This week marked the beginning of March and with it, Shrove Tuesday. Although better known as Pancake Day, where we celebrate the beginning of Lent by using up items in our cupboard in preparation for the traditional abstinence period, it also goes by the name of Mardi Gras. The practise of abstinence isn’t as common anymore but fortunately, the tradition of making pancakes has remained!
The markets have had a tumultuous time this week with further sanctions being placed against Russia, including the seizing of assets of Russian oligarchs, and the Ruble now worth less than US$0.1c. US Federal Reserve Chair, Jerome Powell, spoke before the Senate on Thursday in his congressionally mandated semi-annual testimony on monetary policy and it looks like the Fed are still preparing to move forward with interest rate increases aimed at curtailing inflation. The European Central Bank has also been in a tricky position recently, with inflation approaching 6% (three times the official target) and the war between Russia and Ukraine impacting the continent’s economy – the challenge being to provide support for companies whilst preventing prices spiralling out of control.
All this has caused the markets to fluctuate further in a week that has shocked the world with Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. The Dax 30 (German stock exchange) fell 7.17% in the last five days, the CAC 40 (French) was down 6.99%, whilst the Moscow Exchange has shut for the fourth day in a row with £420 billion worth of shares wiped off the LSE. Finally, the FTSE has fared slightly better and is down 5.94% this week.
In ever so slightly better news, a depressed parrot has found its groove again and has started to swear and play with its toys (Thanks to BBC). The African Grey Parrot, Jesse, fell into a slump when her owner of nine years passed away. After having been re-homed, Jesse has come back to her old parroting, potty-mouthed old self. The RHS, or the Royal Horticultural Society, has decreed that snails and slugs will no longer be classified as ‘pests’ as, according to research, only 9 of the 44 species in the UK actually eat our plants. So, we had it wrong all along!
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