Recessionist: Meet The Press

By jamesup Last edited 125 months ago
Recessionist: Meet The Press

Blogging, much like joining a convent, is a noble tradition of sacrifice. We write for your education, fulfillment and the small furtherance of the misguided belief that our opinions matter.

We were excited, therefore, to discover a new breed of bloggers: they are called journalists. They are different in many ways: they work in offices, use PCs rather than coffee stained Macbooks and carry crude iPhone-like devices know as 'Blackberries', but most crucially, they get paid actual money.

Depending on your age and cultural experience, 'Alphaville' could be a dark French science fiction film from the 60s, a German electro-pop outfit from the 80s, or a vintage toy shop in lower Manhattan. However, if you're wearing pinstripes and your office postcode starts with EC, you'll know that it's the news-breaking blogosphere outpost of that most colourful of newspapers - the FT.

We tracked down Tracy Alloway and Sam Jones, two of the crack team behind the Financial Times' hit blog to learn a little of their lives on the front line of the recession and the exciting world of the media elite.

It was a suitably austere occasion held at popular city lunch stop 'The Bleeding Heart'; we enjoyed Roast Barbary Duck Breast with Caramelised Citrus Endive, Vanilla Mash and Sauce Bigarade. Sam had the Daube of Scottish Venison, Tracy opted for the Risotto of Beetroot and Manchego Cheese.

It's been a busy time for Alphaville since the crunch bit: they post an impressive 50 or so stories a day, with 24 hour coverage provided by the core team in London and their imperial possessions in New York and Tokyo. Despite this worldwide network, and in a most unbloglike manner, the office opens at 0700 and during the hectic days since August the team have been clocking up the hours in a most unjournalistic fashion.

So what of this recession? It's been an exciting time to be in financial journalism; a years ago few people knew nor cared what a Collatoralised Debt Obligation was - now these phrases pop up in Newsround. 'CDOs are now sexy' as Jones puts it.

Looking to the future, we thought to seek career suggestions. The car business, telecoms, technology and property are all industries to flee with whatever you can carry - 'hopefully Foxtons will go bust', adds Jones. We're recommended law, the Civil Service and auditing as potential safe ports from the storm, though jobs in these economic evergreens are in high demand - single vacancies for audit posts in the City apparently receiving upwards of 2000 applications.

After a refreshing sip of the Sancerre we turn to Alloway for the international view. First out of the gate is France, apparently its long standing economic mediocrity will prevent most people from noticing even if there is a world wide recession. Worst place to be? Here apparently... Great, we're stuck on a financial services dependent island, with little manufacturing base to fall back on and a collapsing currency.

Perusing the dessert menu, we ask, so what's to be done? Jones, in a personal capacity, tentatively endorses Brown's 'buy now, pay during the next government' spending plan, with the caveat that he didn't help us avoid the current mess. But he's not 'thinking what they're thinking' - labeling the Shadow Chancellor's shiny new 'don't tax, don't spend' policy 'a disaster'.

So where can we jet off to to get some winter sun and escape all this doom? Sadly sterling's recent stumbles make most of the world rather pricey; Iceland is Jones' suggestion, but we're not rushing to book.

PS. Got a tip, story or idea? Send your recession related info and thoughts to

Last Updated 20 November 2008