The Spectator

Barometer | 2 July 2015

Plus: How many runways big airports need; and what Nicky Morgan probably doesn’t mean by ‘coasting’

Text settings
Comments

Bank job

Should we buy shares in companies which print banknotes in expectation of one getting to print millions of drachma notes?

— In May, according to the ECB, there were a total of 17.6bn euro notes in circulation. Given that Greece accounts for approximately 2.5% of the GDP of the eurozone, 441m of these were Greek, and might need replacing with drachma notes in the event the country leaves the euro.

— However, there is already a good business in printing replacement euro notes. In May, 2.76bn notes were taken out of circulation and 2.88bn new ones were put into circulation.

— Therefore, if Greece were to leave the euro and all Greek euro notes to be replaced with drachmas, it would only lead to a one-off monthly boost of 16% in the number of banknotes being printed in the eurozone.

Faraway coast

Education secretary Nicky Morgan has announced that Ofsted is to seek out ‘coasting’ schools. It is a good job she is not education secretary in Canada or New England, where the word has the opposite definition of what she intends, having connotations of daredevil sport.

— Coasting, there, is a 19th-century word for tobogganing. A woodcut from Harper’s Weekly in February 1877 called ‘Coasting in the Country’ depicts anything other than gentle, complacent activity: it shows one pair of children haring down a snowy slope with a look of fear, while ahead of them a sledge has overturned, leaving its occupants in an entangled mess.

Runway show

How many runways does an international airport need?

Annual Passengers

Atlanta

22.7m

Beijing

21.6m

Dubai

19.6m

Tokyo

18m

Los Angeles

16.4m

Heathrow

16.3m

Hong Kong

16.3m

Runways

Atlanta

5

Beijing

3

Dubai

2

Tokyo

4

Los Angeles

4

Heathrow

2

Hong Kong

2

Geography of fear

Where are most of the world’s deaths from terrorism?

% of the 17,891 terrorism deaths in 2013

Iraq

35.4%

Afghanistan

17.3%

Pakistan

13.1%

Nigeria

10.2%

Syria

6%

Somalia

2.3%

India

2.2%