Monday, September 15, 2008

How To Save the Country...Or Rather The Economy and Yourself

The foundation is cracking...stock markets fall, two US brokers (Lehman Brothers and Merrill Linch) collapse, the American International Group calls for help, the People's Bank of China reverses its monetary policy and cut interest rates to stave off an economic slowdown, while unemployment in Britain could rise to two million next year as the economy goes into recession.

In the meantime, in Malaysia, we are happily playing the fool.

How do we save ourselves when the shit hits the fan?

Or, how does an economy create jobs?

In the simplest fashion, people are said to be employed when they keep themselves busy. I suggest that everybody takes a keen interest in their hobbies. If no hobby, get one soon. The point about a hobby is that it is enjoyable, and enjoyment is payment itself.

If you need income, then you may have to forgo your enjoyment for the time being and think seriously of how to be useful to others, especially those with cash so that when they are happy with you in whatever you were doing for them, they would or might give you some cash.

If you are without talent or ideas, and you are hungry, then I suggest that you go to the countryside or maybe your parents back home and go to the nearby forest and gather some fruits or vegetables or hunt for some meat in order to feed yourself.

If you wish to engage in wishful thinking, you may imagine that you may support some charismatic leader who promises you and others a lot of changes with the impression that it will be good for you. This may or may not come true. After all, if you are fighting corruption, for example, you may not get to have projects offered to you - it is against your principle. So, go back to square one above about hobbies, and doing some useful.

As you could be disgruntled about life or the current situation, maybe you could write in the hope that somebody may pay you for it. My advice is not to write about your gripe, for it makes your readers feel miserable and they are unlikely to touch your article or novel again.

Now is the time to keep cash and don't spend unnnecessarily like buying expensive custom-made guitars. Sure, it is against the teaching of Keynes, but don't you follow the advice of defunct men, as he himself said long ago. Let others spend. You save money. If you can't, then you lose. When the crunch comes, cash is king.

You would have multiple properties which are mostly vacant, you may want to offload them in the market. Let's face it, the promised yield of 8% pa has not materialised and it is hard to find tenants. While construction material costs have gone up, it is precisely these inflated material prices that are making products uneconomically and uncompetitive. Speculators believe in asset inflation to earn a living. I wonder when they will stop speculation - isn't there a limit before the issue of affordability hits and send demand crashing...look at the global crude oil market.

Consolidate, simplify and be self-sufficient. Don't rely on others...they can't even help themselves, less help you!

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