GLOBAL ECONOMIC OUTLOOK ADVICE TO TANZANIANS, AND EAST AFRICANS
At this point, many of you are aware of the Economic turmoil that has rocked the global economies. From the NYSE, LSE, to Hong-Kong Stock Exchange the cry is the same, and the pain is being felt in all sectors ; manufacturing, energy, agriculture etc.
Even though the problem may have started as Mortgage crisis in the US, and many thought it would have ended there, the reality is rather different, and the truth is painful and scary to hear. The data that has been available for almost two years now, pointed to the very situation we are in today. Middle analysts detected the problem raised their eye brows, but then their voices were too low to be heard by money hungry, bonus driven Wall-Street executives.
The big shots at the Wall-Street, driven by greed continued to cook their deals; duped European Bankers with bogus deals, who in turn spread the rotten credit deals in all global markets. Anyway, the damage has been done, and now faced with a reality of controlling the pain! And must consider the impact of the problem; how is it going to affect the common man in Tanzania, Kenya and elsewhere in Africa!
Millions of people in the US who invested their lifetime savings in the stock market have watched their funds melt in their own eyes. A man or other a client, who invested his savings in the stock option plan, in one of the now gone companies, lost $4 million in less than a year; People are loosing their jobs, many businesses closing their doors, people can no longer afford paying their once owned expensive assets. Banks and many financial institutions are collapsing at an alarming rate. Millions around the world are rapidly depleting their savings.
Even though the Central Banks around the world have taken aggressive and swift measures to curb the problem by cutting interest rates and pumping almost a Trillion dollar rescue packages into their respective economies, so far the effort have not calmed the anxiety, the problem seems very deep entrenched than many thought.
That means, the meltdown was not limited to the Sub prime, it is in the credit, manufacturing and even retail.
When major banks cannot meet their Liquidity requirements as in the case of several fallen US banks, when Short term lending becomes a problem, when commercial paper is not attainable, the economy goes into its knees. Many companies depend on these short term instruments to finance their day to day operations, short term projects, as well as meeting their payroll needs. And when they can’t secure these instruments, it means they stop their operations.
Likelihood of companies letting their employees go due to payroll problems are very real. LIBOR, a system used in the UK and partly in the US for inter-bank lending, whose rates have gone up, shows that we are in for a long and tough ride, raising the inability of Banks to issue loans to individuals and companies lacking highest ratings in the ratings circles.
The Global Markets are plummeting, due to the fact that, investors are worried, no individuals or companies want to put their investments in the risky market, and many (millions) are pulling out their investments. Consumers are scared to spend, and this is leaving experts without any cure to the disease, that is spreading globally.
Many of you know that Wall-Street or other financial markets are driven by speculation as you witnessed early during the year, when energy prices went off the roof in the Western World; this was fueled by speculation of war outbreak in the Persian Gulf, Economic boom in Asia Pacific, and India. Now that economic boom has taken a downward trend, so has the demand and the prices. Speculation has now turned into fear for the worse,
These are symptoms of an economic recession, and even though further bear the hallmarks of the 1929 great depression, we are optimistic things will turn around before we get into a similar economic tragedy.
To our people, fear is the worst enemy of any human being. Do not fear or panic in these uncertain times. Go about your daily activities, and please.
• Abstain and cut OFF completely, all the unnecessary spending, and purchases
• Do not rush into the bank to remove your deposits, because you will create an environment in which banks liquidity runs to zero, hence a collapse.
• Make sure you ask from your bank how much money they insure with the central bank as those in America and Europe, be assured that, All your deposits are safe. Bank of England and European Union Central Banks are currently in charge of all deposits
• Constantly check with your Bank to see how things are moving in terms of the safety of your deposits
• I know many cannot afford depositing their monies into precious metals, but for those with excess cash, may want to consider this option as an alternative to safeguarding their most liquid assets (cash) and these valuables can be deposited in most of the banks, this will ensure economic continuity in the economy.
• Be careful, and not fall a prey of con artists with cure to any economic problem. Your trusted licensed banker and government monetary officials entrusted with the task should be the only persons to deal with.
Economists, policymakers and monetary experts in our country have perhaps taken measures, or have aggressive plans in place that will safeguard your savings, you must therefore be optimistic, at the same time must be cautious not to be caught off guard. Since many of our third world countries are dependent on the West for Tourism, Export, and Aid to subsidize their Budgets, the impact may be soon be felt. The IMF has pointed for a deep recession. Either way, how prepared are we?
The Writer Is a US Based, Social Activist & Investment Banker, of Tanzanian Origin.