September 19th, 2008

Eat my shorts

OK, now I am confused. Presumably if short selling is banned
a) people will trade 'virtual' shorts by betting in other markets on the share prices.
b) once you have people betting on shadow markets on share prices, there will be arbitrage between the real and shadow markets with hilarious results.
The idea of banning shorting seems very weird to me. Back in prehistory when my Dad worked in t'city (as a clerk) you had until settlement day to buy the shares you were selling (every other Tuesday) i.e. shorting. The Stock Market without shorting is like [where is the 'insert simile' command in emacs?]

Question

If the UK makes most of its money 'in the city', and the end of the neo-liberal economic dispensation means that much of this fun and games has come to an end (e.g. no shorting, derivatives unwound, no more masters-of-the-universe given the assets of retail banks to gamble with, no liquidity, blah blah), presumably this means no transactions, no transactions means no skimming off a percentage, no skimming off a percentage means no tax take, no tax take = no more money to spend on smoking outreach coordinators etc. etc. = collapse of civilisation as we know it.

Or what?

What is the UK's percentage of GDP from 'manufacturing' (whatever the f*** that means in this day and age) compared to, say, France, Germany, Italy, Spain anyway?

Bhoondoggle

Do you remember when the launch of a TV channel used to be a big thing? (See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9OJpiGXX2k for a promo telling you how to tune in and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbogllExwIM for the launch featuring David Dundas's finest work for the launch of Channel 4 and for the launch of Channel 5 see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iq4jgW5ADOM, I think a fair representation of how far things had, er, progressed between the two :-))
Anyway, for those of you with Sky or Freesat, somewhere in the mid 100s BBC Alba, the BBC Gaelic channel (actually a joint venture with, shock horror, the Gaelic Media Service (hmm, copy and pasting of press release there, perhaps?) has launched.
Already on YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bs07sYQqc1c

Now, as we know, all politics is power politics, so the question has to be asked, is this manner of boondoggle considered a price worth paying to preserve The Union, or is the subliminal message that this is a terrible warning of what an evening of Television would be like on SBC on independence day under Premier Salmond. I lean towards the latter.

Highlights of the next few days include:
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(edit - fixed a link)