I've just watched the Chief Executive of XL at a live news conference, explaining why his company has had to go into administration. As a result, 65,000 people are stranded overseas and several thousand people will lose their jobs. He is blaming the collapse on the oil price rise, which has cost his company £80 million. Yesterday, we were told that unemployment could rise by 300,000 by the end of the year to two million.
On a human level, the misery caused by this collapse is unimaginable. And those who think that top businessmen are robots who feel nothing should have watched this press conference. The man who created the company and ran it successfully for so long, was constantly on the brink of breaking down in tears. He clearly believes there were dark forces at work - people who have profiteered from the oil price hike. In these circumstances people always hit out and blame others. But in this case, he does seem to have a point.
I have written before about talking ourselves into a deep recession. We should still try to avoid that, but this collapse may well be the first in a line.