The 'word of the year', according to today's Financial Times, is ETF, exchange-traded fund, according to a note on the op-ed page. Since the first US ETFs came out in the 1980s, this belated recognition is an indicator of how different British investing is from American, or perhaps of how different posh British investing is from the US popular retail variety.
Last night we attended a performance in Swiss Cottage of Wild Honey, a long-lost Chekhov play, as translated and edited by Michael Frayn. I suspected that Frayn had simply written it himself but there turns out to be a provenance for the play so I gave that ideal up. However, its thesis that Russians drink too much was tragically confirmed by the most recent incident when 49 Irkutsk residents died from drinking bath oil. It has been a tough 24 hours.
Besides the conviction (if not sentencing) of IMF head Christine Lagarde for negligence by a French court, we have had another terrorist truck murderer in Berlin, where at least 9 people were killed and dozens wounded by a deliberate drive into a Christmas fair. Suspicions are that this was the work of Isis. A Swiss shot up people attending a mosque. And the Russian ambassador to Turkey was assassinated at an art exhibit in Ankara. In Chekhov's day or Florence Nightingale's any one of these incidents would have been a casus belli. We are planning to visit the museum dedicated to the famous nurse along with an expert on Galipoli early in the New Year unless war breaks out.
More for paid subscribers follows mostly from Britain, Finland, Brazil, Israel, India, Sweden, Canada, Abu Dhabi, Egypt, Guinea, Senegal, Nigeria, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Mauritania, the Channel Islands, and Nevada. As you can see, this issue is about Africa.