29 May, 2012


Let the good times roll -- again

The economy is on the upturn. The recession is over. How do I know this? Because I have just had a credit card offer through the door.

Dear Mr Greenwood,

You have been personally pre-selected to apply for our LiveNow PayNever Visa card.

I.M. Knott-à-Crouque
UK Welcome Team

Haven't had one of those for a while. During the magic years when the boom-bust cycle had, apparently, been abolished by Gordon and inexhaustible supplies of money grew in server farms, I came to expect several such offers a week. Came the Credit Crunch® and all of a sudden there was a blissful silence, and a unaccustomed emptiness in the paper recycling bin.

Does this mean we can now go back to borrowing money from ourselves, secured against magic circular IOUs that we don't need to worry about so long as they keep moving quickly enough between financial institutions that the small print cannot be read, and so long as nobody, ever, mentions actually redeeming them (other than against a new IOU)?

No, thanks all the same, Mr Knott-à-Crouque. I do have one credit card, which these days is used almost exclusively for on-line purchases and I settle the bill in full each month. You don't want to be dealing with the likes of me.

Isn't credit a strange beast? First of all they want your business (i.e. you getting into debt) but then at the same time they don't want you to do that too much as while it makes them money in the short to medium term they worry you are 'toxic' and they lose cash in the long run.

I suppose it is manageable debt that they want you have. Perky, as it were, but not full on in-your-face-pig amounts.

Mind you, I am always reminded of the old saying: Borrow ten thousand and you have a problem. Borrow ten million and the banks have a problem

"I do have one credit card, which these days is used almost exclusively for on-line purchases", likewise but mine is not a credit card since I can only spend what is in the account as a positive balance.

I got rid of all my debt some years ago since I got fed up with working for Mr Barclaycard as well as the Taxman.

The entire process by which credit card companies send people offers is totally mysterious - like a riddle wrapped inside an enigma so to speak.

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