Page last updated at 07:11 GMT, Friday, 10 October 2008 08:11 UK
Financial crisis: World round-up



BBC News readers from around the world share their personal experiences of the financial crisis.

FRANCIS WU, ELECTRICAL ENGINEER, SHANGHAI, CHINA

Francis Wu
In order to overcome the awful situation, I have to squeeze my daily life expenses. I don't do a lot of shopping and I haven't been out at a restaurant for a long time.

I have a car. I try not to use it too often because petrol prices are quite high compared to my salary. So instead, I get around by riding my bicycle.

I enjoy having a glass of wine and beer, but I have cut down on alcohol too.

I have invested in the Chinese stock market for a long time but the returns have been reduced. This year I have lost all the gains before I got any.

LEX BARKER, RETIRED BANKER, PERTH, AUSTRALIA

Many Australians thought they were immune from the financial crisis. But in the last few days anxiety has increased because of what is happening elsewhere.

A real problem over here is that many people have over extended themselves. They are asking if they are able to repay their credit cards and mortgage debt.



People who have been comfortably well off are now getting concerned


Lex Barker, Australia


There has been a great price increase in my weekly shopping. When I retired in 2001, it cost 100 Australian dollars. Now, the price has jumped to $178.

People who have been comfortably well off are now getting concerned. I've found that I have lost a third of my savings, and the stock exchange has plunged.

Australia exports hugely on mineral commodities such as coal, iron ore, and aluminium to places like Japan and the US. But because markets there have been volatile, we have found the export sector is slowing.

GUSTAVO CARACANTE, RESTAURATEUR, SAO PAULO, BRAZIL
Gustavo Caracante
I was looking for a new car but because the interest rates are high, I have changed my mind.

Brazil has one of the highest interest rates in the world. We have to pay five months worth of our annual salary towards tax, so things are difficult naturally.

I try not to go out so much. I haven't got any savings but the money I do have goes into my business.

I own an Arabic restaurant. I don't know if it is a coincidence but I have noticed that since the crisis began, the restaurant hasn't been busy as it has been before.

PINAKIN PATEL, COMPUTER SALES AND SERVICES, SURAT, INDIA
Pinakin Patel

Here in India people are not even visiting my shop to see the new products.

The inflation rate is very high compared with last year, so most people are saving and not spending daily.

The middle class and small business owners have been badly affected by the crisis, as most of them invested in the stock market and are now in a very difficult position.

So, my usual clients have no money to buy computers and it is also very difficult to get credit to buy computers.

MARTIN SMITH, PROJECT MANAGER, JULICH, GERMANY

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I don't think many Germans are particularly worried. But if people stop buying German goods like washing machines or cars then it might be a different story.

I work in the industrial heartland where there is a lot of manufacturing. There are plenty of jobs in engineering and in this part of the country, the unemployment rate is low.

I have accepted a job in the UK recently which will be a four year contract. In Germany, if I become unemployed, the benefits are much better than they are in the UK.

I would be worried that if I couldn't get another job in the UK, how would I be able to survive on the low benefits?

The lending principles are much tighter over here. You can't get a mortgage unless you have a 10 or 15% deposit.

JAMES SWEET, COMPUTER ENGINEER, NEW YORK, USA

I don't think there is a single solution that will solve the financial crisis. The rate cut and bailout will help but there needs to be a long period of adjustment.

James Sweet

Recently I have seen lots of small businesses close. A friend of mine works for a small IT company.

Because customers who owe money don't have the cash to pay, the company is going bankrupt.

I have a fixed rate mortgage so I'm ok for the time being, but I would like to re-finance.

Our city hasn't been hit too hard but I do worry. If New York follows the national trend in the housing market, I may not be able to re-finance for home improvements that can boost the equity.

I think the main cause of the crisis was the wealth that was created during the dot.com boom in the mid-90s. But I don't think we will hit rock bottom as we did in 1929.

TONY PATRICOLO, ACCOUNTANT, WALES, UK

The interest rate cut will marginally help with my monthly mortgage payments. But I think the rate should've been even lower in order for it to be greatly beneficial.



I have noticed my shopping bills have gone up but my salary remains where it is


Tony Patricolo, Wales


I think the central banks should help those who face repossession and provide bigger tax credits.

A big problem is the over valuation of property. Also, too much credit has been given to people. Because of all of this, we have to pay for the credit crunch problem.

Instead of lending customers three times their salary for a mortgage, banks seem to have no limit to how much they lend.

I have noticed my shopping bills have gone up but my salary remains where it is.

ANDREW GRAHAM, LECTURER, JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA

I have lived in South Africa for ten years but my savings are in accounts in the UK so I am worried about what will happen to my money.

Only this week has there been media coverage of the crisis. Many people here regard the financial crisis as a problem in America and Europe and they feel they will not be affected.

The majority of the population has little anyway and many don't have bank accounts. The main concerns here are about the ANC, Zimbabwe, rugby and cricket.

I talked to my students about the financial crisis but they are unaware of what has been happening.

SULTAN MAHMOOD, TRANSPORT COMPANY WORKER, UAE

I moved to the UAE eleven years ago from Pakistan. I'm 38 and am married with 4 young children.

Three months ago I bought 100 thousand dirhams worth of shares in local companies. At the time, the prices were good and I thought it was a sensible investment. I thought I could make a profit to provide extra money for my family.

With the recent crisis I am facing a big loss and I am watching the value of my shares decrease. Imagine how it feels to watch your savings disappear.

I cannot sell the shares. I wonder what will happen and how this problem is going to be resolved. All I can do is hope that things will get better so I can get my savings back. All my savings from the last ten years are at stake.

Meanwhile the cost of all life's necessities are going up day by day and we cannot manage. We have to cut down on extra expenditure and are being careful with our money.



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