The Money Shot: sad balloons and Forex frolics

Image of a woman holding a deflated balloon
Deflation, ably illustrated by our Bernice
"Before you get all excited about tumbling prices and cheap shopping bonanzas, let us throw a figurative bucket of icy water over your giddy mood"
  • | by Kristian Dando

Can you hear that sound? A sort of sad wheezing, like air escaping a balloon very slowly?

That, friends, is the sound of negative inflation. It’s seldom heard on these shores – in fact, it hasn’t been witnessed here in the UK since the 1960s.

Basically, things are getting a bit cheaper on the whole, which surely is cause for rejoicing, and surely one of the few occasions where a ‘negative’ can be viewed as a positive – for now at least.

It turns out that things across the board decreased by approximately 0.1% (which is naff-all in the grand scheme of things, really), and has mostly been driven by cheap flights, a fall in the price of fuel, along with a rise in wages.

George Osborne, a man walking around with an absurdly cocksure swagger following the Tories’ thumping election win a few weeks back, had even more reason to be smug, cautiously ‘bigging up’ the dip into negative inflation. Even Mark Carney, the Canadian beefcake in charge of the Bank of England urged us to enjoy it while it lasts.

But woah there, horsey! Before you get all excited about tumbling prices and cheap shopping bonanzas, let us throw a figurative bucket of icy water over your giddy mood. A rise in the price of fuel has already meant that costs are creeping up again – bah!

Well, it was nice while it lasted.

News in brief

Banks, including Barclays, have been forced to rummage around the back of the executive sofa and come up with billions of pounds of fines for some of their wayward employees conspiring to rig the Forex.

Card payments have overtaken cash for payments in the UK for the first time in history – a truly epochal moment.

Renting is getting more expensive – by about 4.6% in the year to the end of April – according to property firm LSL.

Overdrafts are putting people off switching bank accounts, according to a survey for the Competitions and Markets Authority.

Money Shot letters

Sir,

I had my hopes raised after finding your publication through my favourite blog, 'Unusual Currency Coin-oisseurs'.

However, since reading your marvellous rare coins article my hopes have been rather dashed as all I've come across is a collection of sass, smarts and snark on subjects that 'the youth' may find engaging, but that, frankly, I find frivolous and fey.

Please address my concerns, or lose a doubloon-laden reader.

Yours,

Dave Dominguez, Mumbles

Sir,

I am writing to you in regards to your recent article, ‘Seven Shocking Eurovision Moments’.

The Eurovision song contest was once a great battle of talent and a true celebration of European culture.

However, this has been tarnished with the inclusion of Australia, a non-European country being invited to take part.

I strongly believe this completely steps on the prestigious legacy of the competition. Would the likes of Abba, Bucks Fizz, Cliff Richard and indeed the very underrated Jemini have toiled to create such pop masterpieces had they known this was to be the end result?

This is just another blow for old-school values and patriotism, and as such I am outraged that your publication has the nerve to give this year’s competition any publicity. Shame on you.

People like you just want to turn the Eurovision song contest into a hugging competition. If it was up to you everybody would come joint-first place.

I expect to see the article removed and the writer held accountable, as well as a formal apology.

Yours sincerely,

A concerned citizen

On Covered mag this week

Beavertail and pick-up enthusiast Kristian Dando marvelled at a selection of van gadgets.

Covered’s resident chopper aficionado Derri Dunn howled with incredulity at some incredibly unlikely motorbike movie moments.

We bet you didn’t know these five things about health insurance.

What’s the best out of cats and dogs? Let’s decide once and for all.

Our energy expert Jeremy Cryer stroked his luxurious beard thoughtfully and pondered collective switching.

Join us next week for another gusset-tearing edition of the Money Shot. Until then, email us with your letters