Reading Zoe Williams in today's Gruaniad, I for once felt very happy that my readership was not much wider. She's taken a proper mauling for trying to write what I'm sure she felt was a nice lightweight bit of humour on the global crdeit crisis, and the mystification she feels at explanations for it offered by so-called experts. In a way, she only has herself to blame, and has laid herself open to the usual anti-Graun sneers by opening the piece with the following words:
"God knows I'm no stranger to not knowing what I'm talking about..."
However, the gist of the piece, poorly penned though it may be, is that it is difficult to see the reality of the crisis we are in when it is passed through the lens of the media pundits, and occasionally the sheer scale of the numbers is bewildering in itself. A commenter on the piece did manage to provide an illustration - in diagram form - which certainly helped to clarify things for me. As it is under a creative commons licence on Wikipedia, I can publish it here.
What it does illustrate is that it looks as if we are in deeper shit than I thought. Much or all of the lending of the last few years has essentially been underpinned by property values - Mortgage Backed Security as it is known, and now that the bottom is continually dropping out of this nice little earner, the whole thing is falling to bits.
To back up the lovely Ms. Williams to an extent, it might be helpful if that little twat Peston made some effort to explain these things instead of puffing up his own irritating schtick.