Few market watchers saw this crisis coming and lots of guests we speak to at CNBC ask why we should take advice from so–called experts who didn’t predict the downturn.
So why not turn elsewhere? Earlier this month, Morgan Stanley published a report on the media industry by a 15 year-old work experience boy. In fact, everyone’s at it. I was at a Christy Moore concert in Cork City last month where the Irish folk singer adapted one of his songs to poke fun at former Irish banking chiefs.
“The little Micky Fingletons and the Seanie Fitzpatricks,
Oh them is the boys to run the bank, their wages are fantastic.
They’re hedging their bets in doubles, trebles and accumulators,
And knowing the blinkers have gone on the financial regulators.”
London rapper Dizzee Rascal also weighed in at a recent gig I went to with a new track that aptly samples the dance hit “Dirty Cash (Money Talks).”
I’m biased because Dizzee is a personal favourite of mine, but had we followed his advice in the first place we’d never be in this mess. In June 2007 Rascal released an album including the track “Industry.” It’s not strictly about the finance industry, but it may as well be. Check out these lyrics. Who wouldn’t have benefited from sticking to this motto? “Hard back, stern face, play your position and know your place. Only move when the money’s calling, take my advice you’ll be (paraphrase: doing jolly well).”
Remember all those corporate managers who let us down: Adam Applegarth at Northern Rock? Fred Goodwin at RBS? You were warned… “Find yourself a good manager who’s really got a clue…there are so many to chose from they all look the part, but it’s difficult to come across the ones that’s really smart.”
Soaring mortgage and credit card defaults? Two years ago, Dizzee urged restraint in personal leverage too. If only we’d listened.
“And another thing, buy your house before you buy your car, everyone knows that you’re gansta and that Porsche looks great, but do you really want it sitting on that council estate?”
Teenage schoolboys, aging Irish folk singers and East London rappers all seem to have something to add, but I’m sticking with Dizzee Rascal and a final piece of advice that we can take on board. “Why don’t you just kick back, be jolly. Stay at home with a cuppa tea, watch Corrie.”
Rebecca Meehan co-anchors Capital Connection and is a presenter on Squawk Box Europe, each weekday on CNBC.