Villain: The Credit Crisis

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Villain: The Credit Crisis

Torontoist is ending the year by naming our Heroes and Villains of 2007––the people, places, and things that we’ve either fallen head over heels in love with or developed uncontrollable rage towards over the past twelve months. Get your dose, starting Boxing Day and running into the new year, three times a day––sunrise, noon, and sunset.
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The subprime mortgage crisis, which began late last year but really picked up steam in the last few months, is not going away. In fact, it is a trigger incident that will continue to unravel the American economy into 2008, almost certainly leading to a recession and likely a depression. In his year-end address, the prime minister said Canada “cannot be immune from the growing uncertainty we see in the U.S. economy and the global economy,” which only hints at the challenges ahead. Clever as he is, however, the prime minister went on to link growing economic uncertainty with forthcoming actions on climate change (as in, fighting climate change will hurt the economy). This serves his own political purposes, but in a sense is the opposite of reality. The credit crisis is a symptom of an expansion and consumption-based economy that’s out of control and no longer working to improve our quality of life. The current orientation of the economy has also generated the climate and environmental crises we’re now faced with. In reality, applying smart solutions to the climate crisis can actually strengthen our economy, making it more resilient and future-oriented. Staying on the same path, on the other hand, would only make things worse. Over the next twelve months, it’s incumbent upon us as citizens in a democracy to pay extra attention to what’s happening to our economy, what the real causes are, and what set of policies will best equip us for the years to come.
Photo by Flo’s Diner from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.

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