#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.

#221 spend, spend, spend

Is spending the only way out of recession? What kind of spending are we referring?

Spending using real money, not credit or borrowed money? How does this work when people have no job translating no income, fraught with problems?

I’m still trying to make sense that’s happening in this financial crisis.

Has man been so dishonest that greed had overtaken turning a blind eye to the future? Or callousness on the part of those leaders who think only for today and let tomorrow suffer for itself! The existential philosphy they subscribed?

Many bailouts today are for companies who relied on credit accumulating huge sums which spirals to affecting large banks. Are bailouts for plugging holes in the banking systems?

Has the era of spending on personal credit over? Will the banks reconsider the use of personal credit cards?

What are the true causes of this economic or financial blackhole? Have we not learnt from the Great Depression in the 1920s-30s? Who is responsible? The policy-makers or those who held top positions in companies or corporations?

Has greed overtaken mankind that virtually there is little or no solution to the problem?

Will a dictator like Hitler arise or war looms?

What will tomorrow bring? I shudder to think. Will there be peace? Will there be democracy? If there is democracy, what kind of democracy?

As we’ve seen the governments have to intervene with little results. Every sector of the flailing economy have been looking for the government to bring about some form of bailouts using tax-payers’ money! Why should the tax-payers bail out those scoundrel corporate leaders or directors who were paid handsomely during their tenures on the job? Will these be prosecuted for decisions made callously?

Even in China, a socialist country, the leaders were startled at the force of this financial crisis that their first bailout of several billions have little effect!

Has the world system gone bonkers? Where are we going? What are we doing? How do we salvage this financial black hole today?

Will there be a creative solution out of this financial crisis?

#215 yo-yo stock market

I cannot believe that I read: yesterday the US stock market soared 900 points or 11% (!) while for the past few days, in spite of monies injected, yet…there was a spiral downwards! Why no stability? Who are the suckers? Who are the winners?

Who has been deciding or manipulating the rise and fall of the stock market?!

Who is pocketing the monies? Surely the monies cannot just evaporate!

28th-29th October is the anniversary of the Great Depression 79 years ago! At the time, there was no government intervention or bailout.

Yet today, in spite all the interventions, there is great votility! What is really happening? Who stand to benefit in this yo-yo?

#212 simple understanding

CNN’s senior business correspondent Ali Velshi gave this layman’s understanding on Oprah Winfrey show:

The first step toward grasping the bailout plan is to understand how we got in this mess in the first place. Ali says it started with three basic assumptions about the American economy: homes will increase in value over time, wages will go up over time and investments in the stock market will go up over time. “Very rarely do all three not go up at the same time,” he says. “So we thought that things will be better for us financially year after year.” The banks encouraged that concept because the more the American people spend, the more money banks make.
 
…since Americans thought their finances would increase over the years, they spent as if that money was guaranteed. “We all lived a little beyond our means and then a lot beyond our means,” he says. “Now, our country, our people, our banks and our government are all heavily, heavily indebted and the money is running tight.”

…a mortgage meltdown is primarily responsible for the economic trouble. The cycle started with regular Americans who were unable to afford their mortgage interest rates. As a result, banks foreclosed their homes. Eventually, the effects of the home foreclosures reached a global scale, causing a financial collapse. “We are very powerful people, because we caused this,” Ali says. 

The other key to understanding the financial mess is understanding credit. “Let’s show you how central credit and banking is to your life,” he says. “The bank gives you a credit card, and you use that to spend money at the grocery store. But the bank also gives the grocery store money because the grocery store has to [borrow] to buy things from a supplier, let’s say the cereal factory. …The supplier [or cereal factory] needs to buy wheat or flour, so they borrow money from the bank [too].” But because of the current economic situation, banks don’t trust anyone to pay them back, Ali says. “Your credit line, if you did nothing wrong, may have been reduced by the bank just because they are scared that you might get into trouble.” 

…due to credit reduction, the cereal factory can’t buy as much wheat, and the grocery store can’t buy as much cereal. When stores or suppliers can’t afford to buy as much they used to, they can’t do as much business. Then, people get laid off. 

As a result, all the people who lost their jobs aren’t paying taxes or shopping as much, Ali says. “They’re a net drain on the financial system. They’re not contributing.” Ali says that in the first nine months of 2008, 750,000 people in the United States lost their jobs. In September 2008 alone, an incredible 159,000 jobs were lost. “This is what hurts this system,” he says. “And that’s why it affects you.”

#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?!

#196 a new financial world emerging?

It seems the global financial crisis we’re experiencing at the moment is deeper and more serious than anticipated.

The collapse of Lehman Brothers has caused domino effect on many financial institutions creating turmoil, tsunami, hurricane… Is this the true face of credit crunch?

Below a video clip of NY trader Arthur D Cashin Jr with almost 50 years of experience on turbulent times — the fear today is “Who can I trust to trade with?”

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7624984.stm.

Will there come a time when there will be no American-based investment banks at Wall Street? A new financial world emerging?

Are we heading towards the Great Depression?