10 Reasons to welcome the credit crunch


Written by Amiera Sawas
17 Monday 17th November 2008


1. If it wasn’t for the ‘economic crisis’, Obama might not have been elected.

Far and above Obama’s success at campaigning, it is widely accepted that his real lead in the polls began after the fall of Lehman Brothers. John McCain’s proclamation that “The fundamentals of our economy are strong” highlighted (thank god) his complete misunderstanding of the cause of the crisis. Namely, it showed eight years (and more) of short-sighted US economic policy and the absurdity of the US subprime housing market.




2. The best music comes during times of economic gloom

Punk came about during the doom and gloom of 70’s England when the economy was so weak that Jim Callaghan had to ask the International Monetary Fund for help (the IMF was set up during the Bretton Woods consensus of 1944 to be the lender of last resort, in order to prevent any global macroeconomic consequences from one country’s hardship). To put it lightly, times were miserable for the young working class, and public spending was at an all time low. The prevailing discontent was reflected in the music that emerged, with acts like the Buzzcocks, the Sex Pistols and The Clash.

Then, in the 80’s, Thatcher’s Britain was characterised by three million unemployed and an attack on the power of trade unions. This hit the inner city working class quite hard and this sentiment was championed by the likes of The Smiths (Shoplifters of the World Unite and Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now) and The Jesus and Mary Chain.

3. We can get flights to America for eight pounds!!

I’ve always wanted to go to New York, but have never been able to afford to get there. However, now I can go there for eight measly pounds! I kid you not; Ryan Air plan to provide this jaw-dropping deal with all credit to the economic crisis! As less people can afford to fly, its competitors have been struggling and selling planes off for cheap to Ryan Air. God bless the Irish!

Funny plane

4. International systems will become more accountable

Inevitably, the whole international economy has got to be overhauled. There is so much blame attributed to the loose, unregulated lending that caused our current predicament that only way forward is a stricter, more regulated global economy. What this means is that global banks and decision makers will have to be more transparent in their processes (hopefully), and more accountable for the problems they cause in the future (hopefully).

Fat yeah

5. If we can’t afford the bus or the taxi, we have to walk.

Doctors (and Jamie Oliver) having been telling us for years that we are an overweight nation; we need to stop being so lazy and get off our arses more. I can’t think of a better opportunity to kick us into gear: food prices have gone up 15 percent and travel is expensive enough already. If we can’t afford the food we can go without. If we can’t afford the bus, we can walk. The credit crunch could be the trigger for a whole new, trim UK.

6. It’s better for the environment

Been sitting in the dark lately? Afraid if you have the heating on for more than an hour a day you’ll face the terror of the hefty winter gas bill? Well the environment says thanks!



7. It’s good for world peace

The fact that global economics provides the greatest form of interdependency among the world’s nations means that they all have a profound reason to actually work together. Clearly war, impending environmental doom and humanitarian catastrophes aren’t sufficient to encourage nations to work together in harmony, perhaps the ‘crisis’ will be. Hopefully US president elect Obama will delve into peaceful negotiations with Iran and Syria.


8. The unemployed have the incentive to do some voluntary work

Well, maybe I’m just idealistic. But the thousands of people made redundant or unemployed are going to have to do something with their spare time. Struggling do-gooder organisations have been provided a whole new workforce. Applications for volunteering at my previous charity (www.ICT-uk.org) have shot up tenfold.

9. People have started reading again

I have to admit, I am one of those people that sneers at the fact that people would rather watch mindless soap-operas or play video games than read books. For people like me there’s good news - book sales are up significantly because people are saving money by staying at home more often and reading. Even sales of Immanuel Kant are up, which I have to say I’m happy about - there is never enough Kant, especially as he promotes a more cosmopolitan (universal) sentiment across the world.


10. No more Howard from the Halifax!

Okay, maybe it’s a bit cruel, but come on – how much do you loathe Howard?


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