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.http://theseconddeathofjuanlaroca.blogspot.com/