Whilst Citigroup is almost old news, it will probably be making very large news tomorrow. Hence the mood of this house, and, of the lovely pink FT. From the title of one of the fluff articles and the tone of the rest of the paper -- Jolly Displeased is the mood de jour.
I began my day today in Mayfair, having brunch with the children. Lest you think we've lost our frugal minds, brunch was courtesy of a family relative, a widower who a few years ago inherited a rather dauntingly large family business to look after and has done quite a brilliant job of it all. At the same time she has raised an adopted son who is now 16 and was a welcome addition to the brunch table as he could hold a conversation with us and simultaneously keep my children enthralled. Even I cannot do that. After brunch we waltzed through the Tate Modern. For a day that started with the first magical snowflakes we'd seen and went on to more marvelous things, well, you would think we could shake the gloom. But the conversation did not waver much from The Gloom and The Doom.
The understanding I had reached about the state of things quite a long time ago is now the prevailing mood. So where does that take us? Is it mood capitulation or is it something far far worse???
Citigroup is somewhat like that big spider in the Tate turbine hall - it is sitting menacingly overhead, interrupting my brain. It has been doing so for quite a while. "We make money the old-fashioned way, we earn it" was an old Smith Barney ad featuring a dishevelled eyebrowed fellow. It always made me laugh and conveyed a bit of a winking sincerity on the part of Smith Barney, and now, well, he just looks very very sad and very very tired.