Yesterday I needed to take a longish car journey for the first time in weeks, and was listening to the radio accordingly. In every bloody commercial, the advertiser referred proudly to all their loyal staff as "key workers" - all working hard for me at this difficult time, natch.
Then, upon encountering some roadworks, the sign said "Caution: Key Workers In The Road"!
OK, we get the message: everyone expects "key workers" to be getting big, richly-deserved, state-funded pay rises shortly; so that's what we all must be! (Well, I know I am ...) What, exactly, do you need to be, NOT to qualify? A betting-shop clerk? A bitcoin speculator? A professional daytime TV watcher? Nah: I reckon that with a modicum of ingenuity you can qualify everyone. Talk about devaluing the currency, eh?
Anyhow, practitioners of the fine and vital art of corporate restructuring are definitely key workers. Well, who was it that sorted out the Far East financial crisis of the later 1990's? There will be no shortage of requirement for this service in the coming months and years ... and as luck would have it, I've been working on one for the past several weeks.
It's a classic of its kind. All blew up at short notice. The distressed parties are overseas companies. The debt holders are overseas companies. All the likely "bidders" are overseas companies. With one single exception (a New York law firm retained by one of the financiers) ALL the advisers in all disciplines for all parties are London firms. And, being 2020, the whole thing is being conducted very effectively by Zoom. (Less splendid City dining-rooms and bespoke sandwiches, but there you go. Mrs D does a great avocado, bacon & ketchup sarnie too.)
Call me complacent: but I just can't see how Frankfurt could muster half a dozen instant, multi-discipline, fully staffed, 24/7-working teams like that. Or Paris? - don't make me laugh. HK? SG? (Geneva?)
How long can we retain this advantage? How might it slip away from us? I suppose everything's possible: but hey, a service is a service, and people the world over have become addicted to it.
And so us keyworkers soldier on. Oh, it's a real service, be in no doubt. The restructuring and recycling of sunk-cost assets is a Real Thing, and it keeps the globe spinning in its orbit (see sunk costs / capitalism, passim). We'll be needed quite a lot in the coming months and years ... until Jeremy Corbyn rises from the dead and does away with us all.