A Global Recession?


The global economy is quaking. Are we heading toward a global recession? Who's to blame?

Posted by David Ignatius on March 24, 2008 8:40 AM

Readers’ Responses to Our Question (24)

ryan :

I am amazed to have read these responses without hearing any mention of the very real possibility of a decline in world-wide petroleum production.

The thoughts on US outsourcing were interesting; If the economy is disloyal to itself, it will slough off money to other economies, of course! smaller peices of more pies is just fine im sure, ty. But this is not a global perspective. it's zero sum.

My global economic perspective: a coin has been flipped, and only the flipper (in particularly Saudi Arabia and a few other oil producing countries) knows what it has landed on. peak oil? or no peak oil.

either way, the markets are responding as though peak oil is actually occuring, and the actual production of oil remains stalwartly level(ish). might it soon decline?

either way, We are witnessing the beginning of a mass migration of currency to oil producing countries (no one's exactly screaming out "I'm getting rich over here!!", of course.). but that is another zero sum.

However, If oil production starts to decline, and we have no alternative energies ready to pick up the slack, we are in really unreally massive financial trouble.

oil does a lot of our work FOR us.

If our batteries go dead, I'd rather we drive a car to go buy more than walk and blister my feet.

wazdan :

The main reason of recation is the USA war against Iraq,Afganistan,Palastine by Israel (suport by USA).with the stop of war the recation will stop automatically.

MikeB :

Anju Chandel, New Delhi, India -
You write "...I suggest, instead of 'blaming' 'cheap Indians on H-1B visas', it would be better for Americans to take a hard look at the factors which contributed to the current market meltdown..." Well, there are A LOT OF US and we have witnessed Indian companies buying Amercian politcian's like Hillary Cltinon and Indian national willingly selling themselves into indentured servitude yo Microsoft and the like and we are absoluely convinced that this *IS* what led to th market meltdown. Even, considering the awful fraud of Wall Street and corporations, if people still had decent living wages jobs here, the mortage meltdown simpy wouldn't have happened. If this country simply put Amercian jobs first, simply copied what European countries do, then this mess would not have even happened. So, "yes, indeed,", BLAME INDIA AND BLAME CHINA - BLAME GLOBALIZATION. We either end this "feee trade" nonsense or it will end us (and India and China and Vietnam, too, will suffer in the very near future). A country, ANY COUNTRY, that cannot provide jobs and the basic necessities of life for it's citizens has no excuse for existance. A country, like the U.S., that CAN but chooses not to, becasue the super rich want even more, becasue some dirtbag of a politcian willingly takes a bribe from a corporation to pass outrageous laws like that legalizing the H1-B visa, a country that allows corporations and investors to outsource jobs and technology necessary for the very existance of that country, well, that country has no justification whatsoever for it's existance OR those corporate leaders, those investors, those politcian's are guilty at the very least of treason and deserve to be treated as traitors have always been treated.

Anju Chandel, New Delhi, India :

INDIANS ARE TO BE BLAMED ! ... Scream a few readers - Americans. (I can understand their predicament as the US seems to be hit the hardest.)

Wonder why the same Theory about the imminent recession in the US is not being propagated by noted economists of the world, the American economists included.

No finacial regulations, no control or counsel on 'living beyond ones means', no solid economic policy, no guidelines to banks to not encourage cheap loans, etc, etc. ...

I suggest, instead of 'blaming' 'cheap Indians on H-1B visas', it would be better for Americans to take a hard look at the factors which contributed to the current market meltdown. Then they would know whom to blame, and rightly so.

