Back to Black…

In Uncategorized on July 24, 2011 at 13:00

So long, fare well…

As nation shakes its weary head at Amy (oh the irony) Winehouse making the headlines for doing what many of us suspected she`d do.  What occurred to me is that the media which hounded Amy could do a lot more to manage the output, and maybe aid a change in pop culture if it were a little more supportive and a little less sensationalist or sanctimonious in its headlines.  Less flash!  This sits uncomfortably next to the 91 who suffered a similar fate offshore in Norway at the hands of the 32 year old `Christian` (!) Anders Behring Breivik – however for them, this was not an act of death caused by their own hand.

So long and farewell then to our previous perceptions of Norway as a country of Fiords, Viking`s and robust fishermen.  This second least densly populated country in Europe has extensive reserves of pertolium, natural gas, minerals, lumber, seafood, fresh water & Hydropower.   On a per-head basis Norway is the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas outside of the middle east.  Now though, it will no longer be remembered for its poor taste in clothing, appalling performances in the Eurovision song contest or its influence in setting up the United Nations.  It will now be associated with the largest single act of violence since the 2004 Madrid bombings.    

So self righteous is the right wing sad bastard, to whom this face booking, professed conservative, blond haired & blue eyed Nazi  sympathising is the norm, that he couldn`t wait to give himself up  – at the slighted chance of a fair fight – so he could start to tell us all about his cowardly act, and his twisted philosophy on life.  Goes to show, you never can tell what or whom will cause the next random act of terror.  Though I`d look to his doting mother who seems to have wrapped him in cotton wools and to whom he can`t put a foot wrong.  Am sure she`s thinking about this and other issues as she seeks a hiding place from a questioning media and baying crowds.   Though my current thoughts are with the – other – broken hearted mothers, and family members who lost loved ones and who`s lives will be devastated by this selfish, un-warranted little prick.

Moving on.  Seems the Greek rescue package will not do much good for its credit ratings as  `Fitch` announces it still considers Greece in default – even if its agreed by the IMF that it is a `selective default`.  Germany has stepped up to do its bit as Angela Merkel hides her frustration behind a diplomatically stout support for the euro zone bail out.  Even though lenders will only get back 79 Euros for every 100 invested?!!  Let`s be honest, it`s in freefall.

Meanwhile (BBC business pages), Morgan Stanley has seen its second quarter revenues rise by 17%, beating market expectations and making Europe look daft.  This US bank’s net revenues totalled $9.3bn (£5.7bn) in the three months to June, up from $8bn a year earlier.

Morgan made a net loss of $558m, or 38 cents per share, during the quarter. However, the loss was caused by a one-off $1.7bn charge, without which Morgan would have made a profit of 64 cents.  The charge was caused by an investor converting its Morgan shares.  The change by the investor in question – Japanese bank Mitsubishi UFJ Financial – had the effect of diluting Morgan’s common shares.

Morgan is just the latest US banking group to report its second quarter results, and analysts said its figures were among the strongest so far, but I wouldn`t get the Champaign out just yet, Obama`s still struggling to get talks going with congress to avert a catastrophic dept default for the US!

Let`s be honest, it`s in freefall?  Let`s see.  Thomas Cook has recently announced a £200m sell off of unwanted or surplus assets to deflect losses and shore up its finances.  It`s blaming poor performances due to the issues in North Africa, rising fuel prices and the global recession.  Looks like only Morgan Stanley employees can afford to go anywhere at the moment.  Travelex have expressed an interest in buying some or all of the assets.  There must be brass to be earned in foreign currency exchange then?

This is mirrored in recent announcement from Easy Jet that the `budget` or `low cost` option are going to be a thing of the past.  Again sighting, recession, fuel prices and environmental tax levies as a root cause of its problem.  Stelios argued in the Sunday Times that we shouldn`t really call someone with a Louis Vuitton bag a going to Paris a budget traveller so it`s more than right that they can change the name, image, business positioning or perception of such things.

The low cost business model put together in the 1990`s is no longer credible in the business world of 2011, especially set against the much tighter financing opportunities and easy loans being curtailed by the banks.  We are not daft!  We know that the sneaky t@ts (EG Ryan air) have been back loading the subjective price opportunities (baggage allowance, premier boarding, booking fees and the like) for long enough.  Time to step up I say and let`s be open and honest about the state of the global economy.  Cost is cost and the days of dirt cheap flights are unravelling like a cheap jumper from your granny!  Fuel used to account for 10% of air travel prime costs, now its 40% work it out for yourselves!!

Weetabix!  There’s money to be made in breakfast cereal. Lion Capital own it, and are looking to buy out St Louise based `Post Cereal’s` who were part of the Kraft group until 2007 and make Grape nut and Raised Bran.  This deal is worth a forecast £1.5bn!  Conga food is also looking around the option and they made their fortune from Peter Pan peanut butter!  Anyway, if it goes through, Lion will be up there with Kellogg`s. Food for thought?  Certainly food to make you regular!

Best way to finish this week is to shake our heads and doff our collective hats to Brighton council who`ve decided to ban a gay pride `picnic on the beach`.  It all came to a stop after a facebook viral phenomena took hold following a bloke finding that, what started out as twenty fiends meeting up to watch the march on the mod friendly coast line, had in fact ended up with 8000 like minded individuals all wanting to join in!  The council leaders decided that it was best to ban it on the pebbly grounds of noise abatement – citing it was a rave in the making.  What would have happened to poor old Jesus and his 5000 bread & fish eating followers if he tried it on in today`s world, is a matter for some further contemplation on a Sunday afternoon…

No doubt there will be something on the matter from Fatboy slims twitter account or Zoe Balls facebook page shortly.

That`s it from me – home to watch the Landsbanki share price wobble as it looks to sell of its frozen food store `Iceland` for £1.2bn to maybe Morrison or Wal-Mart.

TTFN Globalagogogo…


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