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2018 Jan 21 - Carillion & US Government Shutdown

20180121
Two big money-related stories this week, the collapse of the company Carillion in the UK and the shutdown of the US government.

Let's talk about Carillion first. The construction giant was one of the big contractors, along with the likes of Serco that the government went to when it decided to regularly capitulate to the demands of pesky voters to build roads or hospitals or the like. If you've ever seen a politician doing a photo op on a construction site in a neon vest and a hardhat then there's a good chance that it was a Carillion project and if you've ever seen that politician later walking onto a board of directors or lobbying in the construction industry, you can see why it all fell apart. The whole point of those PFI projects was that the private sector took on debts rather than the public balance sheet but 2 decades of that along with buying up all their competitors meant that their balance sheet was redder than Jeremy Corbyn as financially suspect as a forecast from Diane Abbott and when Boris Johnson floated the idea this week of spending £100 billion on a massive bridge to France it was too little too late. The company itself came about at the tail end of last century and the name "Carillion" is a corruption of the word "Carillon" as in a peal of bells in a clocktower. The government used a company whose branding was a spelling mistake to build schools.

Ok, to America where as of Friday midnight the government has shut down over failure to agree a spending bill. You'd think most people would be happy about the government closing but a lot of people are actually pretty pissed off it seems. Like many people waiting for the February paycheque after an expensive Christmas, the government has no money. The cause of all this is pretty simple: the Republicans have 51 votes out of 100 (a majority) but the senate requires 60 votes to pass the spending bill and President Trump's opponents won't vote for it unless the bill goes off on a tangent and includes guarantees for non-documented workers although they'd probably settle for the President apologising for his recent comments or maybe repaying the people who bought Trump Vodka from the famously teetotal businessman. The government shutdown frankly doesn't affect too many people for now although it's probably a pain if you need to get a passport renewed or if you work for the government and want to get back to work attempting to regulate the internet, ban things or scramble for something to pin on Russia and Paul Manafort. This is the US though so Government departments like the military and the FBI have big cash reserves to see them through for a while but this is going to be a protracted mess and we'll almost certainly be talking about this next week.
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2018 Jan 13 - Trump and S***hole Countries

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2018 Jan 06 - Fire & Fury

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2017 Dec 23 - 2017 Dec 23 - Christmas

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2017 Dec 10 - Brexit + Trump Names Jerusalem Israeli Capital

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2017 Dec 02 - Markles & Spencer & Flynn

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2017 Nov 24 - Black Friday Brexit

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2017 Nov 18 - Coup against Robert Mugabe

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2017 Nov 11 - Trump, Asia & Saudi Arabia

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2017 Nov 04 - Kevin Spacey and Dodgy Politicians

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2017 Oct 27 - Catalonia & JFK

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Another week and it’s pretty much still the same shouting match from Spain. The central government in Madrid has said that it’s going to take back direct control over Catalonia, while the seperatists have declared that they’re going to prepare an imminent motion for independence. But nobody’s actually done anything, it’s like a nightclub bar at 9 o’clock and everyone’s waiting for someone else to go onto the dance floor first. I guess Nicola Sturgeon and Leanne Wood would be the gi ......

2017 Oct 20 - Catalonia

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Catalonia was back in the news this week, the Madrid government has triggered Article 155 to remove autonomy from he region and just like when the UK triggered Article 50, the EU doesn’t like this one much either. It would be true to say that Brussels has the same regard for these articles as Polly Toynbee does for Quentin Letts’ articles. Nonetheless, the powers that be are trying their hardest to make sure if there was any chance of reconciling with the Catalan separatists then it’s up t ......

2017 Oct 13 - Brexit Bill (again)

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2017 Oct 05 - Theresa May's Speech & Catalonia

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2017 Sep 30 - Labour & Conservative Party Conferences

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2017 Sep 21 - Florence and Boris

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It’s been a pretty bad week again in Central America, more tropical storms, Mexico suffering a another major earthquake and the other day I turned on the 10 o’clock news and for a while it seemed as though there were now dinosaurs on the loose in Costa Rica but then I realised the clocks don’t go back until next weekend and it was actually just the last half hour of Jurassic Park. The film holds up reasonably well actually, although if I wanted to see an older bearded man introducing dinos ......

2017 Sep 15 - New £10, New iPhone, Grenfell & North Korea

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2017 Sep 07 - Hurricanes and Jeremy Corbyn

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