. 34 robert1987
    October 24, 2008 at 12:13

    @ Allen

    When Zanu PF is removed from power then the Unired Kingdom who was the ruler up until 1980 or so will assist the new government to rebuild Zimbabwe

  35. 35 Veljko
    October 24, 2008 at 12:14

    Hello All,

    I am leaving in Serbia and concerning recession I can only say we are OK. Luckily while all the world was keeping us under sanctions it was actually doing us a favor. We never got involved with World financial markets to deeply so we didn’t had a time step in in to modern credit slavery and spend money we don’t have. Prices are OK and we have enough food which is cheep and mostly exported since the prices in west got up. People are still living with as much money that they really earn and all the time it get’s better. During 90’s all are saving’s were gone, we haven’t had money for doctors and inflation were devastating. The very same thing that is happening right now on a much bigger scale. Learning from 90’s experience our country financial system has proved to be very resilient to the world financial crisis and so far so good.
    For the rest of you I wish you all the luck. No one that I can know better what the empty shells or filled with one brand of pasta can look like. A bit of advice keep the money you earn with you on safe.

  36. 36 Michael Anyong
    October 24, 2008 at 12:15

    all, of you are free to do whatever you want for adjusting the rate of changing financial basis but for we in Sudan we are facing vilences as you are always reading us and it is good to let Mr.Obama win this and thanks

  37. 37 David Snyder
    October 24, 2008 at 12:16

    For me, this international economic crisis has yet to come knocking on my front door. I am in freelancing, and, as a result, I have been offered more jobs due to the cut backs in regular personnel. Even the gas prices are starting to level out, at least temporarily.

    However, the people that I have come to know and love, such as my family and friends, have all felt this crisis slap them in their faces. My father has started facing the possibility of losing his job and a foreclosure on his home. My brother and I have started supporting our mother due to this financial crisis.

    My question is simple: why didn’t anyone see this coming?

  38. 38 Jambukumar.A
    October 24, 2008 at 12:17

    Problems drive people. This is the time to learn from past mistakes. Be simple and be a practice of simple life. You won’t be panic in any situation.

  39. 39 Manish:
    October 24, 2008 at 12:17

    It seems like a cycle that we have a boom and then a downturn. But this particular rally was supported by the upcoming of certain developing nations in a big way. Corrections are sometimes good to keep the healthy economics.
    The real-estate prices across the world had shown a sharp increase in the last few years. They were bound for a correction. This may not happen in the developing nations as the real estate demand does not come down sharply.Unfortunately US economy got caught in the bad lendings in a big way.
    The second impact these have created is bringing the commodities prices up. We might hope that commodities come down to some realistic levels. We may have to be more patient than any other downturn times.

    Capiltalism would stay and might be in a controlled manner.

  40. 40 Andrew Summers
    October 24, 2008 at 12:18

    The Media as usual seem to have gone completely overboard on the recession/ banking crisis and I really wonder if media people have nothing better do than manufacture a crisis to keep themselves in a job.

    We have got ITN flying around in helicopters trying to identify recession blackspots and now the BBC has apparently nothing better to do than produce a recession online survey. The only people who respond to this garbage are people with extreme hard luck stories or have nothing better to do which obviously now includes me.

    Whatever happens, life will not end as we know it, there will still electricity next week, food in the shops and we won’t be returning to the caves in the near future.

    Perhaps we could sack some of this twits who work in the media, then perhaps we could all feel better.

    Best wishes

    Andrew Summers

    Unfortunately without a hard luck story to tell.

  41. 41 Kennedy in St. Catherine, Jamaica
    October 24, 2008 at 12:19

    Is it a burden or a curse to be a small open economy in these circumstances? How does a tourism-dependent exporter of primary goods survive? Are we small, agile and responsive – or a weak victim?

  42. 42 Remo in Bangkok
    October 24, 2008 at 12:22

    I strongly believe that if you worry about your old age before it happens then you will worry all through your life. I have tried to provide for my old age but governments change, policies change. I give up. I will still have my pint and chicken Korma no matter what happens to the rich or worried. Live now not later in poverty and misery.

  43. 43 Eva
    October 24, 2008 at 12:23

    It has not affected me in the slightest. I still have a place to live, still pay the same rent, still have a job and save as much money as I did a year ago. The only thing I have changed is that I have opened a new savings account to split my savings into two places. Am glad this is happening in the way that lots of people will get a chance to buy a property at last as they got cheaper!
    E.

  44. 44 Thomas, India
    October 24, 2008 at 12:24

    The crisis has minimal effect for people from this part of the world, basically because of our lifestyle we have, as well as the defensive mentality, an average Indian has towards investment.

  45. 45 Eva, London, UK
    October 24, 2008 at 12:25

    Oh yeah, and as for retirement – do not have any retirement policy as I still have 35 years to go (under the current law) and might not be here at the time any more… 🙂

  46. 46 Lizhou
    October 24, 2008 at 12:26

    Hello everyone,
    My parents bought a lot shares in London,Shanghai. Unfortunately,all of them have been falling down since financial crisis broken out. It is said that UK has entered into “recession” age, which is really make me scare. I will be graduated from College by next June, if the recession remains until a couple years later, and it could be really hard to find any job in UK, even in EU.
    God bless us.
    Anyway we will pull through finally.

  47. 47 Eva, London, UK
    October 24, 2008 at 12:30

    Better get a proper job than buying shares, eh! 🙂

  48. 48 Paul
    October 24, 2008 at 12:32

    Thanks USA we couldn’t have done it without you.

    Also funny that Jo average on the street has been saying over the last 3/5 yrs that continued growth in housing is just a bubble waiting to burst. And it has.
    Amazing how our governments couldnt see this coming – more like they didnt want to face up to the dire costs involved in putting it right AT THE TIME, let alone now!
    In the UK we will no doubt be coming out of recession at the time of the elections. Guess that means we’ll be stuck with Brown for another 4 yrs now! Still, theres noone else to elect. Unless theres any russian billionaires with nothing better to do with their time….!

  49. 49 robert1987
    October 24, 2008 at 12:38

    @ Lizhou

    The United Kingdom will most likely be declared to be in recession next January this is because the GDP has fallen by the 0.5% over the last three months

  50. 50 ct
    October 24, 2008 at 12:39

    NAU (NORTH AMERICAN UNION IS COMING!)

    IT’S ONLY GETTING WORSE!

  51. October 24, 2008 at 12:44

    Maybe if the BBC stopped constantly mentioning the Credit Crunch, recession every 20 minutes people would stop worrying about spending money. Unbelievable how irresponsible they have been.

  52. October 24, 2008 at 12:46

    We have a small business in the south of France providing a very bespoke service to the ex pat community here and visiting corporate clients, the majority of whom are from the UK and the US.

    Many of the people here believe that we live in a little untouchable bubble surrounded by high net worth individuals but even they are not spending anymore.

    In the last six weeks, we have lost almost € 100,000 worth of business as a result of individuals cutting back and large companies cancelling visits alltogether.

    We are just one of a number of small businesses here who are going to find the coming months incredibly hard and who may well have to pack up and try something else.

  53. 53 Michael
    October 24, 2008 at 12:48

    The issue of confidence that we are facing in this financials cricis is not one that can be alleviated by an injection of $700b of cash into the US economy.

    The reason that confidence is still at rock bottom (despite the huge amounts of taxpayers money that Central Banks are throwing at this problem) is down to the fact that Jo Bloggs on the street knows that the $700b of cash is not going to change the behaviour of rash bankers!

    As a result no one has been convinced that the money has shored up the system. It remains as vulnerable as ever because bail-outs do not change rash behaviour!

  54. 54 unal
    October 24, 2008 at 12:52

    Unal from North Cyprus Turkish side

    this crisis made us uncomfortable. i have been just married and i am afraid 😦

  55. 55 Dan
    October 24, 2008 at 12:53

    Paul,
    Governments saw this crisis financial coming. Consumer debt was rising faster than GDP. That might have worked if Governments created surpluses but instead followed liberal dogma and thought that prosperity would abound by giving people who could not pay a house.
    Job 1 of any elected official is to get re-elected (Job 2 is steal as much money as you can). Thus they gave people what they wanted. Now we have a mess to clean up but politicians walk away saying “not my fault” as did Barney Frank & Maxine Waters who blocked any chance to fix the financial markets 2 years ago.
    OK…OK I am off my soap box. Anyway I have to sell my soap box this morning to meet a margin call…… :))

  56. October 24, 2008 at 12:53

    There is no more confidence in America. The only salvation would be the Libertarian and Green Party.

  57. 57 R, Canada
    October 24, 2008 at 12:54

    Hello,

    I am one of the few people that can see the beauty in recession. I am only 26 and just started my job a few years ago. However, I work for the Government and my job is secure. My salary will never fall and only prices will fall. I will be richer because of it.

    Althought many people will be loosing a lot of money I think this will help many more people in the long run by stabilizing prices.

  58. 58 robert1987
    October 24, 2008 at 12:56

    RedOwl the BBC is only reporting the news if the credit crunch was not in the news was not in the main news then they would be reporting this troublesome financial issues.

  59. 59 Shaun from France
    October 24, 2008 at 12:57

    It is equally clear that the “help” proposed to the developing countries is self-serving. There has been for the last few years an effort on the part of certain countries, especially the S.American left-leaning ones, to pay off their debts.

    So what happens?

    The IMF and World Bank propose extended “credit” (debts) for those countries who might have difficulty. Thus increasing the problem. Just like loan sharks who target those who already have large debt problems, asking them to increase their debt level – one more time, to “cover up” the missing money.

  60. 60 Worried Canadian
    October 24, 2008 at 13:02

    Well, guess we all have to thank the USA for our current ills in the world.
    Thank you Mr Bush ……….NOT
    I have learnt to take my lunches to work again, eat breakfast before I leave for work, park the car and take the bus, go shopping at 2nd hand stores for clothes, only buy food that is on sale , etc etc.
    Guess I will be working at the local Walmart ( hope staff get a discount there ) when I am 65 and retired so I can afford to buy some milk and bread.
    Again, Thanks Mr Bush for your great policies that has not sent the world on a trip of pure hell for the next 2-3 yrs.
    Oh yeah, will the US Gov pay my mortgage payments for me or buy my home now that it has lost so much of it’s value?

  61. 61 Groendraak
    October 24, 2008 at 13:07

    I’m 30, always earned close to the “average” London salary, but never earned enough to buy a house, can’t afford a pension, have less than £100 in savings, have some credit card debt and a few thou in student loans to repay. Maybe I’m just unlucky: the tech bubble burst shortly after I started working, which seriously hampered my efforts to earn a decent salary.

    Anyway, I’d like to say well done everyone for pushing house prices up so high, both baby boomers, with your buy-to-lets and SKIing and baby boomers’ kids, who paid over the odds and thereby validated ridiculous house prices.

    We do only have ourselves to blame, collectively, for this mess. We’ve had nearly 400 years to learn from Tulip Mania (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulip_mania), but we just can’t seem to help ourselves when there’s money to be made, even though we should know by now that someone, somewhere, is going to declare that the Emperor is wearing no clothes. (Incidentally the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Andersen has been around for nearly 200 years, proving that at least one Scandinavian learnt the lesson of boom and bust).

    So how do we cure ourselves of this tendency for lemming-like hysteria over a fleeting chance for a profit? I vote that we remove humans from the financial markets altogether and let computers run it. The returns might not be so great, but investments based on actual values and actual probability of a return would be better for everyone in the long run. So there.

  62. 62 Praveen
    October 24, 2008 at 13:08

    Although the meltdown has not effected me personally very much because of the reason that I,along with many of my fellow countrymen from this part of the world, am very conservative in approach towards investment. We invest in high risk business proposition only a minimal portion of our surplus income. But overall, the continued news of recession has definitely made us sad as it has effected thousands of my countrymen also.
    We have already had instances of a few investors committing suicides after loosing life’s savings in Stock-market. Hope this acts as warning to others who believe and act they are smarter than others.

    Praveen, India

  63. October 24, 2008 at 13:09

    Myself, based in India.
    The changes that are occuring are very basic in nature.
    Daily use commodity prices have appreciated almost by 300% in last one year. Till last year local grocery stores use tell us prices in Rs/Kg. Nowaday they tell Rs/250 gms.Vegetable price increase in neary 4times.
    This cutting down the general saving in the econamy, and now that no credit is available; High price goods( above Rs 1,00,000/$ 2200) are simply not moving.

    The job losses have started happening, things will be worse by January if things dont change.

    Rgrds,

  64. 64 Heather
    October 24, 2008 at 13:12

    It seems to me the media are at least partly to blame for the state of the economies around the world. Such a big deal was made of the ‘credit crunch’ that people began panicking and not spending as much money as they would normally. This has led to the recession. Maybe if the media had been more tactful we wouldn’t be in this mess!

  65. October 24, 2008 at 13:15

    As with the rise in gas prices, the financial crisis has simply re-enforced the lifestyle of conservation that I try to lead.
    Current economic woes haven’t really affected me directly. Though I did lose about $35 in my newly formed 401k.
    I’m looking forward to the rest of the crisis, another reason for Americans to curb their wasteful, consumer lifestyles and start focusing on more important things.

  66. 66 Paul in Sydney
    October 24, 2008 at 13:16

    When a loaf of break costs 4 dollars, of which a farmer receives 10 cents; when an agent receives half the pay for placing a worker in the workforce; when watching telly from your sofa in your highly leveraged Kensington apartment is infinitely more profitable than working in a shoe factory in Vietnam, then imbalances are created on a global scale which are unsustainable in the long run; in particular when we become increasingly connected by way of technology and do share one living space.
    Yet our politicians have made us believe that we are British or Russian or Vietnamese, and that we continue to live some tribal existence as we did in the stone age. Instead of harnessing the wealth of our planet as a common good, we believe in a super competitve globalised environment and 19th century nationhood.
    The British Government with its ambivalent view on globalisation has to take much of the blame of the recession we had to have. It has fostered these imbalances by deregulating and at the same time undermining transnational regulatory bodies.
    But let us see this as an opportunity to rid ourselves of old fashioned nationalism and capitalism, and let the events of the past months be a lesson. This is not World War 3, this is not the Great Depression, but this is merely a dislocation of our values, associated with paper or electronic transactions. In fact, on the plantations of Africa and in the jungle of Brazil, the events of the past months will hardly have been noticed.

  67. 67 Trv
    October 24, 2008 at 13:19

    I have moved closer to work, and givem up my house for a stake in a shared house of 3 people. making me a saving of $700.00 per month. I cook more and carry my lunch to work and dont make any non essential purchases. If I cannot justify it, then i dont spend it. it takes some getting used to but after a month it becomes natural to to do.

  68. 68 Darren
    October 24, 2008 at 13:20

    Darren from Frankfurt In Germany

    The Germans have been hit pretty hard since the introduction of the Euro , with most high street prices jumping from Deutsch Marks straight to Euro’s, thus doubling the prices , also the introduction of a new state unemployment and welfare system has left many people on the edge of poverty , Financing and loans are not as common here as the UK or the U.S.A so most people can ride out the home loan scare that is embracing both of the above countries, but purses have been tightened and I don’t believe the retail sector will have much of a bumper Christmas…

    Luckily Germany is not as reliant on the Bank and Financing Industry as Great Britain , with still a healthy primary and Secondary Industry to rely upon. Though the Export market here is massively important , BMW for example has already reported a 20% drop in car orders..

