Blog: Strange morning
Dave Leggett | 28 July 2004
Today's off to a real flyer. A very polite young lady from CNBC (you know, the Bloomberg-like channel that you occasionally catch for a nanosecond as you flick through the available TV channels in your hotel room, wherever you are in the world) wanted me to go along and talk about Renault's results - they're apparently very good and boosted by strong Megane sales. But there'd obviously been a last-minute drop-out, and I was wanted in the London studio in a couple of hours. That's just not possible this morning I'm afraid. She sounded pretty desperate and you have to feel for these guys when they are let down at the last minute and then have to trawl through a list of names and numbers praying that someone will say yes. I just wish they could give more notice.
And now I learn that boutique British sports car maker TVR may have been purchased outright yesterday by a Russian 'baby oligarch'. We're trying to get more details. If true then it's clearly confirmation that the world really has gone bonkers. But you can't blame Peter Wheeler for taking the money and it ought to mean more funds for investment I suppose.
While some of these mega-rich Russians pursue all kinds of whacky spending hobbies abroad - football clubs, car companies - one of the got-very-rich-quick-through-dodgy-privatisations oligarchs languishes in a Russian jail cell, penalised for having some political ambitions. And meanwhile, the Russian economy is crying out for investment. Boris Yeltsin and those who supported him in the '90s when the seeds of today's mess were sown have quite a bit to answer for, although hindsight is a wonderful thing of course.
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