I meant to get in an early night, but George Soros was billed to appear on Newsnight and while I know it's shallow I am a sucker for celebrity.
I legitimised my decision on the grounds that I wanted to see how broad the consensus was over the success of the G20 summit.
I was worried I might be getting a bit over excited about it all, because frankly there's been a lack of good signals out there in the econosphere for the past three years or so, and it's easy to latch on to any old straw in the wind.
I feared the effects of watching all those 1950 and 1960s disaster films in my youth where the hero comes up with a cunning plan at a meeting of world leaders to stop the world burning to a crisp. Gordon Brown as Admiral Harriman Nelson?
I needed a reality check and for me George Soros is about as good as it gets, what's more he looks and sounds the part.
Much to my delight he gave the G20 summit communiqué the thumbs up. Phew, I wasn't suffering from irrational exuberance.
But then I thought, while it's great that the world's leaders may have come up with a plan to halt what looked like the inevitable meltdown of the global economic system, what the hell does this mean for UK construction.
Top of the head here are my five reasons why the G20 summit may prove to be the best news for construction since well before the credit crunch.
Click here for the full communiqué and feel free to challenge my view on what the G20 2009 summit outcome means for construction because to me:
- It shows international recognition of a problem and has provided a template for delivering a consensus on global action within an expanded group of nations beyond the former cosy club of the G7. This will provide a boost to confidence within business, which will filter through to consumers hopefully in a measured way. Confidence among clients is more important for the construction sector than for many others given the long gestation period of most projects.
- It has provided a buffer against the forces of protectionism which would have restricted global trade and ramped up construction costs and reduced demand. As a trading nation and with international expertise in construction the UK would have been particularly hard hit.
- It provides a platform on which, hopefully, can be built a more sound financial and economic order. We will dance a little less close to the cliff edge in future. There are many steps to be taken but this should start to assist in getting money flowing in a more orderly fashion.
- It has explicitly recognised that asset bubbles are dangerous and steps need to be taken to contain them. This should help to smooth the boom-bust cycle in construction, especially in the housing and commercial property markets. This in turn will provide more stable clients for the construction industry.
- The emphasis on sustainability should play to the advantage of the construction industry as its skills will be in demand. On balance this path should lead to an increased emphasis on capital over current investment, better built buildings being a simple example.
There are plenty of other reasons to be cheerful about the outcome I know, but these seemed the most pertinent to UK construction.
Also it would be rash to suggest that the effects of this summit will be felt in the near future. UK construction is set for a huge kicking, but at least there is a little more light at the end of the tunnel and hopefully a brighter future.