Just another day in Delusionland

‘Tower 42, the tallest occupied skyscraper in the City, will be put up for sale as booming prices return to London’s commercial property market. The 600ft former NatWest tower near the Bank of England is expected to fetch more than £300m ($461m) when its owners, Hermes Real Estate and BlackRock’s UK property fund, put it on the market this week.
The decision to sell the building, the largest single real estate deal this year in the Square Mile, will be seen as a further indication of the surge in interest among property buyers for trophy assets.’ (FT)

We all like a trophy, do we not? I just need someone to explain to me (beyond the obvious asset-bubble here) why on earth a rise in commercial property might be sane in an economy on the rocks in a country going bust.

‘European leaders’ pledge to help Greece with an unprecedented aid package may be a stepping stone on the way to a more unified fiscal policy, said economists at Barclays Capital and Commerzbank AG.

“It’s a defining moment,” Julian Callow, chief European economist at Barclays in London, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “We have countries coming together able to help and give assistance to one of their number in the Euro area.”

‘Euro region officials have spent the past two months debating whether to maneuver around the rules of the Maastricht Treaty, which left the bloc without a common finance ministry to match its shared central bank.’ (Bloomberg)

This is is my favourite for months: would you have faith in a Union that created a central bank – and then went, “Aw gee shucks guys, we forgodabout the f**kin’ Treasury”? It’s all good stuff if you’re trying to spin some value into your currency, but without the Germans on board, it’s also content-free piffle. Next stop: Portugal.

‘Tilern DeBique, 28, says she was forced to leave the Army because she was expected to be available for duty around the clock. She was formally disciplined when she failed to appear on parade because she had to look after her daughter. Now she is in line for a payout of at least £100,000 for loss of earnings, injury to feelings and aggravated damages.’ (Mail)

I know this is the Daily Mail and all that (and therefore could simply be the editor having another funny turn) but I have sussed around a bit and it does seem to be true. Tilern got a shock on realising that the army could order you about. Bless. Read the small print next time, ducks. And why is the army recruiting single mothers with babies?

‘Given it was played shortly before he launched Labour’s manifesto, Gordon Brown’s unofficial theme can be assumed to be I’m A Soul Man, famously sung by his late cousin James. Primarily the manifesto launch offered the chance to watch some of the Cabinet awkwardly nod their heads along to the soul soundtrack to Labour’s campaign. Nice white man’s overbite, Ben Bradshaw!’ (Marina Hyde in the Guardian)

Great piece this one, by the way. If you searched the planet from end to end, it would be hard to find a man with less soul than Gordon Brown. But that’s New Politics for you. Gordon had just the one soul, but he sold it years ago, so he dat boy wid no soul, man – yo!

‘ARSENAL like straight dealing on the pitch, but even Silent Stan Kroenke may have uttered a gasp of disbelief at Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith’s unexpected off-the-pitch manoeuvring…(she)..brought in in the bankers to sell her 15.9 per cent stake, worth at least £80million, and this could yet throw a spanner
in the works of Kroenke’s takeover bid…Any doubt over whether there was remaining bitterness about the way Bracewell-Smith was deposed from the boardroom in December 2008 has been ruthlessly extinguished.’ (Express)

I do seem to recall a sub-ed piddling all over a piece of mine from two years ago about Arsenal’s financial state. And Man United’s. And Liverpool’s. On Sunday, a bankrupt team secured its place in the FA Cup Final; at least two other Premiership Clubs will go under if they don’t get either serious European exposure next season, and/or a Trophy. Lalalalalalalalaaaaagh.