Daily Archives: July 21, 2009

The real funeral crashers

So many things are meant to be funny and sad and aren’t/ Victoria Coren’s account of rumbling the Jolley gang is the real deal.


Hot News Trends: The pleasure of not doing business with you

Nordea, Handelsbanken beat earnings forecasts by avoiding doing business with ever-imploding Latvia (which seems to disparage the IMF exactly in proportion to how much it needs the IMF’s money).
Volvo (the truck maker, not the Ford unit) has run down its inventories to the point where it might be able to make some money from the teensiest, tiniest recovery in the truck market (and therefore trade).
Sir Allen Sugar is no more. Long live Lord Sugar of Clapton. Gordon Brown now has his “enterprise czar,” plucked from the blessed realm of reality television. And sirallun must feel like he arrived. He bears a gigantic chip against the establishment on his shoulder with enormous grace, and I imagine he was thrilled by the apparently cool welcome he received from the House of Lords, as captured by the Times’s parliamentary sketch writer: “He bowed his head to the Lord Speaker and processed over to shake her hand. The cheers that followed were distinctly muted and noticeably short. It was more like a momentary bark then anything that could remotely be described as full-bodied. Indeed I didn’t see even one Tory mouth open, not even to breathe. The Lords love pomp and circumstance but this was more like pomp and circumspect.”

Hot News Trends: We won’t recover until there are no suckers left

Arabs used to be suckered into buying stakes in Western banks. Now the lure of football has them hooked. “Dr Al-Fahim – just 31 and already a billionaire, reportedly – sailed through a fit-and-proper test and can now complete the £60m [purchase of Portsmouth football team].” ( via FT).


Of course, no one’s idiotic enough anymore to blow $20,000 on a Louis Vuitton bag just because it’s a limited edition and, well, gorgeous. But Hermes leather bags, on the other hand: are their surprisingly consistent sales a sign of rationality, of people buying quality at the right price? There is a baseline desire for luxury. As Coco Chanel said, or one of her ghostwriting poets said, Luxury is a necessity that begins where necessity ends. We don’t want to be reduced to buying ONLY essentials.