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Doom and gloom or opportunity?

The US -  Looking at GDP growth, cost of living increases for average families, cargo container imports and trucking activity suggests the US is well into 'recession'. Bear Stearns isn't the end of the credit crunch and it's not just a credit crunch by any means. There are more bigger players to follow. The US may see a depression soon.

Australia is way down, artificially suspended by a few key stocks, otherwise it's really down around 50%. Oddly Sydney home prices just eclipsed New York.  There are a lot of Asians buying in at any price - a house up the street from my first Sydney home sold for $32m strong aussie dollars the other day - are they seeking a safe haven for the times ahead?

The UK seems to be making a brave face of it but I don't see substance.

China is reeling under high energy and resource costs and it's markets are shrinking rapidly.

India is wobbling and will have a growing middle class to contend with. 

Commodities are on their way down except for energy at the moment.

Once commodities crash then energy will follow and the Middle East will be in trouble.

Currently any oil price can be justified - we know it's a classic market of virtually infinite demand and finite supply - but there are still an awful lot of very big speculators in there.

I suppose gold is always good... but for what?

Banks will face runs and governments may rescue a few and the smaller ones will be gobbled up, not because they aren't doing things better than the big banks but because they don't have the depositors and the ties with government.

Sound gloomy?  The advice I have is from someone who has been right about every glitch since 1986.

What can be done to stop it? Print money? Can one country ie. the US prevent it, or is it too late for them. I know Europe would like to rise to the fore but what do they have - high energy, resource and labour costs?

Of course the fundamentals are all still there. What has changed? Is it a manifestation of the battle between the haves and have nots?

Will global warming, high food prices and catastophic weather events also play a part?

Any ideas on how to prevent a disaster, or do you disagree?

 

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Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 18 March, 2008, 18:06Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

<Banks will face runs and governments may rescue a few and the smaller ones will be gobbled up, not because they aren't doing things better than the big banks but because they don't have the depositors and the ties with government>

unfotunately its the larger / more aggressive ones where the problem lies and these are the ones that should go, its the smaller intitution  who may ultimately be gobbled up - once the big boys decide they need to get back to grass roots banking, as an ex barclays guy - maybe martin taylor was about right all those years ago..

 

 I for one see there could be good opportunities to come out of this in retail banking market, different business models, savvy and focused business's that are much more risk averse - we used to call them mutuals..... but they went out of fashion in the mid 90's...