Ahead of a trip to Ireland during 2006, George Osborne was quoted as saying the country "stands as a shining example of the art of the possible in long-term economic policymaking, and that is why I am in Dublin: to listen and to learn".
Now, with Ireland requiring bailouts from the IMF, ECB and George himself, this analysis has fallen some way short of enlightened.
On the opening day of the 2010 Ashes, it's also relevant to mention that in 2007, following our triumphant victory in 2005, there was an expectation of retaining the famous urn and winning Down Under for the first time since 1986/87.
A humiliating 5-0 whitewash and a number of experienced cricket commentators were left with a similar amount of egg on their faces as our esteemed Chancellor.
So it is with trepidation that I make reference to the news that CSC has acquired The Trafford Centre from Peel Holdings, and question whether this is a further sign of a more optimistic, although clearly still fragile and polarised, market.