We are mostly faced with conflicting reactions from those who matter about our economic realities. The recovery is made out as tepid mostly, with flashes of hope that are soon brought down to earth! There is a general helplessness as we find ourselves in deeper hole, but are we not digging still? The general view seems to be that only so much anyone can do, the rest is beyond us! Further sacrifice is too much to contemplate! Also, hoping for some miracle cure soon!
The real issue is clearly how to stop the rot and who will foot the bill to repair the chaos that we find ourselves in? If we spend more than we earn, someone is extending the credit and we are living on borrowed time! The debts are spiraling out of control with none to bell the cat! At the end of the day, there can be a gradual meltdown impoverishing even those at the bottom of the pile, but also be a violent shock that can shake the very foundations of the capitalist financial system.
Free trade is supposed to be a panacea to get the cheapest goods to reach the far corners of the world & the most efficient way to utilize the resources. But that also gets diluted even, when countries that were touting the benefits get the short end of the bargain sometimes. The energy has been unleashed for the capitalist bandwagon even in supposed communist countries including China, Russia, and Vietnam etc. When even luxury goods are finding their way into poorer countries, the richer countries cannot call a different tune when it hurts them in traditional manufacturing!
The biggest culprit that can bring the house down should be unbridled speculative activities with fat bonuses for those who peddle them. The best brains are attracted to these activities at the cost of Pure Science, Research & Development that can make sea-changes to better the lives of the common man everywhere. Also, the moral corruption involved; why go for science when money is made by marketing whiz-kids who push products that benefit them & the financial institutions. Also, the latter are more into activities that do not benefit the masses like financing manufacturing & encouraging innovation. Whatever needs to be done is agreed upon, but soon whittled down due to lack of political will to carry them out.
The final fall-out of no-holds-barred speculative activities will be like the volcanic ash that does not spare anyone after a massive eruption and even blocking-out the sun for months! If the government has to bail-out those too big to fail like in the last catastrophe, they also have to weed out those who go overboard before things really go overboard! The stock markets are still a shock market for the common man who will again be the last to get in & get stuck in the bargain! Stop losses etc cannot benefit those who really believe in blue-chip companies as safe bets & even pension funds are hit.
Those who are tasked with regulatory enforcements have to bell the cat. For that we have to know exactly where we stand & how to protect the terrain from further assaults. Economic doomsday scenarios & resultant fall-outs should not wipe out the hard-earned savings of the man in the street that plays by the rules & expect others to be responsible for their actions. When the latter are rewarded when the going is good, why should the poor bail-out the rich through government bail-outs, when things turn nasty? Also, the wider fall-outs on the poorer countries, who were goaded into joining the world financial & trade systems & walked-in with eyes wide open, believing in the developed countries, should be seen in proper light. Once bitten twice shy, will make them baulk after another wilder storm brought about by lack of oversight, going overboard, chasing wild dreams not based on harsh realities that real progress is made step-by step, backed by hard work. We should not allow business as usual, when we know things are not going right!