Well, I don't know about YOU, but 18 months into this subprime-crisis-turned-banking-crisis-turned-financial-crisis-turned-economic-crisis I am beginning to suffer from "crisis fatigue."
A sort of "seen it - done it - bought the t-shirt" feeling. I really would like to get another t-shirt now, IF you get my drift.
Financial disaster headlines are swishing across the tickers without raising my eyebrows, let alone anybody else's, and the ever-longer tail of zeroes attached to news about banking losses, collapses or rescue plans stopped making my head spin.
To put it mildly: I for one would be more than happy to strike words like "bailout package", "stimulus package", "toxic assets" from my personal dictionary FOREVER.
And it seems I am not alone here. The tabloids have moved past our little financial crisis and returned to celeb gossip.
And, on a more cynical note: The German Society for the Protection of the German Language voted for its "UNWORT des Jahres" (the NON-word of the year. Guess what? Germany´s UNWORT of the year 2008 was "notleidende Bank" (which sort of translates into "ailing bank").
Might that be another indication for the fact that BANKERS have dropped right from the list of "maybe not liked, but grudingly respected" to top the list of "most hated and ridiculed".
Of course, the usually oh-so-cool and always respectful Financial Times put it a lot more bluntly and much more scathingly.
"Shoot the bankers and nationalize the banks," wrote their columnist the other day, after yet another Brit bank practically collapsed.
OK, OK .... that MIGHT be just little drastic. Not to mention illegal. But one thing is for sure: The image of the BANKER, the masters of the money and the universe, has been damaged for a long, long time ... maybe ruined altogether. Gone are the days of Gorden-Gekko-Wannabes being looked upon as "cool."
About time, I might add. Old-fashioned gal that I am (Catholic born and bred, nuns school educated, A-level guilt, confessions - the LOT!), I always thought that there would have to be a price for trying to make money out of nothing.
And now, it seems, we are all paying it. And, sadly, for a long, long time..
So, no matter HOW we're ALL getting thoroughly fed up with this crisis, buckle up, my friends! It ain't going away. Not anytime soon anyhow.
Rather, I have the very sinking feeling that THIS TIME NEXT YEAR we shall still be talking about how to get out of the valley of economic tears.
But, hey, maybe it's time for a little less gloom and a bit more optimism. A bit more of the "we can do it" attitude of the new Obama credo. Or at least for the slightly more fatalistic old German credo: "Et het noch ever juuut jejange," which translates roughly into: Somehow it always ends well, EVENTUALLY.
Hey, and don't you go around shooting any bankers -- no matter what the venerable Financial Times might suggest! Illegal actually. Shooting bankers. Not very effective either. Maybe we should get them to work in soup kitchens or help dispossessed house owners to move their meager belongings. Just a thought.