I invite you to visit also my literary blog: Journeys in Creative Writing where I post original fiction including short stories, poetry and 'Paternity', a full length mystery novel.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Panic Over Money, or Community and Chocolate?

The condition of the global economy is no longer the elephant in the room. Not when your own Australian Prime Minister says the situation has entered a new and damaging phase and takes an unprecedented step to help fix it here.

Yesterday Kevin Rudd made the astonishing announcement that his government would guarantee for the next three years ALL deposits, every cent, in banks, building societies and credit unions. Banks' offshore borrowings and lending to each other would also be guaranteed.

Mr Rudd said he wasn't going to 'gild the lilly' and he didn't.

'We are in the economic equivalent of a rolling national security crisis and the challenges are great,' he said.

Ministers are saying that Australian banks themselves are not in crisis. The plan is a response to a lack of confidence globally.

Australia has four banks with a AAA rating - and the number of such institutions world wide is less than you could count using one person's fingers and toes.

The Government says it is highly unlikely that it will ever need to back these new guarantees. It wants to remove any disadvantage our banks could suffer in dealing throughout the world without such measures. It will charge the banks a fee or insurance premium for this arrangement.

The Australian share market lost it on Friday, panicing to produce the biggest drop since 1987. Our country had been drawn into the vortex of global problems.

Right now it's Monday morning in Australia and all over the week-end Mr Rudd met with his top Ministers and senior public servants. The Treasurer Wayne Swan was in the USA at the G20 meeting, also discussing the crisis.

Yesterday afternoon (Sunday) Mr Rudd announced his decision. He stated in unequivocal terms that the Australian economy would slow and jobs would be lost. And outlined his protection plan for banks as well as everyday people.

He didn't muck around. He said it the way it is, good and bad, and gave details immediately. The news was determined action.

That attitude in itself is a comfort and induces confidence and trust.

So - what can we do about this in our particular neck of the woods (wherever that is)?

We can turn to community that's what! Crisis is a time for families and neighbours to pull together, helping the less well prepared and taking advantage of the increased sense of security that will come as a result.

My plan for me:

Get on with life.

Get out there and say g'day to everyone I come across. Smile.

Visit someone who lives alone.

Don't panic.

Play my happiest music.

Smell the flowers in the garden, and plant some more veggies of my own.

It's almost summer here, so I will get to a beach and wash my troubles away with a swim.

Have a bike ride or a long walk.

And when all this is done - break out a new bar of chocolate!

Love to everyone from


STOP PRESS: 12.15pm Australian Eastern Time the Australian Stock Market has so far today gained five percent across the board.


By the way there's a new blogging community out there for Aussies - Where the Blog Are You?. Check it out through the cockie link on my sidebar. Our mate Lilly is featured blogger this week.


  1. I must say I like and respect Kevin Rudd (and Julia Gillard even moreso).

    I think we all have to hang tight, live within our means and not panic as some people are doing with shares and cash etc.

    I really like your list. I totally agree somehow that the sense of community has been lost in everyone's chase of the almighty dollar over the years. Somehow the prize isnt worth what people thought it maybe though.

    Maybe some good can be found in all this economic mess and enable people to refocus on the important things in life, the htings that matter most (oh yes and that includes some chocolate as well.).

  2. Right now I wish I were in Australia! I can only wish we had leaders like yours -- hopefully, come November we will. It is indeed a scary time for us all -- all over the world, I can only hope that cooler and wiser heads than we have now will prevail. Thanks for the update on things there. Always good to hear from you.

  3. Hi again Lilly
    I can't help feeling that Julia Gillard's steady hand on the tiller right alongside Kevin Rudd's is making a big impact. She's a smart cookie, and deeply entrenched in helping the little person.
    You know I'm with you on the rest ...

  4. Hugs back to Sylvia.
    The USA election and inauguration can't happen quickly enough for all of us.
    Yes, so far so good with our new lot. And Rudd is backed up by a good team.
    Lilly mentioned Julia Gillard. You'd love her Sylvia.

  5. June, I applaud your leaders for tackling the situation with a straight forward approach. Most of all for letting the people in on whats happening, and not mincing words about it. That tactic will simply garner confidence, and bolster your own countries citizenry.

    I truly wish our leaders were not into trying to soft sell the public, and keep thing hidden as long as possible. I would welcome some open and honest discussion from our leaders for a change.

