19 Jul 2011

A crisis that may affect us for the rest of our lives

Be afraid. Be very afraid. No, not of Murdoch, but of the looming financial crisis from which the phone hacking vortex shields our eyes.

The serendipitous daily drip drip of revelation has so consumed our naive appetites that our eye is as far off the financial ball as it has ever been. I know very little about high finance, but I know enough to know that when the price of gold assumes a level never seen before by mankind, there is something very ugly in the woodshed. The price per ounce of the stuff – $1,600 – is some record.

On any other day, a collapse in the share price of Lloyds and Barclays by a staggering 7% would have led every news bulletin in the land. RBS shed 6%. Need I say more?

Disparate Europe cannot see a way forward in the Greek debt crisis. The catastrophic fallout from allowing Lehman Brothers to go bust in 2008 has made cowards of us all when contemplating doing the same for a national entity like Greece. In short, no one knows where it would end… Dublin? Madrid? Lisbon? Rome? Shiver our timbers… London?

And I haven’t mentioned the madness on the Hill. The unending playing of politics with the American economy on Capitol Hill. Deadlock sustains as deadline looms.

Another test I understand is that of the Swiss franc. You have guessed it – yesterday it hit a record 1.1397 against the Euro.

Do not therefore spare a thought for the mere $1 billion that Mr Murdoch’s news Corp has lost in value since the hacking rumpus exploded on 4 July. It won’t stop us watching his Parliamentary grilling today. One suspects the old boy won’t know much detail, Rebekah Brooks will try to say little, on legal advice – leaving the focus on James Murdoch.

Oh, and while you worry about your bank, and your hacked/unhacked phone, do spare a final thought for the badger. It is to be officially announced today that he and she badger are for the chop, or rather the gas and the bullet. Rustic, rural, green-field England is going for the cull… maybe…



Tweets by @jonsnowC4