Damp and grey in London here today, and the news is varied: sublime, ridiculous ... and probably quite significant. In reverse order:
Did anyone notice a massive event on Friday? Putin, Merkel and Hollande convened in Paris, complete with dragoons in shiny armour, to solve Ukraine ... except that there was no communique afterwards - search the web as you will. That, friends, is not a trivial matter.
We are left to speculate. Did they make so much progress that they are minded to keep schtumm and keep at it? Did Putin come in waving his Syrian-bombing willy in the expectation M + H would immediately remove sanctions? Prior to the meeting, the WSJ quoted Merkel thus: “We don’t associate the question of Syria with Minsk, these questions are not linked.” She was obviously asked about it afterwards but the French press seem to think the issue was marginal at the meeting. What about Ukraine then, eh? Putin must be so hoping to have sanctions lifted.
Flushed with the success of its campaign for divestment of fossil fuel stocks, the Grauniad is launching Phase II of its mighty climate-change campaign! Keeps them occupied, I suppose. Come December, we shall all be occupied - perhaps physically - by climate protestors, with yet another Hollande vanity-extravaganza in Paris to come in Nov-Dec, of course. And there really will be a communique after that one! - however empty and *disappointing* it may be (and it will). Both Hollande and Obama want it to be their legacies, Heaven help us. Must write about that soon.
Pesto to leave Beeb!
We all remember Pesto's dominance of the airwaves and BBC website back in '08-09, when the banking crisis was in full swing. Then, somehow, everything started to go a bit flat, and it was unkindly rumoured his scoops had dried up because a Prominent Treasury Figure was no longer briefing him in real-time. (Here at C@W we could calibrate this: in 2008, a link from the Pesto blog was worth a massive number of hits, even more than Guido or Worstall. Couple of years later and the effect of a Pesto-link couldn't even be detected.)
Still: Peston on the ITV ... didn't work for Morecambe & Wise, did it?