Friday, October 10, 2008
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.