With the US Federal Reserve embarking on a $1tn (that’s $1,000,000,000,000) programme of buying debt and government bonds in a bid to kickstart the US economy, you may be wondering what all those zeroes mean. Well, as you’re a clever person, you already know they mean a freaking huge number. But what does it look like? Check it out and be flummoxed.
Or “negative inflation”, as the powers that be seem to be describing it these days. It’s hit Ireland for the first time since 1960, although frankly I haven’t seen prices come down anywhere and the cost of public transport has increased about 10%. I’m not going to lie though, deflation on consumer goods and such would be good for me, given the whole unemployment thing.
There’s a good reason I haven’t blogged for what looks like a solid six weeks: I’m up the walls. Unemployed or not — for I departed the ranks of the jobbers on Dec 31 — I have had too much on my plate. Even my Blogline feeds are stacking up, save for one or two.
So it’s a recession, and we’re all heading to hell in a handcart (or insert your phrase of choice here). Is the feeling of gnawing panic down to the internet?
This is our first experience of recession in the internet age, and so far I don’t like it one little bit. You could say that the internet makes the recession more bearable as there are all those networks to help people get jobs and there is eBay for buying second-hand things.
Yet such things are trivial compared to what the internet is doing to our confidence. The internet has created a global psyche. The web has mentally joined us at the hip, so we can no longer put our heads in the sand. If that sounds painfully contorted, it is because it is. Just as no country can decouple itself from the ailing global economy, none of us as individuals can decouple ourselves from the ailing global psyche.
Through blogs, websites and e-mails, the world’s economic ills are fed to us on a drip all day long. It is not just that we hear about bad things faster, we hear about more of them and in a more immediate way. My worries become yours and yours become mine. On the internet, a trouble shared is not a trouble halved. It is a trouble needlessly multiplied all over the world.
This shot of wind tower in Jaipur is one of my favourite photos of recent times. And it certainly helps take one’s mind off the carnage that’s going on in Mumbai.
While on the subject of great photographs, here are ten of Hubble’s best before it gets decommissioned in 2010.
Say phooey to that digital alarm clock and get a pin one instead.
Although given its recent track record (read “Vista”), Microsoft has got a fair bit right.
Could newspapers have survived the web?
The credit crunch/economic meltdown has thrown up all sorts of new financial terms. Just to add one: apparently Nokia refers to “synergy-related headcount adjustments”, better known to you and me as redundancies.
China’s output per head of population is smaller than Albania’s. Except China could probably buy swathes of the planet.
Wooly mammoth DNA decoded. Am I the only one who wants to see this species roam the Earth again?
A gallery of the greatest conspiracy theories.
Prices at Dubai’s Palm developments are down 40% to a paltry $2.7m.
Vive la France (in digital library terms at least).
It seems 21% of Americans can’t find the Pacific Ocean on a map. On the plus side, 94% can find the US.
The fakir who was buried alive for 40 days.
Pic of the day, click for link to source. Close contender here.
Top comment on the Chelsea striker and renowned diver Didier Drogba throwing a coin into the stand: “To be fair … It was probably a simulated throw”.
Resort for the super-rich goes bankrupt.
Best headline on post-US election coverage: You’ll still need an oak stake to kill the GOP.
Why? Why would you do this?
I can understand (but, as I’m sure you can understand, not condone) the actions of the frustrated people in this story:
‘Dear investors, thanks for trusting us and depositing your money,’ read a note posted on the door of a company in the southwestern province of Cauca after its owners disappeared.
‘Now, for being stupid and believing in financial witchcraft, you will have to work for your money’, it said, prompting depositors to storm the building, wreck the companys offices and loot its computer equipment and furniture.
I’m quite lukewarm. There are far fewer links to stories, and the general division by region is gone, collected under a drop-down menu at the top. The background is similar to the colour of the print edition, but it’s a mistake to use grey text: it almost blends in to the background and is difficult to read. It needs a lot of work.
This is a very sad story but one that highlights, if highlighting were needed, the repercussions from the meltdown.
The global financial crisis is taking its toll in India’s cities as some despairing investors and stockbrokers seek refuge from their losses and debt in suicide.
A wave of financially related deaths over the past month has sparked concerns about the vulnerability of unsophisticated investors and borrowers encouraged by rising markets and easy credit in one of the world’s fastest growing economies.
Is faith in reincarnation playing a part in this? In another terrible statistic, the FT story says that about 1,000 farmers kill themselves every month because of crop failure and debt.
While the world continues to cheer the election of Barack Obama as president of the world’s most powerful democracy, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck has been anointed king of the world’s newest, Bhutan.
Apparently you can accidentally steal a car.
Gorillas need surgery too.
Companies are turning to blogging as a way of reporting layoffs, rather than letting them get picked up by the traditional media.
It’s a beard off!
Cleantech is growing in silicon valley.
The Mars lander is guestblogging on Gizmodo