The opening passage of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams’ cult book, is remarkably apropos for a world caught in seemingly perennial financial crises and turmoil. It reads:
Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small, unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.
This planet has – or rather had – a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movement of small green pieces of paper, which was odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.
Sound familiar? Not to worry, the author instructs us. Printed on the cover the hitchhiker’s guide itself are the words “Don’t Panic.”