Sunday, October 10, 2010

There’s an interesting table in the Business Section of El País today. It shows how many of the world’s leading banks have changed their CEO since 2007. The overall percentage is 67% but the country-by-country breakdown is:-
UK, Ireland, Greece, Holland, Switzerland and Belgium - 100%
USA – 69%
France – 67%
Germany – 57%
Italy – 56%
Spain – Nil.
Which presumably tells us something about Spain – or at least its banking sector – but I’m not sure what. I wonder if the figure would be different in the troubled savings banks sector. Other than for those that have been forced to merge, of course. Over to Charles Butler at IBEX Salad . . .

Thanks to a BBC podcast I’ve have had some of my perceptions – or at least my recollections – on the Spanish Armada revised. If I’ve ever known, I’d certainly forgotten that the fleet was defensively configured, as its main purpose was to ferry materials to an army somewhere in the Low Countries waiting to invade England in due course. It was also a surprise to hear that three-quarters of the ships got back to Spain, despite the various misfortunes that came their way. On this, it was amusing to hear that, after the first big storm hit them before they even got to the English Channel, some wag (probably a Gallego who boarded in La Coruña) asked whether it really could be true that God was on their side. Another interesting aspect was just how much the Armada’s plans were affected by the Pope’s ambivalence about the venture and the conditions he placed on it before he’d bestow his blessing. Finally, it was nice to hear that, in modern terms, Spain was then the superpower equivalent of the USA and England was comparable to, say, Poland. Things changed a bit shortly after that, though.

There was another nice article by John Carlin in El País today, on the travails of Liverpool FC. Click here, if interested. As an Evertonian, I’m not exactly losing sleep over the crisis at Anfield but I’m certainly concerned about it. I have no problem supporting Liverpool against any team other than Everton. Which is on a par, I suppose, with feeling very European, rather than British or English, when I’m in the USA. In fact, the further from ‘home’ I am, the less parochial I feel. Given their famous devotion to their patria chica, I wonder how many Spaniards this would be true of. Over to Moscow . . .

Finally . . . I mentioned that, recession notwithstanding, there were three new shops on my route into town. I thought one of these was a sweet shop but it turns out to be a café specialising in chocolate drinks. I’m beginning to wonder whether anyone in this town has lost his or her job because of the crisis. Which is probably a little unfair. Anyway, here’s a foto of the place.

If you look hard you can see reflected in the window the railings that surround the public works which have made life difficult around the town hall for the last two or three years. And which may finally be coming to and end. Belatedly, of course.

Finally, finally . . . I was going to show it but it won't reproduce . . . Can any Spanish reader tell what El Roto's Crucero cartoon in El País today is all about. I frequently don't get his/her cartoons but this one takes the biscuit for obscurity. For me at least. Graeme??

Tailnote for new readers: My elder daughter has now net-published seven chapters of a novel which is “A fast-paced political thriller but, above all, a personal tale of pride and paranoia.” Set in a fictionalised Cuba, it’s being e-published at the rate of at least a couple of chapters a week. If this entices you, click here.


Sierra said...

Given they've been selling chocolate since 1881 they perhaps have a chance:

CafeMark said...

Well, if it's a new shop as you state, the answer to your question is no-one has lost their job, and in fact new jobs have been created? Or am I missing something obvious? (of course you could argue the increased competition will cause another shop somewhere to close...). It does seem sometimes Colin as though you go out of your way to see the downside of what you observe; strange, as there is plenty of bad news already out there.

Colin said...


Indeed! In fact, I'm astonished it's taken them so long to get to this place.

@ cafe Mark

By'place' I meant the town, not the shop.

I've answered the negativity allegation several times over the years. In fact, I think there's something on my Galicia page somewhere . . .Try this

But, anyway, I would have thought no one losing their job was positive, not negative.

Rudy Vinyl said...

I agree with Colin. 
I personaly like the look of  the shop it remains me of "LYONS'  Corner Houses" in London. some how.
I'm begining to belive that You, like most of the Gallegos that I met "have a chip on your shoulders"

Colin said...

That might be a bit unfair, Rudy. I've never thought CafeMark was a Gallego. Or Spanish. I might be wrong but I've always assumed he was a Brit.

Rudy Vinyl said...

If Mark is not "Gallego" CafeMARK, Why should I make you something that you aré not.  My most sincere apolegie for the "Gallego" bit.
That's a relive.

CafeMark said...

Hi Rudy - why do you assume all Gallegos have a chip on their shoulder (I'm not one nor Spanish, by the way)? The original sentence Colin put was (I believe) "but it turns out to be a café specialising in chocolate drinks. I’m beginning to wonder whether anyone in this place has lost his or her job because of the crisis." Colin has now changed the word place to town Now to me the meaning is totally transformed. Of course it's relevant to ask if any jobs have really gone in your town, if you see new places opening up. My beef was with the original statement which seemed to be asking if anyone had lost their job in the new shop. I admit this confused me, but maybe it's just my faculties failing me!

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