Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
by autofran (autofran@mac.com) on Mon Jan 21st, 2008 at 11:12:21 PM EST
Good morning to all. This is another early and long, springlike, day ahead for me.

Hope you all have a nice one.

by Fran on Mon Jan 21st, 2008 at 11:31:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good morning, and thanks for the special focus section-- much calmer reading about the markets than some of the comments over at DKos.
by lychee on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 04:55:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sweeping statement of a love affair with bling - Times Online

It would not be Paris without the distant rumble of discontent. So when the cherished haute couture shows of France - those twice yearly celebrations of ultra-bling - got under way yesterday with the usual ode to extravagance at Dior, the French media continued to grumble ominously about their President Bling-Bling.

There may be an irony in this. Or there may not. The French mentality does not appear to have any difficulty drawing a distinction between vulgar-for-the-sake-of-it vulgarity (Sarkozy and his supermodel girlfriend/fiancée/wife) and work-of-art vulgarity produced by honest artisans. Perhaps that is why Marie-Antoinette, the original Madame Bling, got the chop and Rose Bertin, the architect of some of her most flamboyant frocks, lived to dress Josephine Bonaparte.

Perhaps the truth is that French culture does not have a problem with vulgar clothes so much as with the people who wear them. All that really matters is that couture remains a proud flag-waver for the nation and, as of recently, one that is sort of making money.

According to Le Figaro sales are up 30 and 40 per cent at Givenchy and Lacroix respectively; Chanel has increased production - if that isn't too prosaic a word for something that can take hundreds of hours to hand stitch - by 20 per cent, up from 350 pieces in 2006. The number of couture houses may be down from 106 just before the outbreak of the Second World War to six today but France can hold its head high.

[Murdoch Alert]
by Fran on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 12:04:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All that really matters is that couture remains a proud flag-waver for the nation

I don't think most French people give a damn one way or another about haute couture.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 02:15:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Skip ahead to the 3 minute mark of this video for a good explanation of the current market turmoil.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 03:30:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Random question: how does one use one credit card to pay off another? Withdraw cash from the first card?

I only ask because I was watching one of the UK news programmes last night and some drooling idiot of an economic commentator said "We've all  had the experience of using our Mastercard to pay off our Visa" and Sam and I wondered how that works since we've never been insane or desperate enough to try to do that.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 05:11:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You can use a "balance transfer", especially since periodically you'll get a promotional offer of 0% interest on balance transfers (for a fee, though). You can't use balance transfers between cards from the same provider.

Or if you're really dumb and desperate you can use a cash advance at an exorbitant interest rate from one card to get cash to pay the other one.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 05:17:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Today at 5 am I arrived to Kolkata from Puri. Yesterday visited famous black pagoda - Sun Temple in Konark, it is famous for erotic sculptures but they are not seen from the ground, their photos available from hawkers.
Otherwise from Orissa I have not so good impressions, the state is sadly undeveloped, garbage and litter everywhere, people are quite rough (even in tourist industry where they try to be nice but hiccups occur here and there).
Kolkata is at its usual. After arrival I decided to cross to the city by Howrah bridge by walking, first it was too early for hoteliers to wake up, second - there is underbridge flower market, a feast for eyes.
While I was making photos, one lay man and one policeman warned me not to make photos on the bridge.
Such a leftover from the past, people are still suspicious when I tried to make pics of innocent buildings and institutions or just frenetic street scenes.
After crossing the bridge I was walking walking into Northern Kolkata, 6 am but everywhere I have seen children in school uniform, workers brushing their teeth and washing themselves up on the streets, pavements broken, buildings weathered, etc. I stay in modest hotel on Mirza Ghalib St, which is in complete mess, as municipal authorities are digging this road (apparently to put down some communications). I had a lunch in Pizza Hut in smart mall on Camac St 22, just to the south from Park St (never mind that across the road yet another dump site spilled over Camac St), then went to Victoria Memorial to photograph it at sunset. Ticket to the park ground surrounding museum costed me 4 Rs or 10 cents. On the way there I made photos of cricketers and just people seeking respite from the city on extensive lawns called Maidan, it was sadly littered. The biggest disappointment - city has no decent bookshops, at least I could not find any. Oxford bookshop on Park St is overpriced and has meagre selection, absolutely no books on Bengal or North Eastern India' history.
I remember it was the same lack of interest in serious books in Mumbai, only novels or textbooks.
For tomorrow I have not decided yet, possibly i'll visit Dakshineshwar and Belur Math of Ramakrishna society, the day after tomorrow I'm leaving by Darjeeling Mail to Himalaya.
by FarEasterner on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 08:34:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Occasional Series