How has the credit crisis affected you?

By Reuters Staff
August 18, 2009

The demise of Lehman Brothers a year ago sparked a collapse in financial market confidence and set of a series of reactions that have spread hardship into the four corners of the globe.

Reuters News has charted the key events and their impact in “Times of Crisis” — a major new multimedia production on Reuters.com. (See it here.)

We’d like to add the experiences of Reuters readers. So, if you or your family have been affected by the events of the past year then use the comments section below to share your story.

151 comments

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

It cut my sales by 2/3. Had to fire everyone. Simple as that…

Posted by Denis | Report as abusive

I had been a college graduate for 3 months when Lehman collapsed. Since then, I’ve gotten a better job with better wages, improved my living standard, and paid off the credit card debt I accrued in college.If the recession had come a year or two later, I probably wouldn’t have been as cautious starting out and I would be feeling the effects more than I am.

I built up my capacity by doing a post qualification course in International Trade Law and WTO (World Trade Organisation) from ICAI, India apart from being a practising Chartered Accountant. This capacity built up boosted my moral and revenue.

Posted by CA. Rajay Kumar Aggarwal | Report as abusive

The events of the economic crisis caused me 80% losses of my investment capital in the stock market.

Posted by Tarek Allam | Report as abusive

Had to close my side business and my credit balances have been slashed. They really need to find a new way to evaluate credit scores. Im paying all my bills on time if not early and still they keep showing us the bad end of the stick.

Posted by J | Report as abusive

I work for a local county government affected greatly by foreclosures, and the subsequent loss of property taxes lost has put us in a pinch. I took six docked days this year, and may require 12 next year, and living in Michigan, am very happy to have a job.Food prices went up when Gas went up last year, and though the gas prices have fallen, the food prices haven’t.And my wife is a bartender at a golf course in one of the poorer counties in Michigan. Her tip income has been cut by two thirds over previous years.I have two 19 year old kids who can not find jobs that give them more than a few hours a week.My home value has fallen from 165 grand to maybe 50 grand as the area I live in is riddled with foreclosed units.

Posted by Bill | Report as abusive

I haven’t been directly involved by a *credit* crisis, but by an *attitude* crisis.I recently sold a house. It was a nightmare because the underwriter repeatedly found one more reason to balk at providing the buyer with a loan. None of it was credit related, it was all supposed problems with the property, and all of it was based on information that was presented at the start, but every week the underwriter found another thing to question.The ironic thing is that the buyers put 45% down, the mortgage they took out was only $3000 more than what I owed, and the mortgage was ultimately held by the same bank that already held my mortgage. So the long painful process was only to cover the underwriter’s behind, not to protect the lender.

Posted by Bruce | Report as abusive

WHAT CREDIT CRISIS? I have no money in the stock market, so I have lost nothing. I bought a house with the intent of paying off the mortgage and living in it for the rest of my life. Why would I care if it goes up or down in value. I’m in the military, so I receive a paycheck every two weeks and have one month of payed vacation per year. I pay no health care premiums, the GI bill pays for all my college education and receive large discounts when I do the grocery shopping. When I retire, I will receive a pension and free medical for life.

I pay Bank of America entire 20k of my outstanding credit card balance because I don’t like the rising interest rate, so they take the money and tell me that the 25k credit line is now 500, as in 500 dollars, why are we bailing out these scumbags?

Posted by john | Report as abusive

I lost everything as a result of the overall downturn. I’m rebuilding, but will plan more cautiously in the future.

Posted by Bartleby | Report as abusive

Drove me to chapter 7 bankruptcy. How much more can i lose?

Posted by Broke American | Report as abusive

My husband lost his job at investment firm. Found another job but paying less. Tried to short sale house, but mortgage company dragged their feet and has now filed for bankruptcy. My employer has begun layoffs and my husband’s new job is cutting his pay.Even though all of our credit lines were being paid on time, the limits have been slashed. This is totally unfair. In the past few months, my house has become a nuse, my credit has gone from 700 to garbage, and employment is tentative. 2009 stinks.

Posted by Broke and Tired | Report as abusive

It’s the inconveniences that prove the trouble we’re in. I have a number of convenient resources, places where I can quickly accomplish what I need to do. Slowly these places have been crippled by the recession. Our cafe for employees closed, the dry-cleaner-shirt-laundry closed,dependable and knowledgeable employees took early departure, and the pot-holes in the streets aren’t being fixed. Parks and recreation areas are being closed. It’s a quality-of-life situation that changes incrementally.New merchants must be found. Money is a constant worry.

Posted by Stephen Zendt | Report as abusive

2009 has been the worst year for my husband and myself. First, my small business had to close it’s doors as business dropped significantly in October ’08 and it never bounced back. Next my husband was injured on the job and could not return. We are both employed at new jobs but the pay is about 1/2 of what we used to make and we were just getting by then. We had to file for bankruptcy–but still struggling to keep on top of our mortgage payments. Our $318k house just appraised for $190k. Cannot sell it even if we wanted to. Next year has got to be much better!

Posted by Cannot wait until 2010 | Report as abusive

The population of the U.S. is 304,059,724. Yet their are only 14 hardship comments. This begs the question…what credit crisis?

Financial crisis revealed that executive pay in corporate world does not reflect talent, quality of work and risk judgments the executives perform.Extent of taxpayer bailout of the financial world which in reality relies so much on growth of general economy appears to create further uncertainty and bubble situations.Difficult to see this as just in a social sense and how individuals as taxpayers should leverage going forward.

Posted by Dag Tvedt | Report as abusive

We the tax payer bailed out the banks, the banks are now borrowing at 0.50 % from the FED but are not prepared to refinance our homes at less than 5% is this fair?In other countries banks are passing to the consumer the benefit of low interest rate for example in the UK you can refinance at 1.5%!!! We will all have to move out of our homes so that Wall Street can continue to pay high bonuses. But what has happened is that the banks decided to leverage 40 times their capital and ask the tax payer for help if the investments did not go as planned. Who allowed this? The FED. It is a vicious circle and no one is out there to protect us!

Posted by David Brown | Report as abusive

My family has been affected by recession. first of all, My father’s factory has shrunk, since he started getting the bill. there is no where pays cash which is supposed to be used. I’m unive student. i’m already debtor who has borrowed more than Fifty Thousand Dollars from banks.Even though i will be graduated soon, i might have to start working to pay back that money. Recession has affected people’s life. it’s obvious, that is not only bad but also fatal.

Posted by dongho | Report as abusive

At the risk of being lynched, I must say that the past year has been one of my best. I got a great job, went on my first real vacation, got engaged and am planning my new family. I see the effects of this crisis all around me but I think I have suffered less because I don’t rely on credit more than I have to. I have only a reasonable car loan, no credit cards and I rent in a very nice affordable place.The nature of our financial system disgusts me honestly, I see people all around me who are no more than debt slaves. they work to pay interest to not only creditors, but to the federal reserve who takes our money and makes it disappear. All in the name of comfort, aesthetics and convenience. If I was the paranoid type I would say that some person or entity was doing their best to maintain class division and restrict personal wealth in certain sections of it.

Posted by jeremy | Report as abusive

In the 1940′s, a book was written in the aftermath of the political New Deal period called “Government in Business” but however one view’s “the broker state”, its clear that the image political government presents while enabling the largest transfer of wealth to the fewest numbers of people is about cultivating via TV and various media is one where dependency on government is key. Government is there to “rescue” (aka: bailout buzz word) reality is government is there to insure survival of those institutions, in Bernanke’s words, “to big too fail.”What self-interest drives these wealth leaches? Simple, the greatest good for the fewest, in particular, for finance capital.The implication is clear, take control of your wealth before poverty is your life. Keep cash in your control, barter wherever possible. Avoid insuring their profit, their existence, their dependency, their mismanagement, and without your resources they are lost.

My husband and I are both scientists, who moved to Singapore in 2004 to take what we thought were good jobs. We were both fired on the same day in the Spring of 2008. Since then, I was extremely lucky to find a new position, but my husband is still unemployed. We have 4 kids, rent an apartment from the University where I work, and don’t own a car (it’s exhorbitant in Singapore). The profit that we made from selling our house in the US in ’04, sensing an imminent crash in the housing market, was invested among other things in “financial products” touted by the bank’s investment advisor. These were down close to 50%, but have now bounced back to some extent. So the moral of the story is that we paid for the banking crisis too, without ever having taken out a subprime loan or even having had debt, and not even living in the US for the last 5 years.

Posted by susan | Report as abusive

Jasper wrote:The population of the U.S. is 304,059,724. Yet their are only 14 hardship comments. This begs the question…what credit crisis?I think that he’s missing two points here. First the question is rather silly. We’ve all been effected in some way by this crisis and will be for many years. Even people who don’t use credit are effected as costs rise for those who do use it.The second point is that as a group people are tired of talking about this. It’s like a death. You grieve, but after a while you grow weary of talking and just want to move on.In answer to the question, we lost a few hundred thousand peak to trough. We cut back on discretionary spending by 50% in 2009 vs. 2008. Can still cover all living expenses. For the first time in my life I had relatives calling me, looking to borrow money to pay mortgage or rent. Unemployment and underemployment are serious problems that will hobble any recovery going forward.

Posted by Barton | Report as abusive

Will be out of a job 09/18/2009. PNC bank, using TARP money bought out my employer.

I reside in the UK and here since 2000 the number of debt cases we deal with at our debt advisory charity has rocketed, due to unlimited credit granted by foolish banks and lack on government control over bank lending for retail shopping and property, commercial and resedential.We are now seing large numbers of unemployed in the UK and still many debt cases, and there is an urgent need for proper legislated credit control to stop this happening all over again in the UK…..

Posted by john franklin | Report as abusive

not one bit.only deadbeats’ credit will be affected.pay your bills, have an emergency fund…. even if ur CC lowers ur limit, it should make no difference!! just simply use another cc or apply for new card with ur stellar credit score.i have managed to buy new car and house…. i have lost money in the market but hey that’s what you get for taking on risk…

Posted by kai | Report as abusive

In September 2008, my wife and I bought her a new car, which we refinanced in December 2008. We bought our first home in May at 4.875%, and I just financed a used truck two weeks ago at 3.9%. What credit crisis?

Posted by Steve Kirkland | Report as abusive

I teach and have a full time night job out of fear of being laid off. Other have been, but my luck has held. I purchased a new car using the ‘cash for clunkers’ bill. I am fortunate to have a house that is paid off so I can spend my money supporting others. I have had to make my daughters house payment intermittently while she hunts for work. There was a family down the road with several kids that was going to get their power shut off for a few weeks just as school is about to start. I know the kids from school and couldn’t do nothing … another 250$. I think a factor regarding spending is all the money that family members spend supporting the less fortunate.

