There is hope, yet again. As the most common emotion floating around between the late hours of 31st December and 1st January. And for 2009, people do need a lot of hope... to get back into a mindset of thinking in terms of futuristic figures...
...It is interesting to note that most stock market indices are back to 2005-2006 levels. So are the inflation and GDP growth figures for a large number of economies. The FRR is back to 50s level, and gasoline prices are US are at 2004 range. And of course, the root cause, the real estate prices are trying to achieve a meaningful bottom.
Which is good, in a way. 2006 and 2007 had seen an irrational exuberance fuelled by severe greed amongst almost all businesses. 2008 dealt a rather harsh, sobering financial blow. Reality has that habit of hurting. And all these shocks, coupled with the demonic terrorist attacks on Mumbai, further affected the general sentiment.
Which is again, the reason why the common populace needs more than a bushel full of hope to lead their way into this new year. But like always, we are a resilient race. The size of the fight doesn't reduce inside us. The future, though unknown, can still look good if viewed with the right lenses. And here's the best part -- the choice of that lens, lies with us.