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It’s worth imagining what 2009 could bring. I am a not a pessimist but it is worth glaring into the crystal ball and letting go of today and dreaming – dreaming it is December 2009.

Has the US Fed pumped trillions of dollars into the US economy and what has been the result? Have property prices stabilized and how is Citibank going? Has the bailout really cleaned out the poisoned loans? Let’s dream!

We have bailed out the 3 car manufacturers and we have bailed out the banks. The banks have hoarded money and monetary policy is having no effect. Interest rates are at the lowest level ever – 0% and the Dow is hovering around 5000 points. Superannuation has lost trillions and those that would be retiring have realized that another ten years of work is required (at least) to make retirement possible.

Small and medium manufacturers are all but gone – car companies are waiting to get supplies and difficult car finance is all but crippling sales. Many of the smaller car dealerships have closed, finding the credit crunch a hard go and the larger dealerships holding too large an inventory are closing. Surely more money will solve this, but maybe not! With monetary policy crippled what can President Obama do?

The Fed has decided to pump more money into the economy and inflation is now an issue. Inflation is a real problem, with OPEC deciding to reduce supply by a total of 10 million barrels a day to increase the price of oil. Their greed has accelerated issues in the economy with transport companies struggling to get paid by clients, forced redundancies and supply train chaos ensue.

Credit scarcity has caused loan delinquencies to flourish with 5 million US households in foreclosure. Prices continue to fall and Citibank is on a downward spiral. What are the options for President Obama? Let Citibank fail or pump yet more money into the economy? This will force the US dollar to fall even further and prices are going up and up.

The US economy is now at breaking point with reliant economies collapsing. There is no savior to come to the US aid – the world is simply not capable of saving the US as it’s too big. Japan and the EU are crippled. Is the US in recession, depression or bankrupt? With trillions of dollars of debt President Obama has few options.

This chance to imagine is just one example of what could be. There are so many variables and so much left to be answered. This situation would cause so much grief and I am an optimist, hoping and praying that our leaders find solutions to the problems we face. Solutions that are not only needed but vital to the livelihood of so many families and vital to the survival of the world superpower that we so rely on for our economic and military security.

Michael Marquette

FYI: Read more articles on the Credit Crunch; or 2009; or US Economy

In a world where the barriers of Nation States are barely barriers and the society and economies are global in every way, the victory of President-Elect Obama has caused excitement throughout the world that is similar to the fall of the Soviet Union and the bringing down of the Berlin Wall.

It has been a monumental week for the United States and the entire world and we extend our congratulations and best wishes to President-Elect Obama and his new administration.

He enters office at one of the most important points in world history- the US is at war in Afghanistan and Iraq, Iran and Pakistan are perhaps greater threats than North Korea, climate change fear is extreme and the need for alternative energy sources has never been more urgent and the US and world economies are in the biggest state of crisis since the Great Depression and business and consumer confidence is shattered.

I don’t envy his position but I am proud of our friends in the United States for so convincingly offering Obama a clear mandate to fulfill his promise of change. Change was needed and the United States as the engine room of the world is vital in the success and prosperity of so many nations – Australia included.

I wrote an article which is a must read which detailed the size of the American economy compared to China, UK, Japan and Germany. We can also look forward to the announcement of key cabinet positions and I believe it will be a bi-partisan administration.

The election of Barack Obama changes the world’s view that America is a racist nation and his message of ‘spreading the wealth’ provides a welcome corrective to the failed Wall Street mantra ‘greed is good.'(Thank you Henry Thornton).

I’m excited to see what reforms are put into place – including financial regulation, health, education and welfare. As an Australian we enjoy so many safety net protections (although they are far from perfect) and the US reforms may lead to benefits throughout the entire world.

George W Bush has spent like someone spending other people’s money (maybe things would be different if it actually was money coming from his own bank account) and Obama has to resolve this situation as well as a host of other things already discussed.

He is a classy, charismatic man who appears genuine and committed to change for the good of all. He has so far relied on high quality advisers, has kept his nerve, been rational and displayed an infectious level of energy. Good luck President-Elect Obama.

Michael Marquette

FYI: Read more articles on Obama, and the US Election Race

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