If you haven’t seen the headlines – splashed one after the other in front of every newsagent, on the TV, radio, pretty much fucking everywhere – the dissolution of Lehman Brothers, the take-over of Meryl-Lynch by Bank of America (who only stand out in my mind because they’d put up ugly orange awnings all over New York this spring) , and Halifax by Lloyds, the near collapse of AIG – is being heralded as the harbinger of a new, 1930’s style depression.
Where the hell did this come from?
A little over a year ago, things were supposed to be just fine. The City boys were awarding themselves bigger and bigger bonuses, we were all working, albeit for lower wages, housing prices were on the up and up (for those of us who had property – those, who didn’t like yours truly, had to scramble in the ever-tighter rental market). No warning about any of this.
Now we’re cryin’ like it’s 1929.
The Tuesday morning Metro at least had a sense of humour: SACK MONDAY!! But what are we supposed to expect? Ten years depression? Bread lines? Another Adolf? I mean let’s get a grip – is this going to be worse than the late 80’s/ early 90s? it doesn’t feel anywhere near that bad – not yet at least not yet? Worse than the Open Cartel in 73? Worse than the late 40’s early 50’s when rationing was still in place and basic infrastructure that had been destroyed in the Blitz had yet to be restored?
Someone had enough lolly to pick up Damien Hirst’s Taxidermy for a whopping 100 million and change. Pounds that is – nearly a quarter million US for glorified pickled herring. If there’s a better symbol of why things gotta change, then I ain’t found it.
I’m sure it ain’t gonna be good for the next little while. But they haven’t been great for a lot of people for a long time. The best scenario I could see would be to return to some pre-turbo-capitlistic phase where the state had some say in running the economy and actually took care of it’s citizens. Wait, you say – the welfare state didn’t work! State intervention didn’t work!
Oh, and turbo-capitalism does?