2012?$


2012 may yet turn out to be a tumultuous year, albeit for different – principally economic and financial – reasons. It’s all a bit worrying, depressing even. That’s what happens when you catch up on financial news in this climate I guess.

I have not read financial news for a while now. My current role does not require this beyond the most cursory glance at interest rate trends and general property market well being.

Just for fun however I decided to catch up on some news and it was a mistake. 2012 now feels like a harbinger of bad things, from the perspective of how the economy and finance will fare.

First there’s this swathe of industrial disputes fought out in a climate of economic uncertainty as a result of what’s happening in Europe. Collective agreements companies rushed to sign before the Fair Work Act – courtesy of Julia Gillard – kicked in after Rudd got into the Lodge, are due to expire in 2012. So apparently workers and employers are slugging it out in anticipation of new deals and the Fair Work Act is apparently more focused on processes than outcomes.

Then there’s the credit outlook. With banks exposed to the sick men of Europe seeking to make up gaping holes, borrowing – mainly the interbank sort – is going to be a lot more expensive. Bond on the other hand are seeing low yields as a result of capital leaving Europe and seeking new low risk parking lots. Apparently companies thought 2012 would see the GFC ending so heaps of corporate bonds were structured to mature then. A host of factors would combine to heap pressure on funding and make the business environment very difficult.

I wonder what 2012 would look like. It probably isn’t “The End” but it looks like it could well be messy.

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