As some of you may know, I have spent most of February in South America. On my travels through Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, it is no surprise that some of my conversations with taxi drivers, in restaurants, at hotels and just with people we met was on the subject of the global economic downturn.
It doesn’t seem to matter which country you are in, everyone seems to be experiencing, to greater or lesser extent, some economic downturn although to be fair, the extent of which this is felt varies.
I still maintain that paper talk, and a general air of “we are in financial meltdown” exacerbates the problem. If you wish for something hard enough, you can often end up getting it.
Since I have returned to the UK, I have met so many people who have been ultimate merchants of doom and gloom. I even met someone who suggested that in a few years time, we wouldn’t have any electricity so we won’t have to worry about stock markets falling as they won’t be operating!
In the countries I have visited in South America, sure they are a little despondent, but they take it in their stride. They see this as just another situation to be dealt with. For a country like Argentina, that has had to deal with dictatorships and for a few years, mass killings, economic downturn isn’t the worst thing to have to experience.
I think we will realise in this country, at some stage in the future, that we had this coming. Economically, we were and are very dependent on our service sector and both businesses and individuals had simply borrowed too much money. The writing was on the wall. Nevertheless, I remain an optimist even in the face of daily worsening figures. I believe we can come out of this albeit with casualties along the way.