Tag Archives: financial catastrophe

Economic Doom and Gloom: A Starbucks Dystopia

20111203 Massage Chair Face 150x150 Economic Doom and Gloom: A Starbucks Dystopia

This picture of a massage chair was sent in by Tim. If only it had been framed a little lower it would have been perfect.  Are you sitting comfortably?

There was more economic doom and gloom this week and about a week ago I tweeted a story about the OECD predicting a double-dip recession for the UK in 2012.  The mainstream media reported the story two days later.  In George Osborne’s Autumn Statement growth for 2011 was slashed to 0.9% and the pension age raised to 67 –  fifteen years earlier than planned.  Public sector workers went on strike over pension arrangements, mistakenly believing they have the God-given right to be exempt from the Global Financial Catastrophe.  I don’t generally subscribe to Tory slogans and ideology, but did someone say, “We’re all in this together”?  Give that man a biscuit and his dog a cigar!  Most of us would be lucky if we could retire at all.

10 days until Eurogeddon

In another corner of Europe, EU Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn warned that we had “10 days to save the Euro”.  With previous warnings that another Eurozone country bailout would spell disaster for the global economy, this should have had us trembling in our boots.  The thing is, headlines like these are beginning to lose their impact.  It’s a bit like crying wolf, except there really is a wolf and it’s such a gigantic ravenous bastard, there’s nothing you can do; it will eat you and all your friends but no-one cares anymore.

But really, 10 days?  We have known about this crisis for months and we’ve had that long to do something about it.  Why the sudden self-imposed urgency that’s only going to aggravate markets when deadlines are inevitable missed?  Incidentally, those bilateral liquidity swap arrangements: did you see the markets jump on the news?  Utter nonsense in my opinion; I suspect we’ll see a “correction” in the near future (he says, writing as a bewildered cynic).

As I write, there is talk of a Eurozone fiscal union and an new EU treaty, which actually sounds quite exciting, particularly when watching a debate between Nigel Farage (UKIP) and Matt Hancock (Conservatives) on Channel 4 News last night, in which the Conservative Party looked refreshingly progressive, albeit because their hand is being forced.  Stability has to be good for the Eurozone and for Britain.

I’m keeping my eyes on the Italian 10- year bond yield, though.

Starbucks Dystopia

In a previous article I rhetorically posed the question about the end game in global economics.  Jon Snow of Channel 4 News fame recently tweeted that 2011 is the year the “expert” died, referring to the fact that no-one had predicted the Arab Spring.  By extension, there are so many so-called financial “experts” who have disparate outlooks; the gold bugs, the doom mongers, the profiteers like Alessio Rastani (who incidentally predicted a collapse of a large UK-based bank in early 2012 based on unconfirmed rumours in the city).  Max Keiser thinks we are all going to end up playing Zynga games in virtual gulags.

My dystopian vision for the future? Last week it was reported that November saw a decline in manufacturing, it being at its lowest in 2.5 years, whilst Starbucks announced it would create 5,000 jobs in the UK.  I reckon we will all end up working for Starbucks, serving each other coffee, the same coins going round and round in a poverty-inducing vicious circle, as we all become ever more addicted to caffeine.

Are you still sitting comfortably?

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