The Credit Crunch

Timble2

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#91
techybloke666 said:
We're Doomed , Doomed I tell ye !

didnt some wise person here once say that capitalism was here for good ?

the banking system could never go bust

merry xmas folks :)

and a happy new year to all
I reckon Neo-Feudalism will be the next big thing....
 

ted_bloody_maul

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#92
techybloke666 said:
We're Doomed , Doomed I tell ye !

didnt some wise person here once say that capitalism was here for good ?

the banking system could never go bust

merry xmas folks :)

and a happy new year to all
Not sure capitalism's going anywhere fast - most of the solutions to the current problems seem to be about getting us back to the state we were in just 18 months ago and there's no popular will to abandon it for another economic structure. As for the banking system never going bust - I doubt anyone's ever made that prediction but I'd love to see the evidence of it.

At any rate, it doesn't matter since everything that's happening now is part of a deliberate plan to increase control over society. ;)
 
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#93
In Ireland its being used as a stick to get people to vote yes to Lisbon in a second referendum. Eg- the economic sitiation will get worse if people vote no again. Utter tosh and its going to backfire. (I hope.)
 

wembley8

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#94
techybloke666 said:
the banking system could never go bust
Yep, as recent events have shown, that's about the size of it.

Any other business - mining, ship building, fishing etc - can go bust, but the banks will never be allowed to go under.

But I suspect that knowing this won't change people's attitudes one iota.
 

rynner2

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#95
Ten chains 'face closure' in 2009

More than 10 national or regional retail chains risk going bust next month, insolvency experts are warning.

The warning comes from Nick Hood, a partner at Begbies Traynor.

"Not a lot of them are profitable because of the discounting at a time when they would normally generate all their profits for the year," he said.

It comes as research from accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers suggests that 82% of retailers are discounting their merchandise this weekend.

The figures are compiled from London's Oxford Street, where many of the country's top retailers have stores.

One month ago, only 52% of them were cutting prices.

"The problem facing the management of retail chains is whether they can find funding to restock in January, pay their VAT bills and survive through until Christmas starts again next October," Mr Hood told the BBC.

The danger facing them is that banks and suppliers that might have been prepared to support retailers during Christmas trading, may be unwilling to do so afterwards.

Retailers are vulnerable in January because they generally have more cash and less stock than at any other time of the year, so if creditors are going to force them into administration it is the best time to do so.

It has already been a tough few months for well-known retailers, with MFI already having closed down and Woolworths due to shut its shops in January.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7794426.stm
 

rynner2

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#96
Some grim humour here (which reminds me of some of my run-ins with the dreaded Jobcentre):

Close encounter with planet Jobcentre
Jobless executives be warned: humiliation and incomprehension await you in the State's embrace
Melanie Reid

A friend of mine - let's call her Gill - was one of six directors recently made redundant by a well-known UK consortium. Once she'd recovered from the initial shock of losing a post that she had held for 18 years, Gill set out to find another.

She knew it would take time and someone advised her to register as unemployed so that her national insurance contributions would be paid. So, like you, me or any raw school-leaver, she googled “job centre” and phoned the number on the website. She was given an interview slot at a local centre and told not to be late.

There follows a tale of such humiliation, misunderstanding and Stalinist bureaucracy that, on reading it, the shivers will run up the spine of every white-collar worker in the land. When Gill turned up at the given address, she found that the Jobcentre had been relocated to another part of town. :roll:
By the time she found the new office, she was five minutes late and had missed her slot. “They made me sit on the naughty chair for a bit,” Gill said.

The young woman who interviewed her was ignorant but condescending in manner and kept asking Gill why she was there. She was told that in order to get her national insurance paid, she would have to apply for job seeker's allowance, which she did not want.

There was no privacy in the room. All around her, Gill could hear other sad citizens getting the third degree. The offical asked Gill what she used to earn, and then - unbelievably - repeated the figure to nearby colleagues, exclaiming: “Hey, I've never had anyone in here with that salary!”