Posted by Brad H | Report as abusive

We were already retired when the crisis hit. Very fortunately at that time, our house was paid in full and we had no other debt except for a month’s expenses on our two credit cards. Also, fortunately, I had set aside some cash (I wish it had been more, of course!) from our stock and bond portfolia which, with regular Social Security payments, some real estate investment income, and a small bit of pension income coming in, has allowed us to continue to live comfortably (including a couple of nice trips overseas), if not lavishly. We will drive our 100% owned cars until they drop, as we always have. Of course, like very one else’s, that stock and bond portfolio is still too low in value to touch, short of an out and out emergency. So, again, “very fortunate” is our description.

Posted by Bill | Report as abusive

Get Real, The worst hurt wouldn’t have the means to respond.I own my home, we are both in job transition and I have about 45,000 in cc debt. What influenced my life is the cc change in interest rates. I love cc. But have to stop using them………

Posted by aab | Report as abusive

There are some sad stories on this blog and I hope a lot of people are able to get out of their situation.For myself, happily I have no debts at all. Still have investments and cash in the bank and a ongoing income.Thankfully, I am not struggling but am making sure I don’t spend if i don’t have to.The old adage cash is king comes to mind. Always have a black up plan and never ever have debt unless you have a years money to see out the bad times.

Posted by ken | Report as abusive

The credit crisis has made me realize that the world has changed and it will never be the same. I’ve been laid off as of July 1st and realize that I will probably never get a job with that pay scale ever again. I’m 54 and I am figuring out my new career.I don’t trust banks. I moved my money off shore 2 years ago. I am living the downfall of America. Our debt will be our downfall and I’m trying to figure out how to prepare for it and survive it.

Posted by Ann | Report as abusive

since the crisis hit, I have had two credit card companies lower my credit limit, while raising my interest rate. This caused a third credit card company to raise my rate also. Mind you, I make all my payments on time or early, and I often pay more than just the minimum due. My employer has forced furloughs, declined raises and COLA’s for at least a year resulting in pay losses of 5 – 8%. DOesn’t sound like much?? Now consider that all my utilities will go up somewhere between 4 to 8%. Suddenly, my losses are 9 – 18%. And my president wants to have me pay for the health care too?? Great.

Posted by Sam | Report as abusive

I bought a my home at what was the hieght of the market in the DC area. essentially, I paid $400K for what is now a $240K house. Loss: $160K. I know, I know. I hear it all the time, “just hold on to it and it will come back.” No, it’s a loss. If it takes 10 years to reach the break even point it will be a loss. $400K in 2019 dollars won’t be worth $400K in 2005 dollars. I have no other debt; no car payments, no credit card balances, no student loans to pay. I am $160 under water. I make good money. I could buy a new car but, I won’t. I could take a trip but, I won’t. I could buy a new computer or major appliance but, I won’t. I could renovate my home but, I won’t. Instead, I’ll be buying down the debt I have in my home and building cash reserves, as able. I’ll be paying the very same banks that my taxes bailed-out instead of spending to fuel the economy. The real credit crisis is that the economy depends on poeple spending money, often on credit, to buy goods and services. However, there are lots of poeple like me who are not spending money because they suddenly find themselves under water and worried. Worried about the devaluation of the dollar, inflation, growing unemployment and the additional 10 years now added to our retirement horizon. I have worked hard, paid my bills, lived within my means, saved and invested and paid my taxes. If I had to cash out today, sell everything I own and pay all my debt, I might just break even. That is the the real crisis.

Posted by Dave | Report as abusive

I have traded financial futures and options for 30 years, from the floor and off, but never have seen moves as in Mar 09 in bonds. To say extreme volatility is putting it mildly. My AMEX gold and skymiles credit card company cut my credit in half in late October without notice in the middle of a move from 30k to 15k (and I owed 13800 at the time) and had never made a late payment or under minimum (typically far above or paid down all) since 1976. It was their credit problem, not mine but caused a cascade effect (debt to total credit available) than B of A next did so and then my clearing firm on down. I could not make the money I had in the past as my margins were raised simultaneously due to market conditions. Then on March 27th, with the FOMC meeting, my credit score then still an ok above 710, plunged as I took a significant loss (unable to hedge or hold)and tomorrow declare chapter 7 as self employed and all my money was trading….including retirement, leased car, rental apartment, etcSo it has affected me enormously and what does one do when their tool of trade is cash and credit and I no longer have either? Nor health care at 59? I have no idea. No plan. And no future. All due to the “private” sector being greedy and inept. And then, laying their credit issues off on my life and business. Today, but the way, the show my credit as market to their imagination. Soon they will have to show the loss, and show mark to market on all defaulting or late paper (especially CDOs and their swaps which are not transparent at all). If we are to save the country they must be downsized again (a la Glass Steagall and reduced in size and allowed to fail. The should not be in insurance, or OTC (or under the counter) swaps, nor brokerage. They should be bankers and risk, as nothing is gained by reigning in credit as they have and they are our worst enemy followed by China …..which is where we should send them all if we want China destroyed (hence Iran and N Korea too).Had it. 30 years of living well and paying taxes and then destroyed by my trading mistake and mostly the banks.D Temple

this whole “crisis” indicates to me how compromised the entire US government is through the influence of lobbies. they (the government) is more interested in getting re-elected ( and obtaining the obscene amounts of money needed) than doing what is right for the common good of this country. as a result, they will not offend the lobbies who help them obtain these funds.

Posted by rick frost | Report as abusive

I’m retired with a very small income. Own my home, van and truck. So, I probably couldn’t credit anyway.

Posted by David | Report as abusive

Only “deadbeats” credit will be affected? Don’t you monitor the comments posted here that are used only as opportunities for someone to insult and annoy others? IndyMac Bank closed our Equity Line (after reviewing our home value with a software program from 3000 miles away) right in the middle of a renovation – yes, it has affected us. We paid our contrators, with our savings, leaving us no cushion.

Credit crisis, Oh if you have a job you have credit. It is the people that lost there job and have higher than 5% oh any home loan,automobile loan, credit card or any other personal credit that need their intersted lowered. Yeah like that is going to happen. Yes any one can get a loan but at what cost and with what un-scruploius credit companies that would charge even higher those nasty small quoted lines in any loan contract that can now charge up to 32% interest since government remove 18% interest limits on credit. The today age of loan sharking. They use to get upset with the mob doing this. Atleast they protected family better that what american is doing right NOW. With interest rising at a moment a payment is missed; people are loosing everything from home, Automobile,careers and even their family. If I could get my intersted lowered to less than even 6% on my home and other personal credit I would be able to save over 400 a month to be able to pay for groceries and dog food. I am at an age now where my pets mean everything to me to keep my mind from going crazy becuase of this economy. Oh one more thing now we have Japan following what Obama is doing to our economy. If one falls we will all fall.

I have been unemployed from a 25 year career for close to almost two years. I have even completed a four year degree to help in hopes of getting an upgrade on my career. Now I have a $42,000 student loan debt with no job in site.I actually graduated in 2005 I have had to defer my loans that long becuase of no payable careers in site better that what I was make before going to college. I went back to college becuase of my physical limitation of doing Hard physical LABOR and I have a lot physical damage due to HARD PHYSICAL LABOR. I need solution, not another quote go back to College and pay another student loan I can not pay.

Unless you are “gold plated” and don’t need credit, you won’t get credit, and that is just the way of George Bush’s credit system. Let’s not forget that this is HIS credit failing and NOT Mr. Obama’s. We are driving a 10-year old car and cannot get a loan for a new one and we are still renting a house, for we refused to get a “liar’s” loan for a mortgage. But that was what his entire administration was built upon, wasn’t it? Liar’s documentation? Until the credit bureaus are made to start over and see us as even, we won’t get credit again, not evenly.

Posted by Debbie Young | Report as abusive

I am trying to generate secondary income and I stopped going to restaurants, and seeing that 4% of the World’s population consumes 25% of its energy, I kick off the day with a MacDonald’s 1$ parity breakfast.

Posted by Casper | Report as abusive

My family is supported by our business http://www.kitchenbathwerks.com. We are a home remodeling company. We are doing plenty of bids, but people are balking at the costs. Home owners do not want to spend their savings cash at this time. Our business was fueled by borrowed money lent by banks as seconds on homes with plenty of equity. Homes purchased in the last 6-7 years are upside down. If a customer bought their home 10 years ago, they have equity and can get a loan. But business is way down. We are limping along living on small projects such as replacing a few windows or re-tiling a bath shower.

I’m in my late 20s and glad that I made all my financial mistakes early via Student Loans. The only debt I have is from my degree. When all of my friends were buying weddings, condos and cars- I chose to be a single, renter and drive a POS. Sure the “cooler” more fashionable people think I’m cheap and even look down on my lack of consumerism and status, but the jokes on them. I’ll be debt free in a few years. The only debt I might take on is 50% financing to buy the shortsale condo on the beach the COOL people overpaid for when it was the COOL thing to do.

Posted by MichaelJ | Report as abusive

Funny almost everybody who has posted is feeling this in some way but yet not one word on the real problemTHE FEDERAL RESERVE! It’s a private offshore bank! They have you fooled that is is part of the Gov.Get the book “The Creature from Jekyll Island” Read how the FED was born and how it runs and ruins our financial well being.Support Ron Paul’s Bill HR1207 and S 604 to audit the FEDWake up SLAVES!

Posted by Clayton | Report as abusive

My husband lost his job in October 2008. He has yet to find a job in his field (Superintendent for Under ground Untitlies)Lot of ads in the paper no one is really hiring. I am working almost full time now trying to replace his income (I only make about half). His unemployment benefits end soon so it will get harder before it gets better. But I know that all recession end, so it will get better. It just will take a while.

Posted by Tina Winston | Report as abusive

@ August 31st, 20094:59 pm GMTYou are correct – the Federal Reserve is at the heart of all this. The Creature From Jekyll Island is a MUST READ if you want to understand what has been happening to our money for the last hundred years.The author, G. Edward Griffin will be speaking along with Tom Woods (author of Meltdown) and Joan Veon (search youtube for “When Central Banks Rule the World” at the Freedom Conference in Pittsburgh Tuesday Sept 22 right before the G20 summit.Visit freedomconference2009.com for more info.

What I read and see in the media is sad in the past few months. I think that the problem is that we want it “BIG” always more … If you ever read the litle fine print on your card contract you would know that 1st, it is not your money but someone else …I am a student and the crisis just made me realize how much the avrage person dont know wat is money, credit or even a budget! Most people will work like slave for the rest of theire life doing the 9 to 5. This crisis is nothing! what is going to hapend when you’ll want to retire! The CC is just a temporary solution for a long term crisis!

