Thursday, August 21, 2008

"Put the session back in recession"

A friend of mine who likes beer and words came out with that line the other night and there is a certain, probably unintended, wisdom therein.

The bad news is relentless. Unemployment up to 5.1% as of today. The weather has everyone suffering from SAD. People who are interested in share prices and house prices are sitting aghast as they watch money they thought was there disappear into thin air. It was an optical illusion, of course, it wasn't really there in the first place.

But there was a time when Irish people knew how to enjoy themselves. Have we all become so obsessed with money that we have forgotten how to have a good time? As far as I can see, the sky hasn't fallen in yet (it just looks like it is getting lower because of the clouds, but the monsoon season will be over soon). Are we turning into germans or Belgians or something? Where has our positivity gone?

I personally think it is something of a relief that the property bubble has burst, we can now focus our energies on something a bit more productive. The credit crunch will pass and we can settle into a medium term future of lower expectations, lower economic growth and less conspicuous consumption. Houses will end up back at more affordable levels for those who want to buy and sell.

So I propose we raise a glass to the bad old days, when we spent the money in our pocket rather than the money left on our credit card. By all means you can go and shop in Lidl, if you like that sort of thing (some people are taking a bit too much pride in it), but you can also go for lunch, meet your friends for a pint or a glass of wine. Go out, enjoy yourself, have a laugh. Put the session back in recession.

Roll on September, that's what I say, when the weather is only as bad as we expect, the schools are back, the Olympics will be over and we can put this "summer" behind us.

Rant over. Cheers!