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..There's a little Samuel Pepys in all of us..

Monday, September 29, 2008

Another short note to start the day..
It's somewhat disturbing.. the lack of what appears to be a general lack of interest among many Americans we've been in contact with, concerning this upcoming election. It's as though there's almost a feeling of fatalism.. that regardless of who sits in the While House, the immediate future is pretty well cast in stone. And whatever differences either Party might present for their plans for a resolution.. all become irrelevant when it comes down to riding this 'bad spell' out..
The emotional side of this election would appear to be taking precedence over a demand for clear-cut and definite plans to repair the economy.. deal with foreign relations and foreign wars.. to define the 'real' enemy and the presentation of concrete plans for pursuing and eradicating that threat..
At the moment.. global governments are busy pouring $trillions into their liquidity funds to keep their respective economies afloat..
But surely someone, sometime soon, will say "Enough!"..
The US Congress is expected to approve by Tuesday, the nationalisation of 'bad debt'..
It would be unlikely to think that other governments will follow suit.. dominos falling, as they do, one after the other..
But consider the effects this will have, in the near future.
After we've taken control out of the hands of institutions the likes of the Bank of England, and the World Bank, and out this 'paper debt', how do the various governments finance these losses..?
We are in financial meltdown.. with governments now legislating away the right to short-selling, a cornerstone on open financial trading, we 're seeing ourselves being led, step by step, towards government control of our banking industry.
Not the way we want to go.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

As this is set to paper.. figuratively speaking.. John and Barak are going head-to-head on the issues facing their enfranchised public..
Now, we'll keep this in the background..
'Earmarked Funds' and business tax..
So far, it's a pork-barrel issue..
Ahh this will go on and on.. but so far, it appears Barak's less well briefed.. John more prepared..

But what has been perhaps the greatest show on earth has been playing at Stock Exchanged around this globe this past week..
And, this may prove to be the longest run.. no pun intended.. we've yet seen..
The situation, as it stands, is reaching the breaking point..
The point at which governments, to a legislative instrument and a source of 'last line of defence' financing, and what few legitimate financial institutions still standing, solvent, and capable in crisis management which would avoid the looming spectre of overwhelming government investment in the public sector..
The point at which the man on the street will really feel the pinch..
When, after stopping after work at the Spar..7-11..Macs.. whatever.. they stop, count the change in their hand and think "..this is what £17 get's you these days..?"
And when their quarterly heating bill comes through the Post, and there's yet another £35 per month off the ever-diminishing disposable income..
Now this is certainly not merely hard times to come here in Britain and the US.. It's hard times on a global scale..
An American meeting is taking place now, with the Finance Ministers and the Prime Ministers of several countries..
Two are notable. Gordon's there, and he'll doubtless be bringing back an idea of what the US actually predicts for the next couple of years, and how it's going to affect us..
And the Prime Minister of India along with Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram are in attendance, both to plead their country's need for economic support, but to present their case as an invaluable ally.. a keystone in any plans the West might have in economic expansion into that potentially vast market..
But back home on the ranch.. we've not got a rosy future to contemplate..
This debate.. from this point of view.. would appear to be John's on points.. so far..
John made a valid point that Barak's offer.. to meet with Iranian President Akhmadenejad with no preconditions.. Rocked Barak with that one..
We're watching the tumbling tower of the paper and electronic cash monolith which has supported our lifestyles.. the magic act of the millennium..
You's best watch closely.. or you'll miss it..
The disappearance.. before your very eyes.. of what will amount to eventually, to be trillions of American dollars!
Debts will vanish without a trace!
Cash will inexplicably appear in the funds of vehicles which will then make it into the hands of banks.. and consumer credit, while still tight, might bring that dream if the unholy-huge plasma screen for Christmas, just a little bit more plausible..
We're facing a crisis the likes of which we've never faced before..
We need leaders the likes of whom we've not seen in decades.. and all of the West will soon be deciding who those leaders will be..

