Crisis - So What's New?

Published on 11/12/2008 in Expat Life

Taking the heatFinally, at Casa Desolada, we have learnt about the international credit crunch.  Evidentally, there is a worldwide economic crisis that is bringing the globe to its knees and one so bad that everyone´s lives will be affected.  Or so we have picked up from local village gossip.

I had a feeling that things were taking a turn for the worse when the only cigarettes I could extract from our local bar were Ducados.  These are are so strong that your lifetime is probably instantly reduced by half after only a few puffs.  Their presence, as the only cigarettes available in our pueblo, is a sure sign that times are hard and that the Mayor feels the need to reduce the local population quickly.  Whilst I can see where he's coming from, surely there must be kinder forms of euthanasia?

Nonetheless, I have been told that I must take the international credit crisis seriously and, as head of my household, I recently decided to advise my family of the impending doom heading our way.  This, obviously, had to be done with sensitivity, so as not to frighten the children and, far more importantly, my wife.  The latter, like myself, has a particular sensitivity to the words 'credit' and 'crunch' - particularly when used together.  Which, in our case, they invariably are.

It is not that we are, in any way, averse to credit.  Not at all.  We have always considered it a Good Thing and one to be used to the full.  The trouble is that our bankers long ago classified lending to us as 'toxic' before moving onto the better bet of 'derivatives'.  Frankly, had I been given the choice,  I would have done the same thing.   After all, there is at least some chance of getting your money back from a decaying shack in Alabama owned by an itinerant Mexican gypsy - even if the shack is mortgaged to several times its true value and the owner has never worked.

But, it is quite another thing to retrieve your investment when it ends up as a simply staggering amount of fashionable clothing, pots, pans and other miscellaneous household items.  I should know.  For years, I have been the one on market stalls trying to reduce my losses by selling unwanted items following one of my wife's rampant shopping expeditions.  To be honest, getting rid of 'derivatives' for a good profit is child's play by comparison.

That said, my family reacted to my notification of world economic problems without batting an eyelid.  Perhaps, used to the perilous nature of our family finances, they consider international economic problems a somewhat abstract concept.  However, the same could not be said about their concern for the impending property crash.  This has been something that all of us have suspected for some time - albeit that we have not raised the subject together before.

The trouble is that, despite my best efforts, Casa Desolada still appears ruinous and ready at any time to disappear down our hillside.  I suppose we should have suspected something was amiss, when we were urged by our estate agent not to close the front door too hard nor to have more than two people at a time on the first floor.  But how can our problems have extended elsewhere?  I am not certain - but we are all taking the warnings of the property crash seriously and now sleep outside.

In the meantime, I am appealing to the government and various world bodies for money.  Unless I have misunderstood things badly, it seems that you can obtain millions of Euros if you have financial problems - even if it is your own fault.  This is great news and I only wish I had known about it before.  My wife is delighted and already planning with our daughter what she describes as an 'Epic'.  This, I gather, will be the mother of all shopping expeditions and is, she tells me, generously aimed at 'kick-starting' the economy.  Certainly, I can think of no-one better qualified to do this and I am seriously thinking of hiring her out to various countries where consumer spending has dropped.

Hard times ahead?  I think not.  There is free money to be had and a fortune to be made...

Written by: Nick Snelling

About the author:Nick Snelling is the author of 'Taking The Heat'.  For further information or articles see:

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normansands said:
17 December 2008 @ 11:07

Thanks for the humour but too much truth for it to last very long.

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