Posted by heykiii | Report as abusive

This credit crisis has of course impacted everyone. The sad part is that the very banks and companies that were responsible for this crisis were bailed out with mainstreets money. They can file for bankruptcy but not mainstreet. They get bailouts and then decide to raise the interest rates on loans and credit cards. What sort of system and justice is this. The got a lobby but noone represents the average american. The only way around is to nationalizie all these banks.

Posted by Bobby Mehta | Report as abusive

My husband was a gym teacher in a small private school. He was laid off in October because enrollment dropped and has been unable to find another job in his field. Since the school was a non-profit, he was not eligible to collect unemployment.

Posted by Sue | Report as abusive

It has been disappointing to see that legislature designed to protect consumers has actually given credit card companies free license to revise credit card rates and limits, usually to the detriment of consumers, prior to the August 09 deadline. I for one am a responsible credit card holder attempting to pay off my debt, but have seen my perfect payment history rewarded by reductions in my credit and increases in my rates. Now my debt to credit ratio is hindering my once near perfect credit. All through no fault of my own, it feels as if I am being punished by large companies despite the fact that I have always adhered to their requirements.

One thing that seems to be entirely overlooked by all the complainers is that people have spent beyond their limits – credit is spending ‘future earnings’ and paying a hefty fee for the privilege. Yes, it is wrong that banks and credit card companies nickel and dime us (regulation needed!) but some of the responsibility lies with the consumer!!! Don’t spend what you have not earned yet. Housing prices were astronomical – they only had one way to go – down! All the people that complain now that their houses lost in value still were the ones who agreed to buy them for a set price, then probably were enjoying showing off their new home and now feel they are unfairly stuck with the bill. And yes, also here should be some government intervention – if fraud (or intentional price inflation) by a lender or appraiser can be proven than that company should be held responsible and lower the payments to what would have been fair to begin with – even that won’t happen since ‘de-regulation’ is hoped to be the cure-all).Long story short, DON’T SPEND WHAT YOU HAVEN’T ALREAD EARNED. Save for a rainy day. Vote for universal health care – we will get stuck with the tab either way but at least we’ll all have coverage and maybe the insurance and pharma companies take some of the losses instead. Stop bailing out companies – start giving start-up funds to small businesses, loan at fair rates to the people. We need to start producing because all this ‘servicing and managing’ has NOT paid off for most – only the few that skim off the top!

Posted by Mike Wallace | Report as abusive

I work for a consulting firm that was doing very well before the crisis. For the past couple of years, the company shrunk from almost 90 people to about 25 and survivors have to work with reduced salaries, increased hours, and now furlough (the new craze). Each of my last paychecks is close to what I would make in unemployment but I am working 50-60 hr weeks.We work for banks and financial institutions and we see that they are sitting on lots of money and all are waiting to make their move. The banks got bailed out, got the chance to cleanse themselves from bad loans, and the vultures are waiting to jump on more prey. I guess this is the new American way!

Posted by architect | Report as abusive

The credit crisis hasn’t affected me. I didn’t live beyond my means. I could have gotten a nice house and driven a BMW but I knew this was beyond my means and risk tolerance. For someone to say they want a cramdown or lower interest payment is insane. Just to get this straight people lived beyond there means and now want me and every tax payer in America to cover them. It’s repulsive. And to see the comments on here is even worse. People just want more credit. HELLO! That’s what got us into this mess. Try living within your means and saving.

Posted by Peter | Report as abusive

How has it effected me? Back in 2003 I pulled all my wife’s and my own 401k savings, when it was easy to do it. We took the tax hit because we saw what was coming and I figured we would make it back thanks to Fed policies if I invested it in gold. Yes I did make it back, and then some. $340 gold is now $950 gold. While I preached what was coming no one would listen. I was considered crazy by most. In 2007 most that called me crazy lost 40% or better of what they had. I recently lost my job due to the economy and downsizing but prior to that I purchased a vending cart, “just in case” we would need it. It now supplies a major part of our income while I look for another job in my chosen field, for less money. The world better be ready for round 2. It is not far behind. Your media reports are a bit better than most but you still are a cheerleader for the administration. You would be better off with a bit more truth presented to the readers and less fiction. “History doesn’t repeat……it rhymes” Mark Twain. Dare you to post……proud if you do.

Posted by M Novak Jr | Report as abusive

It is obvious the current economic crisis is caused by greed, overconsumption, and lack of saving…. but not by most average Americans!Everyone knows tons of small formerly profitable businesses are going under across this country, because they can’t compete with unregulated goliaths who are accustomed to getting everything for free from corrupt politicians and other “leaders”.What about the banks? If they had saved some of their profits as reserves, instead of lining their “darling employee’s” pockets, maybe we would have been able to avoid this credit crisis which has cost many Americans their jobs, including mine!!!!! Instead they get bailed out, and then greedily clutch the money they’re supposed to lend.You know that big box you frequent, because you’re trying to make ends meet because of the downturn? Many are forcing manufacturers to build their products overseas if they want contracts to sell their products in their stores. The land the big box stores sit on is often given to them through politicians eager to bring in “good paying jobs.” They often make “arrangements” to not have to pay much in taxes to the communities they plunder, while soiling our land with cheap, disposable, unrepairable products. They often DO make a big deal of the miniscule amount of their profits they contribute to charity, to draw your attention away from the fact they’re sucking the blood (money) out of the community, and shipping it to their “corporate headquarters” and a few CEOS!We have been brainwashed into believing that short term profitability will make us rich. Outsourcing, and reduced costs yield greater returns from our investments. We were led to believe this was good for us, and we believed it as we watched our 401Ks grow. Who has your money now??????Today, design, engineering, medical, computer programming, and even drafting services are being outsourced as readily as manufacturing jobs were in the past. Is there no end to the greed of American corporations? Should Corporations really be allowed to reap the benefits of this country’s tax payer provided protections and advantages if they refuse to employ Americans?As most everything is made in another country, even much of our food, and professional service jobs disappear, we are left wondering if there will be enough “green” “medical” and “education” jobs for everyone????????? Oh yes, you could also join the military and become a hero, defending the decisions of the corrupt politicians mentioned above. The only sarcasm in the last sentence was intended for the politicians and their devilish ways, not our soldiers!!!!!I am an experienced, licensed professional having a difficult time finding work. I didn’t overspend. I drive an old truck, and rent instead of owning a home.My former employer was a reputable firm for the last twenty plus years with 60 employees. They are now out of business.

Posted by pissed off | Report as abusive

I am an educated, experienced, licensed professional having a difficult time finding work. I didn’t overspend. I drive an old vehicle that is paid for, and rent instead of owning a home.My former employer was a reputable firm for the last twenty plus years with 60 employees. They are now out of business.It is obvious the current economic crisis is caused by greed, overconsumption, and lack of saving…. but not by most average Americans!Everyone knows thousands of small formerly profitable businesses are going under across this country, because they can’t compete with unregulated goliaths who are accustomed to getting everything for free from corrupt politicians and other “leaders”.What about the banks? If they had saved some of their profits as reserves, instead of lining their “darling employee’s” pockets, maybe we would have been able to avoid this credit crisis which has cost many Americans their jobs, including mine!!!!! Instead they get bailed out, and then greedily clutch the money they’re supposed to lend.You know that big box you frequent, because you’re trying to make ends meet because of the downturn? Many are forcing manufacturers to build their products overseas if they want contracts to sell their products in their stores. The land the big box stores sit on is often given to them through politicians eager to bring in “good paying jobs.” They often make “arrangements” to not have to pay much in taxes to the communities they plunder, while soiling our land with cheap, disposable, unrepairable products. They often DO make a big deal of the miniscule amount of their profits they contribute to charity, to draw your attention away from the fact they’re sucking the blood (money) out of the community, and shipping it to their “corporate headquarters” and a few CEOS!We have been brainwashed into believing that short term profitability will make us rich. Outsourcing, and reduced costs yield greater returns from our investments. We were led to believe this was good for us, and we believed it as we watched our 401Ks grow. Who has your money now??????Today, design, engineering, medical, computer programming, and even drafting services are being outsourced as readily as manufacturing jobs were in the past. Is there no end to the greed of American corporations? Should Corporations really be allowed to reap the benefits of this country’s tax payer provided protections and advantages if they refuse to employ Americans?As most everything is made in another country, even much of our food, and professional service jobs disappear, we are left wondering if there will be enough “green” “medical” and “education” jobs for everyone?????????

Posted by dr | Report as abusive

@DavePyet no one else even talks of the Federal Reserve here. They give macro experiences but never talk of the underling problem. It really is like people are asleep!Wow, and I used to laugh at that term, now I’m seeing it more and more.

Posted by Clayton | Report as abusive

“THE FEDERAL RESERVE! It’s a private offshore bank! They have you fooled that is is part of the Gov.”All Reserve Banks are and must be independent from Treasuries. The latter collects taxes and allocates it against budgets, hence a ‘shortage or surplus on budgets’ To cover a shortage, Treasuries have to borrow from somewhere. The former decides on monetary and fiscal policy, e.g. money supply and interest rates. As always, there will be Government interference. The same analogy applies to the Attorney General and Auditor General and the Judiciary.”One thing that seems to be entirely overlooked by all the complainers is that people have spent beyond their limits – credit is spending ‘future earnings’ and paying a hefty fee for the privilege.”Exactly ! We love to spend what other people have saved, i.e. what other investors deposit into banks, we spend on credit. The banks merely intermediate. The shorter the period to maturity, the higher the interest rate. The banks make an ‘interest turn’ on the rate at which they borrow from the Feds, and Fees. That covers their operational costs and free cash flows which props up our pension fund portfolios and their bonuses.Get used to it.

Posted by Casper | Report as abusive

I too had great credit before this recession, at least until I was laid off last year. I was always frugal with my money, never bought any luxuries, fancy cars or expensive things. I still have yet to find work, jobs are quite scarce these days. I collect no UI benefits nor receive government assistance of any kind, however I did move in with a friend to try and extend my personal savings as long as I could. Now my savings has nearly dried up, and its gotten to the point where I’m unsure where my next meal is coming from. Strange that I should now be here, never quite expected this to happen to me. Always did the right thing, always played fair. Its real tough out there now.. when I’m lucky enough to get a job interview I know there are a hundred or more applicants all competing for it, but I continue to try my best and keep my chin up. I ride the city bus now since I can’t afford to fix my clunker (didn’t qualify for cash for clunkers since I had to let my insurance lapse and no job). Last week I was lucky to get a job interview, but had to walk three miles for it since bus service in my city is spotty. Someone else got the job, but I remain hopeful that something will open up for me soon. Cheers!

