Financial Musings

I listen to the radio and I read the papers. Sometimes I even watch the ten o'clock news so yes, I get it, the money situation is not good. In fact it would be fair to say that a number of major Western economies are really pretty much fucked. I don't pretend to know the ins and outs of it all because to be honest, what I know about economics could be written on the back of a postage stamp, still leaving enough space to lick and stick but I do grasp that things have gone monumentally tits up. What I don't get is why.

Today's new is all about the Icelandic banks and the fact that half our local councils had vast sums stashed in them which are now looking decidedly dicey. Now leaving aside the facts that a) the general public had no idea at all that any of this was going on and that local councils had cash to stash and b) that perhaps if they had all these millions stowed away in foreign banks it was a bit flaming cheeky to keep claiming they needed to hike up our council taxes because it was the only way they could afford to keep services running, why did no one think to pull this money out of the Icelandic banks when the financial dung first began to hit the fan?

The story appears to be that the councils were advised by the treasury to store their money not where it would be at least risk but where it would gain the best return. Quelle surprise. So why didn't the treasury tell them to bring their cash back to Britain when the financial horizon began to cloud over? It's not like this problem has only been created in the last 2 months is it? What exactly are the publicly appointed bean counters at the Treasury doing to earn their vast salaries? If current performance is anything to go by, my guess is playing Solitaire on the computer and discussing last night's Coronation Street.

Maybe the problem lies with the people who have been in charge of the Treasury. First we had Gordon Brown, a man who has managed not only to flog off our gold reserves but also to destroy the pensions of millions of middle aged folk. Well done Gordy, great show. "No more boom and bust" he says. Well yes, he was right but I don't think anyone realised when he said that that what he meant was that there wouldn't be any more boom and bust because now there was just going to be bust. Maybe if he'd spent more time doing his job and less time gazing at Tony Blair's desk wondering what his coffee mug and squeezy stress ball would like on it he would have spotted the sodding great financial crisis heading straight towards him like the screaming mongol hordes coming over the hill.

When he finally got his coveted post (and my, I bet he's SO glad he went for it now), he was followed by the Badger-Faced wazzock, Alistair Darling. Darling was previously in charge of Transport and the main thing that he is remembered for is the creation of Network Rail. Was this a roaring success? Try to get a train from one end of this little island to the other on a bank holiday and then let me know. That's assuming you can raise the price of a family house in Essex to pay for the ticket in the first place. One of Darling's early memorable acts as Chancellor was to preside over the loss of the confidential personal details of over 25 million people as his department attempted to send them to the National Audit Office. Other notable events in Darling's recent career have involved the 10p tax fiasco, the utter balls up that was the handling of the Northern Rock crisis and thanks to his ridiculous budgets which have repeatedly jacked up the tax on booze, he is now barred from half the pubs in Britain. You'd think that in a time of impending crisis the PM wouldn't have appointed someone to run the Treasury who's brain is powered by two arthritic part-time hamsters peddling away on a wheel. You'd be wrong.

So what is the financial future for us Brits? Who knows, I can't see into the future and I know nothing about economics but what I do know is this – while the rest of us are tightening our belts and counting the pennies the government are still splashing money about as though they've got a cash cow in the garden of number 10 that craps gold bars. And to my mind that is not a promising sign.  

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4 Responses

  1. That's pretty amazing about your local councils funds….. makes you wonder what else you don't know about. I now see myself working until I am about 80!

  2. how come our governments don't have the money to fix the health system or the education system, but now have bottomless pockets for the banks. Not saying it is wrong, just interesting don't you think?

  3. It's bloody wrong. They can't find the money to get midwives into maternity wards but yet they can find 12 billion for the Olympics and 400 billion to bail out the banks. Next time the government calls for us to bear in mind that there isn't enough money in the treasury they'll be getting the middle finger salute from me.

  4. I don't think there will actually be a retirement age by the time I hit my sixties because the number of people choosing not to work and pay taxes coupled with the ageing population means that there won't be enough money in the system to pay a state pension and the government keeps fucking up the private ones. I'm resigned to reaching my decided age and then arming myself with a bucket of pills, a litre of vodka and a goodbye note. Live fast, die young!!

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