Interesting times..

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A brief note to start the weekend..
While the American government's injecting hundreds of billions into the money market appears to have quelled the fears seen throughout Stock Exchanges worldwide.. the fact is that it's a band-aid measure.. not a solution.
Whether it will have long-term effects.. other than leaving taxpayers globally with massive shortfalls.. is moot.
Will it spur private investment..?
Will it replace the thousands of jobs lost through the several financial mergers we've seen this week..?
Will it allow a recovery for the man on the street, who's main concern is inflation and the diminution of disposable income..?
Moot, at best.
Doubtful, if one is realistic..

One had to smile at the grass-roots approach Barak.. who stated that it's great to see the markets solidifying, although he didn't mention where the money was going to come from.. Barak aimed his comments directly to the American small businessman, in saying the government should be concentrating on 'main street economics'..
And while it's a far less popular a stance, McCain states 'enough!.. Banks should not be supported by government takeover..'
This election campaign in the US appears to have lost any basis in reality.. It's going to be a vote based on emotion.. not from an understanding of what issues will face the new administration and who has the best plan for getting the American machine running again..

More through the weekend. Labour's Annual Conference begins with the coming week, and it will be exceedingly interesting to see how Gordon weathers this meeting of the Party Faithful..

Friday, September 19, 2008

A note in this early British morning.. this evening in the US..
It's been an amazing week, all in all.
Briefly.. we've seen the collapse of Lehman Brothers..the Fed has bailed out insurance giant AIG, Merrill Lynch has been acquired by Bank of America and in the UK, Lloyds TSB has acquired HBOS..
Yesterday alone we saw Central banks from the UK.. the US.. Europe.. Canada.. Switzerland.. Japan injecting $180bnAM into their money markets.
This is the fourth such joint effort, since the onset of the credit crisis last year.
Now.. the news has helped to bring down the interest rate at which banks lend to each other.. one of the key factors behind the problems in credit markets..
.Investors are looking for safer places to put their money.. and as we thought quite a while ago, the price of gold, regarded as a haven in troubled times, rose to
$871.20Am/ounce after recording its biggest one-day gain in history on Wednesday..
It's been mentioned that Lloyds TSB has released details of its £12.2bn takeover of HBOS.. Fleshing out some of the details..the deal values HBOS shares at 232p each and is expected to lead to cost savings of £1bn a year and.. as is to be expected.. will lead to significant job losses.
Russia's main stock exchange suspended trading for a second consecutive day as the government tries to halt a sharp drop in share prices and restore consumer confidence..
And.. to top it off for Thursday..the British Financial Services Authority has announced steps which will restrict short-selling of shares while New York's attorney general has launched a probe into short-selling...
Now the Dow has rebounded some 400 points at the close.. and the Nikkei is cautiously up at the opening.. about a point or so..
But what will happen when the US markets reopen later this morning will reflect the thinking of those who take the bailouts into effect for what they are, and understand what position they will put the economy in for quite some while to come..
Britain's Footsie should be comforted by the Lloyds/HBOS merger news.. but it would be surprising if there's much movement anywhere, until it's seen what's going to happen on Wall Street..
Then.. there's Monday to take into account..