Things went from humbling to comic. Gill's circumstances did not fit any of the boxes on the official's computer screen. And if she defied classification she could not exist. “Tell me what your job was and I'll do a job search for you,” said the official. “Operations director for a Footsie plc,” said Gill. “It's not coming up with anything. What about ‘area manager'?” “Yes,” sighed my friend, by this time a broken woman, “area manager will do.” :(

Gill must prove that she was looking for work. “You have to send off three job applications a week and you need to keep an exercise book of what you are doing,” said the official. “Have you got an exercise book?” “Yes,” whimpered the woman, who had once managed thousands of staff and a budget of millions.

“Then she told me that she couldn't really do anything for me and I was told to report back ten days hence,” said Gill.

My friend, who is in her forties, went away and did what senior executives do, phoning, networking. On the day she was supposed to return, someone invited her for a speculative interview. She called the Jobcentre to tell them. They told her she must fax proof of whom she was seeing and where. “But it's informal,” she said. “I have nothing to fax.”

“If you don't provide those details it will invalidate your claim,” they warned her. Sure enough, a week later she received a formal letter confirming that they were taking back £50 of contributions. :shock:

The parable has a happy ending, for Gill at least. Within two months she managed, through initiative and contacts, to create another senior post for herself within a big company.

But for thousands of white-collar workers who will, as sure as night follows day, follow in her footsteps, the story will not be so happy. How many, in the dark days of middle-class recession to come, will experience similar treatment from a system that is not so much hostile as simply alien?

There was, apparently, no one at the Jobcentre that Gill visited who was experienced in dealing with her circumstances. She felt strongly enough about it to write to Harriet Harman, but has not received a reply. “I amuse myself thinking, what if it had been her? If they did a job search for her - Cabinet minister or secretary of state - they'd probably come up with cabinet maker or office secretary. :twisted:

“As a businesswoman, I could see a system crying out for reform. They need to step up a gear. They need people working there with a commercial background; they need to make the boxes on the computer system more flexible; they need to retrain everyone. They need basic stuff like links on the government website about paying national insurance contributions.”

Recently, it was suggested that the Government was thinking of asking universities to step in to provide facilities and to counsel senior jobless people. Meanwhile, companies sacking executives are spending up to £10,000 a head on job placement consultancies as part of their redundancy package. Such firms, which prepare CVs and seek out unadvertised jobs, are - as my friend also discovered - pretty useless. “Chocolate teapot. I found another job by myself,” she said.

Bright, thrusting high-achievers have been warned. Should you fall from grace, through no fault of your own, do not expect the State to offer you a safety net. Just appreciate the ultimate irony: you could build and run a better system yourself. Funny, isn't it, when that's what governments are for?

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/commen ... 414871.ece

But those of you who are not such "Bright, thrusting high-achievers" still have to endure the humiliation of the Jobcentre when you are made redundant - you have been warned!
 

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#97
There's a kernel of truth in the satire.

On mentioning I'd previously been looking for work in academia, I was asked 'Wot's that?'

The situation was silly regardless: I was only signing on for a few weeks while I awaited the start of my new contract; yet I still had to be 'actively seeking work' even though I'd already found it!
 

rynner2

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#98
Once upon a time, the JobCentre (or whatever it was called then) had something called, IIRC, an executive department, which catered for graduates and the like. (That's how I first got into teaching... :? ) But I don't think they have anything similar now.
 

Dingo667

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#99
The story about Gill and her experience was exactly what I went through. Thing is, jobcentres have been dealing with not wanting to work people for so long that if someone who will get a job sooner or later and does everything they say will get the treatment others should get.
My friend who used to work at a jobcentre told me how she got threatened by the chronically out of work when she suggested jobs to them. So imagine someone intelligent and compliant comes in.
If they are really so harsh with everyone, how comes they can't sort out someone who doesn't want to work. I could spot them within three seconds and so must the staff at a jobcentre.
Anyway, I was told that I would have to do onion picking if that was the job that came up and she meant every word . Fortunately I found a laboratory job within a few weeks.
Nice try but why can't they be as harsh to those that deserve it?
 

