Saturday, 31 January 2009

What's on the menu for today?

This mornings newspaper reports on the economy are full of doom and gloom after the 3.8% fall in US GDP numbers reported yesterday. One usually sensible commentator in the UK press has written an article this morning in the London Times asking what happens if things carry on deteriorating at this rate for ever. This dire outlook only serves to reinforce my belief that in countries with a vibrant press - the US, the UK and Ireland for example - the media unwittingly fuel the sense of impending gloom with their baleful reporting and alarmist headlines. It is as if in the anglo-saxon world we have moved en masse from a sense of optimism to one where Armageddon lies just around the corner. The worst case becomes the norm because it makes much better copy than optimism. It seems to me just as likely that after a horrible first and second quarter things will start to slowly improve by the late fall and the huge funds allocated to stimulating the economy will begin to bear fruit by the end of the year. A horrible 2009? Yes. Q1 GDP down 6% and Q2 down 4% ? Yes. More bank bailouts ? Yes. The end of civilisation? No. I for one intend to start looking for the first green shoots of spring although they may not sprout until next year.

Lovely start to the day here. At first light Wilf was off down the drive in pursuit of adventure. There was a quite thick frost this morning so he had a fun time using his paws to smash the ice that had formed on the puddles overnight. Don't tell me that humans are alone among God's creatures in knowing how to have fun!

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