Thursday, September 18, 2008

We seem to be slipping deeper and deeper into a worldwide recession.. a situation which would appear not only to be ubiquitous, but without an obvious solution..
While the US Presidential campaign deteriorates into childish mudslinging.. while we wait to see what will come the middle of next month in Canadian politics.. while we glibly predict what could be in line for our immediate and long-term future.. we are slipping into a general malaise in which it would appear that there's nothing we can do, other than ride the wave..
An incredible merger today in British banking, with HBOS and Lloyds making it official..
As mentioned earlier, this puts a third of all mortgages and deposits in the entire UK, in the hands of one company..
An amazing, and somewhat frightening development..
Some have observed that we're back in the 70's and early 80's where the worldwide finances are concerned.. and the problem there is, what we didn't learn 30 years ago, and what we haven't put into practice to protect ourselves..
It has often been said that history repeats itself endlessly.. And indeed this can be proven..
But the same crisis.. one of such magnitude.. happening at the rate of 3 times a century..?
Time to take a step back.. discard impedimenta.. sentimentality.. and take firm steps towards wiping the slate clean..
There was a time not that long ago, when British travellers going abroad were restricted from taking any more than £5 Sterling in cash out of the country. Where British cheques were honoured worldwide, and foreign exchange was kept within the borders of this country. This meant that Sterling was not a currency to be found in large amounts in any foreign country.. We had control over our own paper..
Perhaps it's time to pull back from a center place on the world stage again..
Watch Russia. Moscow's Stock Exchange has been shut down until tomorrow, to allow the dust to settle around the remains of Western economies..
There are times this chimera we call 'democracy' and 'free trade', drag us down through the weight of our own flawed principles, and we are hoist on our own petard.
We've finally reached what might be called the height of our financial incompetence..
A number of issues here..
AIG.. panic on Wall Street.. a Treasury/Fed combined bailout..the Federal Reserve is giving a two-year, $85 billion loan to AIG in exchange for a nearly 80% stake in the company after it lost billions in the risky business of insuring against bond defaults..
It was said here some time ago.. that the banks themselves would own the lions share of all available housing in Britain.. Oddly enough, this has come to pass faster in the US, for with this nationalisation of AIG.. Washington now owns the three largest mortgage companies in the country..
Now it will be said that this Reserve bailout is a loan.. but it's exceedingly unlikely the American taxpayer will ever see the replacement of these funds back into the public coffers.. at least, reasonably speaking, life in the US undergoes some basic changes, internally and with dealings with some of it's trading partners..
Wall Street fell 4% today. When the long-term cost of what is certainly a domino-effect in mid-stride, one might expect further falls.. diminishing consumer confidence.. and ever-increasing growth in unemployment..
5% unemployment in the States, as of this months figures.. up a full half-point from May..
That's 49 thousand more on the somewhat uncomfortable American form of the dole..
And since consumer spending is the engine of the American economy.. the last thing the economy needs is more people with less disposable income, coupled with those who have cash, are withdrawing it from investments in businesses, and turning to either commodities or turning their extra cash into precious metals..
Such is the downside of basing an entire lifestyle on paper..
We'll watch the developments closely..

Now, here in the UK, Lloyds, which used to be Lloyds/TSB.. has announced a £12 billion takeover of what used to be the Halifax Bank..then the Haliax/Bank of merely HBOS..
HBOS is the largest mortgage holder in Britain, and this merger will create a single institution which will handle a full third of the UK's accounts and mortgages..
Now there are few enough times that one can find occasion to agree with Alex Salmond, the First Minister of the Scottish Parliament and leader of the SNP.. but it hit it on the head, when he deplored what profit seeking speculators can effect.. for it was a basic run on the capital of that bank that forced it into a merger..
Not that Salmond had anything disparaging to say about Lloyds or HBOS..but said any merger between the two should be based on measured discussion, not a "shotgun marriage" driven by unwarranted speculation..
But such is our economy driven these days..
It's almost criminal, how those we have left in charge have been occupied elsewhere, while the clouds of this crisis built on the horizon.
And the worst is far from having been even dremt of so far it would seem..
The Trades Union Congress as assessed the job market, and is predicting that the jobless in Britain could double by 2009. Taking the entire picture into context. from inflation in China..Russia..the EU.. Britain.. The US.. that could well be a conservative prediction.
And we're all about to play musical chairs over the next short while, with the leaderships of our prime trading partners..
Ahh.. the vicissitudes of high finance.
One has to smile.
More later.. it might be mentioned that the Nikkei, at the moment, is down close to 300 points..