    The Problems I see here are for the Man/Woman on the street, we are massively taxed (around 49% of wages disappear in taxation and Health insurances) and see relatively little for it…the health industry is becoming expensive as many treatments are now not offered in the state health package, Fuel prices are crippling, and of course the burden of a relatively old population being supported by less and less workers. It is also a very easy system to cheat , for example for the first six weeks of sickness an employer must pay the full wages , a massive burden and often abused ….the costs must be enormous !!! our savings are garanteed by the government, but to be honest most of the rich Germans took there money out of the country years ago . including their most cherished sports stars and actors…

    I don’t see a quick and easy solution to the problems , East Germany is still being rebuilt and the costs must be covered by taxation but at the same time the Eastern side of the country faces not only poverty, but an emigration of the youth (especially females it seems) leaving behind a vacuum of talent and diverse social problems, one village recently held a goodbye party as the last teenage girl left for the West , terrible really..

    I think the world has to look now at a ten or twenty year plan of restructuring on a more friendly capitalist basis , leaving the failures of the last thirty years behind .. banking and finance must accept a more responsible role in society and understand the huge impact they have on everyones lives, and stop playing power monopoly…

  69. 69 Gen
    October 24, 2008 at 13:23

    I just graduated college in the states and moved to South Korea to teach english for a year and pay off some loans, ofcourse now the south korean won is suffering the most out of all asian countries. I have a pay of 2 million won a month and was planning on saving 1 million won a month to pay off loans, that was about 1000 dollars when i decided to come, , now it s 750 and going down… basically I am worried about the economy.

  70. 70 Lazarus from Greece
    October 24, 2008 at 13:30

    everything is so fine.

    Thank you.

  71. 71 Janam Moorthy, UK
    October 24, 2008 at 13:32

    Let us stop pointing fingers at each other to find who was responsible for the current financial crisis. We are all responsible in some way or the other. Some have to take more reponsibility. Anwway, that is not the debate now, we all have to work together to get out of this crisis, individuals, organisations,governments and countries all should work to bring stability in this Globalised EARTH.
    We individuals should keep our confidence and faith in our world and where we are living. We have to stay positive and have right attitude to weather the economic and financial storm. Man kind has overcome so many difficulties in it’s existance and have evolved to become best species of the Earth.
    We can do it as TEAM.
    Let’s do it.

  72. 72 Rachel,Denmark
    October 24, 2008 at 13:34

    I was watching “Law and order” a US programme in the middle of this crisis and one quote made me sit up and listen. A character said the American economy is based on “10% fact and 90% smoke and mirrors” and I believe this to be true.

    With the amount of time spent by the American government on “other issues” for example wars abroad that may or may not have been in persuit of oil and the wealth and power certain companies make out of it, a crash was almost inevitable. As a non expert in this field even I can see that for a government that constantly appears to ignor problems at home, all that confidence was bound to evaporate at some point.

    What is amazing is the sheer scale of the crash. Here in Denmark we have a very stable economy but even that is beging to change with a 30% drop in housing prices in some areas. I am sure that it won’t be long before I feel the pinch in my job as a freelance designer. Tom and Barbara’s “Good life ” has never looked so attractive!!

  73. 73 GEORGE BUSH
    October 24, 2008 at 13:36

    The WORST president ever. Of the human history.

  74. 74 Javier R.
    October 24, 2008 at 13:37

    Javier from Brooklyn, NY

    While being a public school teacher offers security and stability, I fear changing jobs (as I had intended), and pursuing a doctorate. I’ve noticed the hikes in prices, in restaurants around the city, in bars, transportation. There is an overwhelming feeling of fear for the future; it seems every day I hear my fellow New Yorkers complain about the current situation. So many of my friends have been laid off, and the results echo those of my friends abroad, in South America, Europe, etc. Much like the education system here, which is already in terrible jeopardy, the problems facing our nation’s economy cannot be dealt with in a rapid fire way. My parents want to retire, but cannot. Investing in anything is a gamble (more so than ever) and 2 of the banks I was currently with dissolved. When will things get better?

  75. October 24, 2008 at 13:37

    You know…. money not being a physical thing, means we could start over. It isnt that ludacris of an idea.

  76. 76 Saul Babu ( Raleigh NC)
    October 24, 2008 at 13:38

    Yesterday, the former federal reserve chairman was testifying in the senate house. He said he is sorry for not taking some strong measures against lending practices, because he thinking the banks were responsible enough not lend money to borrowers who were not able to pay.Ask where is the invisible hand of Adams Smith.Hell Yes this affect me very much ,i used send about $ 400.00 very month to mom in the Gambia in West Africa but cannot right now because everything in America went up gas , food and the basic necessities of life. I cannot buy nomore fast food i learn how to cook frozen food and can food.Mom called sometimes last week that her house is damaged by a heavy rain in the Gambia i cannot even help her rebuilb her house. This is big mess .

  77. 77 Rob in Indiana
    October 24, 2008 at 13:38

    My retirement has dropped 20%, but I’m still 30-40 years from retirement. I’m not too concerned about that. My lifestyle hasn’t change much, but it was pretty basic to begin with. I work in education. The college I work for has seen tremendous growth, that I can only surmise has been driven by the economic hardship that others are facing. However, if credit dries up there will no longer be student loans. So for now, things are going great and I haven’t really cut back on anything.

    The only real change in my life is a feeling of fear (I’m an American, and we like to be scared all the time) and concern for the welfare of the world. We’re in for much harder times, and I will likely feel it at some point.

  78. October 24, 2008 at 13:40

    robert1987, I appreciate that the BBC have to cover the major news stories of the day, what I object to is the constant coverage of it.

    For example, their morning breakfast programme has a slot dedicated to business affairs which inevitably covers the problems facing the british economy but you can guarentee the story preceding and following their will also be about the credit crunch.

    I personally don’t know anybody affected (yet) by the recession or credit crunch and if wasn’t for the media I would not even know it existed…

  79. 79 MidKnight1
    October 24, 2008 at 13:40

    All good on Alistair Darling to come on national TV to ask us to live within our means but does he realise that even before this financial crisis UK families, according to surveys conducted, were the worst off in western europe with one in four children living below the bread line – extreme poverty in a developed country….what a shame. What he should wake up to is that now we can’t even afford the very basic needs such as food and accommodation. As a labour voter i don’t care about global crisis…i’m more interested in who can fix this mess we have found ourselves in with this government. I really do put my hands up and say it’s time for this government to disappear and we go back to the drawing board with a new government.

  80. 80 Paul
    October 24, 2008 at 13:44

    I am in Liberia, I don’t know if this “Global Financial Crisis” is troubling my finance, lifestyle, or anything else. Because before this crisis was announced, I was living the same way I am now, so what’s the difference? Well I don’t know, maybe the financial experts can say something about Liberia too, maybe then I can know what’s really going on……

  81. 81 Madam X
    October 24, 2008 at 13:45

    Has anyone noticed between all the doom-saying, cheer-leading, conspiracy-theorizing, blaming, fortune-telling going on here–and especially in the press–that NO ONE is holding one’s self accountable for the current and future situation we must endure. A reality check is in order for all of us. Odds are that if you are sitting at your newer model computer or internet-ready pocket phone reading this that you have for quite some time now enjoyed a very high quality of life, just as I have. Guilty, as charged. We are and have been a consumer-driven society for so long that we no longer know the difference between what we want and what we need. It’s no secret that the massive number of individuals who chose to live beyond their means and greedy lenders initiated the current financial problem. If we go to a party and over-eat or imbibe in too much alcohol, we expect to put on a few pounds or suffer a hang-over. Well, Folks, WELCOME TO OUR HANG-OVER. One only needs to open his or her eyes to see that we have become fat, lazy, over-consuming, ill-mannered children who possess all the toys and blame our unhappiness on something other than ourselves–and our own spoiled children, whom we wish to be better off that we were, are even worse than we are! Take note of the sky-rocketing teen suicide rates in the US and China (even before the market crash) and consider how unhappy our conspicuous consumption has effected our society. What needs changing, if we are to emerge truly better off, is our culture. Money and politics cannot fix this problem. We must be our own saviors. I encourage every individual to reconsider what quality of life really means.

  82. 82 selena in Canada
    October 24, 2008 at 13:52

    @Midnight1

    All good on Alistair Darling to come on national TV to ask us to live within our means but does he realise that even before this financial crisis UK families, according to surveys conducted, were the worst off in western europe with one in four children living below the bread line – extreme poverty in a developed country….what a shame.

    Thanks for drawing attention to the untold story! Isn’t it strange how we are completely unable to face the facts of life?

    Perhaps this crisis will force us to face up to the reality of poverty. We will all suffer but the poor will suffer more.

  83. 83 Rob, St Petersburg, Russia
    October 24, 2008 at 13:52

    Here in Russia we are just beginning to feel the draught. There is NO LIQUIDITY here and all credit lines have been frozen until further notice. This means no new cars, houses, washing machines, TVs etc, which will mean companies going belly up and for the first time unemployment rearing its head. This in a country where unemployment just doesn’t exist. It is scary!

  84. 84 Carlos Borjal
    October 24, 2008 at 13:53

    No impact for me, not yet anyways. I’m in the aviation engineering consulting field the majority of our projects are federally or state funded so we are in the receiving end of the professional big spenders. No telling what will happen though after the election, the government might suddenly delay or cut-off funding. But we should be able to ride this storm, this is not the first economic crisis we ever had, we had one like this after 9/11 and also in the early nineties which were just as bad. But we really have to reform Wall Street and punish corruption in congress. Throw them all in jail they have caused a lot of anguish to a lot of ordinary people.

  85. 85 Martin, London
    October 24, 2008 at 13:54

    I was made redundant in August. I am a legal executive lawyer and was Head of Residential Conveyancing. The whole department was made redundant. I have applied for over 535 jobs and have yet to get an interview despite being experienced, skilled and well qualified. I can’t even get a lower paid role as I am over qualified and over experienced, and there are very few roles at my level. I am completely stuck.

  86. 86 Ruth in scotland
    October 24, 2008 at 13:55

    The region I live in is one the the poorest paid in Britain so we can’t afford to over stretch and buy on Credit. I work in the motor industry and we were up 20% last quarter on last year. All of the shops in neighbouring towns are still busy, my friends and I are still behaving exactly as we would normally. It must be said that none of us waste our money.

  87. 87 Tony from New Zealand
    October 24, 2008 at 13:56

    I have now wiped out my credit cards and hire purchase account with a personal bank loan and have a very large house deposit, which will wipe out the personal loan, and secure a home for myself. House prices are reducing fast here and i’ll snap up a bargin now as a cash buyer.

  88. 88 gary
    October 24, 2008 at 13:56

    Hmm. Greed once again failed to be self-limiting and dishonest people cheated. Imagine that! No worries form me though! My current ratio is infinite , most assets are in real estate I don’t intend to sell, I’ve always intended to work until I die and I do not have much exposure to the idiocy on Wall Street, So for me, any losses in capital accounts are just scratches on paper. I do feel genuine sorrow for those who trusted liars, however. Perhaps a positive outcome will be that they become more circumspect? I do feel “Those responsible” should be punished; but I have no good ideas on how one would separate the actual criminals from those who were merely very unwise.
    g

  89. 89 malcolm
    October 24, 2008 at 13:58

    It really hasn’t affected me but then again I live a simple life….boring but simple.

  90. 90 Peter Meredith
    October 24, 2008 at 13:59

    Gordon Brown was Chancellor of the Exchequer whilst all of the sub-prime catastropy was happening. Why hasn’t anybody said anything?

  91. 91 Fajer in Kuwait
    October 24, 2008 at 13:59

    People living on the Arabian Peninsula, primarily those in Kuwait, Dubai and other large cities are not feeling the financial crisis yet. This can’t be because our economies are immune, but rather because the governments are in denial about how far-reaching the results of this crisis really are. Citizens of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE live out their lives with no alterations in spending habits or financial plans for the future, but as the prices of oil plummet and currencies world-wide suffer, those carrying on ignorantly will feel a sudden and severe backlash that none will be prepared to face.

  92. 92 Surya
    October 24, 2008 at 14:00

    When the sub-prime crisis surfaced, did not men at helm of affairs in USA know it would reach such levels as to spell disaster and doom for the entire world?

    It is not only necessary but imperative that USA takes lead in infusing not dollars but confidence building measures to restore the world economy into normalcy.

  93. 93 rachinlondon
    October 24, 2008 at 14:01

    I though today’s topic was rather interesting, however, rather than sharing “credit crunch” experiences, people are using this as an open forum to “take a pop” at the regulators. Stick to the programme people. Moderators… can you delete unrelated posts, as they are boring to trawl through.

    Thanks

  94. 94 Ellen Thomas, Minneapolis, MN
    October 24, 2008 at 14:05

    I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Gas prices have really come down — $2.19 to $2.37 gallon. My husband and I are working. I have not experienced any financial problems at all so far. I have never been rich so I never invested in stock market or anything like it.

    My husband’s and my income are good — good to me. I work part time at home on the computer and my husband works in a factory — union shop and makes very good wages.

    So, right now, all is good for my family. Oh yeah, just heard about someone from another country making comment about saying all USA citizens or as we are referred to as Americans (gee, you tend to forget that Canda and Mexico and many other countries are in North America and South America; they are Americans, too, though they won’t admit to that). that we are a slave to our credit cards. — my husband and I don’t misuse credit cards, only have a couple like Home Depot and Menards which you use for fixing up your house — otherwise, we are not a slave to credit cards. I personally have no credit cards. We own our vehicle, paid off and still paying mortgage on house — no problems there. I am very frugle, get great deals as the grocery stores here, Cub and Rainbow. Like I said, never been rich, never had all this credit either — remember when you talk about people in the USA, there are many of us — most of us don’t have that much money and can’t afford luxuries — quit watching the movie stars — 98% of us are just your average person going to work and have always watched our money. Remember our parents and grandparents and great grandparents went through the Depression and also, the ones that made the trip over here on those clipper ships way back in 1700s, 1800s, that ancestry has always been there in us, passed on from generation to generation — so when you refer to us as greedy people, well, that just is not true — most of us who have little — share what we do have — even with those starving children in Africa — South America, etc. My family is not rich. So stop judging USA by the movie stars.

  95. 95 ks tiwari
    October 24, 2008 at 14:06

    last time around when market melted in India I lost my investment. That left me overcautious and didn’t invest in markets.For last three years I thought that I left the bus BUT now I am feeling a sigh of releif , and still today my spine chilled when Sensex lost around 1100 points in a day. My lord saved me from a what would have been a total colasped had i would have invested. But still it is a very sad for eonomy to be melting and a fear has gripped whether the age old banking system might collapse.

    Isn’t it frightening mate.

  96. 96 Adam - Kosovo
    October 24, 2008 at 14:06

    As scary as it may seem I believe that money is out there, it’s just matter of confidence that financial insitutions and investors have lost.

  97. 97 Mikhaïl
    October 24, 2008 at 14:08

    Today is the 27th year of my existence! The best give I received is a piece of paper with the head of some weirdo printed on it…some of us call it the new religion others money! I call it the all time evil!

    The collapse of the world capitalist system and the ‘krach’ on the financial markets are the two determining factors for the future of the world and our children. How? The answer is simple, it’s a series of questions…How will the world economies react to that? How capitalists will find a way to make even more money? how to convince intelligent and hard working people lose more money? How politicians will use this situation to turn polls in their favor?

