I guess I'm not the only dog that has no choice but to listen to the news every morning while their human is eating breakfast. For example, Gail, being a stereotypical Guardian-reader type, munches away at her muesli to the soundtrack of the Today Programme on BBC Radio 4.
I expect too that you, like me, have been struggling to understand the baffling jargon you hear whenever someone (especially that Peston chappie*) comes on to 'explain' the latest financial crisis.
Help is at hand! I have been hard at work reinterpreting the terminology from a canine perspective. I can even offer some creative dog-centric solutions to Europe's woes:
First, let us deal with those much talked of 'haircuts'. Apparently banks object to having 'haircuts' every bit as much as certain dogs I could mention. I asked Gail why the banks were not then hand-stripped like me? Of course, if we consider one's coat as a major asset, then I think it becomes clear too what these finance bods mean when they talk about asset stripping....
So, moving on to the 'credit crunch'. Surely some sort of rather splendid kibble, or indeed a particularly healthy type of human breakfast cereal? Apparently not. A 'credit crunch' means that you can't borrow money to buy any kind of food or anything else, so is in fact a BAD THING.
The other day they were saying that 'China' might help solve the debt crisis in 'Greece'. Let me tell you in this kitchen it's considered a crisis when the China is all covered in Greece. Of course if dogs were allowed to lick the best dinner plates clean the problem would be solved in an instant, but strangely, Frau Merkel and Monsieur Sarkozy haven't yet thought of this blindingly obvious solution.
As for 'interest rates' and 'bonds'. Well us dogs are experts on this topic, as it is strongly in our interest to achieve a close bond with our humans. But I must say, for what it's worth, I can't help but think that Italy's problems might stem from Signor Berlusconi's high interest levels in a non-financial gender specific type of bond...
Finally, any dog could tell you that a system which allows 'bears' and 'bulls' to rampage around the market is bound to end up in trouble. The notion that things are going well when a bull is in the vicinity is clear evidence of the sort of warped mentality that triggered all the problems in the first place. May I respectfully suggest that, if we started referring to 'wire-haired fox terrier markets', the whole financial system would bounce back into the best of shape in no time at all!
All clear now?
*Robert Peston - BBC News Business Editor, famed for both his regular news scoops and his strangulated diction.