Just like a scene in one of those Sci-Fi flicks...
by bobswern, Mon Dec 01, 2008 at 12:46:56 AM EST
More than ever, with each passing day of late, as I read more and more about the ongoing and imminent devastation of our national and global economies, I'm getting the sense of watching one of those formulaic, sci-fi disaster flicks where a handful of scientists and some people in the White House are the only ones aware of some impending catastrophe that's going to change just about everything in our lives as we now know it.
At this point, as far as the national and global economies are concerned, I would have to concur that the writing is, indeed, on the wall, and things are quickly spiralling out of control on a worldwide basis, economically. It's a catastrophe that very rapidly lies not too far ahead of us, too. We really are "Facing a Greater Depression." And, as even President-elect Obama now openly discusses it, things are going to get much worse before they get better.
A few of you may remember my blogging signature from the dozens of diaries I've written about our national economy over the past year. But, today, with President-elect Obama announcing his appointments for the various diplomatic and national security posts in his cabinet, I just wanted to touch upon the--possibly far more severe consequences for this country--writing that's on the wall on an international scale, and how this is going to affect all of us at here at home.
Things are bad--and getting worse--all over. When people everywhere don't have enough to eat and they cannot maintain a dry roof over their heads, instability ensues.
Today's ominous global economic headlines underscore these realities, both now, and in terms of what they foretell for the coming months and years ahead for President Obama and his foreign policy and national security teams--the folks to whom we're being introduced later this morning.
Turning our focus to an international view as far as the global economy's concerned, things are bad and rapidly deteriorating from there. We are--quite frankly--talking about world economic instability, potentially at a level unlike anything this country's (and the world's) ever witnessed before.
Stating the obvious, with global economic instability comes inherent global political instability, and the doo-doo economics of eight years of BushCo laissez faire mismanagement morph into something far more troubling than just a debate about the survival of the U.S. auto industry.
When tens of million of people are out of work in China and Russia (and Pakistan and India, for that matter), whether we like it (or care about discussing it in political arenas such as this) or not, it becomes our problem, too.
Nowhere is this more self-evident on the day when President-elect announces his latest cabinet appointments than in this story running near the top of Bloomberg Media right now:"America Exports Unemployment As Slump Shrinks Consumer Demand, Investment."
Eventually, all of the totally legitimate concerns about things such as nuclear terrorism and massive political upheaval around the globe take on a much more urgent ring.
So, I ask all of us to look beyond the Obama administration-in-waiting's press announcements today to the other headlines in the national and world press, such as this: "Russia Manufacturing PMI Drops to Lowest on Record."
By Alex Nicholson
Dec. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Russian manufacturing shrank more in November than during the 1998 financial collapse as the global economic crisis drove output and new orders to record lows and companies cut jobs, VTB Bank Europe said.
"The sense of doom and gloom was only deepening," in November, Tatiana Orlova an economist in Moscow at ING Group NV said by telephone. "The mood isn't getting any better."
Industrial production has slumped and unemployment is rising as declining commodities prices and the seizure of credit markets prompt an outflow of capital. Investors withdrew $190 billion from the country since August, BNP Paribas SA estimates, as oil fell below the $70-a-barrel average needed to balance the 2009 budget.
"Driving the rapid contraction of the manufacturing sector in November was a record fall in incoming new work," the bank said in the statement. New export contracts tumbled because of "fallout from the global financial crisis."
By Nipa Piboontanasawat
Dec. 1 (Bloomberg) -- China's manufacturing shrank by the most on record and export orders plunged, adding to evidence that recessions in the U.S., Europe and Japan are dragging down the world's fastest-growing major economy.
The Purchasing Managers' Index fell to a seasonally adjusted 38.8 in November from 44.6 in October...PMI, released by CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, also showed a record contraction.
Export orders, output and new orders all shrank by the most since the surveys began as the global financial crisis sapped demand for the nation's toys, textiles and computers. The CSI 300 Index of stocks has fallen 69 percent from a record in October last year and President Hu Jintao describes the economic situation as a test of the Communist Party's ability to govern.
"Another grim month for China manufacturing," said Eric Fishwick, head of economic research at CLSA in Singapore. "Export orders will weaken further and we expect further cuts in production and employment."
China is very exposed to the global crisis, President Hu said Nov. 29.
The government last month announced a $586 billion stimulus package and the biggest interest-rate cut in 11 years to revive the economy and counter the risk of spiraling unemployment and social unrest.
Toy Company Riot
Fired workers seeking more compensation from a toy factory in Guangdong province clashed violently with police on Nov. 25.
(Bold emphasis is diarist's.)
As Stoneleigh and the folks at The Automatic Earth said it so well in the very first paragraph of Stoneleigh's brilliant diary posted on DKos, yesterday, "Facing a Greater Depression":
We are facing the most serious financial crisis since the 1930s. Once again we are facing a deflation that will take most of the population by surprise and will have deep repercussions on the international stage.
At any given moment in the months ahead, it's the work that these folks (the dream team being introduced to us now that's about to go to work for us in the Defense, State, Judiciary and Homeland Security Departments in roughly 50 days),"Obama Turns To Friends And Foes For Top Posts," will do, under the guidance of President Obama, that might very well determine the difference between success and failure for many generations of Americans--and citizens of all nations--to come.
Yes, in my make-believe catastrophe flick--the one I reference at the beginning of this diary--folks like President-elect Obama, Gates, Clinton, Holder, Rice, et al, really are aware of the horror show that awaits them...while the rest of the population just sits around in a fog of mainstream media that barely addresses these realities for us now.
But, just like in those stereotypical movie scripts, the folks our President-elect is announcing tomorrow know--or by now have a pretty good idea of--what lies ahead.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of paid government planners, analysts and consultants have already supplied them with more material about these nightmares (that I barely touch upon in my diary) than they could probably read, even if they did nothing else but read for the entire four year's of the President-elect's first term.
These people marching in front of us on Monday's newscasts have an incredibly difficult--if not impossible--job in front of them. And, just like those folks in those SciFi catastrophe flicks, they know it, too.
Tags: Attorney General nominee Eric Holder, global economy, President-elect Barack Obama, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Secretary of State nominee Hillary Clinton, the Economy, UN Ambassador nominee Susan Rice (all tags)