Thursday 3 February 2011

Who exactly are "They"

"They" are beginning to get on my nerves.

"They" didn't manage to predict the global credit collapse, the biggest financial disaster in living memory.
"They" were still recommending that investors bought RBS shares at £5.85 each in 2007
"They" Seemed to think Lloyds and HBOS were pretty sound too.

Trouble is, "They" then held us to ransom over credit ratings. "They" said we had to cut, cut, cut, to pay for the mistakes "They" didn't predict. "They" warned of Armageddon if we didn't take their advice. (Funny though, I thought Armageddon was what we just narrowly managed to avoid?) "They" even wrote open letters to the papers, suggesting who we vote for.

"They" predicted growth of 2.6% for 2011, but then they changed their minds to 2.1%
"They" thought that 490,000 public sector workers - police officers, nurses, firefighters - would lose their jobs this parliament, but then decided it would only (only!) be 330,000 after all.
"They" even predicted that unemployment would fall every year from 2011 to 2015.

For what it's worth (not much apparently) "They" think Little-Lord-Osborne is on the right track with all of this austerity business and it'll all come out in the wash. (The "wash" being just in time for the next election.)

Most recently "They" all predicted growth in the final quarter of 2010 of between 0.1 and 0.7%. In fact the economy shrank by 0.5%

There are hundreds more - literally hundreds I could list, but from the above, can anyone tell me exactly why we listen to a single word "They" say? On what basis do "They" make these ludicrous predictions? How did they build up any reputation at all? If I constantly got things so spectacularly wrong, I think I'd throw in the towel - accept that I was actually pretty rubbish at predictions.

It's funny too, because loads of my friends saw the credit crash coming - two sold their houses and paid off their credit cards. I distinctly remember a taxi driver telling me (as taxi drivers will) that we were all borrowing way too much. There were those two drunk blokes in the pub too, saying the housing bubble had to burst pretty soon.

Now, aren't "They" often bankers and accountants and business leaders? So the very ones advising us are the one's that got us in this mess in the first place? Cunning.

Shall we all give them a few tips right now for free? It seems only fair - "They" need us. I'll kick off - I'll say unemployment will in fact rise every year until 2015, clearing 3 million and leaving it for dust. There. Lets see how I do shall I? I would do more (I have plenty) but they're all too depressing and I don't want to "talk down the economy." (See, there was a coded hint for "Them" right there). Have a go! Leave your own "predictions" in the comments below - I bet we do better than "Them."


  1. I won't make a prediction, but I have to say your friends' predictive ability made me laugh.
    An acquaintance of mine actually said, at the end of 2007, "I'm not buying a house just now, I'm going to wait till the market crashes". Plenty of people saw the crunch coming far enough in advance to actually *act upon it*, to make *real-life decisions* based on the prediction. I really don't think that counts as "no-one saw it coming".

    Spot on.

  2. Even my dad saw the crash coming. He'd been banging on for a couple of years that the savings ratio had been declining and that private and corporate indebtedness was going through the roof and this was unsustainable. Not bad for a mad Tory accountant.

    Which raises the interesting question. Why didn't the Labour government see it coming? An end to boom and bust anyone?

  3. Tut, tut Stephen - Point scoring? Only I think GB DID argue for tighter regulation but a certain Mr O ridiculed the idea?

    "They" was not exclusive!! You can include Gordon, Gideon and old Uncle Tom Cobbly and all.

  4. Prediction:

    "They" will be listened to by our frightened rabbit politicians, particularly those in the coalition, and "they" will continue to be wrong.

    "They" are not predicting at all; "they" are attempting to influence the week-kneed so that "they" might benefit from the creative chaos which "they" have caused.

    "I" on the other hand am a hardened old cynic who doesn't believe a word "they" say.

  5. I'm sorry Sue. I forgot that all comments must be made in a spirit of absolute BBC-like impartiality. As are all posts and articles. Tut, tut to me. :P

  6. Glad to hear a Tory thinks the BBC is impartial.

  7. I don't think the BBC is overly partial. I do think they're lazy a lot of the time and just support whatever rubbish is the received wisdom without bothering to question more. But that is a very different complaint.


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