Finance: The first cut is always the cheapest

The Trader

IT'S FUNNY, isn't it, how it's always the simple things that cause the problems.

While the credit department have always come down on us like a ton of bricks if we even suggested any kind of deal with Russia, they have not, it seems, been so picky about boring old loans and dull old venture capital. Net result: bye-bye bonus, bye-bye profits and possibly even bye-bye bank.

The first, but surely not the last, casualty of all this is the director responsible for allowing all this profligate lending, Johnny H__. This is a surprise in itself; usually they try to find someone more junior to carry the can, but I suppose they couldn't in this instance, and dear Johnny had to step in and metaphorically fall on his sword instead. Still, it's a lot better than what the FX boys had in mind for him, though that did involve a sword, too.

So now all we can do is wait for the ripple to work its way outwards. The boys seem to spend most of their time gazing mournfully at their Hermes ties, wondering if they'll ever be able to afford another one.

"Oh yes," says Laura, "the ties that bind."

"Or, in Freddie's case, the ties that blind," I reply. "Just look at that frightful yellow number he's sporting today." And then we remember what's going on, and think of all those trips to Harvey Nicks we'll never make, and we stop laughing at once.

All I can say is, thank heaven for Olivier, who has been taking me out to dinner or the cinema nearly every night in an attempt to lift my spirits.

"What is the worst that can happen?" he says over pudding (chocolate tart because I'm stressed and deserve it, obviously) each night. And then we work out that the most dreadful possibility is that I and/or other members of our happy little gang lose our jobs.

"So, then you get another one; it's not so complicated," Olivier says to me with Gallic logic. "And besides, if you have a few days off we can go on a holiday together."

Suddenly the possibility of redundancy doesn't seem so awful - it might even be a laugh - though I have the chocolate tart anyway, just in case.

Laura, it's true, is unconvinced by Olivier's happy little theory. In her book, losing your job is one of life's great stressful events, up there with divorce, bereavement or marriage. In other words, not something you just shrug off.

Quite how she comes by this idea is hard to say, since she's never been made redundant herself, but it may well be connected with her chance encounter with Rory in the Underground last week.

"Well, it was a bit early in the day for drinking, even by Rory's standards," she points out. "After all, he never used to have Special Brew for breakfast before, and certainly not out of the can."

She's right, of course. Reluctantly, I have to conclude that getting the push may not be the awfully big adventure Olivier kindly tries to make out.

What makes it worse is that none of us is responsible for losing the money in the first place, so we won't even get to be notorious and have books written about us. "Modern life is so cruel," I sigh. "My new suit would have looked perfect on the news."

I turn to Laura who is gazing at her computer screen in horror. The last time she looked this distraught was when Neil took off his trousers at that party of Rory's, so it must be something pretty terrible. And it is: a news item on the Internet that says we are cutting our trading operations to the bone with immediate effect.

But, as I point out to Laura, if it were true we'd have been the first to be told, wouldn't we...?

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Christopher Eccleston (centre) plays an ex-policeman in this cliché-riddled thriller

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey looks very serious as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones

TV This TV review contains spoilers
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Wiz Khalifa performs on stage during day one of the Wireless Festival at Perry Park in Birmingham

music
Arts and Entertainment
Festival-goers soak up the atmosphere at Glastonbury

music

Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars creator George Lucas

film

Arts and Entertainment

music

Arts and Entertainment
A shot from the forthcoming Fast and Furious 7

film

Arts and Entertainment
The new-look Top of the Pops could see Fearne Cotton returns as a host alongside Dermot O'Leary

TV

Arts and Entertainment
The leader of the Church of Scientology David Miscavige

TV

Arts and Entertainment
No half measures: ‘The Secret Life of the Pub’

Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air

Arts and Entertainment
Art on their sleeves: before downloads and streaming, enthusiasts used to flick through racks of albums in their local record shops
musicFor Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Arts and Entertainment
Serial suspect: the property heir charged with first-degree murder, Robert Durst
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Igarashi in her

Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression

Arts and Entertainment
Could Ed Sheeran conquer the Seven Kingdoms? He could easily pass for a Greyjoy like Alfie Allen's character (right)

tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros

Arts and Entertainment
Beyonce, Boris Johnson, Putin, Nigel Farage, Russell Brand and Andy Murray all get the Spitting Image treatment from Newzoids
tvReview: The sketches need to be very short and very sharp as puppets are not intrinsically funny
Arts and Entertainment
Despite the controversy it caused, Mile Cyrus' 'Wrecking Ball' video won multiple awards
musicPoll reveals over 70% of the British public believe sexually explicit music videos should get ratings
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister and Ian Beattie as Meryn Trant in the fifth season of Game of Thrones

TV
Arts and Entertainment

book review
Arts and Entertainment
It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

TV review
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
    Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

    Confessions of a former PR man

    The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

    Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

    Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
    London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

    The mother of all goodbyes

    Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
    Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

    Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

    The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
    Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions