Monday, January 19, 2009

The Economic Crash

This whole economic downfall has always seemed to be at arms length. Clearly, I am working in the world of academia and Universities are possibly the only institutions to benefit from an economic downfall. Even in Germany, with tuition, enrollment is up and all openings in our department are currently filled. However, yesterday I learned that Circuit City is going out of business. This one really schocked me both because of their history and reputation but also because of how it is presented on their website. There is a letter explaining the situation and attempting to answer FAQs. In the aforementioned letter, it outlines that Circuit City employs 34,000 people in the US and all will eventually lose their jobs with 60 days pay but some will stay on during the liquidation process which began January 17th and is estimated to end in March, a period of about 60 days give or take. In less than 3 months, the company will no longer exist in the US (they will continue to operate in Canada where they have 3,200 employees and several hundred stores according to the website) and 34,000 people will be added to the unemployment roster. This is a huge hit on the economy and the unemployment pool. I can't imagine unemployment will have the funds to continue paying everyone looking for benefits in such a time. Which leaves me with many questions; What is the next step? Where is the bottom? What can I do to protect myself? In a time like this, even a savings account is not immune to the anticipated deflation of currency. Speaking of currency, the once powerful British Pound is currently valued at 1.10 EUR, I've never seen these two curriencies so close since the introduction of the euro (I'm not saying it hasen't happened before but not since I started paying attention circa 2002). The world's economy is seriously depressing me today.

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