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Thousands trapped in negative equity

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Pawn shops thrive as credit tightens

No housing for Olympians now the Gods have failed

Dan: Inflation - ‘a year of going backwards’

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    Welcome to The Gods That Failed blog.


    Our new book was published on 5 June by The Bodley Head, and we've set this up to give ourselves, and the public, the chance to learn about and discuss the economic crisis that we're currently all facing.

    It's high time people realised how and why we've reached the state we're now in. The Gods that Failed argues that we need a new system: instead of an increasingly risk-prone, privatised, profit-driven economic model overseen by a largely unaccountable and speculation-obsessed elite, we need an economy that is run and regulated in the interests of ordinary people.

    Bankers’ bedtime stories lead to Nanny Boom


    Posted by Editors on August 1, 2008 at 10:12 am

    The Gods that Failed shows how a reckless, largely unaccountable elite, have lulled the world to sleep with their economic fairytale and that now, with the fairytale having being exposed, ordinary people are waking up in a world of financial hardship.

    Even though this elite subcontracted the job of reading bedtime stories to their own children to an army of nannies, they were more than happy to tell fairytales to everybody else, tales in which everyone lives happily ever after.

    The Times reported yesterday that as a result of these financial fairytales, nanny agencies have been inundated with calls in recent weeks, as stay-at-home parents are forced to return to work just to make ends meet.

    Larry: why is everyone still spending?


    Posted by Editors on June 23, 2008 at 10:03 am

    Things are looking bleak, so why are we spending like there’s no tomorrow? Incredibly, despite the credit crunch, May saw the biggest increase in consumer sales on record. Confused? Read Larry’s article about it here

    .

    Pawn shops thrive as credit tightens


    Posted by Editors on June 23, 2008 at 10:02 am

    Blind faith in markets has not only cost us our future - it could also cost us our heirlooms. The credit crunch has meant that pawn shops are enjoying a new-found degree of popularity. If you’re feeling the pinch, take a leaf out of a Dickens’ novel and check out your local pawnbrokers. Read all about it here.

    No housing for Olympians now the Gods have failed


    Posted by Editors on June 23, 2008 at 10:01 am

    The brave new world of the New Olympians - the ideas and actors behind the current financial chaos - has now been exposed, but in London the Olympic dream is also crumbling fast. Plans to build the Olympic village for 2012 are now in jeopardy as the credit crunch and sliding housing market means that - once again - taxpayers may now have to step in to cover the extra costs. read the full story here.

    Larry Elliott - high inflation may mean higher interest


    Posted by Editors on June 13, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    In the Guardian today, Larry reports that the public expects a significant increase in the cost of living, and is increasingly dissatisfied with the handling of inflation by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). Read the article here.

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    Larry Elliott - The Fed’s optimism is tactical


    Posted by Editors on June 11, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    ‘The timing of Bernanke’s comments is important: there is a concerted effort by the Fed, the US treasury and the White House to talk up the value of the dollar in order to lower the cost of imports - especially oil - and to boost consumer spending power.’ Read Larry’s article on why Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, may be too optimistic about the USA’s economic future.

    The economic slowdown has been developing for a while. In this NBC report, Mort Zuckerman, the American real estate billionaire, sees America as being in ‘about the fourth inning of a nine inning ball game.’ Interestingly enough, the interviewer sees it as a ‘perfect storm’.

    The Perfect Storm


    Posted by Editors on June 11, 2008 at 11:34 am

    In Chapter 9 of The Gods that Failed, Larry and Dan point out the strange frequency of the phrase ‘perfect storm’ in the media - no longer just a meteorological term, it is now the official tagline of crisis in general.

     ‘The state of the global economy in the first half of 2008 made it a prime candidate for the “perfect storm” thesis… As the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, Simon Johnson is hardly one for apocalyptic visions of the future, but in November 2007 he popped up to warn of a “perfect storm” caused by the interaction of turmoil on the financial markets and the spiralling cost of energy.’

    Today, Larry Elliott and Ashley Seager report on Mervyn King’s admission that we will see more ‘turmoil in the markets,’ and his plan for improved regulation. And it seems the storm is spreading to the rest of the world. In South Africa, the national Times reports a ‘near perfect storm in housing.’

    Larry Elliott - The return of stagflation


    Posted by Editors on June 10, 2008 at 10:14 am

    The imminent collapse of the housing market brings the threat of a wider market crisis of low demand and high inflation. Read Larry’s article here.

    The Telegraph reports similar fears, with factory charges up 8.9% since last year. Read the full article here.

    The new winter of discontent


    Posted by Editors on June 9, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    Throughout the book, Larry and Dan look at the 1978/9 ‘winter of discontent,’ with a grim nod to the present climate. Recently ‘nine porters at Boston’s Logan airport had seen their incomes drop dramatically after the airline for which they worked decided to charge passengers for bag check-in. This diverted money previously paid direct to the porters in tips to the company instead.’

    Instances like these are becoming more common, even since the Telegraph drew similar parallels two weeks ago. The BBC have uploaded a video reporting on pay cuts for ground level workers, especially those closest to the City, and it seems likely that there will be pay cuts across the country.

    Larry Elliott - The economy is a dead parrot


    Posted by Editors on June 9, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    ‘In Monty Python terms, voters are not convinced the economy is just resting.’ Read Larry’s latest thoughts on the economy, and its similarity to a certain dead parrot, in today’s Guardian article.

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