Re­ces­sion? I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to it

The Jewish Chronicle - - FEATURES - YADA YADA SI­MON ROUND

ISAW A story on the news last night about how for the first time in years there had been a mar­ginal drop in house prices. But why, I won­dered was this story be­ing de­liv­ered in the grave tone re­served for the death of the Queen Mother or the dis­cov­ery of foot and mouth dis­ease in the en­tire na­tional flock?

Surely, peo­ple should be jump­ing for joy. Af­ter all, mil­lions are un­able to af­ford a house. The price of a fourbed­roomed de­tached house in 1992 wouldn’t buy a top-floor flat in a high-rise coun­cil block over­look­ing a land­fill site on the out­skirts of Grimsby to­day.

Th­ese days, most peo­ple have a prop­erty which is worth sev­eral times what they paid for it and their chil­dren are find­ing it vir­tu­ally im­pos­si­ble to get a foot on the hous­ing lad­der.

So what is ev­ery­one scared of? As far as I can make out, the very worst that can hap­pen is that the slight cor­rec­tion in hous­ing prices turns into a ma­jor hous­ing slump, trig­ger­ing off a huge rise in re­pos­ses­sions, a mas­sive in­crease in un­em­ploy­ment and ul­ti­mately global re­ces­sion.

I’m not so sure that would be such a bad thing. I have plenty of eq­uity in my house so un­less prices were to plunge 400 per cent I could still sell for a profit. I might even get the op­por­tu­nity to move to the slightly fancier end of Palmers Green. Sure, some in­no­cent fam­ily will be kicked on to the streets by the bailiffs to ac­com­mo­date me, but, hey, it’s a harsh world out there.

Of course, I wouldn’t want to be one of those queue­ing up at the Job Cen­tre. But jour­nal­ism is usu­ally one of the few growth ar­eas in a re­ces­sion. Peo­ple want to read about how bad things are get­ting. Then there are all those green-shoots-of-re­cov­ery pieces when ev­ery­one is re­ally de­pressed. And if all else fails, what peo­ple re­ally crave is a lit­tle es­capism in the man­ner of a silly col­umn to read af­ter Shab­bat din­ner.

And any­way, speak­ing as some­one who re­mem­bers the last great re­ces­sion in the early ’90s, it wasn’t so bad any­way. I might have had holes in my Levi 501s and a leak in my Doc Martens but, be­lieve me, life were grand in them days.

For in­stance, I re­mem­ber wan­der­ing down to Crouch End, in North Lon­don, in 1992 to see about buy­ing a flat. Es­tate agents were hov­er­ing out­side their of­fices at­tempt­ing to lure me in with the prospect of a ridicu­lously cheap prop­er­ties. The area was bound to come up they said. Next time, I will be­lieve them.

Some things were the same of course. Eng­land were a year away from not qual­i­fy­ing for the World Cup, the coun­try was be­ing gov­erned rather shak­ily by some­one who had re­cently taken over from a long-term Prime Min­is­ter and the Chan­cel­lor had, erm, grey hair.

I’m look­ing for­ward to Black Wed­nes­day mark two. With a bit of luck I will ma­noeu­vre my­self on to the trad­ing floor and be the next Ge­orge Soros. Mean­while, as house prices hit the floor I will be on hand to hoover up all those re­pos­sessed man­sions so as to turn my­self into a hugely wealthy land­lord.

And if all the fac­to­ries close down, car­bon emis­sions will drop, ev­ery­one will stop wor­ry­ing about global warm­ing and there might even be some­thing more in­ter­est­ing to watch on the news.

Any­way, bet­ter go. I’ve got to find a rave to go to to­mor­row night.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.