Wednesday, 10 September 2008
Like a lot of baby boomers, I'm a self-funded retiree and live off the proceeds of my investments. I'm fortunate to be able to do this - wouldn't want to be trying to live off the pension given the cost of living these days.
Having said that, I'm affected by the poor results on the share market post the sub-prime crisis. It's only a paper loss, but it's worrying.
When you consider the global market, it's quite clear that what happens in Wall Street has a direct and measurable outcome in our hip pockets. I remember my dad saying "When Wall Street sneezes, we catch cold"- hardly original, but he had other sayings "In the name of the almighty dollar, every knee shall bend...."
But I digress.
The reality is that because of poor regulation, an over-abundance of greed, and simple incompetence on the part of some very highly paid CEOs in the US lending market, people like us on the other side of the Pacific, cop the flak. The fact that the American taxpayer has been forced to bail out two private institutions says it all. It also says a lot about the American style of capitalism, but that's another story.
With all this in mind, I'm going to pay a visit to the US embassy, to see if I can enrol to vote at the Presidential election in November.
I'm sure I'd be welcome - apparently, many Yanks don't bother, so they'd be glad to pick up a few trans-Pacific volunteers. I'll let you know how I get on.
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