Wry & Dry

Brexit from the inside. Profit reporting wrap-up. China's stocks' profits down.

Wry & Dry this week comes to you from London.  It's good to be back in a city that has a fiscal brain and a historical heart.  And it's not raining.

It's currently a single-focus city: all about Brexit.  That word must now be the most widely used portmanteau* ever.  And has begat a range of portmanteau offspring e.g. Bregretters (those who voted for Brexit but now wish they hadn't); Bremoaners (the whingers, and they are still whinging) and Bredaptors (those who see the need to quickly and flexibly adapt to the reality of Brexit). 

But this introduction will not focus on Brexit, there is a later piece on the view of the man on the Clapham omnibus.

Mind you, W&D notes that the locals still want visitors to know that the GB Olympic team came second on the medal tally. And W&D also sadly observes that London streets are cleaner than Melbourne's. 

But plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose**, the Brits still hate the French.

This being the sceptred isle, it's all the Bard:

Much Ado About Nothing 1: a phone-design company has released a new phone; and it's all over the media.  Especially because it has wireless earpieces.  So users will look like a rock-star's security people.

The Comedy of Errors: Russia is burning through its budget cash reserves at an alarming rate, down to $40 billion from $116 billion two years ago.  It's the low oil price and economic sanctions.

A Midsummer Night's Dream: that the mooted renovations to the UK Houses of Parliament, to take six years, will come in on budget at a mere $7 billion.

Much Ado About Nothing 2: one of the W&D delights of overseas travel is reading the local newspapers.  But W&D must, just to keep up with the football news, revert to hometown media.  And so woke up one morning in Zurich, opened up The Age website on the W&D phone and read this headline: "ABC presenter loses jogging injury compensation bid."  Good to see the Australian media focussing on the big issues.  But the football news was compelling.

Measure For Measure 1: unlike the Australian media, Australia's economy seems to be hitting the right notes.  The ABS announced that it grew by 3.3% in the year to the end of June.  But a lot of the pumping was government spending.  Which cannot go on forever, no matter what the Greens think.

Measure For Measure 2: to W&D's astonishment, the Spanish economy continues to prosper, notwithstanding that it doesn't have a government.  W&D has previously alerted readers to the bizarre inability of the major Spanish political parties to agree on who should govern.  Well they still haven't.  And the economy is on track to grow at more than 3% this year, well above the European average.  Olé! 

Julius Caesar: W&D takes his hat off to the president of Gabon.  The delightfully named Mr Bongo, who has been president since 2009, following his father who ruled for a mere 42 years, recently submitted himself for re-election.

Few expected him to lose, and he did not disappoint. To get to his final winning tally, Mr Bongo took 95% of the vote in his home province, Haut-Ogooué, on a turnout of 99.93%.   What a campaigner!


More comprehensively, this week, W&D ponders China seeing red; something celebrates its 40th birthday (not, W&D, although one might be forgiven for ... oh, never mind); and focusses on Brexit.

Follow The Money updates the odds on the US presidential race.  And the Trumpster is showing a form reversal, of sorts.  

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

Next week, W&D comes to you from Singapore.  Again, it will be a truncated edition.  But, of course, less is more!

*A blend of two words to create a third word that conveys the essence of both original words.

**The more things change, the more they stay the same.