Thursday, 31 January 2008

Americans continue to spend beyond their means

Kindergarten economics: when a person makes $ 1,000 per month and spends $ 1,200, after a while he will have problems. At first, he may find a bank that is willing to lend him the $ 200, but banks are not (totally) crazy so at one point the individual will have to cut his spending and live with the money he actually makes. The US of A as a whole has been living like the person in this example for at least a decade, continuously spending more than it is making. With the recent sub-prime crisis, this period seemed to have come to an end which is good. Americans need to spend less, save more and go back to a standard of living they can actually afford. But the Bush government and the Fed are now doing their best to prolong the good times by giving away tax checks and dramatically lowering interest rates. Which only means that the recession that will follow will be deeper, when it comes. All Bush and the Fed are doing is delaying the process of adjustment. This would have been a good time to force an adjustment: the rest of the world is doing very well and we don't need the Americans for our economies. Asia is growing 10% a year, South America has a boom time, Europe is moving forward nicely and even Africa is making a lot of progress. Soon, the bankers of this world in Asia and the Middle East will no longer want to finance America's overspending, and a reality check will be passed to the American people. In the mean time, the value of the dollar is approaching another all-time low , and as long as some Asian countries currencies continue to be linked to the US$ (not for much longer, I expect), my holiday in Asia will be even cheaper! Thanks Mr. Bush, thanks Fed!

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