It was Somerset Maugham who said the French Riviera is “a sunny place for shady people” – and looking around at all the 'models' in the hotel lobbies and the men in dark sunglasses who seemed to know them, I knew what he meant. Behind the festival's shiny facade, there is an unseemly side – and beneath the azure waters, a polluted mess. The French diver and environmentalist Laurent Lombard's video of the Cannes seabed strewn with waste and debris went viral before the festival began. We were assured there was no danger to swimmers, and the mayor had it cleaned up according to the Daily Mail – but the Med had certainly lost some of its sparkle.
4. OPEC’s Next Move.OPEC deserves a lot of credit (or blame) for the remarkable downturn in oil prices last year.While many pundits have declared OPEC irrelevant after their decision to leave output unchanged, the mere fact that oil prices crashed after the cartel’s November meeting demonstrates just how influential they are over price swings. For now OPEC – or, more accurately, Saudi Arabia – has stood firm in its insistence not to cut production quotas. Whether that remains true through 2015 is up in the air.416