1. IMF called in, Ireland?
– On dole: 380,000;
– In public service: 369,000;
– Total population: 4,000,000;
– Public debt: High;
– Banks: Insolvent without more public cash injected = more debt;
– Social partnership ended;
– Truculent public sector demanding retention of benefits;
– Quangos laden with political place-men left untouched.
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– Some cuts in public outgoings: jobs, wages, dole;
– One of the three banks (Bank of Ireland) showing some vitality;
– Corporation tax still low;
– EU unlikely to allow member state to fail.
Current quasi-stability in Western economies could be the ‘last hurrah’ created by governments propping-up of banks.
2. Climate Change Recedes As An Issue.
With the collapse of Communism and Socialism as ideologies, ecology and political correctness seem to have become a focus for social discontent. With recession now threatening people’s livelihoods, climate change is likely to become less important as an issue. Inertia and vested interests are a factor also; China, US and the Third World won’t go for restrictions on industry. It’d be more useful to focus on the overall issue of pollution and environmental degradation; we need clean drinking water, food and air and the widest variety of species.
3. Public Morals Reach Nadir.
Christianity seems to relentlessly bashed in recent years. In my opinion, neo-paganism-cum-modernism-cum-narcissism is a poor substitute. Infanticide and euthanasia to become legal within seven years. Acts and ideas our forefathers would have thought obscene are now commonplace in popular culture. I think eventually the correlation between this ‘New Morality’ and crime will become widely realised.
Societies tend to decay from within and then are attacked from outside. When leaders no longer obey the moral code and the law, why should the masses do so? Result: disorder.
4. Ongoing Recession.
Governments have bailed out dud businesses (banks). They have shifted the axe from bankers necks to nations. Financiers continue to play tricks (short selling). Vulnerable countries like Greece and Ireland in trouble due to sovereign debt = bad credit rating = public borrowing on harsher terms.
The hope is that that governments have staved off national bankruptcy by borrowing from the future. Can sovereign wealth funds (countries) go bust? Answer: Yes. They can be forced to borrow at higher and higher rates and eventually their paper is no good any more.
It’s a gamble with time; keep the show on the road until the upturn.
There’s a seven year cycle in boom-and-bust capitalism. The bust started August 2007 with the U.S. sub-prime mortgage collapse and took about a year to ripple out worldwide. So the next boom is due about 2012.
The big fly in the ointment is the severe and unusual nature of the current recession; this time, it’s the banks going bust. Banks are the conduits of credit, not merely businessess dependent upon it. I wouldn’t splurge out on that foreign holiday just yet.