Step Forward Frank Palome

Most read stories on Bloomberg, (yesterday)

The burden of paying for the financial crisis pretty much lies squarely on the shoulders of the middle class. The uber wealthy are too smart, too well advised and too mobile to get caught up in the mundane business of paying for the mistakes of politicians, regulators and rogue banks. They also have the resources to exploit the uplift offered by QE. Generally speaking, and this is very general, the poor mostly have a safety net. It's not a great safety net but in terms of the fall in living standards it's the middle class who are taking it on the chin. Unfortunately, in tough times doors also slam shut on the opportunity of the poor to climb out and up into prosperity.

It's generally thought though, that the baby boomer generation was given everything on a plate and enjoyed a fantastic one way street to prosperity and rises in living standards, asset prices and are now reaping the benefit of gilt edged final salary pensions. Not quite true...... this was the most read story on Bloomberg yesterday and actually, apart from being profoundly depressing from a pension funding perspective, (thanks for nothing Mr Brown), it is quite uplifting. Step forward Mr Palome,


Brown Claims What?


Bloomberg reports this morning,

 "By Blanche Gatt

     May 17 (Bloomberg) -- Former U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown has told friends that he has global support for his candidacy for the post of managing director of the International Monetary Fund that could prevail over Prime Minister David Cameron’s opposition, the Financial Times reported, citing unidentified colleagues."
Well, he does of course have global support if global means North, South East and West Kirkcaldy, although Mrs McMinty at number 11 thinks he's a nutter.................

Italians Solve The Deficit Problem!

Bloomberg is reporting a great story that the southern Italian town of Melito is betting part of it's budget on lottery tickets, arguing, (with some probable degree of accuracy), that it's no more risky than investing on Wall Street.

"If Melito, near Naples, hits the jackpot, the town will become “a little tax-free haven,” Mayor Antonio Amente said in an interview on Aug. 31, after the city council unanimously backed his proposal. “We’ll be like Monte Carlo!”"

Their first bets are going down on Italy's Supernalotto game which has a €127m jackpot this week. "with councils selling bonds and buying derivatives to rustle up cash, Amente says the lottery is a better bet -- and much cheaper. Nor will he leave everything to chance, basing number choice on age-old Neapolitan traditions of calculating the winning mix."

It all sounds very enterprising but stick in the mud Professor Olivieri, who is something in maths at Luiss University, just has to chuck cold water around and says, “It would be easier for me to guess a stranger’s phone number, it shows how desperate local administrators are."

Unabashed, our innovative councillors say they have made an “informed choice” of a lotto combination based on the Smorfia manual," whatever local hocus pocus that represents. Every week, they will play the same numbers including number 33, which stands for the mayor, 42 for city hall, 72 for “wonder,” and 90 for “the people.” The remaining two numbers are a secret, Amente said.

With local municipalities having lost 1.1bn euros in recent years there may be some justification for spinning the wheel and I wouldn't laugh, it's certainly no worse than our own councils burning cash in dodgy Icelandic banks against all reasonable advice at the time.

Obviously, if they won, the biggest income would be from the film rights and tourism - it's an Ealing Comedy waiting to be made. What is there not to love about the Italians!