Thursday, September 11, 2008

An interesting approach from Moscow today, in the wording of a warning to the US to basically mind it's own business and stay out of Georgia..and that if there was an arms race developing, the US was instigating it..
It was an speech, that while spurious, is difficult to find fault with..
They're learning the game well, and developing a sophistication in Russian diplomacy not seen since the fall of the Romanovs..
By paraphrase Vlad.. the US should be more selective in choosing it's allies, and join with Russia in a combined war on terrorism.. pointing out that Russia has historically supported the Abkhazian and South Ossetian movement to separate from Georgia..
Well done indeed. Offering the hand in partnership against a cause the world is fighting, while using that key word 'ally'.
Well down the road from Nikita's banging his shoe on his desk in the UN..
And it's going to give both Presidential campaigns something to seriously think about..
For the other side of the coin was the rest of the speech.. which tore into the US for fomenting the return of the arms race with the planned missile emplacements in Poland and the Czech Republic.. and he as much as verbally pointed the finger to McCain and Obama.. warning them Russia is still a force to be reckoned with..
Ahh.. one has to love the Game..

It must be mentioned, this seventh anniversary of the attacks in New York and Virginia..
Seven years, since the entire world started, and continues to change, to deal with the ubiquitous threat posed by those devoted to a 'cause'.. a 'faith'..
It would appear that some issues never become history..

Meanwhile.. Pakistan.
Not pleased with secret orders signed by George this summer, authorizing incursions into Pakistan to attack al Q'aeda bases..
Now NATO says none of it's 47 thousand troops have trespassed.. confirming their mandate stops at the Pakistani border.. and that Pakistani Forces are provided with intelligence as to where terrorists might be hiding..
But it's a new government in Pakistan.. A Bhutto in charge again.. a Muslim State..
Something else for the future President to digest..

Commodity futures must be flying these days..
One has to laugh at both the British and American announcements that inflation is going to keep on the rise for a while, and that things are going to get tight..
Masters of stating the obvious..
The Bank of England predicted a 2% rate of inflation for this fiscal year. It's already at 4.4%, and is expected to rise again.. and again..
The US Trade Deficit increased 5.7% in July.. the largest gap since March 2007..
Different story in India though.. While their inflation rate is still miles above that which we would consider acceptable.. that country is staging a recovery..
It depends, one would suppose, on what it takes to please the consumer.. relatively speaking..

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Now, while it may well be pointed out that some of the opinions stated here have not proven correct, yet..
It should not be much of a surprise to have confirmation from the European Commission. Official definition would have 'recession' as defined by negative economic growth for three successive quarters.. and that would indicate that France, Spain, and dear old Britain will officially slide down the economic ladder.. lose a gear..

It's odd.. and perhaps somewhat indicative of 'blue-collar' sentiment.. that the annual Conference of the TUC would spend literally hours this evening, praising their adoption of a plan to petition government for the relaxation of trade embargo's presently in place against Cuba..
One had no idea that so many members of the TUC executive were so well versed in Cuban history.. well, history of a sort..
From the utter corruption of Batista to the unwavering and indefatigable Socialist fight for the common man over the past 50 years.. it was all paraded out..
Of course.. the nationalisation of private lands, and the repressive policies which followed the actual revolution for decades after it's victory.. The thousands who flee the country still on a monthly basis to try and make it the 45 miles or so to Florida, were not mentioned..
But then.. is 'Democracy' any less a spurious label for that which the rest of us embrace, than the 'Socialism' endorsed by the TUC..

And let's not ignore the fallibility of those who venture to predict.. Brent is back below the £100AM per barrel level, and even with OPEC announcing a cut in oil production, the price of crude could well remain around the hundred level for a while. But while we smile at that, remember that's still a 35% increase over this time, last year. And the situation is still as volatile as it ever has been.
It's as though the markets are starting to inhale for the holding of breath that will start around the beginning of November..

