Among the acts of God which have occurred so far this year, the volcanic eruption in Iceland was relatively benign. Icelanders living on the banks of a river beside the volcano were safely evacuated after it flooded. There were no deaths in the huge blowup of the mountain.
But for Katie, my cousin's daughter who was due to be married in Malaga tomorrow, the volcano has been a trauma. Only her immediate family reached the venue before the eruption, and the best man (with the ring) had to drive all Thursday and Friday night to get to the Ayuntamiento de Malaga on time. She booked a hotel and a private restaurant area for the British contingent (and us) and of course we cannot use the facilities. I spent hours on the Internet with Easyjet Friday morning trying to arrange a refund of our flight tickets, so far with no success, and they are an English firm likely to see repeat business from us.
But unless Katie plans to get married in Malaga another time, the caterer and hotel are unlikely to offer refunds. This will be Katie's second marriage; her first husband (who bolted with her best friend) was a rather vain, very pip-pip and assimilated member of a Hatton Gardens silver vault company clan. Even before they tied the knot I had my doubts about Adam, mainly because he spent two hours shaving, doing his hair, and inserting his contacts (pre-laser surgery) when they stayed with us in New York; far more time on his grooming than Katie spent on hers. Her first wedding was done in style. This one will be a bust because nearly 70 guests will not make it.
To Katie if she reads this, cheer up. What counts is not the boda but the vida.
There is more news about Euro hot air as well.
Angela Merkel is (endlich) being criticized for her general Frau Nein obstructiveness over the inevitable European Union funding for Greece. The longer she plays Iron Chancellor the more it will cost. the EU and ultimately Germany.
Polls show that Nick Clegg, of the centrist Liberal Democratic party 'won' the TV prime ministerial debate, just as the Lib Den candidate for Chancellor of the Exchequeur won the first more informal round. Britain is having TV debates for the first time this election. Our first in the USA was Nixon vs Kennedy in 1962. Whether scoring points on TV will change the race to allow three horses is still uncertain, but its does offer an out to Brits fed up with Brown and frightened by the Tories.
In McClellan Oscillator, Tom McCllellan laments that the current stock market rally lacks “adrenalin” or “energy.” “A rally with no oomph is problematic” and “there will be a reckoning.” He is bearish mainly because he thinks stocks are rising merely because of money supply growth. He is one of the best chartists out there.
There is bad news for E-trade customers, among whom I number myself. The US Internet discount brokerage is pulling out of Britain with effect from Friday and UK customers are not allowed to trade or put money into their accounts. They have until May 15 to move their accounts free to TD Waterhouse, or another broker for a fee. This withdrawal from global markets will probably result in a cutback on US clients' trading in London as well. I will tell you more when, and if, I get back to the USA next week.
More for paid subscribers about our companies follows. Starting with BRIC countries.