And, they should choose the right presidential candidate who would bail them out of this depressing situation. ... My vote goes out for Barack Obama !

bala srini :

it is sad to see grown-ups cry.but why i wonder.united states as a rich gullible idealistic teen ager took over the global policeman's role again not realising that it is bailing out the colonial masters from the old country who had amassed their wealth they litteraly hijacked from the colonies and lived off of it till now.the past is catching up to them;their service industries are crying out for manpower their own population is aging and their "blue blood wasp-stock" is dwindling,and europe is now becoming eurabia waiting to explode.so they dont want to support the teenager who came to their rescue 60yrs ago.
now the teenager himself has grown up with wart and all;with the mindset of an arrogant spoiled brat who feels falsely ofcourse that he is invincible.
but the social scene in his home is not a pretty picture with globalisation telling the american labor "we can produce what you can for 1/4 the cost which is hard to swallow by idiots like lue dobbs who thinks only american workers have the god given right to earn and boose but dont bother them to teach family values and the value of proper education as a result the highschool drop out rate at least in state of mich is approaching catastrophic magnitude and divorce rate and abandonment of families by fathers is astronomical nobody want an honest discussion of race issues and that imbicilic crac or codine addict limbauh thinks only miniscule of the public are suffering.so with all this delusional and illusions of grandeur i am really surprised that we are still holding,may br it is the 80/20 principle;80%enjoy the produce of and by 20%

Yousuf Hashmi :

Global recession is a phenomeon which we are seeing it as a routine cycle.

The problem is that when we are on top of the cycle we forget that someday we will go down and in every cycle we are repeating our mistakes.
when the economy is booming and the jobs are plenty avilable then we the workers start taking advntage. asking for the fantastic benefits, threatning mangement to quit and boosting our selves that another competative organisation is calling me on double wages.

And once we come down then we are afraid to quit and the management start getting the advantage and start off hiring even those workers who are loyal, competent and hard woking. resulting aggrevating the recession crunch.

Another dynamics of the recession is that smaller companies and enterpenures wipe out. but larger well managed companies get benefit and monopalise the market.

This is not necessary that recession will reach to each corner of the globe. In fact recession in one country brings economic prospetrity for another country. for example when Japan was going through the recession south Korean market picked up. During recession of Hong Kong Singapore changed its face and dubai developed only because of Iran and Iraq war.

Recession is only man made phenomeon. So if we want to blame we should blame ourselves. If we want to correct then we should correct our life styles.

I have one suggestion to all working class community. Stick to your job. Do not become rolling stone and spend only when it is needed.

Yasir :

Fiat currencies, belligerencies, indifference to abhorrencies, absence of transparencies and adherencies to impudencies are major contributors to the economical musical.

Michael :

Having followed the economy of the U.S. since college in the sixties and then working for a brokerage firm I have noticed certain trends.
But what economists are not taking into account is the change in the very nature of the world economy and the fact that we are entering a new age. The global economy that is now coalescing is going to behave in a much different manor than our old economy.
Most economists think that an economy should continue to grow; this is one fallacy they should get over. If the world economy could just remain stable without too much wealth shifting to a small part of the population, like it has done here forever, the world would be a much better place.
We have this administration and the Wolf doctrine, put in place in the seventies to bankrupt our country so that only the rich would survive, for our present situation.
We just have too many greedy people that think it’s o.k. to have billions while many starve or can not make ends meet. Warren Buffet is a good example of the type of person that personifies this image. After the film, "born rich" aired on T.V. he disowned his own granddaughter for talking about family money. This is someone who he raised on his knee and loved very much, but evidently money trumps everything in his world.
Change is inevitable except from a vending machine and everyone should be prepared for a wild ride until this change settles down.
We are entering a period of solar activity the likes of which scientists have never seen, it's supposed to peak in about four years and have a great effect on communication of all kinds. If you don't believe in astrology that's o.k. the planet is going to align with the sun and the center of the milky way anyway in 2012. The result of this should be a transformation of the earth and of our consciousness.
Everyday millions of people are waking up to the fact that coldness, heartlessness, and commercialism, are simply impractical and only that which gives the opportunity for the expression of love and ideality are the truly worthwhile pursuits.




