At least we're not Russia
Everyone knows that the United States is in rough shape right now, but cheer up, I've found a country that's in much worse shape than we are in...Russia. Check out this quote about the state that it is in from a noted expert on the country, George Friedman, founder of the global intelligence firm Stratfor:
"Russian power is in long-term decline. Compared to the Soviet Union in 1989, the Russian Federation has less than half the population, one-third the economic bulk, lower commodity production and vastly decreased industrial output. Demographically, Russia is both shrinking and aging at rates that have not been seen outside of wartime since the time of the Black Death. The educational system has stalled, so Russia is facing an impending slide in labor quantity and quality, which will make it difficult if not outright impossible for Russia to keep up with its advancing neighbors. The long-term prognosis is, at best, very poor."
Whew, I don't feel so bad about the shape that the U.S. is in right now after reading that ;). The paragraph doesn't even mention how linked the Russian economy is to oil and how it based needs prices of around $70/barrel or else it is in big trouble. The bottom has absolutely fallen out from under the Ruble, the it is blowing through its reserves at an alarming rate, and its debt rating was just lowered again yesterday.
It certainly makes me glad that I have always stayed away from investing money in that country. I never trusted its government enough to put my hard-earned dollars to work there.
Of course, the U.S. clearly has its own set of problems to deal with right now. The next several days will be absolutely fascinating for anyone who is into economics. This morning the BS (I intentionally left out the "L") publishes the January jobs report. The stimulus package will likely be passed by the Senate at some point over the next several days. On Monday Tim Geithner is expected to unveil the Treasuty's strategy for fixing the banking system. Hold on to your hats, there's going to be some wild stuff out there that will have a dramatic impact upon what happens to the economy for the rest of the year.