In tone with global mood there has been an increase in the frequency with which local officials warn us about the impending crisis. Better late than sorry I say.
But in one of those messages, Mr. Vasilescu, there is a comment which hides something else.
Mr. Vasilescu says that “gone are the days when Romanian consumers would bay Plasma TV after Plasma TV with credit based only an I.D.”
My question is why? First, this is among the best regulated (sic!) financial sectors so banks and regulators are on top of this (see next post).
Is this illegal to take credit that uses as collateral only your I.D.?
Was this the problem in Romania?
No and No.
Most importantly, the message bothers me because it blames the Romanian consumer for the crisis. But it was not the Romanian consumer that borrowed money from IMF,EU and local banks to pay for current consumption. It was not the Romanian consumer that raised taxes in the middle of crisis. Did the government borrow the money to save the consumer from his/hers “irrational buying” of TVs? No.
Thus, I would appreciate that when we warn of the perils of the incoming recessionary period that official would say:”gone are the times when the government could afford expensive cars, houses, public wages and arrears in the public sector”. Do not blame the Romanian consumer as he/she is our only hope for growth.