Tuesday, 11 November 2008
Just how big a hole have the smart alecks of Wall Street dug for the world to refill?
Looking at the figures being asked as (ahem!) bailout from the US Treasury Department is really a surreal experience:
AIG: US$150 billion (supplementing an earlier USS$85 billion)
Nine US banks: US$125 billion
GM, Ford and Chrysler: US$50 billion (on top of US$25 billion earlier)
Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae: (not stated, but both are sitting on US$5.3 trillion worth of mortgage which probably had lost much of their value)
Had Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson (ahem) injected funds into investment bank Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch after they got into trouble, it would have been another US$395 billion and US$44 billion respectively.
Then there’s the so-called stimulus package that’s the highlight in this country and Japan and China at US$1.95 billion, US$51 billion and US$586 billion in recent times. The US stimulus bill is set at US$700 billion and some news analysts are saying that it won’t be enough .
Note: Ours was by far the cheapest stimulus package and whether or not that would help the country would be seen next year; the year EVERYONE is saying will be much worse than this year.
Exports are down, as the Americans and the Europeans are no longer buying items they do not really need that much.
A sure sign of how bad things are is that latte lovers are forgoing Starbuck’s for the cheaper brands, the French are having lunch at McDonald’s and Americans are throwing into the dustbin all offers for credit.
Just what is happening to the world's finance and how did we let it get THIS bad?
Back at home, though, everything seems handy dandy so much so that a 10 to 20 cents reduction at the Mamak restaurant makes front page !
Pop quiz (said in the deadpan manner ala Keanu Reeves): How many 20 cents coins do we need to fill the hole that seems to be sucking the world’s confidence in the economy?
Don’t bother answering, though.
If the bests minds in the world cannot fathom just how deep the shit we’re in, the rest of us might as well just sleep over it and carry on the best we can.
And, yeah, enjoy the 10 cents less for tomorrow’s roti canai and tea tarik, and 20 cents for Nasi Kandar.
Hopefully, the portion served’s still the same.
Just last night my wife and I shopped at Mydin and out flew RM360 from our wallet for groceries.
I did splurge a bit: bought smoked chicken breast slices when I really shouldn’t have, but, hey, what is life without all these little pleasures to make it more bearable.
Might as well become a hermit and go sit/chant/whatever in a cave somewhere.