Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Drop Heard 'Round the World

The US economy is now officially in recession. Barack Obama is at work on a New-New-Deal, which economists are already discussing even though the tenets have not been drafted.

But the impact will not be on Americans alone. In India, the Hindu reports that John McCain flew over and talked financial shop with Indian PM Manmohan Singh (no contest as to who's the better economist there) but that the Indian economy expects to see less capital inflow and a decline in Indian exports. Remember, however, that this is an economy that was previously predicted to grow at 10% a year.

In Japan, the Asahi Shimbun reports that Japanese companies expect the downturn to last at least until 2010. Also, several major Japanese insurance companies have taken a battering in the stock market of late.

According to the China Daily, a government think tank there has predicted the economy will continue to grow at 9.8% (this seems overly optimistic, unless "think tank"="PR factory" in China). They do admit to a slump in housing prices and a drop in the CPI, but they expect a rise in industrial output. (Either China's industrial sector is the bionic man of the global economy, or something is fishy...also, no mention of a drop in exports...)

Germany's finance minister feels Germany has done all it can to help with the EU bailout, according to Deutsche-Welle. To be fair to Germany, that seems to be true. Economics have long agreed that Germany's economy suffered the most as a result of accepting the Euro. It appears they're still paying reparations for World War II.

The Russian construction industry is down, but Putin thinks it's "unfair" that international markets can negatively affect Russian stock prices, says the Moscow Times. Unfair? That's the recession in a nutshell. At least from where I sit. A seat that is not in a financial services office.

Italy, which has the largest budget deficit in the EU, just doubled the value-added tax on PayTV, which apparently has some Italians up in arms, according to Corriere della Sera. And by some Italians, I mean Rupert Murdoch, who owns the leading Italian PayTV stations "by a long chalk." Despite the skyrocketing costs of satellite TV, people are still immigrating to Italy in record numbers.

There are more nations to cover—originally I envisioned a G7+3 roundup—but in the meantime, read and ponder. Two points emerge from the mashup: 1) the economy is global, man. 2) journalism is global, too. (Some might say 2 follows from 1, but I am not of that group)

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