Editor’s blog: Heading for zero

So down we go by one per cent. Zero is now just a matter of months away. Free money – hurrah.

I promise I’ll never write about mortgages again, but… Thanks to an amazing deal for which my IFA – who believe it or not goes by the name of Colin Powell – signed me up, I’m on base rate plus 0.23%. And it’s neither capped not collared, i.e. it can go right down to the bottom and my monthly repayments will keep falling.

I’m not wishing to sound smug, but I can’t be the only one who has a few more readies at the moment. Those of us who are fortunate enough still to be in jobs actually have more disposable income in our pockets than a year ago. Petrol is falling in price rapidly, so is food (I only wish childcare costs would head south, but they never ever will).

Yet we’re still in economic freefall because people aren’t spending. It is odd. But it’s all down to confidence: I know we need a new TV, and it would be nice to have one before Christmas, but my new austerity-style hairshirt is telling me to make the old one last a bit longer. This recession may be real, but it’s also very profoundly in the mind. We have a very bad case of The Glums.

One of my trickier assigments this week has been to appear on BBC Breakfast TV advising viewers on how to avoid the chop when the jobs axe comes round at work. I think I did OK, but to be honest I was a bit stumped. Short of making yourself utterly indispensable and not throwing up over the MD at the Christmas party, it’s pretty much out of most people’s hands.

What’s so grim is that there’s very little most individuals can do in the short term to avoid getting the Spanish Archer (El Bow). The grim reaper tends to slash away with little discrimination, and far too often companies do it in such a ham-fisted way that they wind up losing the best individuals and retaining the dross. Then, when the upturn comes – which it will – they spend a fortune on employment agencies and headhunters getting some decent people back in through the door again. Crazy late-stage capitalism, isn’t it?


In today’s bulletin:

Bank slashes rates by another 1%
Morrisons trounces Tesco with 8% sales hike
House prices plunge nearly 3% in November
Editor’s blog: Heading for zero
Denise Kingsmill: the end for alpha males?