Ahh.. and reports are becoming public now, about the international wrangling over the rights to the Arctic..
Russia is claiming the bulk of the area..citing the fact they sent a group to the North Pole and planted a flag..
Yes. The fact that flag has long ago floated away for lack of any ice to stick in, is apparently irrelevant..
Canada has the strongest claim, with Nunavut reaching far north of Baffin Island..
But the US is in there too, with it's Alaska claiming it's share of the top of the world..
Yet another reason to keep an eye on Steven Harper. A Western Canadian facing off with an old school Russian Communist.. Harper, or Steven perhaps.. has called the country to the polls the middle of October.
Should be fun..

And while the slagging picks up in the American hustings.. idiotic statements being made by both sides and tempests brewed teapots.. one is still looking for some concrete commitments from either side to bring the American economy into line, or to maintain it's position on the world stage..
A sad and lacking affair, this particular campaign, and this could be the worst case scenario for the rest of us..
One thanks what gods there may be for not being an American at this point, for either choice is going to lead to hardship, and one choice in particular could lead to the drastic reduction of the United States as a viable world power.
But, in what may well be his last major decision as Commander in Chief, George announced the deployment of another 8 thousand American troops to Afghanistan..
One has to wonder though, why so little attention is being paid to Pakistan of late.. A major change in power,, Musharaff away.. a Bhutto back in power.. that countries historic ties to Taliban..
"By the pricking of my thumbs..", to borrow a phrase..

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

It's indicative of the success what just a few terrorists can have.. what impact they can make on the lives of millions of us..
Case in point: Three British Muslims have been convicted of, to quote the BBC itself.."a massive terrorist conspiracy to murder.."
Quite a statement in defining the scope of the plot..
But, Reuters is taking a somewhat less enthusiastic in it's reporting, saying "..Three Britons were found guilty on Monday of conspiracy to kill using homemade liquid bombs, but a jury failed to agree that they intended to blow up transatlantic airliners in an al Qaeda-style attack..."
This was a five month trial, attracting, of course, great concern here in Britain..
It was the investigation of this plot that led to the banning of liquids in on-board luggage and vastly intensified examination of baggage in general..a move which while not only involved some great expense to airport security, but to the length of time passengers had to wait for their bags to load on..
It's become a situation not unlike that in Canada in the 1960's, with the FLQ in Quebec..APC's..armed soldiers on the streets of Ottawa.. What could be Pierre Trudeau's best line was prompted by that terrorist attack in the rural Eastern Townships of Quebec..
A few barns were burnt by the way..
But Trudeau, when told by an astonished reporter that "..(he) could not declare Martial Law..!" simply turned and said "Watch me."
Seemingly a non sequitur there, but the point is, that the FLQ consisted of one cell, numbering 6.
That's all.
It is not being said here that we are facing what has become a constant state of danger.. That, just in the days when the IRA bombed London itself, we face the ubiquitous threat of violent attack by those driven by idealism, but let us not become that which all terrorists aim for, that being timid.. too eager to abrogate rights and freedoms for the sake of 'national security'.
Quoting Reuters again..
" After more than 50 hours of deliberation, the 12-person jury was unconvinced by the prosecution's description of a complex airline bomb plot, finding only three of the defendants -- Abdulla Ahmed Ali, Assad Sarwar and Tanvir Hussain -- guilty of a lesser charge of conspiracy to commit murder.
The jury failed to reach a verdict on four other defendants and the eighth was found not guilty on all charges."
One has to wonder whose ends have been met to best effect.
And lets not even begin about Gitmo, perhaps a facility only the US and the old USSR could ever get away with..
Well.. perhaps modern Russia.. and Georgia.. some of the Slavic Republics.. Africa maybe..
But who knows what goes on there, eh?

