Can Portugal trade its way out of its lost decade?

Notayesmanseconomics's Blog

The weekend just gone has brought some good news for the Republic of Portugal. This came from the Standard and Poors ratings agency when it announced this after European markets had closed on Friday.

On Sept. 15, 2017, S&P Global Ratings raised its unsolicited foreign and local currency long- and short-term sovereign credit ratings on the Republic of  Portugal to ‘BBB-/A-3’ from ‘BB+/B’. The outlook is stable.

Bloomberg explains the particular significance of this move.

Portuguese Finance Minister Mario Centeno expects greater demand for his nation’s debt from a broader array of investors to spur lower borrowing costs both for the government and corporations, after the country’s credit rating was restored to investment grade status by S&P Global Ratings.

So the significance of their alphabetti spaghetti is that Portugal has been raised from junk status to investment grade. I will deal with the impact on bond markets later but first…

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Four days on the Fishermen’s Trail (part 4)


Almograve to Zambujeira do Mar


There were tons of acacia trees, an invasive species, on this stretch of the trail. The tree was introduced in the early 20th century for sand stabilization, but the aggressive, exotic plant has taken over large swaths of the coast and nobody seems to know what to do about it. There were also tons of adorable little piles of scat from nocturnal rodents along this section of the trail.

With the exception of the four Irish hikers I passed around 10 a.m., drinking cans of Sagres at a viewpoint, I was alone the entire morning.

Around midday I reached the lighthouse at Cabo Sardão. There were half a dozen serious photographers taking photos of the storks nesting on the cliffs. Paolo and his orange rucksack were there, too. He was walking barefoot in circles, head down, pensively eating an apple. I sat down and…

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A Portuguese sardine answers the Proust questionnaire

The totally fabulous fish, star of the St Anthony day party here in Lisbon from grilled to art works.

There’s no need to chop off my head; I don’t bite!
What you don’t understand about others: Why they hate my guts.
Favorite expression: Let then eat hake!
Favorite motto: Salty is the new sweet, silver the new gold.


Salt of Portugal

A Portuguese Sardine, Rui Barreiros Duarte, ink on paper, 2012.

In the late 19th century it was fashionable to make a list of questions and keep a notebook with the answers supplied by friends and family. The answers of the French writer Marcel Proust were so admired that these lists became known as Proust questionnaires.

To our knowledge, no fish has ever answered a Proust questionnaire until now. Here are the answers offered by a Portuguese sardine.

Your favorite virtue: I’m rich in omega-3, but it’s hard to buy things with it.
Your main fault: Being a sustainable species. People think I’m replaceable!
Your idea of happiness: A world-wide ban on canning small, cute fish.
Your idea of misery: Being smoked; do I look like a cigar to you?
Your favorite food: Plankton!
Where would you like to live: The island of Sardinia.
What others misunderstand about you: There’s…

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First impressions of Lisbon

Another name for this great arch could well be the gateway to Lisbon.

Salt of Portugal

Composit LisboaFirst impressions are important, so we recommend for your first stop in Lisbon the top of the Rua Augusta arch. More than a century in the making (from 1759 to 1875), the arch is a symbol of the reconstruction of the city after the devastating 1755 earthquake.

The three statues on top of the arch (glory, valor, and genius) remind us of what Portugal at its best can do. The two statues on the sides, which personify the Douro and Tagus rivers, are symbols of the country’s natural beauty. The remaining four statues represent important historical figures: Viriato, a military leader who resisted the Roman invasion, Nuno Alvares Pereira, the hero of a key medieval battle against Castile, Vasco da Gama, the famous navigator, and the Marquis of Pombal, who oversaw the efforts to rebuild Lisbon after the earthquake.

You can reach the top of the arch by elevator. The views…

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Wellington’s wine

Totally love this wine from the region close to Lisbon!

Salt of Portugal

DSC_1082-FDuring the Napoleonic wars, the Duke of Wellington stationed his troops in the Bucelas region, north of Lisbon. There, he drank a white wine made with Arinto, an indigenous varietal. He enjoyed it so much that, after the war, he imported large quantities back to England. Wellington offered some bottles of Bucelas to King George III, who claimed that they cured him of a troublesome kidney disease. The wine continued to gather fame during the Victorian era. German Rieslings were known in England as “Hock,” so London wine merchants called Bucelas “Portuguese Hock.”

When the British publisher Henry Vizetelly arrived in Portugal in 1877 to work on a book about wine, his first stop was Bucelas. He writes that the young wines are “remarkably fresh in flavor,” and the older wines are “rounder and more aromatic” with a “soft, almondy after taste.” He concludes that: “Certainly purer wines than these…

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Lisbon : A guide for the first time visitor

Welcome to my adopted home city. Let me show you round on your next visit to Lisbon.


IMG_0161.JPGLisbon or Lisboa as locals call it, is a one of the most romantic cities of Europe in a very rustic way.Spread over seven hills, this charming& enchanting city at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and has the river Tejo bordering it. Best explored on foot, the meandering  colourful streets of the city are dressed in pastels & blue tiles, it has historic trams criss crossing the roads, some of the best food & quite a nightlife culture  – everything a traveler could ask for ; and all this at highly affordable prices. Here’s a quick guide to discover the best of Lisbon.