Posted by Michael | Report as abusive

the shockwaves were felt on the other side of the world. I live and work in India, whilst we have been contributing the same numbers and growth y-o-y but seems due to the happenings in the West, our bonuses and salaries have been curtailed. I have not had a salary and bonus hike since two years. Dont repent it but yes, sometimes feel we have been made subject to this without any direct contribution to this catastrophe.On the flip side, we Indians eitherways enjoy a high savings rate, I save c. 50 pct of my salary, that saving ratio owing to the crisis has increased, now I save 60 pct. (with the exception of my wife :))But as good times dont last, bad times also dont last for long, I think what we are asking by curtailing credit is changing attitues and behavioural patterns, I am not sure how successful has the mankind been to change itself from habits it has inhibited i.e excess spending.

Posted by AmAg | Report as abusive

Since I was priced out of the housing market in 2005 I bought a small mobile home. Luckily what I pay for space rent is less than a comparable apartment. I am still paying off my car. But those are my only debts. My 401k has been halved, but since I am 34 I figure I have many years to make up the loss.I’m just gonna keep working paying off my house and car and saving what little I can.

Posted by nika | Report as abusive

I am from Mumbai and I trade in US interest rate instruments.I have seen the “subprime” buzz turn in to recession.Well to say the least I totally agree that it was the greed which caused this crisis.Its easy to blame the Investments Banks and traders alone.But why do we forget it was the masses who spent and indulged,were they not greedy when they bought multiple houses,spent needlessly on oil guzzling cars, went on shopping spree on credit?(& chose W to power twice !!).What were they thinking?Its allthemore easier to blame outsourcing, why don’t we consider the same when Companies pay peanuts to employees in Developing nations;Sell products in Developing markets at international prices and suck the money from the poor countries to grow richer? Everyone wants profits but at the others cost.You want your Investments/companies to grow from sales in Developing countries but would not like them to be employed even if they work for fraction of cost.Either you globalize in spirit or become a closed economy.Your 401 K’s should give you returns but they should not create opportunities for others.Thats just unfair and backward.World economic powers came together to solve this problem.New order will come forth, those who are smart enough will survive and thrive, rest can live in past fantasies.The question is will people continue to mollycoddle themselves,again?

Posted by Pranav | Report as abusive

Been in business 15 yrs., now I’m 50. I can’t cut anymore expenses. No one is spending here. No one wants to hire a 50 year old. I have no medical insurance, retirement age for S.S. has been pushed up two years.I am running a deficit, in the black, that has depleted most of my savings. I am trying to leave the state but no one want’s to buy my house. They say you should be able to go 1 year on your savings should anything happen. This has gone to far! We are in a depression however, the politician has special words and phrases for you.It is time take down a few notches some CEO’s and politicians, let them them see the bottom. Take away their health care, wealth and happiness.Do I want a red bulls-eye (Target)reminder when I look for bargains? Boycott WalMart and Target folks, don’t be suckered by super capitalism.

Posted by Boo Hoo | Report as abusive

…ahem, India, China, Brazil and Russia, in my opinion, are developed economies, even embedded, especially with unrecorded informal GDP’s. Take China – they glut the World markets with cheap (labour) products that require recalls.

Posted by Molly Coddle | Report as abusive

My fiance have been fortunate not to be affected in a negative way by the current crisis. We have both been smart spenders all our lives and good at saving. I think we benefit from the downturn because we have had the extra cash to spend and things are cheaper than before. So where we did not spend in the past on things that were once higher, we spend now and get good quality for less.I think it comes down to smart spending and knowing when to cut the bleeding before you are in too big of a hole. In my early 20′s I struggled to meet my bills, so I decided that there was no sense hurting myself by trying to attain things I could not afford. So instead of spending I saved money. That habit has helped me not only in my personal life but in my career as well.

Lehman Brothers have a number of UK sub-prime lenders in the housing market, One of which is SPML (southern pacific) run by a company called Capstone, who owe LehmanBrothers some 60million through inter-company loans/accounts, They have issued legal/repossession against most of there accounts in the sub-prime marketand are by far one of the worst company,s in this fieldThey have made the pages of recent publications includingThe House of Commons Treasury Committee on Mortgage arrears, also the FSA and the FOS have many cases against them, and there is a serious concern over the intolerable strain this company is putting on people lives.?

Posted by DEREK | Report as abusive

You’ve got to be kidding me? How have I been affected? My wife and I bought our home in August of 2006 at the height of the market. We are now under water in that we owe more than it’s worth. Also my 401k has been cut in half. The silver lining is that we didn’t buy an expensive house to begin with; the total amount we owe is roughly equivalent to our annual taxable income. So while we’re definitely affected, others are much worse off.

Posted by Richard | Report as abusive

Hello There , Seamus from Ireland here . I was struggling financially up to this year .I’ve found a new financial lease of life buying and selling bank shares of our ailing Irish banks . It is the best thing that ever happened me !Rock On !

Posted by Seamus | Report as abusive

To Pravnav from Mumbai – In answer to your question about what people were thinking – they thought that the credit available to them, and the markets that have persisted for decades, would continue. This was a reasonable assumption for a “normal person” especially given that experts at the Fed said things were fine.So instead, a huge number of people have been overwhelmed by the systemic risks these traders created, and the Fed ignored. So, for example, you can’t get the refinancing needed for your mortgage because even though the fed is lending out at 0.25%, banks are hording money just in case things get worse. And you can’t sell your house because even if you aren’t underwater, those same banks aren’t lending money to others.

Posted by pac | Report as abusive

To answer the question, we have aggressively tried to pay down or mortgage for the past 5 years, but we moved to a better job. We’re having trouble selling our property because even though we get interest, people are having problems putting financing together.

Posted by pac | Report as abusive

nothing, i don’t drive a car, i don’t have a house I’ve never had any real money so there is no change there.in 2000 you could really already see a bubble was being created in the housing market ‘unless you were blind’.and a house is NOT AN INVESTMENT, that’s the only important thing people should get trough their thick skulls.

Posted by markR | Report as abusive

Yankee Doodle had a car,Bought with US bank debt.He hit a bear and lost a wheel,And drove down an embankment.Spun the wheels and now he’s stuck,In bad sub prime molasses,Shame that Fred and Fann are sunk,They might have lent a hand.Along the road came Goldman Sachs,Who heard poor Yankee holler,”I might just help” wise Goldman said,”If you could lend a dollar”.He took his wand and waved it round,His biro made a clicking sound,”Just call your car a house” he said,”And then there’ll be no problem”So Yankee set out on the road,To get fed’ral assistance,But help from nearby BernankeWould take a bit o’ distance.On coming back, the sun beat downUpon poor Yankee’s beaten browAnd so he stopped along the way,To drink at Wall Street Bar.”Get out, you swine” The owner cried,”You have not learned your lesson”For Yankee’s tab was well and spent,And he was in recession.The moral of the tale was lost,And Yankee’s car, alas, the cost.He focused too much on his speed,And not where he was headed.

Posted by Haha | Report as abusive

For me: I lost almost every dollar of unused credit lines, knocking my credit score down by over a hundred points.

My fiance and I bought a $300K house in Feb 2008 with 1% down. She left me in Nov 2008 and I was left unable to make the $2400 /month mortgage payment. The house has dropped in value by $60K. After 6 months of going in circles, the bank (Citi) has completely dropped the ball. First, they denied my loan modification request, then they put a $30K promissory note on my short sale (to which I said no) and finally, they denied my request for a deed in lieu. These banks are mentally deficient and dysfunctional to say the least. So, off to foreclosure goes the house and I will fight these SOB’s and stay in the house until the bitter end (for spite). I don’t care anymore that I will have a foreclosure on my credit (so will millions of other Americans). I will most likely never want to be a homeowner again. Obama to the rescue? I don’t think so!

Posted by Bob | Report as abusive

Well, I was laid off, reckoned I had made enough to retire on, and am now doing a PhD. Let’s see where this leads me.

Posted by s | Report as abusive

I, as so many people in this country,am in a very difficult situatation. I am very surprised that there is no mention of the millions of us who have had to file chapter 13 to get out of debt. And as you know, after the 13 there is more problems trying to get back on our feet. The credit rating that we were so proud of, is now gone. There will be more hard times ahead for all of us.

Posted by Fernando Huerta | Report as abusive

THE super rich and corrupted systems will finally come crashing down in the next few years don’t take my word for it …check it out (p.s.there have been 10 other crashes in wall street history …wait till you see this one coming up…WOW!

Posted by bob 4 the poor | Report as abusive

In California, housing prices have been out of control for years and years. I’m suprised the bubble didn’t burst long ago. I didn’t buy a house cause I thought they were overpriced even 5 or 6 years ago. The main way the recession has been affecting me is that the interest rate on my 401k is really low. But that’s actually been going on for years. It started back when Greenspan kept lowering the prime rate over and over again till it was almost zero. In essence, that contributed to overpriced houses, people getting mortagages they couldn’t afford, and people who were saving money not earning good interest on it anymore.

Posted by charles | Report as abusive

WOW! Sounds like a lot of people are in quite a pickle.Well, I’m 17, turning 18 soon, and still have my job I got 3 years ago as a junior network technician. I was actually going to get a raise from minimum wage to $15/hr, but the whole “recession” thing happened, and I could either forfeit the raise or my job. After looking at some of the comments I guess it could’ve been worse.I’ve paid for most of my wants. My desktop, laptop, and cellphone were all paid for with my own money. But my necessities like food, water, electricity are provided by my parents.So, I guess I’m sheltered in that respect, and couldn’t possibly imagine what most of you are going through. I don’t understand what “sub-prime mortgages”, “401k”, and this “housing bubble” thing is, and have been terrified of “investments” and “credit”. What is this stuff? Is it like real money or something else? I guess I’ll learn later on.As you can see, they don’t teach us this stuff in school, actually, they don’t really teach us much at all. And my parents don’t want to talk about finances whenever I ask them about it.I honestly wonder, what’s going to happen in the future? At the rate universities are hiking up prices I think I’ll just go to the local community college. I qualify for a full scholarship…for now anyway.

Posted by Rob | Report as abusive

I have realised that I have to shut my mouth,listen, hold on to what I have, ride out the boredom and not make mistakes at work. I do however feel very sorry for the elderly whose income streams have reduced radically and who might become destitute.That’s sad and worrying.