Michael Eure :

Having followed the economy of the U.S. since college in the sixties and then working for a brokerage firm I have noticed certain trends.
But what economists are not taking into account is the change in the very nature of the world economy and the fact that we are entering a new age. The global economy that is now coalescing is going to behave in a much different manor than our old economy.
Most economists think that an economy should continue to grow; this is one fallacy they should get over. If the world economy could just remain stable without too much wealth shifting to a small part of the population, like it has done here forever, the world would be a much better place.
We have this administration and the Wolf doctrine, put in place in the seventies to bankrupt our country so that only the rich would survive, for our present situation.
We just have too many greedy people that think it’s o.k. to have billions while many starve or can not make ends meet. Warren Buffet is a good example of the type of person that personifies this image. After the film, "born rich" aired on T.V. he disowned his own granddaughter for talking about family money. This is someone who he raised on his knee and loved very much, but evidently money trumps everything in his world.
Change is inevitable except from a vending machine and everyone should be prepared for a wild ride until this change settles down.
We are entering a period of solar activity the likes of which scientists have never seen, it's supposed to peak in about four years and have a great effect on communication of all kinds. If you don't believe in astrology that's o.k. the planet is going to align with the sun and the center of the milky way anyway in 2012. The result of this should be a transformation of the earth and of our consciousness.
Everyday millions of people are waking up to the fact that coldness, heartlessness, and commercialism, are simply impractical and only that which gives the opportunity for the expression of love and ideality are the truly worthwhile pursuits.




BobL-VA :

MikeB,

I have a brother (59) who is a chemical engineer. He was quasi forced into early retirement when Upjohn sold out to a Dutch Multinational along with most of the senior engineers at Upjohn. He was lucky enough to have had enough years of service to be given a very adequate buyout that allowed him to retire at 57. This was obviously not the case for his younger colleagues. According to him most of them have scattered throughout the US for employment in with other Chemical facilities or left the industry altogether.

My previous father in law was a casualty of Murdoch taking over TV Guide. This guy was was the head of production for TV Guide in the SW US. He was 58 at the time and Murdoch was not nearly as generous as the Dutch. He went from a high profile publishing position to selling mens clothes for Lord and Taylor to make ends meet.

There are hundreds of thousands of these stories today in the US as well as around the world. My point is outsourcing isn't unique to the US market. In the two cases I cited above the Dutch and Australians are more then willing to engage in the exact same type of behavior for the sake of profits.

Was it fair that the industry I just spent 30 years in (mortgaqe banking) just imploded? Is it fair that at 57 I'm now a relic who should probably be teaching a course at a university on how financial markets can collapse? My response is fair has nothing to do with it. No where did our birth certificates come with a stamp that entitled us to a fair or secure life. I'm not trying to be hard about this, but business exists to make profits. Basically, most CEO's are compensated on how well their companies stock performs. (Probably overcompensated, but that's a different discussion) In this pursuit of generating profits people constantly get stepped on and treated badly. In the last 40 years dramatic improvements in both transportation and communications have accelerated this practice. Since transporation and communications will only get better in the future you will see more and more outsourcing by most industrialized countries in the pursuit of profits. I'm not saying I agree with this practice only it is reality and is unlikely to be discontinued any time in the foreseeable future.

As much as I hate to say this I think the concept of company loyalty is a thing of the past. Companies aren't loyal to their workers so why should the workers be loyal to the company? I also think, unless someone goes into the public sector for employmen, adaptability is key to getting ahead in todays marketplace. Look at the very industry we're communicatng through. The WP hss gone through and will continue to go through a very painful reorganization as it's market has changed as well. In the process hundreds of long standing employees either have been or will be let go (one way or the other) and many of them will not be able to replace their positions or salaries. PG is a good and often times useful forum, but it's also a way for David and Fareed to attempt to stay relevant in an industry in some turmoil today. I'm sure both of these men have families and/or lifestyles they wish to maintain and the more they can show management what they are doing to justify their positions/salaries the longer their tenure will be with the WP.

I know I'm guilty of rambling on, but I have sympathized with your position and have hoped you'd be able to find meaningful employment over the last couple of years. That others in this country are in similar plights is probably of little consolation. However, it might be time to consider a different occupation.

anglocalabro :

