Things We Have Learned From The Global Financial Crisis

Lessons From The Global Financial Crisis

First Published: December 6, 2009

The world has once again found itself in a terrible financial meltdown that has gone to affect the whole world and the consequences are only now trying to reach the ends of the planet, with each nation getting to a feel its share of the pain. This has been a long way in coming since the last such crisis which was somewhere just at the end of the Second World War. Even though there a signs of a recovery from a distance, we are yet to get out of the woods and one would say that the developing countries in particular are going to be hardest hit for reasons that they get affected by things that happen in the first world, even when they are mere spectators most of the time.

A good many people have this feeling that the current crisis was directly caused by the poor macroeconomic policies of the United States which must have led to the decline of local saving rates because of an extremely lenient money policy. This it is noted resulted in a housing boom in the US and most of the developed world and because of poor lending standards, the downfall was not too much for anyone to predict and so obviously in a little while the credit crunch was upon the Americans. It did not take long before the ramifications got to be felt in the rest of the world for the simple reason that the world is now so interconnected financially and otherwise.

It may appear that we have reached a point in time when supervision and proper regulation needs to be considered extremely carefully if we are to get out of the current crisis, leave alone avoiding a similar one any time in the future. In many countries we saw the rise of a shadow financial system for long time, which included mutual funds in the money market, private equity and hedge funds. The challenge was the use of this short term measures to fun long term investments which may not have been the wisest thing to do in a generation that is so informed like ours.

Banks will also need to get back to their standard and regulated practices, because the trend they got into of trying to compete with the smaller financial institutions which have no regulations whatsoever was a great contributor to the plague of unplanned lending worldwide. This automatically led to the over leveraging of the world’s financial system in the US in particular but also the rest of the world in varying degrees. In a little while confidence went under and it brought an abrupt stop to funding which led to the systematic collapse of structures as we know them.

We are going to need to work out fresh new forms of financial management which are going to encompass not only local financial challenges but those that will have to look at the big picture of the global financial market. The new forms of financial engineering will need to be those that are going to look at credit risk in a completely new way which is a basic requirement in any healthy financial market.

What Is A Mortgage Payment Schedule?

Amortization Schedules – Always Keep Your Eyes Open

First Published: December 10, 2009

On taking out a loan, it is not uncommon to get a momentary buzz of excitement on seeing the temporary balance of your bank account, showing as it does a few extra digits above and beyond the usual. It is perfectly common in such a situation to forget the small details, such as the fact that all that money needs to be paid back over time and that, generally, that money will pretty much all be accounted for in the very near future. These details come back to mind very quickly, though, in most cases, as we set about the arduous task of paying back the money we have borrowed. This is something we have to do in accordance with a schedule, and deviation from that schedule is likely to see us hit with a penalty.

A copy of your payment schedule will be one of the documents given to you on finalising your mortgage. It will tell you what you have to pay and when you have to pay it, any payments that are above normal and any that are below. Sticking to the schedule is your way of knowing that you are doing your bit under the mortgage agreement and should see you avoid any fees for non-payment being added to your account. Having a payment schedule should also put to the back of your mind any ideas about taking the money and spending it unwisely. The figures can make very sobering reading.

With a normal bank loan, taken out to pay for consumer goods, you will generally come to the end of your term while you are not much older than you are today. Looking at a mortgage payment schedule reminds you that you are locked into paying a certain amount of money for a certain length of time – and that this can add up to an awful lot of money and seem like an awful lot of time. It adds seriousness to a situation that is quite serious enough already. In short, if you borrow to pay for a house you are making a large commitment. Seeing that commitment outlined in black and white is the final proof that you’re making a step you cannot easily take back.

A payment schedule will often detail how much of your monthly mortgage payment is going towards paying down the balance of your loan, and how much is paying off interest. It is worth getting a breakdown of these figures, because there are numerous deals available which allow you to cut down how much interest you pay every month, and allow you to save money overall. It is worth shopping around for the best deals, and having your current mortgage payment schedule to hand may well enable you to research where you might get a better deal. Some deals have special terms and conditions written into them which allow you to renegotiate your deal after a certain period of time – if you feel as though your principal owing is not reduced every month, you can check around to see what other offers you might get.

Canada Seeks To Expand Trade and Economic Ties With China

Canada Is China’s New Approved Tourist Destination

First Published: December 22, 2009

On December 3rd, Prime Minister Harper of Canada made his first trip to China since taking office. This is the first time that the two countries leaders have met in five years, making this visit significant to both countries. Prime Minister Harper is known for limiting his foreign travel for political purposes, but has recently become more active, visiting both China and India in order to increase diplomatic ties.

China and Canada have had some opposition in the past, stemming  from the Canadian act of giving the Dalai Lama citizenship in 2007, but those disputes have been put away as China has recently granted Canada an official travel destination. China has a very limited list of countries that are officially approved as travel destinations, with most of those being approved lying outside the North American continent. Canada’s unique status is the result of several decades of Chinese-Canadian cooperation. With a celebration of 40 years of diplomatic ties, both countries are happy to heal the rift. China and Canada both benefit from the ties, with economic and cultural exchanges between the two countries growing tremendously.

