We are in the eye of an economic hurricane. Battered by over a hundred million dollars per hour winds, the economy has catastrophically failed in what is the largest man-made disaster in history. Although it seems the worst is over, there is more to come.
The eye is a region of mostly economic calm, in the center of a strong financial maelstrom. It gives us all a chance to take stock of the damages so far, but not enough time to make a full recovery before the storm returns.
In this bad economy, more than just levees failed, leaving millions of people now financially under water. Jobs are gone, and not coming back. People's savings are gone too. Millions have lost their homes due to foreclosures. Just like with a hurricane, the focus is on survival, and more people than ever before are now depending on the government for support.
In New Orleans, a great many people are still struggling to recover their lives and their homes years after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It will take years for people to recover their lives after this bad economy. You can expect government support to run out long before you are back on your feet. You will have to do something for yourself, because everyone else is too focused on their own survival to be able to help you.
In economic terms, this is the hurricane season. After this one, you can expect another one, maybe just as bad as the last. Governments around the world have tried to put in place some temporary fixes to try and repair some damage. They also have made sweeping changes to the financial sector to try and reduce the chances of getting caught the same way again. If you are looking for some economic stability, you will not find it. It is like living in the gulf coast and hoping not to get hit by hurricanes.
In this eye of the economic hurricane, you need to batten down the hatches, ie prepare for even worse times ahead. Statistics indicate that the unemployment insurance program is overburdened more than ever before, and may run out of funds entirely within a year. If this happens, you need to do whatever it takes to be able to survive for several years without any government support.
During a hurricane you can expect lots of looting and chaos to happen. So expect an increase in crime and rioting and plan accordingly. If you have a retail store, you need some steel roll shutters, and armed security guards. If you are planning on getting in on the looting, you need to avoid stores that are well protected. And just as hurricanes seem to be attracted to trailer parks, economic hurricanes do the most damage to people in debt, so avoid racking up bills on your credit cards.
After a hurricane, a lot of people move to avoid being in an area prone to hurricanes. In this economic hurricane, you should consider moving to wherever the jobs are. Failing that, consider moving to a new type of work. If you can start a new business, now might be a good time. Since old businesses have been washed away for good, it opens up new potential openings.