Thursday, January 24, 2008

More from the stock market: At noon today the Ibex 35 was up 4.8%, a huge recovery, in heavy trading. Frankfurt, London, Paris, and Milan are all up between 3.5% and 5%. BBVA and Santander are up 6% each, with Repsol up 5% and Telefonica and Endesa showing smaller gains. Iberdrola is up almost 9%, but that seems to be the result of a bogus report that Electricite de France was going to buy a piece of it. La Vanguardia is guessing that todsy's strong showing is a result of yesterday's good results on Wall Street.

Yesterday the markets declined by 4.6% to 12,255 points; Santander fell 4.8%, BBVA 3.4%, Endesa 5.5%, Telefonica 5.6%, Repsol 4.3%, and Iberdrola 6.8%. La Vanguardia blamed it on Trechet's refusal to cut European interest rates.

This is quite a roller-coaster ride, down one day and up the next. Of course, if you're a small investor, you're nuts if you're not in for the long term, so don't do anything silly like sell out now. Says Mr. Financial Genius.

More African boat people: A cayuco with 70 illegal immigrants was found off Grand Canary. Fortunately they were rescued before anyone died.

In today's La Vanguardia, on page 17, Alfred Rexach called Socialist candidate for Barcelona Carmen Chacon an airhead. Actually, he said, "Mrs. Chacon is a politician who has very set ideas, and she is not affected by the doubts and vacillations that so many people suffer from, those who do not have the good luck to always feel as self-assured as she does. Example: The PP is bad, very bad. The Socialists, on the other hand, are good, very good. Sometimes they make a small mistake, that's true and she admits it, but they always fix it quickly."

Also, Francesc de Carreras takes a whack at TV3, Catalan public television. Seems they promised up and down that they weren't going to be politically biased any more. Then they went ahead and nominated twelve new members for the board of directors according to strict party quotas, and the Catalan parliament approved. The new chairman of the board is currently the Montilla government's press secretary, also a former assistant editor of the nationalist newspaper Avui.

Note: De Carreras uses a term that would definitely be considered racist in the US; he says the situation might end up like a "merienda de negros," literally "a black people's dinner," and figuratively "a Chinese fire drill" or "a Mongolian cluster-fuck."

Most recent stats on daily newspaper circulation in Spain: El Pais 435,000; El Mundo 336,000; La Vanguardia 214,000; El Periodico 180,000; La Razon 154,000; Avui 29,000.

Equivalent-sized American papers would be: El Pais = St. Petersburg Times; El Mundo = Orlando Sentinel; La Vanguardia = Raleigh News and Observer; El Periodico = Fresno Bee; La Razon = Knoxville News-Sentinel; Avui not among top 100 American dailies.

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