Sunday, April 13, 2008

A recession survival guide

Rather than bleating on endlessly about who caused the forthcoming recession, I thought now might be a good time for a survival guide, seeing as we're about to enter two years of central-bank induced hell. But there's no need for this poor aspiring Austrian scholar to try to attempt to write one. Instead, all you need to do is to read Gary North's archive of economic commentaries, particularly those of the last few months. I've picked out my recent favourites below and then tried to condense Uncle Gary's thoughts on surviving this 'temporary downturn' (Ha!): Here are his condensed recommendations for those panicking too much to read the articles above:
"This is also a time for going the extra mile for your boss. Find out what he expects and do more...You need to protect your investments against deflation...I think your first line of self-defense is your job. If you lose your job, you are in big trouble...You need to do whatever it takes to increase your value to your employer."
Then there are Uncle Gary's career plan questions to bolster the advice immediately above:
  • Is it [your career plan] consistent with recent events?
  • Is it positioned for future events?
  • Does it maximize your lifetime opportunities?
  • Does it allow you career flexibility (new career)?
  • Does it lead toward a retirement career?
  • Does it offer you enough time to build a side business?
  • Have you identified your fall-back job?
  • Have you developed a system of networking?
  • Do any potential employers know how profitable you are?
  • Does your boss know how profitable you are?
  • Does his boss know how profitable you are?
  • Are you well known within a niche segment of your industry?
  • Do you have your own website?
  • Do you have your own blog site?
Finally, with my apologies in advance, there are some big scary questions to answer:
  • How safe is your retirement portfolio from a major recession and stock market decline?
  • How much of your retirement portfolio is in dollars?
  • How much equity do you still have in your home after normal discounting and the sales commission? After recession discounting?
  • How much money do you owe on things other than your mortgage?
  • How safe is your employer's bank?
  • What would happen to your employer if the bank were to cut off your employer's normal credit line?
  • How secure is your job in a recession?
  • What are your employment opportunities locally?
  • What is your fall-back position if you get fired?
  • How long would it take you to get a job in a recession at your present salary?
  • What is the cut in salary that you could afford to take, given your present monthly budget?
  • How much could you cut your budget if you had to? How?
  • Is your wife employed?
  • How do these questions apply to her?
Personally, I'm going to run screaming to the hills. But for anyone sensible, the above recession survival guide should get most of us through, if we can face up to answering and dealing with the questions above. Good luck. See you on the other side.


John East said...

The only thing I fear in a future recession/depression is my government.
Having been raised poor, walking, living on beans on toast, and losing all our modern luxuries to me would be no more than a return to the "good old days."
My government however would still extort thousands in local and national taxes. It's this that might destroy me, not the general cost of living.

Jack Maturin said...

I just hope I don't have to eat my beans on toast with "Stork SB" margerine, while government parasites steal all the butter. "Stork SB" really would be the end! ;-)