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Luis Miguel Castilla, Finance Minister of Peru, resigns

And about time too. News link here.

UPDATE: The new FinMin has now been sworn in. His name's Alonso Segura and his is a direct promotion from the head offices of the finance ministry. Here you see him, on the right of this photo, posing with four of the most recent Finance Ministers of Peru. Biog and background here.

What I have learned from my mailbox today

People don't read to the ends of posts before writing in.


Brazil Presidential elections: The PT machine cranks it up, Dilma fights back

Marina Silva rode her wave, the world sat up and paid attention, Dilma Rousseff saw her lock on re-election evaporate and now....Dilma's PT party is getting serious. The latest Ibope voter intention survey out yesterday evening in Brazil has for the round one vote:
  • Dilma Rousseff (PT): 39%
  • Marina Silva (PSB): 31%
  • Aécio Neves (PSDB): 15%

Margin of error +/- 2%. And assuming there's a round two run-off between Marina and Dilma:
  • Dilma Rousseff: 42%
  • Marina Silva: 43%

Margin of error again +/- 2%. Which means Dilma's reversed the trend in both round one and round two intention and is now leading for October 5th by a decent cushion and, more importantly, in a technical dead heat for the big one having trailed Marina by six or seven points just a week ago.

The Nobel Committee officially regrets awarding Barack Obama the 2009 Peace Prize

The letter, dated yesterday September 12th, can be read in full here. This is how it starts:

"Prizes awarded by the Nobel Committee are not retracted. It remains the obligation of the Committee to disassociate itself from actions taken by laureates that frustrate rather than advancing the fraternity between nations and the abolition or reduction of standing armies. The Committee therefore joins with the public statements of several Nobel Peace Laureates in expressing its regrets over the conduct of the 2009 prize recipient."

It was the day the Peace Prize devalued itself, so the Nobel Committee's move to mitigate some of its stupid decision is welcomed. But don't be misled, this is too little too late and can't undo even half of the damage done to the reputation of the Peace Prize. 

ps: yes i know it's a fake. it shouldn't be, though


The Friday OT: JS Bach, Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue (BWV 903), played by Friedrich Gulda

Don't get me involved with the debate about which version, how to play it, or even on what instrument. I tend to like them all in my simple pleasure way.

But this one is a cracker, viewed as a "straight played" version and by one of the great virtuosos as well. Recorded in 1964.

A Flash update...

...has just been sent to subscribers, 15 minutes before the opening bell on this very pleasant, warm and sunny Friday morning. Time to purchase something.

Pro-tip: Before flying into Buenos Aires Argentina, check on the weather forecast for hailstorms

Last Monday September 8th, an Air Europa flight from Madrid was 12 minutes away from landing at its destination in Buenos Aires Argentina when it found itself in the middle of a hailstorm. As those from the plains areas of Southeastern South America (Argentina, Uruguay, South Brazil) will know, the hailstones in these storm clouds can sometimes be frighteningly big and that's what the Air Europa pilot of the Airbus A330 (with 230 people on board) found out this week.

We're happy to report that the plane landed safely, which is testament to both crew and the build quality of the Airbus. Full report and more photos right here at the page.

The directors of Fortuna Silver ( $FSM have a message for shareholders of Fortuna Silver

Which is, "Maybe you should sell at any price over $5, just like we do".

Chart from here.