Here in Hackney, we don't need Alistair Darling to tell us that the UK is entering into recession.
Last week I was browsing in Dalston and was handed a leaflet advertising "your local money store" Oakam.
Under the innocuous heading "Need Help With Money?" Oakam offer a succession of loans at absolutely breathtaking rates. For example a loan between £500 to £5000 can be obtained at a 76.85% APR, whilst an emergency on the day loan can be obtained of up to £800 at 442% APR - although be warned the word variable is added in brackets!
The existence of such companies can only be a disaster for working class people.
It is curious that we have a government so keen to ban smoking for own good, but that tolerates such financial 'services' at a time when the economy is in its worse shape for a generation. Even the recent Olympic handover event on the Mall was sponsored by a credit card company - Visa.
Times are getting tough, and the vultures are circulating.