• November 2011
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Ptarmigan Ridge

I spotted this cracking photo at ‘Explore Loch Lomond’s’ Facebook Page

It was taken by Mark Wilson from Ptarmigan Ridge, Ben Lomond.


Why Women Can’t Sleep

Have you ever wondered how a woman’s brain works? Well, it’s finally explained here in one, easy-to-understand illustration (Click on the picture):

Every one of those little balls is a thought about something that needs to be done, a decision or a problem that needs to be solved.

A man has only 2 balls. They consume all his thoughts, and he sleeps like a baby.

Thanks John O’Hare for elucidating.

Weir’s Way

I see that Euromillions winners Colin and Chris Weir have donated £1,000,000 to the SNP for use in the forthcoming independence referendum. This comes a month after poet Edwin Morgan left a similar amount in his will to the party.

And of course there was the half million donated by Christian fundamentalist fruitcake respected businessman and moral campaigner, Brian Soutar.

The Nats are in the money and they are clearly riding the crest of the Zeitgeist.

I’m just conscious that donations and investments usually come with terms and conditions….

The Last Resort?

This morning’s Telegraph reports:

“A total of £36.2bn was wiped off the UK’s biggest companies on Monday as the FTSE 100 dropped 2.6pc. European markets lost more. The Stoxx Europe 600 index fell 3.2pc; the French CAC and German Dax sank 3.4pc each; Italy’s MIB dropped 4.7pc and Spain’s Ibex fell 3.5pc. US markets also fell, with the deadlock on plans to cut America’s debt driving the declines. The costs of insuring Spanish, Italy and French debt rose.

Investors were shocked by the rapid downward revision of the Bundesbank’s prediction: five months ago, the central bank forecast growth of 1.8pc in 2012. On Monday in its monthly bulletin it said Europe’s powerhouse economy could suffer “pronounced” weakness if the eurozone debt crisis continued.”

Jose Maria Aznar, the prime minister who led Spain into the euro in 1999, said the European Central Bank (ECB) may have to stand in as lender of last resort “to avoid a disaster”.”

Now this set me thinking. Until now my image of a ‘lender of last resort’ was something like this:

And not this:

However as a lender of last resort, the principle will be roughly the same. So you take your gold or your iPod (or your national debt) along to the pawnbroker.

You remember fondly buying the iPod on a special offer at Asda for £180. The pawnbroker looks at it and has a sharp intake of breath. “Hmmmmm fourth one of these I’ve seen this morning and the model’s now been updated – I can give you a tenner”.

So you decide to hang on to your treasured possession meantime and thank the pawnbroker. You say you’ll “think about it”.

“Don’t think about it for too long – it’ll be £7.50 tomorrow” says the pawnbroker with a cheery smile as you leave.

So here we stand on the verge of a repeat of the 2008 crisis, but this time with added raspberry sauce, sprinkles and a flake.

Most of the various governments borrowings have been made with a notional value of their reserves which no longer apply.

No-one, not even the most qualified financial expert, would dare predict what is going to happen next.

We’re doomed.