Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Bowl of credit crunch, please, skinny milk

Wow, Sterling airlines is the latest budget travel company to go... uh... into a tailspin.
I flew to Sweden with them six weeks ago, booking my ticket rather nervously on the recommendation of the group I was volunteering for and wondering whether or not my return flight would actually take off. However, when I called their UK helpline, a polite young man with polished English answered and I felt rather relieved: it looked like a case of clean Scandinavian efficiency all the way.
Unfortunately it seems a lot of their shareholders hailed from Iceland. Uh oh.

Iceland: a whole country has gone bankrupt! (it's been a while since I got my highlighter out over the Economist). I suppose that's what happens if Kerry Katona is heading your advertising campaign. Where's Mum going to go now?!

This credit crunch lark is mad! I mean - I have absolutely no idea what it's all about. Friends who work in the City are starting to cut down on the heady social life and acquaintances in accounting look a little more nervous than before, but other than that...

Here's Pinolona's guide to surviving the credit crunch:

1/ Housing crash.
Apparently lots of people will end up in negative equity. Mortgage lenders are going bankrupt. General woe abounds. The solution? Rent a flat - in Poland, with students. Or, go for the option favoured by any red-blooded Italian male and live at home with your parents. Ensure they are suitably distracted - e.g. by fitting a new kitchen - and they may not notice you are there (thereby omitting to charge you rent).

2/ Increased food prices.
See no. 1, part two.

3/ High cost of heating.
Make sure you live in a building with permanent communal heating which is included in the rent (radiator knobs not included; fiddling around with wrenches and getting covered in black grease compulsory). This will probably take you to Poland (or your parents' house, see no 1, part 2).

3/ Job insecurity.
Waves of redundancies are rippling across the City like a scythe through ripe wheat.
Avoid the fear by quitting your stable job and becoming self-employed. Hey presto! Permanent underlying job insecurity brings no nasty surprises in times of financial hardship.

4/ Interest rates.
I'm not entirely sure what's going on with interest rates to be honest, but, since I haven't been in credit since 2003, it doesn't really matter. So why not blow all your savings on a costly (and worthless) university education?! Then you won't have to worry about not making any money on them. (plus if you're a student no-one can make you redundant. Winners all round!)

5/ In the absence of any kind of disposable income, indulge in simple pleasures. Such as... watching the snow (snow?!).
Other free spectator sports include: the US presidential elections; the queue at the Post Office; counting SUVs driven by bewildered au pairs trying to do the school run; attempting to spot a happy face among the commuters returning from central London at 8.15 on a school night.

Happy crunching!


scatts said...

True enough, pino, the munch-bunch is for people with loadsamoney and jobs, ideally in the finance sector, so your advice is sound and should be followed by all.

Perhaps a book? "How to survive a munch-bunch by Pinolona - a girl with a spaniel"?

I think it has potential.

Oooo. My magic word today is 'throph'.

pinolona said...

Oh yes I can see it now:
"Britain's pensioners hit by City exodus: execs quit en masse and move in with parents..."

Take that, baby-boomers!

Bam! That's for student loans!
Whap! And that's for our lack of pensions!
Pow! Take it on the chin for job insecurity and bad privatisation!

By the way I forgot to mention share prices. But since I'm a proper UK taxpayer now I guess it's time to start claiming dividends from Northern Rock...