The Independent ran a rather sobering piece in their weekend’s business analysis section where they’ve tried to put down some statistics around what has changed in the year of the Credit Crunch. Although half of the article looks at financial markets and business implications, the latter half brings it back to the effect on everyday people – from losing their homes to listening to the Smiths!
Ratings agency Standard & Poors has estimated that as many as three million homes are worth less than their owners paid for them. Last year 25,000 homes were repossessed; the gloomiest estimates suggest that figure could almost double in 2008.
…Personal bankruptcy figures have soared by more than 30 per cent on the same time last year, with insolvency practitioners forecasting that things are set to get much worse. Britain’s savings ratio has now dipped to its lowest level in close to 50 years.
…With less cash in our pockets, many foresee meltdown on the high street. In the second quarter of the year, there were 98 profit warnings from UK listed companies, 13 per cent of which came from general retailers.
Although peering at the world through the bottom of a pint glass may be preferable for some, fewer people are turning to alcohol to get through the rigours of the crunch, with pub beer sales slumping by more than 10 per cent last quarter, compared to the same period last year. Brits now sup 1.2 million fewer pints each day compared to 2007.
Beer sales may be down but on effect of the crunch, say some reports, is that Viagra sales are on the up as people whose sex lives have been blighted by financial worries look to the wonder drug.
…The credit crunch was cited as the reason for the recent cancellation of a dance music festival in Leeds. The website TheFilter.com recently said that the number of people listening to downbeat music from the likes of Morrissey and The Smiths has soared in the past months too. Heaven knows we’re miserable now!