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Unemployment set to soar

“The financial industry problems have well and truly hit the high street,” continues Bawany, who completed an MBO of the £12m-turnover city recruiter in 2003 and now employs 95 staff. “All our clients are looking at paring back and I think more jobs are set to go in 2009.”

Bawany points the finger of blame at the government. “The government has been obsessed with nothing but inflation and has reacted far too slowly to this situation,” he says. “Everyone could see where things were heading in the middle of the year – but the Bank’s initial resistance to lower rates has made the downturn more aggressive. Mr Brown’s promise of removing the ‘boom and bust’ cycles under his stewardship will haunt him forever.

“Who can blame UK consumers and homeowners for splashing their cash when their own government showed no prudence and encouraged spending?”

Bawany reckons there will be opportunities in 2009 for those with “cash and guts”. He says: “I think we will see venture capitals funds become ‘vulture capitalist’ as they prey over easy pickings in distressed situations. And there will be many!”

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