Screaming and Shouting

Banking, computers and perpetual crisis

Catalonia and Currencies


I’ve been a bit busy recently [1] and have not been following current events with my normal degree of attention, but the crisis in Catalonia has changed all that. An excitable commentator on the BBC yesterday – the day of the regional assembly’s vote for independence – called the region’s unilateral declaration ‘the greatest crisis to hit Europe since 1945’ and predicted possible civil war. I don’t think it’s quite that bad, but it won’t end well.

In part, it’s down to currencies.

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… and go to Vegas: a joke about financial planning


I recently saw a news item about a family whose elder members have sold up everything to make a big bet on bitcoin. While I applaud their daring, I am less certain of their wisdom. It reminded me of one of my favourite jokes – a joke that I always think of whenever I make decisions with my own money.

Here it is.

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Jamie’s bitcoin bother


Bank CEOs –  although the few I have met personally have all been delightful – are not normally noted for the bitingly controversial nature of their public statements.   Anodyne CEO sentiments about ‘tactical downsizing’ or ‘seizing new growth opportunities in China’ are par for the course. Coruscating attacks less so.

So it was refreshing to see that Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan has not held back in his opinion of bitcoin.

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Paying for extreme weather: Big Oil and Big Legal

hurricane irma

Over my toast and marmite this morning, listening to the radio, I heard reports of the devastation caused by hurricane Irma (taking over after a few weeks from its older brother Harvey).  Then an Oxford Professor called Myles R Allen came on and announced new research that can – via climate science – pin the blame on specific companies

To quote the Kaiser Chiefs: I predict a riot.

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Next Crisis Cup: Runners and Riders


With the newspapers full of articles describing the onset of the Great Financial Crisis ten years ago (a few weeks late in my view), I’ve also started to see articles speculating on what will cause the next one.

So, for your guide and entertainment in this, the tedious heart of summer, I present the runners and riders along with some helpful odds.
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Ten years since The Top


There will be lots of articles this summer and autumn about the start of the Great Financial Crisis ten years ago.  But when did it actually kick off?  What was the precise date? In my view, it was ten years ago today: July 12th, 2007.

My reason for choosing this particular date?  The Rolling Stones, downgrades and CVIX.

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Cladding and Crisis


This is a post about fire and regulation. But don’t worry finance fans, I get on to money and crisis eventually. The parallels between fire and finance are rather striking. Disturbing, too.

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Suffering from Qatar: recapitalising banks


Even in a week when there are plenty of other stories (poorly executed terrorism, Brexit negotiations, scandalously flammable buildings, hung parliaments) the news that four Barclays executives are being charged with fraud has made the front pages today.

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Safety Limits: Traffic and Terrorism


This post starts with a speeding fine and ends with a famous quote from Benjamin Franklin. In the middle there’s some stuff about terrorism where you might agree with me.   Alternatively, I might very well piss you right off.

You have been warned.

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