The world is a very different place these days compared to thirty years ago when the last very serious global financial crisis and recession took place.
Back in 1989, the interest rate in the United Kingdom was around 15%, causing mortgage and personal loan repayments to become unaffordable for a large number of people, and home repossessions to take place in very large numbers. This continued into the early 1990s and even by mid-1991 the rate remained as high as 13%.
It was so dire that construction companies building new homes simply left the sites with homes unfinished, cutting their already huge losses as they knew that they would never be able to sell them if they spent more money completing their builds.
At the same time, China was nowhere on the world stage in terms of economic power and influence, and the Cold War between the communist Soviet Union and the capitalist West had just ended, giving the former Eastern Bloc and former Soviet states a chance to participate in global business.
Those nations were, however, impoverished, had a monetary system that was not aligned with the West, and a population which was not used to being able to choose its own destiny, whilst the West had just enjoyed ten straight years of prosperity, massive growth, hedonism and in some cases, absolute excess.
During the governments of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, it was all about a property-owning, prosperous Britain, and across the Atlantic, it was about living the American Dream.
When the crash finally came in 1991 and the spiralling debt became subject to massive interest, someone had to pay the piper. However, the Western economies survived and rebounded quickly because, quite simply, with the exception of perhaps Japan, a then-British Hong Kong and South Korea, the entirety of Asia and the former Soviet Union were no match for the prowess of America and Europe.
Those days are long gone, and in the past thirty years, China has become the world's largest and most advanced economy with a massive industrial base that in effect serves the entire world, India has emerged within the world's top ten economies, and the Middle East and the Russian Federation have embraced capitalism.
Who'd have thought in the 1990s that Dubai would be the envy of the world for lifestyle and would be a go-to destination for investment?
Given that the economies which now dominate are largely centered in the Eastern hemisphere, the recession and perceived financial crisis that the West is now experiencing is a very different matter to that of thirty years ago.
News channels across Europe and the United States talk of inflation at a forty-year high, with figures for the United States and the United Kingdom around the high 8% mark, however that is not the real picture.
When looking at the RPI (Retail Price Index), the inflation imprints for April this year showed the United Kingdom's figure reaching 11%.
That's double digit inflation in the United Kingdom looking like a very significant reality.
This is likely to be one of the many reasons that the British Pound has been languishing at low values against the US Dollar recently.
At the time of the Soviet Union's collapse thirty years ago and the emergence of the Russian Federation into the free market world, nobody would have ever thought that high-value commodities such as oil and gas would have to be settled by Western buyers in rubles.
In 1992, the exchange rate was 5,880 Rubles to 1 US Dollar. Today, the ruble is the strongest currency in the world and is valued at 66 Rubles to 1 US Dollar, and the Ruble is now inexorably tied to oil and gas as a sort of 'petro-Ruble' because European and American customers have to settle gas and oil contracts in Rubles via banks in Moscow.
Considering the amount of national debt that blights the US economy, with most national debt being held by American citizens and domestic American companies plus the loss of the ability to settle oil and gas contracts in US Dollars with Russian suppliers, the US Dollar has had serious challenges recently, however the Pound and Euro have been blighted further, because they are also subject to the same inability to be used to settle the purchase of oil and gas from Russia, but also represent countries reeling from lockdowns and bailouts.
Many of the former Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe are now burdening the Western economy as they are in the European Union and use the Euro as a currency.
Currently, emerging markets such as Brazil, Mexico, India and Malaysia are experiencing economic fortitude, whereas inflation runs rampant in the West.
Volatility is here as a result.
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