Can You Still Finance A Car With Credit Below 500 Looking Ahead to Q1 of 2009

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Looking Ahead to Q1 of 2009

We’ve all heard the old adage, “it’s always darkest before the dawn.” But when exactly can we expect things to clear up? There is so much paranoia and distrust with a stock market in the tank and so many companies already filing, or preparing to file for bankruptcy, that as we peer into the darkness, we see less than promising news for the first quarter of 2009.

Retailers will still be picking through the rubble of a disastrous holiday season. Some experts predict that we will witness the largest number of retail store bankruptcies in 35 years, from small stores to entire malls and from electronics to clothing. Many predict that the future retail industry will be simplified with fewer outlets, brands and even smaller profits.

More banks will fail as they cannot absorb large write-offs from business loan losses and credit card defaults. This will be system wide across the banking industry and more regional banks will collapse. This despite the fact that banks are hoarding cash so they will have a buffer against their own potential losses. Citigroup has already received a $25 billion cash infusion from the Fed and is expecting another $20 billion, but I don’t think it will be enough to get them out of the woods. So watch out for Citigroup and at least one other major bank to nationalize further.

It’s obvious that the auto industry won’t have stellar earnings news to report. Despite the $6 billion in government aid, it remains to be seen whether GM and Chrysler will be able to land or not. Even with a $5 billion stake in the automaker’s financing arm, GMAC, I’m not holding my breath for an easing of the credit crunch anytime soon.

With consumption and demand low, I do not expect oil and other commodities to recover in the first quarter. Crude oil prices, which experienced wide fluctuations in 2008, are likely to remain volatile in 2009. According to forecasts from oil traders, economists and the International Energy Agency expect to see oil trade in a range of $40 to $65 a barrel. . Prices reached a record high of $147.27 in July 2008, but the global credit freeze and recession pushed prices below $50. Price changes may continue, but are expected to be less dramatic in 2009. We can expect poor earnings reports for most corporations in the fourth quarter of 2008, and I expect further reductions in capital spending in other industries. In fact, look for record bankruptcies to decimate many industry sectors besides construction, finance and retail. Reports began to emerge last week that the world’s No. 3 chemical company, LyondellBasell Industries, is considering filing for bankruptcy protection. Despite the dismal corporate earnings, I think we may see the market get a boost with Obama’s inauguration on January 20th, but it will be short-lived. Consider the mess he inherited: rising unemployment, falling house prices and GDP expected to contract by 6% in the fourth quarter, although the exact numbers are still coming in, as are estimates for the first quarter of 2009. continues to fall, and while an Obama administration represents hope and change, it may take until the end of the second quarter or the third quarter before consumer confidence shows signs of improvement.

The recession will continue not only in the US. U.S., but will permeate other important and developing countries, causing a greater stagnation of the global economy. Expect to see more trade rifts like the current one between the Chinese and the US. USA and the Mexican blockade of American beef. This will lead to short-term protectionism rather than open trade, a condition that could prevail until the economy picks up around 2010.

Despite all the gloom and predictions of a prolonged recession, the Marist Institute for Public Opinion in Poughkeepsie, New York, conducted a survey and found some surprising results. Most Americans are optimistic about what to expect in 2009. Those who had the highest expectations for a better future were under 45 and likely hadn’t lost a large portion of their retirement savings. Sixty-four percent of those under 45 had an optimistic view compared to 52 percent of those 45 and older.

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