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Two years from the onset of the crisis, Romania can't find its way out

"The collapse of the US Lehman Brothers bank two years ago, the worst financial disaster in history, was the official onset of a financial and economic crisis that wreaked havoc in the entire business world and brought down many companies and banks. The effects of the Lehman Brothers failure are felt even now, when the economies of the world are trying to find their way towards economic growth.

The real titans on the Wall Street and not only them, seen as infallible, collapsed. It took intervention from states, paid for with taxpayers' money, to keep big financial groups alive, whose managers had speculated depositors' money by getting into business ventures that did not generate physical, tangible value, and everything was but a bet.

Even though in the beginning the crisis on the Wall Street was thought to be something far-off, its effects were quick to propagate towards Romania, which was knocked-out in just a matter of months and learnt from the IMF that it had to take a 20 billion-euro financial aid to survive and avoid bankruptcy.

Although it did take the biggest loan in history, Romania, run by President Traian Băsescu, Premier Emil Boc and NBR Governor Mugur Isărescu, has yet to rebound and is one step away from taking a new loan.

In the autumn of 2008 and early 2009, every official and top analyst would say that Romania would not suffer too much as a result of the events unfolding abroad. The reality would prove them wrong. In 2009 we had 7% economic decline, this year the economy is headed towards a 2% decline and next year's forecasts, as much about growth as they may be, are already reason for doubt.

After the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Romania learnt it has a rotten social system that cannot run on the low revenues collected by the budget. Because pension raises were really big in 2007 and many people were hired to work for central and local authorities, the government now has to borrow money every week to pay its dues.

Yet the most painful thing of all was that the crisis dealt a heavy a blow to the private sector, which had started to grow in 2004 and continued to do so until 2008. Ten billion euros' worth of private businesses went insolvent and many Romanian businesspeople are afraid now more than ever that they might go bankrupt for lack of cash to keep their business going." writen by Cristian Hostiuc