metough Politicians change the definition of bankruptcy, central bankers change the nature of economic growth, bourses hide the reality of economic dysfunction, and neocon media turn a trick to make you believe it. Meet new 2017 – same as the old 2016.


In French retailing now, there is a standard excuse for a price-slashing sale: “Liquidation totale avant des travaux!”. The rough translation is “everything must go prior to renovation works”: or in realspeak, “everything has to go because we have zero demand and 40,000 tons of old stock up our backsides”. The chain Vetes Affaires had one of these seven months ago; today, the brand doesn’t exist. Cuisinella is having one at the moment. It’s not going well.

In a country ruled by lunch, the most notable insolvency is the restaurant offering anything more than a workers’ menu. Right up to Christmas Eve, the regional paper Sud Ouest was advertising Christmas lunch vacancies. These are things one normally has to sign up for during infancy: this year, you could’ve walked in on the day and announced “table for 12 please”. My village restaurant saw how the wind was blowing in November; the owners cut their losses and went back to Portugal for Christmas.

Today comes the news in Britain that Jamie Oliver is closing six of his Italian-themed restaurants. Unsurprisingly, the BBC noted that ‘the price of ingredients bought in Italy has gone up because of the fall in the value of the pound against the euro since the vote to leave the EU’ – yet another feeble use of Blame it on the Brexit.

It’s feeble because Jamie insiders say the real issue is “a difficult consumer environment”, and much as it would be nice to think that JO imports his ingredients fresh from Italy every day, that ain’t how the restaurant business works, snowflake. (I thought I’d slip that ‘snowflake’ jibe in on the grounds that I don’t see why the Leftlib Remainers should have it to themselves. Along with numptie, c**t, bitter old sod and other non-hating insults like scum and bigot).

You may not have noticed – what with all the important global economy-smashing Brexit crisis vote shocker going on – but last year the Dow Jones rose 44%. When you consider that it fell 7% in the opening five weeks of the year, the net result was spectacular. But anyone who thinks a Dow pushing 20,000 now is about to lift off into a new era of eternal growth is making the same mistakes as the 2007/8 crowd: what we older heads used to call ‘the fundamentals’ are reasserting themselves, and while we aren’t talking Jihadists here, it is pretty bloody obvious that some heads will roll once the ridiculous fallacy (do I mean phallusy?) turns out to be a flaccid, downwards-pointy thing.

The complicity of neocon and b2b digital media in the process of making things worse by extending the current fantasy cannot be over-estimated – especially in the light of gargoyles like the Barclay clones using their own unerected member to charge desperate neocons for the privilege. Their Daily Telegraph ran a piece today suggesting that falling London top-end property prices were attracting in ‘a whole new wave of bargain hunting buyers’.

I’ve only been back in Blighty 24 hours, but it was the work of under two of those hours to establish through trusted estate agency sources that the article is complete tosh placed by Foxtons and Savills….and for which (allegedly) they paid a fee. The roll of advertorial dishonour created by the Barclaycards is a testimony to why real journalists like Peter Oborne left the paper last year.

The bottom line remains consistent: nobody knows any more what’s real, but humans being long in human while shorting sapiens, the tendency is to cleave to the unnatural, where life is still fluffy, beautiful and infinite.


Yesterday at The Slog: When herds and tribes collide