Thursday, August 18, 2011

OR ...

As a follow up to the prior post, the or ... is it that we are entering a global recession. This will not be a Lehman based debacle or sub-prime mess. The word recesssion may not be adequate. Austerity everywhere will crush growth.

This should not happen. Corporations around the world are generally performing adequately if not quite well. Many balance sheets are loaded with cash. Unfortunately cash at the moment has no value except to be used to crowd the world with more organic expansion or to play pacman in a merger frenzy. This will lead to more efficiency perhaps, but also more concentration of wealth, more decimation of small business, and more pruning of workforces. Eventually these mega-corporates will have the power to make many products with the best of technology but unfortunately few buyers as the middle class disappears.

This may sound like science fiction, like some Kurt Vonnegut ironic nightmare. The resilience of ordinary human endeavor would be limited to communities of survival while titans ruled. Compliant politicians and corporate lackeys may benefit but the system as we know it can be changed, and would be even more of a shadow of democracy than it already is.

Gloomy stuff, but worth thinking about.


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