Sunday, November 22, 2015

Thanksgiving dinner, Matthew McConaughey, Adele and contemporary prejudices

Matthew McConaughey, the accomplished and versatile American actor, was the host of the Saturday Night Live comedy show yesterday (21 Nov) and Adele, the British singer, was his special guest.

This Thursday is Thanksgiving day and this is a clip from the show with a typically dysfunctional Thanksgiving dinner complete with contemporary prejudices, where Adele's “Hello” keeps intervening as the only thing everyone in the family can agree on.


Larry David in Curb Your Enthusiasm - Black Man In A Suit

''Yeah, it is possible for black people to have other jobs.''

Larry David, producer, writer and actor, wrote for Saturday Night Live, wrote and produced the sitcom Seinfeld and created HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm. He currently plays Bernie Sanders, the Democratic candidate for president, on Saturday Night Live.


Beyond comedy, Jane Elliott, an Iowa schoolteacher, on the day after Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered in 1968, gave her third-grade students a first-hand experience in the meaning of discrimination. She devised a daring "Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes" experiment with labels on participants as inferior or superior based solely upon the colour of their eyes and exposes them to the experience of being a minority.



Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Solidarity with France after night of terror in Paris

La Marseillaise has been prominent in recent days as peoples across the world have showed solidarity with France after the terrorist murders in Paris.  

A YouTube video of the scene from the 1942 film 'Casablanca,' in which character Victor Laszlo (played by Paul Henreid) leads customers in Rick's Café bar, in singing an impromptu rendition of the French national anthem, La Marseillaise, in response to a group of Nazis who are singing the German national anthem.

La Marseillaise chantée par tout le stade de Wembley lors de France-Angleterre!

Wembley Stadium, London, prior to the start of the England-France friendly football game 17 Nov, 2015 — 4 days after 129 people were murdered in Paris in the worst terrorist attacks since the end of teh Second World War  


La Marseillaise (full, high quality) - Placido Domingo


Monday, November 16, 2015

Financial Repression: QE undermines pension funds and savers


Quantitative easing has been a serious problem for the pensions industry. Amin Rajan, chief executive of Create Research, explains to Long View columnist John Authers how the resultant volatility has reduced investment decisions to a shot in the dark.

According to the FT's Lexicon financial repression is a term used to describe measures sometimes used by governments to boost their coffers and/or reduce debt. These measures include the deliberate attempt to hold down interest rates to below inflation, representing a tax on savers and a transfer of benefits from lenders to borrowers. Financial repression is also used to describe measures to facilitate a domestic market for government debt and the imposition of capital controls. The combined effect of all these measures means funds are channeled to the government that would otherwise flow elsewhere. Financial repression in China is said to be the cause of its huge accumulation of foreign currency reserves. Similarly western governments were being accused of financial repression following the 2008/2009 financial crisis as they embarked on measures including quantitative easing, capping interest rates and creating more domestic demand for their own bonds.

Living in unique economic/ financial times; Interest rates at 5000 year lows