Wednesday, October 8, 2008


So what do you do, as was the case yesterday, when the bank that has been looking after your modest rainy day savings suddenly freezes the account - this is the money you have put by in case the roof blows off or the boiler dies one cold day in December or even both at once - and reports indicate that your cash, your security, your thin financial cushion, has disappeared down a large black hole somewhere in Reykjavik and may not be seen again?

The first reaction was victim guilt. I had obviously done something wrong, had lusted after the relatively high interest rates dangled in front of me and had committed an unforgiveable error of judgement.

Then anger. Then clodding fear.

Evening. I phoned my sister, who reminded me that I have a roof over my head and food in the cupboard. She also made me laugh.

Today I picked up the camera and deliberately decided for the sake of sanity to pay attention to the moment as I walked to work. Any serenity I could hope to find during the coming twenty-four hours would be as a result of living second by second.

On a morning like this, surprisingly easy.

At work I made coffee for my colleagues and sat down at the desk. The phone rang. The boss calling from home. She had just heard on the radio that The Chancellor of the Exchequer is going to look after me and my 300,000 or so compatriots in the same boat. All this on the same day that my fellow taxpayers and I apparently took ownership of every bank in the country. Crazy.

Yes. I am relieved. Very. Aware of my personal good fortune and embarrassed to be in this situation. Goodness knows what is happening to our world, economically and politically, right now but hopefully it might be at least a partial cleaning out of some pretty filthy Augean stables and not simply total madness.

Me, I am a bit more awake than I was last Monday.


Zhoen said...

Empathy for our grandparents, who survived various financial crashes. I'm sorry you went through that. I think I'll go read Making Money -Terry Pratchett, again.

herhimnbryn said...

Oh mm, what an awful day for you. Glad it came good.

Dale said...

Whew. Now if only the governments can stay solvent :-)

Krissie said...

I think its 'jolted' the whole world! just worried about the ripple effect of it now! glad yours was sorted though...its a very worrying time.

mm said...

Thanks everyone.

Zhoen: I keep thinking of my father who ended up with a very cautious attitude to money. I am sure the times he lived through had an effect.

HHB: So am I ... for now anyway.

Dale: Yes indeed!

WW: Fingers crossed for us all.

leslee said...

Ach, it's crazy. I wonder now if I'd sold my condo a year or two ago and put the money into the market if I'd have lost it all. Of course the condo isn't worth nearly as much any more. Just hoping my tenants keep their jobs and continue to pay rent while we all wait this out. So much out of our control.

Sky said...

so so sorry for the anxiety. and just as glad that it seems resolved.

hubby came home with a report on his 401K retirement fund this week. he had moved it to the most conservative fund he could find within the parameters of the brokerage company he uses to manage it. until tuesday things looked pretty good. however, by the end of this week even the conservative fund had done a big dip, and he lost about 10% of his investment. which way to go? it is all quite scary. so many people we know have lost so much. i keep hoping things will even out over time if we just sit still, but who knows?!

mm said...

Leslee: Your last line says it all. We can only learn from what has happened and if possible control our reactions to it. Not always easy!

Sky: It is a worldwide thing isnt it? Sitting tight seems to be the main option right now. All the best to hubby and you in this situation thanks for the good wishes.