But how to get from there to a situation where global capitalism is teetering on the brink of the abyss? I rang the Department for Children, Schools and Families in the hope of finding some guidance, but they couldn't help and referred me to the Personal Finance Education Group. Sadly, they couldn't help either, even though their mission is 'to ensure that all young people leaving school have the confidence, skills and knowledge in financial matters to participate fully in society'.
So, in the absence of a simple explanation from the professionals, here are a few suggestions of my own. You could start by reminding your son of the story of King Midas reckless greed and follow that with The Emperor's New Clothes hubris but instead of the emperor, put in Sir Fred Goodwin or the chief executive of pretty well any other major bank in the Western world. Our Money-saving ideas is a good place to start. Journalist and broadcaster Tim Harford , author of The Undercover Economist, has written a fairy tale of his own to explain the credit crunch.
It's based on the story of Cinderella, but without the happy ending. Also, Interfluidity , is a blog that does a good job of relating the crunch to life in the school playground. On a more adult level, I recommend the thoughts of The Faversham Stoa. This is a philosophy discussion group that meets every month in a pub in Kent to talk about serious issues but, as it says itself, without being too solemn about it.
Humour always helps in these situations.
Scott Adams the creator of the hapless cartoon character Dilbert, has written an explanation of his own that includes a number of wry observations on the possible benefits of the credit crunch. Oddly enough you can still find it on the BBC website. The Daily Mail recently asked primary school children to explain some of the credit crunch terminology that has become part of our everyday lives.
Their suggestions are sure to produce a smile. All of this should be enough to get you started, but I'm hoping that This is Money readers will add helpful guidance of their own by making use of the reader comments box below. Once upon a time No comments have so far been submitted. Why not be the first to send us your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our message boards. A stealth tax on landlords?
What does the chest-beating mean for other Western nations? The ten most expensive countries for for petrol revealed: Hong Kong tops the list but Britain doesn't feature despite highest prices in four years 'There's so much stuff in the bargain bins!
Investors check out as Burberry's new collection disappoints D-Day for Sky: It's hard to get interested in exit fees Is it a type of nut? How to beat the downturn Our Money-saving ideas is a good place to start. Latest on the crunch - and how to beat it Your redundancy rights 60 seconds to fix all your finances A dozen tips to beat the financial storm 50 ways to save money And ways to save if it gets really bad.
Billionaires feel the pinch Soros: The cash of the rich and famous How to invest like billionaire Warren Buffett How to make your child a millionaire How to make yourself a millionaire. Share or comment on this article: A classic designed for the modern day Vishing: The unsolicited calls from fraudsters trying to scam you How to invest around the world and try to dodge crashes A test drive with brand new Audi Q8 in the Chilean desert The Pru Prudential literally put an elephant in the room in ad. Mike Ashley's High Street empire struck again as French Southern Water most complained about water firm for sixth Sky takeover to go to auction; Aston Martin Neilson gives up to 25 per cent off bookings for groups of seven or more or the choice of free lift passes or taxi transfers.
Switch dates Flexibility about when you travel could save you a small fortune. Avoid Christmas, New Year, Easter and February half term, when prices soar, and go instead during one of the cheapest weeks, which this season are 13 December, 10 January, 28 February and 21 March.
The first in the great 'Beat the Credit Crunch' series. Ways to Beat the Credit Crunch: US edition and millions of other books are available for Amazon. Buy Ways to Beat the Credit Crunch New edition by Annie Shaw, Simon and helps to remind each one of us that we should be acting responsibly with our .
Some resorts, such as Zermatt, Engelberg and Chamonix, are open until early May, when prices drop, the crowds disappear and you'll enjoy longer days and more time on the slopes. Most tour operators' programmes only run until mid April but you can pick up cheap accommodation at the end of the season on websites such as holiday-rentals.
Avoid Easter, which falls on 12 April. This is especially important if you are booking flights separately, as low-cost airlines such as Easyjet, Ryanair and Flybe offer their best prices the earlier you book.
Can I drive any car with fully comprehensive insurance? No comments have so far been submitted. Is this yet another scandal for RBS? Guinness and Smirnoff maker Diageo warns that currency These sites also have snow reports, forecasts and webcams.
If you are going for a package and your dates are restricted, you want to travel during school holidays or you're part of a group, you'll also need to book as soon as possible. There are still some early booking offers around, but you'll have to hurry. Or book late By waiting till the last minute to book packages, you'll not only save money but you'll be able to pick a resort with the best snow. Try online agencies such as lastminute. These sites also have snow reports, forecasts and webcams.
For the best choice, book two to three weeks before departure - leave it any later and there might not be much to choose from. Swap the Alps for the Pyrenees Often overlooked, this mountain range between France and Spain has lots of small resorts, which are ideal for beginners and low intermediates. You'll have fewer slopes, but why pay for access to runs you'll never use?
This article contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if a reader clicks through and makes a purchase. All our journalism is independent and is in no way influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative.
The links are powered by Skimlinks. By clicking on an affiliate link, you accept that Skimlinks cookies will be set. Price includes flights Switch dates Flexibility about when you travel could save you a small fortune. Topics Top ski breaks The Observer.