I am really envious of the folks down south.
Singapore would be unveiling her 2009 budget today (Jan 22) with Bloomberg hinting of the government “announc(ing) record spending in its budget today to help companies hurt by the global slowdown and preserve jobs” .
It seems that things can really move at lightning, quick speed in the Republic.
Over at The Edge, I came across this news:
"Singapore, facing its worst economic slump in four decades, changed its law to help people avoid bankruptcy as job losses and loan defaults rise."
In a word: Wow.
The closest WE are getting over here is Bank Negara’s benchmark interest rate cut , something which – going from reports on similar moves over in the US and the UK – doesn’t really work to prop up the economy where it matters: Confidence.
At least we are getting some fair measure of “truth” here:
“The sharper deterioration of the global economy is expected to have a greater impact on the Malaysian economy. The large decline in external demand has already led to a contraction in exports and a moderation in the pace of private investment activity.”
BNM speaks of “urgent implementation of policy measures”.
Hasn’t the global slowdown been with us for the last half year or so, if not more?
Meanwhile, our lame duck government is “gathering views, looking into things, waiting for the right time and believes that RM7 billion will spur a 1% growth” even as exports figure diminishes, factories go on long holidays and projects get cancelled.
For God’s sakes, what exactly are we waiting for?
Speak to any economist and they would tell you that it’s this first quarter of the year that delivers all the BAD news in statistics of whatever drops, losses and what not, incurred last year.
This period would be the one where we hoped our projections were wrong, but nevertheless ready for the worse case scenario.
We might not want to talk ourselves into a recession , but surely some urgency when it looms clear wouldn’t hurt one bit.
Truly, we are in need of someone with balls of steel.