That pesky internet keeps all your previous advice available long after it ceases to be right if it ever was in the first place.  I trust you are all deleting these emails after you have read them.


Credit to them


HM Treasury has announced plans to provide a backstop for trade credit insurance in response to lobbying by LIIBA and others.  This will see government act as a reinsurer in the market and thus differs from the abortive attempt to do this in 2009.  Precise model still being designed but I have unilaterally offered your combined expertise to help if needed.


Veni (zuela) Vidi Vici


As populist leaders from London to Washington via Mexico City and Managua adopt various levels of virus denial to justify the opening up of their economy in the face of tumbling approval ratings, one man stands against this trend.  Nicolas Maduro.  Whilst a pending recession could spell political suicide for the Trumps and Johnsons of the world, if you have systematically already brought your nation to a grinding halt it offers no fears.  Quite the opposite.  Got a problem with excess demand for petrol?  Introduce a lockdown so no-one can drive anywhere.  Plagued by public protests against your crumbling regime?  Introduce a lockdown so people can’t go out.  And the useful by product?  Relatively low corona casualty rate so you look vaguely competent as a leader for the first time in, like, forever (even if no-one believes your figures because of your long history of, what is the word, lying).  All this and the predictable failure of Bay of Pigs II last week (to my burgeoning US readership, hands up who doesn’t suspect the spooks were behind that?) and Big Nic can be one of the few people who can be thinking that this crisis is the best thing that could have happened to him.  It’s absolutely caracas.


Not reaching the last furlough


In news that we could have easily brought you yesterday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced the extension to the furlough scheme for workers until October.  And the subsidy remains at up to 80% of wages to a maximum of £2,500 a month.  There will be an option from August to bring staff back part-time with the employer taking on part of the contribution to wages.  Beyond October I suspect we will see significant tapering of the scheme as it is costing as much as the NHS.  But good news for those of you accessing this support.  Plus an interesting insight into government thinking on the likely longevity of the current restrictions.


Cuervo ball


As you may be aware, this column has an unhealthy interest (and that is the absolute correct word – unhealthy) in the world’s lockdown consumption strategy.  So a few more interesting findings.


US sales of tequila were 60% up in April on this time last year – making agave distillation the only functioning sector of the Mexican economy.  So kudos to my CIAB colleagues who looked presentable and were remarkably coherent on our call yesterday when all data suggests they must have been wasted (insert own thought about the reason Blaire was not on video here – although I can report that the real reason is that her parents are rabidly anti-royal and have republican (in the proper sense) merch on the wall and she was gallantly protecting my feelings.  Extraordinary).  This is in stark contrast to the Mexican beer crisis which is threatening the corner shop industry.


That story is covered here with so much else to enjoy.  I won’t ruin it for those who want to savour, but some highlights.  A moustachioed baby on Facebook caused a run on black tea in Afghanistan; shortages of salted sunflower seeds in Iraq; and a spike in demand for fast growing shrubs in Australia to hide your garden from the neighbours. #ConLaCervezaNo



I am off to run my new business trading on the secondary golf tea time market.  Hasta manana.