Let Me Count The Ways

Posted on: 18th May 2011

Originally posted on the 25th March 2009

So what’s the odd squillion between friends?

The global recession has now produced numbers beyond the outer stratosphere of our knowing. Must MPs, bog-eyed or paralysed by the confusing array of references to £25 billion fiscal packages, £118 billion budget deficits and now a $1 trillion (that’s $1,000,000,000,000) rescue plan in the U.S. now anxiously seek safe refuge by impossibly comparing with the ‘2 Bob a week’ pocket money of their youth.

Having been fiscally stimulated to the eyebrows and quantitatively eased into a possibly false sense of security, the Governor of the Piggy Bank of England rushed over to the Palace of Westminster to tell us that we’d had the last throw of the dice. There was nothing left in the kitty. Hoping, praying and spending wisely, were the only things left. Daddy couldn’t bail out and printing toy town money just wasn’t an option.

The figures Parliament has been asked to comprehend sound closer to infinity than the rudimentary lives most of us experience. Even those who share the lifestyle of the fabulously rich are humbled by the figures.

So where should we seek advice when dealing with the billions, trillions and quadrillions which are part of the lexicon of Parliamentary discourse these days? Some might suggest the casino style Bankers who got us into this fine mess in the first place.

I think not. And whilst many Parliamentarians may be terrified by the multitude of zeros after the large numbers we are being asked to get our heads around, it’s probably better that they relate these challenges to their childhood days when, hopefully, the culture cautiousness associated with the piggy bank would be a better advisor than the short termist excessive risk takers in the city who dropped us in the pooh we’re now trying to get out of.