So Gordon Brown's legendary luck has not quite run out after all.
As he limbers up for what promises to be his most embarrassing Budget yet - he is in acute danger of breaking both his self-imposed rules, or leaving his successor with no other option - the great pensions crisis is coming to his rescue.
Yesterday in one of the auctions that sets the price at which Mr Brown borrows the money he cannot raise in taxes, financial institutions bid £135.15 for £650 million of index-linked Government stock that a future Chancellor doesn't have to pay back until 2055.
At its £100 face value this stock's "coupon" or nominal rate of interest is a slim 1.25 per cent. At £135.15 that rate comes back to a whisker under 0.925 per cent.
True, this is a "linker", a gilt linked to the retail prices index so that the 1.25 per cent rises with inflation each year. So does the price at which the Government of 2055 has to pay it back - though the starting point for that is £100, not the £135.15 bid yesterday.
It is great madness, of course, but not a freak bid by a careless individual rubbing his nose when the auctioneer was looking. The pension funds are avid for more of the stuff.
Mr Brown is being urged to pump out an avalanche of it. There are not enough "linkers" out in the market for the funds to satisfy the new Pensions Regulator that they are doing all they should to match their investments to their liabilities and minimise their risk-related contributions to the pension protection fund.
In so doing they drive down interest rates on all long-term gilts, thereby driving up the cost of the theoretical capital cost of buying a pension and making the deficits bigger than ever.
If you contribute to a pension scheme you can only cringe. But as a taxpayer you share in Mr Brown's illdeserved luck - ill-deserved because it was he who set the pensions crisis in motion by taxing the fund's dividends.
Precisely how cheaply he is borrowing depends on what happens to inflation over the next 50 years. But if the RPI
stays anywhere near its present two per cent it is the steal of the half-century.
Just watch our Chancellor crow about it on Budget Day.
Fear of the human consequences of a bird flu pandemic makes it hard to look cooly at the economic implications. HSBC had a go a while back, working on a contingency plan to keep going while a large number of supposedly necessary staff went off sick simultaneously. Other large organisations are doubtless doing the same.
Now one of HSBC's own economists, John Edwards in Australia, has pointed out that keeping short-handed organisations going is a fringe issue. In a plague, people will try to stay at home even if they are well, avoiding banks, shops, restaurants, sporting events, airports - anywhere where there are crowds spreading the virus.
It is demand that is likely to collapse, threatening a worldwide recession. HSBC can plan ways to muddle through, but not to make fearful customers behave normally.