Thursday, 30 October 2008


I had lunch with a beautiful young friend this week. We have known each other for many years, in fact for a short while she lived with us and worked in the office.

We got to talking about life in general and the economic climate in particular. She is doing very well, as is her fiancée. A couple of years ago they took out a fixed term mortgage and now it was time to renegotiate.

“Honestly Ann, it’s crazy. Two years ago they we could have borrowed £230,000 but decided to buy a property that wouldn’t stretch the finances so much. Since then both our salaries have more than doubled but they are simply not interested in us”.

Here are a couple that are a cast iron certainty. They have worked hard to gain promotion, paid their mortgage for two years, and they can’t get a good deal. What is going on?

It is all very strange out there at the moment. You hear of the government giving out all this money, but our bank manager said the banks haven’t received anything yet. The spin-doctors would have us believe that the banks are now awash with money, but apparently they aren’t.
But I must say that it couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch of bankers. Unfortunately Joe Public is getting caught in the crossfire.

I hate political spin doctoring and bank double speak. It promotes fear and paranoia and that, I believe, is the reason things have gone so bad. It has been said that you get the politicians (and bankers?) you deserve. I dispute this statement because as a country I don’t believe that we deserve this shower of lying bastards.

As for blaming everything on the global credit crunch - OK that's happening, but if GB hadn't sold off our gold, raided our pension funds and taxed us all into oblivian to fund his inefficient, ineffective public services we would have been in a better position to withstand this economic crises.

Rant, rant, now I’m ready to launch myself at the day and God help anyone that upsets me. Watch out OG, here I come!!

And finally ….... The trouble with life is there's no background music


Maggie May said...

Yes, GB is the biggest debtor in the country and he has got us all into a mess.
Pity about the young couples like you mentioned, who now don't stand a chance of getting a place to live.
Job to know how to help ourselves now, with everyone & everything being so twitchy due to the credit crunch. I hope we will live long enough to see everything turn around..........

Stinking Billy said...

Beautiful, baby, just beautiful. We are not as gullible as the 'robbers of the people' always seem to believe.

If only we knew what to do about them, there's the rub.

Lindsay said...

Add Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand to the rant list!

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

The press also create a phenomenon called moral panic where they big up stories to the point people believe everything they say and eventually it is a self fulfilling prophecy and we all start to believe it. It is time though for the economy to cool down and patience is the order of the day. It is a natural cycle in an open market for the economy to do this. It is all relative in the scheme of things. Swings and roundabouts and heartbreaking stories of loss but it is a hard lesson of life to borrow only what you can afford to pay back. Bankers have been irresponsible in their lending but they have been drfiven in their greed rather than sound economic knowledge and skills.

Jay said...

GB has a lot to answer for, and so does the other GB. The banks too, oh yes.

But we, the general public, have got so used to the affluence of modern society and have become greedy. Young people expect to be able to own a house, or at least afford a flat. When I and OH were young, neither of our parents owned their own property. We didn't expect yearly holidays, or more and better electronic equipment. And our parents and grandparents' generations did that wonderful old thing - they cut their coat according to their cloth. They lived within their means.

Yes, the markets do fluctuate. Yes, governments do play merry games with our money. But we need to retain some sense of responsibility.

Having said all that, I have one son who owns his own house and car and is sitting pretty, another who is on the breadline living in a very small rented house in an area he'd like to move away from, but can't afford to do so. It plain isn't fair, but ... life's often not fair.

Retiredandcrazy said...

That is my sincerest wish too Maggie.

Retiredandcrazy said...

I get so frustrated Billy. We can see what is happening but seem to be absolutely powerless to change things. Whatever happened to democracy

Retiredandcrazy said...

Amen Lindsey. Juvenile, vile, obscene and grossly overpaid. In fact, just a couple of "bankers"!

Retiredandcrazy said...

There is merit in what you say MOB. But shouldn't we demand that our politicians and bankers have sound economic skills? And I believe that this is not the usual boom/bust cycle. It has a very different feel this time.

Retiredandcrazy said...

Yes, I tend to over simplify don't I Jay? I shoot from the lips and ask questions later. But I suspect that spin doctors have feed this media frenzy and now GB is trying to convince us that the money has already been pumped into the banking system and, according to our bank manager, it hasn't. So who are we to believe, crooked politicians, greedy bankers, self seeking spin doctors or media hacks? HELP! Someone tell us the truth please.

I don't want this to turn into another rant, but finances in this country are not transparant. In Switzerland you go for a mortgage, it is quite straightforward, they don't lend more than you can afford and you can easily work out the repayment/interest structure.

Here you needed a degree in rocket science to select from 100's of dodgy deals mainstream lenders had on offer and how did you ever begin to work out which institution was best to put your savings into. Obscurity designed to grab our money and lull us into a false sense of security.

Well I guess that at least they sorted that one out. Zero lending and no institution safe to trust with savings!

Anonymous said...

I wish I had your ability to express myself as well, but I don't. Just one thing, we bailed out our failing AIG and then they spend $400,000 on a big party, bail out other failed companies and they give bonuses to their big corporate CEO's. I mean millions of dollars worth of bonuses. I think news media and reporters love to write stories of doom and get the public scared to death, especially the older folks like us who are retired and on a fixed income....can't earn money to replace what we lost in the stock markets. Fortunately, our household got out of the market not too long ago while we were ahead. On the bright side, the sun is shinning and the leaves are a brilliant color...what a beautiful day. Flagmaker

Retiredandcrazy said...

Hi Flagmaker. I could tell you some tale about bankers and their jollies. One hotel told us that a well known bank had cancelled a conference because it would have been inappropriate to be seen spending so much money at this time. The cost of cancellation? £500,000! I kid you not!!

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

It's a disgrace alright - and as you say the people who are suffering are the normal ones who just want a reasonable deal!. Gordon Brown can go to hell in a handcart for all I care - and take those greedy Bankers with him. M. :-(

Retiredandcrazy said...

Hi again Flagmaker. I exagerated (not like me I know!) When we were discussing companies cancelling big conference bookings this particular booking was mentioned again. The bank that was to host this conference actually ONLY paid a £250,000 cancellation fee! Sorry for that misinformation.

Banks and large corporations are preferrong to pay a 95% cancellation fee rather than be seen to waste money! Instead they are hosting smaller conferences which they can "hide" in their accounts.

No wonder the world is in chaos.

Retiredandcrazy said...

Yes Margot, and the banks/finance companies are still not lending. I had experience of this today when a young friend wanted a car loan and was refused I offered to get the finance and she could pay me. I was refused because we changed our house name 6 months ago. What's that all about?