And here we go with the housing market.. The value of homes across the country have dropped by between 25 and 30% across the country over the past four months, which of course means that all those who now homes which have been repossessed have lost the same amount of the equity of their investments..
Banks.. equity funds.. speculators.. are all looking at a situation which is approaching something almost Keynesian. While they are currently tightening credit, they are forcing an inevitable loss with ripples which, if they continue to spread, will strangle the downstream businesses which the banks rely upon to keep them solvent.. Fewer housing starts at the ridiculous rate of 54%..
The picture is plain..
A multi-trillion dollar bailout is not the solution Britain needs.. something far cheaper would suffice..
The abolition of the Stamp Tax on houses worth less than $225thousand is a start..
But what's needed more, is a scheme either sponsored by the government or the private housing sector, which allows the price of property to fall even more, coupled with mortgages tied to a government bond. Wherein qualified buyers could take a bank mortgage for say £135 thousand on a property assessed at £200thousand, with the government guaranteeing the remaining £65thousand..bonds which would still be repaid to the government by the home buyer, but at a zero% rate. Conditions the likes of the immediate repayment of any Bonded amount should the property be sold on would have course need ironing out..
We'll see..

Okay. Muscle-flexing over for the time being..
Russia has conditionally agreed to remove its forces from Georgian land.. other than of course Abkhazia and South Ossetia - by the second week of October.
Sudetenland.. Alsace Lorraine..

Interesting that George has set a firm target for troop withdrawal.. 8 thousand boys to come home, by early 2009..
Now George himself will not in control of course.. But he has set what will be a policy that McCain will certainly follow..
And simultaniously put Obama in a position where he's got to have a concrete plan to effect at least that target.
We'll keep an eye out for the counter-bid in the Democratic hustings..

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Twice the size of the entire UK economy.. the magnitude of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's nationalisation dwarfs our mere £200billion bailout of Northern Rock and demonstrates how little attention legislators have paid to American mortgage providers.. an area of the economy left basically on it's own since the privatisation of Fannie Mae, itself a company formed and run by the government after the return of the GI's from the Second World War..
Today..The two firms buy mortgages from approved lenders and then sell them on to investors rather directly to borrowers..
They guarantee, or own about half of the $12trillionUS American mortgage market
and are relied on by almost all US mortgage lenders.
They are looked to provide ready funds to meet consumer demand for mortgages while linking mortgage lenders with investors.. thus keeping the supply of money widely available and at a lower cost...
There is nothing.. no conglomerate structures which remotely compare in the UK..
A particularly American problem..
And, in a gesture worthy of any John Wayne character.. there's been a typical 'garb the bull by the horns' reaction..
Oddly enough, John Wayne is just what that country needs right now..

Steven Harper.
You'll recall when it was recommended that those who weren't familiar with the name Boris Johnson Google the man's resume..
Now, for those unfamiliar with Steven Harper should do the same.
He's the Prime Minister of Canada.. one who has managed to keep a minority government in power for literally decades..
And he's about to call for a General Election.. likely Canadians will go to the polls around the 17th next month..
This may well be the time for Harper to take a majority.. the Bloc Quebecois and the Conservatives are running neck and neck in Quebec.. and Harper has built a solid base in the west.. and Ontario..
This man will lead a country which, in itself, is a 'sleeping giant', through the next decade or so with America about to pull itself into isolationism..the EU wrestling with constant and chronic unemployment and inflation.. a Russia preparing for economic control in Europe, which will effectively, through economic interdependence, complete Vlad's re-establishment of the USSR..
And Canada.. throughout it's past.. has managed to remain essentially uninvolved in any affairs of international consequence.. confining to NAFTA it's economic agreements.. and NATO and the UN for it's International Peacekeeping Commitments..
Confining itself to a profitable financial 'favoured trading partner' with the US for the most part..
This will change.
Steven Harper.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Time, and the lack spare moments, has affected the continuity of this record, and to those who have mentioned this, apologies. But, and this is written with a smile, there is little income generated here..

