A little more doom and gloom, but…

Posted: March 4, 2009 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

Just in case you missed your daily dose of doom and gloom, Moneyweb ran this interesting little article by Niles Jensen, looking at the extent of the global economic crisis in Europe and especially its impact on the financial system.

vs-closedJensen repeats a story heard elsewhere that a secret document produced by the EU Commission identifies the size of the impaired assets held by European banks to be in the order of 16.3 trillion pounds. Suck in your breath, that’s about 500-700% worse than the upper end of estimates for the size of the crisis in the US. Apparently brought about by regulatory anomalies which allow for far greater leveraging, and therefore greater assumption of risk (wasn’t Basel II supposed to help avoid this?) than in the US, the extent of the problem means that public finances will become increasingly strained and that entire nations, never mind banks, could go under.

Though the numbers that are coming out are increasingly horrific, I don’t believe that simply retreating into our own small spaces is the right thing to do. No matter what the circumstances, we should always be striving to move from the “me” to the “not-me” and closing our eyes to all needs but our own is not going to help this. We need to be cautious, sure, but we need to be reaching out at the same time. If we believe that we have a Great Gift to give, opportunity is going to abound for the giving of it.


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