Fools guide to the Credit Crunch


Are you in a recession depression? Have you been dipped in liquidation or are you snacking on the credit crunch?

Like many of us, the feeling of being completely out of the loop and the ever more belligerent confusion at what the economic troubles mean for us all has become an issue that we at Napier News believe needs to be defeated.

With Woolworths, Zavvi and Adams being the recent big companies to go into the seemingly elusive ‘administration’, what is happening behind the scenes and what do these words mean?

What we see on street level is the large empty spaces on Lothian Road and Princes Street where the giants once presided. But can the decision many of us have made in the last year to save buying the latest chart topping album really lead to the shops closing down?

In truth yes.  Although not confirmed by the government we are heading into a recession. The Oxford Dictionary definition of this is: “A significant decline in activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, visible in industrial production, employment, real income, and wholesale-retail trade.”

For those of us that don’t often read the dictionary, this means the countries and indeed some parts of the world’s economy has slumped so jobs aren’t paying as much. People therefore, don’t have as much expendable income and retail outlet institutions that rely on our spending habits to make a profit are struggling and not producing as much stock.

As a result of this, companies have to bring in administrators. The role of this almost demonic sounding profession is to liquidate the company. Or in the not so aquatically baffling way, to sell the remaining stock and property then give the money earned to the people who have invested money into the business. From here the business is closed down for good.

So with that hopefully a lot clearer, what is going to happen in the future? The large red letters of the Woolworths sign have been a part of the country for as long as anyone can remember – a solid and reliable part of the high street furniture. But if Woolies can have a closing down sale, how long before Britain itself is going the same way?

One well known brand that is combating the effects of the economic down turn is the pub chain Wetherspoon. The chain, that boasts the largest number of bars in Britain, has its main location in the magnificently decorated, ex-library building, The Standing Order on George Street.

Wetherspoon’s has reduced the prices on five drinks to prices, including a 99p pint, which are very tempting to anyone looking for a budget night or just the one.

The pubs have offered a pint of Greene King IPA for 99p, a bottle of San Miguel for 99p, a bottle of Blossom Hill Rose for £4.99, a single measure of Sailor Jerry rum (and mixer) for £1.29 and a bottle of Jacques cider for £3.99.

The price reductions, which started on Monday and are set to run for the foreseeable future, has been implemented along with five different discounted meals at all times for £2.99, in addition to their regular menu.

Wetherspoon’s Chief Executive John Hutson said: “People enjoy going to the pub, however, we appreciate that the economic downturn means that they now have to be more careful with their money.

“We believe that our new food and drink prices will allow people to enjoy a visit to a Wetherspoon pub without it costing them too much.

“Unlike most sales that start in January, our offers will not be ending within days, but will run indefinitely.”

The five traditional pub meals available at £2.99, which all sing British produce praises are: cottage pie, chips and peas; ham, eggs and chips; sausages, baked beans and chips; spicy tomato pasta and jacket potato and tuna mayonnaise with a salad.

Mr Hutson added: “We are offering leading brands of drinks at excellent prices and the choice means that there is something on offer to suit most tastes.

“We believe that the five meals offer outstanding quality and value too.”

Although we can’t buy our penny sweets or just about anything from Woolies, or the latest Hollywood blockbuster from Zavvi anymore, at least we can drown our winter blues in the comfort that there is maybe, hope yet.