Friday, March 10, 2006

Ramsay's Superpower Nightmares

OK, I admit it. Much as I dislike the genre, I confess to watching one reality TV show.

So, there I was watching Gordon’s Kitchen Nightmares earlier this week. And there he was trying to save a restaurant that was serving meals prepared by a man who couldn’t cook, taken from a menu of bizarre food combinations created by his girlfriend who couldn’t cook either.

They didn’t have a fucking clue.

But, hey, that’s why Joe Public watches reality TV. Deep down people want to watch other people taking a risk, fucking up and demonstrating once again that it’s better to sit on your arse watching television rather than try to make a success of something.

And this week’s episode of Kitchen Nightmares was primo fodder.

At one point, we were treated to the sight of a woman, weighed down by crippling debt, facing up to the stark fact that neither she nor her boyfriend had the faintest idea about running a restaurant.

She started to cry


My first reaction was to have little sympathy for her.

What kind of retard borrows a huge slab of cash to launch a business without knowing the first thing about that business anyway?

My follow up reaction was a little more considered.

What kind of financial institution lends money to a retard looking to start a business without knowing the first thing about that business anyway?

And there’s rather a lot of that kind of behaviour going on right now. And it’s not just businesses either.

When I was a kid I was encouraged to start a small savings account as soon as possible. Not just to get into the saving habit but also to build up a history with a bank or building society so that it would look favourably on me when the time came to take a mortgage out.

Well, that’s all gone into the toilet hasn’t it?

Old fashioned nonsense...

But not to worry, most of the huge borrowing bubble that we in Britain and the States are sitting on is secured against property, so everything’s fine. The media repeats that comforting rationalisation frequently. What everyone seems to be forgetting is that house prices can go tits up virtually overnight, debts don’t.

An even if, for the first time in human history, house prices don’t fall at some point there’s still the vexed issue of meeting the repayments. Never mind about paying off their debts, there’s a huge and growing slab of people who can’t even service their interest obligations.

Hence the rise and rise of the debt consolidation business

Gather up all your debts into one easy debt!

I particularly like the way that so many of these debt consolidation outfits are no more than front organisations for the major banks. The sleazy fucks.

The nice people in the debt consolidation industry will reduce your monthly payments by the simple expedient of converting all your short-term loans into a single, convenient, 25 year loan and they’ll be even nicer by offering to top up your debt with a bit more borrowing so you can go on a nice holiday before settling down to a lifetime of debt slavery.


But hey if the largest superpower on Earth can get by living like that why shouldn’t the average punter?

I find watching real time representations of the ballooning US deficit, like this one and this one, quite hypnotic.

Of course, there are some people who believe this kind of existence can be perpetuated virtually forever by the simple expedient of borrowing, or printing, more and more and more. The fun part with this kind of voodoo economics comes when, just like your average common or garden pawh white trash household, your entire national income isn’t enough even meet your interest obligations let alone dreaming that you’ll ever be able to repay some of the actual debt off.

Tick tock tick tock

Gordon Ramsay for President. Now

1 comment:

Wolfie said...

Its a debt laden world :