    This brings us to a universally acknowledge truth…Everything is linked!

    The impact on the lifestyle of people is not seen…yet! In a small country like Mauritius, the system is protected…for now! The common belief is that we are too far to feel the impact…yes, but for how long? Remember the meaning of ‘Globalisation’?

    This is the mistake that should not be made…the financial world has already changed all around the world. The smallest economies are or will suffer…and people too! The change in lifestyle is simple…comsume less, believe less in the truth, act more!

  98. 98 Tyler from Littleton, CO
    October 24, 2008 at 14:13

    This “credit crunch” has not affected me at all. People don’t seem to understand that the markets WILL correct themselves… people got greedy, markets are correcting. Food doesn’t cost that much more, gas is actually cheaper than it’s been in a long time, and my job pays the same. In fact, I’ll get a cost of living raise this year that will more than offset the slight increase in commodities. I don’t feel bad for the foreclosures because it’s like this… If you buy something you can’t afford… why should I have to pay for it? It’s all about PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, but here in America we don’t get that… which is why we will elect a welfare president who wants to do everything for everyone. Hold on world… invest in guns, gold, silver, and yourself… we’re in for a wild ride.

  99. 99 Saviour
    October 24, 2008 at 14:13

    To: Paul in Sydney

    Exactly right mate. No one has paid attention to these phenomena. These inequalities have unbalanced everything. Isn’t it unfair and unnatural that an average salesman in a manufacturing company usually receives same pay with the manufacturing director? Isn’t it unfair when we work for £1000 a month and the recruiting agency pockets £1000? Isn’t it weird and unnatural that the prices of houses relative to income have gone up 4-fold in the past 15 years? Where was everyone then? Here in the UK everything has stagnated business-wise, and the media including the BBC have really scared people, so no one does nothing. Evryone just waits doing nothing… And far from the “fat-cat” cliches, where is the state when a firm goes bust and 700 people lose their work? Didn’t they deserve a bail-out? Of course they did not. They were outside the money-politics system so they were just peasants, worthy of their fate. That is were the problem originated, that is where it should end…

  100. 100 Wendy Brown
    October 24, 2008 at 14:14

    The government may say we are heading for recession, but tell that to the plasterer’s, plumbers, builders, electrician who are all so fully booked up with work that I can not get any work done till January next year.

  101. October 24, 2008 at 14:15

    Here in Phoeniz, Arizona USA .
    The housing market has stopped. Houses are overbuilt and there is a huge inventory of real estate. Consumer spending is way down. There is a mood of depression in the minds of many. Food prices are high.

    But more importantly I want all of you to understand this whole problem is caused by the Central Bankers who control the worlds money supply. This is part of the plan. Your money disappeared, but it went into the hands of others. Learn about this please. you will understand the illusion of paper money and money created by clicking a few computer keys. go to Youtube.com and search for MoneyMasters : how banks create the worlds money. Learn and listen. I was surprised. This has all been staged for wealth creation by large Central Bankers.
    Thomas

  102. 102 prafulla shrivastva
    October 24, 2008 at 14:15

    we are family of four, me, my wife & two sons who are studying in class XI. My wife & me have always dreamet that we will keep our sons happy & whatever ther require we will provide. We have done the same, on maximum occasion but now we are finding it difficult. We are not paying their tution fees regularly to school & private tutor.
    They transporter is not paid in time. We are really feeling helpless. Both of my sons are footballer & they require good food, shorts & jersy but we are not providing the same as we are helpless.
    We have continued tradition of purchasing new cloths on all major festivals but now it seems it is not possible.
    I am worried about our future.

    Prafulla Shrivastva
    Thane, India

  103. 103 Vishnu, India
    October 24, 2008 at 14:17

    At some level of consciousness, the concept of a person’s wealth being determined by squiggly lines and ticker numbers on a screen is rather inane. Squiggly line goes up? Congrats, you are rich now ! Squiggly line goes down next day? Too bad, you’re broke and penniless ! Can anyone else see the absurdity in that?

    My way of looking at wealth is – If you’ve got money in your pockets, your well off. If you dont, then you’re not.

  104. 104 Aiga from Latvia
    October 24, 2008 at 14:18

    There is the crisis, but a lot of people dont’t understand the serousness of the recession. Of course I feel the consequances – the inflation rate is very high, but my salary doesn’t go up.
    But I am optimistic.
    There is always increase after decrease!

  105. 105 Charlie O'Sullivan
    October 24, 2008 at 14:21

    Regarding: cutting Bank Interest rates ,

    The real cost of funds to the Banks and Building Societies is the rate that they are presently offering to secure new Deposits. In Ireland, for example, Building Societies are offering up to 6% anf Banks are offering between 4% and 5%.

    So, any cut in E.C.B rate is largely academic as these cuts are unlikely to be passed on to Customers because the Banks are paying up to 6% to Depositors. Since the “cost of funds” is actually between 5% and 6%, the Institutions would have to charge 6% PLUS a margin for profit when lending money.

    It follows from that that the Banks have no intention and no incentive to lend money to anyone at the moment. The reason they are paying up to 6% on deposits is to maintain liquidity, NOT in order to have moeny for the purpose of lending it to Business or Home Owners or indeed to another Bank.

    The only solution seems to be that the Government(s) will have to mandate that the rate paid on Deposits will haave to fall each time the B.O.E and E.C.B rates fall and the rates paid to Depositors will have to be lower than the E.C.B and B.O.E base rate.

    I believe that the Governments have to insist (and have the right to insist by virtue of the bail-out funds made available to the Banks in recent weeks) that the cuts in Central Bank interest rates are passed on to their Customers. That will mean that fewer Home Owners will default on their mortgage payments and fewer small business will be forced to close. This in turn will mean that the unemployment figures will not rise as much or as quickly.

    I enjoy your News and current affairs reporting. Thank you.

    Sincerely,

    Charlie O’Sullivan
    Cork City
    Republic of Ireland

  106. 106 Naitik Vyas
    October 24, 2008 at 14:29

    I’m in Ohio, USA and things are quite sad here. My friends are graduating from college are struggling to find a Job, those of us lucky to find a job are making way less than we need to pay back our student loans and hold down an apartment. My mother was laid off this week. And there doesn’t seem to be any kind of Job Creation on horizon …at least not from this administration. Obama is our only hope!!

  107. 107 Radka
    October 24, 2008 at 14:32

    Hi, I am from Slovakia and we are expecting to exchange Slovak Koruna to Euro next year in Januray 2009. The Economist here keep telling us that the financial crisis wont hit Slovakia. 3 weeks later US Steel is closing contrats with external workers, Skoda is decreasing prices of cars,etc. Every coutnry which has switched to Euro was in some way affected. I dont know what is going to happen to Slovakia with the financial crisis around us plus the Euro change. However, it will have a huge inpact on me, as I will be graduating in 2010 and all I can hear is that people are losing their jobs. This whole world is screwed up! And now they are trying to find someone who is responsible for this. They should have done something before so this wouldnt happen!

  108. 108 Joney Jones
    October 24, 2008 at 14:35

    Can someone tell me how much debt is still out there ?

    As far as I am aware , nobody knows.

    Until this fundamental in known , how can the financial system begin to recover and banks begin to lend to each other.

  109. 109 kursat from turkey
    October 24, 2008 at 14:40

    hi all,
    i am from turkey and i have a lot of question in my mind.
    first; do you think that we are coming to end of the crise or it has just began?
    i wanted to buy a flat before the crise but i have changed my decision. is it chance for buying a flat now?

  110. 110 Erik from Ohio
    October 24, 2008 at 14:40

    I have changed several things in my life due to the financial crisis. To save money I have started rolling my own cigarettes and have stopped driving home for my lunch hour. I have also started cooking for myself a lot more and have been much more energy efficient in my home. I work for an IT consulting firm and our business has slowed down considerably in the last two months and has a lot of people around here worrying about their jobs. Currently I think my job is secure but if things continue like they are that may not last for long.

    I have just become eligible to start paying into a 401K plan. Is this a good idea right now? Would I just be flushing my money or is this a great time to start a 401K?

  111. 111 Roy, Washington DC
    October 24, 2008 at 14:41

    Haha, oil is down today despite OPEC cutting production. Take that, OPEC.

    (I find it highly hypocritical of them to have refused to increase supply back in the summer when prices were zooming upward, but now that prices are falling back to normal, they’re eager to cut supply.)

  112. 112 inan Turkey
    October 24, 2008 at 14:47

    We have grown used to economical crisis. This economic crisis is one of them. countriy’s economies musn’t consist from borrowing. This allways be dangerous.

  113. 113 Suro
    October 24, 2008 at 14:49

    The Gamble by the top mangers , ceo and what ever the persons who are sitting at the top of the financial sectors , whose bad decision caused this huge turmoil in the financial market which have been taking lives of millions of peoples all over the the world , this is just like financial holocaust and those guys are responsible for that . The food crisis which will going to kill millions of people in the Africa in the coming years due to lack of foreign support , and kill the dreams of billions all over the world .Whether the justice will going to place ?

  114. 114 Sillav
    October 24, 2008 at 14:54

    Apparantly us in Michigan are at the eye of the storm. By far the biggest and most damaging affect I see is the generation of anger and hatred and the blame game – not only from within in the USA.. Yes greedy Americans were the main driver of the crisis, but for other financiers and anyone else from other countries, who took just as much advantage to make huge profits, to hide behind the legs of the big bully, and then run off home to accuse others as soon as the trouble starts, is weedy and pathetic and nationalistic. Similar to those who, after the Iraq war started, continued to vote for the likes of Tony Blair and John Howard, but fail to acknowledge how this was just as much as a contribution to the disaster as us Americans re-electing Bush. Those of us in the US, and there are many of us, who are not greedy wall street pigs, are not neocons, do not completely agree with Sara Palin, we realize our responsibilities as a nation. We have a weight of responsibility to carry, and we will carry it. We might even carry it for some of those from other countries who, like the neocons in the US, can only think and judge on a nationalistic basis….but be aware that if you judge all of us by the standard of the worst of us, then you will be judged by that same standard. BNP anyone? Thinking and judging in nationalistic monoblocs is not part of any solution, it is part of the problem.

  115. 115 Michael
    October 24, 2008 at 14:54

    Despite being in one of the “critically affected states”, I haven’t felt much of an impact. I work at a hospital and am paying my own way through college, so budgets have always been tight at work and I’m used to living at the poverty level. It is incredibly difficult for anyone to find a job, but I have only heard of very few people losing their positions anywhere.

    I just can’t believe the bailout plan and all the implications that come with it–including the bullying of smaller responsible banks to be force-fed it. Washington has declared that to save the burning house, you must throw Kerosine on it until it engulfs the neighboorhood.

    Don’t even get me started on the proposol for a SECOND stimulus bill; pure stupidity. Bernake, Paulson, and Bush should hang for Treason and gross incompitence. Everyone else in Congress save a few should simply be fined and jailed for it.

  116. 116 Dan
    October 24, 2008 at 14:56

    Joney Jones October 24, 2008 at 2:35 pm
    They think the total debt is $79 – 83 TRILLION. That is 83 thousand billion dollars.

  117. October 24, 2008 at 14:57

    Hi:
    I am an attorney practicing law in Mass. USA for over 28 years. Last year my wife and I built a new house, only to find when it was done that the bank’s appraiser had appraised the value of the house well over $300K above its actual value. We were devastated and could not refinance, because all the equity we thought we’d had, was not there! Then my business income fell, and we have had trouble paying our bills. Consequently we fell behind on the mortgage and this week the bank sent a letter demanding $16K by Oct. 30, or they will call the Note. We are about to lose our new, beloved home and have nowhere to go.

    In need of a miracle like so many others,

    Jack

  118. 118 Dan
    October 24, 2008 at 15:22

    We can all complain or believe in our economic system. I choose the latter.
    Today I bought more stock at bargain prices.

  119. 119 George, Sweden
    October 24, 2008 at 15:25

    The USA started all this, and I do not feel sorry for the average American.
    When you live in a society thats, Im all right Jack, attitude, then they have only themselves to blame. They live in a low tax society, with hardly any benefits from the state, and thats they way they like it, or liked it. When things start going pear shaped, they cant find enough scapegoats, but they are all hiding and not taking any responsibility.
    They pleadge $700bn, a mere drop in the ocean. Should the need arise, Sweden have a guarantee program 10 times that on an equal population basis.
    Here we can still get a very good mortgage, get a loan to buy a car etc

  120. 120 Jesika NYC
    October 24, 2008 at 15:31

    Models & bottles! that was one of the most popular phrases among most NYers when out on the town these past few years. NYCs nightlife is driven primarily by those in finance & fashion, who worked hard and partied hard. Today, the term mostly used is “B&T wanted”.

    All the lay-offs and economic problems are causing big losses in retail, entertainment & travel. I am a native NYer and have never experienced such a gloom & doom scenario. To add to the problem, rent & grocery prices are through the roof! Its quite maddening. The only good news is that the Euro & sterling are down dramatically across the US$ which allows us to fantasize about sandy Euro beaches as an escape from the turmoil and deafening noise made by our incompetent politicians. Good Morning America, indeed.

    Now, we’re not seeking pity. You asked & we’re tellin’. As one of the few remaining female traders on wall street I have to say that none of us are happy about where we are. we are like everyone else; we have homes, children, illnesses and not all the employees of every wall st firm are rich.

    In actuality most are far from rich! So when politicians try to blame wall st (although def partly to blame), they should also blame themselves and the American citizen who over-extended themselves. If I don’t have enough money in my pocket to buy a cup of coffee, I cant buy it. simple logic. Americans need to inform themselves. Read through those bills w/ a fine tooth comb & double check which politicians were on those committees that approved deregulation. When you do, you’ll see a very familiar and interesting last name that starts with Mc!

  121. 121 Paul
    October 24, 2008 at 15:33

    I dont agree that this mess has been caused by each and every one of us actually. In the UK I have no say about how much house prices are. I just have to pay it if I want a property. As for ever increasing food and gas prices, that has not been as a result of anything I’ve done. I just have to buy it to live!
    This financial mess has been caused by 2 factors:
    Greedy bankers and greedy banks.
    The banks have (esp in the US) committed poor credit lending, and bankers have screwed us all by investing in this high risk strategy.
    Now we will all pay the price.
    I hope the FSA (in the UK) gets its head out of the sand and heavily regulates lending (criteria) and investments from peoples money. Bad debts are bad debts. If you cant afford mortgage repayments when current interest rates increase, you shouldnt be lent the money – or buy a smaller house!! Theres a high risk involved and now people cant pay their mortgages lenders are struggling. Theres now no trust between banks caused by the drop out from the states.
    I’m not rich but I have saved wisely and cleared credit cards. I still spend money. That will only stop if I am laid off work and cant find another job quickly.
    Is this real or contrived by the media and finance houses? I dunno.

  122. 122 Jessica in NYC
    October 24, 2008 at 15:36

    @ Dan

    Thanks for your encouragement earlier. I will try to have “faith”, but unfortunately I find it difficult to have stock in a system that allowed an elite small amount of execs to go unchecked and whose fault it is that we are in this mess.