Posted by Casper Lab | Report as abusive

the financial crisis has not affected me so much because of l have regularly income. maybe the reason why l live in Turkey. Banking system in turkey and turkish economy are very strong anymore…

Posted by cumali | Report as abusive

“and a house is NOT AN INVESTMENT, that’s the only important thing people should get trough their thick skulls.”This particular comment is a little disturbing. A house is definitely an investment, as over a long period of time 99% of them will increase in value.The problem was not necessarily with people investing in the real estate market. It was the refinancing into ARM’s and the Overbuying that caused this mess. I bought an overpriced condo in the beginning of 2005 and sold it at an even more absurdly high price 18 months later. All said and done i walked away with 40k. After paying off all my debt, i also bumped my credit score into the high 700′s. I then lived in an apartment for 3 years until i bought a much nicer house out of foreclosure in april. The old addage for making money in the stock market is to “buy low, sell high.” It was never to buy low, refinance high. Those of us who sold when others were refinancing are doing just fine, and we are the ones getting all the great deals on homes now.I feel bad for families that are losing their houses because of lost jobs or other economic maladies. I will not and cannot feel sorry for people who refinanced their homes to two or three times its value and now are losing them. The house i bought for 70K was foreclosed on with an outstanding loan balance of 300K, and the guy that refinanced it to that amount and then walked away did not have to give all that money back. He gets to keep his boat and his SUV and whatever else he paid cash for, and he loses a house he had no chance of ever paying off and takes a hit on his credit score. Like he will need credit anytime soon! He already owns everything he needs, and he’s probably renting a nice house on the cheap now. It’s the rest of us that foot the bill for him now, because we, the one’s who pay our bills on time and work hard to pay back what we owe, we are the one’s having our credit lines cut down to nothing, which drops our credit scores fast.I completely agree with loan modification, as i believe that everyone who refinanced all the ballooned value out of their house should be legally responsible to pay back every dime. Even if it is at a greatly reduced monthly payment, there should be NO OPTION to walk away and leave the mess for the rest of us to clean up.

The drying up of credit has impacted the telecoms industry which I work in. As a result, telecoms firms are less likely to spend on large systems implementations projects that my firm bids for. The result has been less available work, mass layoffs and desperate to keep to my job I took a role on one of the last projects available… in Saudi Arabia. I want my old life back!

Posted by Anon | Report as abusive

I\’ve been most fortunate.Last September I had an incling that the economy was going to get worse before it would get better. So, I transfered my savings from an equities fund to a government bond fund. The next day Leman Brothers went belly up.In April of this year I transfered the money back into the equities fund.These two decisions amount to value of about $200,000.As of last week I\’m out of equities again.Unless I do something imprudent in the next few years, my retirement will be a bit better because of market fluctuations resulting from the credit crisis.

Posted by Chuck | Report as abusive

I have become a professional blogger to kill time and also spill my guts to the whole Western world. It helps. No ways I will ever work in Saudi again. Consequently I spend some time with my shrink on Saturday mornings, to kill some more time and utilise health care benefits to it fullest extent before end December. Next week the whole family is going and then we all move over to specialised dental treatment for the remainder of 2009.Good luck Chuck !

Posted by Casper Lab | Report as abusive

I like the character analysis of the reader who explains how banks make money providing credit to people – by charging interest. Obviously that guy works for a bank. So do I. By the way, the banks have behaved in exactly the same way as the foolish people you describe. With one exception. Getting funds at 0% and lending at 5 plus generous state support that´s there to help, who would complain? I´m not happy about the way the business model works but I have loans too and I hate being ripped off. Not all of us have spent beyond our means, you know! In that scenario the bonuses are allways there – and that´s not a fair deal for those businesses without access to government funding. Those banks that fueled the crisis with their pathetic investments are laughing all the way because this way the debt generated will be wiped and fed loan paid off easily. Back to square one. No reason to change the model, right? Don´t be fooled that anything fundamental will change in the way banks operate. Yes it will be discussed for years but no one will dare to touch it. Sad but true. Just make sure you get out of this game before the next bubble bursts.

Posted by Franz Kafka | Report as abusive

i want to start by saying that all my thoughts and prayers go out to my fellow americans as well as the others around the world who are dealing with a scary present and future. eventhough i am facing a foreclosure and bankruptcy as a result of losing over half of my income, i wake up grateful every day. i am currently employed(although this could change tomorrow), have a roof over my head, food to eat, people i love and who love me back. i’m a 34 yr old single gal and would be lying if i said that i didn’t make any poor financial choices over the years- i was naive and thought my income would remain the same. when i lost my job i stupidly resorted to the large amounts of credit i had available. i have learned a hard lesson and am moving forward with a different mind-set. i spend money only on what i need now. i am young and should have time to recover with these new attitudes i have gained… my heart really goes out to those who are older and to the parents who have lost their jobs with children to support.

Posted by hope | Report as abusive

Dealing with the professional motorsports teams, I thought and felt secure. We built a solid reputation as a leader of high performance equipment. But when the sponsors started writing smaller checks. Things started going south and fast. Six digits to zero in three years. So this financial mess really started for my family and I in 2006 (about the same time Detroit started feeling beat-up).We went from living high on the hog to living in a motorhome. I went touring the country with my family for 7 months. Regrouped and will start over where the new doors of opportunity have opened.I try to view it as not bad, but different.Hell’ I was getting tired of the pool, yard and house maintenance anyway.Lessons for me: Never listen to the White House hype. Trust my gut. Listen to people like; David Walker, former Comptroller General and all the other guys whom not always paint a rosy picture.Take note of people getting on-board with their life jackets in hand.

The Credit Crisis has not affected me at all physically, however it has scared the crap out of me emotionally.

Posted by Mithan | Report as abusive

I have had a steady and successful career in the Entertainment Business as a Performer and Producer for 40 years up unitil the Depression. I have been making my living as a well regarded Pianist. I have never been out of work in twenty years except for travel time. Now my work is a financial extravagance. The last two years have been a nightmare. But I will prevail; from here on out it’s all time and patience. Time to rehearse and plan, and patience while the national ship rights itself.

Posted by A.J. Franks | Report as abusive

Having been very low on money and only marginally employed for the better part of my adult life, I am not affected, for I have learned not only to live without, but to prefer being without much of what is generally considered essential.I have no television set, for example, no wireless telephone (much less “cell” or “mobile” service), no GPS, and no “services,” e.g., “lawn care,” manicures, etc. I have no “retirement savings” whatsoever, so the market never had any of my pennies to multiply or to lose. I do not think the thief Bernard Madoff had “victims.” Those people crying over their losses now were trying to amass great personal wealth outside the rules—you had to be “let in” by BM (perfect initials for him) and he was known not to “accept” people just desperate to get in on his scheme. They did not want to know how their money might be doubled or trebled; they just wanted it done, sort of like people who want to eat meat but be spared the facts of butchering mammals and poultry.Frankly, I pity the people dependent on gadgets and prop-ups and curtains drawn over what it would dim their pleasure to know, and gullible in the face of advertisements that they need more more more when they have money, and then, when they are losing money, more more more advice on “how to do with less.”And I think that having lost their toys and indulgences, they are helpless. They cannot cook or launder and iron their own clothes or fix anything that breaks in their over-large houses. They cannot wash their cars. They cannot read a map. They cannot raise their own children, or even train their dogs, without hired help. They cannot rake their own leaves; they are lost unless a truck pulls up and six Mesicans jump out with what looks like diving gear strapped on.I think, with obvious exceptions, that the American poor are better off for knowing what they must know to survive, having to toil such that their bodies are strong, and for having the experience of fending for themselves. They know how to be cold, how to be sick, how to stretch food, etc.I just finished “Silas Marner,” a maligned novel that is truly a lovely book, which ends with the rejection of lordly wealth by a beautiful young woman from quite humble means. And she is not only firm in her decision, but positively joyful about it, and so is the reader, for her and the people that love her.

Posted by nbe | Report as abusive

I am most lucky to still be employed, as my husband has been out of work for 5 years after back surgery and a spine in terrible condition. He’s in constant pain, but luckily we both have insurance. My insurance for him as a dependent has been raised in price to over $1,000 per month, and I can’t handle the medical and other bills my myself any longer. I have started bankruptcy proceedings. I am lucky to have a home, car and family to love me and for me to love. We do everything we can to save money. We eat very frugally, and pay the bills before anything else. But you get to the point where you have given all you can, and there is no more. Our budget surprises people that we have been able to stay afloat this long.I really feel for others who have, through no fault of there own, lost their homes. When we purchased our home in 1987 it cost us only $33,000 but through job losses and illness, we’ve had to refinance a few times. We will try to hold on to our home regardless of all else. It isn’t fancy, needs work, but it’s a roof over our heads, and a haven.Something must be done about medical costs in this country. If not for all I am paying for medical, I would be able to keep things afloat, but we can’t be without it – not with him in his condition and me with a heart condition. We are stuck paying these premiums as long as we are able. I only hope Congress remembers the people who they are supposed to represent, instead of the fat cat drug companies greasing their palms. We, the people have no one to represent us. Things have to change, somehow, but I fear it will get worse before it gets better.

Posted by Jean Davis | Report as abusive

I am on the edge of forclosuer now,no savings or investmants left. I am out of work and runing out of finds to survive.I have a wife and 9 year old son who all understand the economic melt down.Wall street is being helped not main street. Economic contraction in the US is on going yet few programs are helping the middel class who are struggeling.

Posted by william t bernal | Report as abusive

I have a small business that sells payment processing equipment. This whole year has been terrible due to the fact that many of the small businesses out there are not spending. They are scared!! (as well as I) Why start a business right now when everytime you turn the news a business is going bankrupt. The enviroment out here is getting worse and worse as many businesses are out of money (and savings) after 9 months of losses. These businesses (as well as I) can not go out and make money when people are not spending. Bottom line. Its a trickle down effect. The small business is trully hurting. Where is our bail out!?I have gone from making 200k plus in sales (and growing) to 60K this year. I can not pay my mortgage, I can not pay my credit card bills, nor can I buy anything for my business or make any serious investment in anything.I have really looked seriously into bankruptcy since I cant really see myself making up all these loses. Good luck to all of you small business owners.

Posted by George | Report as abusive

All was OK and peachy keen until the gov’t raised our corporate taxes. I decided the paperwork, cost of processing, and the taxes were too scary and frustrating. I closed the business, laid off my employees and retired on what I had been able to arrange over 50+ years of hard work.The economy does not bother me at all. I’m working on liquidation, then I will evaporate to another country. I’m NOT going to stay here in socialism.

