Hardly the disaster people in the media are desperate to point out.
Growth under Aparthied, consolidation, then lots more growth again - I'd be a buyer of shares on this chart were it a stock:
Wednesday, 11 December 2013
Tuesday, 10 December 2013
|Leave. Us. Alone.|
Sometimes the approach is in-your-face: in everyone's face, no less. This week sees the big American mass-tech players (Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo!, LinkedIn, Twitter and AOL) setting up a campaign website, and taking out full-page newspaper ads to persuade Obama to quit using them as vehicles for intelligence gathering. "Reform Government Surveillance" - pretty bold stuff from these eight latter-day corporate Cnuts, and good luck with that.
Of course, there are those who would recoil from such bare-faced bluntness. The French, for instance, would go about their business with far more finesse - so much, indeed, that you'd hardly notice the message as it was subtly inserted into your subconscious. Suppose our good friends EDF also wished to issue a gentle rebuke to those pesky governments, forever interfering in their affairs. How to get home the message that governments shouldn't go around trying to legislate on everything ?
Full-page ads ? Mais non, mon ami ! Tant mieux pour raconter une petite fable: everyone will surely get the message. And so we have the story of "The day when pi became 3.2 (instead of 3.14159 ...)" which charmingly delivers its payload. Listen carefully, boys and girls. Once upon a time in America, a wicked shyster tried to hoodwink politicians into believing that pi was 3.2 ! But after all sorts of mad goings-on, a hero arose ...
"... a mathematician by the name of Clarence Waldo, who happened to be present that day in the legislature, realized the danger that this could cause. With the local Senate still having to approve the bill for it to pass into law, the mathematician spent several weeks explaining the truth to the senators and getting press coverage of the case. The Senate then overwhelmingly rejected the bill. This comical story does at least illustrate the point that we can’t always legislate on everything. If things had turned out differently, the world might now be turning in a slightly less perfect circle."Yes, we get the message ! We'll leave you alone. And let's face it, how EDF do suffer from government interference - what with all those subsidies - and with all those nasty strings attached ...
By the way, just in case you think I am imagining things and that this is just a whimsy of EDF's for providing morally uplifting stories for school children, look carefully at the link.
OutbrainInter ? campaign ? Yes folks, Outbrain is a service for pushing corporate messages in the www. It's a campaign, all right.
Monday, 9 December 2013
Here we go nearly Xmas, everyone is short of money for all those extra presents and to try and keep the kids happy. It's a the classic time to borrow money and get further into debt. Well, certainly in my household it is an annual tradition.
And yet today we can see that pawn broker Albermale and Bond is having a very rough time of it indeed. Their business needs restructuring, the profits have collapsed and they are having to sell shops. Of course, hubris as always has a nice role to play, just when Gold went into a price bubble they double down by opening more stores.
Now that gold has fallen back, to still historically high prices, they have been hit. It's hard to say what effect Wonga and other payday lenders are having too, after all, if you can borrow without offering goods as physial security then from a personal perspective that is a much better thing to do. Still, surely there is a supply of gold and unwanted watches for them to suck up?
Perhaps then it is a good indicator that the economic recovery is having some small impact - if only that the desperate are at least one notch less desperate than they have been for the past 5 years or so.