Saturday, April 4, 2009

Signs of the times

While India is still growing, dramatically different than most of the rest of the world economy, the worldwide economic collapse is starting to show up here in some ways. Growth forecasts have been cut from 9% to 5%. Foreclosure notices are appearing the newspaper -- although it is still a couple here and there, not the pages and pages and pages I saw in the US in December. Building projects all around seem to have stopped. Below I show some pictures of billboards seen in the last few days.
When we first arrived, I was negatively impressed by the number and size of billboards everywhere. Now the boards are still there, but many are empty, advertising themselves instead of other goods. I need to do a post on shots of the non-empty boards -- mostly for luxury items -- another time.
This is my favorite in this series. Accustomed to 2 for 1 when buying a bottle of juice or a pencil, this technique is now being applied to apartment/condo sales! Clearly this is a measure of desperation. That sense is heightened by the number of these boards everywhere. This one is on one side of a major highway. Below I show the scene looking in the opposite direction, where you can see another two of these boards.
The shot below of the "loan recovery vehicle" makes you wonder -- what does this mean? We hear about farmers not being able to pay their loans back, being harassed by lenders and their goons, and sadly then showing up in frighteningly high suicide rates. But this looks like an urban vehicle. Yet another issue to investigate and research.

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