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I'm going through this unemployment crap myself right now, having been made redundant for the 4th time.

The Jobcentre people are just civil servants, doing their job. They don't make the rules and aren't really capable of helping people who were former high flyers. I don't think they'll be able to help me, so once again I will have to use my own resources to find another job.

The whole bloody system needs changing. Free (useful) training for the recently redundant would be a good start, but they don't offer that.
 

river_styx

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Credit Crunch still sounds like a breakfast cereal.

Currently I'm unemployed but working on it and Brown says he's going to sort it all out in the next year so it's all good, yeah?

I mean if you can't trust the useless fucker who put us in the shit in the first place and who hasn't shown any real sign of removing his head from his own arse long enough to see that we all want an end to his little power trip as supreme ruler of the UK, then who can you trust?
 

Analogue Boy

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river_styx said:
Credit Crunch still sounds like a breakfast cereal.

Currently I'm unemployed but working on it and Brown says he's going to sort it all out in the next year so it's all good, yeah?

I mean if you can't trust the useless fucker who put us in the shit in the first place and who hasn't shown any real sign of removing his head from his own arse long enough to see that we all want an end to his little power trip as supreme ruler of the UK, then who can you trust?
Sorry to hear about that.
I've just managed to secure a mortgage deal at slightly less than what i am currently paying for the next 5 years. Seeing as i've experienced fluctuations in the past going up to around 15%, I consider this a good deal.

Personally, I think Gordon Brown (texture like bum) moved heaven and earth to get the rates down as it was a matter of survival for him as a doomed PM. It's almost sorta worked. The banks slightly reciprocated but then the bastards took out Woolies. As Nationwide has declared a position of NOT reducing rates any further I think that we are bumping along the bottom right now.
As far as high street failures go..I predict WH Smith getting into trubble.


As the song says...
'Thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiings can only get better.
Then it gets worse
And we're in the shitter'. *

* copyright DReam and Girls Aloud vs Kerry Katona on Kylie(TM)

Of course it could be said that Blair bailing out when he did makes him the most astute politician of a generation.
 

OneWingedBird

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Nice try but why can't they be as harsh to those that deserve it?
because people usually take shit out on the ones who won't smack them in the face in return.

i was unemployed for a stint mid 90s and it used to piss me off that the jobcentres seemed to be pushing everyone i knew who didn;t want to work into jobs, even setting up interviews for them with unpopular govt departments that they couldn;t refuse, but if you wanted to work they just let you slog away at trying to get something.

that, and one of the few times ever i've been late for a job interview was when i went to one at the jobcentre. they gave me an early appt time for ten minutes before the office officially opened, then refused to buzz me in when i got there!
 

stu neville

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theyithian said:
..The situation was silly regardless: I was only signing on for a few weeks while I awaited the start of my new contract; yet I still had to be 'actively seeking work' even though I'd already found it!
I was in exactly the same position years ago, whilst waiting to start the job I have now. The company I'd worked for prior to the college folded in May that year: I'd already got the college job, but my contract started in September. I got six weeks pay in lieu from the previous employer, which took me up to mid-July, so needed to sign on for six weeks.

They made it as difficult as humanly possible for me to do so. I'd signed on with a temp agency, but being the summer they were awash with students and there was no available short-term work - so why, asked the Benefits Agency, don't you seek longer term work? Because I have a job to which to go, I said, furnishing the proof for the umpteenth time. So you're refusing to seek work, then? I have to say most of the staff there were helpful, but the two with whom I had to deal were quite startlingly thick. And so it went on, and I received absolutely nothing during my whole spell of unemployment besides more forms and phone calls and interviews about why I was signing on...

