Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The global wealth losses amounting to $20 trillion

I have my doubts when reading some not-so-good reports as well as feel-good reports on the current turmoil. Sometimes, too much information is more harmful to our plans. Rumours have been circulating with some basis to believe these rumours do have some truth and during last few months, rumours have been all but rumours.
There is a latest hot rumour about the impending merger of two big real estate developers in the UAE from Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The merger of the two giants will create a, well, big giant if not a monster, positively, I like that idea.

In today’s business paper, it is reported that top international investment banks have confirmed that the world is now experiencing the worst global financial crisis since the Great Depression. Believe it or not, the global wealth losses amounting to $20 trillion (Dh73.4trn).

Morgan Stanley, HSBC and The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (BNYM) unanimously say that the credit crisis has led to the biggest shock to world wealth since the Second World War.

The Great Depression was the largest and most important economic depression in modern history and is used in the 21st century as an example of how far the world's economy can fall. And like the current financial crisis, the Great Depression originated in the United States.

Historians most often use as a starting date the stock market crash on October 29, 1929, known as Black Tuesday. The depression had devastating effects in virtually every country, rich or poor. International trade plunged by half to two-thirds, as did personal income, tax revenue, prices and profits. Cities all around the world were hit hard, especially those dependent on heavy industry. Construction was halted in many countries.

But the current crisis is more than just a depression, says Richard Hoey, chief economist of BNYM. "We expect a severe global recession rather than a depression."

"The global economy was in freefall in the fourth quarter of 2008 and this should continue in the early months of 2009.We agree with the view this is the greatest global financial crisis since the Great Depression," he added.

According to Morgan Stanley's estimates, the result of the current financial crisis has been a destruction of world wealth, which since mid 2007 has amounted to approximately $20trn (or down 16 per cent from its peak, which has been estimated at $125trn by the United Nations).
"This is the largest absolute and percentage decline in world wealth since the physical destruction of the Second World War," said the New York-based bank holding company.

You can read the rest here.

Just imagine, $20 trillion worth of wealth disappeared into the thin air. If we had had used that amount to build a better world for everybody on the planet, we may not lose that much. Imagine, even some richest Muslims do not pay zakat and one Islamic scholar here mentioned that if even half of these Muslims had paid their zakats, there would be no poor Muslims in the world….

1 comment:

Pentilium5 said...

I dont agree that the amount of money actually evaporated into thin air. The money was real, only its re-distributed, just like playing mahjong, the amount of money everyone brings to the table is static (from the beginning to end of the game), but get re-distributed. The only vanishing things is value, people pay for expectation of income, they are willing to bet on the future income of the company, when the income is not there, the value drops, and for him, its a loss, but for the company, its just another entry in their book.

What the government must create now is confidence, as many say this is a confidence crisis. When its restored, people can start playing poker again, and with it come the illusory gain of value.

One of the methodologies prescribed is for central banks to gobble up all the toxic debts, money from the banks would then flow again, lending for creative activities, but this time round, they must be watchful so those derivatives and out of whack investments that are based on credit default swaps/etc should be restricted and regulated. A one stop centre to register all those keen to invest in those high risk high yield assets would be nice, so there is quantification of actual risk, currently banks put this as 'off balance sheets' and we dont know what exactly Lehman or Merrill's counter parties exposures are until all is too late.

Best bet is go back to agriculture economy as mooted by our beloved Pak Lah who under his care has provided us so much freedom to express, to dissent and create harmony in chaos.

Mind my ramblings, i had only 1 hr sleep last night!!