Peudoreality prevails

I have a dream

The United States begin to experience shortage on strategic reserves of buffalo mozzarella cheese. British MI5 tips off CIA that in Italy is ready a new recipe for diossina mozzarella. Pakistani SIS fakes a letter of understanding between mr. Silvio Berlusconi and mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad whose content reveals a deal for selling the new recipe to Iranians. This letter is written on a Ruandan Embassy printed sheet of paper found in a Neapolitan garbage contenitor.
By vengeance, mr. Romano Prodi reveals to the media that mr. Berlusconi wife is actually a SISMI secret agent.The United Nations send its inspectors in Italy to look for the diossina enriched mozzarella factories. They build an expensive underground radar but they can't find anything. CIA keep insisting with the United Nations inspectors that diossina enriched mozzarella is hidden in trucks and laurries constantly driving up and down along italian motorways. Italian vigili urbani (traffic wardens) are prompted to take actions. After few months of international consultations the United Nations Security Council reach the first resolution: Italians are forbidden to watch Bruno Vespa, Maria de Filippi, Enrico Mentana and La Domenica Sportiva tv programmes for one month.
Breach of the resolution would imply serious consequences.
Unexpectadly a black market of clandestine recordings of those programmes takes place in Italy.
After two weeks of frantic consultations the United Nations Security Council approve a final resolution for military intervention in Italy. Nato planes bomb the Vatican, Rai tv and Mediaset buildings, politicians are imprisoned in sardinia
(meanwhile sardinia island has been leased out to the American government) and mr. Berlusconi and mr. Prodi are imprisoned wating to be hunged.
Of course, no traces of diossina enriched mozzarella have been detected.

Salamon :

to those interested on varied views on USA, the war, the politics and the economy the following international anthology of news [all translated to english] might be of interest:
http://watchingamerica.com/News/index.html
enjoy and good luck

MikeB :

BOBL-VA - One thing you have to admit, I have been warning about all of this, right down to the timeline, for 18 months, now. For an engineer and mathematician who can't get a job because IBM and Bill Gates and the whole hi-tech industry claims that cheap Indian guest workers are all they can find or are somehow better qualified than seasoned American engineers and scientists... not bad, huh? The model, by the way, bears out everything I have said below. It's depressing, but it is as accurate as predicting that the sun will rise tomorrow. In the end, I am only one of hundreds of thousands of American engineers and scientists who have seen their hi-tech careers ended because swine like Bill Gates is able to convince (or, more likely, bribe, although "they" call it campaign contributions) enough Congressmen to continue to give away this countries future for 20 pieces of silver.

BobL-VA :

MikeB,

One thing we're going to agree on is this current inept (and probably criminal) administration. Personally, I believe both Bush/Cheney should finish out their terms and then be immediately escorted to a Federal Prison to serve out their natural lives.

What you say about Europe has validity, but it must be put into context. The majority of modern Europe was founded on forms of Colonialism. Colonialism for a period of time provided cheap raw materials the Colonial power could turn into wealth. When it became too expensive in most cases and socially/politically repugnant in other cases to continue European rule over large parts of Africa, Asia and the New World phased out. It has been replaced by cheap labor sources. Both the European Community, the US and the rest of the industrialized countries use the cheap labor pools of China, India, Mexico, etc.. They are used to keep the costs of consumer goods like clothing, electronics, household goods, auto's and children's games, just to mention a few, down. American and European consumers buy for less then they would be able to do if these goods were manufactured in their own countries. Please don't hold your breath waiting for this cycle to stop anytime in the near future because it won't. We're too addicted to cheap consumer goods.

The bigger issue the US economy faces is the illegal immigration issue. While they do provide relatively cheap labor they also are a huge drain on our economy. The numbers I've seen are in the 300-500 million dollar a month transfer of US dollars to Latin America to support relatives left behind. Add to this number the cost of social services like education, health care, etc., etc. and that number has to exceed a billion a month. Top it off with these individuals have flaunted our laws and could care less as they perceive their own economic well being more important then our laws and you have a huge social issue as well. This issue has been a much larger drain on our economy then the lending meltdown we're experiencing. If Bush, McCain, Clinton, Obama are really interested in the health of the US economy they will have to address this issue forcefully. Simply put we don't have enough money to fund a war on terror, go through the mortgage meltdown and allow 12-15 million illegals to leach off our system. (Being a liberal doesn't mean I have blinders on when it comes to both the economic impact of illegals and the laws that are being broken)

