Crisis is Literal Kiss of Death

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The financial crisis of 2008 killed a lot of things. It killed the line of credit, it killed the finances of millions of people around the world, it ousted governments and relegated leaders to the back offices and it was the kiss of death to a failed system and brought down entire states. It also made a few (too many perhaps) people rich in the process and those people were probably the same ones that started the whole process of giving the banks the belief that they were too big to fail and that we would have to bail them out come what may. But, the financial crisis did more than just kill the private and public finances of the societies we were told to live in. It literally brought about the deaths of people too. The financial crisis of 2008 has since that date brought about a marked increase in the number of suicides in the world.

When the banks crashed the number of suicides increased in 2008 alone across the European Union by 5, 000 extra suicides. The number of suicides has been shown (by research carried out by the Universities of Bristol and Oxfordin the UK and the University of Hong Kong) to be linked to the type of safety net that the state provides in terms of medical coverage and social security as well as social support and the state of the labor market.

  • The research showed that for 54 countries in the world, there was a combined loss of Gross Domestic Product per capita that amounted to 3% in 2008.
  • Unemployment increased to a level of 39%.
  • The male suicide rate increased by 3.3% as the study showed that men were the hardest hit by the recession, often being the main bread-winner and the social stigma attached to not being able to support the household financially.
  • The suicide for women remained largely unchanged in both the EU and North America for the same period.
  • The same sort of crisis was observed after the Asian crisis in 1997 and analyzed by the British Medical Journal.
  • There were more than 10, 000 suicides that were a direct or indirect consequence of the crisis that were recorded in JapanHong Kong and South Korea.

     

    Suicide Rates 2009 - Comparative Figures


    Suicide Rates 2009 - Comparative Figures

The research has linked the growing number of suicides to the unemployment rate across the world. In 2009, the number of people out of work in the world reached 212 million (officially, since underemployed people and those discouraged from seeking employment are not included). There is however no certainty that the financial crisis is at the crux of the matter. Although, if it is not, then there are questions that need answering regarding the rapid growth of male suicides since the onset of the austerity measures and the failings of the economy.

Suicide Death Rate per 100, 000 people of the population


Suicide Death Rate per 100, 000 people of the population

Greece

Since 2008 the number of suicides in Greece has increased by a staggering 40% since 2008 in just the first half of the year. There are about 6 suicides per 100, 000 residents today in Greece.

Not only have the people of Greece been reduced to a meager existence of austerity and stringent controls for the latitudarian governments that lied through their teeth to get into the Eurozone despite the fact that they were nowhere near ready for it, but now they are dying a second literal death. Death by finances and real death. Thank yousubprimes and the guys that made the billions from it.

The inability to reimburse increasing debts coupled with a loss of purchasing power and reductions in salaries has meant that there is a near-double increase in the number of suicides in Greece today that is being seen. Between1990 and 2009 the Greece, however, had one of the lowest rates of suicide according to Greek government statistics. The majority of the people that have committed suicide are overwhelmingly males aged between 35 and 60 years old.

Loan Sharks

Certain Greeks are drawn into a spiraling source of debt because a new type of businessman has been born: ones that are suppliers for the government department and services that never get paid because the state doesn’t have the money to do so. They contract loans to keep their companies afloat and end up paying back three times more than they borrowed. Denied loans from the banking system in the country, they just end up turning to loan sharks. Interest rates are close to 15% per month for this type of money.

Growing Phenomenon

  • Greece is not the only place where the suicide rate has increased since 2008. It has done so across the European Union and indeed the western world.
  • The US is not being spared either and it has a current rate of about 10 suicides for every 100, 000 people.
  • There were 2, 309 extra suicides in the USA in 2009.
  • The age group that saw an increase the most in its numbers was the group aged 45 to 64 years old (males) in the USA and Canada.
  • The USA and Canada had an increase of 8.9% in male suicides alone.
  • In the UK research shows that there were 300 more suicides in the country in 2009 than there normally would have been in comparison with previous averages.
  • In the UK it was in particular people aged 15 to 24 years old.
  • UK figures reached their highest level in 2011 (4, 552 people).
  • New EU countries such as Czech Republic or Estonia for example had an average increase in suicides that amounted to 13.3%.
  • The group that saw the highest increase in the suicide rate was the group aged 15 to 24 years old in the EU.
  • Central America and the Caribbean had an increase that averaged out at +6.4%.

According to the new research which included 54 countries that has recently been carried out the final conclusion may be that there this is only the tip of the financial iceberg. The countries that have been hit the most by the financial crisis were not included in the study and the full extent may be much worse. There is also the number of people that attempt to commit suicide which may be as high as 40 times the number of people that has been recorded in the study.

As the unemployment rate in Greece has risen, so has the death toll. But, nobody either talks or cares about some Greek businessman filing for bankruptcy and thousands or millions of euros in debt or some housewife that can’t keep the household above the breadline. Nobody cares whether some guy that has lost his job in the UK or the USA throws himself out of the office window or under the nearest double-decker bus let alone those that do it in Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania. The only thing the media, the politicians and the banks are interested in is whether or not Greece will meet its repayments or if they will need bailing out yet again.

Some might think it’s better for the Greeks and the others to get the retrenchment policies and for austerity-struck to top themselves for fear of the phenomenon spilling over into the rest of Europe or the other economies in the world that have been and are intrinsically linked today.

Economic crises damage your health and those around you.

Originally posted: Crisis is Literal Kiss of Death

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