Buy Portugal, sell Britain

I'm sorry I haven't been around recently to divert and enlighten you deluded lefties, but I've been utterly absorbed by the financial crisis threatening the stability, and indeed the future, of the capitalist system.

Although I am no longer politically active, I continue to toil tirelessly behind the scenes to influence world events. And it's become increasingly clear to me that the mental and moral pygmies currently in office throughout the west have no idea how to deal with the impending disaster.
What these "leaders" - and, I suspect, you - can't figure out is: if their countries are billions of dollars/euros in debt, who the hell are they in debt to? Someone has to be doing OK out of all this misery, after all. Who is it?

Well, this is no time for false modesty, so let me refer you to the rather handsome gent whose photograph adorns this column. Yes, it's me, all right? Christ! I can now reveal exclusively to all five readers of the New Statesman that since the beginning of September, I have bought and sold Greece three times, mortgaged Portugal for 200 per cent of its GDP, and for a short period last week I owned all the Guinness and horse racing interests in Iceland, until I noticed the spelling error.

It hasn't been easy. I've made sacrifices: I've worked late; I've missed meals; I even turned down several of Silvio's bunga bunga party invitations, but it was all worthwhile. I am now far and away the richest man on the planet.

I don't want you to think I'm motivated by simple greed. No, what I adore is the feeling of limitless possibility. From now on, I believe I can reach any goal, meet any challenge, overcome any obstacle, climb every mountain, ford any stream . . .

But rest assured, I intend to use my super-powers for good. I've done evil. It was fun. When I was leading Maggie's storm troopers I relished crushing Neil Kinnock. That was good, if not much of a challenge; but not as satisfying as finding some snivelling, second-rate underachiever and moulding him into a future leader of his country.

Which brings me to this week's Labour party conference. By the time you read this, Mini-Miliband will have made his stirring/ revolutionary/disappointing leader's speech (obviously I've read and approved it, but I'm maintaining the embargo). The media will still be ripping into it, trying to decide whether Eddied M is the Labour Party's Cameron, or its Duncan Smith. (The comparison with IDS is unfair. I knew Iain Duncan Smith, and Ed Miliband is no Iain Duncan Smith; Iain Duncan Smith had some policies.)

However, the content and quality of Ed's speech are irrelevant. He will be our next prime minister whether he likes it or not, for I predict the markets will demand it. Sadly, after his victory, market sentiment will change, the pound will plummet in value, and whoever has had the foresight to sell sterling short will make a gargantuan killing. I know - I'm sorry, I just can't help it.