Wednesday 14 August 2013

Happy Days Are Not Here Again

Arriving at our destination yesterday a puzzled acquaintance asked us why London seemed to be full of men in kilts.  As there did not seem to be a performance of the ballet "La Sylphide" that day, nor something jollier like one of the operas about "Macbeth" or "Lucia di Lammermuir" it was a puzzle.

Then I remembered, today at Wembley there is to be a "friendly" soccer match between England and Scotland, that word only loosely meaning that there was nothing to play for except playing the game and may the best team win, do stop laughing. 

Quite why so many should come so far to see a game without purpose which will be on all the full screen TVs back at home can be put down only to conspicuous consumption, possibly done on the good old credit cards.

We had not seen any men in kilts, but we had been down on the Embankment by the large statue of Robert Burns looking down and brooding over the First World War Memorial to the Camel Corps.  They had not ventured this far away from Trafalgar Square with its large blue cock on the spare plinth or the ethnic food shops of Soho.

London was in the news for another reason.  This was to do with the "recovery" boom or alternatively inflating bubble in the property market. 

It seems to be concentrated in London and Frances Coppola, an interesting economist has taken a cold eyed look at the implications and realities of it Housing Fantasy Island which should give us pause for thought about what we are being told.  It is not too long a post but easy reading.

Finally, I have looked at something which has been flagged around the web about The End Of Britain and is long and discursive but intended to be alarming.  This centres on debt and the real trouble that the UK is getting into, with a good deal of the debt being in property.  The UK is not a major power but now entirely dependent on others notably the economies of the USA, the EU and China.

For much of the 20th Century the USA was key to all that went on economically but not any longer, The USA A Gone Man comes from Zero Hedge which theorises that President Obama is the worst President in American history.  Given some of the men who have held that office that is quite a statement.  This one is not too long and detailed.

We were at Covent Garden for the Bolshoi performance of "Jewels", mingling with some of the London Russian elite who now own so much of London property and are alleged to pay so little tax.

The ballet does not have a plot but is based on three themes, Emeralds, Rubies and Diamonds.  It was created by the Russian ballet master Georges Balanchine in New York for the American Ballet to the music of French and Russian composers.

It is said that he was inspired by wandering along the New York shopping streets and noticing especially the richness of the jewellery shops.  With it seems a major shortfall in actual gold holdings compared to the ownership titles across the world for gold and some of it not really being gold at all, the rich are being recommended to get big into precious stones.

You did not hear it here first those in the know are already into the markets.

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