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Big Mac now cheaper in London than Sao Paulo 27/10/2009

Posted by chrisdshaw in FX, Society.
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Interesting Bloomberg article revealing the effect of the “Brazilian real’s 34 percent, world-beating rally this year“, against the USD. This uses the light-hearted Economist take on Purchasing Power Parity- using the price of a Big Mac in every country to determine the true value of currencies- The Big Mac Index.

Hold the front page 06/10/2009

Posted by chrisdshaw in Economics, Society.
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Great link to a series of newspaper front pages covering the dark days of the financial crisis September 15- October 14.

Mad Max time, baby 19/05/2009

Posted by chrisdshaw in Economics, Society.
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A journalistic and typically rambling but fantastic essay in this week’s New Yorker  on the financial crisis. It shares my scepticism about the recent rally, which I believe is a false dawn. The article, which relies heavily on interviews with senior market practitioners, focuses on the scale of the current crisis and changes that need to take place before the world economy returns to stability. This is a slow lingering cancer that marks the end of US economic hegemony, the end of the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency, the end of our modern day Western reliance on leverage, and a fundamental change in Western society- and that doesn’t touch on difficulties associated with that change.  This is seriously worth a read.

“Mad Max time, baby,” the financier said, before double-checking that the mute button was indeed on.
The voice went on, “If the long bond starts rising, we’re done. That’s the Armageddon scenario.” Someone mentioned a jobless rate of up to twenty per cent. “How awful is that going to be?” one voice said. There ensued talk of riots in China and Greece, and the relative merits of gold and canned food.
There was no anxiety or even amazement in their voices, just a kind of war-room self-satisfaction. A voice said, “Capitalism without bankruptcy is like Christianity without Hell.”

The financier had heard enough. He was eager for some air. Without signing off, he grabbed his coat and walked out. The streets were busy; nothing seemed amiss.

Back in its normal place 23/04/2009

Posted by chrisdshaw in Economics, Politics, Society.
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The New Labour project is over. Back to the ideological lines of tax the rich v. stuff the poor

The UK budget announced today that next year’s borrowing requirement will be 11.9% of GDP- an amount higher than the ENTIRE amount of debt  raised since 1694. Labour’s reputation for fiscal prudence is finished. UK politics has gone back 30 years.  The Labour government expects it will take 10 years to get out of this fiscal crisis- and this is assuming fantastical levels of economic growth, 3.5% in 2010- way higher than the most optimistic independent forecast.

Well everyone, it was fun while it lasted. Fun being that rich, cocky and slightly trashy nation for the last 15 years. Back to the land of Rising Damp.

At least Northern Ireland is OK budget-wise…..the Brits wouldn’t DARE!

Irish-Americans finally get it 18/03/2009

Posted by chrisdshaw in Northern Ireland, Politics, Society.
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A St Paddy’s Day message from Chris Matthews- US political commentator and good bellweather for Irish American sentiment.

“Not British, not Irish, but Northern Irish. A term that unites rather than divides.”

Who would have thought it? Quite unbelievable.

The Wrath of Stewart 13/03/2009

Posted by chrisdshaw in Economics, Funny, Society.
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Sensational interview last night with CNBC’s Cramer.

Stewart rips into Santelli et al 05/03/2009

Posted by chrisdshaw in Economics, Funny, Politics, Society.
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CNBC is the latest victim of Stewart’s ire.

Chicago- the last bastion of capitalism 19/02/2009

Posted by chrisdshaw in Economics, Politics, Society.
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We are all Keynesians now. We all agree that, left to its own devices, unregulated capitalism will eat itself alive and government must act now to prevent economic collapse. Right? Not quite. One city in America remains defiant. Observe the last remaining ideologues in the western world.

Dark times ahead 19/02/2009

Posted by chrisdshaw in Economics, Society.
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Niall Ferguson warns of a new age of upheaval.