Friday, October 17

Time for Tea


(Flash back, Tea time with Troy on board HMS Trincomalee, 20th September 2005.Graphics courtesy of Radio Hartlepool).

What is happening in this country and indeed the world with regard to the banking crises is so enormous that it is almost too scary to think about. That is, of course, why so many people do not think about it.

That phenomenon is a variation of this, a very natural human reaction to something which is just beyond the capability of most people to deal with.In fact, it is more akin to the reaction of the archetypal housewife on being told that World War II had broken out, busying herself making a pot of tea. At times like this, we all retreat into our comfort zones, close our minds to the impending disaster and hope for the best. But disaster there will be – we are already in the opening phases, and "making a pot of tea" is not going to solve it. But this is not a "sky falling in" type of disaster. That is the wrong analogy.

This is more like the "Temple of Doom" movie. We are trapped in a room, with the ceiling – complete with wicked spikes - getting lower and lower, threatening to crush us all. But every now and again, the ceiling judders to a halt in its downwards path. We breathe a sigh of relief, and hope it is all over. Then it lurches into action and the nightmare continues. One of those "lurches" happened this week, with the stock exchanges plummeting worldwide and the FTSE falling three percent on Thursday, driven by "fears of a recession".

Not only are we reaching into the depths of banking theory which, frankly, very few people (particularly senior bankers) understand we have the overlay of highly complex regulatory systems, framed at national, regional and global levels, together with national and international politics and, of course, the drama of the events themselves.

One yearns for some wise soul to reach out and explain it all, in very simple terms, telling us what to look for, what matters, what is fluff, and to where all this is leading. That, of course, is the stuff of dreams – of child-like fantasies. In truth, there is not one problem but many, all interwoven, and the complexities of modern politics, played out on an international tableau, are such that they defeat even the most experienced commentator.
How about tea with Troy ? It won't solve anything, but at least it'll make us all feel better.


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