peterbirks: (Default)
I sometimes wonder. Reading the Sunday Times is a little bit like looking at a porn mag. Vaguely enjoyable at the time, but one feels a little bit dirty afterwards.

The lamentable state of its personal finance seection, "Money", has one positive use. If that section recommends anything, just do the opposite. Today's front page of that section is headed "Rich Pickings For Investors In America". Now, let's look at this entire front page in a bit more detail. If you get down to para 4, you see "While the greenback's strength has embarrassed the experts, it has been good news for British investors in American markets".

In other words, if you had invested in US stocks at the start of the year, the mere 3% gain in the stocks would have been boosted by a 14% gain in the dollar.

Unfortunately, I don't recall the Money section suggesting an investment in US stocks in January. At that time, I think, it was talking about dollar weakness and how you would have made money betting on THAT. Devoting a whole page to how you could have made money if you had done something 10 months ago is, er, not very useful. In fact, if you read the whole front page, its general tone is "this would have been nice, but it looks like you missed the boat ... like we did, in fact".

As it happens, I can see the dollar slaughtering sterling over the next few months. It's not often that the interest rate differential favours the US, but this looks like coming. I'm already benefiting from my dollars on deposit. What was earning about five cents a month in interest a year and a bit ago is now generating more than $20 a month. Future rate of $1.61 by next May not impossible.


However, this was not what really got my goat today. One sliver of light in the Sunday Times is normally its culture section, with excellent TV coverage. Unfortunately, they have dumped ITV 3 from the list (to make way for More 4) and have clearly hired 10-year-olds from Hoxton who would not know a decent movie if it slapped them in the face.

Today it reviewed Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey as a "weak sequel".

WHAT?? If anything, this movie was actually better than Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. And any film that can feature The Grim Reaper wanting to play chess (a la Bergman's Seventh Seal ) but being forced instead to play Battleships. Well, genius, genius.

So, the Sunday Times may have to be consigned to history in the Birks household. I shall instead buy TV Quick & Satellite Today, which referred to the film as "a brilliant deconstruction of Bergman's legacy in Scandinavian and World Cinema. Director Peter Hewitt explores the conflict of the inner self by duplicating Ted Logan and Bill S Preston Esq as their evil counterparts, while also indicating the external conflict between director and producer through his naming of the evil character from the future as De Nomolos — a backwards spelling of writer/producer Ed Solomon."

Oh, ok, I made that last bit up.

August 2017

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