October 13th, 2008

black king

Another week without posting?

It has, it seems, been another week since I posted here, and what a
week it has been...
Monday, as you'll see from the last entry, started with another train
ride to London. After arrival, it was ominously quiet in the office as
the firm's share price sank ever lower.
In real life, the day finished with a haircut before I went to Wembley
to watch the news on tv and be amazed at what I was watching.
Tuesday. That was another day at work. In the evening, a risk
management association event to tell us about risks in the delivery of
the Olympic project in advance of 2012, something we went on to read
about in the papers later in the week.
Wednesday. I could not stay late at the office as I had to compete in
the Area Humorous Speech and Table Topics contests. In the speech
contest, I felt I had a chance after hearing the others: a lady
speaking about her experience with online dating agencies was the most
threatening competition. I won it, and will compete in the Divisional
final (i.e. London) on 22 October.
Thursday evening and I was out for a meal and a talk with Lis, a
friend of Viv's from university. I hadn't seen Lis since David was a
baby.
We covered many wide-ranging topics, spending a lot of time talking
about cancer, our experiences and people's reaction to it. Lis's
husband John almost died from cancer a number of years ago. All in
all, however, it was a good evening and I don't wish to wait another
19 years for a repeat.
By Friday night, I was well ready to go home. Saturday was spent in
the morning at Alder Hey, as Christopher had more chemotherapy poisons
pumped into him, while in the afternoon we went to the debut of Messy
Church. The evening was quieter. Christopher was tired.
Sunday: the usual, with Isaac's fourth birthday party in the
afternoon. After that, a walk to church for the evening service.
And overnight, the news that RBS, HBOS and LTSB are going to have an
enormous injection of capital from the Government, and that Goodwin
will be leaving, possibly also joined by Hornby and Blank.
Elsewhere, RBNZ has announced that they are making a U-turn on what
has been a major plank of their policy: that depositor protection will
lead to moral hazard, as banks take risks that they would otherwise
not have taken because of the state safety net. And now, they announce
free insurance for retail depositors up to $5bn and at 10bp per anum
(sic) after that.
So it is with a heavy heart that I travel from Bromborough to Chester,
Crewe, Stafford, Euston and Liverpool Street.
What next?

The problem from beginning to end stems from greed, but I'm not sure
that many have made the obvious theological connection.
  • Current Mood
    exhausted exhausted
black king

Greed

Greed is good. So said Mrs Thatcher, but it has torn apart our
society. Preachers speak out against homosexuality, but greed is
usually listed alongside it in the scriptures.
Why did people invest in a lump of lava on the borders of the Arctic
and Atlantic Oceans? Because they could get an extra 2% and didn't
think about the fact that a higher reward was combined with a higher
risk.
Wrong: We must get the highest return possible for our ratepayers' money.
Right: We must act in a fiscally responsible manner with our ratepayers' money.
But why should the government or anyone else help people who lost
their money. Interest is not a reward for saving money: it is a reward
for lending your money to the bank and an acknowledgment of the risk
that you might not get it back.
Take another recent investment: the £1000 at 100-1 on Red Crocodile at
the 4.20 at Sandown Park. As it tuirned out, it came fifth. But nobody
wanted to compensate the people who had taken notice of the tipsters.
What's the difference? Don't forget that lots of people refer to the
lottery as "my pension fund".
And that is what it is all about. The desire for reward without risk,
and for unmitigated greed.
On a related theme, remember Bob Dylan: steal a little and they throw
you in jail, steal a lot and they make you king.
  • Current Mood
    thoughtful thoughtful