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Happy Faces in Worst Crisis Since 1930s

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Its official. Ben Bernake has admitted that this is the worst crisis since the 1930s.

He blamed it on trade imbalances and flow of capital in the late 1990s, which was when the Asian Financial Crisis occurred.

In this hard hitting article in the Guardian, East Asia's Economic Revenge, Dean Baker presents a well argued piece about how the key economic figures in US were responsible for the hard line stance by the IMF towards the Asian countries suffering from the economic crisis in 1999 and how this stance made all the countries take note.

This unyielding stance which topped governments in Asia made a lot of countries watching keen to accumulate reserves to prevent their countries ever going to the IMF for the bitter medicine. The result was that the US suddenly had a glut of investment monies from these same countries which we all now know became hot money for speculating in real estate and sub prime mortgages. You can see these two well written papers on the effects of the Asian Financial Crisis.

Amidst this crisis, there are still companies like John Lewis which paid out the equivalent of 7 weeks wages as bonus despite profits being hit by the recession. We only hope that there are more companies and employers like John Lewis.

The long suffering folks over in Citibank has some good tidings yesterday too. They finally made a profit after a 2008 to forget. Citi's good news lead market to best day of 2009 should make more people smile and hope that this small pebble will add to more rocks to block and channel the recession away.

Finally, one of the villains, the hated money grubbing CEOs, investments con artists etc, Madoff, is likely to plead guilty to the charges laid out against him and he is likely to face 150 years in prison. So that's one sad face.

But he deserves it along with whatever is going to come by Allen Stanford (his "Sir" should be revoked by the Queen of England) or John Thain, ex CEO of Merrill "We need a bailout" Lynch who spent $1.2 million on office renovation(see the list of items he spent on in his office) to make himself comfortable while his company is sinking in red ink and bailed out using government money.

What do you think should happen to people like John Thain?

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