Recession Porn

During the boom years (remember them?) the British became obsessed with Property Porn. Now we’ve swapped that addiction for Recession Porn.

I thought I’d invented that term but, alas, it seems someone else got there first. Filthy Smoker (what a great name) posted about it at The Devil’s Kitchen in September.

Watching the recession and revelling in the stories about us having it worse than anyone else has become a strange form of masochistic entertainment.

The news media are delighted by the latest forecast from the IMF which predicts that Britain’s economy will contract more than any other major economy next year. The BBC news led with it last night and the newspapers were all bleating about it this morning. Even worse are some of the bloggers, especially the partisan Tory ones.

“IMF: Britain May Go Bankrupt”, squeaked Iain Dale yesterday.  The IMF actually said nothing of the sort as some of Iain’s readers pointed out.

And in any case, even people in Iain’s own party don’t buy the Britain-is-Bankrupt story.

In fact, the IMF report tells us little that we didn’t already know or couldn’t have guessed. The UK’s GDP is predicted to fall by 2.8% next year, compared to 2.6% in Japan, 2.5% in Germany, 1.9% in France and 1.6% in the USA. Given the UK’s heavy dependence on the very industry that caused the recession, predictions that our downturn will be slightly worse than those in Germany and Japan are hardly surprising. 

The encouraging news in the IMF report is the forecast growth of 0.2% in 2010, compared to 0.1% in Germany and 0.6% in Japan. If the developed economies start growing at all in 2010 it will still be much better than many of us had dared hope. But figures like that don’t make for good Recession Porn do they?

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Recession Porn

  1. jonty says:

    I think recession porn is another 21st century fetish.

    It goes along with battered child porn, abducted child porn, old couple killed by speeding drunk footballer porn, man fathers children with his own daughter porn.

    I think its a wider trend of moving towards gawping over and at other people’s suffering.

    “isn’t that terrible – little kiddies suffering like that? anyway turn over eastenders is on now”

  2. Pingback: Halloween in Washington: Analysis of Obama’s Stimulus Plan : WesternFront America

  3. charliemcmenamin says:

    Chris Dillow – blogland’s Stumbling and Mumbling in his day job – explains why forecasts can be, and usually are, wrong here http://www.investorschronicle.co.uk/Columnists/ChrisDillow/article/20090130/7c8d2b0a-edf8-11dd-a375-00144f2af8e8/Why-forecasters-disagree.jsp. So there is always scope for masochism if that’s what you choose.

    But I do suspect there is also something else going on: we’re all getting used to living with the idea that the world economic system isn’t, actually, the goose that will alwayslay that golden egg as we’ve constantly been told for a generation. This is proving emotionally destabilising and disorientating for an awful lot of people who assumed it was.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s