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Winners and losers

Republika

THE WAY I SEE IT | Susan Amoroso

The latest cryptocurrency news is that Tesla owner Elon Musk is suspending cryptocurrency payment with bitcoin for his cars. His reason? Bitcoin owners and speculators are investing heavily in fossil fuel. The news caused the price of bitcoin to drop by a few thousand dollars. Tesla invents and produces electric cars. Electra cars are touted to be the in’’ mode of transportation in Europe and in America. High tech industrial countries such as Japan and China may follow suit. I am pretty sure third world countries such as the Philippines will be one of the dumping grounds of gas fueled automobiles. It is happening now. Attractive car promos by local dealers are hitting the local market like never before.

A lot has been happening under the radar lately. Real estate prices in Canada especially in key cities like Toronto and Vancouver are at an all time high. That is also true in the United States. The big firms are competing with buyers who are end-users in the real estate market. Hundreds of thousands of houses up in the market getting bought left and right. Does this mean a real housing boom in the west? I daresay it would go bust once interest rates go up.

Meanwhile the stimulus funds continue to flood the market that Americans would rather remain unemployed than work at a nine to five job. The low income or no income found out it is more lucrative and uppity to just sit back and wait for the stimulus funds. What a party! My advice is not to hold on to big amounts of US dollars. Try investing in gold and silver.

How I wish we in the Philippines could also print money wantonly like what the Federal Reserve is doing in the United States. Unfortunately, the Philippine government is much too timid to do that. As a result, we 110 million Filipinos have to contend with crumbs. The social amelioration program (SAP) and the Bayanihan 2 funding program allots only P1000 each per individual to a maximum of P4000 per family. I bet that amount could only last two weeks to buy food. The community pantries are mereband aids’’ to the growing hunger and poverty being felt by the general populace.


The utilities are major expenses too. Meralco, the country’s main power distributor just announced a price increase. Water supply distributors likewise announced a readjustment which means another price increase.


While rentals have relatively remained the same, there is an impending big increase in cost of money. Banks are charging higher interest rates now because the risk of lending is greater now. Non-performing loans are becoming a big headache to lending institutions in the recent months.


Just as I have said in the beginning of the year, my advice is conserve and preserve. Borrowing at high interest rates will bury the borrower deeper in debt. What more, your collateral as security for the loan will be garnished if you default on your payments. Borrowing from relatives and friends leave a bad taste in terms of relationships, especially if you fail to pay.


The private sector is in a free fall. The government needs to act fast if the private sector is to survive the economic crisis brought by the pandemic. Economic lockdowns, strict health protocols, quarantines, and travel bans have caused widespread unemployment and business shutdowns. You don’t have to walk far to see the dismal economic outlook the private sector is facing. Cruise along your streets. Enter office buildings and malls. You see restaurants, retail stores, and offices boarded up. Many factories are closing shop.


The real winners here are the government officials and employees, be they high ranking, middle management or in the lower rank. They continue to receive their salaries, bonuses, allowances and perks. How odd that we the private sector, the most disadvantaged, the real loser, must shoulder them!


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