Eventually, after an appeal, I received a back-dated cheque in October of that year. Had we been desperate for money during that period, who knows what we could have done?
 

rynner2

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jimv1 said:
Of course it could be said that Blair bailing out when he did makes him the most astute politician of a generation.
Put these words in the correct order:

sinking rat ship deserting :twisted:
 

rynner2

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The perfect credit crunch menu: pubs offer meals for £1
Locals inns around the country are fighting off closure with a seemingly impossible bargain - lunch for just a quid. Our writer goes on a gastronomic tour from Cannock to Clachnaharry
Stephen Moss The Guardian, Saturday 3 January 2009

"The original £1 food-menu pub," says a sign outside the Four Crosses Inn near Cannock, Staffordshire. The claim may be a contentious one, as more and more pubs offer incredibly cheap meals to stave off closure, but the owner, Tony Rabbitts, insists that he was the first to show it could be done.

"At first it was one day a week, but it filled the place up so we went up to two, then five, and now seven days a week," he says. "We'd been struggling to pay the bills and would have had to close, but we refused to be beaten."

From serving about 30 lunches a day, Rabbitts is now doing more than 300 at busy times, and bar takings have increased fourfold.

"We've got regulars who come back every day. Some people come seven days a week. One woman was having her kitchen refitted and hasn't bothered having her cooker put in yet."

Minibuses full of pensioners have started coming from Wolverhampton for lunch and a day out. There is a roaring fire, the restaurant area is filling up with New Year's Day diners by 12.30, and, annoyingly, today, the minced beef and onion pie has already run out.

The starters and desserts are all £1; the basic main courses are also £1, but there is a "homemade" option for £1.50 and a roast for £2.50. David Borton, a regular diner, calls the final option "going large".

I choose vegetable soup, meatballs and chips, and Christmas pudding with custard. It's £3 for the lot. The soup and the pudding are fine; the meatballs, which come in gravy, are spongy in texture and indeterminate in origin. There may be some pork in there, somewhere.

Rabbitts says the £1 meals cost about 30p for him to produce; the £1.50 meals double that. Going large may be a wise move. But let's not carp.

"This pub would have gone to the wall without the cheap meals," explains Borton. "I come three days a week, and I've never had a bad meal here yet. It's absolutely brilliant and the atmosphere now is great." Pete Belli, a lorry driver, chips in: "I saw the sign as I was passing and thought there had to be a catch. What else can you buy for one pound?"

etc...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009 ... unch-deals

I shall have to mention this idea in my local tonight..... 8)
 

rynner2

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Blimey, looks like it's serious...

Microsoft 'mulling thousands of redundancies'
By Stephen Foley in New York
Saturday, 3 January 2009

Microsoft's 3,000 employees in the UK face an uncertain 2009 as the software giant considers a plan for substantial redundancies to combat the economic downturn.

At least 10 per cent, and possibly as much as 17 per cent, of its global workforce could be cut in what would be the first mass lay-offs in the company's 32-year history. Across the world, up to 15,000 jobs could be under threat.

According to rumours in the US, overseas divisions could be particularly hard hit, and an announcement of the plan could come within two weeks. The company said yesterday that it does not comment on speculation.

Analysts say the software giant faces pressure on several fronts this year. With retail spending having turned down, consumer sales of its Windows operating system – installed on nine out of ten personal computers – could slow. Businesses, too, are scaling back, threatening licence fees from its Office products, including Microsoft Word, and other corporate software. Meanwhile, online advertising growth has decelerated sharply as a result of the recession, threatening Microsoft's hopes of turning a profit at its troubled MSN internet business.

"The prevailing wisdom on Microsoft is that the company may pre-announce disappointing December results," Brad Reback, analyst at Oppenheimer & Co, told clients. "Should such headcount reductions materialise, we would view them as a positive sign that management is interested in preserving the company's operating margin structure through the downturn."

....

