rashbre central: February 2022

Wednesday 23 February 2022

Raven's Card

I remember some of this from researching one of my novels, linked to the Saint Petersburg moves of the then young Putin.Bank Rossiya now has UK sanctions. It was one of the hundreds of enterprises that the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) financiers used to funnel the party gold away during the great sell-off of the Russian state. Dmitri Lebedev is chairman of the Board of the bank and a good buddy of Putin.
It is no secret that Sergei Pugachev, The 'Frenchman' who lived in Chelsea and is often referred to as Putin's Banker knows how to move money around. Just check the list of clients he advised, to get a clue about the scale of his operation. 

I'm guessing that the money moves are far ahead of the available sanctions.

An example is Sberbank, the largest financial institution in Russia, Central and Eastern Europe, which Putin decided to make a government asset in 2020. He bought, for the state, 50% + 1 share of it to control the entire mechanism. Useful if push comes to shove.

I recollect that Putin offered a group of his buddies land near Krasnodar Krai, close to his own dacha. 
Of course, Putin's own dacha is no shack, set in Gelendzhik, Krasnodar Krai. Some of the Russian Press deny that this even exists, citing a US-based propaganda smear. 

But looking at drone coverage, the main residence is more than 190,000 square feet, and it sits on some 27 square miles of land—larger than the island of Manhattan. The associated compound hosts a variety of other amenities: an arboretum with rare trees plus a greenhouse, said to be tended by some 40 gardeners; twin helicopter pads; a subterranean ice hockey rink; extensive vineyards that produce an exclusive wine served at Kremlin events; a 27,000-square-foot tea house for guests; and an outdoor amphitheater for concerts. 

A tunnel that accesses the beach doubles as a bunker. It also features a special chamber cut into the cliffside that serves as a “tasting room” with a view of the sea.

Tuesday 8 February 2022

money to burn?

I see London stocks rose in early trade, underpinned by solid results from oil giant BP according to Sharecast. BP are making around £350 per second from the oil price hikes. Shell similarly so. 

I thought ETRM (Energy Trading Risk Management) software and dealing was supposed to smooth the effect of energy price fluctuations, but instead we see corporate effects (good for shareholders) and domestic effects (bad for consumers). 

I thought I'd run a quick test of what would happen if I switched provider now (ie by-passed the so-called Energy Price cap)

My old energy bill was about £1200, and my new price could be one of the following:

That's around £3,820-3,850 per year or significantly more than I pay at the moment.

Of course, I'd be bonkers to 'switch' at the end of my current contract 31-March-2022, so, along with 22 million other consumers, I'll go onto the Price Cap instead. 

That way it will 'only' be around £1,971 per annum. A Price Cap rise of £693, although I was on a fixed tariff which used to give me cheaper fuel. 

 I wonder how they have the nerve to call it a price cap, when it is planned to go up again in October? 

Another example of not taking back control.


I looked at the New York Mercantile Exchange NYMEX predictions for short term oil prices. The spread is so greats doesn't look as if they have a clue. Note the spread of the pricing (in red) on my two main charts.

Sunday 6 February 2022

Zwifting up Mont Ventoux

Not the fastest time ever - which appears to be under one hour, but I'll still call it respectable fun to do the whole 4,844 feet/ 1476 metres climb in 95m42s. 13 miles in 95 minutes= 7.4mph, back at average of 43mph. 

 Phew, but at least going back down was somewhat faster. I broke 55mph a couple of times.
I've cut it down to the length of Grace Cathedral Hill below:

Tuesday 1 February 2022

scarlet beast with seven heads and ten horns

I'm torn between two songs for the fact-ignoring jester to play at the medieval court of Johnson. 

A) All along the watch towers: Dylan and Hendrix - with some lines like:

No reason to get excited
The thief he kindly spoke
There are many here among us
Who feel that life is but a joke
But, uh, but you and I, we've been through that thing
And this is not our fate
So let us stop talkin' falsely now
The hour's getting late, hey

B) Or Britney Spears with:

Oops, I did it again
I played with your heart, got lost in the game
Oh baby, baby
Oops, you think I'm in love
That I'm sent from above
I'm not that innocent

But I think I'll go with Dylan:

Outside in the cold distance
A wildcat did growl
Two riders were approaching
And the wind began to howl
Spoiler Alert

Plot twist reveals King as dangerous Jester.