Throughout the financial crisis broadcasters, politicians, journalists, authors, academics and other communicators have tried various techniques to try help make their message come of this complex subject as accessible and as digestable as possible.

One of the key attributes of effective communication, as suggested by Dan and Chip Heath, is to make the message concrete. That is to reduce its potential abstraction by structuring the information in alternative ways that helps people relate to it or consume it in a more successful way.

An article in the online BBC magazine today takes this approach by breaking down the headline facts around the UK's finances into units of 'Tescos', equivalent to the retail giant's £40bn annual sales.

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