Down, down, deeper and down... How Status Quo lyrics reflect share price tumble
For some reason, I seem to entitle many of the articles I write
with the names of the pop songs of yesteryear.
“Reasons to be Cheerful” and “I should be so Lucky” a la Ian
Dury and Kylie Minogue have both found their way into larger font
at the top of the page and now I give centre stage to Francis Rossi
(pictured left with Rick Parfitt).
However, it is only in an ironic sense for there is no more
Status Quo in the world of banking and high finance – a theme which
I take up now and indeed a theme which I find myself returning to
time and again on these pages.
As I write, share prices tumble day on day, down, down, deeper
and down - and that goes for Mr Zuckerberg’s fanfared launch on the
NYSE with Facebook.
I do not get much of a postbag; the occasional email here and
there. But when I write about banks and bankers it is as if a dam
is breached and I am deluged with opinions from people who have
incurred some misfortune at the hands of the banks.
Their business was either ruined by the banks calling in loans
or their business could not grow because the banks were not lending
any money. It seems that the high street bank manager and even the
regional corporate chap is damned if he does and damned if he
I am interested in banking right now, not because of the
imminent Grexit – Greece leaving the Eurozone – nor indeed Moody’s
downgrading of 16 Spanish Banks, Santander included. I write
instead of a lost glorious opportunity.
A few weeks ago, just around the time of the enforced Merkozy
divorce, when Frau Angela was forced to go Dutch (or Hollande at
least), a big banking event seemed to pass by unnoticed in the
midst of the latest Euro crisis. The banking event of which I speak
should have been such a big story, but it did little more than make
the ticker tape and the foot of the screen on Sky News.
And what is this big banking story I hear you asking? Well, only
that the Royal Bank of Scotland paid back all the money it borrowed
from the government.
It was a re-capitalisation project that many of us thought was
nothing more than a soft loan that would never get repaid. Yet here
we are four years on from the 2008 catastrophe and RBS has paid
back £163bn to the British taxpayer.
So, Up, Up and Away in my Beautiful Balloon (payment) it is.
Let’s hope that those banks which have been forgiven are as
forgiving with their customers in the months ahead.