Monthly Archives: February 2013
  • 28/02/2013

    Half Time

    I am travelling tomorrow to that great little city, York. Lady Idle and I are off (via landed mates in the Pennines, natch) to play the proud parents at York university, watching the elder Miss Idle star in an Ayckbourn comedy, drinking and eating well, having a shufti at the National Railway Museum (with a friend who just loves his STEAM), and generally chillaxing, if that is a concept known to staid Yorkshire folk.But it meant that I ran the risk of leaving this now-somewhat-regular blog without a new post for nearly a week. I was



    Question Time : East of Eastleigh edition

    , David Dimbleby chairs Question Time from Eastleigh, {surely the residents are sick of politics by now? Bet you its a studio full of slogan inspired activists} the former seat of disgraced ex-MP Chris 'speedy' Huhne and now the site of a fierce by-election battle between the coalition partners.  The panel includes minister for crime prevention Jeremy "Stonewall" Browne, Labour's shadow leader of the House Angela 'Where beagles dare' Eagle, Conservative MP for Devizes Claire 'pointy' Perry, {I cannot disclose why she's known as pointy, for sex pest


    Beppe Grillo answers

    “He is going to put 3,000,000 unemployed to work. He will make the first million paint the Black Forest white.  The second million will build a one-way road to Jerusalem, and the third million will cover the Polish Corridor with linoleum.” Popular 1930's joke about Hitler's vague, ill defined, yet endless promises to end unemployment. From earlier: Can you pick the Benito quotes from the Grillo ones?

    1. "We stand for the sheer, categorical, definitive antithesis to the world of


    Sterling, Silver

    On Monday CU offered us a contrarian punt on Sterling, so here's a different view.  I don't much like the look of any of the major currencies right now, what with talk of competitive devaluation and every currency-bloc having its own compelling tale of woe. I took to billing in EUR again 6 months ago, which has served me well, but now I find myself unable to judge.  Is it all hopelessly relativistic ?  I am no macro-economist.

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    Victory for the anti-establishment

    Among the blogging sites much joy at Beppe Grillo's unexpected 25% vote share in the Italian elections.  Nothing the internet likes more than giving politicians a good kicking. Unless its giving bankers a good kicking. And the Five Star Movement does that too by causing bank shares to fall across Europe following Italy's inconclusive election. So he is welcomed as a new libertarian force, smashing in the old, stale ways. Booting out lazy, incompetent, partisan politicians. Expelling the corrupt, the criminal


    Pants on Fire? Or Just a Wisp of Smoke From the Trouser Pocket?

    Politicians are expected to lie, or at least to be as disingenuous as they can be. As far as the media are concerned, the lie is only really interesting if it relates to something base and simple (sex, death, perjury) rather than something too big and complex (Europe, taxation, policy). And what they REALLY like is shiftiness, where the lie/story/explanation changes with each lunchtime or evening news.This is where Cleggy has come undone. The fact that a monstrously obese and unpleasant man like



    Italy Election: could it ever happen to the UK?

    The markets across Europe have taken sharp falls following the announcement of inital results from the Italian election. The incredible Senor Silvio Berlusconi has come back from allegations of impropriety that would surely have finished him off in almost any other democracy. The Left have appointed a former communist in Bersani and then there is the new protest party of Bepe Grillo - none of them have enough of the votes to be in Government or lead a majority Government. Mario Monti's centrist party got just 10%. What this tells me is that Italians are deeply frustrated with their politicians, not that surprising



    Wherefore the Pound now?

    Now here is an excellent article. The world of forex trading is relatively alien to me. Everyone I know who does it professionally seems to work on the basis that you need a few millions to punt with and then try and take a tenth of a percent a day here and there and somehow make your self rich. It always sounded remarkably hard to me - although I am yet to meet a poor FX broker which suggests there know something I don't. Also FX Trading



    AAA donwgrade will bring the Rally to a halt

    The loss yesterday of the UK’s AAA rating, in this instance a downgrade by Moody’s to Aa1, will have some very predictable effects. Firstly, both the other main agencies are likely to follow suit as the UK is presently on negative watch and its public finances are deteriorating. This means there is more short-term bad event news to come in the next couple of weeks. The graph below shows the sovereign debt reactions of other countries that have suffered the ignominy of a downgrade and so anyone who thinks the UK is going to keep record low gilt yields is in



    The Moody Blue’s Chancellor

    UK loses top AAA credit rating  "Moody's cited the "challenges that subdued medium-term growth prospects pose to the government's fiscal consolidation programme, which will now extend well into the next parliament". It added that the UK's huge debts were unlikely to reverse until 2016" Are we surprised?  Well, a little bit. Because it should have gone a while back and thought maybe