Wry & Dry

Where did they go? Italy's critical vote. Wages growth.

The world is quieter this week.  Mostly.  After last week's turmoil, it's quiet out there.  Too quiet?  Yawn.

But perhaps not quiet in New York, where The Trumpster is still grappling with the reality of moving to Washington and sitting in an Oval (shaped) Office.  Will he change it to be more, well rectangular, as he is used to?  Or will it be left to Melania, the only First Lady to have a name sort of like a geographical expression (a group of Pacific Islands), to redecorate? [1]

Image result for cartoon trump oval office

The renovations have already started

Actually, it seems as though The Trumpster may not be moving into the Oval Office for quite a few months.  The place has to be renovated to 'enhance security' (is that code for install a hairdresser?)  So the Trumpster may have to work elsewhere. 

Meanwhile, moving westward, W&D is old enough to remember when a football commentator [2] said that he would sweep Collins Street (Melbourne's main business street) with a feather duster if a certain football team won its next game.  It did.  And he did.

So W&D is wondering if the celebrities have yet left.  Remember, readers?  All the US celebrities who were all going to leave the Yoo-Ess-Ay if the Trumpster won the election.

Allow W&D to give you the scoop.  Whoopi Goldberg, Samuel Johnson, Amy Schumer, Miley Cyrus and Lena Dunham have all changed their minds.  Unlike Lou Richards, they have not honoured their promise to the world. And have said that, after all, they will now stay in US.  Perhaps, with all their millions, they feel more at home where others will notice all their millions.  Better to stay in the US celebrity circus, where their words are as empty as their gestures.

Fatuous headline of the week goes to today's Financial Review:

"HSBC's new private bank to target the rich."  W&D guesses they could target the poor, but, well, the rich possibly have more money.

And in the US, marriage is back in town!  Looked from each side, too.  Marriages are up, to 32.3 marriages for every 1,000 unmarried women.  And, for the third consecutive year the US divorce rate has dropped, now at its lowest level in 35 years.  W&D guesses that The Trumpster would be unwise to reverse that latter trend.

Speaking of The Trumpster's marriages, his love child, Tsar Vlad, seems bent on revenge.  Well that what it looks like to W&D.  Russia's Economy Minister, Alexei Ulyukayev, has been charged with receiving a bribe and has been sacked from his Ministry.

The Vlad-controlled media say that Alexei was caught 'red-handed' (nice use of the language).

But others suggest that this is a message to others in Moscow that everybody must tow the Vlad line.  Alexei is a well-known economic liberal and is against the increasing state-control of the economy.  He's been in politics for 25 years, so you'd think that he'd be smarter than the average Russian bear.  This has the fingers of Tsar Vlad all over it.

Watch out for more purges. 

Elsewhere, readers can learn more on the upcoming referendum in Italy; how Australia's wages growth is slowing, but still ahead of inflation; and an update on the Russian car market.  If this sector is an indicator of the broader Russian economy, oh, dear, Vlad. 

And, of course, Miscellany, to soothe your troubled mind.

[1] W&D irrelevantly notes that there are currently four living former first ladies: Rosalynn, Barbara, Hillary and Laura.  Soon there will be five (add Michelle).  Hillary Clinton and Nancy Reagan, when First Ladies, had the highest number of living predecessors (seven). 

[2]  Lou Richards.  And still alive at age 93.