ON MAR­GIN

Finweek English Edition - - Piker -

MAR­KET VOLATIL­ITY I WAS AT MY BANK last week. There was a short queue: just one lady in front of me – an Asian lady try­ing to ex­change yen for US dol­lars. It was ob­vi­ous she was a lit­tle ir­ri­tated. She asked the teller: “Why it change? Yes­ter­day I get two hu­nat dolla fo yen. To­day I only get hu­nat eighty? Why it change?”

The teller shrugged his shoul­ders and said: “Fluc­tu­a­tions.”

The Asian lady re­torted: “Fluc you white peo­ple, too!” YOU’RE ONLY AS OLD AS YOU FEEL TO CEL­E­BRATE her birth­day, ac­tress/ vo­cal­ist Julie An­drews made a spe­cial ap­pear­ance at Man­hat­tan’s Ra­dio City Mu­sic Hall. One of the mu­si­cal num­bers she per­formed was My Favourite Things from the movie The Sound of Mu­sic. Here are the lyrics she used: Bo­tox and nose drops and nee­dles for knit­ting, Walk­ers and handrails and new den­tal fit­tings, Bun­dles of mag­a­zines tied up in string, Th­ese are a few of my favourite things. Cadil­lacs and cataracts, hear­ing aids and glasses, Poli­dent and Fixo­dent and false teeth in glasses, Pace­mak­ers, golf carts and porches with swings, Th­ese are a few of my favourite things. When the pipes leak, when the bones creak, When the knees go bad, I sim­ply re­mem­ber my favourite things, And then I don’t feel so bad. Hot tea and crum­pets and corn pads for bu­nions, No spicy hot food or food cooked with onions, Bathrobes and heat­ing pads and hot meals they bring, Th­ese are a few of my favourite things. Back pain, con­fused brains and no need for sin­nin’, Thin bones and frac­tures and hair that is thin­nin’, And we won’t men­tion our short shrunken frames, When we re­mem­ber our favourite things. When the joints ache, when the hips break, When the eyes grow dim, Then I re­mem­ber the great life I’ve had, And then I don’t feel so bad. AD­VICE TO GER­MAN BANKERS: READ THE NEWS IT’S BEEN DUBBED Ger­many’s dumb­est bank for hand­ing over €350m (£275m) to Lehman Broth­ers two hours be­fore the US in­vest­ment bank col­lapsed. Two board mem­bers and the head of risk con­trol at KfW, the state-owned bank, have now been sus­pended for the “in­ex­cus­able er­ror”.

The au­to­mated trans­fer, which with other deals cost KfW more than €530m, was a one- way swap: the bank got noth­ing back just as its ri­vals were tak­ing their US dol­lars out of Lehman as fast as they could.

Ger­man min­is­ters have spent the week loftily telling the global fi­nan­cial com­mu­nity their banks were im­mune from the toxic rot at the core of the US fi­nan­cial sys­tem. Ger­many’s Econ­omy Min­is­ter has started an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into pro­cesses at the bank, which is 80% owned by the gov­ern­ment. (From Bri­tain’s The Guardian news­pa­per.)

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