Royal Mail Flotation

If I want to sell my house I go to a reputable estate agent. They advise me on the value of my house and if I think the advice is reasonable I ask them to find a buyer. They then market the house and find a buyer at the price (or near the price) the estate agent has advised. If I find out the next day that the person to whom I sold the house has resold it at a profit of nearly double the price I got I might well ask questions about the competence and integrity of the estate agent who advised me in the first place. Continue reading

Plus cas change…

The World’s largest bank is J P Morgan. It makes on average around US$460 million every week. On the fifth anniversary of the collapse of another large bank, Lehman Brothers, regulators announced that J P Morgan had been fined $920 million for violating US laws about security trading and for attempting to cover up those criminal actions. In essence they pretended portfolios were worth more than they were worth to cover up massive losses they had incurred. Continue reading

What Higher Energy Prices Mean to A Prosperous Economy

Many people who do not consider that rapid climate change is a threat  argue that those measures taken to prevent or slow down rapid climate change are damaging to our economy, because they would make renewable energy more expensive and add a burden of cost to our economy. Continue reading

Consulting and Consultants

Old habits die hard. The one sure way to escape responsibility is to appoint a consultant. If you follow the recommendations of the consultant no one will blame you; the old adage is true: no one got fired for buying IBM. Continue reading

The Banking Crisis Continues

The banking crisis has not gone away, but is still with us. Banks have thinly disguised their shortcomings. They are still diseased, even though they have the appearance of modest health. Regulators, at the behest of governments, are trying to cure the patient without killing it. Whether they will succeed remains to be seen. Regulators are prescribing unpleasant medicine which will prevent banks from being as profitable as they once were, in order to try and reduce the risk of bank failure, which is catastrophic not just for the banks and their shareholders, but also for society. Continue reading

The Archbishop and the Camel

Oh dear! The investment policy of the Church of England has embarrassed and irritated its most senior priest, the Archbishop of Canterbury. This Archbishop is not exactly a man of the people or a person who has lived a life of poverty. Eton, Trinity College and the oil industry isolates those who follow this career path from the trials and tribulations of ordinary folk. I do not say that a rich man cannot become a priest, but I am suspicious of the motives of rich privileged people who enter the church and climb to the top of that greasy pole because climbing every greasy pole involves an element of getting a good shove upwards from others. Continue reading

To Enrich the Few

The lobby groups are marshaling the great and the good to speak up against a financial transaction tax in the European Union. Eleven of the twenty seven member states think a financial transaction tax is a good thing, but the rest are either undecided or are opposed to it. Britain is opposed, fearing the tax, which would be levied on trades in bonds, currencies and shares, will damage its “banking” and financial markets. Continue reading