Posted by GeneS | Report as abusive

To a small extent, principally because I work in banking and ‘bonus’ is a bad word anyway, regardless of the fact I work for a conservative bank on the high street and am working harder than ever – targets have not dropped because there is a recession on! About 3 years ago, I could expect that, with hard work, my salary would be topped up by c.25%, pretty much in-line witha public sector employee in a similar role. This year I will be lucky to see 5%The attitude of the public has been varied, with most seeming to expect ‘the banks’ to help them out, reghardless of whether they are govenment owned or not. There is still a lack of realisation from the public in general of their own liability and the fact they really do owe this money out.The biggest hit of all for me personally is the feeling that my job is no longer secure.

Posted by Adam K | Report as abusive

in india we jst faced major job cuts due to world credit crisis also it make affects on our industrial growth & export also …….. bt we recover almost thughout govermnt bailout pakages ,,,,,, & FII investmnt in our countrythats our gr88888 india !!!!!!!

Posted by shantnu gupta,bareilly,india | Report as abusive

Lost 60% of my savings- some recoverymy present is ok but my future uncertain and a business investment lost. Merrill Lynch recklessness responsible for much of the loss. Unbelievable how they used their retail clients (individual ivestors) to feed their fees and investment banking. Hopefullyh their will be some justice. Regultors need to follow the money for wrongful practices.

Posted by Thomas On | Report as abusive

I ran a foreign money market fund starting back in 2004 that did extremely well. In mid 2006, I had two partners who became beligerent as they kept badgering me regarding how much money Bernie Madoff was making for them. My objectives were far more conservative and I was earning 300 basis points over US money market equivalents in overnight money. I had other partners who were tossing my auditted financial statements, highlighting what I thought was stellar performance, in the garbage. I couldn’t get arrested selling my fund’s performance while writing papers about the coming credit debacle. My Lawyer, whom I have known for 25 years, convinced me to shut down that fund that these partners weren’t worth the effort. In late 2006, I closed my fund and fired my partners and never regretted it. They all lost substantial amounts of funds through other managers. And the two who had money with Madoff? Both of their names were on the infamous list…couldn’t have happened to two greedier goniffs.

Posted by John P. Crowley | Report as abusive

I was laid off in January. Our company did not make it and went belly up. I did not get my severance pay, vacation, or wages. I’ve been collecting unemployment since then and recently decided to go back to school to be productive as well as learn a new trade since I have not been able to find a job. As a result, my checks stopped! with no notice at all! I have a family of nine and my husband’s hours were recently cutback. I have a great deal of stress and that alone has triggered many illnesses. I’ve worked all my life only to be denied medical benefits, which I feel I’ve contributed too. Our government has really screwed things up and the worst part is that the little people like me, are the ones that reap the consequences. I’m sure they eat and sleep well while I’m here wondering if I will have nexts months rent. My cushion has depleted and we are now leaving paycheck to paycheck. I have never experience such a turbulence like I am now. What next?

Actually in California as real estate business we know when fed-rev rise apr rate back in 2006-2007, we know this will happen. once fed rise apr rate. people began to dump out the houses because their mortgage are change with rate too. I was during a appraisal to a house,,, their hose payment was 1500$ back in 2004. After rate goes up, it change their payment into 2800$ which double their original payment. so the circle begin.People either been force out their home or not are no longer able to purchase stuff as they usually do.Global factory are no longer receive order. factory product freeze or shut down.people get lat off. and then affect to other industry.And worse yet some people were live in rental house or apartment are even worse…their landlord are use their property to refi for “flot point” to cash out and when time came. they just dump house and let those people who live in build waiting by police ready to kick them out. because those landlord they think is a fail investment.AS real estate business 15 years, I saw many greed thing in human subconsciously. And yet in the end it always destroy them self again and again. And who knows in future when we forget pain..it will come back and hunt us down again.not because we did not learn but because we forget who we are as live thing in this plan.

I was an IT Project Manager responsible for the Fixed Income Structure back in 2004. Back then before I left the job for another job in market data, I gave a heads up that a financial crisis – led by a mortgage security meltdown would be coming. Two years down the road in 2006, my old team mates were laughing at me. I guess they would not do that now but they were too busy writing CVs to have remember my advice.I am financially untouched by the crisis. Yet there is a complex in my mind that I could not help those around me to have avoided it. Many of my friends and extended family were out of a job. It feels bad even through myself and my core family were spared.

Posted by Lee Siu Hoi | Report as abusive

I have completed my B.tech from one of the best engineering colleges of India. last year we had our campus placement. I prepared for it for an year and got placed in the first week of placement season. I got placed in a US investment bank. they gave me offer letter but i have been waiting for the joining date for past 6 months. If they do not honor the offer letter i would be left jobless!

Posted by rohit | Report as abusive

I see and hear alot of people in distress. Many people are angry and discouraged but no body seems to have the guts to rally against the evil that has displaced us…Think about the real source of the chaos that has caused this situation…is it possible for man kind to rally up against the beast? If so would you be willing to stand up and be heard..would you be willing to act physically if need be? I know I would…but there is no rally to join is there? I think people are chicken now days. They are waiting for the government to fix it.There is always a way to overthrow an enemy. First there must be leaders that have an objective mission. The goals must be clearely identified and agressively persued.

Posted by required | Report as abusive

I this, I that. Not a we in the lot. Self-centered and uninformed. That is what got the economic situation to the point it is. From the top down – no one had the guts to stand up and say the model was unsustainable – and the sheep looking for a fast buck followed. And why not – play the cards right and you walk away with all your stuff and leave the overpriced house to the jackals – who are hoping for another run. Not until we, as a citizenry, place what is best for the whole above self interest, will we avoid this kind of piracy and that will never happen – it is GREED that is our nature.

Posted by al Aboutme | Report as abusive

Even for an agricultural country like Uganda, food prices have more than doubled. A kilo of maize flour was at 900/- a year ago, now you get it at 2000/-. The little food we grow is sold to other coutries for a profit leaving us with less and that’s why food prices are high.Also, fuel and prices of basic goods and services has gone up. Medical and school fees are high, there’s a slight increase in the number of school drop-outs as according to MOE sources. A dry spell has not helped us much, and the fact that now Ugandans abroad have become a little bit stingy with their money had made it worse.

I lost my job in the midwest in January and was able to find a similar job in Texas. In March I left my family and friends and moved south (a move which has put me further into credit card debt… but hey, at least I am working)

Posted by Nick | Report as abusive

With the exception of Lehman there has been no crash as the respective governments have baled out each troubled bank or major corporation.As a result we are now all trading without a free open market and those main street businesses will as a result be the sufferers with lack of credit and risk manager decisions, which are often emotionally led and very dangerous.The real crash is ABOUT TO HAPPEN. Only in a truly free open market will we all be able to gauge accurately real asset values. True open market values of bricksand mortar,commodities and services are the cure for real industry, not the artificial propping by politicians with shelf lives.

Posted by martin clarke | Report as abusive

I obviously chose the worst time ever to come to study to the United Kingdom. The plan was great: I study and have a part time job in a bar to get some cash, my husband works as an architect, fulfilling his creative potential and getting some money for our future. Ah well, at least that’s what we thought more than a year ago – in summer 2008. And now, we both struggle to pay the rent, food, and transport, slaving in jobs that we hate (but yes, we are glad to have them at all). Architect studios are cutting on staff or going bankrupt completely, and as time is going by, it’s hard to stay positive about a bright future. Thank you, bankers.

Posted by guedeney | Report as abusive

I lost my job just before Christmas of last year 2008 as i was made redundant. I was working in property law and basically my whole career was lost due to the fact that I could not get another job in property as the housing market completely collapsed. I blame the banks greed for this and i would assume many thousands in my position would do the same!!

Posted by Graeme | Report as abusive

I made millions in bonus after the government gave another 10Bn.

Posted by Lloyd | Report as abusive

No bonus or raise for either my wife or I. Two of three children out of work. Big loss in 401k last year. What most concerns me is that congress and the SEC will roll over again and fail to regulate investment firms, financial institutions, and insurance companies so greedy, stupid, and inept managers can repeat the same mistakes and trash the economy again.

Posted by dennis | Report as abusive

It hasn’t affected our business too badly. The clients have generally taken strain and cut budgets. Our business model has been flexible and adapted to tightening budgets, as we now charge per project or task, as retainer fees are now far harder to justify.

One thing I have not seen much written about is the advent of the ‘credit score’. Frankly, when credit scores began (~15 yrs ago?) I was deeply troubled for these reasons. One, it would be devastating to people who are at the low margins of income, as in poverty level. Two, many people would begin to wear their score like some badge of honor, and start to think they were somehow financially invincible if they had a high score. Finally, society would become more stratified based on a number system and where you rank in it. I don’t want to go all Biblical here, but this can’t be a good thing, in terms of the future of our planet, IMO.

Posted by craig | Report as abusive

It is only a matter of time till the company that employs me makes the cut of all those above a particular income. Yep.. the word has been out for some time.I’m in that bracket, and amazed at the games this company will play in an effort to make employees suddenly become ‘inefficient’ and ‘not meeting expectations’. SO… after more than a decade of above average performance, we are all now suddenly inept. Imagine that.I can only guess that the major powers need to pin their shortcomings somewhere, somehow, to avoid lawsuits from this pursuit.Then again, perhaps it is simply the disaster this economy is in that has created those shortcomings and the company needs to tell the shareholders anything that will take the onus off of its shoulders.As if the shareholders had no idea that our economy was in this state. Hmmmmm.

Posted by Alrighty Then | Report as abusive

Compared to the wreckage after the tech crash – the markets didn’t really start rising again until the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, I’m amazed at just how resilient the stock markets have been. My portfolio today is actually significantly ahead of where I was the day before Lehman Brothers went belly up, yet it will probably still take me nearly a decade to get back to where I was in 2000.

Posted by Ian Kemmish | Report as abusive

As an investment banker I can confirm that this financial crisis is the best thing that has ever happened to me – $$$ million plus bonus this year as a result of managing Gov’t bailout cash from the crash. We’ve just got to start thinking about how to engineer the next big collapse.

Posted by Axel | Report as abusive

Nothing much has changed for us materially. We have kept our jobs (college professor, scientist) and have watched the economic whirlwinds swirl around us. We’ve always lived within our means more or less, which means no ARM, no home equity loan, no revolving credit card debt, no gambling vacations, and we drive small, fuel efficient cars.What has changed is a deep and abiding mistrust of everyone and everything who claims the capitalist market system as practiced in the USA is just, fair, transparent, and the best for everyone. What we have is not true capitalism, not when the government takes over the private debt of companies ‘too big to fail’ and turns it into public debt. This just gives the speculating class more courage to go out and make the same mistakes all over again. And why not? We won’t let them pay the price. Obama is a bright fellow, but he is in over his head. I am waiting for the next wave of alternate ARM foreclosures to hit next year — and it is coming. The current euphoria is premature and the dark reality of our plight will whipsaw people in ways that make the present look absolutely idyllic.

