6 October 2009

credit crises

The recent credit crisis / crunch / downturn / recession / depression - read it how you will - has come and if the press is to be believed, is going away. Too many people borrowed too much and the economy couldn't cope. If you ask me credit is a dangerous thing, but around here unfortunately its a way of life. Every pay day here almost every one of our employee's wages is gone that day paying off debts. In my position I get to sell subsided rice and potatoes to the local community and they just love to buy on credit, ask them if they're paying cash and they shake their heads and make a pen writing on notepad gesture with their hands. "Must write in book please" they say. not realising that they still are going to pay for it, just at the end of the month...
Seeing this month on month I have made an active decision with the bakery not to sell breads on credit. I always have people asking me to, and it feels like I'm turning down sales (which essentially I am) but I have to decline. I just can't see myself as debt collector, going around with a little black book demanding money from people at the end of each month.
So why sell rice / potatoes on credit? you may ask. Well I see these as more staples of their diet and essentials. Around here if people don't have rice then they actually don't have anything to eat. Bread is more of a luxury food item (can you believe it) so is more an addition to people's diet than a basis thereof.


  1. i agree credit is an evil thing. it's loan sharks in modern days.

  2. I think you made the right decision being bread is a luxury and not a staple food like the rice.
    PS. Great 1920 photo of you holding the snake. :)

  3. See now these people got themselves stuck in a rut. The FIRST loan is the problem. Now, every month, they get a salary, and a cut thereof goes toward the loan, leaving them short once more - need another loan :-/

    They need a plan. This is what I will have after the loan is cut out of my salary. What can I do different this month, that can make this money last longer? Buy a different cheaper form of food (just for this month)? Find a second job? Buy seeds and grow some of my own food, even if just enough for a few of us? Chances are, they won't be able to do it in one month, but if they try this over a few months, with the loan amount being smaller with each month, maybe then, they will finally climb out of that rut.

    For some of us, who don't live under the same conditions, it can be so much easier. Stop buying clothes on your account. Sell that PS2 that you no longer play with, or that keeps your kids from their homework, and use the money towards the bills. Simple things like that. Trouble is, we want to have our cake and eat it too.