Microsoft set up its UK subsidiary in 1982, its first overseas outpost, seven years after Bill Gates created the company to make operating systems for the nascent personal computer market. Employees are concentrated at the UK headquarters in Reading, although the British division of MSN is run from London. The company has almost doubled in size in the UK in the past five years.

Microsoft is due to report earnings for the final three months of 2008 on 21 January, but could pre-announce any revenue shortfall and any restructuring plans.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/busin ... 23054.html
 

rynner2

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Labour's boom years were down to luck, not Brown's economic expertise, says Tony Blair
By James Chapman
Last updated at 12:06 AM on 02nd January 2009

Labour's boom years were down to 'luck' rather than Gordon Brown's stewardship of the economy, Tony Blair has said.
Replying to a question after giving a lecture at Yale University in Connecticut, Mr Blair said: 'It is true that we had ten years of record growth when I was prime minister.
'I have, unfortunately, come to the conclusion that it was luck.' :shock:

The Tories seized on Mr Blair's remarks as an 'extraordinary admission'.
Shadow Chancellor George Osborne said: 'Tony Blair has exposed the damning truth about Gordon Brown's chancellorship.
'The good times were all down to luck.'

Mr Blair's spokesman said the comment had been a 'self-deprecating joke' and the former PM 'remains proud of the record he and Gordon Brown established'. :roll:
Mr Blair has studiously avoided commenting on domestic politics since leaving Downing Street.

Mr Brown's critics have long pointed out that he was lucky to inherit benign public finances from the outgoing Tory government.

John Major's administration had achieved four years of growth with low inflation before Mr Brown took office.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... Blair.html
 

JamesWhitehead

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Microsoft 'mulling thousands of redundancies'

More on that story from our seasonal correspondent:

"First the bad news, chaps and chapesses: you've all lost your jobs.

"The good news is that you don't have to worry about the future. We plan to simmer you on the stove with slices of citrus and a cinnamon stick!" :?
 

rynner2

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This is getting serious...
200 shops a DAY to close this year in high street bloodbath
By Sean Poulter
Last updated at 9:41 AM on 07th January 2009

A record 135,000 shops due to close by end of 2009
Fear of 'ghost towns' as shops shut down
Marks & Spencer sales slump by 7.1%
Takeaway chain Domino's Pizza sales up 18.4%

A high street bloodbath could see 72,000 stores putting up the shutters this year - almost 200 a day.
The number of vacant shops is expected to more than double from 63,000 in December to a record 135,000 by the end of 2009.
Small market towns are predicted to feel the worst effects, turning many into ghost towns deserted by both major chains and independents.
The closures will bring huge job losses with some analysts suggesting that as many as 135,000 shop workers will join the rising unemployment total.

Chancellor Alistair Darling had hoped his temporary 2.5 per cent cut in VAT would boost Christmas trade but even large chains still suffered big drops in sales.
Today, Marks & Spencer revealed it was slashing more than 1,200 jobs and closing 27 stores after its like-for-like sales in the 13 weeks to December 27.

The woe on the High Street prompted the head of one of the country's largest fashion retailers to claim the VAT cut had done nothing to encourage consumer spending.
Next boss Simon Wolfson said that as a measure designed to get people buying more, it had 'no effect whatsover'.
The £12.5billion measure had been a 'missed opportunity' and income tax cuts would have been a better way to increase consumer confidence, he claimed.

etc...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... dbath.html
 

Heini_Gummi

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Not a conspiracy - just useless

I don't think the bank collapse etc. has anything to do with a conspiracy as I can't see who would benefit. I think it's more likely to be the case that the greedy robbers who ran the banks were just useless at what they did because at the salaries they were getting there is no motivation to do better. Once you'll banked your first few million you don't worry too much about whether you keep your job or not.
 

