Friday, October 10, 2008

Yawn. Banks.

Murph, displaying a far greater understanding, as a labrador cross, of the current financial "crisis" (I've got no money, no savings and pay rent - what crisis?) than most commentators, posted this yesterday. In my somewhat tedious and hackneyed comment I alluded to an excellent letter published in last Saturday's Independent. There were more in the same vein but I think this one just about summed it up. For the last 20 years I have bored anyone who cared to listen that chucking good money after bad and pursuing a culture that accepted credit as currency would all end in tears. Speculation is gambling pure and simple and, as any gambler (or ex-gambler and I am one) knows, nobody ever wins. You might be on a winning streak but it doesn't take much to lose it and when the money you're gambling with is someone else's debt, it's not long before someone's knocking at the door "wanting a word".

The other rule that experienced gamblers play by is you only gamble what you can afford to lose. When share ownership became more widespread this was the most oft-repeated piece of advice and it came from the experienced players in the market, the ones who'd been around for decades. They were survivors who were there because they evaluated risk better and could temper their greed. Once Thatcher and Reagan legitimised out and out greed, all that experience went out of the window. It would have been fine if society had frozen itself in 1988 but one of the immutable facts of life is that the generations have a habit of continuing and it's those that have to pick up the pieces. Damn that evolution. Even Thatcher couldn't stop that one.
On another note - what FFS have they done with The Independent? It used to be a decent paper yet, as of two weeks ago, it's turned into a comic. There's nothing to read in it anymore and it's got more graphics in it than The Beano. It's also riddled with spelling mistakes and the kind of basic spellchecker errors one associates with a third-rate secretary. Will Self and Christopher Hirst wrote their final columns last Saturday so that means there's only the telly critic, Thomas Sutcliffe, left capable of writing anything of any sense. They'll be publishing the court circular next week.

7 Vegetable peelings:

Blogger Sharon J said...

But once this is all over, will anybody really have learned anything? Greed just doesn't go away.

2:37 am  
Blogger Murph said...

Buying investment banking from Iceland was as ridiculous as getting your leccy from British Gas.

And if Iceland has the population of Stoke on Trent, why aren't they any good at making pottery?

12:46 pm  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

I wish they'd frozen the clock in 1988 too. I'd still have a 20" waist.

Word verification - huhgz - a huffy embrace

8:25 pm  
Blogger zoe said...

I've got savings in the UK to buy the rest of the share of this damn house for my kids. Will I be OK in a year or two's time? Coz money is complicated to me and money problems make me go cross-eyed.

A bit like your word verification thingy.

7:53 pm  
Blogger Malc said...

Thatcher's sell-off of the family silver has a lot to answer for. Gas, Electricity and Telecom shares were deliberately undervalued to get everyone on board and the consequent payouts meant that share-ownership is now in the popular imagination as a 'dead cert'.

The Indy has let a lot of senior staff go, particularly experienced sub editors. Shame, though, just when they had finally got their sports coverage up to scratch.

2:48 pm  
Anonymous Steve Dix said...

Both Mike Bell and Murph speak the truth. The other half works in an investment bank. Tales of incompetence, greed, stupidity and golden parachutes were rife, whilst they sneered at the "little people" (ie people who actually built something for a living, like me)

All of a sudden, there's talk about "getting out of banking" and finding an alternate career.

Waiting tables, perhaps?

9:43 am  
Blogger Tennessee Jed said...

I have been saying for years that I live in "the other America", the one where I am free because they have taken everything away so now I am unencumbered...truly free.

4:07 pm  

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