Daily Brief – Wednesday 3rd

Wed 3 Jul 2019

Italy and its Budget: a contradiction in terms


As described here two weeks ago, Italy is pushing hard against tough budgetary restraints from the EU. The gap is €40 Billion. Italy’s Deputy PM is playing hardball and has reminded the EU just how much Italy owes to the rest of the EU with the clear implication being that Italy, if pushed, will suspend/default. This is why Italy is a European problem and not just an Italian one with their debts as follows in € Billions to:


France 285


Ireland 272


Germany 59


Belgium.  25


Spain.      21


UK.          18


Luxembourg 10


Portugal.  2


Total c € 700



US Tariffs and the global whiskey market


In addition to parmesan and gouda cheeses, it now appears that the tariffs when imposed will hit Scotch Whisky. The USA is the world’s largest export market for Scotch Whisky at GBP 1 Billion plus and the USA consumed 137 million of 70cl bottles last year-more than a third of a bottle for each and every American citizen! However to put this in perspective, Scotch Whisky accounts for only 12% of the USA’s whiskey consumption with home grown Rye and Bourbon in lead position with 48%! And that’s the thing about tariffs-they are a blunt instrument with all sorts of consequences: in this example Scotch Whisky is a luxury in the USA and for aficionados infinitely superior to domestic American whiskey.


Here is Don Mclean in 1971 with American Pie:


So bye, bye Miss American Pie


Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry


Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey ‘n’ Rye


Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die


This’ll be the day that I die


Don! You should have stuck to the Scotch!




Kylie Minogue


A spat on the SGM-FX desk between Graham (self-confessed Kylie fan) and Euan who is challenging the assertion that Kylie is Australia’s best export other than Fosters Lager. For the record chaps, Kylie is worth AUD 100 Million and has been a feature of stage and screen since her debut in Neighbours in 1986. Kylie has won so many awards and recognition globally that we could not possibly list them here. Style icon Euan was rocking in his Iron Maiden tee shirt last weekend in the Weald of Kent while Kylie was wowing Glastonbury. One other thing and conscious that I need to be cautious in these ultra PC times, Kylie is we should not forget, both the pop princess but also the numero uno “go to” when it comes to Gay Icons. Not sure whether this is relevant boys, but do Calm Down!





Discussion and Analysis by Humphrey Percy, Chairman and Founder

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