It’s a bit sobering, writing a news blog in these troubled times. To pass comment on something, you’re meant to know a bit about it, but the current news is all about The Economy. The problem with The Economy is that I was not into it as an early adolescent, where all my enthusiasm for the rich pageant of life was incubated. More or less everything I have liked after the age of 14 was and is, to a greater or lesser extent, a pretence.
If the current problems in Greece and the international currency markets had their origins in the nomenclature of Middle Earth, or the track lists of R.E.M. albums, or Monty Python sketches, or the softcore American porn films I used to secretly record on late-night RTL 2, then I would not be here – I would be a regular pundit, ceaselessly cracking out bon mots on Sky News and sagely advising Wolfgang Schäuble on how best to avert the impending apocalypse of the euro.
But unfortunately for me, and you, there is simply no connection between Fables of the Reconstruction (the third studio album), or the oeuvre of Lisa Boyle, and The Economy. I am therefore at a loss to enlighten you on almost all of the week’s news. Yesterday, for example, the German financial market regulator BaFin (if only it was Baffin, Frodo’s cousin!) banned “naked short-selling” and this caused a “plunge” in “the market”. Naked short-selling is not when (insert your foreskin joke here), but when a trader “sells a security they do not own and have not yet borrowed, hoping to be able to buy it later in the day at a lower price, thereby earning a profit”. (The Local says.)
Now don’t ask me what a “security” is, and certainly don’t ask me to pass judgement on this financial voodoo. I wish I knew how to sell stuff in different dimensions. But if you were planning to indulge in a weekend of naked short-selling – if you were going to go on a naked short-selling bender, followed by a trip to the casino and a kebab – you may want to reconsider, or you will face the wrath of Frodo’s cousin.