Worst. Recession. Ever.
And that’s not just us being our usual gloomy selves – Charles Bean, deputy governor of the Bank of England, reckons that we’re now facing the worst financial crisis in human history. Just think about that for a second, possibly the worst financial crisis in human history and it’s not been caused by a world war or some kind of massive natural disaster, but by the financial industry whipping itself up into a frenzy of greed while incompetent authorities sat idly by and ignored the warning signs time and time again.
Maybe Charley’s being a little too pessimistic, but things are definitely looking bleak right now. This week official figures showed that the gross domestic product (GDP) – the measure of how much stuff we’re producing as a nation – fell for the first time in 16 years. Worse still, the full of .5% was far worse than the suits had been expecting. This news resulted in a massive loss of confidence which sent the FTSE plummeting even further than it already has over recent week, wiping out about three years worth of gains. On top of that, the pound lost a lot of value against the dollar and the euro.
OK, so that all sounds pretty grim and serious, but what does it actually mean for us plebs that don’t work in The City? Difficult to say at the moment, but job losses look certain for a start. This week 2500 workers at JCB agreed to a £50 per week pay cut and a four day working week in order to avoid redundancies – it’s all starting to feel a lot like the seventies again, and this is just the beginning.