There are lots of articles in the news at the moment along the lines of: how is the financial crisis affecting you? What does the credit crunch mean for your family? And so on.
Well I can tell you how the credit crunch is affecting me: it is RULING MY LIFE. And not because I can’t get a credit card, or because my mortgage has gone up, or because of fuel prices (£50+ for a tank of petrol is pretty dire, but I don’t drive to work, so I’m alright, Jack).
No, the credit crunch has taken over, because as a member of Her Majesty’s Press, those two words are all I hear, all I see, all I say, all day long. On big screens here in The Sausage Factory, we see economics correspondants from various news channels blinking in their newly-found spotlight. As we write scripts we flagellate ourselves for once again using the phrase “as the credit crunch bites”, but do it anyway. In brainstorms and ideas meetings, the Big Double C is constantly on our lips. Great health story? Yes but what is the credit crunch angle? Brilliant exclusive access to Person X? Yes but what can they say about the financial crisis?
What does it mean for old people? Young people? Dead people? Dogs? (The last two examples are not jokes).
It’s a very puzzling chicken and egg scenario.
But can I tell you a secret? What fascinates me most about the economic meltdown are the photographs of traders from across the world, all egos and cufflinks and anguished fist-clenching and hernia-ravaged faces.
And their clothes! What hilarious fashion sense these financial types have. Waistcoats! Hoodies with diamond chanel earrings! Ties like huge salamis and funny jackets with faux fur panels! For people with so much money, it’s a surprise none of them have thought of hiring Gok Wan for the day with their ridonkulous bonuses.
There was something Shakespearianly (it is a word. I have an English degree) tragic about these images. But the pictures in the last couple of days, since Gordon Brown apparently saved the world, have changed. The same traders are now crowing, cheering, high-fiving, grins splitting their faces, hammy fists now punching the air instead of grinding temples.
I’d like to think they’re rejoicing because perhaps millions of people won’t be plunged into poverty , and smiling because they have seen the light and will cease taking risks with ole Joe Six-Pack’s money . But, as challenging as I am finding this new necessity to know economics and business inside out, I am not stupid.