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Saturday, 27 September 2008


An Indian Sadhu said to me "the way of all paradox is the way of all truth!" This aphorism has never seemed more true! After a long wet Summer, there is some dry sunshine, but the estate rabbits are not venturing out of their foxholes. Do they know I'm stalking with a new rabbit gun? Peasants and grouse are darting for cover, less visible than for years! My cherry trees were all stripped bare by the birds and now (apple-picking today) of all my apple trees, only one is groaning with red delicious (American) while my Romes, gravensteins and cooking greens are small and too few to pick. Zero on giant puffballs - usually a rich crop!
The giant combine had 2 good days despite the liquidity problems in the silage bales and the mud; collapsed field drains. Our cattle and sheep are very quiet; bulls and rams positively somnambulant! From last week the battery-rescued hens stopped laying, and the feral flock won't leave the barns! There is no cock-crowing! The dawn chorus sounds nervously tentative! This Autumn's bird migrations are late, except for honey buzzards along the coast and the smallest of species, pippets and warblers (in from Scandinavia)! Is it the relentless wet weather fronts or climate change? The Autumn potato plants have suddenly withered and the dogs are off their porridge and begging for bones! After millions of years to get acquainted do animals know when humans have got the wind up them, or is the credit crunch just another symptom of a shift in the earth's magnetic field?
In the markets too, perplexity rules. What is volatile is at least liquid, therefore lower not higher risk. Banks targeted for takeover are seeing their shares collapse not rising on expectation of a takeover battle. Bradford & Bingley may be given away or absorbed into EN Wreck (Northern Rock). The BBC this morning enquired into whether the credit crunch altered retail habits? Premium and organic brands down in favour of cheap processed; traditional cuts like skirt and belly instead of sirloin or leg (we've tried to bring back mutton) and pig's trotters are this season's delicacy. JM Keynes's Thrift Paradox states that if everyone saves more money during times of recession, then aggregate demand will fall and will in turn lower total savings in the population. McDowell's paradox: If everyone only saves themselves all may become lost! Is this a good time for the UK to be the first EU state to impose graphic images of diseased lungs and gangrenous feet on cigarette cartons? Is this a sensible time for the Yen to rise as money flows into it as a safe-haven because the $700bn financial rescue package has stalled, and just when Japan announced its first trade deficit in 25 years and Seiji Sugiyama (Japane Bankers Association) said today Japan's economy is in recession; consumer sentiment and capital investment falling faster than at any time since 2001 (Japan's GDP shrank 3% in the quarter ended June 30).

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