Posts Tagged ‘global economy’
Over the past twelve months, we’ve watched the world fall apart and our money bleed into the ground. From the tent cities of Sacramento to the skeletal unfinished skyline of Kiev, Boston.com has collected together a series of photos that depict the whole sorry shitstorm:
The Germans may have precisely no sense of humour and spend all day loafing about in lederhosen* but they’re nothing if not precise in their reporting of the global economic crisis. Witness, for example, one national newspaper’s acute summation of the troubles:
It translates loosely into English as The global bank system staggers although it seems much more meaningful in its native tongue.
* rampant stereotyping ahoy, captain
Who would you rather sleep with? The head of Goerge Clooney on the body of Johnny Vegas? Or the head of Johnny Vegas on the body of George Clooney?
No? Alright, here’s another: would you rather work a four day week for the foreseeable future, or have your boss make you redundant so you can find a full-time job? It’s a scenario you might want to consider, as shorter working weeks could become a trend in 2009.
Business Week has highlighted several US companies that have reduced the hours of their workforce during the current economic gloom. Why not just put staff out of their misery and let them go? Because the companies don’t want to lose skilled staff that’ll be difficult to replace should the economy bounce back sooner than expected; sacking people integral to manufacturing and production would hinder a company’s ability to respond to an unexpected uplift in business.
That’s not the only reason, however, according to Business Week:
In Atlanta, Mayor Shirley Franklin is cutting the hours and pay of 4,600 employees by 10% because the city is facing a $50 million budget shortfall. Franklin says that if she were to lay off more workers instead of slashing hours, “you’d have to eliminate major functions of the government. It’s not just jobs we’ve saved, it’s services.”
A four day week may seem like cause for a booze-fuelled house party until you realise you can’t afford the booze anymore. Or the house. With unemployment expected to rise sharply in 2009, would you be willing to accept a shorter working week that may cripple you financially, or would you quit the job altogether to find full time work?
So the sky is falling in. Your house is worth as much as a plate of sandwiches. Iceland is about to implode under the weight of sobbing. Wall Street are dealing with the suicidal demise of the global economy by throwing parties. It’s the end of the world, I tells ya. Whatever gods you consider holy, start making your case now.
Not everyone is getting a rum deal though, because the financial chaos means business is up for those in the business of financial chaos. That’s a palindrome, that.
The US Federal Trade Commission has issued a warning saying organised gangs involved in phishing and online scams are using the current crisis to attack personal bank accounts. The statement reads:
Online scammers are taking advantage of tough economic times. While e-mails phishing for sensitive data are nothing new, scammers are taking advantage of upheavals in the financial marketplace to confuse consumers into parting with valuable personal information.
The Federal Trade Commission urges caution regarding e-mails that look as if they come from a financial institution that recently acquired a consumer’s bank, savings and loan, or mortgage. In fact, these messages may be from “phishers” looking to use personal information – account numbers, passwords, Social Security numbers – to run up bills or commit other crimes in a consumer’s name.
Not that it matters. A loaf of bread will shortly cost more than a bar of Nazi gold. Even those rolling naked in money will begin eating one another.
Photo by Jean-François Chénier on Flickr. Some rights reserved.