    I like your approach, and agree completely. You must go on with your life, and above all not panic. I think 75% of our Crises currently is being caused by a widespread panic. Go to the beach, have your swim, and then keep on building that community. If things turn for the worse, at least you'll have friends and family to lean upon. Good luck with your garden, plant some sweet peas for me.

  6. Eric the Australian Stock Market has gained 6 per cent since the Rudd announcement.
    Sweet peas sound just right.
    Let's hope it's sweet peas for every nation. And that they keep growing, on and upwards.

  7. June, I can only wish I could be as optomistic as you. If Barack Obama wins the US election I will feel very good about the direction of our country.

    I also believe the loss of a sense of community is a real problem. I think your prescription is right on.

    We are retired with almost all our income coming from the Federal Government. For now we seem to be okay but I worry about the younger people and other retirees who retirement income is not safe.

    I enjoyed reading this post.

  8. I think your leadership is very straightforward and does not dance around the issues. Good for them!!

  9. June,

    Kudos for a wonderful encouraging writeup. I think a lot of problems are when people prefer NOT to see things as they are and make dubious promises, OR, they see things and simply panic, pulling everyone down with them .

    I admire your PM for doing what he did, and I admire what you are doing more. At the end of the day, if each one lives life in an altruistic thoughtful way, the world has to change for the better.

    I know of someone in the US who needs to learn from your PM :-)

  10. Linda
    I send a hug to you across the blogasphere. I'm in a similar boat - on a pension for the elderly (!)despite working darned hard all of my life. But sometimes that's what happens.
    But the point is I know a little of how you feel.
    I keep thanking our lucky stars that we in Oz have a new government which has PEOPLE at the centre of its concerns (so far anyway).
    I just hope your people can take on the wild ride that may be the next few months and come through happily. For, to be honest, the world depends on it.
    In the mean time I think being positive and seeking community are a good thing. You guys can keep putting pressure on your government and vote the right way.
    I believe that once we decide on a positive path involving others it becomes easier.

  11. Hi Margie
    Yes I can't believe that this new bunch is doing so well as I am usually pretty sceptical about politicians. But so far it seems as though Rudd and his impressive deputy and ministry have their hearts and morality in the right place.

  12. Suranga (Ugich Konitari)
    A certainly agree with you. I think too that people who aren't straight in their communication can engender suspicion about what is being hidden.
    Also, it's great to be part of our blogging community ...

  13. Eric S
    Thanks for quietly becoming a follower of 70 Plus, as well as Journeys in Creative Writing. You are so very welcome.

  14. Hi June

    Thank you for your comment on my blog and thank you for becoming a follower.

    Yes blogging is certainly a good way to keep in touch and find out what is happening all over the world, from the people not the press.

    It seems everyone everywhere is eating sleeping, drinking and living money at the moment. Lucky for you that your government will guarantee every cent, our government will only guarantee up to 50,000. Not that I need to worry, I am no where near that figure!!


  15. Hi Steph (Green)
    - good to chat.
    It's for sure I don't have any bank accounts with $50,000 in them, but I suppose it's the psychological aspect that's the thing. If the government says it will guarantee every cent well ...
    I heard on the news tonight that your government has bought 60% of the Royal Bank of Scotland.How about that - things going around in circles eh?

  16. Hello June, It is nice to hear that someone has an official in office they can count on to tell it like it is to the people. I am afraid we don't and that is part of the problem. Everyone is scared to death because they don't trust the government on anything. Hopefully, November elections will change that. I have always lived within my means and very few people I know live that way. Like you, I plan to do what I can, try to help others and hope for the best! Great Post.

  17. Well, June, I guess we Americans will just have to find our confidence in your leaders, since ours have lost all credibility for the remainder of this administration.

    By the way, I've been madly putting up photos of flowers on my blog, even though they have nothing to do with the subject at hand. They are a such a cheerful reminder of good things...

  18. There are few problems in life that some high-quality chocolate cannot improve.

  19. Thanks for visiting my site today, I've been enjoying meeting all the new people and having a sneak peek at their blogs.

    I'm not big into politics (a few years in Local Government will kill any love of politics), but one of my friends went to school with Kevin Rudd and still voted for him. That's got to mean something...

  20. Hi Judy
    Yes I can understand the feeling about your government. We shared it before our change late last year. So pleased the timing was right for us. Hope things are happier for you soon.
    Cheers June

  21. G'day Clairz
    Sometimes it's good to escape - in the garden with flowers or with a good book from a good library (or librarian) eh?
    June in Oz

  22. Tropigal
    Belgian is for me! I will never forget going into shops in Belgium with such an array of different chocolates you could get fat just looking at them. They know their business.

