1. Cheap stuff: whether it’s petrol, equities, houses, or consumer goods, everything is that little bit cheaper.  Anyone who hasn’t had to take a pay cut would be feeling some relief.  2009 will be the big test though, as effects of the crisis flow through to the broader economy, businesses feel the pinch and start sacking people.

2. Better music: from angst and pain comes great art, right?  I’m hoping the recession drives the nail through the obsolete music industry business model’s coffin, and we start seeing artists emerging because they are good rather than because they can be marketed to sell half a million copies on release date then fade into obscurity.  Plus, tough times make for great writing material – Young Jeezy has already pulled off the seemingly impossible recently by making songs about things other than slanging rocks, so hopefully that’s a taste of things to come.

3. Innovation: in the immortal words of some dude on Deltron 3030, crises precipitate change.  There are plenty of things wrong with the world right now, and what better time to make fundamental changes than when the old way of doing things is proven to be so completely busted? 

4. Opportunity to learn: so like just about everyone else with a basic share portfolio, I’ve been taken to the cleaners by drops in asset prices over the past year.  Nothing like losing some personal wealth as motivation to build knowledge!