Posted by Robert Foster, USA | Report as abusive

We left our hometown in Michigan and moved to a new city in another midwestern state. We had had enough of the domestic auto industry’s long shadow cast upon the populace of southeastern lower MI. The decline was in evidence for a long, long time and the pace was alarmingly accelerated by the financial meltdown. Auto company executives and unionized workers were in denial before the bottom fell out; everyone wanted to maintain their fat paycheck while Rome burned. We think the politicians deserve an F- because there is no leadership for the way forward. How will southeastern lower MI define itself for the future now that the once all-powerful auto industry is on life-support and shriveling? We moved out of state and will try something different. There will be problems here, too, but not the same-old same old living and dying with the fortunes of GM, Chrysler and Ford. Put the auto-centric culture to rest. Power to the people of metropolitan Detroit who show grit and are the source of change in a beleaguered city.

Posted by J & J | Report as abusive

We live in Finland. I lost my job last year and my husband lost his job in February, we are struggling at the moment.

Posted by Cris | Report as abusive

This Crisis… Last One Year… My plan for my Dream Home collapsed, my idea of starting a new business collapsed, my hike… my bonus… everything… it was a year that i couldn’t even imagine it would be… :)But by God’s Grace there was no problem for my daily bread. :) learnt so many lessons, i feel it is the wakeup call for many and the main lesson is the importance of SAVINGS… i believe everyone would understand how important and powerful is that word SAVINGS.’EVERY PAINFUL SITUATION TEACHES YOU SOME GREAT LESSONS’

Posted by Jagadeesh Gupta | Report as abusive

Contrary to what many have been experiencing, this crisis has been a boon to me personally. I saw the bubble coming and pulled all of my money (401K & IRA) out of the market in January ’08. When it finally hit rock bottom in March ’09, I poured all of it back into the market, and have increased my net wealth by about 45% in the last 18 months. Whoever said that market timing is a bad investment strategy is a fool. Also, I work in the credit information industry, and the credit crisis has been excellent for my business and my career.

Posted by Steve | Report as abusive

Kinda feel lucky, was in the position to see the burst looming after being in Japan for the 90s bubble and got out early, changed tactics and became a teacher.

Posted by Mac | Report as abusive

My wife and I are both gainfully employed and have always lived within our means, so we have basically no debt. We were able to buy a foreclosed house for 42% less than it’s market value with a very low fixed rate.

Posted by Someone | Report as abusive

Conventional wisdom is that families should hold 6 months of salary as cash for just these sort of eventualities. I feel desparately sorry for those struggling, but at the same time people have to take ownership of their own finances and understand the risks. We worked really hard to save that kind of money over a number of years and I know that if my wife and I lose our jobs we can string that 6 months out to 8+.

Things are hard here on the plains – many have lost jobs, our elders have lost investments and retirements that supported them, there is increasing homelessness, and for those of us who still have our jobs – the prices of everything seem to be large in proportion to our pay, and in many cases rising – insurance, gas, food, property/sales taxes, tuition, utilities, phone and Internet access. And if a person were dissatisfied with their job (I am not) then they are trapped. Weeks will go by when I cannot afford to go to the grocery – I garden extensively. I still send my children to private schools (the public schools here will curl your hair) so I am still living beyond my means and I know it. There were no pay raises this year and no bonuses – our business (oil and gas products) let go between 1/4 and 1/3 of our people. As a single mom, one lives a little closer to the edge, and I saw this coming and paid off my credit card and closed it back in 2005 – I also closed down my little business and found a good job with excellent job security (knock on wood…)We need to learn a new and less indulgent way to live, a way that is not based on incessant growth and unsustainable debt. I hope the government will enact appropriate restrictions on financial “innovation” but I fear they will enact slight and ineffectual regulations with no teeth and the same regulators who are not particularly motivated to enforce anyway – I fear we are crying into the wind, and I am sorely disappointed. It also looks to me like we still have farther to fall before we reach a sustainable economy. Our world is changing…

Posted by jen | Report as abusive

Hasn’t affected me at all, aside from the hit to the 401K (minus 25%). Made enough in the market in the past six months (on the side) to fund my daughters college in another three years. I guess you have to live where the sun shines year round (California, Nevada, Florida) to be affected by this. It’s awful gloomy here in the wintertime…..

Posted by Joe Bonasses | Report as abusive

I was invested 10% in U.S. stocks before the crash and mostly bonds 90%. My U.S. stocks collapsed but otherwise I was better off than most. This year I am moving most of my money offshore and waiting for the second wave of horrible news as the U.S. prints money and tries to inflate the economy again. Hopefully we get someone who knows what they are doing in charge within my lifetime.

Posted by fred | Report as abusive

I moved to Las Vegas in 2006 , everything in this town went down , I have lost two thirds of my business , and losing my condo. The $150,000 condos are being auctioned at best for $30,000, my neighborhood is changing rapidly — with these kind of prizes, can you imagine !!

Posted by yasi | Report as abusive

I’m about flat on my 401(k) for the last 3 year period, not counting inflation. I’ve been told my job is secure. So I’m enjoying the bargains and less crowded stores out there right now but not making any major expenditures except I’ve purchased a second home as an investment. I’m VERY concerned about the inflationary pressures all of these bailouts will have on the dollar.

Posted by David | Report as abusive

I was looking for work and managed to find something early 2008 that paid much less than I wanted, but being over 50 didn’t have that many options and figured I could work my way up through the ranks and I needed to pad my retirement savings up sme more. Then the economy tanked. I managed to stay employed, but all raises and promotions were totally frozen and 401K matches stopped. So now it’s been about a year and a half with no expectations of any raises or recognition until who knows when. My IRA took a big hit and is still down about 25% from the high in 10/2008 and with no matching, I haven’t been able to add much to what I had.With things picking up now, I might need to start looking around for a job elsewhere. I missed that initial first income bump that most people get for their first increase and really don’t expect to get any increases over a percent or two when they finally do start back, so I’ll alway be working for peanuts here.

Posted by mike | Report as abusive

It’s been tight. Kids are still in college and it’s been hard coming up with tuition money over and above what grants and loans would cover. I had to charge one semester on my AMEX card as a short term loan, which would have been fine, but then AMEX F***ed me royally by more than doubling the rate to over 24%, so I’ve been making the biggest payments I could to get the balance down because the interest is eating me alive. The credit companies totally took advantage of people when they were down, making a bad situation even worse.

Posted by mike | Report as abusive

For the first time in my life I count it a blessing that I haven’t had money to invest or buy a house – getting a job has always been tough on this rung of the economy, but even in this environment I’ve managed to pay off all my debt from several illnesses and stay afloat on monthly expenses. Friends of mine who used to have buckets of money have asked me for advice on thrifty spending. They’d used their houses and everything else as an ATM, and now have nowhere to turn while their home values plummet and the debt-load is slowly, painfully paid down. I will never again feel ashamed or less worthy next to them. They are learning to look up to those who work hard and live wisely within their means – however meager that may be. Own your worth instead of financing it, and no one will ever be able to take it away. Know the real value of your dollar.

Posted by TheyCalledMeABum | Report as abusive

How this has changed my life? I’ve been out of the market since 5/08. I’m lucky… few events in history have been advertised with such clarity. I’ve notice two pink elephants in the room. Banks still own more toxic waste of non-performing loans than their earn in a decade and the governments stimulus programs have not been replaced by private sector stimulated business activity ie: self generating private sector demand is dead..the fat lady might still be screeching after her throat was trampled in the first exodus, the speculators have saved up her throat enough to get a few more bars out but their so much noise (manipulation) in the data and unlike the last top she won’t be heard a mile off. Behavior Affect: I’m not not lending to corporations.This disaster has resulted in our family eliminating all forms of debt with the exception of our primary residence, which is under water. I’m sure this behavior is being replicated in the aggregate, directly or indirectly making families increasingly insecure about their future resulting in a sublayer of fear that underlies the economy. Slowing business activity, increasing foreclosures on private sector loans of all types. Behavior Affect: I look deeper into the financial and social data.I’ve read some of the previous submissions and it seems that those who feel good about the status of the economy are those who are speculating in the market. So “hot money” still is a method that this country is relying on to rebuild it’s competitive position in the world. Affect on my behavior: As I observe this I see that today’s investors are not investors at all but speculators. This country still is not disciplined enough to invest in it’s future. Behavior Affect: I’m not lending to corporations.

Posted by csodak | Report as abusive

Well, being associated with an Indian outsourcing giant, didn’t cost my job even during this recession (err.. I would rather call it as slow down in India).. Of course even my organization fired few low performing ppl and even I was on those lines, but my improved performance over 6 months saved me and even got me 8% hike :-).. I’m content with that, but still NO big hike or promotion.. Signs of recovery now gives me confidence that I can get a better job outside – which am trying for past 2 months..

Posted by Ashik | Report as abusive

It is unfair, disastor even though I sit on hard cash, I feel governments are doing everything to steal my hard earned moneyUnfortunately this economy has proven that american and INDIAN government are emphasizing ‘Gambling’ as recovery.They prove ‘Socialism for the rich and capitalism for poor in other words they are doing everything to take money out of the pockets of middle class, well to do, poor and putting in the hands of RICH, BIG WIGS!The average common man is paying the price for the mistakes of EXTRA RICHWhich is unfairI find that real-estate in INDIA&USA has zoomed past the affordabilityIt means in short that the value of hard cash or money has reduced too much and all that has gone into the pockets of big banks and gamblers.So that is the end to itOnce again my money hard earned money will go to the pocket of rich guy

Posted by Anil | Report as abusive

Ironically it had a same catalyst impact like politics some time ago. At some point of my life, few years ago I was fed up with government increasing rules and regulations which were making my life more and more miserable and not offering anything else in return. So I decided to take my fate in my hand and to take care of politics. I can not say I have become a world leader but at least I have run for the office as a candidate and will do it again, and learnt legal and ethical ways how to move the government in your favor sometimes…Same here. I had a hard time since 2007 actually because of the fresh new business – an art gallery in Brussels(please see our site). It was not doing good in the first year of course, but then in 2008 things began to move on, and we were optimistic, but suddenly because our line of business is a first to suffer if economy goes to the toilet, we had hit the rock bottom by Christmas and began drilling after new year… By the end of January I understood that if things not going to change we are going to be homeless within a week… So we started new line of business-the development agency helping non European expats who want to start business in European Union to overcome all bureaucratic obstacles, and then, again I understood that it is time to take business in my own hands and began trading at NASDAQ and NYSE online… It is a long way, and I may fail, but this is how stroy goes…Crisis is like a war. What does not kill you makes you stronger. The most terrible part of both are innocent souls who die or suffer without even doing anything wrong to deserve such fate…Next time they say? I believe there might be a next time, but I hope next time they will at least have compassion to put the elderly and children in some place warm before robotic evicting them from their homes and pushing them into the cold. With social security for all crisis might even be amusing….

