It was at very much at this time of the year — an early March Saturday — 87 years ago that Franklin D Roosevelt, as the 32nd president of the United States, gave in his inaugural address a warning. “Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is ... fear itself.”
It may be just coincidental that as parts of the country were battered by Lorenzo yesterday Ireland’s rugby players made unexpectedly heavy weather of beating Russia in the tremendous heat and draining humidity in Kobe’s sweatbox to keep the World Cup dream alive.
Saudi Aramco’s biggest asset could also be a liability. Its vast oil reserves — the state-owned Aramco producer can sustain current production levels for the next 50 years — make it more exposed than any other company to a rising tide of environmental activism and shift away from fossil fuels.
One of those wonderfully colourful, powerfully descriptive phrases of the American vernacular is that ‘reform means taking some dog’s bone’. That may be just a street version of ‘follow the money’, but it rings all too true, especially when we hope uber-powerful entities might change their ways and help us change ours.