Early this year there was a burst of glum talk about pension deficits. Companies were ear-marking hundreds of millions to pay down what the a ccountancy profession decreed liabilities on their balance sheets.
Money like that doesn't come out of the air, the gloom-merchants warned. It was real cash draining out of the corporate economy that was not there for better things.
Dire consequences could follow.
Sure enough, investment failed to pick up when the economy started to quicken. It looked ominous so the Bank of England asked regional agents to do a special survey about the impact of pension deficits.
They went round and talked to 210 companies with a combined annual turnover of £270 billion, including several with pension problems.
The agents findings show that UK Plc is coping entirely competently with the black hole in its collective pension scheme.
Weighted for turnover, just two per cent of these companies confessed to cutting back new investment to fund a pension deficit, though that will rise to five per cent over the coming 12 months.
Even fewer upped their selling prices for the purpose and only slightly more said they had held back, or cut, the size of their workforce.
More surprising, perhaps, only ten per cent said their shareholders will get slimmer dividends than they would otherwise have had.
Overwhelmingly, companies are tackling their pension shortfalls by changing the structure of their pension schemes and/or the way they are funded. That apart, the present generation of employees - whose pensions will be squeezed by these changes - are also taking the strain in a pay squeeze here and now.
Nearly 20 per cent of the companies said pension shortfalls have already hit the wages they pay and 30 per cent said they will in the next year.
So the great pensions crisis helps explain why the head-line catching utility bills are not spilling over into pay deals.
Page 3 of yesterday's Financial Times led with a headline "Back risk-taking civil servants, says PM". Underneath was an interview with Tony Blair about how to liven up the civil service.
The Prime Minister is quoted "We want the civil service to be more entrepreneurial. We have to back them when they take risks."
Turn to page 4 and there was a report about business closures outnumbering start-ups.
True, not every business that closes is necessarily a total financial collapse, but it is not a success either. The nature of the risks entrepreneurs take is a lot of them go wrong.
I had always supposed good civil servants were supposed to have a knack for spotting risks and steering politicians away from them. Telling them to court risks like entrepreneurs - putting taxpayers' money on the line, rather than their own, or the bank's - is barmy.
So is exhorting Ministers to "back" those who make a hash of it. They don't.