  123. 123 David in New England
    October 24, 2008 at 15:38

    I had about $300,000 US dollars in my retirement account 3 months ago, and now I have about half of that. The big mistake I made was having 50% of my retirement holdings in International, European and Emerging Market mutual funds. I made those investments a few years ago, thinking it would be a good defense against the coming US economic slowdown. I did not anticipate that a US slowdown would instantly crush the international markets just as much, and even more severely than the US market. I guess we are all in a global economy now. Bad news in the any economy is bad news for all. They are all bundled together. So much for the concept of investing in many international markets as a defensive position against economic troubles in one’s own national market. Might as well invest locally. The myth of global diversification has been exposed.

  124. 124 Emile
    October 24, 2008 at 15:38

    The present financial dilemma we find ourselves in is due to the creative genius of a few wall street MBAs, whom we are told, are essential if the US is to maintain its status within the world financial markets. Their creative genius has given us such financial instruments as derivatives, hedge funds and credit default swaps, to name a few. When broken down their creative genius is nothing more than an attempt to circumvent the rules created to maintain a stable financial system. By inventing financial instruments, which were beyond the understanding of the regulators whom were responsible for the system’s stability; these creative geniuses have managed to bring the entire financial system of the world to the edge of the abyss.
    The solution to our present dilemma is very simple. It lies in our definition of capitalism. Capitalism is a market driven system. Capitalism rewards investors who take risks and also punishes investors who take risks. The end result lies in the amount of risk taken or avoided. In playing the game “king of the hill” our creative geniuses were willing to risk all to win the game and become billionaires. The only problem is that they were trying to create wealth out of electrons. The entire world financial system is computer based and ergo wealth is created and destroyed via the flow of electrons. The basic idea behind the creation of their new money was to bet heavily that certain stocks would go down in value. By purchasing insurance against the drop in value of these stocks they would rake in the dollars when the stocks fell. Unfortunately the idiots who sold them the insurance did not understand the risk behind what they had agreed to. Firms like AIG bet that the value of the insured stocks would not fall. They were wrong because they did not know that the game was rigged. Rumors were spread about the fragility of Leman Bros. and that is where the dominos started to fall.
    Now for the solution! The Federal Government is the only entity with the legal right to print money and since electronic money is not really legal tender then it is not real money. The Federal Government is not responsible for the actions of a few creative geniuses trying to create electronic money, which by the way is counterfeit and illegal and which could get you 20 years in a federal pen. It is the obligation of the federal government to bring all of these creative geniuses to justice for counterfeiting and disrupting the financial system of the entire world.
    In the end the capitalist system we have been operating under should be allowed to cycle through its highs as well as its lows with no interruptions from the federal government. Those who invested in the system should take the pain it dishes out just as they would have enjoyed the pleasures it might have given. There is no guarantee that the value of a stock will go up just as there is no guarantee that tomorrow will come. History teaches us that everything is cyclic which brings us back to the wall street bailout. The $700 billion is now being used by the banks to buy other banks and as a backstop for other banks that will be in trouble very soon. We will be better off if we allow the house of cards to collapse so that we can build a more robust system with severe penalties for those who abuse it. Let us go back to legal tender backed by precious metals and or commodities, which have real value. Leave the electrons to the physicist.
    It does not pain me to see wealthy individuals loose all that they have. As a matter of fact, after experiencing unemployment for the last year, I am enjoying it. Unfortunately this economic crisis will not affect the individuals who started this mess. They will walk away retaining their wealth. One must remember that the great depression had a number of individuals jumping out of windows emulating themselves. The CEOs of today will simply walk away with more wealth than they started with. One must also remember that the great depression was followed by a long economic upheaval, which led to WWII. The crisis we are experiencing has only just begun, to be followed by the next world war. It is after all the means by which the few at the top control the masses at the bottom.

  125. 125 Dan
    October 24, 2008 at 15:47

    @Jessica in NYC
    I believe that Henry Waxman (D-CA) will get those guys soon. When the CEO of Lehman made $500 MILLION and then wanted a bailout we call that an obscenity but when he kept telling investors & credit reporting agencies that everything is OK that is criminal. The same will happen to the others.

  126. 126 Oscar
    October 24, 2008 at 15:48

    I find what is happening highly amusing.
    I have spent my entire life dodging and living outside of the system as much as I possibly can, a lifestyle that has become increasingly difficult in recent years due to the information technology. I have never paid income tax, taken any form of social security payment, been involved with financial system investment in any way or owned property . I am telling you this not because I am proud of my behavior, nor am I ashamed as I live this way because of a political conviction, but because I wish to illustrate the absurd behavior of banks that has led theworld to this crisis.
    I left the UK back in 1979 to travel, illegally working my way around the world, raising cash whenever I needed it. I returned briefly to the UK in 1992 and worked for cash in the building industry. I opened a bank account with Lloyds TSB using my own identity to enable me to draw cash in other countries from my UK account as I continued my travels. Within just three months I had been offered over £25,000 in credit cards and a further £10,000 in personal loans. I must emphasize that I made little effort to procure this credit. I took the lot and lived the life of Riley for several months, stopped paying back the loans and went bankrupt. The ease in which I achieved this still amazes me to this day for as I see it…I legally robbed a bank. Pretty crazy huh?

  127. 127 Jessica in NYC
    October 24, 2008 at 15:48

    @ Selena and Midknight1,

    That is the fear. What if those of us who have a good paying job lose it? That in a short amount of time in this recession we will place us as one of the people living below the poverty line. Then what then will happen to the millions of people around the world who are already there? There are many charities who survive strictly on small individual donations, what happen to all the people employed their when people cannot afford to donate? What happens to the people who received the aide and is no longer coming in placed like Africa, Latin America, South East Asia?

    I live in the wealthiest nation and you would think in a place where it seems like over consumption and waste were invented we would not have any homeless, hungry people or so many living below poverty levels. But we do. Restaurants and fast-food place here throw left over food away at the end of the day, because if they “donate it” to a homeless shelter and someone gets sick, the restaurant/fast-food chain could get sued. So it makes much more sense throw it away in filthy and maggot filled trash dumpsters where the homeless people dig it out of. (Unbelievable!)

  128. October 24, 2008 at 15:57

    The average african who resides in Africa cares a little about the Financial crisis because he has only enough to feed and clothes he and his family. Many of us do not have a stake in the recession crisis but to watch and see how it plays out.

  129. 129 J.V in Michigan, USA
    October 24, 2008 at 15:58

    Yes greedy Americans were the main driver of the crisis, but for other financiers and anyone else from other countries, who took just as much advantage to make huge profits, to hide behind the legs of the big bully, and then run off home as soon as the trouble starts, is weedy and pathetic and nationalistic. Similar to those who, after the Iraq war started, continued to vote for the likes of Tony Blair and John Howard, but fail to acknowledge how this was just as much as a contribution to the disaster as us Americans re-electing Bush. Those of us in the US, and there are many of us, who are not greedy wall street pigs, are not neocons, are not like Sara Palin, realize our responsibilities as a nation. We have a weight of responsibility to carry, and we will carry it. We might even carry it for some of those from other countries who, like the neocons in the US, can only think and judge on a nationalistic basis….but be aware that if you judge all of us by the standard of the worst of us, then you will be judged by that same standard. BNP anyone? Thinking and judging in nationalistic monoblocs is not part of any solution, it is part of the problem.

  130. 130 Daniel
    October 24, 2008 at 16:02

    Where is the world leadership? It seems world leaders, especially in Washington, are sitting idle while world markets lose trillions of dollars each day. The alternative to capitalism is government intervention and without that intervention, markets collapse. This is a serious issue that seems to lack serious attention. Calling for patience is not a strategy.

  131. 131 Jessica in NYC
    October 24, 2008 at 16:03

    @ Jesika NYC

    I think, at least it certainly true for me, that when “we blame” Wall Street I am not thinking to all the folks who work in financial industry. I think of the CEOs and Executives who are millionaires and paying russian roulette with with hard working people’s money. They are the ones who had the power and control not the bank tellers and stock traders.

    I am a New Yorker, too, and as such we have been in a recession far longer than Bush and his brother McCain admit. I have seen several of my friends lose their jobs on Wall Street, some are over a year ago. They are not rich and have completely depleted their savings account. As you pointed out, the cost of food and everyday necessities just keeps skyrocketing. Still it seems we have not hit bottom.

  132. 132 Salim in Karachi
    October 24, 2008 at 16:04

    Futures trading or speculation is the root cause of the economic downturn. Everybody was cheering the punters as oil prices was rising and breaking records. The banks provided the money until they were themselves got on the brink of bankruptcy and now tax payers money is being lavishly dished out to rescue the culprits. It was afterall a baloon which has now burst. You cannot afford guns,bread and butter together at the same time. It seems USA has forgotten the lessons learnt from Vietnam War.

  133. 133 Wim in Cambodia
    October 24, 2008 at 16:12

    Someone commented saying that this is not the time for ideological debates. But this is exactly the time, it’s the wrong economic ideology that caused this mess in the first place, and surely reactive measures will not solve the underlying issues. It took people like Greenspan decades to realise what was painfully obvious in large parts of the real world. Let it finally be clear that self-interest is not a good drive for economic activity, and that a globalised system needs global regulation in order to avoid global problems.

  134. 134 Dan
    October 24, 2008 at 16:16

    @katemcgough October 24, 2008 at 4:12 pm
    So what you are advocating is a World Government that will make local decisions but so far removed from me that my voice doesn’t count?
    I disagree with you. Self interest is the only driving force in the American economy and those economies that have raised millions out of poverty.
    .

  135. 135 Jean in Wisconsin
    October 24, 2008 at 16:17

    I will never again have faith in my government. I see now that their agenda is only to perpetuate and grow the wealth of the upper class. They will use any means they can to destroy the working people and reduce us to pseudo-slavery.
    I was expecting to retire in 4 years and now my money so far is halved. But I see no reason to think about it or to scheme about investments. I spent too much time these last 5 years plotting how to grow my money and now, in a magical whisk, it is going going gone. Anyway, we were a culture heady with consuming and now surely that will stop.
    I do believe the world could actually become better than ever as we come to appreciate what is truly important, such as ethics, standards, justice. However, I see a lot of pain and suffering on the road and perhaps the human race can never get there.

  136. 136 Jack the Hat
    October 24, 2008 at 16:24

    Hello to all you folks at WHY’S…my finances,though,are non-existent…
    I have no income, and for some years have survived by selling my personal possessions.
    An erratic mode of living, but it gets me by.
    As a gilded youth, I acquired a large amount of jewellry, watches etc, and several wonderful racing bikes; this has maintained me through to my middle age.
    Now my needs are decreasing rapidly: I have myeloma, an incureable, chronic cancer of my spine, leading to “skeletal collapse in unendurable pain”…
    So the credit crunch doesn’t bother me too much!

  137. 137 Katharina in Ghent
    October 24, 2008 at 16:25

    My family and I have not been hit directly by the economic down turn – yet, even though like everyone else we’re also complaining about rising food prices and travel expenses. Plane tickets from Brussels to Vienna have practically doubled within six months. The good news is that gasoline prices have dropped quite a bit in the last few weeks, but that’s about it. My husband and I work in science, and our institute is mostly funded by the government, which worries me a little bit, because the government had and has to spend a lot of money to bail out banks and insurances. My biggest hope is that the recession will last only shortly, because otherwise I’m sure they will have to cut funding to science…

  138. 138 jon - australian in paris
    October 24, 2008 at 16:35

    I have been living in paris for a month now studying fashion design postgraduate and am really keeping an eye on the current situation of the world not to mention back home. doing fashion is risky at the best of times but its definately a lot worse now with my teachers saying we were born in the wrong era – lovely advice that!

    as the crisis is so big and with so many culprits its so hard to pin down the ‘actual’ cause. all i can think is that these times FORCE people to actually think of SMART ideas which are actually DESIGNS and not just fashion.

    these times make people think and to design with intelligence –

    we will survive

  139. 139 Jessica in NYC
    October 24, 2008 at 16:39

    @ Dan

    “I believe that Henry Waxman (D-CA) will get those guys soon. When the CEO of Lehman made $500 MILLION and then wanted a bailout we call that an obscenity but when he kept telling investors & credit reporting agencies that everything is OK that is criminal.”

    From your mouth to god’s ear. (Eh, for you WHYS blog atheist, from his mouth to the air! blah. If you change your mind about God, maybe he/she will take us out of the recession. If we stay in a recession, I am soooo blaming you heathens. bad joke?)

    What will the hearing accomplish? Greenspan admitted he made a catastrophic mistake, so what it’s not bring the lost money back? The attorney general cannot fill charges if no actual laws were broken. So, no jail time! This is the only thing that would maybe bring my confidence back. I don’t care if Obama has youtube fireside chat like FDR did on the radio…

  140. 140 Sillav
    October 24, 2008 at 16:43

    George, Sweden writes:

    “The USA started all this, and I do not feel sorry for the average American.”

    Like I said, thinking in this way, in nationalistic monoblocs, makes you part of the problem. You are not the open minded tolerant person, you are a threat to any solution.

  141. 141 Dan
    October 24, 2008 at 16:45

    @Jessica in NYC
    Maybe Greenspan is immune but the CEO’s and Wall Street “Masters of the Universe” are not as they lied to the public and investors. There are laws about that.
    Waxman is laying the groundwork….I hope & pray. The FBI is already on the case.

  142. 142 Jessica in NYC
    October 24, 2008 at 16:46

    @ Brett

    “As with the rise in gas prices, the financial crisis has simply re-enforced the lifestyle of conservation that I try to lead.”

    Sounds lovely, but while this cost more than the “wasteful life styles” people live, I’m afraid some of us will continue talking tot he wall.

  143. October 24, 2008 at 17:04

    I’m afraid some of us will continue talking to the wall.

    That’s fine, the wall will lose more money than I will, in that case lol.

  144. 144 John Wolfe
    October 24, 2008 at 17:05

    The growing failure of banks and possibly whole countries points a condemning finger at the American / Republican Economic Plan ……… which takes its profits not from production but from speculation — in everything from home loans to factory floors to whole industries.

    The idea that we can make more money from the speculation in things, rather than in the actual production of those things, leads directly to the (now) collapsing pyramid scheme of finance (a collapsing scam that I’ve seen coming ever since the Nixon / Regan years of deregulation and blaming the Government). The whole economy rests on the deregulated loans to the poor — shame on us, and shame on the US.

    Remember US Steel? They sold their assets to a holding company and then leased those same assets back.
    Remember Enron? They did the same.
    Both are gone, as is the money that was invested in them.

    The Republican plan — kills businesses — creates an aristocracy of rich idiots.

    Remember The Roman Empire? Excessive speculation killed it too.

    If you don’t know any Union members …….. ask yourself why.

    Speculation doesn’t need production — it only needs one thing — greed.

  145. October 24, 2008 at 17:13

    It has now been nearly two months since I was let go from my clerical job for a major woman’s sportswear company. I am waiting for one state agency to see if I qualify for some sort of benefit, but I have a feeling I will be visiting a temp-to-hire company next week. Compounding the situation is that I have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder). As much as “normal” people are hit hard by the current economic malaise, it would be even more offensive if the disabled — learning or physically disabled — feel it harder than others.

  146. October 24, 2008 at 17:23

    Hi WHYSers!

    I am never sure what the ‘financial crisis’ means, in real terms, for people like me who do not own many assets but who, nonetheless make an effort in terms of trying to invest in ‘safe’ investments like insurance schemes, mandatory savings plans and trying as much as possible to stick to a budget (That is an effort!). Still, I feel like all this can be a real drag as you spend so much time being ‘good’ and ‘safe’ there is never any real opportunity for fun.