I'll end with China and India which are the two most populous countries on this planet. It is apparent that both of these nations are desparately seeking investment in order to raise their standards of living. I would be much more critical of them if they weren't doing this. Both of these countries are making it in the best interests of the industrialized world to avail themselves of their cheap labor pools and are investor friendly. Neither country puts business through the ringer in order to open or keep open a manufacturing facility. Does this business friendly atmosphere come with a price tag? Of course it does. Both of these societies are foreign to the way we view the way societies should be. However, since we're not poor and don't have a total of almost 2.5 billion people to govern and/or feed we need to give them some slack. Their societies are huge as well as their problems. However, between the two of them they are almost one third of the worlds population and they are both trying to catch up with the west. Per capita income is around 2,700 for India and about 5,300 for China as compared to 45,000 plus for the US. Like most statistics these need to be put into perspective. China has arbitarily kept the yuan low for the purpose of attracting investment. Remember China is competing with India for these same investment dollars. Anyway, I'd be more shocked if these countries weren't trying to increase the size of their slices of the global economic pie.

MikeB :

BOBL-VA - I specifically said this WOULD NOT be a global meltdown. Oh, it will effect the entire world, especially China and India which have leached off us almost exclusively. Europe, on the other hand, has taken steps to innoculate themselves from our "free trade" folly and will recover rather rapidly. Denmark, for example, retired *all* of it's national debt. Germany, Sweden, Austria, even the U.K. have made strides towards acheiving energy independence and retiring their national debt. All of these countries limit globalization and the only guest workers permitted are those that are essential and absolutely do not take jobs from their own citizens. Likewise, corporations outsourcing jobs are taxed to the hilt and are simply not permitted to dismantle and offshore production capacity.

U.S. corporations and the fake U.S. based "multinationals" will be treated like plague carriers (and rightfully so!) which will make things even worse for us. The bogus mortgage papers and other "derivatives" sold to the semi-public banks in Europe will have some nasty long term repercussions. The route out of this mess lays with reigning in the corporations and investors, forcing them using taxes and tariffs to be good citizens, and distancing ourselves from India and China and the like and our debt and dependancy on them.

BobL-VA :

Probably yes and so what? It's not like economies don't experience peaks and valley's. Anyone who thought either we or any other country in the world is recession proof knows nothing about economies and world markets.

Where I take issue with MikeB is this will not be a global meltdown. We'll fix our banking/lending system over a period of time and the fed can raise rates to appease the international community and ease inflationary worries. Doom and gloom just reminds me of "The Sky is Falling." We're simply too resilient, too adaptive and too tied into the international community for doom and gloom to come about. At worst we're looking at a recession that lasts 4 or 5 years and that's a small price to pay for the lending/wall street debacle we're going through today. We're going through a market correction. No doubt an ugly correction, but a correction none the less. We'll get through it and then find another way to live beyond our means for a few years until we experience another correction. It's our way of life.

Smart people understand economies are cyclical and make money no matter whether we're in a boom or bust cycle. There are currently and will be over the next 2 years real bargains to be had in US real estate. Also, several industries will be booming. Energy comes to mind quickly as does agricultural related industries.

However, feeling sorry for one's plight in this current economy will not lead to success. This is coming from a man who has been in the mortgage industry for 30 years and is transitioning out of it because there is no viable mortgage industry left today.

MikeB :

You're only partially correct. We are headed towards an complete economic meltdown in the U.S. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid are all essentially bankrupt. Our idiot President gave it away to illegals from Mexico and "guest workers" from India and China. The fix is as easy as cutting this nonsense out and removing the wage cap on taxes for these programs, which only benefit the wealthy anyways.
At the same time, we have outsourced close to 60 million jobs and displaced over 4.5 million American engineers and scientists and computer programmers with the insane H1-B visa program (and "thank you", Bill and Hillary Clinton for this!).

We haven't just outsourced those jobs, we have shipped the roduction capacity, the basic infrastructure, off shore. We have lost even the ability to reconstruct it because we permitted U.S. corporations to fire our own engineeres and other experts and replace them with those cheap H1-B workers! Face it, there is no fast recovery from this mess. To even start digging opur way out is going to mean taxing corporations and investors for outsourcing, for guest workers...just like European's do. Expect them to scream bloody murder at that and blather on and on about "free enterprise", as if the practices recent of Wall Street have anything to do with free enterprise. And, while we're at it, we need to prosecute present criminal activities and restore past laws that would have criminalized the kinds of corporate and investor behaviors that have been engaged in. Unless and until we do these things, it simply isn't going to get better.

daniel :

The global economy is quaking. Are we heading toward a global recession? Who's to blame?

