Stazjia’s Commentary

US Financial Crisis

Posted on: September 26, 2008

Like many Europeans, I couldn’t believe that Americans could re-elect George Bush at the last election. Apparently, some Americans couldn’t believe it either as I had apologies emailed to me by friends in the US, assuring me that they hadn’t voted for him.

Generally, who a nations elects as its leader is strictly its own business and nationals of other countries have no right to interfere or criticize. In the case of the USA, it’s different because it is our business too. It’s said here that “If America sneezes, the whole world catches a cold” so we do worry about the leaders of that country. Right now, it looks as if the US has done more than sneezed and the rest of us could go down with pneumonia.

To continue the analogy, it seems like nobody is confident of the best drug for the condition. Will billions of dollars of taxpayers money really cure the problem? According to commentators, it seems that it will cost every taxpayer in the USA more than $2000. Fine for those people who have been getting big fat bonuses from the financial markets, lending money and related activities, not so good for those who can’t afford health care or medical insurance. Pretty bad for those who are just making ends meet with difficulty.

The fact that there doesn’t seem to be concrete plans in place for what is going to be done with these billions of dollars is worrying. Are we supposed to believe that people who could make such a mess of things know how to fix them? I don’t think so. Even John McCain said: “When we’re talking about a trillion dollars of taxpayer money, ‘trust me’ just isn’t good enough.”

The consequences in Western Europe and other industrialized countries could be catastrophic for their economies. Bad as this will be, what will happen to those desperately poor regions of the world? Will their people be left to fend for themselves, dying from hunger, HIV/AIDS, drought, bad water, floods and violence?

Right now it seems we are ‘living in interesting times’ as the Chinese curse is supposed to say. Let’s hope they get boring very quickly.

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