EDITORIAL November 2001 - Nov 14th Update
Northern Alliance consolidates it's grip on Afghanistan we look on in
amazement at how quickly the Taliban are dissolving. Sadly the fallout
from Sept 11th and the latest American Airlines tragic accident in the
New York continues it's negative impact. The prospects for a bigger
world recession loom larger. Confidence is everything. So Hackwriters
offers some survival tips.
Someone , somewhere is not telling the truth. On one hand we have politicians
saying the whole world changed on September 11th and nothing will ever
be the same, then we have other politicos saying 'be normal, carry on
as before, keep moving, nothing to look at here..."
only have to look at just how many jobs are vanishing worldwide to realise
that things are very much not 'normal'. But should you or I be worried?
America and Americans are feeling the heat first, but it is slowly spreading.
Argentina's default is just one problem. They key issue is that whichever
country or company was weak before Sept 11th is now fully exposed and
like dominos are falling over.
It is very
easy to say, 'well all these jobs are related to the aircraft or tourism
industries. It's kind of natural 'they' would lose their jobs'....,
but hey, wake up and smell the Cafe Latte (Starbucks £2.15 a pop),
we are ALL connected to world tourism, we are all tourists now. There
are, I have it on good authority around 240 million people working in
the world-wide travel and tourism industry. They estimate that around
eight million of those jobs will disappear in the next six months -
could be more. For every job that goes at Rolls-Royce or Boeing, GKN
or Ford, Thomas Cook or British Airways, Northwest Airlines or a Thailand
Hyatt they all connect in some way to us, whether you like it or not.
door neighbour (from hell) works for Canadian Airlines and never was
anyone happier than us to hear he got canned, but then I heard from
May who works in a travel magazine that is closing, then Denis who is
in conferencing and that job will be replaced by video conferencing
and Janet whose restaurant is suffering and may not survive till Christmas.
Little sinking islands in a recessionary sea - but connected. Again
, on one hand there are record cars sales in the UK, but look again
and see the discounts. Is anyone actually making money out of this?
Same with clothing, even wine. The bargains are tempting.
UK they keep telling us that we are going to weather the recession,
as long as the consumer keeps buying, but guess what, this consumer
boom is led with a credit card and that is entirely based upon a feel
good factor left over from this years house price rises. It's anticipated
money or remortaged money and the snag with that is...the debt is not
only still there, but larger since you borrowed more to upgrade your
car or go on a fancy vacation. Credit spending is at record levels since
1999 and most of us are content to roll lit over every month or increase
the limit, every month. Evidence shows that in the USA many people are
already maxed out and their traditional practice of paying installments
on one card with another may no longer work.
is the red flag guys...house prices have stopped rising. They are actually
dropping (10 percent (Nov 11th Sunday Times)) in London and the South
East and what goes for London, goes for the rest of the UK later. My
guess is that they could fall much more steeply in the New Year as Banks
begin their customary panic repossessions. It's long been an anomaly
that house prices are rising fastest in areas where manufacturing is
in steepest decline.
is crossing their fingers that the consumer will buy his or her way
out of the crisis, go a little crazy this Christmas, but we are in very
precarious times and this is the time to wake up. Don't listen to these
spending calls. These are the very same people who six months from now
will be calling you 'stupid' or 'reckless' and be calling in the loans,
repossessing your homes, denying you access to capital, turning you
into a debtor with hidden black marks against you for life.
needs is for one anthrax letter to turn up in Jack Straw's in-tray or
a bomb to go off in Canary Wharf, something that brings people up with
a sharp jolt and then it will be too damn late to snap your wallet shut.
I am not
saying we have to go the way of Japan where no will spend anything and
prices spiral downwards -imploding the economy, but your on the beach,
the red flag is flying, just paddle, don't swim, OK?
SURVIVAL TIPS TO GET THROUGH TO 2002
1: Pay down all credit and store cards now. (especially store cards)
small Thanksgiving and Christmas gifts only. Tell everyone you are donating
something from them to the kids in Afghanistan instead. Do it and make
yourself a hero.
at home, you'll be surprised at how much you can save - food and wines
4: Defer all further new financial committments.
shares, get into cash (but hold off on the Euro until February when
you see which way the wind is blowing). There will be bargains as the
6: If you have a redundancy cheque, pay off debts, mortgages or go on
a major course and get reskilled in time for the recovery.
that sabbatical. If you can't get a job, you can get a life. Don't sit
around, now is the time to compose, volunteer, write that novel, do
charge. Get the facts. Don't be caught off guard, read a quality paper
for once and discover the real news. Or read the Economist in
the library if you are too cheap.
9: If you
don't have a partner, find one, hard times are better with company.
losers. Seek out positive people, people who want to survive.
(This may involve teenage family members - but remember that cold snow
you are turning them out into is character forming.)
11: Now you are ready. Good luck. No cheating now.
Welcome to Angie Eng who has
been busy travelling in Myanmar and India this year and lived to tell
the tales.Welcome too to Chris Windle
who has been busy backpacking in Europe and welcome back to Greg
Veis our Florida sports guy. James Campion has some excellent points
to make about Casulaties
of War as well. Lots of good stuff been sent in this past week See
Brenda Hall and Jon
Nicholas and James Skinner
& more coming, so enjoy and if you like, tell us, we like to
know you are out there.Thanks too to Chris Lean for his review of Harry
Potter. We had fun watching it, so will you. *Late News: Nov
14th.Oh yes and congrats to Carpe Diem Films for optioning my screenplay
'The Pushover'. Let's see if we can now raise the finance to get it made.
My thanks to Scriptshop
for making this happen. Finally something on the web that really works.
(We do reserve the right to edit and reject unreasonable and objectional
Sam North - Managing Editor - author of
Diamonds the most difficult book to buy in the world
(But worth the effort)
Carine Thomas - Publisher - A Brighter Image Company