How to stoke the fire of an economic crisis

Lesson 1: Call yourself Andrew Verity.

Lesson 2: Get a job as financial journalist on BBC Radio Five Live.

Lesson 3: Join in an interview with the Chief Secretary to the Treasury live on air.

Lesson 4: Ask said politician if they have heard talk/rumour that a European Bank is bust.

Lesson 5: When said lightweight politician avoids giving a straight answer, ask the question a couple more times.

Lesson 6: Leave studio and connect to the internet.

Lesson 7: See how long it takes for the rumour to gain traction and spread around Twitter and the Blogs.


You have now successfully given a low key rumour of unknown origin a huge shot of steroids and prepared the ground for world’s biggest ‘news’ organisation to fill a news cycle with more speculation; promoting fear that the banking sector of an entire economic area, is on the verge of collapse.

9 Responses to “How to stoke the fire of an economic crisis”

  1. 1 Grumpy Old Man 01/12/2011 at 8:53 am

    yesbutnobutyes its all in the cause of celebrating the death of capitalism innit? One of the Beeb’s core values.

  2. 2 Junkk Male 01/12/2011 at 8:55 am

    It’s almost like there’s another, hidden, pillar (or two) to that educate and inform thing.

    Must be nice to be trusted so much.

    But, with great power comes… very little accountability, it seems.

  3. 3 James Murphy 01/12/2011 at 10:52 am

    Sorry AM, but on this one you appear to be out of your depth. The catastrophe that is our current illegitimate banking system is no mere rumour. Nor, contrary to disingenuous (Square Mile) belief, can you ‘talk’ a bank into insolvency. ‘Runs’ succeed only when the rumours of hopeless over-leveraging are true – to wit, Northern Rock, Lloyds, etc. Indeed, in this context, such is the inextricably interwoven nexus of toxic debt in the West that not just a few, but practically ALL of Europe’s walking-dead, High Street banks are effectively insolvent ‘Zombie’ banks. They HAVE no assets other than toxic debts which will never – can never – be repaid, other than by rifling the tax-payers’ wallets until kingdom come. This does not, of course, worry the banks, but it ought to worry you, especially if you admire the benefits which true capitalism has conferred upon the West. For what we have here is not Capitalism, which is based on competition, but precisely the opposite: a kleptocratic oligarchy whose faulty business acumen has failed them – and us – but who are nevertheless kept in power by an inverse robin Hood ethic: steal from the poor to give bank to the rich (bankers who have failed). The circularity is truly awe-inspiring! Moreover, unless and until we, the Middle Classes – a notoriously inert bunch, politically-speaking, wake up to what is being stolen from us on a daily basis I’m afraid the abyss beckons. – Certainly, the whole irredeemably corrupt system is now in its death throes, but the imminent danger is that as the corrupt body politic flails moribundly around, it will fatally injure all of us…

  4. 4 Jeremy Poynton 01/12/2011 at 11:20 am

    When Andrew grows up, he wants to be Robert Peston.

  5. 5 Paul 01/12/2011 at 1:45 pm

    I’m no fan of Andrew Verity by any means. He always asks stupid questions and feigns righteous indignation with the answer which he doesn’t like.
    However I’ve been worried about a bank run for some time now and raised the question on various blogs and was met with a variety of replies, some saying it was out of the question and others saying the opposite.
    Now I see that the possibility has been slowly gathering pace and I don’t see why transparency shouldn’t be the order of the day.
    What would you say if there was indeed a run on the banks out of the blue?
    Would you be saying “But nobody told us there could be a risk?”
    We have to prepare for the worst but hope for the best otherwise we are set to repeat the mistakes of journalists and pundits who never even considered that fifteen years of Labour hyper borrowing would lead us to the mess we’re now in.
    Anyone who might have raised the notion all those years ago would have been seen as a lunatic, heretic and not of this world.

  6. 6 napiersabre 01/12/2011 at 2:15 pm

    James Murphy – your are correct. This is not the first time in world history that this has happened and won’t be the last. The only thing that will work now is debt forgiveness and nationalisation of the banking system and starting all over. The route cause is Politics, and is where our ire should be directed. All energies directed at the banks is falling on those who won’t and can’t fix anything.

