Meltdown by Ben Elton
I think hubby bought this as a holiday read a couple of years back - been lurking on my TBR pile since. As with most of Elton's books, it was highly topical when written (in 2009) - covers the credit crunch, the cash for honours scandal, the MPs expenses scandal, the banking crises.
Jimmy and his mates are rich and successful - making money faster than they can spend it during the 90s and early noughties. But when the crunch comes, futures trader Jimmy loses his job and finds himself several million in debt. He and his wife have to learn how to do without a nanny and a cook, how to clean their own house, how to survive on just a few quid a week while also trying to find a way to resolve their debts. Jimmy's MP friend is caught up in the expenses scandal, his bank chairman friend is caught up in the banking crisis, his architect friend can't get any work and his best mate, easy going Robbo has lost all his family's money and died in a car crash. Things can't get any worse (but they do...)
This is a typical Ben Elton novel - some great one-liners, funny and well-observed, and reasonably fast-paced. The main character is likeable and you do root for him. The novel is a bit preachy in places - some scenes seem to be included so that the author can tell us his views on state education etc. Would be good as a beach read.