Wednesday, February 18, 2009

National Savers Day ...

At a time when inflation exceeds the national target of 2%, the Bank of England is introducing quantitative easing to solve our economic mess. This is akin to pouring oil onto a road in order to slow down a speeding car. 

Whilst the long term effect of high (and hopefully not hyper) inflation compared to savings returns will eventually resolve the crisis it won't be until a combination of a weakening internal economy, weakening currency and core inflation has helped dig a deeper hole. We should therefore at least spend a moments thought for the ordinary folks whose life savings will become worth a lot less (hopefully not worthless) in the process.

Rather than raising taxes, the savings of common people will be used to bail us out of an economic abyss created by some of our wealthiest citizens combined with some very dogmatic and rather foolish economic policies. Of course, the very approach of quantitative easing will help support stock and house prices (temporarily) which bizarrely enough are things that those people who will be out of work and the most careful of savers don't tend to own a lot of. 

So trebles all around for wealthy gamblers and as for your common ordinary savers ... well, the least we should do is to have a national holiday to say thanks.

Thank you savers for keeping within your means, being careful with money, saving up for a rainy day and then bailing out the rest of us when we've blown all the future cash. Whilst your savings might crumble on the bright side it will maintain house prices you can't afford and stocks you didn't buy. So, thank you.

Lastly, a friend asked me to provide a short definition for quantitative easing.
"Quantitative easing is a fiscal laxative best avoided when your economy is already in the toilet."

Or in other words, when you're in a hole ... stop digging! And no, by digging a deeper hole you won't be able to magically back fill the hole you've already created with the new earth you've just dug. It doesn't work like that.

Update 9th May 2013

Warren Buffet says he feels sorry for savers - ah, what kind words. That must warm the heart of the savers out there as they're looking at the cat food tins and asking "is it edible?"

Update 5th August 2013

I do think the Government should bring in a range of issues for the five year old "granny bonds" (NS&I Inflation Linked Certificates) even with a low maximum capital (i.e. £100K) so that some of the least well off savers don't get utterly mutilated by what is about to start to unfold.