Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Cataluña; Spain's debt; Gypsy offerings; & Plausible begging?

Spain's President continues to beat the drum of democracy in his attempt to stop the Catalan independence referendum. And to offer dialogue in the legal framework that has now been definitively established by the faster-than-the-speed-of-light decision of the Constitutional Court. Putting this in UK terms, I guess it's Devo-Max that's (almost) on the table. A la The Basque Country model?

Talking of Cataluña . . . The ex doyen of politics there - Sr Puyol - has appeared in the regional parliament and angrily denied his family's many millions came from corruption. So iritated was he that he forgot to say where they did come from.

Spain's public debt in 2007 was a mere 36% of GDP. By the end of this year, it'll have reached 98% and it will peak, says the government, at 102% in 2016. The backcloth is an EU-dictated max of 60%. The rise is attributed to the implosion of the crazy property bubble which finally ended (with a bang!) in 2008. I guess this default would mean a lot more if Spain weren't a member of the eurozone. And had devalued the peseta long before now. Like the UK with the pound.

On Sunday last, the stalls manned by gypsies at the flea market in Veggie Square comprised at least a third of the total. Having carefully surveyed their offerings, I might have to review my earlier view that 95% of what's on sale is 'rubbish from the latest house in the hills vacated". Unless one is attracted to rusted farming implements of the 19th century, for example. Elsewhere in the market, someone was selling copies of Readers' Digest dating back to 1956. Is there anyone in the entire world likely to be interested in these?

Which reminds me . . . The latest police raid on the permanent gypsy encampment down the hill resulted in the arrest of 2 men on drug-related charges. Given that everyone knows where the drug-vending spot is, this must be like shooting fish in the proverbial for the police.

Finally . . . You (almost) have to hand it to the begging flautist who approached us beseechingly last night, seeking coins to pay for a replacement for the flute he said he'd lost. I told him I'd give him some when I next saw him at the vending point outside the gypsy encampment. As if.


Alfred B. Mittington said...

This 'Debt as percentage of GNP' is really not the most adequate indicator of economic health. Since it depends on two factors, the size of the debt and the size of GNP, it fluctuates wildly and fast. If the debt goes up while the GNP goes down - as at the present moment - naturally it surges like a rocket; but it will fall just about as fast once the debt is stabilized and the GNP grows again.

Other indicators, like productivity, trade balance, consumer and investor spending, inflation, and LbnL employment are far more interesting and telling. Why not concentrate on those, instead of on this bookkeeper's fad?


eljay said...

I once purchased a 1939 readers digest and found it to be a very entertaining read. I especially liked the article about Walt Disney's gamble on a full length animated motion picture (Snow White) and the article explaining why the Japanese had a naval office in San Francisco. :)

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