US: Too many properties built for too few buyers + a country addicted to ‘buy now, pay later’ and equity release + high fuel prices + ongoing small wars + sub-prime mortgage fallout = Recession/Depression.
UK: Too few properties for too many buyers + a country addicted to ‘buy now, pay later’ and equity release + high taxation + low exports + more red tape strangling the City of London + crypto-Socialist Gordon Brown as P.M. + high fuel prices = Low growth, recession, long term decline.
Rep. Of Ireland: Too many properties built for too few buyers + low corporation tax + end of 10 year tax concession period for some foreign companies(?) resulting in their flight abroad + national wage agreement(?) + high fuel prices + high personal taxation = Recession.
Old-style social democratic countries are in for a series of shocks, as previously-poor countries start buying up their remaining assets, their tax income declines, and their remaining industries relocate to cheaper, less regulated, more industrious nations.
Long-term, the deceitful cartel that is the EU will suffer the withdrawal of one or more states, as membership becomes more trouble than it’s worth, and some bright spark realises that a first-world, non-aligned country with low income tax could become a valuable haven for foreign capital.
The only remaining X factor is who is holding worthless paper, in the form of CDOs and other junk. We’ll know more as and when defaults reach a plateau. Also of interest is what foreign powers will do with their (still) massive US paper reserves. If they start selling, it could start a stampede, rendering it worthless overnight. Therefore, they are holding onto the bulk of it. Might be a smart move to slooowwwwly let it go, when nobody’s looking, and diversify.