Just a small update.
1. I really need to stop using the word "actually"
2. I wish I had started doing the part time Mathematics degree 3 years ago. It is fantastic!!
3. It seems to me that we may just have reached "the bottom" of this crisis... it is looking like the banking bailout has worked, and people are lending to each other once more... We will not enter "financial armageddon"... at least not yet
The last point is quite important for me with respect to political motivations.
I was all set to vote Tory, but I must say, like Mr Krugman, I was very impressed by the speed and decisiveness of the UK Labour government in dealing with the current crisis, and the leadership role they played in getting other governments to adopt similar plans. To understand what a profound accomplishment this was, you only had to observe the incompetence of the US government and its inability to do the same in the crisis.
The UK government correctly analyzed the problem (or listened to the right people who correctly diagnosed the problem), and reacted swiftly and decisively, with a well constructed plan that precisely targeted the cause (insufficient bank capitalization).
Whatever Gordon Brown and Alistair Downing may fail at otherwise, they can rightly claim that "they did good" here (in contrast to, for example, Paulson and Bush)... This really was a case of good government saving thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of "lost growth"...