Financial crisis = televisual crack

Here is another one of those “no shit Sherlock” reports.  A report commissioned by Sky News reports that television reports about the banking crisis having had the biggest impact on British viewers of any news story in the last 20 years.

Isn’t it slightly disingenuous to report this as news? Anyone working in a TV newsroom in Britain has known since that collapse of Northern Rock, if not slightly before that (if they were paying attention), there was nothing to grab the viewing public’s attention like the power of nightmares heading straight for their bank balance.

It was like the worst reality show you could imagine. The mighty tumbled, the unexpected became reality and further still each twist and turn directly impacted upon the life of you, the viewer. We couldn’t have asked for a better story.

And in the sharpest twist of fate the story which we peddled, stoking the flames on the fire of fear, has now bitten us in the tail. UK media has been hit so hard by the advertising downturn bought on by the financial crisis brought on by the credit crunch that we so snappily through into the common vernacular.

Who could have asked for a better story with a better arc?

More than 2,000 people were asked which stories had most interested them and their families and 50 per cent nominated the ongoing financial crisis.

The November 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York came second with 29 per cent.

Other events nominated include the 1997 election and the death of Princess Diana.

But when people were asked which news story had the biggest impact on the world the November 11 attacks came out on top.

The You Gov poll of 2,338 adults was commissioned to mark 20 years of Sky News.

A Sky News spokeswoman said: “The survey shows that there is a clear distinction between what people see as the biggest stories to the outside world, and what directly impacts them and their loved ones the most.

“9/11 was indisputably one of the biggest stories of the last 20 years, but when it comes to what has impacted Britons the most, the current financial crisis clearly has had the biggest impact as it directly affects their way of life and future prospects.”

Mugged on Gray’s Inn Road

A £3 meal?
A £3 meal?

As I’ve alluded to in previous posts I have a few issues with budgeting.

While it’s cool to have so many Librans in my life, the months of September and October are always tight as I seem to have parties to attend every other night.

This has left me with £23 in cash (£20 of which was lent to me by my mother) plus £25 on my credit card to last me until the end of the week. Shameful!

Given that I have to do dinner in Soho tomorrow and drinks in the City on Thursday I’ve had to be pretty creative with my budgeting.

Which is why being charged £3.00 for a portion of scrambled eggs and fried mushrooms at Andrews, the greasy spoon (cafe) round the corner from my office, is so outrageous!

I mean guys,  I know you’re being credit crunched but charging such extortionate prices is just taking the mick!

ADDENDUM: What’s worse is that it used to be one of my favourites, offering two hash browns and a cheese salad roll for £2.00. On hindsight, six hours later I do realise how churlish this posting seems, but it being ripped off really does get my goat.

Calculate personal inflation as UK figure hits record high

Inflation in the UK has hit a record high. The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) reached 5.2% last month – the highest CPI reading since 1997 and a 16-year historical inflation peak.

But what does this mean for me, I hear you asking. Well, the Office for National Statistics has this genius JavaScript-based calculator that allows you calculate your personal rate of inflation and how it compares against the national average.

I would tell you to link the calculator on the ITV News website but as I can’t get it to work on my computer I won’t be recommending it.

Two interesting things have emerged from my quick trial of the app. Firstly, as I expected, I’m so poor my rate of inflation is almost 2 per cent below the national average!!

personal inflation graph
personal inflation graph



Secondly, and perhaps more worryingly, the calculator says that 15 per cent of my annual expenditure goes on alcohol. If that’s not bad enough each month I seem to have an unaccounted £640 that goes missing.

Time to write a budget methinks.






Even online advertising is doomed

In the second quarter of 2008, the online revenue of the Newspaper Association of America was down 2.4 per cent compared with last year, to $777 million.

This is the first year-over-year drop since the group began measuring online revenue in 2003.

Maybe it’s time to bail on the media game in the UK and start farming cocoa and nutmeg with my grandfather in the Caribbean!

Financial crisis on a global scale

The fruits of my labours today (in addition to surviving the hangover from hell). Wanted to embed some stills, maybe I’ll get round to that later.

Today really was the day that it hit us just how out of control the financial meltdown really is.


Despite all of the measures by governments around the world, the markets are still plummeting. One experts’ referred to it as the plastic pants approach to banking – people are panicking and selling like crazy! Who knows what tomorrow’ll bring?

Credit crisis craziness

Apologies. I’ve been under the radar this week. Blame it on the day shift and the relentless credit crisis content I’ve been churning out for the website each day.

Slightly worried that thousands of people are reading advice written by me on finance. If only they could see my bank account.

The Wire – season three has also been a distraction. Seriously I plan on watching one episode before bed but before I know it it’s 3 in the morning. Not a good look when I’m due in the office at 8am!

Playboy seeks banking bunnies

Playboy logo
Playboy logo





Forgive me for failing to support the feminist cause with this post but I was amused to read that help is on hand for bankers hit hard by the recent financial turmoil. The good Samaritan is an unlikely one.

Playboy magazine is offering current ad former employees of the financial world money to appear in its forthcoming ‘Women of Wall Street’ special feature planned for the February 2009 edition and on its website.

Cash strapped banking vixens can apply here

Get your class war on

hate to rant on about the same thing but as I type news of the spectacular collapse of HBOS shares streams over the airways.

There’s an interesting article in today’s Wall Street Journal analysing the effect that the financial crisis is having on the US election campaign.

The main line of argument is that : “There is simply no way to blame this disaster, as Republicans used to do, on labor unions or over-regulation. No, this is the conservatives’ beloved financial system doing what comes naturally.”

The question is, will Obama be ready to step to this financial challenge in a convincing manner? Guess it has similarities to New Labour, previously seen as the party of boom and bust, marketing itself as the party of the economy in the ’97 election campaign.