Good news - global recession is coming.
Trip Start Oct 08, 2007
110Trip End Dec 16, 2008
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I have not read news in a major way ever since I handed my analyst's resignation right before the crisis started. I also admit to have largely ignored headlines that sounded as if out of financial horror movie, that were popping on my screen while I was traveling through Uruguay and Brazil this past month. Up until last week that is. I've been mostly glued to my laptop for the past 4 days, trying to catch up on 14 months of reading. The last thing I told my boss in London, right before I left for Tibet, was that my best-case scenario is that the credit crisis hits a bottom by the time I'm done traveling, and the house prices drop, so I can finally buy a house. OMG! Once again - careful what you wish for
I would have though that watching my last savings, the one I was supposed to use to buy a house, melt before my eyes with a lightening speed would've been the worst thing I can imagine. Not quite actually. A different much more horrifying picture emerged before my eyes in Asia. The iconic image of Asian streets filled with bicycles have been replaced by a sprawling hell of scooters with increasing percentage of cars. I think the day traffic in Asia starts to resemble traffic in LA would be many days too late to save the world from ecological disaster. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to pick on Asians - they have just as much right to dream of better life and brighter future as any person in the so called developed world. The problem is, you see, that the world can not sustain "developed world" level of consumption on a world wide level. If they say the world is at a tipping point now, imagine what additional 2 billion cars would do to it.
Oh, but it is not just cars, it is everything - the food we eat (meet eaters polute more), the cloths (fashoinistas polute more), the electronics and home appliances - everything. So as the world is getting richer, it wants to consume more, and as it wants to consume more, it produces more, and as it produces more, it uses resources and pollutes more
Once, when I was very little, my mom told me a story about her grandmother's chicken. The whole family went to pick up grandma from her country home and take her to town for a week
I wonder if it was indeed the chicken brain in fault, or just nature taking its course - if there is food, you eat. If there is too much food, you eat until you burst, or become obese. I doubt the chickens knew what was awaiting them if they kept eating, but I think we do - it's all over the news all the time - we are polluting in horrible proportions, and that is slowly but surely destroying the world. And while the simple solution to the problem will be if we all collectively started to consume less, none of us would
The markets have made a strong recovery today, and may as well continue to climb tomorrow, but in my humbled opinion, the world this week is a very different world from the world a week ago. If you are poorer today than you were yesterday, you don't go out and spend more. Collectively, we are about, well, about several trillion poorer, depends on what time in the day you asked me. Even if you are just as rich today as you were a week ago, but you know how quickly that might change, you still don't spend more than yesterday, unless you are brainless, reckless idiot, which I believe people are not, especially when it comes down to their own money. And just for a good measure, on the foothill of this financial rollercoaster comes the most important sales period in the year - Christmas, also well known as bonus time or a layoff time, depending on the point of the cycle
Separately, and completely unrelated to market fluctuations, here is what happened in the past month in my world:
1. my laptop crashed (no worries, had it backed up, so nothing was lost but some quality lap-top time)
2. I crossed Uruguay south to North in 4 days. Uruguay is a small country of 3 million people which struck me with it's obvious love for matte and the drop dead gorgeous male population
3. I spent couple of weeks in South of Brazil with Lu and Lari, mostly drinking caipirinias on the beach and waiting for the clouds to clear and the sun to come out. The sun did come out eventually. About 15 minutes before I had to leave for the buss station. Hence, no bikini pictures from Brazil. Sorry.
4. I made a detour to Iguaçu Falls, which is a sight spectacular and overwhelming beyond words. I think the best description came in the form of excited exclamation I overhead upon arriving at the view point, quote: "Hooolyyyy shit!". Pictures to come.
5. I've re-covered my laptop, logged on to the internet, and discovered that the world is about to collapse. Then it collapsed. And then recovered, sort of.
6. In the past week I've been conducting an indebt research into Bs As's bars and restaurants with Omri. Global credit crisis does not seem to affect them - they are New York quality at Argentinean prices. Perfect example of how - Omri and I concluded - restaurants in New York will be a year from now, in the midst of the recession.
The revelation of the month is that I really actually like finance
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Hugs & Kisses, Vik