Tuesday, 7 April 2009

No credit but plenty of crunch

There are actually polls and surveys saying that lending to households and small businesses is increasing and that house prices were up in March - I don't know what or who these surveys are based on but as a consumer of the great economy I would have to disagree. Since the big blow out in 2008 - much accelerated post the Lehmans bankruptcy - there has been much press coverage of the financial turmoil and the various world leaders trying to find the best 'global' solution to help themselves.

But how has this effected you and me? I see increasing mortgage renewal costs - a sore subject I closely follow given I am due to renew this Summer; paltry interest rates on my savings - yes I worked hard to pay off my student debts but that is clearly not valued although allegedly all the banks are supposed to be fighting for my money; and most alarmingly of all perhaps, ever growing job insecurity.

I think this was perfectly encapsulated today with the news that RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland), one of the big lenders in the UK, is making another round of redundanices. This is of particular note because it is one of the banks who had the most aggressive lending policies and because they are in a very public battle with their recently fired Chief Executive, Fred Goodwin (known to his friends as Fred the Shred), over his £17m pension pot. Now that the bank has reached a sufficiently small size on the stock market for the Government to be able to take full control, this pre-agreed pension is being aired in public with the full knowledge that it will pull on people's emotions and make Sir Fred Goodwin face a tough moral dilemma.

Whilst I am not a fan of the media manipulating people's emotions (the casualties are far ranging encompassing all sectors - George Bush, Britney Spears etc), I would hate to be in Sir Fred's shoes right now. The 9,000 extra people who are up to be redundant this time are the support function staff who earn a decent but not excessive salary (about $30k a year). One fat cat's pension or 9,000 separate individuals having to uproot their lives and those of their children?

No credit, but plenty of crunch...

No comments:

Post a Comment