Archive for the ‘credit crunch’ Tag

So long Crosby, and thanks for the all the gift (I know that doesn’t really work)

It was like a gift, it was. A gift wrapped up so perfectly that only an over-paid banker could have justified the expense. The gift came in the form of (Sir) James Crosby‘s resignation from the FSA, and was bestowed upon the people who revel an unacceptable amount in political bungles. Like me.

So long, farewell

So long, farewell

For those who are better at avoiding news than me, Crosby resigned from his position as deputy chairman of the Financial Services Authority today after he (allegedly, blah blah blah) fired a whistleblower for, urm, whistleblowing.

Paul Moore (the man with the whistle) claims that he warned of the problems HBOS’s risky strategies could cause – and you’d think that as the bank’s head of regulatory risk Moore was in a pretty good position to know about these things. Apparently not. He was promptly sacked.

Ah ha, I hear you cry. This confirms what we’ve been saying since Northern Rock’s failure to be rocklike: (and I apologise for the overused alliteration but…) the bankers are to blame.

(Incidentally, today our very proper shorthand teacher Margaret Lidell made the obvious comparison between the word banker and “another that sounds a lot like it and is perhaps more appropriate”. If Margaret’s saying it, it must be true.)

It wasn’t hard to find an example of people blaming of the wankers, but it is the following specimen that I love the most. Firstly because it was printed in The Sun and secondly it was written by David Blunkett. Gold:

Of course, people are right to look for someone to blame.

But this time economic collapse has nothing to do with trade unionists or incompetent managers of small businesses, or the failure to invest in new technology.

Along with the Government, business has been doing the right things — with one exception, the bankers.

Yet Crosby is, of course, denying the allegations, which he says have “no merit”. And I’d be much more inclined to believe him if he hasn’t just resigned. Undermines the protests a tad I feel.

Even his old mate Gords says it’s “right” that he has resigned, which brings us on to the extravagant bow that tops this gift of politics present: Brown had hired Crosby as an economic adviser to the government. Yes – the hit man for the whole economic crisis was advising the government on how to get out of the economic crisis. Or, as Cameron puts it:

Sir James, the man who ran HBOS and who the prime minister singled out to regulate our banks and advise the government, has resigned over allegations that he sacked the whistleblower who knew his banks was taking unacceptable risks.

Taxpayers have poured billions into this bank and not only was Sir James appointed as one of the top regulators in the country, you have been relying on him for economic advice.

You couldn’t make it up this good.

In fact, the only thing that puts a slight dampener on this dramatic tale can be found in the BBC’s coverage of the incident:

The BBC’s business editor Robert Peston said he understood that Sir James had stood down to protect the FSA from controversy.

Yes. The BBC are quoting their own business editor in their business stories. Brill.


Nothing like a corner yoghurt: Captain Crunch is laughing not crying.

I absolutely love Captain Crunch. And surprisingly enough, Captain Crunch is not a tasty cereal based product or yoghurt with corners, although, again, I almost certainly would love it if it was. Captain Crunch is the Sun’s answer to our current financial turmoil. Fed up with all the doom and gloom of the broadsheets? Captain Crunch will save the day. Cue the middle aged man with dubious hair cut and red, white and blue lycra outfit. I know, I’m excited too.

The banner of Captain Crunch, or “The Captain” as I like to call him, heads up all of the Sun website’s articles about the financial crisis including the one entitled “80p lunchbox for school”, which, I admit, did scare me a little. Turns out it wasn’t quite as bad as I feared – children on the crunch diet do have to live off wafer thin turkey ham (an oxymoron I have never understood) for a week, but also – thank The Captain – get an apple every day.

It’s not just the Sun who have resorted to a light-hearted take on a dramatically less than light-hearted situation; see another of my faves – the BBC’s credit crunch jokes page.

And although interpretations like this may be perturbing to some (and would be to me if instead of the “consumer hero” Captain we were faced with Doctor Natural Disaster or Thunder the Terrorist) I think the whole idea perfectly embodies our ability to laugh rather than cry. Unless we are Brown or Darling (and most of us are neither) there’s not all that much we can do about world economics, and this leaves us with only two options: either turn to the newspaper headlines that make us want to tear them up and paper-cut ourselves to death, or resort to our lycra-clad pal. I reckon paper cuts are a pretty bad way to go, which leaves me with nothing else to say but: Long Live Captain Crunch!