Latest posts by Martin Moodie (see all)
- Sipping a botanical journey across Vietnam and talking Trinity in Ho Chi Minh City - February 24, 2024
- Sounding out Sanya sensations and hitting the high notes in Haikou - February 20, 2024
- Zooming into and out of Zayed International - February 14, 2024
But one mandatory and brilliant read is the Daily Briefing from foreign exchange specialists Money Corp. It’s typically no more than six or seven paragraphs, linked to key curency movements and trends.
It’s all good stuff but what sets this product apart is its magnificently droll openings. Here’s from today’s edition, for example:
A film called United Passions was launched at last month’s Cannes festival. It tells the history of FIFA, football’s international administrative body. To ensure maximum sycophancy in its portrayal, FIFA itself stumped up £16m of the film’s £19m cost. The actor playing the part of FIFA President Sepp Blatter is Tim Roth, who was turned down for the role of Hannibal Lecter in 2001 because he looked too unscrupulous.
That believe it or not is linked to the Pound Sterling’s movement: If the Bank of England ever gets round to making such a vanity movie Mr Roth need not wait by his phone in the hope of an audition for the lead role. Governor Mark Carney, in his speech last week, provided an unimpeachable steer to the MPC minutes which were published yesterday. Speaking of “the exact timing of the first rate hike” he said “this decision is becoming more balanced”. Sure enough, yesterday’s minutes confirmed that “for some members the policy decision had become more balanced”.
Investors did not like that. Their reaction was to sell the pound because the minutes contained no change to the 9-0 voting pattern and no hint that a rate increase was imminent.
You think such brilliance is a one-off? Not at all. Here’s yesterday’s:
A couple of recent stories appear to confirm that many people’s perception of Africa is based entirely upon The Lion King. Last month a columnist highlighted the disproportionately high number of novels about the continent featuring an acacia tree on the cover. This week the twitter team at Delta Airlines celebrated the United States’ 2-1 win over Ghana by juxtaposing pictures of the Statue of Liberty and a giraffe. Unfortunately there are still more giraffes in Denmark than there are in Ghana; the nearest ones are 500km and two countries away in Niger.
But hey, there was no argument about the Status of Liberty and the United States won the football match anyway. The United States also won yesterday’s inflation match, beating the United Kingdom 2.1% – 1.5%. America’s score was an improvement on the previous month’s 2% while Britain’s was down from 1.8%. Intriguingly, higher air fares and food prices contributed to the rising US inflation rate while falling air fares and food prices had a lot to do with the lower UK rate.
Brilliant. Now I have a great relationship with Money Corp, which is doing its best to change the often drab, commodity-driven approach of foreign exchange outlets in airports (and last year won major pan-terminal concessions at London Heathrow and Gatwick airports) but I have to say, whoever this brilliant writer is, man or woman, young or old, I want to poach them.
P.S. I often ask myself who would play travel retail industry figures in my planned screenplay about the business, or vice-versa what industry executives would play certain well-known figures. Is Ben Kingsley really Sunil Tuli? Is Billy Connolly the true Frank O’Connell? Is Stuart Bull actually Brad Pitt? Has Dermot Davitt morphed into TV host Eamonn Holmes and Jonathan Holland into Cary Grant?
There are more. Who is the Irish comedian and chat show host, and who sells children’s confectionery – Graham Norton or David Spillane? We think Peter Sant looks more like Colin Firth than Colin Firth does! And who can really tell the difference between Ed Brennan and Richard Gere?
And what about the hero of Jaws, the movie? No, not Chief Brody or Quint but the shark itself? Or the villain of the same name from the Bond movies? Which one would play Doug Newhouse – and vice-versa? But here’s the big question, as Tim Roth is not in duty free, which travel retail industry figure would play Sepp Blatter?
[Left: Ben Kingsley; Right: Sunil Tuli]
[Left: Richard Gere; Right: Ed Brennan]
[Left: Ahem… Brad Pitt; Right: Stuart Bull]
[Left: Billy Connolly; Right: Frank O’Connell]
[Left: Colin Firth; Right: Peter Sant]
[Left: ‘The Housewives’ favourite – Eamonn Holmes; Right: Dermot Davitt]
[Left: Very silly indeed – Graham Norton; Right: David Spillane]
[Left: The suave and dapper Cary Grant; Right: Jonathan Holland]
[Left to right: Jaws 1, Jaws 2, Doug Newhouse with human victim]
[Still casting: Sepp Blatter]