    My ultimate dream (job) is work in an area that I thoroughly enjoy and which allows me to save enough to live, as well as to save/ plan for retirement

  147. 147 Shaun in Halifax
    October 24, 2008 at 17:32

    @ Jon in Paris

    Here’s an idea for practical fashion. Start interweaving kevlar fibers into your clothes.

    Stressful economic times almost always lead to some sort of major conflict (I’m not going to list all the historical precedents here). So at least make your designs utilitarian. Sew in areas secret pockets to hide knives, firearms and valuables.

  148. 148 Bud from PHX
    October 24, 2008 at 17:35

    You need to remember that you need to take control of your life.

    It’s disturbing that people in government totally disregard what their constituents tell them to do. It’s disturbing that the market goes down and the media panics about this. It’s disturbing that greedy banks made horrible, high-interest loans to people who couldn’t afford to repay, and broke people signed up for the loan and cried when they couldn’t afford it – like someone did something to them. It’s disturbing that arrogant people in Washington ignore their constituents and takes huge strides toward socialism.

    All of these things are disturbing, but none will cause this great nation to cease to function. None of these things are the seeds to the beginning of the end. You’re okay. We’re going to be fine.

    But the most disturbing thing is some people’s reactions.

    Don’t react based on fear or panic. Another negative reaction is that you are looking to Washington to fix your problems. Why would you do that? They have never fixed your problems, and you want Obama or McCain to fix things. That’s ridiculous; there has never been a president who can fix your problems. They always say they can and they never can.

    At what point did Bill Clinton fix any of your problems? At what point did he cause you to prosper? At what point did George Bush end your career or cause you to prosper? When did Ronald Reagan fix your problems?

    When you look to Washington to solve your problems, we’ve got the seeds to destroy this country. It’s time for YOU to change YOUR life.

    There was a sweet 43-year-old lady making $15,000 a year who called me asking what Congress was going to do to help her. My answer to her was “Nothing. It’s not their job. It’s your job to read a book or take a class to get better so you can make more. Why have you accepted this as your lot in life? Why are you sitting around waiting on Congress or president to fix your life?”

    It’s not Washington’s job to fix what’s going on with you. If you are waiting on Washington to change something, you’ve got a long freakin’ wait! It is YOUR job to take care of you. Don’t sit around and watch TV and panic and think you can’t do anything. I’ve made and lost money, and every bit of that had to do with me being smart and diligent or stupid.

    Quit blaming Congress or looking to them to fix you. YOU have to fix you! When you wait on the government to fix your life and wait for money to be taken from others and given to you, that’s a spirit of envy, and it’s wrong. The only system that works is capitalism functioning under moral restraint.

    Get some moral restraint, become a capitalist, and go be somebody!

  149. 149 Nikitas
    October 24, 2008 at 17:37

    I am absolutely bored the recent selection of topics for discussion.

    I’m taking a break from WHYS unless the topics become a little more diverse in subject.

  150. 150 Vims in Zimbabwe
    October 24, 2008 at 17:38

    Our situation is already terrible. It will get worse though so we should all prepare and brace ourselves. Life will be tougher.

  151. October 24, 2008 at 17:41

    Valencia, Spain – RYANAIR.

    I heard a BBC journalist claim that using the BA measure of satisfaction that RyanAir is the peoples’ most popular airline. RyanAir is indeed the peoples’ airline for the working classes and I reckon it will be continued to be used religiously by us workers until it suffers the effects of various governments in Europe deliberately pricing flying for the working classes beyond their reach where flying will then return to the wealthy classes only.

    Up the workers I say in a RyanAir flight! And geezers please keep your run to Newquay, Cornwall on and I’ll come round and clean your offices for nothing. Slainte! Oh, and if you’re generous to those lovely Spanish people I’ll polish your brass as well 🙂

    Ever best regards,

    Mick

  152. 152 Jens
    October 24, 2008 at 17:47

    well, what can i say. courtesy of our wars, the money spend on research has more or less dried up and i am pretty much out of my job, with prospect of having to move, sell the house at a dumping price and find somewhere to life. ohh yeah and the money we save and invested is worth nothing. great one saves for a rainy day and then they go and drown you….

  153. 153 Rick: South Bay Ontario Canada
    October 24, 2008 at 17:50

    The past several weeks have shown us that the world financial markets are and have been woven tightly in a web of collusion and deceit. We’ve witnessed the decline of fortunes from all corners of the globe, equity values have been halved in many markets.

    I believe that this is truly an example of unregulated financial markets and the fact that greed, huge commissions and bonuses where permitted to take place. Most of the lost values that we are seeing is based on fictious value from the get go. There was never any substance to support the high yields and therefore the loss should be of no real concern other than to those that played the game. The average person who stayed away from the opportunity to grow their wealth on RISK is probably still is a good position, those that invested heavy into high yield equity and reaped high returns should not be surprised to see the long term results.

    I would like to see the media and doom Sayers stop spreading these story of recession. Let’s get positive again and spend our way out of this mess. Do we truly believe we will see another depression, I think not, we are too smart to repeat the errors of our past. OR ARE WE?

  154. 154 Shaun in Halifax
    October 24, 2008 at 17:50

    Einstein once said, “The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has limits.”

    There are too many idiots on wall street that are only in it for themselves (“hey man, caveat emptor. You didn’t want to lose, you shouldn’t have invested.”). How may crashes will it take before people realize that the banks don’t care. They don’t give a sh*t about you.

    They want our money and we willingly fork it over in some misguided belief that, once they have it, the bankers will look out for you. You think these multi-millionaires are suffering? Think they can’t afford gas for their Learjets? You think they’re hurting in their summer homes in Maui? They don’t care, they don’t care, they don’t care.

    The game is Monopoly, and the game is rigged folks. What is the net result of their wheeling and dealing? More for them and less for us. They go to Club Med, we go dumpster diving. It’s not often I find myself wishing we still had the spirit of the 60s. Can you imagine how quickly the bankers would fall into line if we drew and quartered a few of them in the middle of Times Square?

    They took their money, they took your money, they took my money. They got a bailout from the government. And they ran. They ran far far away and they will NEVER, ever, EVER be called to account for their crimes. Why? The magic of the fifth amendment.

  155. October 24, 2008 at 17:52

    Today the Indian sensex again tumbled a ~1000 points. When this is going to stop we do not know. The economy is slowly crashing, job cuts already started and Rupee tumbling down against Dollar the Inflation is rising.

    Next year is going to be tough for the job market in Indian IT scenario. IT Companies here have already stopped recruiting new people, and young college pass out people, who were earlier recruited from Campus, are now being informed that the company does not need them anymore.

    Aviation industry is also showing the same signs with India’s low cost carrier Jet Airways, dramatically laid off 990 people in one day. Same is the case with retail industry too.

  156. 156 Hayder Wahab
    October 24, 2008 at 17:54

    Recessions are inevitable. They are a part of the economic cycle. Recessions vary in their length, severity, and can be cruel having a drastic effect on people’s lives. They happen as a result of new conditions taking place in an economy, forcing the economy to adjust accordingly.
    In this case, new conditions were represented by higher energy, raw materials, and commodity prices which resulted from a sharply higher world demand. These higher prices increased production and operating costs for many businesses in different sectors. Forcing many to go bankrupt and others to reduce their work force in order to cut costs. Consequently, layed off employees were left unable to pay their mortgages. Thus, creating the home mortgage crisis in the U.S. which eventually resulted in the current world financial crisis.
    Once energy and commodity prices stabilize at new lower levels, followed by stability in the stock and other financial markets, the economy of the United States, Britain and other countries will start to pull out of recession. Meanwhile, governments are communicating with each other and doing a great job at assuring bank depositors, lending institutions and consumers. Confidence leading to consumer spending is what economies need to generate re-growth and move again toward the prosperity part of the economic cycle.

  157. 157 Rick in Canada
    October 24, 2008 at 17:54

    The past several weeks have shown us that the world financial markets are and have been woven tightly in a web of collusion and deceit. We’ve witnessed the decline of fortunes from all corners of the globe, equity values have been halved in many markets.

    I believe that this is truly an example of unregulated financial markets and the fact that greed, huge commissions and bonuses where permitted to take place. Most of the lost values that we are seeing is based on fictious value from the get go. There was never any substance to support the high yields and therefore the loss should be of no real concern other than to those that played the game. The average person who stayed away from the opportunity to grow their wealth on RISK is probably still is a good position, those that invested heavy into high yield equity and reaped high returns should not be surprised to see the long term results.

    I would like to see the media and doom Sayers stop spreading these story of recession. Let’s get positive again and spend our way out of this mess. Do we truly believe we will see another depression, I think not, we are too smart to repeat the errors of our past. OR ARE WE?

  158. 158 Jonathan in Kathmandu
    October 24, 2008 at 18:02

    What downturn? I have been very poor for 10 years. My small business has been in a credit crunch ever since I started it.
    Houses and transport are too expensive in the UK, so I left for south Asia, one of the poorest parts of the world.
    Will I be richer here? Maybe. Certainly, even somewhere like Nepal is preferable to the outright tyranny of the west’s system. Not free, not fair – for most, including me.
    Here in the east, among the Hindus and Buddhists, the destrustive factor is part of life. If you don’t knock something down…How do you rebuild it on the same land?

  159. 159 Anthony
    October 24, 2008 at 18:04

    Well, for those who buy within their means in the U.S., it hasn’t effected us much. For those who don’t, haha!!! Maybe you’ll learn from it.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  160. 160 Anoop in Sweden
    October 24, 2008 at 18:04

    I live in Sweden where the economy has been pretty strong. Since the world economic crisis have begun and its effects have started to trickle down globally in the last two months or so, Sweden has been losing its currency value especially against the British Pound and US Dollar. How can that be? Shouldn’t the Pound and Dollar be falling in value as opposed to rising in value against other currencies like the Swedish kronor?

  161. 161 archibald in oregon
    October 24, 2008 at 18:08

    Plodding along in the country, with a tight, but solvent local economy, buying local produce and keeping auto travel to a minimum with carpooling and consolidation of multiple errands into one day. I only wish it were more practical to ride a bicycle 45 miles a day to the nearest town. Meanwhile, it is a bittersweet experience watching the economy plummet, though I cannot help, but, smile at the pain I see in the once gloating faces of those greedy bastards who started this ball rolling……..I am looking forward to a clean slate, even if it means that toil is imminent and will potentially be long lasting.

  162. 162 Steve
    October 24, 2008 at 18:09

    The Dollar has gained a lot on the euro in the past month. Though the dollar is down against the Yen, it’s up on virtually everything else. Just a month ago, the US $ = $ CDN, now $1 US buys almost $1.30 CDN. $1 US = 1.27 euros now. The Euro has gone down in value a lot as compared to the dollar in the past few weeks.

  163. 163 Tom D Ford
    October 24, 2008 at 18:12

    @ Jessica in NYC October 24, 2008 at 8:43 am

    “Hi Ros,

    I’m still a bit flabbergasted that US former Federal Reserve Chairman Allen Greenspan admitted he made a huge mistake thinking the markets would regulate themselves.”

    Me too, but I really appreciate that he admitted that the idea of Free Markets was wrong and that markets need to be regulated. And that is a huge step towards going back to the moderate center and stabilizing the world economy.

    The mere fact that one of the most influential and revered leaders of the Free Market Ideology admitted that the idea of Free Markets was wrong is a real ground shaking event, a turning point!

  164. 164 srinivasan
    October 24, 2008 at 18:12

    i m from India…. India’s leading Indian institute of management loosing placement activity… but i m a student from a average b.school… we feel that this crisis crush us in terms of placement.. it leads to frustration and disappointment….
    money can be gained in couple of days… but our career?????

  165. October 24, 2008 at 18:14

    In regards to the Euro being prefered to the US Dollar:
    An interesting point, Jay Z used the Euro in one of his music videos a year or two ago, symbolizing the permamence and dominance of the Euro over the US dollar, being a currency that is more sought after.

  166. 166 pratik
    October 24, 2008 at 18:14

    I believe this crisis is an opportunity to put together financial system for future, based on sustainable development and limited consumption rather than continuous, unsustainable “growth” & greed.

  167. 167 Roy, Washington DC
    October 24, 2008 at 18:16

    About being paid in other currencies…the US dollar has been making HUGE gains against other currencies lately. Maybe there is still hope.

  168. 168 steve
    October 24, 2008 at 18:17

    @ Roy

    Not against the yen though.

  169. 169 Dan
    October 24, 2008 at 18:18

    @Tom
    Greenspan did NOT say Free Markets were wrong. He said that he was mistaken in that he thought Free markets would regulate themselves.
    If your ground is shaking it must be an earthquake.

  170. 170 Muni
    October 24, 2008 at 18:22

    I agree with a previous comment – how much economic growth can we expect to have? To get wealthier indefinitely and consume more and more of the earth? Our planet cant sustain the excessive lifestyles of people in wealthy countries and this collapse seems timely in some ways and gives us a chance to examine our unsustainable habits!

  171. 171 Pangolin-California
    October 24, 2008 at 18:23

    In 2006 I worked for a real estate company that managed people’s investment properties. That summer property prices flattened out as the least worthy buyers had already bought in and all that were left were the totally unqualified. Panic ensued as house-flippers tried in vain to improve their cash flow, raise rents, sell properties at a profit, sell at a small loss, sell before their notes came due etc. Nothing worked and the business crashed.

    At the end of that summer my health failed due to the stress. For the last two years I have had little to do but read and watch the kind of panic I saw in a N. California real estate office spread to the whole world. The ultra-wealthy who have solid portfolios of cash and assets haven’t been interested in helping people like me get back to work. They aren’t interested in you either. If the poison touches you god help you as no one else will.

    Welcome to my world.

  172. 172 Randall Northam
    October 24, 2008 at 18:25

    Part of this hysteria is caused by the incredible increase increase in the amount of media over the last few years. 24 hour TV channels have to have something to talk about and nothing’s better than doom and gloom. What amazed me today was that the BBC had the chief economist of the RBS on screen to talk about the possible recession. Unless he’s just taken the job he has no right to comment, given that the taxpayers have bailed out the RBS. And then we have David Cameron and George Osborne (oh no, the shadow chancellor has gone missing) running down Britain with smug satisfaction. Not the way to get elected Dave.

  173. 173 Tom D Ford
    October 24, 2008 at 18:25

    @ Jessica in NYC October 24, 2008 at 8:43 am

    “I don’t understand how the 700 billion bail out was suppose to help the economy and bring confidence back to the market, clearly it has NOT had happened. So now what?

    Good luck!”

    As long as they’re throwing money around I see this as the perfect opportunity to invest in restructuring our energy industries, to build more alternatives, build more grid and computerize it, and get ourselves off our addiction to foreign or domestic Oil. Make it so Oil is an option instead of a monopolized necessity.

    Works projects like that would put people to useful work and get things done that we need to do and sooner than would otherwise be possible.

    Take back control of our energy industries from Big Oil, what a great opportunity!

    Lets use this as an opportunity, lets look to the future and get ourselves to doing needed and beneficial work that will help us all!

    Lets all get going!

  174. 174 steve
    October 24, 2008 at 18:26

    If Jack files for bankruptcy he could lose his law license. He should consider that possibility that he might lose his ability to work in his field.

