Smoke Signals

                                                                     So, is it a deal? Athens and Berlin-am-Brussels have agreed to disagree about whether or not they reached an agreement last Sunday to agree to the austerity terms in return for an agreement about having a longer term in which to complete the terms of the agreement.

Now that the situation is crystal clear, some observations come my way yet again from the back streets of Athenian government. It is this: that as predicted exclusively by The Slog last August 12th, there will be debt foregiveness and repayment extensions…but offstage, and heavily disguised.

There are two predictable drivers of this policy: the ECB and France. Between them, they have the best part of €129bn to lose…and that’s before we go anywhere near improperly hedged derivatives. I hope to offer Sloggers something more solid on this by the end of the weekend.

It is the end. Sorry, sorry…I mean, it is the end of the recession. One wonders what comes after a double dip – the triple trip? I rather think so: Britain’s short term boost changes none of the essentials: it is the 1944 German advance through the Ardennes as two million more American troops land in France.The ‘boost’ comes from services and Olympic ticket sales: the important manufacturing and export indicators are as flat as a pancake sat upon by Eric Pickles while sporting a 10cwt trilby.

However, one astonishing bit of gossip reached me late last night. I didn’t sleep at all well afterwards. The yarn involves a quite extraordinary exchange that allegedly took place following last Tuesday’s (23rd October) Cabinet meeting at Number Ten. It seems one of the younger Cabinet Turks who fancies himself neither a Borisonian nor Cameroonian camp follower asked one of the Highest in the Land whether the ONS recession data would be ignored in favour of being honest with the public “for once”. The observation was not well-received.

Unsurprisingly, when I looked up the Cabinet agenda it made no mention at all of the ONS stats. But amusingly ironic (see for yourselves) Item 4 is laughably entitled ‘Public participation’, while the closing item 18 refers to ‘Exclusion of the public’. What a wonderful metaphor for contemporary government.

Barack, Benghazi, Bill Clinton & Bin Laden. US president Barack Obama and former Oval Office asexual cigar dispenser Bill Clinton will campaign together next week in three of the most competitive battleground states ahead of November 6th: they will hold rallies on Monday in Florida, Ohio and Virginia.

So it is that Slick Willy and the Black Dude are now joined at the hip. But a mere seventeen days ago, they were on the verge of turning into sworn enemies. The Slog wonders what changed…and thus, he has been casting about for answers.

Here’s one: Bill & Hill threatened to flatten Barry O’Drama with categorical proof that the President didn’t just ignore the warnings before Benghazi, he positively used them to destroy the Secretary of State as a potential enemy during his second term.

The Clintons were on this case immediately the White House started briefing against State. Bill drew up a task force, and was fired up by the endeavour. Then suddenly – over a 36-hour period – Bill turned back to the paths of sweetness and light – while Hillary took a deep breath….and total responsibility for the Benghazi Compound fiasco.

So what exactly did Barry have on them? Well, I am led to understand that the common factor is none other than Mr Osama Bin Laden deceased, latterly buried at sea without clues as to location…..and President Bill’s World Trade Center intelligence during 1993.


37 thoughts on “Smoke Signals

  1. As noted by another Slogger, it takes two consecutive quarters to get into a recession but, only one to get out of one. Astounding bollocks spouted by Cumalot, and, of course perfectly acceptable to make the announcement prior to the official release of the data.


  2. How nice to see the abbreviation cwt for hundredweight ( 112 lbs or 4 quarters or 8 stone – that’s a bit more than 50 kg for the metricated). It took me straight back to my first day at work. The office manager. a most austere man of the Exclusive Brethren persuasion, passed me a weighbridge ticket 6 tons 4cwt 2 qur 1 st . “What does that come to at £25-12-6 per ton”? he asked. When I asked for a piece of paper, he said “Lord love you, boy. What have you been doing all the time at school?”
    There was also another quarter – a volumetric measure of 8 bushels.
    Listening to the Farming programme a few days ago, I was amused to hear reference to the “bushel weight” of grain although it was really specific weight in kilograms per hectolitre!

    I have a long unused seed trade qualification and was interested to see some packs of mixed herbage seed in a corn store recently , weighed in kilos with instructions for use at so many kg per ACRE!
    Imperial measures rule OK! Bring back pounds, shillings and pence with a pound worth dividing that small!


  3. If the ECB and France are looking at losing 129 billion Euros re Greece,what is the figure for Spain,for them and everybody else? Is Ana Botin Spain’s answer to Shredded Fred ? Why are stock markets so calm,when bank balance sheets carry property assets at prices which bear no comparison to the market?What event is likely to trigger a market sell off?


