Saturday 3 December 2016

Before Lehmans, there was Leeds Utd

The football community was the first to learn how the world really worked, writes Declan Lynch

Published 17/01/2010 | 05:00

WITHOUT getting too technical here, it seems that we have to reconsider our idea of what it means to be rich. For example, many of us would still have a very old-fashioned idea that rich people have loads of money. And that they made this money by building railroads or making whiskey or some such lucrative activity for which there was great demand.

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But we are finally starting to put away such childish thoughts, and to realise that there is a different sort of rich person out there now. That at some point it must have occurred to various ambitious individuals that building railroads and making whiskey was just a bit too much trouble. A bit too time-consuming and stressful. All in all, just a bit too hard.

In Ireland and throughout the Western world we have discovered -- too late -- that many rich people actually have no money at all, as such, in the sense of money that they made themselves, from modest beginnings, producing something that other people want to buy. What they have is other people's money, which they persuaded some institution to give to them, and which some other institution -- say, a football club in which they "invest" -- will hopefully pay back, with interest. Maybe a lot of interest.

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