To answer this question we probably need an extended meditation on the concept of free trade. For the life of me I have never been able to understand this concept. I fail to understand how free trade can lift all boats. It seems to me a global economy will just lead to increased competition for available jobs and those with the jobs which can be done by most anyone will find themselves facing the stiffest competition.

And we all seem to know this, for we are constantly told to retrain, educate ourselves, etc. But can we educate ourselves constantly to keep ahead of the entire world coming aboard and forming a global economy by the method of free trade?

Now I am not saying leave people behind out of protectionism or something, but how do we create a global economy in which all are working, a global economy not subject to fits of inflation and depression? Is it simply free trade which is the answer? I find it difficult to accept that.

We are told free trade must not be a disguise for one nation exploiting others. Free trade must be a method by which national barriers are brought down and nations share jobs, resources, etc.

But how is it nations can continue to exist in the first place if we have a global competition for jobs? Will nations not only find their borders in every aspect of the word more porous but find themselves undermined by unemployment from within as other nations take jobs which should have been done from within?

Again, this concept of free trade...Maybe someone can explain it to me.

I confess to being a U.S. citizen with a job that can be done by anyone. For me a recession or free trade which means increased competition by increased availability of workers is disastrous...

And in the final analysis why the global economy would be receding is because the global economy, just like a nation, cannot grow without bouts of inflation. But growing without bouts of inflation--again, just like a nation--means growing through the power of an innovative populace (people capital).

So...All nations have no choice but to become more protectionist or face a global economy becoming inflated and therefore subject to recession...Or all nations must become more innovative from within before coming aboard a global economy, forming such, in the faith of free trade.

But maybe someone can explain free trade better to me. I certainly need an economics lesson because so much makes so little sense to me.

Mike :

It's too bad this site has been hijacked by nutjobs.

Whiteyward :

This criminal administration is in the process of removing the American citizen from any type of influence in the government of the United States.
The Corporate criminality survives by bleeding the worlds greedy people with hopes of rewards that prove false. The only form of wealth will soon be in the hands of the war machine, this will include the slavery, food hoarding, atomic weapons and medical services that they own. The citizens will become farm animals to be raised and trained to service the power structure of the meat eaters living under corporate protections. They are going to use the introduction of plagues and tribal warfare to herd us and control us. It is time for the people to use work strikes and payment strikes to end the control our debt has given the corporations.

JRLR :

My apologies to General PetrAeus!

JRLR :

For the U.S. the current crisis is a GLOBAL one: moral, political, social and economic. Recession should be the least of our concerns.

We are experiencing a MORAL US crisis of the first magnitude: greed, corruption and violence without cause and justification have become prevalent. We have tolerated far too long that so many take, in the name of this nation and with impunity, ruinous economic and military initiatives at the expense of the majority of our citizens.

The present US crisis is therefore POLITICAL as well. Our failed political class, altogether inept and corrupt, lacks the courage to face both the nation’s problems and world issues. Incapable of leadership, it has turned politics into essentially a power game for the rich (plutocracy), and a new source of cheap, sentimental entertainment for the rest of society. Our democratic deficit has produced cynicism and demoralization at home, and a weakening of the nation’s credibility, influence and prestige in foreign affairs and in international relations, following our successive, irresponsible adventures the world has acknowledged were based exclusively on lies and deception.

We are now experiencing a SOCIAL US crisis made out of a series of events attesting to a profound neglect of the common good. Those events can be viewed as so many reality checks. Such are (this list is by no means exhaustive): the abysmal failure of the media to play their democratic role (major credibility crisis), the worrisome infringements on our civil rights and liberties, serious health concerns (obesity epidemics, lack of health insurance and of adequate care for many), a lowering of the quality of education for most, a painful lack of creativity and of innovation in face of global world issues and problems, a major housing (mortgage) crisis, a substantial decrease in people’s purchasing power, unresolved racial issues together with the abandonment of disaster areas (the New Orleans disgrace), a lack of care for our war vets (suicide amongst Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq … war vets), etc.

