Dec 10, 2008

Ec0-Nomics... imagine we have no money to protect our greatest investments

While I do not often talk "eco-nomics" the threat has become as much as a national health issue as cancer and as much of a environmental issue as global warming.
If you are concerned as much as I am about understanding our current economic problem then the site quoted below may be a good resource.
Without a nations "economic health" there is NO money for environmental, health or safety... to be more clear, all the the efforts you (EHS professionals) have worked on for decades to protect our nations resources will be for nothing. Imagine a nation where half our companies can no longer afford to protect workers, the public or their environment... it's easy if you try. 
The good news is that our environmental and energy solutions can also be our economic salvation IF done correctly... 
From:The Automatic Earth
...warning of millions of lay-offs to come in the US economy.  Still, looking around the financial world today I can't escape the feeling that it will all get much worse than even I thought, and that Europe can't escape a fate much worse than it thinks is in store.

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) issued a report on global lending and bond issuance that says both are down 70-80%, with bonds in Euros dropping 94%. This means companies can't borrow from banks, nor can they expect to raise capital in the bond markets. The result should be obvious: tons of companies, from small to large, will inevitably have to declare bankruptcy. This is true in the US, in Europe, in Japan, and the bankruptcy and job loss wave will spread from there to the rest of the planet, in a self-reinforcing manner, feeding off itself.

And I may be naive, but I would truly expect governments to prepare for this wave.
However, I see no such action anywhere. Which I think will have very dire consequences, with millions of people on both sides of the Atlantic, and in markets worldwide, with no chance of finding work, and no hope of receiving government -financial- support: there'll be too many of them. All this will put enormous pressure on individual countries and their political systems.

Moody’s predicts corporate -bond- defaults to rise almost 4-fold in the US, and 10-fold in European markets. These are companies that will have to lay off people simply because they have no way of paying for inventory. This starts to look like the 1930's, when the labor was there, and so were the resources, but the financial markets made it impossible for both to come together.

We should have taken care of basic human needs, by taking them out of profit markets. But we haven't, and so supermarket shelves will be as empty as electronics stores, though both serve entirely different needs and demands. Governments, meanwhile, use what money they can get to prop up an insolvent financial system, whereas their prime concern should be to feed and clothe their citizens, and make sure they have shelter and clean water.
If you know of a government that is looking at these issues today, I’d like to know about it.

There is a $40 plus trillion in notional payments vs. a recovery rate in single digits... , it's end of the line, no hyper-inflation, a giant default wave, more morose attempts to save banks that should have been thrown out the window years go, and no money to take care of the millions of desperate citizens roaming the streets.

Banking and investing as we've known it won't be back for at least decades. The upcoming round of bank failures, which will leave very few, if any, standing, cannot be prevented. A lot of the suffering among ordinary people can, if only through using the current bail-out funds to make sure every American and European can get at least their basic needs fulfilled . But no politician anywhere is even looking at this reality, and the citizenry has been kept in the dark. It makes the implosion of entire societies an easily predictable fact. 
If you can stomach it read full from The Automatic Earth
Bottom line we are Half way to the Great Depression in two months when it took the 30's two years..

The real* U.S. unemployment is 12.2%, up 1.1% since last month and 4.1% in the last 12 months, or a rise of 50% (!) with a million layoffs a month coming: guardian

*This, 12.2% is the “non-adjusted” number, is the actual unemployment rate as reported before the BLS (government )