Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The U.S. financial crisis

Call me a naysayer but I don't see anything great happening with our country anytime soon. First we have the subprime mortgage situation. That is still working its way through the system. This has directly affected the construction industry. There are some pockets of bright spots but on the whole home building is in the pits. There has been a great push for commercial building but even those plans have been downsized or delayed.
Second we now have a credit crisis as banks wanting to cover their rears from the defaults of the subprimes are forced to tighten their lending. Adding the speculators who have pushed oil to the stratesphere the effect is a perfect storm for economic disaster. In order to try and stave off an economic downturn they lowered rates but in doing so they gave the starting gun shot for other countries to pull money out of our country and invest in more profitable ventures overseas. The intent by lowering prime rates was to get banks to start lending again. The banks however are still trying to recover and are looking to present their shareholders with a positive profit so they have tightened their lending. And as more companies belt tighten by laying off workers the economy sprirals downward even more. I saw this in the 1980's and it is happening again. But this time the safety nets are gone and the rules were changed to benefit the credit card companies. This is the main reason people are walking away from their homes but still paying their credit cards.
Then there's the airlines. With fuel prices cutting into thin profit margins and the airlines planning to cut trips and aircraft, I see no reason for the airlines to want to purchase new planes in the upcomming years. Boeing is said to have a large backlog of aircraft to build and they are actually hiring to try and meet the demand but with the situation as it is I can only see the cancellations of aircraft orders comming in the next year or two.
Then there's the auto industry. Back in the 80's when we had the opportunity to change the way we drive and the whole structure of transportation, the auto industries lulled us into that false sense of security of endless oil supplies and ever larger cars. Humvees, Suvs, pick up trucks and mini vans became the must haves of suburbia. The one or two concept cars like the EV1 that had great potential were killed at the expense of higher profits by the oil and car cos. So now the car companies are forced to rething and retool consumer needs. Problem is they are now years behind companies in Europe, China, and India who will get an easy foothold here in the U.S. and dominate our market. Luckily we have a few innovators here in this country who will be comming out with some good ideas very soon. The "big three" automakers are likely to go the way of TWA and Pan Am as they refuse to adapt in a timely manner.
So maybe as Barak Obama takes the office next year he can come up with a type of new deal to try and save this country from the mess we are now in. Don't expect miracles though it took 8 years to totally mess up our country and it may take 10 years or more to straighten things out.


Mike said...

It does seem like we are going from one crisis to another.

Demeur said...

Have you looked at the charts for the Alter A's and the adjustibles for the next two years? If that doesn't scare you I don't know what will. Then there's the defaults on the government bonds headed our way. It doesn't take a wizard to figure out what will happen.
Sub primes = less property taxes = defaulted bonds
Heck my property taxes went up about 20% this year so they can soften the blow.

MRMacrum said...

I am a small retailer in a small Maine town who relies on descretionary dollars to make my living. Those discretionary dollars are drying up as people are now putting them into their 4 wheel drive pick ups and SUVs.(Maine is chock full of pick-ups and SUVs)

But I actually don't mind so much. It is all part of the process. We need to make some adjustments and no time like the present.

I will say it does aggravate me when people come in expecting my prices to reflect a 1980 fantasy instead of a 2008 reality. Like somehow, bikes missed all the economic madness that has hit everything else that is manufactured.

GJG said...

The democrats should win the white house, things developeing as they are. THEY, once in, will expand the welfare state, tax the rich, tell the terrorist in Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan, that if they will promise to play nice, we will bring our troops home, (this will not reduce our taxes, as the liberals will just use those funds to expand the trough for the pigs sucking off the govermnment welfare.---the "me me" generation will love it.

Demeur said...

Any way to modify the bikes with small gas engines? I think you'd have a line around the block if you could do that. There's a waiting list out here for scooters and the prices are going up with the demand.
Gas is headed for $5 a gallon as we speak so I think pretty soon you'll see those SUVs as lawn ornaments.

Demeur said...


Excuse me but as I recall we had a balanced budget and a surplus before this Shrub took over. It was "pay as you go". Now we have corporate welfare and money being stolen by Haliburton, yes your tax dollars. The middle class is being systematically wiped out by the criminals in the white house. As anyone can tell you we need to revamp the energy situation, rebuild our infrastructure and make it so that health care is a right and not a previlage. If you call that "welfare" then maybe it's time for you to head for the rest home and let the adults take back the country.

Demeur said...

Oh, and one more thing. If you think corporations are being taxed unfairly consider that Warren Buffet one of the richest men in this country pays less in taxes than your handyman. I know I once owned a small company and I didn't pay one dime in federal taxes. That's how the system is set up.. unfairly.