I was in Moscow, Russia a few weeks back when the Russian central bank had to intervene to support the ruble. At that point, cooler heads seemed to have been regaining center stage and the political climate between the US and Russia seemed to warming a bit since the Georgia conflict. Then, right before I left, a US vice president candidate speculated that we might have to go to war with Russia! A week later, the Russian markets closed for several days. I'll have a report on my Russia trip in a few days, but I'll preface it by saying it was fascinating.
I escaped the economic chatter last week by attending Oracle's Open World conference. This was by far the best Open World I have seen: customers were very enthusiastic and the show was extremely well coordinated. Getting back to core technology was a great break from some of the bleaker world news. I arrived home late Saturday and then was back on a plane this morning: only to learn that Wachovia had been dispatched!