I was woken up yesterday morning by someone on the radio announcing that 3,000 fortunate individuals in the City of London are in line for bonuses of £1 million or more next month.
If he said where he got this inaccessible information, I must have been dozing. But it could be right. This has been a terrific year for City deal-makers and fixed interest specialists and £1 million is not out of the ordinary for someone who has done their job well enough to be head-hunted.
It is also roughly what anybody on a workaday £450 a week can expect to earn in a 40-year working lifetime.
The noteworthy thing about this is that it is New Conservative David Cameron who spoke the other day about narrowing the gap between rich and poor, not Gordon Brown or anybody else in the no longer so new Labour Cabinet.
Make no mistake, Mr Brown has done his utmost to be a Robin Hood Chancellor, robbing the rich (and the not particularly rich) to give to the poor. Bound by election pledges not to raise income
tax rates (indeed he trimmed the basic rate in Labour's first term) he has redistributed notoriously by stealth, plus an array of tax credits and means tests that only he can understand.
But while Mr Brown redistributes, the rich get richer faster than the poor have got less poor. The gap between them gets wider.
Mr Cameron says he will do something about this if the voters ever give him the chance. He is trying to distance himself from the ling ering sense that the Thatcher Government's much-needed income tax cuts were the work of a hard-faced party out to pamper the rich at the expense of everybody else. He is convinced that to get elected his party must persuade the world it has changed.
Quite how he intends to re-distribute more effectively than Mr Brown he doesn't have to say now. Come election time he will have to.
But there is a good reason why Mr Brown keeps quiet about City bonuses, why his Cabinet colleagues are under orders never to call them "obscene". Three thousand £1 million bonuses should be worth more than £1.2 billion in income tax alone before their lucky recipients start paying VAT on their new Ferraris.
True, some of the money will be tied up in shares. Some of the tax will be dodged, however many loopholes Mr Brown closes.
But those 3,000 bonuses include a fair number for multi-millions. There are also many more than 3,000 mere six-figure cheques on the way for City folk who do not rank as stars, but still have to be kept happy. All very taxable.
You may bet Mr Brown has studied the "Laffer curve". This is a diagram illustrating the amount of money generated by income tax at various rates. It starts with nothing for a nil rate and finishes with nothing for 100 per cent. In between the curve first rises, then falls.
Mr Brown knows there is no point in raising the tax rate to the point where it yields less revenue. Mr Cameron will have to think of something else.
Before then, have a thriving New Year.