Sunday, March 23, 2008

Slump? What slump..?

TMP is still aware that many businesses and people do not yet really believe that there is a financial meltdown going on; after all, the chicken is still in the pot, and the cars are still on the drive (especially at the homes of traffic wardens, council bin inspectors and tree officers). So let's repeat the basics: more money has been pledged and loaned to bale out greedy and stupid bankers by the US and UK Governments so far this year than in the decade before.

Where does this money come from? This buck stops with the taxpayers, so MPs, get those fat expense claims in while you still can, the New Labour gravy train is running on a track that is likely to be swept away by a landslide of shocked voters once the reality finally percolates through, even before it dives over the traditional cliff that all previous Labour administrations have failed to detect when giving away everyone's money to buy votes.

The UK is already taxed beyond the hilt, and there is no margin for error or any other form of buffer. The terror with which Brown and his inept cronies regard the present situation is reflected in the quickening pace with which the Bank of England is willing to abandon all pretence of regulation and decorum, just to stop the slide into total chaos. Let's hope someone has the sense to bug George Soros' switchboard this time around.

Devaluing the currency is already happening, and a daft manufacturing sector chortles that this is good for their export business. Considering the tools they use, the raw materials they use and the energy they consume (and even the management they hire in a growing number of cases) are pretty much all imported, that seems like a bit of an own goal.

The emphasis placed by UK government on the vibrancy of financial services and it's love of wealthy nomads that are always to be found sniffing around large capital movements and accumulations has apparently bet the farm on a bunch of idiots and - as the cynical attempt to short HBOS shows - dangerous crooks. However, this industry probably has the least inertia in its operations of any, and the adjustment will be swift and severe. It is certainly vastly more reactive than the public spending and employment bonanza that the City has helped to fund through its taxes and other dubious "financial instruments".

So just when the country needed to incentivize brave entrepreneurs to start (and support) businesses in times of uncertainty and risk, Darling doubles the tax payable by successful long term business creators. And like it or not, any move that encourages those rich nomads to roll up their carpets and bugger off to more favourable tax climes is - to put it as mildly as possible - ill conceived and poorly timed. Also anyone with any accumulated wealth that they might once of risked on new business ventures in the UK has now been sent a further timely reminder of the avaricious ways of Old Labour that now dominate Downing Street. Buy that mansion in the US while the prices are temporarily depressed.

Who else has noticed that we are being lead and managed by complete twats..?

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