The neighbourhoods of Old Town Lisbon : 

Lisbon is clearly divided into its neighbourhoods & suburbs and each of them has its own character. The downtown is Baixa with high ends shops & banks, Chiado & Bairro Alto are the alternative neighbourhoods with bustling bars & clubs ,

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The Lisbon Pousada

Salt of Portugal

PousadaLisboaLisbon has a wonderful new historical hotel: the Lisbon Pousada, located in the old royal-palace courtyard known as Terreiro do Paço.

Until the middle of the 18th century, ministers, nobles and other power brokers constantly stamped the soil of this courtyard with their footprints. But, after the 1755 earthquake destroyed the royal palace, the king moved to Ajuda and the courtyard lost its illustrious traffic.

In the 20th century, Terreiro do Paço regained its status as the walkway of power. The new hotel occupies the Ministry of Internal Affairs building. It was here that Salazar, the man who ruled Portugal from 1926 to 1970, had his office.

The pousada is decorated with numerous historical artifacts, including models for many of the statues that adorn the city. The rooms are elegant and comfortable with windows that frame beautiful views of downtown Lisbon: stucco buildings, ancient tiles, pink roofs, the walls of St. Jorge’s castle, and…

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Nature Connection Therapy: How do we connect with nature for mental health?

Travel in the present! Advice for the moon (month), the new moon is today here in Europe so take a little time, do a little dance and breathe in the now. Thanks for sharing #joewalker We all need a little prod to turn off our addiction to the cyberspace, our own is so much more rewarding!

Soul Stewards Counseling & Psychotherapy, PLLC

lindsay-at-canon-ball-island-ozetteFor the last twenty years I have been guiding people into the wild via horse, white water raft and on foot.  Among all of the adventures, campfires, amazing animal encounters and community time, there is one over arching theme that stands out-connection.

We connect to the sky…


Last fall, I was having a REALLY bad day and when I was about to go home I looked up & saw this…do you see the smiley face? I was so startled by the irony I laughed…then I cried. Its a welcome surprise when synchronistic nature experiences give me exactly what I need. The sky is a great provider of perspective, dreaming and connection to each other.

We are all under the same sky. 

We connect to the land…


Hiking, looking out over large distances to far mountain peaks, being with friends and family or sometimes alone…the movement of my body and…

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The last harbor

Just honest grilled fish to die for.

Salt of Portugal


The existence of one of Lisbon’s best fish restaurants has been a closely guarded secret for more than half a century. Its name is “Último Porto” (the last harbor). Now that the secret is out, we might as well confess everything.

The restaurant is tucked away in the corner of one of Lisbon’s harbors (Rocha do Conde de Óbidos). It is not a glamorous place. But for fish lovers it is heaven.

There are tables inside and an esplanade surrounded by containers that is very pleasant when the weather is warm. It is easy to park and the walk to the restaurant is beautiful with the river in front of us and the city on our back.

“Último Porto” opens only for lunch and it is always full of locals. Grilled fish is the main event and the stars of the show are the “salmonetes” (mullets). Their skins are colored with yellow and…

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Holidays to Portugal Algarve, what else?

Where do Portuguese people go on their summer holidays?

 Are you on holidays in Portugal and would like to know more about Portuguese culture?  If so, continue on reading  this article, we will show you a spot… a region is chosen by Portuguese as their favorite spot to go on  their summer holidays. Well… actually, in order to answer this question, we have a handful of options along a Portuguese coast full of beaches. But when you are either with family or friends the south coast and, more specifically, the Algarve, are the top Portuguese choices. On this post, we are going to focus ourselves on a marvelous place for beach holidays which is called Tavira and Cabanas de Tavira in the Algarve´s region. Here you have beautiful and natural landscapes. You can just simply wake up, go for a walk, catch the boat and end in a quite beautiful beach landscape, surrounded by a warm and calm sea. 

Tavira 4-Modificado Tavira 5-Modificado

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Tavira is a fishery village, where you can appreciate good fish dishes like tuna, fish on coal, sea fish, and octopus. Imagine yourself after a morning in the amazing Cabanas island beach, looking for a restaurant to lunch. Don´t go at lunchtime to the beach, Portuguese sun can be blazing hot. Take a short pause from the beach and just go appreciate Portuguese flavors, little big plates of heaven.  We advise you tasting some “cadelinhas” as shown in a picture further below, but you could also appreciate a simple fish made on carvon with a light salad. It’s simple perfect. Sardines, for example, are to be eaten in the months without an “R”.  May, June, and July are good months for it. Give it a try. Together with a glass of green wine. It will be perfect! You’ll see!

lamejinhasTavira 8-Modificado  Tavira 12

After this, relax a little bit in the shadow reading a book or just simply go around the village. There are many local products and traditions to be discovered.  Embroidery, cane baskets, ceramics, honey, cheese, or seeing how brandy is made are ancient activities from the municipality which you could have pleasure knowing them.

After 4pm you could go back to the beach and enjoy  the rest of the afternoon ending lying down on the beach or just playing with your kids on the beach. Both adults and children will love this programme.

Source: Holidays to Portugal Algarve, what else?