Today, 11th June it was reported that Mervyn King of the Bank of England has been Knighted in the Queen’s birthday honours list. The knighthood, was packed full of business leaders, entreprenuers and industry giants. BG’s chairman was also reportedly in line for an award.

To be awarding honours to business leaders will be predictably scorned by many ‘Daily Mail readers’ as an ‘outrage’ given the recession. But these people are completely missing the point. These business leaders have had careers that have spanned decades, and will probably not be defined by the last 5 years, as they may indeed continue for another couple of decades. Secondly, it would be a mistake to imagine that all businesses have done terribly during this recession! The recession is not a blanket of doom which covers the economic landscape. Believe it or not, fortunes are still made everyday just as before. If the economy contracts by 4% during the year, then 96% of the economy is still running! This may squeeze margins intolerably depending on the foresight and planning of leaders, but will not be sufficient to crush all businesses with a recession axe.

Indeed when you look at the surprising run that commodities have had in the past few years (Read How to Invest in Commodities if you’re unsure what I’m talking about), you’ll realise that some people who were in the right place at the right time have made a lot of money during the recession. And again, while the envious masses may scream and shout that these ‘evil people’ have made money at their expense, in reality – commodity owners were generally those who took fright at the financial crisis and invested in what they viewed was safe – this is hardly an ‘evil’ investment strategy, and I wouldn’t say commodity investing individuals deserve any form of punishment.

So let me end this opinion piece by just summing up what I’m trying to say here. A recession and tough economic climate does not make profitable business ‘unacceptable’, nor does it make it ‘evil’, and nor is it unlikely! If anything is keeping Britain in a continual state of depression, it’s this attitude that when 0.5% of the population are being made redundant, the other 99.5% must act like they’ve been pushed into poverty out of sympathy. The pursuit of bettering ones lot is the driver of economic growth and development. Rather than scorning at profits we should be lauding them, and rather than opening every letter, email and article with ‘in the current economic climate’, we should be getting straight to discussing business, growing income and creating jobs.

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