Sunday, September 28, 2008

The American Financial Meltdown, What's next? - Part 1

In the past few weeks I am glued on reading some newspapers, watching Bloomberg, CNN, BBC on television and was pondering what will happens to us next. People here are bit panicky and paranoid regarding the plight of major financial institutions like Lehman Brothers and insurance giant American Insurance Group, Inc. (AIG) and other corporate big names that are now experiencing dismal array from the credit crunch. But before this companies would be bailed out by the U.S. government, mortgage companies such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are making the news on the black parade of Wall Street for the past few weeks as these companies were indebted from their previous with with subprime crisis in real estate brought about by the credit crunch but the hardest hit companies was the CitiGroup of companies (Citibank, Citi Financial etc). Just to give you a brief overview on the firms in the current U.S. financial crisis (see List of companies).

U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson was at the stand the other time and talking to media and pleading to the public to calm down and was telling about the federal government's rescue plan for these ailing companies in order to save the U.S. economy which is going down to recession . Many people think that the Great Depression of 21st century is here and only happens once in a century. President George W. Bush made his statements on television the urgent need of the government to take action on the financial crisis a few days ago and on the intended bail out which will be under fire with the bipartisan parties of Republicans and the Democrats on a negotiation table wherein the Democrats rejected the proposed bail out on which they say it is a short term plan and the U.S. government will incur more risks of economic hardships. The US$700 Billion allotted by the Feds as credit to these companies are not enough and sure the U.S. taxpayers will bear the brunt but still the will make profit of 8% but these are risk strategies in making profits in the long run. Still the negotiation is still underway to save the ailing U.S. economy and also the world who rely mostly on the U.S. markets.

There is notion that "when America sneezes, the world suffers flu". Philippines is an exporting country its main market is United States and second is the European union. Now as people are belt tightening in America and elsewhere, it seems we are going for a roller coaster ride for the duration end of 2008 to the early 2009. No one can predict on what will happen to us but I have high hopes that we can surely recover from the illness of the financial crisis in New York.

I was able to watch Tina Palma's show on ANC, TALKBACK the other day wherein her guests are experts from the business, investments and finance sector such as Deputy governor Diwa Guinigundo of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and others assured that most of the investment put by government owned corporations and companies (GOCCs) are not invested in the assets of such companies like Lehman Brothers and other financial institutions in the New York. Unlike some reports of a major Philippine banks with assets in Lehman Brothers are sufferring from loss of their deposits because of their investment with the said company. That bank however said that it is only a fraction or a small percentage and not all are invested in the Lehman Brothers.

Right now the issue and circumstances are still unraveling and we have to keep our senses vigilant at this rough times. Hope that everything would be good up ahead.

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