The world is talking. Are we listening?

Sixth installment in Mong Palatino’s series for Global Voices:

Global recession: The world is talking. Are we listening?

He explains the purpose of his posts:

Readers may notice that the articles in this series rarely mention recession stories in the U.S. While recognizing the serious economic challenges faced by the U.S., this series invites the public to study how the recession is shaping and reshaping societies in the world. We want our readers to appreciate how the recession in the U.S. is creating old and new problems around the globe. Many bloggers are providing alternative and insightful views on the crisis. Part of solving the problem is to encourage a global conversation on the economic crisis. This series is a contribution to jumpstart this global conversation.

Are we listening?

Global Recession: “Underdevelopment is a mixed blessing”

A post from Mong Palatino in his continuing series on the GFC for Global Voices on Global Recession: “Underdevelopment is a mixed blessing”:

There are governments which insist that their countries are not affected by the global economic crisis. Most of the time they are not convincing; and their constituents do not believe in the supposed improvement of the economy. But some of these governments might be telling the truth. They may not be completely honest about the real economic situation of their countries but they may be correct when they insist that the fearsome credit crunch, housing bubble, and other familiar crisis indicators are not visible in their territories.

How is this possible? Countries with very small economies and countries which are not globally-integrated are usually the same countries which claim that the financial crisis has not affected them so far.


Intrade echoes Obama optimism

Intrade’s latest Prediction Markets show some optimism for the U.S. economy but little hope for Detroit’s big 2 car dinosaurs:

Their markets not only indicate low probability of a depression, they also suggest there could a turn around by the end of 2009.

The news is not so good for Chrysler with “50.1% chance of a partnership agreement being successfully concluded by April 30th” with Fiat and 79.9% probability of bankruptcy.

Intrade markets hold out slightly more hope for General Motors with bankruptcy at 68.0%.

Barack Obama’s latest comments echo these results:

United States President Barack Obama says he is starting to see glimmers of hope for the US economy.

Mr Obama says the US economy is still under severe stress, with many Americans losing their jobs and their homes.

But he says there are glimmers of hope as his massive economic stimulus plan takes effect.
Obama sees ‘glimmers of hope’ for economy (ABC 11 April 2009)

Hold Up the Banks to Account

Thank you to my bank. Which bank?

The big banks are refusing to bow to pressure from politicians urging them to pass on the Reserve Bank’s 25-basis-point rate cut.

The central bank has dropped the official interest rate to 3 per cent, its lowest level in 49 years, but so far only the Commonwealth Bank has passed on some of the cut.

The CBA was the first of the big four to announce its reaction; it is passing on 10 basis points of the RBA cut.
Banks resist rates cut pressure

Obviously the Reserve Bank lowered interests rates by 0.25% today to help the banks with their profits. Was the Rudd government’s bank guarantee meant to help customers or shareholders? I’d sleep better if there was real competition between the banks and some choice for customers. Greed is still the name of the game.

They even have the cheek to take more than half. It’s time the government insisted on real quid pro quo for their underwriting of the banks.

Kevin Rennie

GFC: Survival Tips and Business Opportunities

I missed Mong Palatino‘s third Global Voices post on the Global economic crisis last week. It’s worth sharing what bloggers around the world have been saying:

The global economic recession is spreading gloom and despair everywhere. But the human spirit cannot be easily defeated. Many are trying hard to cope with the crisis. Bloggers are offering survival tips to their readers. Businesses around the world are adjusting. They are adopting new strategies; some are even profiting from the crisis. In this post, I will try to mention numerous examples of individuals and companies exerting their very best to overcome the recession.
Global Recession Survey: Survival Tips and Business Opportunities

Mong has also completed his fourth article in this series:

This post focuses on the stories of the unemployed and migrant workers who are returning home to their countries.

… There are many unemployed individuals who document their daily struggles by creating blogs.
Global Job Losses and Returning Migrant Workers

Kevin Rennie

Mortgage Freeze

Now this is great news:

HOMEBUYERS who lose their jobs will be eligible for a 12-month reprieve on mortgage repayments and could be granted concessions on car loans and other debt, as part of a new deal between the Federal Government and the major banks.

This is the type of things that the government should be doing in consultation with the banks.

Bubbles, Bailouts and Stimulus Plans

Mong Palatino, a Filipino currently living in California, has posted the second of his articles for Global Voices on the global economic crisis:

Identifying the economic woes of the United States is crucial. But we should also understand that other countries are also grappling with bankrupt companies and shrinking economies. Many countries are also implementing their own stimulus plans. What are some of the examples used by bloggers around the world when they discuss the bubble economies, bailout of banks and stimulus plans of their countries?
Global: Bubbles, Bailouts and Stimulus Plans

He’s now planning more articles and has requested help identifying bloggers on these topics:

3rd article

— Stories about creative / ingenious ideas of entrepreneurs in remodeling
their businesses in response to the crisis
— industries which are flourishing despite / because of the crisis
— survival tips
— effect of crisis on small businesses, big corporations

4th article

– a brief overview of global job losses
— migrant workers returning home because of downsizing
— job hunting stories
— changes in the job market, job preparation.

Please leave any suggestions in Comments.