Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Galloping to the finish

Am a little bit time poor to say the least at the moment as a combination of pr opportunities (expect to find me all over the internet opining about Strictly Come Dancing shortly), and a fast approaching deadline means blogging is falling by the wayside.

If anyone is remotely interested I shall also be waffling on about same on BBC Southern Counties Radio on Monday at 11.40. You can tune in at: 104.0–104.8 & 95.0–95.3 FM and 1161, 1368 & 1485 AM, and their website is here. I'll be in their Guildford Studio on the other end of the line, and hoping not to have a repeat of my very first radio experience when I was in a self operating studio at BBC's Portland Place studios, trying to defend why I was promoting horror novels to teenagers to a bunch of Christian Fundamentalists. Someone pulled the plug when I was in full flow, and by the time we got reconnected it was the end of the programme. Most disconcerting. Generally speaking though, apart from a slight concern that I might ramble onto much (chatty, qui moi?)I really enjoy doing radio as it is nearly impossible to imagine that anyone is actually listening to you, which makes the whole thing quite liberating.

As a result of all this I haven't got round to mentioning the financial crisis, but I'm finding it's worming its way into the wip instead, which means my book will be dated before it's even come out. Hmm. Some heavy pruning needed there at some stage, I'd say.

All I would say though vis a vis Icelandic banks (and due sympathy to those who invested in good faith), is that it seems to be the common consensus among my friends in the Know (and I would hastily say here I know nowt whatsoever about how the city works) is that the interest rates they were offering were Too Good To Be True. Since I learnt that all I can think of is The Real Hustle, a programme much beloved by self, Spouse and the sprogs. If you don't watch it, they end every episode with this salutary warning, If it seems to good to be true, it probably is. Quite. Wish someone had mentioned that to the powers that be at Surrey County Council...

Anyway to keep you cheerful amidst all the gloom and doom, I thought I'd post here something which according to a friend in Singapore is doing the rounds on Wall Street.

If anyone has difficulty understanding the current world financial situation, the following should help....

Once upon a time in a village in India , a man announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys for $10.The villagers seeing there were many monkeys around, went out to the forest and started catching them.The man bought thousands at $10, but, as the supply started to diminish, the villagers stopped their efforts.

The man further announced that he would now buy at $20. This renewed the efforts of the villagers and they started catching monkeys again.Soon the supply diminished even further and people started going back to their farms.

The offer rate increased to $25 and the supply of monkeys became so little that it was an effort to even see a monkey, let alone catch it! The man now announced that he would buy monkeys at $50! However, since he had to go to the city on some business, his assistant would now act as buyer, on his behalf.

In the absence of the man, the assistant told the villagers: 'Look at all these monkeys in the big cage that the man has collected. I will sell them to you at $35 and when he returns from the city, you can sell them back to him for $50.'

The villagers squeezed together their savings and bought all the monkeys.Then they never saw the man or his assistant again, only monkeys everywhere!

Welcome to WALL STREET.


Expat mum said...

Thanks, that's cleared things up considerably. Not necessarily made me feel better however!

Anonymous said...

As I have said elsewhere, this public sector manager is pretty cheesed off at present:
At the way the government can with a flash of the fez and a silly grin bail the banks out justlikethat
At the way we have been lectured for the last 11 years about how wonderful the private sector is, (let's see now Enron, the dotcom boom, the current shenanigans) and how profligate we are.(Dear God, how terrible of us, we don't make money for ourselves, we just want enough to provide services for the evergrowing queue at the door).
At the fact that the government squeezes us in both directions, giving us less central grant & saying thou shalt not increase council tax (our only other source of income) beyond 4% or we will cap you. (Which is why a good deal in Iceland probably was so attractive...)
And with the foreknowledge that the Autumn statement is probably going to be the bloodiest we have had for a while, I forsee my .5 million saving target doubling in the next couple of years (and no I won't get a bonus if I reach it).

Bitter? Moi?

Mad Twin