  175. 175 Jessica in NYC
    October 24, 2008 at 18:27

    @ Anthony

    “Well, for those who buy within their means in the U.S., it hasn’t effected us much. For those who don’t, haha!!! Maybe you’ll learn from it.”

    What an extremely ignorant and naive thing to say! The people who have lost their jobs, because of CEOs and executives greed; what’s the lesson they need to learn? What about the older people who have prudently saved their money for retirement to have it gambled away by Wall Street fat cats; should they have been irresponsible and lived beyond their means since they were going to end up losing most of it anyways? What about the kids who have not yet entered the workforce and will be paying for the consequences of bailout and market collapse into their golden years; their fault… they were born? Ha, that will teach them.

    Perhaps, next time you should think of the the people who you are laughing at, because if you think the effect of this recession has not and will not reach you…. LOL Then you should demand your money back because your economics class failed you horribly.

  176. 176 selena in Canada
    October 24, 2008 at 18:27

    the US dollar has been making HUGE gains against other currencies lately.

    I have a funny feeling this will change theday after the election, whoever wins.

  177. October 24, 2008 at 18:28

    From the current news there is little to cheer up the markets. In the past months, oil producing countries were making big profits due to the unbearable prices paid by non-oil producing countries. Now all countries seem to be in the same boat as they are paying for the economic policies of the countries holding the bulk of the world economy.

    It is likely the economic crisis will continue if there are no economic plans by which all should abide to save the world economy from sliding to a disastrous downfall. The best way to save the economy is that there should be no panic on all sides, reducing confidence in investment and spending which will surely contribute to economic stagnation, with the inevitable results like an increase in poverty and unemployment.

  178. 178 selena in Canada
    October 24, 2008 at 18:29

    @Jessica

    Well said!

  179. 179 Mike Elliott
    October 24, 2008 at 18:36

    Ros,

    I left a great job in Portland, Oregon to find work in the small college town of Missoula, Montana. I left Portland on October 1st and went camping for ten days, where I had no access to the news. When I came out of the woods, I found that the financial system was collapsing, the DJIA had crashed to below 8,000, and the company that I was going to be employed with in Montana had put a freeze on hiring for the forseeable future.

    I now have taken a job for half the pay and no benefits. On the plus side, I have no stocks or other savings to lose!

    This situation is not going to be that bad in the US. Jobs still exist, they just don’t pay as well. It’s time Americans learned to live within their means without debt, like I do.

  180. 180 Suraj in Kathmandu, Nepal
    October 24, 2008 at 18:38

    Are people in the developing world happy about the recession?
    Well maybe yes I am. Developed countries like the USA and UK are managing to convert our trained engineers and scientists into cab drivers and gas re-fillers. The main attraction being the “Credit Culture.” Well I do feel happy. I hope this’ll bring them home.

  181. 181 steve
    October 24, 2008 at 18:43

    “Are people in the developing world happy about the recession?
    Well maybe yes I am. Developed countries like the USA and UK are managing to convert our trained engineers and scientists into cab drivers and gas re-fillers. The main attraction being the “Credit Culture.” Well I do feel happy. I hope this’ll bring them home.”

    I hate to say this, but next time there is a natural disaster, and developing world nations are begging for international aid, will you regret being “happy” about the recession?

  182. 182 Mike Elliott
    October 24, 2008 at 18:44

    The average American citizen gained nothing during the boom times that preceded the current crisis. Nearly all gains in income were realized by the top 10% of wage earners, while median real incomes have dropped. I understand that people around the world are upset with Americans, but most Americans are likewise VERY upset with the wealthiest members of our country.

  183. October 24, 2008 at 18:44

    @ US Criticism:
    Criticise the US all you want, but your governments and your banks bought US securities; Motivated by the same greed and a desire to profit as the suppliers of said bonds and securities.
    Blame yourselves, your governments, your banks, and your capitalistic need to profit too. We’re all in this together.
    Enjoy the ride.

  184. 184 Robert
    October 24, 2008 at 18:47

    Please don’t group all Americans into the same greedy stereotype.

    All of my friends have been doing the right thing by saving money, not refinancincing to pull money out of the home equity, etc. We feel like we’re being punished for doing the right things by all those who are being rewarded for their phenomenally poor choices, i.e., the bailout.

  185. 185 Jessica in NYC
    October 24, 2008 at 18:48

    @ Selena

    It is baffling when people are not taught to critically analyze situations. They only “think” in cynical terms and do not realized how “it” and we are all connected. Our education system in this country has failed us horribly.

  186. 186 Ryan In US
    October 24, 2008 at 18:49

    Blaming the US for the world economic crisis is like blaming Saudi Arabia for terrorism. While they both have something to do with it , it is a multinational cause. Everyone saw an easy dollar / euro and jumped for it. This is the fault of the financiers of all our countries.

  187. 187 Daniel in Stillwater, OK
    October 24, 2008 at 18:50

    I agree with peoples frustration outside the States. I applaud your logic! This is a situation put on Humanity as a whole by a relatively small group of AMERICANS WHOSE GREED EXCEEDS THEIR VALUE OF HUMAN LIFE! It’s disgusting and deplorable.

    All I ask is that when you feel anger and frustration towards America, please remember this: There are those of us, who dove into this pool of debt trying not to become rich, but just to get an education. Be thankful that you didn’t have to take out tremendous loans when you were a young man or woman to merely be taught what humanity has learned thus far.

    Trust me when I say that there are more Americans than you could possibly imagine who are sad to see our country fail not only us, but the Earth itself because men desired wealth and power and not the betterment of mankind.

    -a sincerely apologetic American

  188. 188 Kelly in Oregon
    October 24, 2008 at 18:51

    This may be a stupid question, but it’s one I’ve been wondering about.

    When we lose so much money in the stock market, where does the money go? Is someone getting rich from our losses, or was our money only there on paper and not actually going into someone else’s bank account.

    I’ve lost $15,000 of my retirement money and wonder if I’ll ever make that much back.

  189. 189 Leticia from Mexico
    October 24, 2008 at 18:52

    I am from Mexico and it is said that 1.5 million mexicans will return from the US by this December because there are not jobs enough even for the americans. Due to this all the money mexican people send from the USA is decrementing.
    Mexican economy is really affected because it has a strong dependence in US economy due to imports, exports, mexican people working there, many companies are from the US…
    Food and fuel prices are incrementing continously.
    Also people are afraid to lose their job.

  190. 190 Anthony
    October 24, 2008 at 18:55

    @ Jessica

    Who moved my cheese. It’s not my fault people invested the way they did. They could have put their cash in a box under their bed instead of a 401k, but they didn’t now did they. People could have got a fixed rate on their homes, but they didn’t did they. You had all these people in “booming” industries, well they could have gotten a safer job, but they didn’t did they. People didn’t have to buy all the useless stuff, but they did didn’t they. Sooo, like I was saying:

    “hahaha, lol, maybe they will learn from it”

    What we need to do as Americans, in understand our power as a people, and don’t let this happen again. Unfortuanatly MTV is on, and people would rather not think. 🙂

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  191. 191 Jessica in NYC
    October 24, 2008 at 18:56

    @Shaun in Halifax

    “Einstein once said, “The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has limits.”

    Thanks for that reminder, makes me feel so much more secure. LOL
    ——
    @ Brett

    RE: US Criticism

    “Enjoy the ride.”

    I want off this ride! I’m getting sick!

  192. 192 jon - australian in paris
    October 24, 2008 at 18:58

    shaun in halifax – kevlar is a good idea but its only half way there and stuff which should have been ‘developed’ decades ago is still waiting to revolutionise our world. i truly believe that these times weed out the excesses and although forcing us to work harder i think it will result in a better future. the past decade has been such a ‘nothing’ so its no suprise that people our afraid of the (non) future. this is just some of my predictions but the zeitgist of our times tells me that there will be some kind of punk thing happening in the uk pretty soon as the economics get real ugly and normal people are reduced to abject poverty.

    the funny thing about the whole situation is that when i was in america i felt a true potential there which is so undervalued and underused thanks in part to political intervention – i feel it will actually be a good place to be in the coming years as people demand innovation, change and a better world filled with promise for the future. quite ironic but i think america has still got it … and i don’t think its going to be that ‘easy’ to embrace the european life.

    innovation is the key – both in economics, business and design et al…let;’s just hope that it doesn’t take a war to bring about this much needed change in the world.

  193. 193 Courtenay
    October 24, 2008 at 18:59

    My name is Courtenay, I am 22 years old and I am from Washington State in the US. I am commenting back to the person who critisize us for being the root of the crisis we are in. Two years ago my I took US history and it came clear to me that this was happening, we were giving credit to people that could not pay thier bills. It is the same sinerio that happened in the 30’s. I started to share what I found and everyone said that if that was happening the government would protect us. I have talked to bank auditors, the ones that are to go in and control this situation. The loans that were given had never been in exsistence before. This was a first time situation. I know a woman that she saw what was happening (being an auditor) went to her supervisor and was told that nothing was wrong with what the banks were doing. She was furiouse because she new that this was a bad thing. No one did anything. Our government is run by the people that were getting rich from these loans that the banks were giving. Now it does have a little to do with the people that were told to repair there credit to refinance and they did not, instead they bought new toys and when the time came to pay the pipper they had only more dept and worse credit. Its a bad situation that should and could have been prevented. I think it is a situation we are just going to have to ride out. I have no dept, my sister was in a loan and she repaired her cedit and she is just fine. She refinaced and got a better loan (with two kids, as single divorced mother).

  194. 194 Alan J. V. in Arizona
    October 24, 2008 at 19:01

    I know a few people having problems, but luckily I work in the Aerospace industry and it’s still holding steady in most respects. It’s still a concern for most American and makes it hard to plan for the future. My wife teaches in what use to be a poorer part of Phoenix years ago, but has had many new home sub-divisions built in the recent years adding more schools. Now many of those people have had homes foreclosed due to balooning interests rates they couldn’t handle! At least the gas prices have dropped to $3 a gallon!

  195. October 24, 2008 at 19:02

    It was a good show, ‘The People’ are obviously pretty fed up at such a fiasco of not only trickery, but trickery gone wrong.

    Governments could do well by listening to ‘the people’ and treating ‘them’ with a bit of respect, rather than a dumbed down milk cow for fancy life styles and condescending attitudes.

    Malc
    Berlin

  196. October 24, 2008 at 19:05

    Kelly in Oregon October 24, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    “This may be a stupid question, but it’s one I’ve been wondering about.

    When we lose so much money in the stock market, where does the money go?”

    Far from being a stupid question, it is the crux of the matter.

    Malc
    Berlin

  197. 197 Tom D Ford
    October 24, 2008 at 19:08

    Now that the idea of “Free Markets” has been empirically proved to be wrong and even Greenspan has admitted it, we can get ourselves to crafting new regulations, and setting in place and funding strong enforcement of our new regulations.

    It’s goodbye and good riddance to Free Markets and the whole world can cheer that death!

  198. 198 Kevin
    October 24, 2008 at 19:14

    I’d like to respond to the criticism that American greed is responsible for this mess. It’s absolutely true. I’m no expert, but I’m reasonably well informed about the market. There are are at least two reasons why it happened: corporate pay structure in the financial sector and the hold of big business over American politics. CEO’s and hedge fund managers are rewarded lavishly for short-term profits with hundred million dollar plus bonuses, no matter how risky their investments or how destructive of the company’s financial health. Even if they fail, enormous golden parachutes protect them from the consequences of their own actions. In the meantime, huge contributions from companies like Fannie and Freddie promoted a lax legislative environment and even prevented the official “overseers” such as the Securities and Exchange Commision from enforcing laws meant to protect investors from deceitful corporate forecasts. The rest of the world watched American companies rake in huge profits, copied them, and now all those companies that had leveraged themselves 40 or 50 to 1 on risky investments started to fall like dominoes. It’s the Wild West, folks, and the sheriff has been snoozing while bandits cleaned out the safe.

  199. 199 Dan
    October 24, 2008 at 19:14

    @TOM
    If you want to take over and nationalize “big oil” you may be in for a surprise as the big oil companies are not the US companies you love to bash.
    Despite the large numbers one needs to look at percentages to understand that the US oil companies have not made excessive profits.
    Maybe at some point we can get away from bumper sticker politics and get some intelligent politicians so we can solve real problems.

  200. 200 selena in Canada
    October 24, 2008 at 19:15

    It’s goodbye and good riddance to Free Markets and the whole world can cheer that death!

    Got to agree with you there! I have been writing about the negative effects of globalization and free markets for years but I get no satisfaction from being right.

  201. 201 Jessica in NYC
    October 24, 2008 at 19:17

    @ Tom D Ford October 24, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    “The mere fact that one of the most influential and revered leaders of the Free Market Ideology admitted that the idea of Free Markets was wrong is a real ground shaking event, a turning point!”

    I hope you are right, because from where I was sitting and watching the morons in congressing trying to blame Obama and the contributions of Mae and Mac made me want to vomit. Then when the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Henry Waxman turned to each of the credit rating executives one of them and asked if Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae was to to blame. Each one of them said NO! it was a contribution along with many others, but not the causing factor. Where the pHell do we go from pHere?

    “It’s goodbye and good riddance to Free Markets and the whole world can cheer that death!”

    Not the whole world… the elite is crying.

  202. 202 Shaun in Halifax
    October 24, 2008 at 19:23

    @ Tom D Ford

    I tend to agree with you, but I’m curious about your rationalization for this. There are far too many people with far too much money and power invested in the status quo to just give it up.

    They’ve already proven through their actions that they don’t give a rooty-toot-toot about Joe Six-Pack. Will that opinion change? Greed will always exist and as long as money can buy favors — sorry, as long as lobbyists can donate to campaigns — I don’t see any reason it will change. Short of mass riots and civil disobedience, I can’t see how the ‘average’ American will be able to influence the decision.

  203. 203 Tom D Ford
    October 24, 2008 at 19:27

    @ Julian in Singapore October 24, 2008 at 10:39 am

    “Things are really slowing down here in Singapore. Small businesses are facing increasing pressure from the poor economic environment in Asia. We are not immune, if that is any comfort to the greedy americans who started this financial crisis.”

    We non-greedy Americans are working very hard to throw the greedy Conservative Republican Americans out of office and restore our system to stability through regulations.

    Sorry, Julian, it was our mistake in allowing Conservatives to have such power. Now we just have to learn from our mistakes.

  204. 204 gary
    October 24, 2008 at 19:28

    A commandment and an observation,
    Place no faith in politicians, for they will not find solutions (They are not looking for solutions!). Politicians generally come to office poorer than when they leave. This suggests they are neither sources nor sinks of power; they are merely “in the flow.” They are downstream from real power; upstream from the less powerful, but ambitious of their lot.
    g

  205. 205 Shaun in Halifax
    October 24, 2008 at 19:28

    I suspect that the same thing that has happened before will happen again. The big players will invent some other draconian and indecipherable financial vehicle and it will be hailed as “the greatest thing ever.” The bubble will grow as more people hop on the bandwagon, then it will burst and we’ll be having the same conversation again.

    There’s no learning curve with investors. The pattern has repeated itself ad infinitum throughout the last financial century. They make their money, cash out, then leave while the markets collapse. In order for that pattern to change, there needs to be some fundamental change in the attitudes and opinions of investors. And I don’t see it happening as long as cash is king.

