Finance Friday: trends
The financial crisis of the past few years has led to a few important trends, such as peer to peer lending and crowd funding. Investors are looking for rewards other than money when deciding what to invest in. Zopa has led the way in peer to peer lending offering better returns for savers.
The world economy still appears to be in trouble. Only this week Argentina defaulted on it’s debts for the second time. In the UK zero hours contracts appear to becoming the norm and everyone from fire fighters to nurses are unhappy with pay and conditions. People on benefits are dying as sanctions leave them without food to eat or see the bailiffs at the door repossessing their home.
People are changing their attitudes and their behaviour. They are turning their backs on the multinationals and shopping at smaller stores and looking around markets. The movement to discount stores isn’t just about saving money, it’s also a protest against the greed of multinationals like Walmart and Tesco.
Growing your own
People might not be embracing all the ideas from The Good Life, but they are looking at community gardens and at growing their own vegetables and fruit. This year the weather was very wet and that was followed by a heat wave and so growing some things is difficult. It has been ideal for Mediterranean fruits like tomatoes though.
It’s becoming fashionable to reject fashion and adopt retro clothing. Markets and charity shops are becoming more popular not only because people are short of money, but because they are a rich source of retro and vintage clothing. Not only clothing, but other goods like furniture is available. The stronger furniture from yesteryear can be restored and provide a classic addition to the home that will outlast many modern equivalents.
People are looking to become more creative too and create and share art on a local scale. Art is more diverse and not confined to painting and sculpture, but also embraces digital art and photography.
Localisation is the antithesis of globalisation and gives people a sense of belonging and community. Politically people are becoming more averse to the empire building of the European Community and are supporting policies that offer more local control. Even the Scottish independence question is driven by a rejection of the empire building mentality of the multinationals. People are becoming more tribal and waving, not the Union flag; but the Scottish flag, England flag and the flag of Wales. They are also favouring local flags as a emblem of their community, culture and values.
What do you see happening where you are? Are there global trends away from globalisation? Are the global companies like Walmart under threat and maybe a bad investment? Share your thoughts in the comments box. You can also follow me on Twitter.