Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Royalty is all Greek to him

One notable thing in the video of the handshake seen around the world -- Martin McGuinness and Queen Elizabeth -- is that McGuinness apparently forgets that Prince Philip (an actual Mountbatten) is there too, and the latter has to offer his hand to him before Martin responds.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Not going anywhere

After announcing the actual numbers from the Egyptian presidential election with the victory for Mohammed Mursi, the chairman of the electoral commission went into the thanks portion of his address. The first two entities thanked were the judges -- whose most recent act was to dissolve the recently elected parliament -- and the armed forces -- whose most recent act was to strip most of the powers from the presidency.

The counter-revolution is being televised.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Condolence call with a message

Via Saudi Press Agency, the photo shows King Abdullah receiving a mourner of the deceased Crown Prince Nayef. The mourner is Refat al-Assad, brother of Hafez al-Assad and estranged from the rest of the al-Assad clan in Damascus.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Offer Not Applicable in Republic of Ireland

European Central Bank board member Benoît Cœuré explains the virtues of banks financing themselves through unsecured borrowing:

Moreover, interbank money markets play a significant role in providing incentives for banks to conduct business in a safe and sound manner, thus ensuring market discipline. Specifically, in the unsecured money markets, where loans are uncollateralised, interbank lenders are directly exposed to losses if the interbank loan is not repaid. This gives lenders incentives to collect information about borrowers and to monitor them over the lifetime of the interbank loan, making the loan repayment more probable. Therefore, unsecured money markets play a key peer monitoring role. The information banks acquire about each other may not be readily available to regulatory authorities and central banks. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

There's a country of interest between those two countries

That's the Deputy Defence Minister of Saudi Arabia (and son of the late Crown Prince Sultan) Prince Khalid meeting the commander of the Konya Airbase in Turkey prior to Saudi Arabia and Turkey participating in the Anatolian Eagle 2 military exercise. Khalid also met the President of Turkey.

It's not just in the Eurozone where things are in motion.

Note to foreign ministries of the world: just like your colleagues in finance ministries, don't make any holiday plans for this weekend.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Hamlet without the Prince, the King, the Queen, the Lord Chamberlain, the courtiers etc

From IMF review of Spain's bank resolution and crisis management framework --

While the overall legal and policy framework for providing emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) is broadly sound and reflects good practices, some features could be further specified. These include stricter definition and interpretation of a “solvent bank”, “systemic importance,” and “temporary liquidity support.”

Friday, June 08, 2012

Petty nationalistic complaint

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, a position obtained as a political appointee of Ireland's disgraced Fianna Fail party, speaking in Belfast yesterday --

In a very big way, and with a sense of determination, the Northern Irish have shown everyone else how to "collaborate to innovate".

There is something not quite right about that sentence. Have the people of Northern Ireland really done this, or have the administrative institutions of Northern Ireland's government shown some interesting results in this area, assuming we accept her premise?  At some point, in other words, living in Northern Ireland has become a distinctive political identity. That may in fact be the case, but it may come as news to some that it's now official EU policy.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Ireland's commercial property crash leads to crime innovation

Irish Times:

A gang has stolen the contents of a safe from a busy city-centre post office after spending a number of days chipping through the wall of a vacant hotel next door. The gang member who stole the money waited until the post office safe was open before bursting through the last section of wall yesterday morning and taking the money as the stunned postmistress looked on.