- Mommy, Look: "Eat fish and seafood every week - if you cannot pay we do it for you. Ask for more information at reception"
- Oh, that's great, we need to do it.
- Mom, but will the supermarket really pay for us? It is very generous.
- Well, kind of. We have to give back in the future. But don't worry sweetie.
- Ok, but if we can't pay, maybe we shouldn't buy.
- We have the right to eat what we want. We deserve it.
- Of course - said the child imagining himself full of toys around -"I can't pay for them, but someone will do it for me¨ - he thought with a wonderful smile.
The crisis in Spain, as you know, it is very pronounced. I'm talking in the present because we don't know when it will end if it happens some day. During the crisis, we have lost more jobs than those generated in nine years of economic growth. It is a bit difficult understand how the crisis originated and where it came from. My friends, from different nationalities, always ask to me: "Why are spanish people everywhere? Oh, because of the crisis, right?". I don't know if the crisis is the reason for it, but I'm sure it has some influence. In my personal case, it was a pleasure having the chance to know other cultures. But let's see where the crisis came from, probably nobody explained to us in a way we could understand easily.
First of all, we need to know this is not a Spanish business, it is a global one, since we live in a globalized world. The story started in the USA. In 1990, interest rates fell, thus the banks make less money. The solution was to grant loans on a massive scale. They sold the mortgages to other banks around the world. In this way, the American banks had money to lend again.
Secondly, what did it happen in Spain? There was a "property bubble" in 1997. It means there was a long-term price increase. People asked loans with low interest because banks gave them with not so many requirements. The lenders sell mortgages to other banks getting an interest from that. This mortgage joins with others, making packages which were sold and bought around the world (some were safe, others not so much). One day there weren't families who could buy a house, so sales fell. What happened afterward? Banks gave mortgages to families who probably couldn't pay in the future. In case they couldn't pay, the bank would take the house. So there was not any risk for them, but for the families. Obviously, at some point the "owners" couldn't pay the mortgages anymore, so that some banks in the world stopped charging. That created distrust between banks, increasing the prices of the mortgages. There were many empty houses, but at the same time families were looking for a home which they could pay. What are the consequences from this? Many families lost their house, people had less money to consumption in general, the unemployment increased (mostly from construction area which was one of the most outstanding in employment), among others.
It is not my intention to defend Spain as a victim of the crisis. But I have to admit we were unluckier than other countries because of the situation we had had previously. Of course, the government knew what was coming from the US, due to the collapse of the property bubble in the United States, but we didn't do anything to prevent this situation from the beginning. However, the Spanish government saved the banks which bankrupt while the families had nowhere to sleep. Unfortunately, it is how it works the globalized world, with advantages and drawbacks.
Moreover, families had in mind what the society told them they needed to have to be happy. The mother in the supermarket wants to eat seafood, even if she doesn't have enough money to buy it. Someone is telling you that you can have what you cannot pay. This is just a consumer circle. When families realized that they couldn't pay anymore, they were dependent on the banks. Which ones were so ¨generous¨ with them giving money to any risk, right?. There is something wrong in all of this and everyone is to blame in this disaster. However, what about the US? Everything started there, but it seems they are out of the problem. They solved it supporting other weaker economies which plummeted because they could not bear the weight of the economic debts.
Currently, families still have to pay what they owe to the banks. Many people have been evicted. A lot of people lost their job which was supporting their families for more than 20 years. Some time ago, young people who didn't want to study had a chance to get a job easily. Now, these people have to study and travel around the world looking for opportunities. Maybe it is not as bad as we thought if we look from this point of view. We are connected. Let's use this connection to improve this world by ourselves, instead of leaving our lives in control of others who don't care about us.