#262 the new year

What shall year 2010 bring?

Since the subprime and economic crunch — many lost their homes and jobs in the US and the stock markets plummet affecting the world economy– that appeared without warning in 2008 brought uncertainties and economic recession through to 2009, hoping 2010 will be better and brighter economically, politically and socially.

 

That which beyond my control, I shall not worry.

That which I can, I shall be mindful of — 

that is, in specific areas of attitudes, relationships and responsibilities.

#230 bites on global financial crisis

I found this website ‘The Baseline Scenario’ useful in understanding the global financial crisis we are experiencing.

The site provides and offers some easy to read articles, interesting videos and radio and relevant websites offering insights and education:

http://baselinescenario.com/financial-crisis-for-beginners/#video.

#225 numbers or service

One hears or reads statistics announcing the rise or fall of stocks or drop in sectors of economy. Are these useful for the public to gauge what is really happening or going on?

Take for example, tourism revenue. Is this that urgent or important? Fuel hike brought down many companies on the brink of closures. Naturally there will be fewer tourists into a country but do they bring in as much revenue as say, local spending?

The services offered in different sectors catering to the locals in Singapore is appalling.

Generally Singaporeans do not like to serve. 

Some, especially those in the service sector find this humiliating unless they are given a commission towards each sale. Many know what service is in theory but putting into practice…?!

A classic example: taxis with automatic doors. The taxi driver will not lift his finger to open the door for the passengers. I was told that automatic door service is for pregnant ladies or elderly.

In Japan, the taxi driver automatically opens the door when the taxi picks up a passenger. 

In shops or department stores, you see many salespersons around. They just add to the congested human traffic flow some time or chatting away on their own!

Furthermore, in some supermarkets or stores, you find workers blocking an area which is already congested!

In the past, store manager in highend department stores ensured all items of goods were nicely stacked on the shelves before opening hours to the public. These days, the workers come in at the same time as customers streaming in to make their purchases or buys!

Tell me, is this service provided to or for customers? 

Unfortunately many are willing to tout for sales but unwilling to offer services…

#208 retrenchments and wage cuts

Singaporeans are forewarned there will be retrenchments and wage cuts during this recession.

Who are the ones to be retrenched? Will those in the 50s of age bracket be the first to go? The rationale that the older ones are higher wage earner…but the new intake start with higher starting pay without experience!

What about rents on commercial properties? Will there be a freeze or lowering of rates?

#198 bail-out plan?

What if there were no bail-out for those scoundrel and irresponsible investment banks? How will this financial quake affect the US and the world economy?

Why such jittery around the world?

According to some pundits, if there were no bail-out, this will filter every aspect of life and economy in the US! 

Was there no regulatory controls for these financial institutions?

It appears those investment banks that offer security bonds are really not secured bonds. If one were to play in stocks and shares market, at least there was some way of retrieving part of the money.

However with Lehman Bros declared bankruptcy, all those who invested with them their hard-earned cash in the name of security bonds have just disappeared into thin air?! This IS not fair!

Is there a way of bringing those managing the financial institutions to court and hold them  answerable for decisions made? Surely they must be fully aware of that happening within the bank for some time now! Why was there no curb? Where is the creditability of the American investment banks? Can we trust these so-called security bonds products in the financial market?

Can one not smell this happening from the annual reports? Or this was so well-covered up by the auditors that even the staff do not know that happening within the institution? If so, dare we trust any of those reports that we receive!

Who should we trust our hard-earned money to in future (i.e. if there was a future…)? Will it not be better if we kept these under our pillow?!

#145 economic recession?

Subprime, credit crunch and inflation: will these bring the world to a recession soon?

Finally the leaders are acknowledging that the US economy is experiencing recession! Will US economic recession affect the rest of the world?

Can the Asian economy correct or counteract this initial US recession?