Friday, April 20, 2012

At last a small sign of protest! Scribbled on a window near my favourite wi-fi café: Capitalism kills. Kill capitalism! No instructions provided.

Talking of killing capitalism . . . Over in Argentina, President Kirchner has made good her threat to nationalise a majority portion of the Repsol subsidiary, YPF. Armageddon has now been promised by an irate Spain, who's calling on both the EU and the USA for support. Presumably in the form of trade-linked measures, rather than invasion.

Wednesday's Champions' League match between Chelsea and Barcelona was a one-sided affair. Barcelona completed 782 passes to Chelsea's 194. And the shots on goal were an even more unbalanced 24 to 1. The result? Chelsea 1 Barcelona 0. It'll be a hell of a return game next week, with Chelsea presumably reducing their attempts on goal to nil. And placing all eleven men on the goal line.

As I gazed down on Pontevedra from my eerie this morning, I noticed the return of two of what used to be Spain's most common bird, the Builders' Crane. It put me in mind of a time when you could see little else down there. Today's cranes, though, aren't dedicated to the construction of soon-to-be-very-empty-flat blocks but to a new bridge being thrown over the river Lerez. Long-term readers may recall that work was suspended for nine months on this after it'd been found that no building licence had been obtained. These things happen.

Well, yesterday's sale of Spanish bonds - as is the usual way of things - went better than expected and the allegedly highly significant interest rate of 6% wasn't reached. Somehow, though, I don't think this means the euro crisis is over.

In a revolutionary move, Barclays Bank has announced that senior executive bonuses - well 50% of them - will be contingent on achievement of profitability. Whatever next? Dismissal for dishonesty or stupidity? Reductions in the obscene salaries?

Finally . . . Something rather extraordinary was found on a nearby beach this week - a decapitated goat with all four of its legs tied together. A black magic ritual? A sacrifice to some ancient Celtic god? Or just a clan war among the local goats? I suspect we'll never know.

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