Economic state of the Nation

This is getting disturbing. I know, I know, I should be spreading Christmas cheer and with a bit of luck and a prevailing wind I’ll do so next week. You’ll be …

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14th December 2007 at 9:36 am

This is getting disturbing. I know, I know, I should be spreading Christmas cheer and with a bit of luck and a prevailing wind I’ll do so next week. You’ll be preparing for tonight’s office party (fact: more companies have this Friday as their office party than any other night) and want a bit of light relief.

I’m talking about the development widely reported yesterday in which our Government, as well as several others, has agreed to step in and help banks when they run into trouble. The Times comments on it here, the Telegraph comments here and there are of course others.

So the Prime Minister thinks it’s a great idea, no surprises there. And the Telegraph is critical of the PM’s apparent policy – no surprises there either.

My fear is that things are slightly worse than we thought. There have been recessions before. The Depression in the thirties, now slipping from living memory, was appalling. At no stage, however, did anyone turn around and ask the world banks to pump money in to shore things up. Just how bad does it have to look before the UK and several other countries insist on pumping loads more money in? I have an unpleasant feeling we’re being treated as the patient who hasn’t actually been told the whole truth, but who can see the massive amounts of treatment going on around him. I hope I’m wrong. As Jeff Randall points out in the Telegraph piece, this isn’t a cancellation of a load of debt, it’s a postponement.

Oh, and I take it everybody noticed this? Good. ‘Tis the season to be cautious…

Guy Clapperton

Guy Clapperton is a freelance journalist who specialises in small business issues and has written for the likes of The Guardian, the FT and the Daily Mirror. Guy has written about finance and franchising for SmallBizPod. http://www.guyclapperton.co.uk

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