All entries for October 2008
October 15, 2008
Possibly not a title that Ian Fleming remembers…
It occurs to me that there are a number of similarities between what is happening now in the global economy and the plot of Casino Royale…
In the big plot set piece, James Bond has to gamble some money to try to win some from other people. In this, he fails. He therefore goes to his principal backer and asks for some more money. Because he has to get his money back somehow or the plot fails he gets given a lump sum from the government to gamble with again. He wins big, of course, and all is well (despite momentarily considering keeping the money for himself).
Quite apart from the fact that having flushed away the first tranche of money and therefore he would in real life not be given any more, because he’s clearly not as good at cards as he made himself out to be… the film is one of the modern trend of movies in that if we only have faith in someone, it will all come good in the end.
And right now it seems we have to have faith in the banking system that they will, despite (or because of) being the people who said that “past performance does not guarantee future returns” – never a more disingenuous statement was said!!! – we have to have faith that bankers will learn the error of their ways and not be so naughty ever again!
October 01, 2008
I read that the Met Office have predicted that this winter will be mild and dry. Mainly because the last eight out of ten winters were mild and dry and the Met Office is probably hoping that the dice have a memory.
My (slightly tongue in cheek) prediction is that it will be a terrible winter, on a par with those in 1947/48 and 1962/63.
Fate has a vicious sense of humour…
The economic downturn will cause increased poverty – historically recessions have followed bad winters. Well, we are beginning the recessive cycle right now;
Increased fuel prices have also historically caused bad winters, though possibly this is more to do with increasing energy costs causing recessions, but that might be getting in the way of a good argument;
Oversea military commitments have also caused bad winters; eg the 1947/48 freeze during the post world war occupation of Central Europe;
With the national resources (and personal!) being stretched pretty thin right now, the situation is ripe for Fate to stick her oar in and give us a right rotten winter! And, if a half inch of snow these days is sufficient for the media to dig out the severe weather headlines, what sort of a disaster would be a few feet?
The US federal government wants to inject $700 billion dollars into their economy to sort out the mess…
The GDP of Sweden last year was estimated at $455.3 billion
The Apollo project to get to the moon in the 1960s cost $25 billion, or, at today’s rate, about $279 billion.
According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the direct costs of the war on terror, which include operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan, have so far have reached $752bn, if the current year’s appropriation of $188bn is included.