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2009 PERSPECTIVES

Escrito el 5 enero 2009 por Francisco López Lubián en Uncategorized

Here we are in 2009 and most people are telling us that, in terms of the economic situation, the worst is still to come… In other words, happy 2011 (forget about 2009 and 2010)

But, is this so? Are we really that bad? Does it make any sense to have any room for hope?

As usual, we can consider bad news and good news.

The bad news is: what started as a credit crunch has become a very deep economic crisis in real terms. The old good days of wine and roses, with practically free lunch (1), were followed by panic and lack of confidence in the financial system, reducing dramatically expectations and collapsing entire industries.

But I believe there is also good news:

1) After an initial period of doubts and lack of coordination, governments of developed countries are doing almost everything they can possibly do to fix the problem. Not only with bail out schemes, but mainly by setting up new regulations and control in the financial system. Although there is still a long way to be covered, I believe they are in the right track.

2) Low inflation and negative interest rates in real terms will (most probably) improve economic expectations and create business opportunities. Evolution of prices will play a key role in this adjustment process.

3) Level of economic activity must be adapted to the new situation, lowering both the supply side (higher unemployment) and demand (consumption). Flexibility will be crucial to speed up reaching a new equilibrium level.

So, in terms of economic perspectives, should we wish a happy 2009?

Yes, if we learn from the past and we work to change the present situation. Like in chemical processes, to speed up the necessary changes the economy needs some catalysts: improved regulation, control and flexibility. As far as we work in this line, next 2011 will probably be much better than the present 2009.

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(1) As quoted by The New York Times (12/28/08): “If you were alive, they would give you a loan. Actually, I think if you were dead, they would still give you a loan”

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