Recession depression

“It’s about time people stopped being so darned pessimistic,” newspapers have reported Peter Mandelson saying last night during a question-and-answer session with the Cabinet – not so much repeating as echoing word for word a sentiment expressed in the interview with Theo Paphitis Smarta carried back in March.

Back then we agreed: damn right, Mandy, we thought. Why shouldn’t we be a bit positive? After all, it’s business confidence which is going to put the economy back on track – and anyway, we can sort of see those green shoots of recovery people keep talking about. The stock market’s doing a bit better. Isn’t it?

In the interests of impartiality, though, and to avoid repeating ourselves, we’re opting for the other tack this time. This is no time for optimism, Mandelson. The economy is in a mess. Businesses are going to the wall left, right and centre, credit is well and truly crunched, and the weather, in London at least, is truly awful.

And to back up our argument, we’ve taken a quick look at today’s business pages, which informed us of the following:

  • Two million households are in negative equity – so much for using property to help secure a business loan.
  • The International Monetary Fund is warning recovery from the recession will be ‘sluggish’ and could be very similar to that of the Great Depression – as if we didn’t already know.
  • Public borrowing looks likely to hit £90bn - £22bn more than predicted.

So there you go, Lord Mandelson: solid proof, if proof were needed, the economy has gone to the dogs. Probably best to start hoarding canned goods now.
 

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