Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Jittery times ahead..opinions from a casual analyst

The US sneezes and the whole world catches a cold. That’s an old saying about how big and influential a single super-power can be. The recent collapse of the US financial and investment banks raised many issues on how loans and investments should be managed and regulated as the world markets scrambled to limit the damage. The recent rejection of the US $700 billion bail-out by the US Congress pushed the crisis to hitherto unknown territory as the entire world await the latest updates with bated breath. There are many reasons for the rejection of the rescue package but on the whole, the general public is worried of the impending biggest governmental intervention in the free market since the Depression era (circa 1930s).

All this while, outsiders like you and me comprise the audience waiting for the newsmaker to reveal more as some big-timers hit rock-bottom in the stock and money market. Some people may develop depression, suicidal tendencies and anxiety disorder while others pack up and run away to start a new life. Ironically, the rich gets richer as those loaded with cash will gobble up one asset after another. As the commodity prices continue to plunge, a lot of people are putting their savings in ‘stable’ investments such as gold, real estate as currency begins to lose its value. It’s in times such as this that we begin to understand what is most important and crucial in our lives…our loved ones.

On the local front, an infamous act has been used on a single dark day in our history as a girl who is just doing her work was arrested for her own ‘safety’ while 2 others were detained for ‘seditious and malicious wrongdoings’. Many nations around the world wonder why we are still using a 1960s act formed during the Emergency era to arrest and incarcerate people without giving them the rights to fair trial in court. Is this democracy in action? Of course both the ladies have been released but there is still another famous personality languishing behind bars.

At the same time, someone is crusading to form a new government without calling for fresh elections. Is this really democracy as well? Of course we want to give politicians the benefit of doubt but the yo-yo of press conferences, delayed deadlines, jumping boats, open public threats and so on triggered another fresh round of political instability. The entire world, amused and tickled, watches the masquerade unfolding before them.

Sometimes we have to choose the lesser of two evils and after the decision has been made, we just pray and hope for the best to unfold. What normal citizens hope for is a stable, fair and strong government, one that is free from corruption and injustice with good security, low crime rates, guaranteed freedom, dynamic economy and respect for human rights. Of course I am neither a lawyer or an economist and so you could completely ignore what I just said and go to bed forgetting all about this article.

Or we should all buckle our belts and prepare for jittery times ahead?

No comments: