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However world markets stand, we just get on with it!
here was a time when August was known as the ‘silly season’ in newsrooms up and down the land.
Not any more.
Although people tend to disappear to exotic places, and the usual suspects in the contacts book are not to hand, there doesn’t seem to be the seasonal lull in stories.
Nationally and internationally, of course, there’s been another meltdown in stock markets as governments frantically try to patch up failing Eurozone states and the United States copes with having its credit rating downgraded.
It looks as though Germany will reluctantly have to basically underwrite the bailing out of the Eurozone comic states, particularly Greece, which for decades has had a ‘live now, pay later’ approach to national economics.
Either by luck or some unlikely political management, Britain’s decision to stay out of the Euro now seems wise and prudent, although I don’t expect UK taxpayers will escape scot-free.
More worrying for the world at large is the decision by Standard and Poor’s to downgrade the US credit rating.
Seemingly, this was not so much for financial reasons – no-one is arguing that the US can’t repay its debts – but for political ones.
One of S&P’s top brass said on radio this week that they had looked at the mess in Congress where Republicans and Democrats went to the wire before cobbling together a deal on the nation’s credit limits.
Now, the US voters have reaped their own whirlwind by electing so-called far-right tea party Republicans who seem to have an extremely simplistic and jingoistic view of the world, and have thrust a great big spanner in the spokes of the US political system.
But, surely, given that a deal was eventually reached, there should be no question of a downgrade of the US rating.
Standard & Poor’s and its fellow rating agencies were culpable in the 2008 credit crunch for not using their knowledge, analytical skills and crystal balls to foresee and highlight the huge troubles in our own banks, including Bradford & Bingley, which led to so much turmoil and taxpayer bail-outs.
By its action at the end of last week, S&P has rubbed a huge dollop of salt into an already gaping wound in world financial markets. In the short term at least, we’ll all be the poorer for it.
Amid the chaos, however, there’s been no shortage of encouraging news from local companies.
Among them, the Heckmondwike-based machine tools maker 600 Group is back in profit and confirmed it has come through a painful but necessary transformation programme which will see West Yorkshire as one of its key production centres.
Bradford-based Yorkshire Building Society continues is expansion through buying the savings and mortgage books of online operator Egg, and is progressing its plans to take over the Norwich and Peterborough Building Society.
Various firms have reported job-creating expansion, including Haworth Scouring and Combing, logistics firm Advanced Supply Chain, online banking and cards systems provider Contis Group in Skipton and Keighley cosmetics firm Badgequo. Meanwhile, chemicals giant BASF is transferring some production from the US to its Low Moor site.
It all goes to show that, whatever those in the City and the corridors of power say and do, those with proverbial muck on their hands get on with it.