Thursday, March 20, 2008

To Loot or Not to Loot Tesco

I was going to blog about the imminent collapse of capitalism - you know the sort of thing, where to get hold of an AK47, how to loot your local Tesco, the tastiest way to poach a rat and the best way to handle a warlord. But, somehow, I don't think you'd get it. There is, you see, this colossal disconnect about this whole credit crunch story (I now follow it through the superb Alphaville blog at the FT, I suggest you do the same). On one side, appalling things are happening in the financial system which, not long ago, grand City experts were telling us couldn't possibly happen. And, on the other hand, nothing much seems to be happening in the real world. There is, I think, a feeling that this will all blow over and things will return to normal except there will no booming house prices. That might happen. But, reading Alphaville and watching the latest panics unfold, I do feel that things are getting seriously out of control and that real people will soon be suffering real pain - apart, of course, from the poor blacks in America who were mis-sold mortgages by Wall Street-backed bastards, but nobody seems to care about them. What is most alarming is that America's key weakness - the scale of dollar holdings by less than sympathetic regimes - is in danger of being exposed. The run on the dollar may have only just begun. And, since you ask, loot counter-clockwise starting with the litre bottles of Bells.


  1. I was talking to a man yesterday who has made quite a bit of money over the last thirty years from doing nothing other than live in the house he bought for next to nothing in 1975 and keeping hold of two other properties he inherited from his father. His wife has enjoyed the same benefits. Together they are worth two or three million pounds or so. If he needs cash he could sell one or more and he gets rents from them in the meanwhile as well as working and earning enough comfortably to live on.
    He is complacent about the developing financial meltdown. How can it hurt me? he asks. And he is representative of hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people of a certain age all across Britain.
    It seems to me that he is right - what has he to fear?
    Is the effect of the 'credit crunch' going to be further to divide the rich and poor in Britain and open up a huge gulf between those who were lucky enough to have needed a house in the 1970s and 80s bought one then and lived in it, and those who need one now?
    I have a friend who lives in a rented house and has done for twenty years. He earns good money, but he has nothing spare - no borrowing capacity because he has no capital 'asset' to secure it against - and although he has little or no debt, he has no spending power. Does that not illustrate starkly what the 'booming economy' (pace G Brown) was based on? Simply a collective living beyond our means on a titanic scale.
    The immorality is that we will all be made to pay for it - the prudent and the profligate are all being lumped together - look at the actions of the Fed this week and the belated actions of the B of E over Northern Wreck - because those who ought to suffer the consequences of their actions are too numerous and the consequences so enormous, that we are collectively damaged. Is this ready acceptance of 'moral hazard' not a further cause for despair?

  2. In all seriousness now is the time to get hold of books on survivalism. i wouldn't fuss too much with AK47s or any gun, because bullets will quickly run out.

    After the first few weeks or months of the great War, things will be settled the old ways, with Gangs of New York style butchery with knives and clubs. Also check out Cormac McCarthy's 'The Road'.

    There's also be a lot of cannibalism and probably the Muslims will form Jihaddi death squads to rape & pillage the infidels. We might have some pretty good street battles, Xians vs Muslims, time for all those High Anglicans to put away their raffles & tombolas and get out their steak knives.

    However, in the end it'll come down to food and clean water and somewhere dry & warm to sleep. Thanks to our various governments clean water is in short supply so a lot of people will die from drinking polluted river/stream water.

    My guess is most of the human race will perish, mostly in unpleasant ways, at the hands of other people.

    Personally i'm planning to visit all my friends and administer mercy killings one by one so i don't have to worry about them falling into the cruel hands of chavs and Jihaddists. i am a strange but ultimately kind and thoughtful man.

  3. I feel rather relieved you don't know where I live, Elberry (or indeed who I am - that helps too)...

  4. i might have let you live anyway, Nige - you strike me as someone who could get out into the country and live on potatoes quite cheerfully at the cities burn. Likewise i'm sure Bryan will retreat to his Norfolk fortified compound and use his various nefarious contacts to get hold of the necessary munitions for a protracted siege.

  5. Bryan of course has a moat and a drawbridge, and there's usually some boiling oil bubbling away on the hob. He'll be fine.

  6. Alphaville did not strike me as being particularly impressive.

  7. Elberry - you are missing the point. Shortly after the War begins there will be no more room in hell and the dead shall walk the earth. Rather than looting shopping malls we should look on them as the safe havens that they are.

  8. You lot live in cloud cuckoo land. Come the apocalypse THEY will have much bigger plans than you, and you lot ain`t part of them.

    I had a peek at Gordingalingaling`s last week.

    Day one.. 3 hrs in the pre prepared love nest, playing sandwiches with Cherie & Jaquie.

    Day two..impail Tony on a ragged spike.

    Day three.. lie about the economy.

    Day four.. march the proles into Porton Down, or force them to listen to the Jeremy Vine programme.

    Declare Britain a republic

    I`m off to Darfur, safe as houses.

    Ta Ta well,

  9. Simon, i feel many of the supposedly living are actually devils. i recall Dante says that when a soul has committed irrevocably hellish sins his soul goes straight to Hell and a devil takes over his body. This is the case with many now, perhaps. It makes sense when you look at pics of Blair, Brown, Bush, Rumsfeld, all these men of power.

  10. Philip, what you say is right on. Bryan, now that I'm in Europe, I see the skewed perspective some here have on the American mortgage foreclosure crisis. The crisis is not just that of poor Americans getting mortgages for $60,000 that they still can't afford when the ARM jumps (as you think), it's the idiot yuppies who make $120,000/year but decided they really needed to live in million-dollar mansions. Of course they have to default when the monthly mortgage leaps from $5,000 to $10,000. But I don't pity them. They should never have been allowed to get these mortgages in the first place and if they have to downsize to a normal house, tant pis. Their big HD TV will take up more of the livingroom space, but they can still watch it in sensurround sound.

    The seed of the collapse, however, was sown by the cupidity of the lenders. They always knew those monthly payments would leap, but they cravenly hoped the economy would be strong enough to enable the mortgage holders to keep up. Eat macaroni & cheese, but stay in the house.

    Personally, I feel sorry for the pets. Humane societies are being flooded with dogs and cats because the fools losing their big houses can't take them into rental units.