In the midst of real life, there is drop-dead funny

Now that we’re all gradually getting used to the Chinese Laundry’s new opening hours (any day with a z in it, removal of all black spots guaranteed) it’s time to hear what that ultra-solid British Bank RBS has to say about the global outlook.

The analysts at Rubbish Bank Shakey say that the Chinese slowdown and market reaction to it are weighing adversely on sentiment, especially in the light of British growth slowing down and the growing problem of Bric debt.

Sums it all up rather well I think, except I’m not quite clear how the reactions can weigh on the sentiment when it’s the same people. Maybe what the traders at the sharp end should do is lay off the reactions and look to up their sentiments. Stay long in optimism, up the growth futures, shut down the reactors, rush down to the bunkers, shoot all the bankers, don’t panic Captain Mainwaring.

Then of course there is the small matter of Janet Yellen’s rate-hike having exacerbated Bric debt issues, she having done this because sentiment was looking better. Presumably, the sentiment she’d been weighing up was more weighty than the RBS sentiment, and that’s why it weighed too heavily on the Brics. It’s all about weights and measures when all’s said and done, but always remember that one woman’s sentiments are often another man’s angst: every husband in history knows that the danger moment is when the missus says “I’m fine”.

In the context of this clarity of confusions, watching channels like Bloomberg, CNN and BBC Parliament is the best fun you can have if there are no feminist blue-stockings around to annoy. You can LOL at Mr Cameron saying “strong economy” when it’s clearly, over time, become more mantra than meaning – like when one says “take care” at the end of a phone conversation. Perhaps the PM kisses Sam goodbye in the morning and says “strong economy”, I don’t know.

Or smile as, on CNN, a Wall Street talking head says “nervous” nine times in three minutes, interspersed with “recovery”, “momentum”, “mixed signals” and “better jobs data on Friday”….because you feel sure that what he should’ve said was “How the f**k should I know?”

For me, however, top of the day is tuning into Bloomberg and watching dozens of anchors, pundits, bankers and innocent bystanders yelling about technical stuff while turning a blind eye to the scimitar-wielding Jihadist chasing the producer around the studio. It goes something like this:

Bighair: OK, LET’S LOOK NOW IN THE SMARTPHONE SPACE, WHERE AMALGAMATED CIRCUIT BOARDS ARE OFF 7 BUT THE SECTOR’S BEING BUOYED BY APPLE’S BIG GLITZY LAUNCH THIS MORNING OF IT’S NOO DOWNLOADABLE DIGITAL PACEMAKER TABLET. HOW ARE YOU SEEIN’ THIS INTERFACE OVER THERE AT MORGMAN BROTHERS HENRY?

Henry: Well Julie, we have people jumping out the window here right now on the news that the Bank of Japan is advising all Nikkei traders to hand over their cash or else, but on balance I’d suggest that say did you just see that mad guy waving a sword around at your end….

Bighair: THANKS FOR THAT HENRY A PLEASURE AS ALWAYS TO LISTEN TO YOUR COUNSEL, BUT LET’S NOW SWITCH OUR FOCUS TO ONE OF THE BIG ISSUES OF THE HOUR, THAT ANNOUNCEMENT BY OMNEFARIOUS INDUSTRIES CEO BEN TEARLOBE THAT WE COULD BE LOOKING AT SOME STORMY WEATHER IN THE TROUBLED FARM PAYROLL DERIVATIVES MARKET. LET’S GO OVER NOW AND…..

For most of these people, nothing is ever obvious: rather, it is ‘surprising’, ‘unexpected’, ‘hard to explain’ and ‘a blow’. But like I say, their antics are hilarious….and sometimes even capable of taking one’s mind off Madame La Guillotine’s sharp blade about to begin its descent. The distraction is useful at times like this: the FTSE is now below 6000 (down 2.6%) the Dax is below 10,000 (minus 3%) and the Brent Crude price just slipped below $33 for the first time in twelve years.

Earlier at The Slog: Cameron heaps praise on scrap-heap dwellers