  206. 206 Jessica in NYC
    October 24, 2008 at 19:30

    @ Dan

    Greenspan admitting that he was wrong to think free markets would regulate themselves if left unregulated is admitting he was wrong and the current system is wrong. Let’s not split hairs, it will not bring us back from the recession and this is what politicians are doing.

    I am excited to see what democrats will do when we have control of the White House, Senate and the House! Though, I am not holding my breath or will easily put my money where they tell me to.

  207. 207 Dan
    October 24, 2008 at 19:31

    I guess that it is a tough concept to get but Greenspan did NOT admit that Free Markets are wrong.
    He admitted that he thought they would regulate themselves better but he is committed to Free Markets but now realizes that they need some Gov’t oversight.

  208. October 24, 2008 at 19:35

    Question on inflation: doesn’t all the funds being used to bail all the banks out and the funds being proposed to send back to taxpayers like last summer, only larger, plus all the spending in the two wars adding to inflationary pressure? Remember what happened during the Vietnam War, and the ensuing inflation that roared throughout the country after that.

    Jack

  209. October 24, 2008 at 19:36

    Is there not a Tort case lurking around here! We could just clean them out.
    That would solve at least one problem.
    Luckily, being in education, my services seem to be in more demand than ever, but I feel sad for the people I listened to on the show explaining just how they had been, or were about to be, flushed down the drain.
    The observation made by a contributor that it wasn’t so much a tsunami, but a black hole, was most succinct!

    Malc
    Berlin

  210. 210 Dan
    October 24, 2008 at 19:36

    @Jessica in NYC October 24, 2008 at 7:30 pm
    Jessica you are correct. I too am anxious to see how Democrats “rule”.
    Republicans had so much promise but then we put an idiot in charge. Children without discipline and direction will do destructive acts.
    My only concern is if Obama is strong enough to stand up to Pelosi & Reid.

  211. 211 Jessica in NYC
    October 24, 2008 at 19:41

    @ Dan

    Yes, I agree that Greenspan did not say “scrap Free Markets, it doesn’t work”. However, admitting markets cannot self regulate is admitting the foundation of free market has a HUGE crack in it and needs to be rebuilt.

    “some Gov’t oversight”

    Let’s not kid ourselves, the government is buying Wall Street and our kids’ kids will still be paying for it’s consequences.

  212. 212 Tom D Ford
    October 24, 2008 at 19:41

    @ All

    I get no satisfaction from being right either, because so many people are suffering but I do get satisfaction that the great hero of the Free Market Ideology has admitted he was wrong; because admitting the problem is the first step on the road to recovery.

    There is a saying in Engineering that “when you define the problem you also define the solution”, and when Greenspan admitted that the Free Market idea is wrong and stated that markets need to be regulated, he accomplished that old Engineers saying.

  213. October 24, 2008 at 19:42

    Dan, do you not think, a bit like the school system, that the whole political system should be dismantled and something else put in it’s place. That something is the question, not Republican or Democrat. That old Proctor & Gambol trick is surely well worn by now!

    Malc
    Berlin

  214. 214 Jessica in NYC
    October 24, 2008 at 19:45

    @ Dan

    “My only concern is if Obama is strong enough to stand up to Pelosi & Reid.”

    Heyheyheyhey, nothing wrong with a strong woman opinionated women. After all, she is third in line to push that red button.

  215. 215 Dan
    October 24, 2008 at 19:47

    @Jack
    You may be right. Technically what the Fed has done will fuel outrageous inflation.
    Have your “E” ticket ready as we may be in for “Mr Toads Wild Ride”.

  216. 216 Tom D Ford
    October 24, 2008 at 19:49

    This topic has reminded me of the story “The Christmas Carol” when the ghosts of Christmas dragged Ebeneezer Scrooge through the past, present, and future and that old greedy Conservative Scrooge had to listen and was given the opportunity to change his future.

    There is opportunity here.

  217. 217 Jessica in NYC
    October 24, 2008 at 19:52

    @ Tom D Ford
    October 24, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    “…the great hero of the Free Market Ideology has admitted he was wrong; because admitting the problem is the first step on the road to recovery.”

    LOL, this is a 10 step program? How do I shove the Wall Street fat cats to step 9? I’m sure I could find eager New Yorkers to help me drag them there…

  218. 218 Dan
    October 24, 2008 at 19:53

    @pinguincafe October 24, 2008 at 7:42 pm
    Right now 98% of incumbents get reelected.
    From my position I have been advocating throughout America that unless one has a personal relationship with their elected official, they should vote for someone else….anyone else.
    If we can throw 10% or more out of office the rest will get scared to death and realize that if they do not get re-elected no lobbyist will call them. WE are the power.
    I know the emails have been spread around America as I have started to get emails back to me advocating the very same thing.
    There are 435 members of the House of Representatives. We only need to throw out 44 of them. 50 would be wonderful. 100 would be better than ……. naaahh nothing is better than that :))

  219. 219 Ashlee
    October 24, 2008 at 20:06

    What has become exceedingly interesting in these past few weeks is how much “hope” not only Americans, but the international community has placed on Obama getting us out of this crisis. Where I would like to believe that hope can be a driving factor, there is more to the equation. Unfortunately, I have not heard anything from either side to calm my fears.
    My mother will lose her job in December and I know of countless others being laid off within the past two months.
    I am a student in my 20’s. I have nothing put away and I am to graduate in December. I, as well as many others, am lost; fearful of my fate into the new world. I have realized that I am a product of this greed that so many have been caught up in. It seems though, however, I will be paying more on corporate greed than just my own. I just hope that my family as well as myself can keep our heads above water.

  220. 220 steve
    October 24, 2008 at 20:08

    @ Ashlee

    the “hope” people are delusional. Neither candidate will be able to do anything. It takes time to recover, and neither came out and said that the consumption lifestyle americans live is the problem, but rather both place the blame solely on the lenders, and no blame on people living way beyond their means. Whomever wins, we’re only delaying the inevitable downfall of when the money we owe comes due.

  221. 221 Dan
    October 24, 2008 at 20:11

    Tom what will you do should McCain (a conservative) win?

  222. 222 Ashlee
    October 24, 2008 at 20:15

    If so many are putting so much “hope” into Obama, what if McCain were to win? What do you believe the responses (primarily economic) would be internationally?

  223. 223 Jessica in NYC
    October 24, 2008 at 20:58

    @ Dan
    “What will you do should McCain (a conservative) win?”

    Stop day dreaming and join the rest of us on planet earth. Repeat after me: President Obama. Did you say you were in Florida? You can say Presidente Obama, if you prefer. I will hold you, personally, responsible if McCain comes within a mile of the White House.

    “If we can throw 10% or more out of office the rest will get scared to death and realize that if they do not get re-elected no lobbyist will call them. WE are the power.”

    Is it really this easy? It seems to me that this new 10% would just fall inline with what they need to do to be re-elected. I think the system is broken. It’s always easy to think we can fix the problem by getting ride of the “corruption” in it, but what if it’s they system that corrupts? How do we fit THAT? BTW, I have awesome elected officials, except for city council. I would mind feeding that person to the lions. These jokers decided to reverse voters choice for term limits and extend them. We voted no twice and they did it anyways! LOL

  224. 224 Jens
    October 24, 2008 at 21:19

    steve,

    i kind of like being delusional, better than hopless, I guess.

  225. 225 Tom D Ford
    October 24, 2008 at 21:46

    @ Dan October 24, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    “Tom what will you do should McCain (a conservative) win?”

    I long ago lost any hope that people will overcome their ignorance without education, education, education, and so I would not be surprised if the ignorant people of the US put McCain-Palin in the Whitehouse.

    So I’d still stay mad as hell and still keep on taking it!

    And I’d keep advocating; for public schools, against mixing Church and State, for regulating the markets, for progressive taxes for the top, for a safety net at the bottom, for universal single payer health care, for taking away “person-hood” from Corporations, for returning the US to manufacturing products and providing services instead of speculating on finances, etc.

    And I’d keep thinking about the root causes of Conservatism, and how to cure humanity of it Nobody should have to live in fear.

  226. 226 bjay
    October 24, 2008 at 22:13

    We know what happened with PLUTO don’t we?

    It had been minisculed by some freak mathematical formula.(Theory)

    We are going to experiencing that same with the United states.

    The ‘modern banking’ depend on this highly sophisticated Greek God, CALCULUS.

    One of this two science the theoretical physisist or mathematicians disregarded nature .

    They did not resonate on the same frequencies.

    Is the risk factor is calculated?! YE-it was !

    However, We/They know if your build your house in California on the Saint Adria Fall, one day BIG EARTH QUAKE will hit.

    Did they build a better housing for the long run, or just for a short FALL ?

    Poor Joe, He thought, his financial security on a good foundation-it was.

    Professor Smookers Factored in everything except ‘nature of the beast’.(DUE TIME/PRABOBILITY)

    Now little fellow like Me the bottom of the ‘PIRAMID’ crying out loud, IT IS A FAULE GAME !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    YE ! I know, it’s been fixed.

    Now, I go back to my drink, trooloo!

    bjay connotation with accent.

  227. 227 bjay
    October 24, 2008 at 22:52

    ye!

    With Obama Mama would change the world?
    NO!

    However,it could keep the hope a life.

    The economic pie would be bigger?
    NO!

    However, the distribution could be batter.
    We hope!

    Government spending would help?
    NO!

    Earning for little Joe,
    YES!

    bjay

  228. October 25, 2008 at 01:47

    Matthew October 23, 2008 at 4:31 pm
    One hundred per cent!
    It’s always the same. Bla, bla, bla by politicians and businessmen, and talk of technical recession or approaching an economic downturn. Only this time round it could be one of the worst recessions/depression in our history unless someone has the absolute foresight to tackle the situation head on and plan for the long term and disassociate ourselves with short term and quick fix solutions once and for all. Even then it’s likely to be a particularly painful time, and tough times ahead for all of us at the very least.
    The people who got us into this mess need to be held accountable and suitably chastised and punished for their reckless behaviour. Let them off the hook in the slightest then the whole situation will repeat itself in the future once again.
    We need to examine a new model of economics and go back to examples that have worked for the benefit of the average person in the street, and not the wanton greed and avarice that has rewarded the minority and has continued unabated for so long now.
    Those who took full advantage of all the deregulation in the UK in 1979 have ridden the seemingly endless wave, with no questions being asked, and this was obviously a similar situation on Wall Street and elsewhere in the world. Engage in a casino mentality and gamble at all costs scenario and someone eventually will lose, but when that filters back to all of us and the global economy as a whole, then the buck has to stop!
    At the same time we have to take responsibility for our behaviour as consumers. We’ve engulfed ourselves in the credit lifestyle and we can have anything we want at anytime of our choosing. So the material world endlessly supplies us with goods, commodities and consumerables, which have a shelf life at best of 5 years maximum. Within that time they have a strong likelihood of failing, and all the time the rapacious salesman and marketeers will be enticing us towards our next purchase that is just a tweak better than the last. But it is presented in a different shade of red, yellow, blue and green, and a tad cheaper than the last version. But it’s the newest on the market mate, and a must have purchase. No it isn’t! It’s just the latest in a long, long line of just because it exists it must be bloody marvellous!

  229. October 25, 2008 at 01:54

    2nd part of last post – We have totally lost the ability to examine as to what should come first in our lives and the main priorities in our families. Not the latest gadget or toy, and creating jealousy between neighbour and child, that’s not a great thing to aspire to, is it? Instead we’ve been consumed and swallowed up in the mantra that all is progress, simply because we’re told that’s the case by self-interested parties. Consume, consume and you’ll never regret it, until the day you actually do of course.
    If we were to examine past civilizations like the Greeks for example they would spend considerable time examining and debating the positives, negatives, the consequences and everything that could and would be affected by advances of the day. When they felt they had devoted sufficient time enough to investigating so called progress, they would give sanction and agree to certain things being put in place. We in the west appear to be great admirers of their civilization, yet do not lead by their example whatsoever.
    History informs of the past and is a reason that untrammeled progress should be given much consideration to being put under the microscope more than ever before, so as to inform us of all our futures. The immense divisions and dichotomy throughout societies, communities and nations across the world are a consequence of our actions past and present are they not? It’s time to reassess our desires and attitudes towards ourselves.
    We in the west always benefit by the luxury of hindsight if we so chose, others are less fortunate. We need to take a lead and also listen to others who have advice and points of value to offer, from no matter where. The sooner the world wakes up to the fact that we are all in this together, and it requires immense, consistent and never-ending consultation and communication, then surely that’s a form of progress to be ushered in and welcomed!
    Interesting to see that a certain news channel was uttering similar to this on Friday evening. My crystal ball seems to be in perfect working order I’d say, seeing as I originally wrote this on Thursday!

  230. 230 Fred in North Carolina
    October 25, 2008 at 03:28

    I am one of the lucky ones, I suppose. I bought a modest home 15 years ago, and paid it off in 14 years. I learned long ago that credit cards are a very bad thing, and I only use mine to buy things online, paying the bill in full monthly to avoid the interest. I have bought exactly one new car, an American car, in 1986, that I still drive today. We scrimped, we saved, put money into the 401(k) retirement plans, IRAs, savings accounts, did all the things “they” say to do to prepare for financial security.

    Now, I see that the “conservative” stocks and funds we own are down about 40% overall – enough to pay my for my children’s university education. I am not asking for a handout, or a bailout – nor do I expect to be forced to bail out others: reckless bankers, homebuyers, the failing auto manufacturers, home builders, or credit-default swappers.

    It is revolting to hear economists and financial commentators on American TV tell me that the key to recovery is to prop up sagging home prices, by offering government guarantees on shady mortgages for overpriced houses. The mortgage bankers should be renegotiating the terms on their own. Both the banker and the homebuyer could benefit – after all, it costs the bank an average
    of $50, 000 to foreclose and dispose of a property, so there is negotiating room.

    More and more, Americans hear themselves referred to by the media as “consumers” – not citizens, or workers, or people. If we are to consume, we must first produce – yet the production is being moved to China by the treasonous CEO’s , with the blessing of the U.S. government. It appears that this is a way to go broke, fast.

  231. October 25, 2008 at 11:30

    Hello

    I am korean studying in Germany. My parents is sending me some money for living here. After financial crisis becomes severe, value of korean currency has been falling down by 50%. And that give my family heavy burden. living cost for living here in Germany is becoming much more higher than I expected when I leave Korea.

  232. 233 Shakhoor Rehman
    October 25, 2008 at 12:22

    Don’t forget to brush your teeth in the dark.

  233. 234 OLATUNJI
    October 25, 2008 at 13:06

    hi ros,
    I am tj from nigeria,the global financial crisis seems to be happening on another planet as far as we are concerned here in nigeria.Except for the enlightened middle class and the upper middle class who are interested in international issues,it is business as usual.Our banks are very very conservative so they are not exposed to the global financial debacle.Food prices are stable and just so you know a new mobile communication service provider commenced operation this week.Though i must admit our stock exchange has been very volatile,but overall we got off pretty light.

  234. October 25, 2008 at 17:13

    The world economy is going to be destroyed, and I don’t think there will be anything left. The monetary system is man-made, and it will be destroyed by us too. I don’t see anything ahead except more money being pulled out of the system and the financial system collapsing completely. Am I a doomsday-ist? yes, because it is happening.

