venerdì 10 ottobre 2008

Financial Crisis: how do we live it in a small rural village

The recent financial crisis is provoking a wide international debate involving the main expressions of politics, economy or finance as well as authoritative names in intellectual and academic world. Even if of scarce importance, what are the impressions of the people living in a small rural village in Central Italy?
What is firstly emerging is that in this small village nobody clearly understands what is going on and, above all, the causes of this turmoil: dramatic news are passing in TV or newspapers but the situation appears extremely confused. Everything seems uncomprehensible. The only thing has been clearly understood is the message of the Italian Prime Minister reassuring italians that nobody will lose an euro. In this way, speaking very directly, the present Government gained also further popularity. Nonetheless, going beyond these spectacular declarations, information to the public opinion here is still considered too confused, talking about events which seem to arrive from another planet or another dimension, with too technical terms: what has been effectively trasmitted and diffused is a sense of anxiety and lack of perspective for the future. People seem to be worried of "something" invisible, unintelligible and unknown: they worry sudden prices increases, lack of money, uncertain future, concrete economic damages. The effects of such an anxiety are already emerging: as an example, the local sport association, which I'm collaborating to, is facing a remarkable decrease in the presence of boys and girls attending the various sport activities and in the related subscription quotas. The same is happening for the local School of Music. Maybe families are renouncing to some expenses to save money...
In the same time, some diffidence can be reported: many people here think that what is happening in America is an American problem. They are not clearly informed that people's money in the banks have been thrown away, that nobody seems to be responsible for this and that people, after that their savings have been burnt in a criminal way, have to refill the budgets of a foolish bank system at their expenses. The mid/long term consequences of this crisis are not well understood and clearly seen, maybe also for the high incidence of elder farmers who do not understand these issues. In the meanwhile, here globalization appears as a distant phenomenon, whose events are passing over our heads, while the sense of "local" seems to gain force.
The bank system is losing trust in common people day after day and it will be very difficult to regain it in the next future and in the meanwhile the italian "art of surviving" is likely to turn useful: we will find out something once again...

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