Friday, July 31, 2009

Hamster on a Wheel

I wish I could post more than I do, but it's next to impossible lately. The company that I work for part time has engulfed me and I find that I am often up at sunrise, and working til sunset and beyond.

I was hired as a consultant and general Jack-of-All-Trades for this business, but it may have been too late. The business was already floundering and it may be that nothing can bring it back. I am too busy putting out fires to help push us ahead. I'm exerting energy but getting nowhere.

All this, and that company may still go under. This economy is destroying so many of us, and the businesses we work for and there is no end in sight. Frankly, I think things will get worse and (unlike government predictions) they may never get better. We may be seeing an entire restructuring of the way that we live.

How's that for your Happy Friday post?


Angela said...

Although I do not know what the future holds, I do not think it is quite as bleak as what you see. I think you are in one of the hardest hit areas which may make you a little more negative.

SC is a very poor state, the immediate area I work and live in has not seen the economic impact that a lot of places have. Our housing market has remained pretty steady and although I do hear of some job losses its not a ton and our newspaper hardly ever mentions it. When they send out their tales of woe, it is generally about non-profits being hit hard.

In terms of the new company you work for, you said yourself it has not been managed well, poorly managed business tend to fail regardless of the economy. My parents have owned their own business for their entire adult lives, that business is still going strong and thus far they have not had to do any layoffs.

So what I am really saying, stop being so darn negative! :-)

Saur♥Kraut said...

Angela, ;o) I only report what I see. If it were happier news, I would happily report it. But with strangers coming up to us in stores and restaurants, handing out cards and begging for work... Well, I know it's not just my company. I know that people and businesses are scrambling after every dime right now.

As you say, my area's harder hit. But I do believe it's going to worsen everywhere - not improve.

The Lazy Iguana said...

It would not be the first time the economy had to restructure.

This has been in the works for some time now. Trace it back to the 70s, when the political philosophy that all government oversight was bad, and only added to extra costs for business.

In the 80s, this theory was really put into place. Banks could not be let off the leash, but Savings and Loan institutions were. That worked out great! The SnLs collapsed, and there WAS a bailout to keep it from spilling over into the rest of the banking sector. The credit default swap was invented to unload toxic assets. And so on.

in the 90s, the trend continued. Regulatory stops were still under attack.

In 2000, the last of the major stops were already gone - but the administration started to cut the balls off the SEC. Banks could be investment firms. Investment firms could loan money. Investment firms and banks could own insurance companies. The SEC was not paying attention to bond ratings.

So now the stage is set for a very high risk investment to earn a AAA bond rating - making it look safe and golden.

And it all worked out great!

I do not think there will be a massive restructuring. All we need to do is go back to the early 80s and renew the policies that were around then. Maybe not all of them, but at least the important ones.

Will it "slow down" the economy as a lot of pundits on the right claim?

I say no - no it will not. "Slow down" is a relative term. Will it "slow down" the economy as compared to when EVERYTHING was in an artificial credit bubble? Probably. It would prevent the bubble - or at least make that bubble smaller. And when it popped it would not drag everything down with it.

Will it "slow down" things compared to current conditions? Hardly. It is hard to slow down something that is not really moving to begin with.

daveawayfromhome said...

I'm inclined to agree with you about the economy, Saur. The talking heads in the MSM, the Financial Sector and the government keep making happy sounds, but I think the mess is far from over. When you base an economy on spending money that people dont actually have, eventually that economy must come to a halt (unless everyone just agrees that the money doesnt matter - has that happened yet?) How exactly is the economy going to improve? Manufacturing? Our amazing scientific know-how?
Yesterday they were making happy sounds about the housing sector. Gee, sales are up a bit, with bargain prices and practically no-interest loans, what a surprise. The housing bubble, which started this mess, was made possible by a (artificially?) sustained period of superlow interest rates. Does anyone really think that if interest rates go up three or four points (and who really think we'll be able to keep rates so low forever?) that housing sales wont be affected? We'll be right back where we are now, except instead of not being able to get a loan, no one will be able to afford one.
And how about the spectre of a massive credit card default storm that looms on the horizon? How many people out there are facing a loss of income, and a nearly 30% interest rate on on a few thousand dollars of unsecured purchases that they can no longer afford to pay for?
Multiply a few thousand dollars debt by a few million people out of work. Then ask how many more people, seeing the bailout and subsequent bonuses of the banking industry, are just going to say "screw it" next time a credit card bill that they've been struggling to pay comes in the mail. That'll all add up, and cycle around again.
And how are we going to get out of all this? Build more Starbucks?

exMI said...

"I am often up at sunrise, and working til sunset and beyond."

Either you ro they misunderstand the phrase "part-time"

Bryan said...

You're right, Saur. It's not going to get better but only worse. The truth is the truth. But is has more to do with how our whole monetary system and fiat currency are set up. Throughout history all fiat currencies have always had a 100% failure rate. Ours is next.