27 February 2009

TRCD10 (1.1)

Our local Threshers closed recently - the last gasp was when it began selling single bottles of wine at ridiculously inflated prices, only dropping them to "normal" levels when you bought three at a time. Well, now the local Oddbins is at it only they expect you to buy a crate at a time for a 20% price reduction, and this in a store without a car parking space within 200 metres - not sure investing in this particular chain would be wise right now.
Oh, and in Ireland the number out of work rose 69% in the last quarter of 2008. Yep, 69%.


Stephanie Flanders at the BBC has some interesting observations along the lines of "you think it is going to be bad in Western Europe? Well at least you don't live in the East". She talks about the (slightly more) frightening levels of indebtedness amongst those nations abutting Russia who are apparently suffering from the double whammy of being both exporters (bad, because no one is buying) and borrowers (dble bad because their currencies are going southbound quicker than Lloyds' share price). She uses the term "horrendous" for some countries, notably Rumania and Hungary:

"Poland and the Czech Republic, while poorly, are in better shape than most of their neighbours. Slovakia and Slovenia also face a hard slog but at least they are in the euro.

They don't have the problems of Rumania or Hungary - where a large chunk of the population, incredibly, now has mortgages denominated in Swiss Francs. (I guess it seemed like a good idea at the time, much as 125% mortgages seemed to make sense in Britain in early 2007.)"

All of which makes one ponder where the IMF gets its money, and how much it has got.

25 February 2009


1. Japan's January trade figures down 46%.
2. British housebuilder Barratt loses £600 million in six months.
3. True extent of banks toxic debts remains unclear.
4. Bernanke rules out nationalising banks in the States - again. Wonder if he will be saying the same thing in 3 months?
5. Ireland enters the deflationary era.
6. And the run on Irish banks starts - "Dublin, this is the IMF. IMF, I'd like you to meet Dublin."

23 February 2009

If there is anyone out there who hasn't signed up for Spotify yet....

Here you go - honest, what are you waiting for????
Mind you, don't dwell too long on the dirge that is U2 - far better charms await elsewhere.

22 February 2009

The real crash - day 5

The sabbath so not so much going on, at least not so much going on that the media can get hold of; no doubt car plant saving talks are happening somewhere. Otherwise, well, I'd note that Richmond was very quiet for a Sunday....

What's that coming over the sea?

21 February 2009

the real crash - day 4

In Ireland there's a large protest going on today, in part because the government has put a levy on state workers' pensions to help pay for the balls-up the bankers have made of everything. The Irish, not surprisingly, don't like it (and at times like this the corruption amongst their governing class must be doubly hard to take). So somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 people took to the streets. Were it 200,000, that would represent approx 5% of the population. Trouble just starting there then. It is commonplace now, of course, to note that the difference between Ireland and Iceland is one letter and six months, though it looks more and more like one letter and a few weeks.

20 February 2009

the real crash - day 3

6,000 jobs at stake at a car building plant (unnamed). Home repossessions up 50%. Stocks falling around the world. And Mr O. wants American cities to spend $787 billion (yep, billion) "wisely". How lucky, in some ways, we are to live in The End Time.

19 February 2009

...and here we go

Tax revenues down by almost 50% for January. "Sir" Allen Stanford, the mad cricket mogul, is on the run and his banks are a busted flush (this is going to be a bigger part of the unfolding melt-down than it appears today). RBS / HBOS debts piled onto the Government's future bank balance (albeit that the Office of National Stats for some reason assumes their assets are worthless and the debts owed to these banks will never be repaid - maybe they know something we don't?). And NuLab haven't quite finished their plans for a police state (probably the rest of the things they want in place that are right now under the table will be rushed through after the first serious social disturbances). Whoowee it's going to get interesting. And not in a good way.

17 February 2009


Well, from here on in, things are going to get very nasty indeed. The various stimuli packages? Nah, not going to work. Good money after bad. Things need a shake out and it is coming down the track v. fast now.

13 February 2009

9 February 2009

El Gordo is very very angry!

So Gordy is annoyed at the bankers. Mmm, well done Gord, I expect they are sorry they annoyed you. Going to stop the vast majority of them taking bonuses? No, thought not. You really are an ineffectual poodle - I wonder who you could be emulating?

6 February 2009


Turn it on - it works. Keeper.


Well, it's slightly interesting but having to sign on on your phone every time you want an update - nah, rubbish. Goodbye.

Of One-eyed Scottish Idiots and Golliwogs

Clarkson - bit over the top but he apologised. Done for effect - remain employed.
Thatcher jnr - ingrained bigotry. Didn't apologise. Not known for outspoken views - goodbye.

5 February 2009

Cat Photos: The Last Resort of the Desperate

What's more, I think I may have already published this one on here - still, enjoy!


Slowly but surely the sites on my bookmarks toolbar are becoming dominated by those with a social element. I know, five years late but still....

Teh Intarwebz

There are times when the web and digital technology takes a leap forward and you have to smile at how great it is. The appearance of photosharing sites (such as Flickr) was one such moment for me, being able to communicate with Robert Scoble while he sent live video footage from his phone to the web was another (he'd just started using kyte.tv though I'm not sure he still does). Now, just recently, two more fabulous things have come along - Google's Latitude, telling you where your friends are, you telling them, all automatically. Currently not terribly useful as so few people are using it but when it goes all Facebook on us, really, it should be amazing. And then there is Spotify, about which I have posted below and which, despite the music industry's attempt to ruin it from the outset, remains an application for which the internet was perfectly designed.
Now, as you were.


They are beautiful but occasionally their scent has considerable undertones of feline urine.