Thursday, 15 November 2007

the economic outlook

I really do feel in my bones that a crunch is coming; the subprime domino effect, the oil price riding at record highs and the housing market starting to crumple. Morgan Stanley say there's a 40% chance of a recession.

It could be fantastic news for sales of more modest economical cars, reining in on flying and inessential luxuries, home energy efficiency, local swapping and sharing schemes and anything which basically saves you lots of money while also saving the planet. Less good news for corporate sustainability commitments, high employment, more 'luxury' green categories ie premium priced eg organic, fairtrade.

Last time something like this happened (the dotcom crash) I had a really nice year, did an MSc, got to know our new baby, but it was a flipping disaster from the point of view of persuading corporates to invest in sustainability themed documentaries and content which is what I was trying to do workwise at the time with a partner from broadcasting.

Anyway life will go on, it might on balance do us quite a bit of good to have a bit of a consumerist purge.

I wonder what it might be called? The carbon crisis. The last days of the splurge? Answers on a postcard/comment :J


Phil said...

The Great Correction has a nice ring to it. More than a recession, an almighty slap on the wrists and a return to more sensible behaviour.

Andrew Smart said...

I've heard it called The Long Emergency. I think that is probably a fair description as I think it might be a downturn we may not recover from. That sounds depressing but I actually think will bring a lot of positive change. (and a bit of hardship but let's not dwell on that)

JD said...

I guess we need to agree on the nature of the current ( breaking) bubble. I see 2 here, housing and carbon/environment.
" mortgage correction"?

John Grant said...

Wall St to Great Wall?

I'm thinking about how the collapse of western economies at some point, not necessarily now by the way this is all speculation, could pass world leadership to China (just as the collapse of CCCP economies in late 80s led to the fall of the berlin wall/end of cold war)

Long Emergency is beautifully evocative
(the 60 year panic...)

I know what you mean JD but from a macroeconomic pov isnt it too big to be isolated, thats the worry now anyway

I'm probably being panicked by media and rumour

I like the argument that calm is the best response to global media/government scaring us witless

Charles Frith said...

I've been tipping this recently too. I'm working with ad folk who have never gone through a recession. Gulp.

Personally I can't wait for it and the 200 dollar a barrel high. I'm going to celebrate in Beijing ;)

John Grant said...

observer had a piece today about whether we should start to 'panic', economy wise. I'm feeling fairly chilled about the whole thing (either way) so havent got round to reading it yet, but when the writing on the wall is in the sunday papers... :J

imsmall said...


I want to either die or else to not live in this way--
´Tis not that I am technophobic, but: hear what I say.
This virtual reality is overly removed
From anything of value even though life is improved
In this or that particular: the overall effect
While I but slog vermicular, tranquility is wrecked.

It seems that every moment is allotted to some other
Task far removed from anything resembling my druther:
There´s all the working, to commute, because alas I got
Hooked into transportation as but makes the earth grow hot,
Then all the trivial tasks that endlessly I must perform
To try remaining stationary while the world turns warm.

There is so much of beauty in and on our Mother Earth,
But of earth´s natural treasures we must soon admit a dearth,
Because it seems that plastics and correlatives to oil
(The need for transportation as increases need for toil)
Are gradually crowding out the things from which we garner joy,
All natural diversity crimped by man-made alloy.

Necessity requires that we learn not so to consume--
As trivial pastimes implicate us in communal doom:
Far better to do nothing and subsist upon the basest
Necessity: we race so much we wind up being racist,
Wound-up within our minds like tightly-coiled a ticking clock,
But overwound a spring is sprung and we fall in the dock.

It´s plastic and it´s chemicals and it´s signals in the airways
In oversaturation as we navigate the fairways,
As competition makes men hassle twenty-four and seven
So that a woman may suggest a little bit of heaven:
But even the attainment of one´s first and last desire
Does little to alleviate by tamping down the fire.

Rather the problems but increase in variegated format,
A man begins to feel the world may use him for a doormat,
As made no shortage of demands upon his time and wallet
But as one so off-balance he cannot conceive to stall it,
And while we stumble to a destiny that´s out of kilter
The brain is overwhelmed in need of isolation´s filter.

Instead it´s everybody has their iPod playing tunes,
Or trying fancy dinners and then eating macaroons--
There is no yucking up communal music playing spoons
Or being spurred creative, but receptive like buffoons
We have shit shoveled back at us and all of our consumption
Costs so much that the spirit is about to lose its gumption.

I´d rather live, thou knowest, Lord,
But not like this, so deadly bored,
And jaded by the servitude
Incessand as does joy preclude.

John Grant said...

it's really good to see poetry in place of commentary, thx to I.M.Small