So Gordon Brown has decided to bail out the banks to the tune of £50 billion.
Now I'm no economic genius and I suppose at times like these you just have to trust the people in charge but it's made me a little bit cross and I'm not sure why.
Perhaps it's because the £50 billion is apparently tax payers money. So a rough calculation is, what, about 30 million people working in the UK? So that's 30 million hopefully paying tax. So 50 billion divided by 30 million is ... er ... 1.6 million pounds?!?!?! Hold on that can't be right. How many 0's in a billion? It's a million, million. So that's 12 0's.
Now please check my maths someone as according to that the government, on my behalf, has just put down 1.6 million pounds of my taxes.
A couple of questions spring to mind ....
1) Have I been paying too much tax?
2) Can I pay it back in installments?
3) If it all goes horribly wrong and the banking bail out doesn't work - do I owe someone 1.6 million quid?!
The other question is - if there's now 1.6 million pounds of my own money knocking around the banking system does that mean it's easier for me to borrow a couple of thousand for a basement conversion?
Come to think of it - loan?! What am I talking about - they owe me! I'd like it in 10 pence pieces please - no fifties.
So here's the joke ...
After Quasimodo dies, the deacon advertises for his replacement. After many fruitless weeks, a mysterious stranger enters the church and enquires about the job.
The deacon directs him towards the bell rope. However, instead of using the rope, the stranger goes up to the bell tower and starts nutting the bell with his head.
It produces a wonderful, sonorous tone and deacon hires him on the spot. In his joy, the man has a heart attack and drops dead.
When the police arrive, the deacon is asked who the man is.
"Dunno," says the deacon. "But his face rings a bell."
Mental maths time and unbelievably it all seemed to work today despite me getting the question wrong. Well done if you got it right - here's what happened if you got it wrong.
YOUR STARTING NUMBER TODAY IS ... 23
take away 37
AND THAT'S YOUR FINAL ANSWER .... 100