” Mortage debt slave”, I see the large motivation for this choice as real estate speculation, based on the popular, false assumption that “real estate always goes up in value.” Counter to that here in Calif. we still have a very large sum of Alt.A and Option Arm. loans to digest over the next two years as they are the loans on the 500K properties that will reset aprox. 63% higher monthly payments on average (source; IMF reset chart). Couple this with a larger USTreasury debt that will undoubtablly lead to higher interest rates and further falling real estate prices. One possible exception to this scenario would be currency/dollar devaluation and or replacement. I sold stock postions for me and my family in late ’07, no car payments and I own mine and my mothers residences outright. I am a residential/commercial painter self employed for over 30 years. My consevative but very stable business for 30 years has seen aprox. 40-50% revenue drops. I’ve experienced a couple of prior recessions but this has been a much larger, feels like a large financial earthquake has hit and we’re all waiting for the aftershocks wondering what further damage will be leveied on a badly damaged system that is supposedly being repaired but under the veil of much govt. secrecy.The to date results a “jobless recovery” with some refurbished roads and some “new paper plate cars” ontop of them. No the sky has not fallen and I ask not for any sympathy, these are just my current observations here in Central Calif. midpoint of four ground zeros of this fraudulent bond spraked financial crisis. May sound reasonable solutions come forth and be implmented as we move foward.

Recession affects all international students in western countries especially USA,UK and Australia. Studied at high price….but no job, no work exp since 1 year…..

Posted by mobi | Report as abusive

=== Patience is the mother of all virtue ===Be a bear when others are bullish and be a bull when others are bearish.

Posted by Raju Cherian | Report as abusive

Crisis? what crisis? here in Singapore, life is wonderful!Property prices are climbing and despite regulations, the froth remains. New immigrants are coming in and the stock market has risen more than 60% since last Sep.The main shopping area is bursting with shoppers!Come over here! Its just great! Jobs aplenty with mega projects in the brand new Integrated Resorts thats managed by Las Vegas Sands, there will be 20,000 vacancies! and thats just one.. there is another on Sentosa Island which has beach front properties that are still selling over US$1 million each!Lots of young people too!.. all under 40 years old!No earthquakes,no El Nino, no terrorists, no greedy bankers, no snow and no floods… just plenty of sunshine! and with ultra fast internet services, major brand names such as Microsoft, BHP, Toyota, HSBC ..this is where the growth will be…come now while there is still room.. ( up to max of 8 million people on a 500sq km island)

Posted by Ron | Report as abusive

Crisis? What Crisis? In the U.S. life just went on! People lost their jobs, and houses in the U.S. but never were in a crisis! Hunger is rare, less likely die from it. People get help from left, right, up and down. There’s foundations and organizations that will prevent the average US American from not having a home or something to eat. It’s ridiculous that most US American’s caption this economic downfall as a crisis. Want to see a crisis? Go to Argentina…thats were Democratic Capitalism is most highlighted at. That’s were US’s expenses and mistakes land, or better said in South America. Not only Capitalism, but all sorts of Government types, because governments never work! We(S. Americans) are being used, not only by US banks but also European ones. We, along with many third world countries, are the the modern slaves. So if you ask me about a transparent but white crisis to US Americans! MY RESPONSE IS THAT WE NEED “THE VENUS PROJECT” designed by Jacque Fresco!!!Thank you and enjoy everyday you got, while LITERALLY thousands die per day because of this CRISIS!!!

I have been unemployed and alternatively underemployed since 2003. I have 30 years experience and a terminal doctoral degree. I was also in my late 50′s and a disabled veteran. I struggled to feed and house myself, spending most of two years in a motor home in the Mojave Desert. I applied for, and received SSA retirement benefits in February 2008, when I finally made it to 62. Even with these benefits, I am still officially below the poverty line. But I can survive now. There have been many areas of endemic and systemic poverty for a long time. While I am distressed that so many of my acquaintances have come to know what I have endured for themselves, perhaps now we can join together and force the systemic reforms that all of us need to recover and rebuild an economic structure that provides the necessities of life for all of us without regard to our employment status. Register and vote. Demonstrate. Speak out at the meetings what ever and where ever they are. Vote with your wallet. Do what ever you can to trash the politically and morally bankrupt system of government by corporation (classic fascism). We have an obligation to children and grandchildren everywhere to try, even if there are some unavoidable casualties. Do it while you still have the ability. 1917 is here. Don’t let the bad guys win again.

Posted by John D. Coffey, J.D. | Report as abusive

interest. Would you take out a loan with such a high rate? New Mexico has passed laws which specify such loans as predatory lending and prohibit them. Only those who have no possibility of getting other lending would consider such a loan.Our financial system is in serious danger of total collapse. As a result, the banks have recieved major financial bailouts of billions of dollars. Defaults are expected to skyrocket in the near future.A major factor in the dramatic increase in defaults is at least partially the result of such exorbitant interest rates by the credit card companies.A card holder has been very careful never to be late sending in his payment. His minimum payment is 100 dollars per month. One day, he mails in a payment on one of his utility bills, and for some reason it is credited a few days late. He is then listed as being in arrears and is reported. Thanks to current regulations, the credit card company is now able to raise his rate from the initial 8% to 25%. His minimum payment jumps from $100 to over $200. This happens even though his payment was received on time.The credit card issuerer is now able to collect an extra $1200 or more per year because the customer has a late payment record, even though he has never been late with one of theirs, and may not even have been late sending any payments. Suppose he, like many people, has 3 cards with similar balances. That is $3600 a year of payments he neither incurred nor agreed to. I believe such practices are even more predatory than the companies accused of predatory lending.While he was able to make the $100 payment, the $200 payment is a problem. If he has 3 cards, it is much worse. A payment is delayed, and a late fee, often $200 or more is added, forcing the card holder further in arrears. It is very probable that the card holder will end up in default, and may loose everything if he happens to loose his job.Check cashing and title loan companies are prohibited from charging such exorbitant interest rates under state law, and cannot increase rates after the loan is made. Credit card companies are governed by federal alw and appear to be exempt to such restrictions.Stores offer a no payments and no interest for six months or even up to 3 years programs. Unfortunately many people forget how much they are buying. As a result, since they are not making payments, and have 3 years before the first one is required, they may spend more than they will be able to pay for before the first payment is due.Even if they are able to make the payments, by the time payment is required, the product may be showing serious wear. The consumer will probably be stuck with it until it is paid for.Some of these programs are even worse. One I looked at specified that as long as payment was made before the end of the free period, no interest would be charged, but if the item waqs not paid in full, interest would be retreoactive from the date of purchase. When the first payment is due. the purchaser’s debt may be more than half again larger than the initial purchase. The customer agreed to those terms, and will be stuck with paying off the larger amount because he didn’t read or understand the fine print.If this results in late payments, fees willbe added, again pushing the consumer further into debt. A recent news report indicated that warning the lender that you are struggling may not get any help, as it appears to be in the companies best interest to allow the customer to get behind, since it increases their potential earnings.Regulations which allow such practices are at the root of much of the current financial crisis. Despite our consumer protection programs, it is still very much a “buyer beware” situation in our credit markets.As more and more jobs disappear, people are discovering they are enslaved by their debt. it would be worthwhile to remember the biblical statement in Proverbs 22:7, “The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.”As people learn how the credit system has trapped them, they are frequently unable, and often afraid to borrow more money. This will probably prevent the stimulus packages from producing results right away, making it even more risky for others to borrow.

In my family we had a stable business for 38yrs. We did see some ups and downs but nothing that really made us worry about our very own survival. Today the businesses we deal with are all going out of business. Our income is down by 90%. For the first time we are living on credit cards. I don’t see an end to it. In fact I don’t even know how I will pay for next month.

Posted by Wupta | Report as abusive

Lost my job, along with 33% of my entire floor, because customers had to cancel or re-price all of their steel orders before they were even delivered. There wasn’t a shred of liquidity in the capital markets, and nobody could take on more inventory, so everyone had to shed employees. Thanks for the “lesson”, Wall Street!

Posted by Joe | Report as abusive

In fact the crisis did not change my life at all. For a decade I did not understand how the system could sustain itself. My banker kept offering me credits which I kept refusing saying I did not need any to buy say a washing machine when I can save a few months to buy one. His point was that refusing his offers would leed me in troubles since I would not have a credit rate. Therefore banks would not know if I am trustful… My point was that a banker should recognise a good client when this very client shows he manages his budget to perfection, spending only what is necessary, saving, investing properly and NOT overspending to the popint of needing a credit. He found me old fashioned. I found him dangerous. I was right ! Having no credit to payback, some savings and a lifestyle that matches my resources that crisis simply passed on me like the wind.However I will never forget it. I will never forgive my bankers. AND I will always make sure I do not depend on them at any cost.Try to do the same…

Posted by Greg | Report as abusive

I’m a sales manager of a small UK based company, a subsidiary of a large German company. The Managing Director was replaced, with staff levels reduced for efficiency by the new MD.Around 50% of the staff (10 people) were made redundant. Their jobs being out-sourced.Having experienced a similar situation in the early 1990′s I’ve immediately reduced my outgoings as much as possible. Shopping around for everything from cheaper food to cheaper house insurance. I’ve also concentrated on clearing debts and creating a lump sum cash “battle fund”. At the same time closely watching day to day expenditure.If I’m made redundant I can survive for a year with no work at all, for 3 years if I have periodic temporary work on a much reduce salary. After 3 years I would have to sell my house, realising capital and reducing my debts to zero. I would then rent a small flat, doing temporary work to finance myself in the longer term. This would, however, seriously damage my retirement plans.At the moment I’m fine but many people I know are not.Taking each month as it comes, with a clear strategy planned if things go badly, helps me sleep at night.Unfortunately, though, like many I do have a sense of bad news being just around the corner.

Posted by Ray | Report as abusive

Simply read Greg’s submission above of 10/22. He has it exactly right. Professionally, after surviving in a tough business for 40 years I crashed two years ago and haven’t recovered yet. So I’m off in a different direction. Many people I know, with remaining assets have left the Country simply because they have given up on it.

Posted by Andrew Franks | Report as abusive

Lost my job.

Posted by Prince | Report as abusive

I had to leave England because I couldn’t find a job and keep up with my bills. Things got really difficult there.

Posted by Cagg | Report as abusive

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