China has become a major partner in trade with Canada, and officials say that trade is likely to increase due to the strengthening of ties between the two leaders. Chinese tourists visit Canada regularly, and spend more in the country than in any other travel destination in the world. Chinese tourists also stay for longer periods of time in Canada than any other travel destination, making the diplomatic ties important to Canadian tourism. Canada expects to see greater economic returns from tourism, especially since China has now allowed tourism advertisements to be run in the country, persuading more Chinese tourists to visit Canada.

Cultural exchanges are also on the agenda for Chinese and Canadian leaders. China has expressed interest in a youth student exchange program that would allow young students to visit Canada to increase cultural awareness and build friendships between the countries. Currently, there are over 42,000 students who reside in Canada, attending university or studying. There are also well over 1 million Chinese-Canadian citizens in Canada, as well. The cultural exchanges between the two countries are just as important for building strong ties as the economic benefits, but there are also other common ties that have allowed China and Canada to work together.

China and Canada worked together to sign several different agreements, ranging from climate change to educational issues that will affect both countries. Canada has plan for opening up to six trade offices in China, a move that will further strengthen ties between the two. In addition to these agreements, China has purchased a majority stake in the Canadian oil fields, a project that has cost China over one billion US dollars. China’s increasing economic power has been seen worldwide, and Canada is among the top recipients of their buying power. China is Canada’s second largest trade partner economically, and with plans to increase cooperation and cultural exchange, Canada is sure to benefit in the future.

Australia Travel Blog: First Time Taking Sydney Metro (Subway)

Sydney Travel Blog: Part 2

Sydney Travel Blog: Part 1

Sydney International Airport Station

While I was waiting for my train to come, I took a closer look at the Metro or subway station and some trains passing by on the other side of the station. 

In terms of cleanliness, lightings and fixtures, aesthetic looks, and everything else, I could not see much difference in a Sydney metro station than in a Toronto station. 

However, there were some obvious differences such as the Australian accent in the announcements, door closing chimes, and the noise of the train. And these were expected to be different in a different city. 

The train I boarded was a double-decker train, like Go Transit trains in Toronto. I noticed that yellow and silver colours were used for the trains’ inside and outside colour-theme. However, the seat covers were all blue. The door space felt like slightly wider than on Toronto TTC trains. 

Without any trouble, I changed my train at the Central Station and boarded a different train towards Kings Cross station. It took me slightly more than an hour to reach Kings Cross station. Once I got out of the station, it was close to 11:00 PM. I was out on the street and I was shocked to see so many people were out partying, sitting in open-air restaurants, or just hanging out. Although it was expected because it was Friday night, I have not seen people out partying on this scale for a while. 

That’s when I realized right away that Australians are happier than people in many other countries on the planet. People seemed to be friendly and cheerful. I wouldn’t mind watching people more, but I had to concentrate on finding my hotel, which was supposed to be not too far from the station. 

Consequences Of Lying On Mortgage Application

Lying On Mortgage Application

First Published: December 31, 2009

Buying a new house, selling a house, or staying in a house all require some level of co-operation between yourself and others. Obviously this includes your family and others close to you, but it also requires collaboration between you and the lending institutions who furnish you with a mortgage as well as a range of others who may be able to help you if you are finding it difficult to maintain payments on your mortgage. Any homeowner, especially one in their first house, will be keen to do things correctly, so it is important to be aware of the importance of doing things in the right way. Maintaining communication with the relevant companies and organizations is the soundest way of doing this.

It has become the accepted wisdom that people lie on forms. Job applications and resumes, insurance claims and credit applications are all examples of forms where people have been known to be “economical with the truth”. While the practice of lying on a job application has come to be the norm and is even tacitly encouraged, it can still get you fired if it is a) serious enough and b) found out. Where finance is concerned, though, it can be a criminal matter if you knowingly withhold information or give false information. A policy of total disclosure – while it may cause you to have narrower options in the short term – will not only work better for your conscience, but it will make the long-term maintenance of the mortgage all the more comfortable.

The reason this is beneficial is that mortgage lenders offer deals on the basis of a large amount of information given to them. If you lie about your salary in order to have greater borrowing power, it could work. At the time, you will want it to work. However, after some time you will begin to feel the pinch of repayments and the financial situation can very swiftly spiral out of control, affecting not only your ability to make mortgage payments but also your financial position overall. Telling a “little white lie” on the mortgage insurance may help you lower the premium, but if you then try to claim on the insurance it could stop you receiving anything.

Aside from mortgage lenders there are other organizations who you would do well to bear in mind. If you are finding payments difficult to make, a debt counselling organization may well be the life-saver you are looking for. In this respect, a word of advice that may well be to your benefit: always look for a non-profit debt management or counselling company. Although the profitable organizations can generally afford a high advertising budget, remember that they are doing that with people’s money, money which has been sent for the purposes of debt management. By going with a non-profit company, more money goes towards paying down your debt, and helping you stay in your home. You may even be able to get the interest payments on your mortgage stopped for a period.