Thursday, 21 May 2009

Russia's deal

Good piece about how Russia operates at the top.

'Yurgens outlined Putin's thinking and what he described as his "gentleman's agreement" with Medvedev thus:

'OK Dmitry. If you can make it, make it. I will be firmly behind you with all the siloviki whom I control...and in four years, if everything goes all right we will find a solution for me and you carry on. Go, go.'

...

'If Chinese growth is 8 percent, oil is at $60 a barrel, the global financial system starts working and credit lines are unblocked, then I think we are probably all right,' he said.

'If not, then there will be very special measures.'

Friday, 15 May 2009

Cheque-book journalism

"Observing all this, few in bars and at breakfast tables are asking how The Daily Telegraph got hold of the revelations. But one day, a fascinating story will be written about how the entire, uncensored, expenses claims ended up in the hands of a newspaper. The data may well have been stolen, although that does not seem to matter right now.

It is not confirmed whether the newspaper paid for its information, but it is widely believed that it did, with guesses in a range of £60,000 to £150,000. Given that sales on Friday last week, the first day, were up 95,000, and ahead in days thereafter, the investment was probably sound. The Telegraph keeps about 60p to 65p of the 90p cover price, so every 100,000 extra copies is worth about £60,000, less the cost of printing."

From here

And while ITV cancels the South Bank Show, for budget reasons, they pay Cheryl Cole two million quid.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

I don't think this is a parody

"In a new Special Comment, entitled "On the Hook -- Update on Moody's
Global Macroeconomic Risk Scenarios 2009-2010", Moody's explains that the
"hook"-shaped scenario has the steep downturn signalled by the U-shaped
scenario, but neither the steep but delayed rebound of the U scenario,
nor the flat stagnation of the L-shaped scenario. Instead, it has an
upward tilt that lies somewhere in between, illustrating the painful
recovery that the headwinds of a severe and synchronised balance sheet
restructuring will cause. The "hook-shaped" scenario is a variant of,
rather than a departure from, the U-shaped recovery -- the previous
central forecast."

Source: Moody's

Friday, 1 May 2009

Blogs and news

Been a bit quiet recently, focusing on the day job. Allowed me to some time to reflect on how blogs and news works. At the moment, I am leaning towards the day job - hard news reporting - and question claims made by those that argue that blogs will ultimately do a better job.

The continuing challenge of good news reporting is well documented, and I'm struggling to see good internet journalism.

I thought this when I read Andrew Gilligan's article for Greenwich.co.uk which simply seems a repeat of the demented man's prejudices against the local council. But that said, he repeats much of the same unsourced partisan hackery for the Evening Standard newspaper too, so honours even I guess.

Then there are the hard-working souls at FT Alphaville. Much of what they report can be found elsewhere but in there are new angles, and indepth work. But without the discipline of a (word limited) newspaper, sometimes the journalists write curious articles like this, or rambling pieces like this.

I will shortly be doing some professionally blogging myself if I'm not careful, so I'll be looking not to fall into the same traps. Can't avoid either blogging or the mistakes I guess!