I went to a lecture from Brian Easton today, one of NZ's leading (orthodox) economists.
There are two problems in general with the world economy - the recession and the credit crisis.
We're better positioned than most for a recession, thanks to a grasping Scottish tightwad who was running our Treasury for years. Importantly, our banks don't seem to have any toxic assets such as those besetting the American (and to some extent Australian) systems. Our finance companies had some; they died. They were unnecessary to our larger economy. Sucks for the investors, but that's what investing means.
However, NZ's unusual position makes the credit problem very very real, our options are limited, and the important decisions are out of our hands. There's a word which was floated which I don't even want to repeat out loud in a wider forum.
On the plus side, I now know what to look for in global economic news.