This threefold global US crisis has become more acute because it has come to the surface at a time when: 1. the world witnesses a reorientation of its economy (“Go East!”); 2. the world, while becoming multipolar, remains in search of a new global geopolitical equilibrium (blocks: Asia-Europe-US-Others -- see Parag Khanna’s “Waving Goodbye to Hegemony”, New York Times Magazine, January 27, 2008) ; 3. international competition for world natural resources is necessarily getting fiercer; 4. the world’s crying need for alternate sources of energy has become more urgent than ever; 5. everywhere are expressed graver concerns, by world authorities, that the environment may soon no more provide for human survival.

The ECONOMIC side of this multi-layered crisis only points to the price we need to pay for the current global US crisis in the present WORLD CONTEXT: a lack of competitiveness, the need for industrial, fiscal and monetary adjustments towards the creation of a new world economic equilibrium, a currency devaluation, the loss of jobs, the relocation or loss of entire industrial sectors, a diminishing purchasing power, some major economic slow down, a deep, long-lasting recession, the possibility of a depression, etc. All that, and much more, takes us far beyond this nation’s economy simply “quaking”.

Now with this multi-layered US crisis of global proportion on our hands, some prefer to claim it is “the global (world) economy (that) is quaking”. This line is meant to reassure every American, of course, although it is by no means reassuring. It is after all debatable who, in the end, will suffer the most from the latest US crisis. Will it be: the US or “the world”? It is my opinion that if there is any validity to the above diagnostic, Asia may well gain the most, while the US may loose so much more… more at least than it is prepared to consider losing at present. In any case, this country has the exclusive responsibility to deal with, and resolve its very own current self-generated multi-layered crisis.

It is being asked: “Who's to blame?”

Well, in light of what was said above, who in the US is NOT to blame?

This country now needs to get into a deep introspective mood for a long period of time, so as to delve into its own flaws that have led to its current predicament. Blaming others must be excluded from that introspective exercise.

Anybody knows where this country is going: morally, politically, socially, and economically?

-- “Well, it is (was?) growing! Is (was) it not”?

Possibly, but that does not answer the question! As such, “to grow” is not to be going somewhere! No more than are getting fat, obese, and then morbidly obese, which only lead to sudden death.

Where is this country going? Is it going anywhere?

In clearer and more specific terms, perhaps, let it be said the Petreus patch, the Fed’s (quick) fix, the Commander in Chief’s small cheque, and other damage control initiatives won’t do!

Unilateralism soon proves to be a painful, lonely business. Too many enemies! We now need friends. You know… the type of guys who will dare tell us we’re stupid and wrong when we are, and above all WHY that is. The type who will never accept, for the sake of our friendship, to play broken record: “Yes, sir! Indeed sir! Right away, sir! Not at all, sir! My pleasure, sir! Greatly honoured, sir! Anytime, sir! Just say when, sir! Good day, sir!”

We need friends who are true… and free. Just like we, ourselves, need to be.

Oh! I keep forgetting… Here is a new, timely motto for our bumper stickers: “Of the people by the people for the people… or bust.”


adnan tofiq :

there are many people in diffrent parts of the world think that u s invaded Iraq for oil but we here in Iraq know thats not right as we witness u s spending billons here so Its reasonable to conclude that the rscession is the outcome of this unprofitable spending and I think the rest of the world is in safe and u s will pass this crisis when there would be more stability in Iraq as we know also how britons letdown us

Mohammad allam :

Yes,it is true that we are experiencing a global recession .But that is part and parcell of a capitalist system of production.
The country that can be blame for this is undoubtly the America.As being a leading country and leader of the world economy american should think 100 times before evry adventure.The rising cost of Afghanistan,iraq war leading the declinf of American dollar -the base of strenghth of the world economy.Now the time has come to take some hard decision and that should be start to stop with spending on non-productive segment of the economy and no friendship with the oil tycoon of the world.

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