There was widespread jubilation amongst the world’s poor and destitute yesterday as the United States Federal Reserve announced a 0.25 percentage rise in interest rates, the first increase since 2006.
One homeless beggar in Mumbai in India, who has spent the last 27 years living on a rubbish tip on the outskirts of the city with his family, could scarcely contain his joy when he spoke to reporters: “This has got to be the happiest day of my life” he said. “A 0.25% hike is something I never thought I’d see in my lifetime. I can’t wait to tell the wife and kids to be honest.”
In Brazil’s capital and financial hub, Brasilia, the mood was equally euphoric. Maria Gonzales, a 24-year-old mother of 7, wept with joy as she thanked God for the financial boost this latest move would bring to her family. “When I heard the news I fell to my knees and gave thanks to Almighty God for his bounty. Two of my children died of malnutrition last week so I’ve been feeling pretty low ever since, but this wonderful fiscal development has completely wiped away my pain. I just wish the little ones had lived to see this great day.”
In Britain, excitement at the news was also widespread amongst the poor and disadvantaged. There were one or two dissenting voices, however. Toby Dell, a 70-year-old vagrant who has been living on the streets since 1963, said: “It’s ok for these young kids to get all excited at the financial upturn, but for old people like myself it’s not going to make a great deal of difference in my opinion. Call me a cynic if you like but I remember the quarter of one percent rise in interest rates introduced by The Bank of England in 1978. All my homeless friends were over the moon and talking wildly of a global upturn with a raising of the upper tax threshold for high earners, but in the end, the government didn’t even reduce the price of rolling tobacco or a 4 pack of Tennants Super.”
A Federal Reserve spokesperson said last night: “If the world’s poor are feeling boosted by this move then I guess we’re winning. The fact that they’re still losing doesn’t enter into the equation in our view.”