  235. 236 Donald
    October 25, 2008 at 18:04

    Now that the construction industry in America is at a slower pace, many of my Hispanic aquaintences have returned to Mexico and beyond…..except those on welfare. “`
    Why are we still paying Mexican `Illegals’ to stay here?
    As a teacher, I recognize that the immigrants are not interested in becoming American, and their children are not encouraged to learn English, study, and plan for their education. Children are expected to pass (?) sixth or eighth grade, and then work. When educators explain to these people that they need College to compete, we are met with blank stares.
    I recently found out why. They work and send money back to buy farms with the money. When a small farm is bought, the oldest returns. Then the family works to secure a farm for the next in line. and so on.\
    We are funding Mexican Farms with our Welfare programs. Fine. What about the ones that don’t return?
    Being White, I don’t expect to see any money in the form of aid. But my Black friends, Hispanic friends, and Mong and Chinese all recieve some Government check. They all live better than I do.
    And Obama wants me to vote for him???

  236. 237 Mark
    October 25, 2008 at 18:39

    The depression was entirely predictable and will be seen though the lens of history as inevitable based on the actions of those who re-engineered the laws which restrained economic activity as having had the hubris to ignore the lessons of history and thereby repeated them. For some of those who saw this coming and understood it, it will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to profit from it in their personal finances. For most others though tragedy. And for some, and I will not say who, personally a misfortune well earned. There is a certain sense of justice in seeing those who squandered the opportunites of fortune to acquire as much more as they could possibly garner, no amount being enough for them and then lost it all, and in seeing those who squandered fortune to pursue political ends which were entirely malovalent towards others. A different world will emerge from the other side of the tunnel than the one which entered it. Perhaps it will be a better and fairer one even if it is far poorer.

  237. 238 selena in Canada
    October 25, 2008 at 19:26

    @Mark

    it would be interesting to be around to see this financial upheaval through the lens of history.

    Humans keep making the same mistakes. Civilizations come and civilizations go and each one thinks it is invincible. It seem the more important we think we are the harder we fall.

  238. 239 Emile
    October 25, 2008 at 21:03

    This situation is a rewrite of the Humpty Dumpty story. All the Kings men could not put Humpty Dumpty back together again. What people do not understand is that the #%&* hasen’t hit the fan yet. There are 60 trillion in credit default swaps which are going to kick in sooner than anyone is willing to say, and when it starts we just may see CEOs jumping out of sky scrapers. It should make for a good splat. The US government is insolvent as it is; sooner or later people will realize that US treasury bonds are worthless. When that happens they will flock to anything which has real value, gold, silver, oil. The US is fortunate in that it has lots of fast food enterprises which can be used to distrubute meals to the tens of millions who will be issued ration cards along with a federal identiy number, no card, no food. Only the people at the very top have a degree of understanding as to the scope of the crisis which is about to unfold. They are in panick mode because of what they know. You can see it on their faces when they speak at congressional hearings. I would like to be a fly on the wall when they have their closed meetings. The magnitude of this crisis will be much greated than the great depression simply because we have a greatly increased population with an insolvent government. Back during the great depression people believed in their government today people have lost faith due to all of the corruption that exist in Washington. The dollar is not backed by anything, such as the gold standard, so in effect it is worthless. If anyone is really interested in what is about to happen I suggest that you watch the first episode of “Connections” by James Burke ( the first series of Connections not II or III). He had it right thirty plus years ago.

  239. 240 Ed Murray
    October 25, 2008 at 23:13

    Nine months ago, I became disabled at 61 and had to leave work. Although I have been unsuccessfully fighting the private disability insurance company and the Social Security Administration to get disability income, I always felt safe, until recently, because I had a decent amount of investments to insure a reasonable source of income if I needed to access it. Now, I have had to go into a poverty mode of behavior, spending nothing that is not absolutely required. This, in itself, is so foreign to my naturally generous character that it distresses me greatly.

    Yesterday, my investments fell to one-third of what they were 12 months ago, and from my reading of what is happening, the downward spiral is not nearly over. My retirement has gone to hell in a hand-basket. I believe that it will probably drop to 10% of what it was and take several years to recover. A significant portion of it never will recover, considering all of the companies that are beginning to fail.

    From what I have been reading, there are millions of people out there just like me. Many who have not yet retired will continue to work. Many who are retired are trying to go back to work. The problem is that jobs are disappearing quickly as companies cut back drastically (some of them 25% at a gasp). There are going to be a lot of people losing jobs and on the dole until they eventually lose everything. Then what? For the first time in years, I have lost hope. Although I feel sad due to my own circumstances; as I read the daily news and blogs like this one, I feel much worse for the multitude of suffering people in the world at large.

    If I could work, I would jump right back into a job and that would make me feel safe. Even if I could work, I believe that it would not be possible to find a job in my former business, environmental consulting. My old colleagues are telling me that new work has pretty much dried up and that their firms, which were all staffed up to keep up with the apparent boom – that disappeared overnight – are beginning to fire a quarter of their workforce. Smaller companies, such as the one that employeed me, are cutting back up to half of their employees.

    So here I am thinking I am going to be really poor again for the third time in my life. Please forgive a moment of self-pity but this is how I feel at the moment: it seems to me that I followed the rules and did everything I was supposed to do: dragged myself out of the extreme poverty of my family; educated myself without help from anyone; served my country in a worthless, unnecessary war, Vietnam – which I will always regret; worked hard for 50 years; lost everything during the Reagan recession in the early 80’s, clawed my way out of the hole and started over again at age 40; took care of all of my responsibilities; delayed gratification for many, many years to save and invest for a decent retirement, yet here I am…(I am thinking of the F-word, past tense) suffice it to say that I am feeling defeated! My health problems have been bad enough; those I have endured as gracefully as I can but this, this has stolen most of my remaining will.

    I need to think of a better plan but right now I just can’t think at all, except to think I’m going to be wallowing in it for a while. As strong and as much of a survivor and fighter as I have been throughout my life, the thought of doing this again brings me down to the ground. I feel desolate. I suspect that I will need to move to a country, such as Mexico, where I can live on the amount I will receive from my Social Security when I am 62 (about $17,000 a year).

    With such a poverty-level of income in the US, I and millions of people like me, are caught in a peculiar eddy created by a country with shortsighted bureaucrats and inflexible, self-defeating government rules. Remember, I will have a poverty-level income but I also have the remnants of my investments. Those remnants will prevent me from taking advantage of all of the government and private assistance programs that could make it possible for me to subsist in the US on that income. I am unqualified because I have this money sitting out there in failed investments, even though it is greatly depleted. So, I would have to divest myself of that money before getting help. If I do that, the money would keep me going for three to five years then I would be on the government dole for the rest of my life and living in an extremely diminished condition. On the other hand, if the government rules were structured with the foresight to help me out for a few years so I could let my investments recover, then I would be independent and living well in a few years. Where is my bailout?

    I know there are lots of folks who need help more than I do but why have a system that ultimately puts additional strain on government resources by not helping people who have the chance to recover and be independent in the long run?

    It’s much worse than this when applied to people who need Medicaid assistance. For example, a seriously ill elderly person must sell their home and spend all of the profits from the sale and all of their savings before the government will help them with there health problem through Medicaid. With the high cost of medical care, these people go from independent to destitute in a few months and, in the process, are ripped out of their familiar surroundings and shoved into horrible government housing to live in poverty until they die. Does that make sense to you? Not to me?

    In my opinion, capitalism has failed us: when we can dig deep into our pockets for billions of dollars for senseless wars or billions of dollars to save the miscreants who defrauded the people and put us into this mess, and other similar debacles in the past, yet we can find only a pittance for the poor, the weak, and the down-trodden people of the world – not to mention the dispossessed in our own country – the system needs to be radically changed. I hope Barack Obama and the other leaders of the world have the will to make those changes, but I am not hopeful that anything really significant will be done without some form of revolution by the people.

    At least Bush will be gone and I hope that other right-wing conservatives and fascists who are in power around the world will be kicked out of office in the coming years!

  240. October 26, 2008 at 09:45

    The BBC ought to interview writer-journalist-economist Fred Harrison – regularly. Harrison explained to Gordon Brown in the 1990s why we’d experience a depression in 2010. Brown disagreed, saying he’d solved boom/busts! Harrison’s got the runs on the board – let’s hear more of him as the meltdown worsens!

  241. 242 Emile
    October 26, 2008 at 14:37

    Welcome to the real US of A. A dog eat dog society where the BS is neck deep. The government controls the media and that is why you will never hear the truth behind anything. On top of that, the population is brainwashed into believing whatever the government says. They swallow it whole. The people who have jobs have nothing to worry about because they have a pay check at the end of the week. Unfortunately for many of them the pay check is getting thin. Reality is starting to hit these people in the face and it hurts. The wealthy have the less fortunate believing that they are poor because they are stupid while the wealthy are smart. To a certain degree they are right. After years of brainwashing they have conplete control of the masses. They have the masses polarized along a political front which ends up in extremely close elections. That is how the GOP gained control of the nation. If you remember Newt Gingriche’s ten point plan for america; just a lot of BS. Revolutions come from people who have nothing to loose. The number of people who have nothing to loose has to exceed the number who have everything to loose. The French Revolution is a perfect example of this. When the majority of people cannot afford to put food on the table they have nothing to loose. The tipping point is when the idiots at the top loose sight of reality. We are no where near that scenario because we are not in a depression yet. This is what the powers that be fear.
    There is an ugly turth that remains obscured. Once you loose your job in the US you become a statistic. Presently that statistic is 6.1%. After 26 weeks of unemployment insurance you fall into a black hole. Your no longer a statistic. You don’t exist. Reality hits you in the face. The only people that matter are the people that have jobs. All of the taxes that you paid during your entire working life do not come into consideration. Your on your own.
    The US is not only economically bankrupt but it is morially bankrupt as well. Have no illusions about who gets elected, nothing will change. For change to occur it will take a lot more than a new president or a democratic congress. The wealthy will control the agenda no matter who gets into office. They will do anything to retain their wealth and maintain control of the masses. They control what the masses think about government, politics, science and religion. They even have the masses believing that we landed on the moon. The truth lies in the Icherus files and your ability to analize what you see and make of it what you will. You have to be skeptical and see beyond the lies.

  242. 243 Anco2
    October 27, 2008 at 13:27

    I have two uncles abroad and they have been instrumental in helping us cope with the problems this way, well at least they were until i began to hear the dreaded name again,crisis… i say dreaded coz in east africa after the food, fuel and kenya crises, we are fed up of that word but could we escape it, another F crisis.
    Anyway first my uncle in Carlifornia reduced the remmittances then the one in London followed suit.Every thing is so expensive this days despite the drop in oil prices i just cant tell how but all the same… MAN MUST LIVE
    TORORO- UGANDA

  243. 244 John Smith - Jamaica
    October 27, 2008 at 17:38

    In the midst of the wall street collapse and the subsequent ripples flowing through main street, it is amazing that the public hasn’t been given any alternative re investing. All the focus has been on these multinational banks, but what about the success stories, those who did not go above and beyond their means like the Credit Unions, Mutual Societies and the true Building Societies. BBC did a brief feature on the surviving Building Society in the UK, but was a brief interview and much of the lessons learnt have been swept under the carpet to be replaced by Lehman Bros., Bear-Sterns and the likes.

    If one wants to rebuild confidence in the financial sector, then lead people to those areas of banking and saving which have survived the catastrophe of American Capitalism.

  244. October 28, 2008 at 00:33

    Oh dear, following Keynes now would be a big mistake. Why? You need to go back to 1957, moreover Lord Radcliffe’s report on how the Monetary System worked.
    Two specific aspects seriously undermine this strategy. First, the Income Velocity of Circulation and secondly the loss of control the banking system has on liquidity.
    Coupled to theaboveformentioned is the fact that the UK economy has no headroom. Overdrafts, credit cards and personal leasing have created invisible income circulations, which are driven by grossly exaggerated interest rates.

    What should the UK do? The UK is overvalued, property has been driven up by as much 30 – 40%. This needs to come down and it will painfully.
    GDP will need to have fallen by at least 10 to 15% and it will.

    Then you can fire up the furness again, but if you do it the conventional way, it will blow up in your face.

    You need to use fiscal policy and your foreign investment policies to counteract it. This is because you have a hidden Macmillan gap. Stimulation of small businesses is CRITICAL, if you loose these which you are doing, your fundemental fabric of economic cycles is punctured. Be warned!

    I know how to counteract it and I know it will work but, will you listen, I doubt it.

    Ask yourself this… would the likes of John Prescott, Mandleson or Brown come up with a solution like this? Now, if you know your economics, which you should if you are governing the country, how do you stimulate SME’s which are unable to gain short/medium or long term financing?

    I’ll give you the first part for free…Corporate Relief! But you must do it via indirect vehicles eg, creation of a five year 100% Captal Investment relief and a 100% Relief for RnD costs. This will give your SME’s some stimulation. It will also attrect inward investment from overseas investment companies.

    If you want more just ask.

    PS – Johnathon Ross…oh dear, misjudged that one eh! LOL! I’d get yer coat….tara & Adios muchachas

  245. 246 Jeongdong Lee
    October 28, 2008 at 01:33

    Thanks to BBC to make this place to share our problem whichi is related with the financial crisis.

    Please, all the citizen of the world, credit Korea.

    We cannot sell the product from our company because of the highest won-dollor rate. We need to import some ICs from foriegn country, for example China, Japan, Israeli, Taiwan, USA to sell our product to Korea or any other world. Those ICs are necessary to make our product.

    But the won-dollor rate is so high, most of those ICs’ prices are all rosen recently. So we affected directly by the won-dollor’s high rate.

    May the main reason of such rising of won-dollor rate especially in Korea is a trick of the hedge fund dealers. Their tricks would be help to drive the world economy into the bottom on economy, I think.

    The houseing-debt problem rosen by USA needs some time, I think. But the trick of theose hedge-fund dealer can be stopped if they think their action more considerably, I think.

    Have a good time today.

  246. 247 John LaGrua/New York
    October 28, 2008 at 21:37

    Thus disaster is the culmination of a period of excess which evolved from the post WW11 prosperity.Govenment became not the steward of the general welfare but an enabler ,encouraging profligacy under the guise of rising living standards.The public were gulled by false prophets like Friedman who won a Noble prize espousing an idealogy that validated blind adherence to endless self gratification.Greenspan became his acolyte and led the the Fed and the nation ,and the world to the abyss.The victims of this horror are the Middle Class particularly the very same baby boomers who dismissed the opinions of anyone over 40 as hopelessly outdated..Sadly they are sans pension ,jobs ,houses and savings.Misery will abound ! The US treasury and the Fed are beseiged by free marketeers for rescue.from their own reckless iincompetence.The financial system had to be shored up but now the auto makers are crying for help .they produced bad products ,failed in every way as businesses and were led by overpaid incompetents.Those who resisted the siren song of self indulgence will be burdened with the enormous cost of rescue .Government credibility is close to zero and the American voters are living in another fantasy that a new President will make it all go away.Time for introspection.

  247. December 4, 2008 at 03:05

    I’m an attorney in Southborough, Massachusetts. My practice concentrates in bankruptcy law and real estate law. I’ve never seen the real estate market as bad as it is now. Every transaction is a sale of a bank owned property, or a private party attempting to sell for a price short of their mortgage balance. People call wanting to file bankruptcy, but often can’t afford the fees and legal expense which has dramatically increased under the revision to U. S. bankruptcy law signed by Bush effective in 2005.


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