T’other day a squash pal of mine announced after our sweaty tussle that he’d become a cryptocurrency day trader. Wow. Way to go. I kinda wish him well though suspect he’ll end up outta pocket. What it did clearly highlight though was that more and more of us are getting-into, or at least exploring, the murky world of cryptos.
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The idea of printing money to solve society’s problems is understandably seen as a bad idea. Excessive spending/borrowing tends to trigger financial crises and creating money out of thin-air ultimately destroys any confidence in it. Notwithstanding, governments with their own currencies and central banks, do print money and create it digitally when it suits them.
One of my favourite tipples, usually enjoyed at Egham’s tremendous Beehive of a Tuesday evening after swimming, is Fullers ‘Hop Head’. However, I didn’t realise that the term is also a well-known collective phrase that refers to those of us that identify as beer-lovers. Nice.
In a similar vein to the earlier discussed relationship between buying and affording something, our desire to retire from the daily grind is often at odds with our ability to do so. We collectively assume that at some point in our mid-sixties we’ll be able to jump ship and clamber off the hamster wheel of work into a twilight of blissful freedom from traffic jams, pressing deadlines, belligerent bosses and unrealistic demands. Sadly, think again.
Better known as the king of the Ponzi scheme, former Nasdaq chairman, Bernie Madoff, died last month having served only a few years of his eventual 150-year sentence. Managing to beguile his well-heeled clients for almost twenty years, his simple plan of robbing Peter to pay Paul was only rumbled when plunging stock markets, initiated by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, caused a long-overdue run on his limited funds.
Now, being the technophobic luddite that you all know me to be, this will come as a bit of a surprise: t’other day I not only used a contactless form of payment but then actually declined the offer of the receipt. No, really. Okay, it was only a fiver at my local Costa but one-small-step-for-man and all that malarkey.
The people have spoken. Unfortunately, I’m still struggling to understand what they’re trying to say.
Whilst the handshake is one of the most ancient of human interactions in the past year or so it has become taboo, a veritable lethal biological weapon of mass destruction to be avoided at all cost. However, with today’s easing of sanctions is it now time, contrary to the advice of US chief medical adviser, Dr Anthony Fauci, to bring it back, centre-stage? As an unashamed advocate, for me it can’t happen soon enough.
Notwithstanding Labour’s relative successes in the mayoral ballots, the Hartlepool result kinda show the bigger picture: they got bulldozered. If the Tories can win here, a town with the highest unemployment rate in the country, and where their new MP openly admits she’s spent more time in the Cayman Islands than in the town, they truly can win anywhere.
No, I didn’t join the hoi-polloi’s legalised slaughter of wee game birds in the Highlands but on the first day of lockdown restrictions being lifted, I did go to the barbers for a short back & sides, the swimming pool for a dip and the pub for a pint.