    A point about the BBC. The BBC has done a very good job of misusing terms to describe our system of government and finance. How often have we heard that Capitalism has failed. Say it often enough and Capitalism as a world becomes toxic. But what we have is not capitalism. Corporatism is a better word, and corporatism is anti competition. This is why we have no small to medium business left that can take up the slack and get the economy going again. It is why this coalition government will fail because none of those in cabinet understand jack about any of this. If they did then Tuesday would have been very different

    The BBC has also hijacked the meaning of left and right wing when describing Government. They ascribe everything to do will past dictators as being indicative of right wing behaviour and everything they like, and we as civilised people like such as free health care and education to only those left of centre. Of course nothing is free, and policy response is not what the words left a right are all about.

    Left means central control and right means dispersed control. The EU is as centralised and unaccountable as Soviet Russia ever was. But the BBC has managed to confuse everyone who is not educated, or rather I should say doesn’t take enough notice to understand what is being said. Its all part of our media existing for themselves rather than serving the public for which we pay them.

    Perhaps we should have three public service broadcasters and each month we have to vote as individuals on who gets our money. That would some get them echoing the pubic mood. Of course the other way is perhaps we should make the licence fee voluntary.

    Buy the way, the feds intervention looks as if it has run out of steam already and other indicators all point to a bad place. In some ways this is the 30’s all over again, in others it all happening much faster than then.

  7. 7 The Gray Monk 01/12/2011 at 2:45 pm

    Have to agree with napiersabre here. With no independent small to medium manufacturers to speak of left in the UK and probably even fewer independent High Street outlets, we no longer have the means to pull the economy out of the Corporatist mire.

    Interesting that Mussolini, once a Communist, then discovered that the way to wealth was “Corporatist Socialism” which is what we seem to be landed with at present. The adage “Putting all one’s eggs in one basket” springs to mind. The basket has been dropped. The only question is how many eggs have survived the fall …

  8. 8 Edward. 01/12/2011 at 7:08 pm

    We need this ‘Crystal Palace’ to shatter into a thousand, billion trillion shards.

    A house of crystal, built up through the old boy networks of corporate big mulitinational companies and ably supported and encouraged by statist politicians. All of it financed by corporate and very corrupt big banks who employed some to the most stupid nerds in the Universe, hedging and selling on debt and derivative bundles of false promises or IOUs which [they knew full well] were as worthless and the ‘paper’ they were written on – what an appalling scandal [just for this, absolute daylight robbery the system needs to crash].

    Competition has been strangled to death, capitalism in its purest and most vibrant form,ie, small business have been clobbered by red tape and asphyxiated at birth by the ‘big boys’.

    How the EU loves this ‘economic model’ the big banks supported the mad idea of a single currency. In doing so, bought trillions worth of sovereign debt, in the mistaken belief that the Empire [EU] would last a thousand years, it looks like it will not last much longer, who will shed a tear?

    The EU through, cronyism, corrupt and venal practices and deliberate incremental restrictions of electors rights and freedoms, though the progress was by stealth and therefore hardly noticed we have arrived at the juncture of the greatest financial crisis the western world has ever known.

    Crystal Palace II, is going to burn, burn big and we are spectators, we must ensure that the politicians and elites who finagled, oversaw but also, instigated this mess are brought to book.
    Additionally, we must properly ensure that real democracy is restored to the people with proper accounting of expenditures, we will be spectators no longer.

    A big change is coming, let us herald it with a stoic; “not before time, because the ‘stables’ have to cleansed of this enormous pile of stinking ‘man made excreta’ “.

  9. 9 John 02/12/2011 at 1:03 pm

    If you really want to be technical about it…..practically every bank in the “civilised” world is broke…..they have lent FAR more than they hold on deposit….in the UK they can only pay-back about 2 quid in every 100…
    So if he had asked: “is the rumour that every bank cannot pay their depositors money back true”, the answer should have been “yes”
    That’s one of the problems with getting rich by producing money, selling money, without actually having money. Sooner or later the rotating air impeller is going to become coated with solid excrement. Please do not ask who is going to be cleaning the fan.

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