Prize Port

Way back in July I went to the Third Day’s Play of the Test Match between England and South Africa. On the way to the ground I bought a copy of Money Week, a publication I have never read before, as requested by my old friend and regular commenter on this blog, Anton, who got the tickets for the match. During a lull in the play we did the crossword in the magazine, which was a not-too-difficult thematic puzzle. When I got back to Cardiff I posted off the solution, as a prize of a bottle of vintage port was on offer. Not hearing any more, forgot about it.

When I got back from India this week there was a card waiting for me saying that ParcelForce had attempted to deliver a package while I was away. This morning I went to the main post office to sign for it and pick it up. This is what I got:

I don’t know why it took so long to deliver the prize but it makes a nice change from the usual dictionaries!

4 Responses to “Prize Port”

  1. Anton Garrett Says:

    Not too difficult by your standards but I was impressed !

    I hope you won’t mind me stating here that when you txt’d me the pic of this bottle today I misunderstood it as some kind of reference to the happy autumn day in 2011 (the year on the bottle) when Lancashire won the county championship for the first time in my lifetime and I ended up driving from Taunton (where Lancs had just beaten Somerset to clinch it) to yours at Cardiff, and only then catching up with the champagne.

    To those who think I regularly drink champagne and read Money Week: the former infrequently but on august occasions such as that described, and the latter as part of my continuing effort to educate myself on macroeconomics and the financial system from scratch. To learn about economics I prefer to read a magazine written for investors than one for economists (there are plenty of the latter), because there is so little agreement among economists about the fundamental principles of their subject. One can pick up a book written by someone of one school and you won’t even learn that other schools exist. In physics that happens only at the research frontier.

    Economics meshes with politics in a way that physics doesn’t, of course. The ideal would be for there to be a general understanding of economics such that advisors could reliably inform politicians, elected democratically, of the effects of enacting particular policies, and the politicians would then make the choice of policy as they chose – hopefully according to their manifesto. We remain a very long way indeed from that scenario, and to my regret there are schools of economics that describe themselves as leftwing and rightwing. I am in partial agreement and disagreement with both. My education, such as it has been, has come by repeatedly asking the question “what *is* money?” and not stopping until I got answers that I was happy with and could explain to an interested party to my satisfaction. The way I think, I got my understanding of the financial system by reaching an understanding of the history of money. I incline to the view that fiat currency is the original sin of the financial system, and the root cause of the so-called business cycle of unsustainable boom and socially distressing bust.

    • “We remain a very long way indeed from that scenario, and to my regret there are schools of economics that describe themselves as leftwing and rightwing.”

      Of course, that is legitimate if one is concerned with the (intended) effects of one’s policies, e.g. redistribution of wealth, etc. Your other point is, of course, valid: it is not completely clear what effects various causes have. This is probably due to the fact that the system is chaotic.

      When one switches on the telly at 5 in the morning and sees some financial adviser making recommendations, I always think that if he really knew what he was talking about, he wouldn’t have to appear on television at 5 in the morning. 🙂

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