Wednesday, October 19, 2011

How are you making out?

The worldwide financial crisis continues. What started as a scam to bundle sub-prime mortgages into packages that were worth less than the sum of their parts has undermined tho investment banks which over the whole world have been bailed out by the taxpayer. It became an illustration of the old saw - If I owe the bank $100 that's my problem: if I owe the bank $100 million that's the bank's problem. The banks were simply too big to be allowed to fail. It turned out that the banks were undercapitalized and in recapitalizing themselves, they could not afford to lend to small businesses. The credit crunch has slowed down the global economy.

In addition it turned out that governments, thinking that the boom could never end, ignored the prudent course of repaying debts when the economy boomed, instead took on yet bigger debts.

In Europe there was an extra dimension. Politicians, keen to deliver a United States of Europe tried to introduce a single currency. Without a uniform fiscal policy there was no way that countries like Greece and Germany could make a once and for all unification of their currencies. Rules were set and rules were broken. Countries, quite frankly, lied about whether they were meeting the conditions. Honest countries like the UK and Scandinavia stayed out of the Euro, dishonest ones like Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Italy joined. Now when their desperate need is to devalue their currencies they are unable to. The Euro cannot possibly be sustained and the fall of the Euro, which is inevitable is suppressing the markets by about 10%.

My finances have taken that 10% hit, like anybody else's, but paradoxically have benefited by profligate spending of the last Labour government. Healthcare spending has delivered me first rate care for my cancer at no direct cost to me. Education spending has meant that all four children have received an excellent education at no direct cost to me and all are in well paid employment. We have excellent local authority services including weekly refuse collection and waste recycling, a safe environment with excellent policing, good social services and wonderful amenities.

I guess I have been one of the lucky ones.

1 comment:

Manu Manickvel said...

Glad you found the silver lining :-)