Monday, 29 September 2008

doom mongering? realist? you decide!

I made the "prediction" a while ago (it wasn't that dramatic really, but nevermind) that once people actually started seeing their house prices falling, people would panic and all hell would break loose, on the basis that people have just got far too used to the good times.

So far, however, we seem to have seen pretty sensible behaviour on the part of your average consumer. The domestic economy (by which I mean retail and consumer spending, I suppose) seems to be doing OK, no mass lay offs as yet, and a grudging acceptance of drops in the market.

Sure, the "banks" with their "financial system" (whatever that means!) might be in complete meltdown, but what does that matter when your average punter might not know how many noughts there are in a billion?

There's more important things to consider for the moment like the state of rangers/celtic what hapening in CSI, coronation street or whatever.
However more and more the economic realities of our current situation are going to hit, with job cuts, and recession on the cards. So my question is this more orderly decline in the housing market and the UK economy in general? Or more obvious panic, as I had previously speculated?

And if panic, what wouldl that involve? Your thoughts, ladies and gentlemen, or Im thinking

"please" In order for there to be a panic, something actually has to happen. So far, the actual impact of the current troubles to people, myself included, has been very, very mild.

People who work in construction and banking would have felt the impact. People with massive CC debt or mortgages they can't afford the SVR for would have felt it, those close to retirement who didn't switch their pensions to something safer than stock will be worried.

Having said the vast majority have not had any changes to their situation. Until real unemployment kicks off, inflation in areas other than energy kicks off etc, why is there any need to change behaviour?

I also think that the medias love of scare stories that never come to pass has had an effect. Since the early 80s, I've lived through all these events described by the media as world-ending (in no particular order)
:- Acid Rain melting everything and destroying crops.- Radioactive sheep eating grass polluted by Chenobyl fallout which will give me cancer.- Being nuked by the Soviets- Being blown up by Saddam and his imaginary WMDs- Mad Cow Disease- Vast armies of pedophiles hiding in bushes on every street corner.- Hooded yoofs queuing up to stab you for your wallet and mobile.- Global warming (now down-graded to 'climate change' since we seem to be getting colder here)- Ozone layer vanishing with the result of turning everyone blind and giving them skin cancer.- Jet stream stopping turning the UK into the Arctic- Yellowstone National Park blowing up, sending us into a 10,000 year period of dusty darkness- GM Crops taking over the world- Diesel fumes giving me Asthma- Bird Flu pandemic- Normal Flu pandemic- Oil running out ,,,,,, etc etc Compared to all that, a few bank failures on the telly looks quite minor

Yes to the average person, recent events are meaningless. It's all just boring financial stuff, or 'politics' and let's face it, 'politics' is for boring old posh men in suits, isn't it? A good example was a neighbour, who on the same day he told me his holiday had been cancelled due to the XL bust, said 'this credit crunch, what a load of rubbish. I mean who's actually been affected by it?

'The sheeple have their bread and circuses. As Orwell wrote, they are sleeping 'the deep, deep sleep of England, from which we will never awake until we are shaken from it by the roar of bombs'.

Hopefully it won't come to bombs, but once the bread and circuses begin to be affected (no more tick on the credit card, unemployment, shops closing, etc) the people might just start to take these things a bit more seriously.

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