February 13th, 2009

a great bear winner is me

I love PM

PM is the slightly cracky Radio 4 news that happens between 5pm and 6pm before the Proper Srs Bsns News at 6pm. Which is unfair because they do lots of good reporting, but also they call their OMG-we're-all-doomed economic news slot "Upshares Downshares" and things like that. I am increasingly convinced, though, that the programme's real purpose is to give people who we might hope would know better enough rope to hang themselves.

Today in just the half hour I listened to on the drive home:

  • During Upshares Downshares, an interviewee who I think was supposed to be important in something to do with banking (you can tell I can't be bothered to Listen Again, can't you?) used the word "infinitesimally" to imply "large" instead of "small". Perhaps this confusion in vocabulary explains What Went Wrong. Maybe someone said "these risks are huge! our losses could be enormous!" and the bosses thought that that was FINE really, because all those adjectives mean "tiny". (I wanted to do a joke about how you have to understand infinitesimals to do even the A-level calculus version of derivatives, but it turns out that the financial derivatives are not that sort of derivative. Boo, reality.)
  • Geoff Boycott (who someone apparently knighted but we shall gloss over that) made a rambling report about problems with a test match in Antigua that was full of barely-hidden subtext about how they can't run things properly in these post-colonial times, before seguing into how expensive Caribbean holidays are and how he's been benefiting the local authorities with his sage advice about how to sort out the issues he was reporting on. All of this while being completely unable to stick to his timeslot despite what must now be decades of broadcasting experience, and calling the presenter "love". (The ensuing frostiness of her eventual cutting across him to move on to the next item was rather lovely, though.)
  • And finally, a lovely man told us that polo isn't an elitist sport ... because it's not as expensive to play as golf.