Saturday, 27 August 2011

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

US DOLLAR WORRIES


Thanks to Moz at Charteris

SHIFTING SANDS


Isn't it always the way, you take your summer break and all-hell breaks loose, be it US downgrades, market runs or riots on the streets of London.

However, the roller-coaster still has some way to go.

Last night, the Franco-German summit failed to convince markets that there was an action plan in place to save the eurozone, indeed, proposals were resurrected to put fear into the stock exchanges with financials particularly taking a hit this morning.

As I have said before, a Tobin tax cannot work unilaterally. Money moves and in this electronic age money can move very quickly. Despite the individual costs being relatively low, it will add up and traders will shift to more friendly markets - in particular the burgeoning middle east bourses, I suspect will benefit, as will New York.

From a UK political perspective, this raises an extremely interesting scenario. The Conservatives have, for the most part, successfully clamped down on the European argument in their own party which threatened to overwhelm them with an image of being a one-issue party. Also, despite being portrayed to the contrary, Labour is also riddled with divides over Europe, indeed until the mid-80s it was Labour that was vehemently opposed to European union.

So the two biggest parties in the UK will find themselves in possible internal civil war with MPs from both the left and the right of the spectrum rising up against a further erosion of financial independence. The Lib-Dems will, inevitably, shift in the sand to the most politically convenient outcome for their party as personal manifestos make perfectly clear around the country, there is no real uniformed Lib-Dem policy, just convenient politicking.


And yet the question remains of whether there is anything the government can do to stop this tax? The Lisbon Treaty is an enabling document, that is it can continually be changed to suit circumstances. However, it has yet to be fully tested so it will be interesting to see what, if anything, can happen if the UK becomes a blocking point.

The so-called lines-in-the-sand that all UK governments boast about are about to be swept up in the wave of European tax proposals and it could mean that the only solution is the one that all leaders fear, the eventual departure from the EU to the European Free Trade Area by the UK.

Implausible? Possibly. But when you consider that the Tobin tax would essentially tax London which is not in the eurozone to bailout the eurozone and possibly kill-off a key component of the UK economy, the question becomes one of what risks are more important to the politicians?

Originally posted on Financial Risks Today blog

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

GEEK HITS

Geek awesomeness: Gaiman and Moore (it looks like it was at Moore's wedding judging from his suit)

Tardis mug:

My name's Jedi, James Jedi:

Taken at Charles De Gaulle airport: Geeks international:


Angry sex:


Ht: Geeks

Friday, 12 August 2011

ESPANA


So I have been abroad for what was essentially the first proper family holiday that we have had.

We stayed at the port of Estepona on the South Coast opposite North Africa. For all the fears about the European economies, the Spanish seem to just shrug it off as part of life. Of course there re a lot of apartments for sale and it appears that there are quite a few developments that appear to be on hold but the bars and restaurants were full as were the beaches and pools.

What was lovely was the attitude towards children. We quickly adapted to the times of the area so it wasn't rare for my seven-year-old to still be up and about at 11pm and on occasion, when coming back from a meal with our Spanish relatives in the town, to pop into a bar for a quick beer before bed and it was perfectly normal.

In addition, although the curse of the smoking ban has also arrived it didn't matter as you ate and drank outdoors anyway. And there were hardly any phantom coughers aside from English. Indeed, I saw one woman wave her hand in front of her face in disgust and her friend commented: "Good luck, we're in Spain."

One thing that was also apparent in its quality was the train. We went from Madrid to Malaga on the fast train and it was quite frankly astonishing. Leg room, cleanliness, punctuality and free headphones so you could watch a film they put on with both English and Spanish dubbing.

Now I don't know how much we had to pay for it through European funding or whether this was through it's own national funding but as I await going back to work on Monday with the delays and such like, I have to ask myself where the will is to get our ageing system up to the 21st century.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

52 DCs

DC has been over in London to explain the mechanisms of the new DC universe.
Now I am not convinced by the whole idea of this. The system looks far to messed uo with some continuities (eg Green Lantern) keeping going while others such as Superman debuting as the first superhero. It strikes me as the same mash that happened after Crisis where everything was all over the place.

In addition there is some confusion over the status of my favourite team, the Justice Society of America. I have been following them since a team-up with the JLA and the occasional All-Star comic that reached these shores in the days before comic shops. If supes was the first then how does the moored new JSA come into play? Perhaps they will follow Smallville's way and that people have just forgotten about the mystery men of WW2? I dunno but this launch fills me with unease. Will I check some of them out? Of course I will.

Still there is some good news- according to the bleeders report on the UK trade show, Bob Wayne commented:"Vertigo will continue as normal and there are new series in development, a batch of them will be debuting in 2012. Wayne pointed out that SPACEMAN #1 is set for October with a $1.00 introductory price..."

After mine, and others' fear that the knives were out for Vertigo this is very good news indeed!


A RIOT OF SURREALITY

So you're in 40 degrees sun with hardly any web access blissfully unaware of events in the States or UK and you pop into the local supermarket and see the front pages of the Spanish newspapers. You what? Riots in London and elsewhere? Football matches cancelled, wtf?
OK it appears that morons have indulged in an orgy of summer fun but I do have a sense of disconnect watching events in my home town over the past few days. But, and I never thought I'd say this but hats off to Diane Abbott who told the BBC that 'cuts do not create criminality'. It is a message that I'm sure fellow travellers at the beeb and the labour party will heed...
As I have said before we are now seeing the effects of rights without responsibility. Uprisings in the middle east were because people couldn't afford to eat and not like here where idiots are jealous that they cannot have that flat screen hi-def tv that they want .
Gove has it right, these are Labour's children and I hoe they are proud of their offspring!

Friday, 5 August 2011

GEEK HITS

A fairly limited geek hits today and very light blogging over this fortnight for reasons I will explain next Friday or so. Anyway here we go...

Ist pic of Henry Cavill as Superman


On iPad so struggling to embed but go to you tube for Doctor Who season trailer part 2!

That's it for now