Yes, the Credit Crunch is coming home to roost. Make no mistake, the recent events in the world financial markets have changed the world as we know it and it will never be the same again. Everybody has been affected by the turmoil in the financial markets, directly or indirectly. Rich and poor alike, in fact the rich have been hit so severely you can’t imagine. This recession will be a great equaliser.
Free market philosophy has a lot going for it, but at times like this you have to question the underlying wisdom of this approach. Purists would argue that we should let the markets sort themselves out but with the current downward spiral the obvious concern is that the world will rapidly disappear up its own backside. The economy is rapidly coming to a standstill. Banks won’t lend money to each other, yet alone you or me. The housing market is dead and woe betide car manufacturers.
At the moment we are in a surreal phase where life is going on as normal. Christmas is coming and the economies of the western world are still chugging along under the inertia of consumer spending, but what happens when the credit card bills arrive on the doormat in January? 2009 will be an uphill struggle for most, people will pull in their haunches and look to reduce their debt burden. Consumer spending will slow rapidly and profit warnings from manufacturers and service providers will be plentiful. Stocks will crash even more and the downward cycle will continue.
This recession has the potential to be deeper and longer than no other the world has ever known. Yet I sense hope; there is so much talent out there, so many hard working , diligent, talented individuals bursting with enthusiasm and innovation that I cannot see how the downturn can last too long. In addition, when recovery comes it will come in a way that has never happened before. The standard of education, communication and technology will enable the realisation of smart business ideas in a way and with a pace that has never been seen before. This time it will be an a truly global basis with more and more Third World nations participating. I truly believe the world will be a better place with harmony and cooperation taking place like never before.
I see China and India as major players, no longer emerging markets but powerhouses of the new global economy. Africa will also participate as there is so much untapped potential there. Turning the Sahara green will be the way to save the world from threats of global warming/climate change. The deforestation in the Amazon will be offset by the greening of the Sahara. True carbon offsetting. There will be a surplus of food and this can be used to make carbon neutral fuel. A totally renewable source of carbon fuel which is effectively solar energy. The new plants will extract carbon from the atmosphere, in exactly the same way as other plant life, but we will be revitalising an area of land that is totally wasted right now. Sea water irrigation and salt resistant crops is the answer!
I see a brave new world where communication and cooperation are key. Talented individuals will run their own businesses from the comfort of their own home/office whilst collaborating with their personal networks around the globe. They will employ a few key workers and a few more service operators, plumbers, builders, gardeners, nannys and the like.
This is the new business model for the 21st century and you IT savvy, creative, problem solvers out there are at the heart of it, you can change the world with your innovative ideas and communication skills. How many of you reading this are out of work right now, spending your waking hours searching the internet, looking for the right role? With approximately 200 people applying for the same role as you, you would be right in thinking that the job market is extremely competitive right now. Don’t worry, in the new world you will be masters of the Universe. You just have to find your niche!