This is being billed as the good news, although it’s only been achieved by slashing over 150,000 Government sector jobs: the actual net result for the month is expected to be a loss of around the 60,000 mark.
One commentator not happy to be named told me, “You can’t have growth without hirings, and these numbers still look incredibly weak”. Is it a dawn? Is it a cliff? Is it the end?
Further to Eric Daniels’ devious suggestion that the taxpayer has ‘made a profit out of’ bailing out his arrogant bank, we are now being showered with at least one false dawn a day – and sometimes several of them. Somewhere, cocks are crowing morning, noon and night.
My favourite so far today was from French bank Societe Generale, which passed the European bank stress tests last month with flying colours, and a fair amount of creative accountancy. The bank said net profit had increased to €1.08bn (£895m), up from €309m in the same period in 2009, when the group’s performance was hit by ‘heavy write-downs’.
Makes those braindead loans sound like an act of God, doesn’t it? The results add that SocGen’s €2.15bn net profit in the first six months of 2010 ‘puts the bank well on course to reach the €3bn profits that analysts have forecast for the full year’.
I wonder what the Half-Year results said in the first half of 2009. And I wonder whatever happened to that fine old financial chestnut, ‘The past is no guide to the future’. (To be fair to la Societe, they do say that the eurozone outlook is ‘fragile’.)
Across the Channel, RBS ‘has returned to profit’ – and what a stonking profit it was: nine million quid. Or 0.145% of what it owes to us and lots of other people. Not forgetting the appalling Russian loans book which is as yet to ‘mature’. And the fact that the amount to be repaid by mid 2012 would require it to raise more money every month between now and then than it ever did in its heyday. Seems unlikely to me, but each to his own.
Ben Bernanke’s Domesday syntax has meanwhile risen to to DD2, with the phrase “the outlook is now unusually uncertain”. I think we all know what you mean, Bennie.