Current? Aren't the economic conditions ALWAYS current, like happening NOW?
They would never say *the BAD economic conditions* because that would spook the market, but we all knew what "current" was an euphemism for: "going to hell in a handbasket". OR on the edge of going to hell in a handsbasket, most likely in a paddle-less canoe going up shit-creek, as that is where the current was taking most of us. It was this perpetual threat of, "Unless we do (or don't do, depending) this thing, OMG, it's going to be even MORE CURRENT than it is (or, by then, was) now!"
By the time I left Australia, despite being one of the best-paid allied health professionals in the country (working on a Public Health Government salary that is), I was going broke faster than a Bernie Madoff investor. For the last few days of each pay fortnight, I would living off canned soup and toast. I kid you not. Mind you that was canned Boston clam chowder and the toast had caviar on it, but nevertheless I was going broke due to my own *current economic micro-climate*.
Slave labour. That's the answer. Dump the union salaries, I read in this Washington Post article (free, sign-in required, syndicated to the ST, money required), in a piece of advice straight from a chapter in Naomi Klein's "Shock Doctrine." A factory workers pay-cut is just important for the recovery as restraining mega-billion payouts to the people who caused this crisis.
Such a practise has kept Singapore the clean, well-lighted golf-course that is is. Pay the maids and the building laborers and accoiutnants and clerical staff and radiographers absolute SHIT money!
The way I am reading the *current* financial crisis is that;
a) it was caused by the banks lending too much.
b) it can be overcome by the banks lending more.
Ah, here it is explained by the Nobel Prize-winning Two Cows Method:
You have two cows.
John Paulson borrows one cow so he can sell it for $100. He gives you $10 as collateral.
You buy your neighbors cow for $100, which you finance by taking out a $90 loan from the bank and use John's $10 to make up the rest.
You brag to everyone about your financial health. You have assets--two cows you own, plus one Paulson owes you--worth $300, and liabilities of just $100.
A third of the country goes vegetarian.
You thought your two cows were worth $200 and now they are worth $140.
You express confidence in your financial health. Your assets are now worth only $200--your two cows plus the one John owes you--but your liabilities are still only $100. If necessary, you could sell the assets at this distressed price and pay off all your loans.
You hold onto your cows because you are sure the market is "dislocated." Some day someone will want to eat beef again.
The rest of the country goes vegetarian. Your two cows are now worth $2 each to guys who want to make dog food.
John Paulson buys a cow in the market for $2 and he gives it to you as repayment of the loan. You now have three cows worth six bucks.
John wants his $10 back.
The bank calls. It wants its $90 back.
You call the Federal Reserve and ask for a bailout.
John Carney. Brilliant. And very *current*. Hat-tip to Alvin as usual.