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Everything posted by macrosan

  1. They have laws in America which affect financiers ?
  2. I went there only once, lots of years ago. I had to cross a union picket line to get in, and when one of the picketers booed at me I told her that I'd love to discuss her grievance when I came out, but as I was meeting a friend inside I couldn't stop now. When we left, we chatted to the woman who had shouted at me, and had a long and interesting discussion. They gave us coffee (it was a freezing night) and I made a donation to their strike fund. It was very interesting.
  3. I think he has missed one of the key factors in any scam, which is that the scammer has to offer to people something that they really want to believe in - their own membership of an exclusive group. In the case of Madoff, people wanted to believe they were in a "magic circle", and Madoff set them up beautifully. Madoff made clear that he would only do business with "friends" and they clamoured for his friendship - joining his golf club, engineering invitations to social events where he would be present, making donations to charities he supported. I remember pyramid selling in the UK in t
  4. Yep, my personal shopping adviser (a canny Scots lady) has already set me on this track I am replacing a "built-in" but I'm severely restricted by the existing cabinetry. Don't think I can squeeze in a double without refitting the whole kitchen I have learned how to struggle with timing differences by putting things in at stages, but it's really tough when I need different temperatures. It enforces restrictions on the menu
  5. I love doing this, even though I have found it rarely succeeds ... well not in past years, anyway. I once tried to get a discount off a pendant in Tiffany's and got an extremely polite "Sorry sir, we can't do that". I didn't buy it, because I think it's a good idea to get the message across to retailers that they need to think very hard about their pricing; but I went back next day, ensured that the original sales assistant wasn't there, and bought the pendant for the asking price I'm about to go on a shopping spree for a new oven and hob, a complete set of pans, a TV and some compute
  6. Pass on the Creole stew, I think Oh the ortolan, the ortolan ... nostalgic shades of Cabrales and (I always suspected) a fevered memory
  7. macrosan

    Helen Suzman

    A very brave woman whose courage and achievement rank alongside any in the history of the fight against apartheid.
  8. I can't delete these. Any thoughts? Wilf, I'm now certain that you're on Microsoft's Secret Watch List. Microsoft, as you know, is an agent for Mossad. And Mossad is owned by .... Well at least it's best that you know, so you can make suitable arrangements
  9. I agree with that. To be honest, banks like Santander and HSBC losing billions is not something that concerns me apart from generally making me angry at their crass incompetence and their unnustifiable salaries The problem is the "small" people who have neither th resources nor the knowledge to even understand who they're dealing with and what the risks are. After all, who would have believed just six months ago that Lehmann's or HBOS or Northern Rock could have become bankrupt ? Naturally the 'insiders' could, but I would never have believed it possible because I thought they were "r
  10. Most regulation is carried out very cheaply by simple laws. So in fact the diamond trade is regulated (in the UK anyway) by normal civil and criminal laws and by the Consumer Protection Act. The way that works is simple - you make something clearly illegal and the majority of people won't do it for fear of being caught and penalised. Financial services special regulation is needed just as a special case of all this, because the amounts of money at stake are high, because people need to buy these services even though they can't be expert at understanding them (by contrast nobody needs to b
  11. Actually everybody is rubbish at it, because the fundamental concept of the game is rubbish. It's wonderful to see that someone has lost $40M from trying to aggrandise himself and putting a whole sport at risk. Now I hope the same thing happens to the Indian oligarchs.
  12. I had understood that the SEC is responsible for oversight of all investment management companies, except specifically for hedge funds. Obviously I'm wrong. So why is that ? You're saying that anyone can set up a management company and offer services to the public without any external oversight ? Maybe that expresses the problem even better.
  13. Sure it is, but even hyperbole happens Let's wait and see, shall we ? Did you know that about four weeks ago the German government released a bond issue. Not a single bond was taken up. Not one euro ! Now Germany is the most underborrowed 1st world government in the world, yet nobody wanted the bond. I have no idea what the terms were, and they may have been awful, but nevertheless that is (I believe) unprecedented. So we'll see in due course whether the Arab countries are willing to lend to the USA. I acknowledge what you say about the idiots who lent money to Madoff,
  14. Firstly, it is now clear that no country has no choice. They all now know the huge risks in investing in the US, and many will prefer to keep their money under the bed. Secondly, the US will now rank with China or Russia or Eastern Europe or Britain in terms of security of lending and the US will have to stand in that line. I assume you mean that there are not enough lending countries to fill the need of the debtor countries ? If so, you're exactly right, and that raises the point that I have made many times - it's all very well for the US and Britain to say they're going to bor
  15. I think the "failure" of the English bowlers, or alternatively the "success" of the Indian batsmen, both owed much to England's lapse in that last batting session. The English were clearly fearful of what the Indian batsmen might be capable of, so they tried to use up time and to eke out any few runs they felt they were capable of scoring. The Indians recognised this fear, which (quite rightly) boosted their self-confidence, which was instantly demonstrated in Sehwag's attitude to the game from the first ball that was bowled. Can you conceive of any England batsman taking the game to the
  16. What the Madoff scam now finally proves is the appallingly lax (and that's just a euphemism for corruptly and criminally negligent) standard of financial regulation in the USA. I watched a string of American financial gurus on TV yesterday admitting that this could be the death knell of all types of foreign investment in the USA. Given the level of debt of the USA to overseas institutions, that could finally lead to a meltdown of the US economy. I'm not saying that the UK or other countries have much better regulation, but the overseas exposure of Britain, for example, is only about a ten
  17. I agree with that. It demonstrated fear and lack of self-confidence in the England team. That seemed to have disappeared from the team's performances under Pietersen; I have been impressed with his handling of the team, and particularly with his willingness to take risks. Bowling Swann before Monty was an excellent example. Yep, Test matches are back big time, and thank goodness for that.
  18. I assumed that this thread is a viral popup version of the other one
  19. If it takes generations, we deport them. Normal allowance for an immigrant to become really British is 3 years, or else. ETA: And we don't stand for this silly "Italian-British" or "Irish-British" stuff either
  20. The sprats I've known are from the Baltic. And I agree that they are quite good. Given the phrase "a sprat to catch a mackerel", I've always assumed that sprats come from mackerel-fishing waters ... the south-west of Britain ? Do they catch mackerel in the Baltic ?
  21. Nice list. I assume that the resaon for the Manx Kippers is that you want a trip to the IoM so you can put a load of dosh in an offshore bank account. Otherwise, I think you should choose Lancashire kippers, which are immensely better, or even Cornish. I see the only game is grouse. I think a bit of SScottish venison ought to find a place somewhere. And a final vote for smoked sprats. I have no idea where they come from but they taste wonderful
  22. I don't think I have any genes. How can I tell ?
  23. I believe goose fat used to be used as a poultice in mediaeval times - they smeared it on their chests, I think No-one who did that ever died from hunger, I suspect. It was also used in Eastern European Jewish tradition as something to be spread on bread, and for mixing in to chopped liver, and generally as cooking fat --- this was the original "schmaltz". I guess that's because geese were relatively easy to rear in rural households, because they could protect themselves from predators better than chickens or ducks ?
  24. Lizzie sent me a recipe for roast goose a few years ago, which I used twice, but I can't find it now ... I'll ask her for a copy and post it. I can say that it worked perfectly, and it did involve a great deal of basting and removal of fat ! As I understand it, the pricking of the skin is only necessary in the parts of the bird which are not "open" to the oven, such as in the fold between the legs and the body, to ensure that the fat can escape from the carcass as it melts. Goose fat is brilliant for cooking roast potatoes - it imparts a unique flavour and wonderful crispness. I also
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