Category: the economy

Will the slow economic slide slip into an avalanche?

November 10, 2011 | By | Add a Comment

The Nurse slept in someone’s garden shed last night, on the outskirts of Barnsley.

Wrapping herself in a few dusty grain sacks and making a rudimentary bed from piles of old newspaper, she had a decent night’s sleep for the first time since breaking free from the nuthouse.

Even better, some silly bugger had left a wind-up radio in there so she spent a happy hour listening to the news.

The Nurse owns nothing except the clothes she’s standing up in. Actually they are so filthy right now they’re standing up on their own. So the news of the economy’s relentless slide into chaos doesn’t affect her much. She has nothing to lose and things really can’t get much worse. But, despite being unfettered by a sense of human empathy, she realises the future’s looking pretty grim for normal people.

She has a lot of time to think. Heading steadily south towards Sussex, her home county, she’s busy processing the news. Setting off this morning, after a breakfast of muddy puddle-water and half a packet of ancient fig biscuits filched from a litter bin, she’s formulating her own theory about the economic meltdown.

The Nurse predicts that the slide will continue and worsen. Greece is fucked. Italy is teetering on the edge of being fucked. And more European countries are sliding closer to the yawning chasm as a result, dragged down by Greece and Italys’ disastrous gravitational pull. The old order is dying. Capitalism is broken.  The Occupy Movement is a powerful force for change. The USA is descending into an ugly morass of anti-science and creationism. China is fast coming to the fore as a new superpower, as is India.

Is all this a bad thing? The Nurse thinks not. Yes, loads of people will suffer terribly when things eventually go completely belly up. But the way the world economy worked before the crash was fundamentally flawed and something had to give.

The Nurse is prepared for the pain. In fact she’s looking forward to it. Pain is good. She foresees a new, more honest, realistic, fair world economy built on rock, not sand.

Despite being grubby and tattered, broke and half starved, on the run and desperate, and minging to high heaven (Jesus, she stinks), The Nurse is happy.

Left, right, left, right, left, right… she marches onwards.

New ways to run your business… it’s HR magic!

October 14, 2010 | By | Add a Comment

The Nurse has come across some cool research about getting the right people into the right jobs. 

Have you ever had a really crap boss? A complete tit? If so, a recent study claims it’s probably because they’ve been promoted above and beyond their capability.

OK, they were probably pretty good at their original job. But that doesn’t mean they’ll automatically be equally competent at the next role up. Or the one above that.

How to get rid of dreadful performers who’ve been shunted off to a middle management backwater and left, lingering, to drive everyone in their vicinity mad? Revise pay scales and structures so upward promotion isn’t the only way to get ahead. And recognise when someone’s in the best place, where they do the most good and cause the least mayhem.

How often have you sat there and fumed because your managers have promoted the worst possible candidate? In some countries promotion is much more consensual than in others. How cool would it be if you could choose your own boss, or pick the best person for a particular job instead of leaving it to Management?

Recent research shows that people working at the proverbial coal face are the best at making successful internal promotion decisions. Apparently when you hire your own superiors you stand a half decent chance of working happy every after.

It’s a shame it won’t happen here. The Nurse knows the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of her captors inside out. She’s an insidious type, lurking in prison corridors listening to gossip in case anything comes in handy for blackmail. If she could just get her favourite screws (that’s prison officers, for US readers) into key management positions she’d be out of this shithole in seconds.

(Thanks to for the image!)

What a load of bankers

October 12, 2010 | By | Add a Comment

The Nurse is getting very tired of people moaning because they face spending cuts. And she could cheerfully strangle the world’s bankers in their sleep.

Most of us enjoyed the so-called good times, spending money like water and borrowing like bastards. So we have to pay for the consequences. Spending deficits this size don’t go away like magic. If you’re having a moan-up just shut your short sighted, selfish face. We’re all in the same boat.

While she’s at it, The Nurse would like to ask the UK Government to stop blaming the previous government for the state of the economy. They’re doing everyone a serious disfavour by forgetting whose fault it really was… the banks.

It’s ironic really. The banks got us into this mess through greed, intellectual laziness, short sightedness and rank stupidity. Now the countries who have suffered most from bankers’ actions are having a hard time borrowing enough to save themselves from disaster. Why? Because international commercial bank lending rates are so high. Worse still, most high street banks seem to have forgotten it’s their job to lend money to ordinary folk and small businesses.

What, The Nurse wonders, will our delightful global financial community do next in the interests of bringing the world economy to its knees? She dreads to think.

General Motors failure ‘Darwinian’?

June 1, 2009 | By | 4 Comments

evolutionAdapt and evolve… or die

Economics and Darwinism  have a lot in common. 

The Nurse has been keeping a weather eye on General Motors for a few years now – ensconced in clink at Her Majesty’s Pleasure – and she isn’t surprised they’ve gone belly up.  

Over the past decade GM resisted positive change on a spectacular scale. While many Americans turned to smaller, fuel-efficient vehicles, GM continued to focus on gas guzzling monsters. Perhaps they were too big to change quickly enough. Or too arrogant. Or too inflexible.  Or too short sighted.

Whatever the reasons, this is a sad day. The death of GM presents a salutory tale. To survive and thrive in the long term – just like living creatures – businesses need to stay lean, nimble and flexible. Or risk extinction.