  4. Thanks Edward. Brought back memories of my first job as a teenaged Costing Clerk before decimalisation. Applying 37.5% trade discount to amounts measured in Pounds, Shillings & Pence, and all without the sniff of a calculator (not invented yet) or a ‘ready-reckoner’ (for plodders only), was a great brain-stimulant.

    One older colleague could maintain running sub-totals in his head of three separate columns of £/s/d listings, with around 50 items in each, running down the whole thing in less than a minute (for tracing mis-balances) – I never quite mastered that one. Happy days.


  5. Markets are calm because they believe that the Central Banks will come to the rescue and they will until the day that they do not. That is when the tide goes out and you see who is swimming nude!


  6. How many pecks in a bushel? How many chains in a furlong?
    In the road where I grew up, there were a ‘Mr. & Mrs. Miles and a Mrs. Furlong. Nobody called Gram or Kilo though!


  7. On the other hand, I have a picture somewhere of a car company’s vast accounting room in the early 1970’s. Row upon row of people using mechanical calculators. Maybe, had we employed your older colleague, the British car industry could have survived? Cost is supposed to be below selling price, I recall.


  8. No politician wants to tell the truth to the plebs. Were not in a double dip recession as they keep banging on about were stuck in an ongoing economic depression which started in 2007/8 thanks to their stupid economic mismanagement over the previous decade. So far they’ve bought off many of the symptoms by quantitative easing, massive borrowing and other forms of dubious financial chicanery. The day of reckoning is however getting ever closer and at some point they are going to have to fess up to the plebs as to the true dire financial position that were in. Cameron will simply try to hang on until the next election in 2015 hoping that the quantitative easing can keep things together until he losses the election and hands the putrid corpse of the British economy back to the Labour party who were responsible for its initial death in the first place.


  9. This whole thing reminds me of those cartoons in which the road runner shoots over a cliff, continues running horizontally and then, moments later, feels the severe effects of gravity. He crashes. All wholly predictable. In this case, the can has been kicked along for ages and surely must be reaching the cliff. Well probably… but I see QE as a kind of anti-gravity.


  10. You can fool some of the markets all of the time, and all of the markets some of the time, but…

    (with apologies to M Draghi)


  11. In todays news:
    Poverty: Commission proposes new Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (
    Also, car plants’ closures in UK, Belgium, France.
    I think unemployment is gonna create the spark that lights the euro-fire, some place.
    Maybe in Greece (official unemployment past 25%). Maybe Portugal or Ireland. But these are small countries. If (when?) Spain or France explodes, that’s the end.


  12. @HR.SO,when will central banks stop coming to the rescue?What will cause central banks to do that,even though the rest of the world knows that QE has been an unmitigated disaster?


  13. So we are “officially” out of the recession. I nearly wet myself laughing, there may be little truth in the msm these days but at least I am left either in total hysterics or complete shock.


  14. Nick, slightly OT but do you have any links to’s latest Golden Dawn “promotion” videos? I found the one where Liana Kanelli was threatened as she took a break during a program, but I’d like to see the incompetent interviewer they (deliberately?) put up against Michaloliakos.

    JW,any ideas from your other greek correspondents as to who’s pulling the strings at


  15. Pleased to see Jimmy Savile and the BBC getting deeper in the shit by the day. I hope it drags all of the child abusing arseholes who have been protected out into the open. May they rot in hell and then some more!


  16. Nick, thanks for posting the interview above. Maybe not as one-sided as the newspaper reports suggested, but they should have put someone stronger up against him. . Sorry for the 99.9% non-greek speakers here, but skip through and look at the body language and background images.

    Interesting to hear what simple, clear greek he uses, even when shouting. Now, which other historical leaders did that……. There’s no GD presence where I live, but people in the village are very aware of the situation and do talk about it.


  17. Alan, i realise you understand Greek – you can probably read too.
    I recommend this blog article – gives a good insight of the reasons this interview ended in fiasco for the (young, ambitious, totally inexperienced) journalist, and the TV channel.
    They underestimated Michaloliakos – he is very well prepared and has a very good education….
    “…they should have put up someone stronger up against him…” – spot on.
    As this blog article suggests, anyone that tries to face Golden Dawn should have a very good knowledge of Greek (and European history).


  18. Pingback: GENERAL HAM: The Pentagon’s ‘normal succession’ line simply isn’t kosher. | A diary of deception and distortion

  19. Pingback: John Ward – General Ham : The Pentagon’s ‘Normal Succession’ Line Simply Isn’t Kosher – Why The Rogue Benghazi Compound General Was Fired – 30 October 2012 | Lucas 2012 Infos

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