Analogue Boy

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Re: Not a conspiracy - just useless

Heini_Gummi said:
I don't think the bank collapse etc. has anything to do with a conspiracy as I can't see who would benefit. I think it's more likely to be the case that the greedy robbers who ran the banks were just useless at what they did because at the salaries they were getting there is no motivation to do better. Once you'll banked your first few million you don't worry too much about whether you keep your job or not.
That and the fact that at interview, the shareholders probably didn't ask the question 'What steps do you intend to take to ensure the Bank will be here in 25 years' but perhaps did ask the question 'How much richer will we be next year?'

Risky investments taken purely in the interests of short termism.
 

rynner2

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It's an ill wind...

Iceland buys 51 Woolworths stores

Frozen food retailer Iceland has bought 51 former Woolworths stores, and said it plans to create 2,500 new jobs.

The announcement comes just three days after the final 200 Woolworths stores closed their doors for the last time.

"We are confident we can help to support the local community in these towns who have lost a major High Street retailer in Woolworths," said Iceland.

Woolworths went into administration in November, but was unable to find a buyer to take on the company.

WOOLIES STORES BOUGHT
Alton, Barnsley, Belper, Bethnal Green, Bexhill On Sea, Bicester, Billericay, Blandford Forum, Bodmin, Boreham Wood, Bow, Braintree, Broadstairs, Devizes, Exmouth, Fraserburgh, Frome, Greenford, Hackney, Hailsham, Harold Hill, Haverhill, Herne Bay, Hexham, Highgate, Honiton, Kilburn High Road, Leyton, Malvern, Matlock, Mill Hill, Minehead, Monmouth, Morpeth, Morriston, Newtownards, Palmers Green, Pinner (Rayner's Lane), Palmers Green, Plumstead, Pontypool, Poplar, Portslade, Ringwood, St Neots, Stoke Newington, Strood, Sudbury, Swaffham, Wakefield, Wallington, Whitstable

Iceland first made an offer to buy all of Woolworths' 815 stores last August, but Woolworths rejected the bid, for an unconfirmed amount, calling it "unacceptable".

Around three quarters of the 51 Woolies stores Iceland has bought are in the south of England, including 10 in London.

Iceland currently has 682 outlets.

Founded in 1970, the firm was bought in 2005 by a consortium led by Icelandic investment group Baugur.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7820981.stm

Somehow ironic, considering the problems Icelandic banks have suffered...
 
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Full text at link.

A toothless tiger
Rob Brown

Published 08 January 2009

2 comments Pri

Boom has turned to bust even more drastically in the Republic of Ireland than in Britain. Not only has the Celtic Tiger been defanged by the financial meltdown, but it is wounded, and fears for its survival in the darkening global economic jungle. A cocksure and hedonistic generation which had known only good times - the so-called Celtic cubs - is getting a small taste of the hardship and anxiety its ancestors endured over centuries. The Irish economy will shrink by up to 4 per cent this year; unemployment could rise to 12 per cent by 2010, bringing the jobless total to well over 200,000. The Hibernian housing bubble has burst and inflows to the Dublin exchequer have fallen sharply.

Faced with a gaping hole in the public finances, Ireland's premier, Brian Cowen, has set about slashing rather than boosting state spending. Free medical care for the elderly and free child vaccines were first to be targeted by the taoiseach and Ireland's VAT rate was raised before Christmas from 21 to 21.5 per cent.

http://www.newstatesman.com/society/200 ... r-economic
 

rynner2

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Ireland's VAT rate was raised before Christmas from 21 to 21.5 per cent.

And yet in the UK, Gordo-man has cut VAT to deal with the same problem.

Basically, all the pols and bankers are running around like headless chickens, trying any idea that pops into their tiny brains, just to show that they are 'doing something'.


There was a good cartoon in the Indie recently: Darling and Brown (as Laurel and Hardy) are in an old car, stalled on a railway crossing, with a big steam engine rapidly approaching. Oliver says to Stan, "Well, try pressing that one!"
 

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ramonmercado said:
Full text at link.

Not only has the Celtic Tiger been defanged by the financial meltdown, but it is wounded, and fears for its survival in the darkening global economic jungle.
That is a valiantly extended metaphor.
 
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