Tuesday, September 16, 2008

'Meltdown Monday'

The way to work this morning was just that little bit slower, fewer smiles than usual, less eye contact.

Suddenly being in one of the world's big financial capitals wasn't quite as lucrative as it had been.

Don't get me wrong, I have little or no sympathy for the well-paid suits who have cashed their bonuses (at our long-term expense) during the good times of the economy, but feel immensely for the human cost of those lower down the corporate chain - the secretaries, the cleaners, those on or not far from minimum wage levels who will feel the pain of losing their jobs this week and not being paid for the hard work they have already put in.

I believe strongly in entrepreneurship, in working hard, in striking out on your own and developing business and creating real wealth, but I'm not an all-out buccaneering free market capitalist because people are more important and it's the human cost - the job losses, the home repossessions, the associated stress and health problems - that hits me most.

The market will eventually correct itself, but the fall out from the failures of an unregulated banking system understood not even by those in the industry will affect every man, woman and child in the country. We simply can't let this happen again.

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