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You know things are bad when..

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    You know exactly what the population of Iceland is and can also pronounce the name of its prime minister. Even the word ‘crisis’ seems to have lost its currency. Countries pop up for sale on eBay for 99p and get few offers. Posters on BBC messageboards stop discussing the undulating pitch of Robert Peston’s voice and listen to what he’s actually saying. The speech bubble on Page 3 of the Sun is given over to discussing the credit crisis. Financial market updates displace stories about Jade Goody on the tabloid front pages. Bad news stories from government departments are rushed out day after day and not even the Opposition seems to notice. Estate agents finally admit house prices have fallen but tell you now is a really great time to buy because the market is stabilising. People marketing get-rich-quick property seminars don’t get taken seriously any more. The Chancellor, writing in the Financial Times, says that “now, more than ever, we need new ideas”. Your primary school-aged children know that credit crunch is not a type of biscuit and that IMF isn’t just a fictional organisation in Mission Impossible. You go for a while without noticing one estate agent’s mini and then you see a whole bunch of them on the back of a car transporter. A pensioner on the evening tube train from Canary Wharf gives up her seat to a banker because she reckons he might need it. The Ivy rings to ask if you’d like a table tonight or any night. There are no spare trolleys when you turn up at Aldi to do your weekly shop.

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Of course it’s genuine — I made it myself

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tails.jpgEveryone, surely, would love to have a licence to print money. Well, one man has taken the concept to a whole new level. It might sound bonkers, but Sheridan “Shed” Simove has created his own currency.

“It makes the world go round. Oh, and it’s the root of all evil. Although strictly, the love of it is actually the root of all evil,” he writes in his new book, “Ideas Man: The Amazing Real-life Adventures of a Modern-day Creative Genius“. “Yes, I’m talking about the basis of our capitalist society, the units of exchange we use to obtain material goods — MONEY.”

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