Busted: Bankers and The Global Economy

July 2, 2008

Welcome to the “Slow-Motion” Recession

“It’s a slow-motion recession,” said Ethan Harris, chief United States economist for Lehman Brothers. “In a normal recession, things kind of collapse and get so weak that you have nowhere to go but up. But we’re not getting the classic two or three negative quarters. Instead, we’re expecting two years of sub-par growth. Growth that’s not enough to generate jobs. It’s kind of a chronic rather than an acute pain.” Harris should have some idea as his company is a major player as part of the problem as an investment banker. Yep, things have “kind of collapsed.” Conditions are making honest men out of economists. Pervasive weakness is a more accurate concept.

The European Union bankers have a more apocalyptic take on what to expect here and in the markets overseas where investors are concerned. Anyone with a brain needs to consider this possibility. As for jobs here in the States, economists are finally coming around to admit that we are looking for another year, plus a few months, before the plight of jobless has any hope of improvement. That is pretty grim, especially for those of us that are living on unemployment now or are jobless. Rest assured that if you are in this position that you are not alone. This could be a perfect time to start a small business if you can decide what niche to fill. Think small and start there. It’s still worth considering even if you don’t have a clue today and may keep a roof over your head. You certainly don’t want to join the millions of homeless in America or almost 4% of the people that live in Nashville, Tennessee.

Economists are in the habit of under-reporting the pertinent economic facts and figures. What you are feeling is probably closer to reality than official figures would indicate. The United States is experiencing runaway inflation despite lowball figures of 4%.

Politicians and lawmakers have their work cut out for them as they point fingers of blame. More mass layoffs are in the future with 80,000 jobs lost this month. Business is declining along with consumer spending. The stranglehold of high gas prices are affecting millions. Buying a new car is the last thing on the minds of most Americans. Some are garaging their cars to take advantage of buses or simply walking where possible. Everything is too expensive. What does the federal government expect? Most Americans live in the real world and respond to their personal situation.

John McCain’s panacea of free trade won’t help at all. Meanwhile, Americans are transitioning from the “breadbasket” to the “bread line”. They better have a great plan if they expect to stay in power. Keep in mind that depressed conditions have been caused by greedy bankers, business and politicians that are more concerned with subsidies than reality. Americans are going to stand by while politicians continually bungle?

Typical responses to the economy are like these:

“More good news from the economic sector…the government is methodically stripping we the people of mobility, security and most of all, hope. And neither of the bozos running for president seems to have a ghost of a workable idea on how to begin to reverse our failing economy.”

“we have already had to cut back, we are worried that the job my husband has will not last either since it is based on the seasonal items but the last yeaer or so it has slowed some, he and i have been talking about this and are worried how much longer he will have a job.”

“It is pathetic that the government does not put our country first when it comes to jobs. I guess it’s just screw us. Noted with anger and disgust.”

“Term limits for ALL of them INCLUDING the Supreme Court Justices. And while we are fantasizing, let’s go all out! Since they all are, for the most part, MILLIONAIRES, the American TAXPAYERS should not have to foot the bill for their health insurance or any retirement perks like their congressional paycheck for LIFE as it is now. Let them get by on their investments and their SOCIAL SECURITY CHECKS!”

Americans aren’t happy. Politicians are on the grill for allowing the graft. Americans need to hold them accountable and keep them on the fire.

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