First the good news, well, good of a sort. The European Central Bank upped its interest rate. Everyone had said it would. The good bit came afterwards when the ECB's president, Jean-Claude Trichet, came as close as a central banker gets to saying he will do it again in December.
Then in the US opinion is hardening that the Fed thinks it has not quite beaten American inflation yet. Anyway the fragile US housing market has so far not stopped American shoppers from shopping.
This is good news for us in that rising interest rates elsewhere help anchor the pound. It is the pricey pound, not the unpleasantness of paying the bank a little more for borrowed money, that hurts British exporters - and every company competing with imports at home.
Long years with British interest rates roughly double those in Europe and a multi-ple of those in the States, let alone all-but free money in Japan, have put the pound on a pedestal that is great for holidaymakers and a millstone for anyone trying to earn a living in a global market.
Even if the Bank of England really does tighten the screw another notch next month, rising rates elsewhere at least stop this baleful phenomenon from getting worse. There was wild talk last week of a two-dollar pound. But while the Fed stays in its present hair-shirted mode, it will remain just that, wild talk.
There is an outside chance, too, that the Bank will decide after all that it has done enough. Oil is the source of the inflation that spooks it. But OPEC's round of production cuts touted this week, may very well fail to drive the price of oil back to anywhere near $78 a barrel.
Then this week we had the bizarre spectacle of free gas cascading out of the new pipe from Norway with nowhere to go and no one to burn it. That will not curb this winter's gas bills based on the top-dollar paid months ago for forward supplies by jumpy British companies desperate not to be caught short.
The Norwegian gas may not come free again. But there is plenty more of it gushing down that pipe.
There is a another new one, too, from Belgium, due to open this winter. That lays the bogey of any shortage. With-out it, next winter's gas - and electricity from gas-fired power stations - really should be cheaper.
The Bank of England can see all this, too. And, as it says over and again, it is not chasing inflation tomorrow or next month, but two years out. n n n The luck of the Irish. Preparing the plan to float Aer Lingus, the Irish Government wished to avoid a replay of the privatisation of the telecoms company Eircom, whose share price collapsed burning thousands of private punters.
So the minimum price for Aer Lingus was set at 10,000 euros to keep out the poor. Irish enthusiasts responded with private subscriptions piling in at an average close to 20,000 euros, plenty of them for 50,000.
Now, in less than a week, Ryanair's Michael O'Leary has presented them with a 27 per cent profit - except for the poor, who, yet again, stay poor.