Fear, fear everywhere

By Staff Writer
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Fear, fear everywhere.

That is about the only unifying factor across the business newswires today.

The global economy is in a serious state right now and there is a lot of conflicting opinion about what can be done. The automobile industry in the USA is in crisis with Business Day reporting that General Motors has stated that they do not have enough cash to see out the end of the year. Bush may be on his way out but there is a call for him to bail out the automotive industry in the US to the tune of $50 billion, according to The Dispatch. 

The guy may suffer from the lowest ratings ever but that has never stopped him bailing out his buddies before. Whether this is the right thing to do or not, well, that is a matter of opinion but let us just look at the Bush record to decide who he is really trying to help.

On the home front iAfrica reports that the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) has facilitated a unified body amongst local vehicle manufacturers in order for them to plot the way forward. They have identified an export driven model whereby exports to the rest of Africa will be a crucial component. The legislation and export framework surrounding this was also talked about, and a pilot research project on the Kenyan vehicle market is being set up. This meeting was initiated by Nissan South Africa, who got NAAMSA to come and facilitate. You can get car finance by clicking here.

In overseas news the global economy is still in tatters and even the hope of further rate cuts may not be enough to stop the rot spreading further, Business Day reports that next weekend the G20, including South Africa will meet in Washington to start to reshape the international financial system.

The interest rate cuts could lead to what is essentially 'free money' in an article carried by Business Report. The US Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan are almost at 0% interest, which means it costs you nothing to borrow. Credit cards can be compared here but we are one of the few countries in the world right now that are not actively cutting interest rates.

There is pressure on the SA reserve Bank to start cutting interest rates and iAfrica reports that it may come sooner than expected. The G20 meeting may change many things, but then again they probably will not. Developing countries are calling for a bigger slice of the pie and a larger seat at the table, in an article posted on the BBC. In local news Business Report posted that African Bank said last Friday that they expected an 8% profit increase this year. This would point to the fixed interest rate lenders being able to weather the storm more easily, than variable interest rate lenders. You can apply for an African Bank credit card here.

The thing with fixed interest is that bad debts tend to be lower as interest rate fluctuations do not affect consumers' ability to pay back what they owe. And finally The Dispatch interviewed the head of FNB's cellphone banking division on what it takes to be in the market these days.

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