Sunday 28 December 2008

Signs and portents

I've heard people say that there is an old Chinese curse "May you live in interesting times". Well that certainly describes the end of 2008 and now 2009.

It started with what was described as the credit crunch. This came about from the slow realisation that house prices can't keep rising perpetually and that lending money to bad risks could lead to some losses.

What is happening now is far greater than that. I've wondered for sometime what would happen to a Western society where much of our identity is coupled to our job (see the title of this blog), but in business we're constantly striving for efficiency and fewer people. I've also wondered how it is that the few in the West still (apparently) had much of the worlds wealth when much of the production and skilled work was making it's way to India and China. I've wondered how it's possible for many of the highstreet chains to continue their old business model when so much business was going to online stores, in particular ones like that take advantage of certain tax rules. Further, we've all been waiting for the house price crash.

So now we're seeing a great financial quake and it's hard to see now where this will all end. High street institutions are already falling. Mass redundancies loom and for those with jobs pay cuts are almost inevitable. The houses we own are coming down in price to something more affordable/reasonable/scary. The US Dollar and Pound are falling. Countries around the world are taking short term and necessary steps to protect their interests.

So now the west borrows money from previously poverty stricken countries to continue our way of life - but for how long? What does it mean for England? How will the world look in a few years from now?

Related to this previous post.

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