Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Shares and showers

The BBC pronunciation department is clearly having trouble with Lehmann Brothers Bank: sometimes they say Leeman and sometimes they say Layman. Well, I could tell them, because I'm proud to count some of the Lehmann family among my friends - and it's Layman. I hasten to add they're not the merchant banking branch of the clan, just a loving family. But, wow, what's going on in the financial markets? Lehmann Bros going bankrupt, Merrill Lynch taken over, AIG in big trouble, and stock-markets plummeting. A few years ago a financial adviser advised me to move money into shares.... I wonder about that advice. The credit crunch wasn't their fault, of course, but we're all learning that even if moth and rust doesn't corrupt our treasure, borrowers, lenders, commodity traders and hedge-fund managers can do it just as well. And Jesus' financial advice not to lay up treasure on earth but in heaven is the best advice. I'm glad my friends the Lehmanns have the sense to follow his advice.

On a lighter note, today I've enjoyed a shower. It's not an easy operation, but if I want to stay clean it's the only option. As my balance and muscles went, baths became impossible. And so we replaced it with a walk-in shower, with numerous grab-rails and a shower seat. Once a week, on my day off - that's today - Jane helps me into the shower cubicle and there I sit and wash off a week or two's dirt - lovely! I don't often stop to reflect on how lucky I am, in a world where most people don't have access to clean running water. That puts matters of global banking into perspective.

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