  23. Hi Jen
    That's interesting about your friend and Rudd. He seems to be a workaholic - but I suppose people in his position probably need to be. He's apparently working his staff and ministers into the ground ...
    Just so long as he makes the right decisions.
    I can understand your feeling about Local Government, as I suggested. Corruption is often the rule of the day.
    I hope you enjoy the fun with Where the Blog are You? Apparently my blogs will be featured before long ...
    Thanks for the visit.

  24. Hi June, Flamin' Nora, have just had a reading fest at your latest post and all the comments - my God woman, you have taken off good style... All kidding aside I agreed with you all the way, and also with a lot of the commenters too. I hope to hell this country's leader gets his brains in action soon 'cos I have a feeling that we will go completely 'down the pan' if he doesn't - God help us!

    What's this about 'Where the Blog are you' missus ... Are you Aussie's trying to take over the World - Only joshing June, as ya know.... Cheers from Scotland, by the way if you get the chance please send some more sunbeams over this direction, could do with some ! Kate x.

  25. I've just scooped up a whole bucketful of warmth for you Kate, and sent it your way.
    The sun itself is a bit of a problem 'cause it's been raining for an hour.
    Still not cold though, bein' almost summer.
    Oz doesn't have as many people as you lot so we need to do a bit of stirring. That's why Where the Blog Are You? Getin' together in a community, that's what.
    We all need luck with the economy mate. We're caught up with it too, although not so far so badly as most others.
    It's a vortex out there.

  26. It must be grand to live in a country where there is such enlightened leadership. We have the potential here in the states, if we elect Obama. to achieve new heights. I wonder how we look to the rest of the world? As insane as we feel here in our borders?

  27. Hi Robin
    In Australia, we know how it feels to live with a leadership akin to yours in many ways.

    John Howard was hugely voted out last November to be replaced by the Labor Party and Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard. He even lost his own parliamentary seat.

    Howard is a personal friend of George Bush - they really hit it off, sharing a similar attitude to where the money should go. He supported the Iraq war, for instance, sending our troops.

    He was there for eleven years and now we have sagging infrastructure, health services, social security etc etc etc.

    Before Howard we were known as a nation which cared for its people and the change hasn't gone down well, I can tell you.

    So I suppose you could say we strongly empathise with the people of the USA. I hope, after your election, that you experience the relief and the exciting change now being widely felt here.

    Almost the first thing that Rudd did was to say Sorry to the Aboriginal people for the terrible history of our land since 1788. The ceremony that day in Canberra was like a watershed ...

    It certainly starkly symbolised the current change in attitude. So far so good.

    Our troops are gradually being withdrawn from Iraq, while moving more to Afghanistan.

    Good luck Robin and to everyone over there. Keep an eye on the ballot boxes - guard them well.
    June in Oz

  28. I'm sorry that I don't understand Portuguese Azoreano Naufrago. What does fixe mean in English?

  29. Hola:

    Acabo de ver tu blog.

    Espero que visites mis blogs, son fotos de mi pueblo, de España y de Italia y Francia:

    donde encontrarás los enlaces de todos los blogs.


  30. June, Sylvia's blog crashed and they told her she had to do a whole new blog. She e-mailed and asked that we let her fellow bloggers know her new address. It is:

    Hope things are good with you!

  31. Hi Judy
    Thanks for that. I just received an email from Sylvia myself and will shortly try to help her out as well. Such a shame. Have asked Sylvia to let us know the name of the new blog ASAP.
    I've just had a bit of a crisis myself, being rushed by ambulance to emergency Tuesday 3am with chest pains. Got home an hour ago (Wednesday 11am).
    ECGs etc proved negative, with no damage anywhere that can be seen. I'm to follow through with the GP next week, but my heart is intact - couldn't do without that in more ways than one!

  32. Judy:
    Seniors' moment. Shows I'm not quite with it yet!
    SYLVIA'S NEW BLOG IS To all of my bloggy friends:Have a look, link to it, enjoy it, and help a mate.

  33. Azoreano Naufrago
    I've done a bit of research into the translation from Portuguese and I think you agree with the substance of my post. Thank you. And please come again.

  34. jfmarcelo from Spain:
    Thank you for visiting 70 Plus and Still Kicking. I looked at some of your blogs and thought the photography was wonderful. Are you the man in the blue striped shirt in some of them?
    Thank you for sending greetings from Spain.
    June in Australia


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