Georgian President Saakashvili is a 'political corpse' according to Dmitry.. as the Russian return to it's rightful position as once enjoyed when it was 'the USSR' continues..
No fear here of isolation by Western countries that have condemned the Russian intervention... in fact Dmitry had praise indeed for the French refusal of join in the movement to impose trade restrictions against Russia..
An interesting progression, this Russian re-development.
Regaining it's international clout through the phase in which the west was courted.. NATO.. the increasing economic ties with the EU, China and India with Russian oil.. It's use of that commodity as an economic weapon in Georgia underlined country's growing influence.. The cooling of relations with the West.. refusal to meet NATO commitments indicate the beginning of the next step, wherein Russia, while not totally alienating the West, will keep the possible return to 'Cold War' status alive if for no other reason than to keep the particular 'fear factor' that phrase in the back of the minds of millions of American voters..
Great timing..
Recall the timeline.. fighting between Russia and Georgia began on 7 August after the Georgian military tried to retake the breakaway region of South Ossetia by force.. Russian forces launched a counter-attack and the conflict ended with the ejection of Georgian troops from both South Ossetia and Abkhazia..
Now, Russia has since recognised the independence of both regions.. no other country has.. nor does it matter if any other does.
What matters is that Russia has a safe route for the construction of more pipelines to a growing market..

One of the problems the Asian countries will face more and more is typified by some problems Tata Motors is facing in West Bengal..
The problem is one integral to economic development.. the use of land once farmed to build factories.. West Bengal is not what one might call the most attractive of locations to invest in.. This factory is important for the development of the area..
It's the poorest of the farms which will go first, but whether Indian.. Chinese culture can keep pace with the cost of literally jumping into an infrastructure which would support a lifestyle anywhere near that available in the West.. is moot.
While it may well be what they're all working for.. the cost is only now becoming evident.
Inflation in India is a topic previously mentioned here, and it's future discussed.
The same with China, and the roll-on effects will sweep Asia, possibly causing more damage than any tsunami yet experienced.. The effects this will have on us, will be explosive..

It is disturbing however, when one takes a step back and thinks for a moment.. that come November we will either have a Republican in tenuous power facing some of the most important international and domestic situations ever faced by a man who will still be thought of as 'the most powerful man' on earth.. or by an Democrat international tyro, being led by a Vice-President who has international experience, but who's job it will likely be to cut, as gently as possible, alliances which have taken years to build, while the US becomes isolationist, concerned more with repairing the American Dream than debating the value of immediate involvement in issues the likes of Iraq.
Regardless Barak's statements to the contrary, his primary aim is to make America, and Americans, feel good about their country and themselves again.
When Britain did this, it was 1949.
We'll see what develops over the next 58 years..

Monday, September 01, 2008

This American Presidential campaign could not have been scripted better, had the best of Hollywood imaginations been working overtime..
Of far more importance, is this latest move by the Chancellor to allow the £Sterling to slide so dramatically against the Euro.
It's a canny move, with the $American recovering, and the Euro itself vastly inflated..
With the bald statement that "a lot of British taxpayers are going to be pissed off with the developments the economy will face in the near future..", that statement made a couple of days ago on the BBC.. Alistair has, for once, been forthright, and has left no room for misunderstanding..
Now, it is also a fact that it matters little whether the Tories or Labour is in power during the recovery process.. the solutions remain the same, and while the vox pop appears to be calling for Cameron.. it will be a case of six of one..

We are seeing more and more signs of a resurgent 'Russia'.. and while it has been said that Russia itself will never be a superpower again, one must point out it's tightening of relations with China and the EU.. with it's support of Georgian dissent.. with it's oil and it's ever increasingly sophisticated infrastructure and it's distancing itself from the West.. talk of resumption of 'cold war' diplomacy..
Smoke and mirrors..
It's almost taken for granted by the Western man on the street, that there is a cordial trade relationship between our markets, and the main Middle Eastern oil suppliers. How much thought is given to what talks might be going on between Moscow and Riyadh...

Keep an eye on Canada..
Prime Minister Harper could well call a snap election.
It's odd, how Canada has managed to keep such a low international profile..
World's second largest producer of gold.. diamonds.. oil.. with untapped northern reserves..
Quiet people, eh?

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