Of course anyone who loses their job is an instant loser and I get angry at the number of people who have been made unemployed for no other reason than the city and it's bankers (and their cousins around the world) allowing borrowing to get totally out of control. My thoughts and condolences go to anyone currently affected in this way.
But how many of those High Street jobs could have been saved if normal credit facilities were available?
And how many of those made redundant over the last few months were victims of "a good time/excuse to shed costs" rather than any real downturn in the market? of course there are certain sectors such as Housing and Construction where the lay offs were inevitable but I often feel that company's shed staff too readily at even the first sign of a sneeze in what has become a worldwide economic flu epidemic.
The other baffling side to the current downturn is that if you have managed to keep your job then the recession is not all that bad for most. Fuel is cheaper, the cost of some food is coming down, (although some food costs are rising) and there are plenty of bargains around out there for those who held on to a bit of cash. For those with index linked mortgages times are also pretty good at present, for instance on an average UK mortgage of £100,000 the interest monthly interest payments over the last 12 months have shrunk from around £900 to around £250 putting £650 more a month (£7800 a year) in the pockets of those lucky enough to be in that position. More money in your pocket should (the government hopes) make people willing to spend more. So is this happening?
Well a very good friend of mine Aziz Rahman who owns an Indian Restaurant in Northampton (The Balti King in Earl Street) told me that recently he had his best ever trading day since he opened. I was not surprised partly because the food is the best in the town and also the prices are amazing (if you haven't been I recommend you do, Aziz is a devout Muslim so no alcohol is sold on the premises but your are welcome to take your own along with you) But apart from the good food and great prices he could see that more and more people were choosing to spend a night at his restaurant now, than perhaps they did a year back, before the economic troubles began?
Supermarkets are also seeing increased turnover and whilst people are being far more choosy as to where they spend their money it seems that one persons recession could more another's opportunity. Less a case of Boom and Bust and more Boom from Bust.
The economy will not recover overnight and certain sectors have still not bottomed out, but the economists and the journalist may just have to rethink the normal rules here. It's easy for the tabloids and TV news pundits to churn out lazy stories set against doomsday scenario backgrounds and getting us all to the point of defeated pessimism, but a dose of investigative analysis might be in order here.
Currently the Labour Government wants us to believe everything is in hand, whilst the Conservative Party want us to believe that It's a home grown recession manufactured in Downing Street. Meanwhile the Liberals (locally and nationally) want us to stop asking them hard and difficult questions.
Personally I would settle for a good old fashioned dose of the truth, and located within the points Ihave raise above are some important signposts and clues as to where that truth might lay.
So who do we believe? Hopefully we will all take the time to make our own minds up, rather than being led by the nose by those who have their own personal reasons for offering their biased opinion without really declaring their hands.