Down the isle…

In Uncategorized on July 31, 2011 at 12:34

Or down the pan?  The US economy is teetering on the brink of collapse (some are calling it Armageddon) and putting the future of the `coolest strutting president` (ever?)  at risk!  Uncle Sam`s balance sheet last week saw it with only £78bn cash in hand, this is frightening when one considers that `Apple` had £75bn cash in hand.  Oh dear, thought ratings agency Moody`s, “let`s take a look at its triple A rating”.  Now I`m no expert but can you imagine the fallout, and the mayhem caused by the ripple effect if the good old US of A lost its rating?  Well I`ll tell you this, the good old UK would crumble and the ravens would leave the tower of London, and back to the austere days of Clement Attlee and Anthony Eden we would travel.  No doubt carried on the McMillan esq `winds of change` – it would be almost like we were Rod Taylor buzzing around in the 1960`s adaptation of the G.H. Wells novel `The time machine` or some such!  

A Victorian England once again?  Perhaps someone ought to rebuilt Paxton`s crystal palace and remind us of what great entrepreneurs we once were.  To my mind, it is not the politicians who will drag us out of this mire, it is the spirit of adventure which sits in the hearts and minds of the many business men and women around the world (normal people like thee & me) who will have to get their noses to the grid stone to develop & innovate our way out of trouble.  Onward and upward…  

Still nought but bad news coming out of Africa as Kenya sees itself on the cusp of absolute disaster due to the worst drought in sixty years and the malnutrition that walks hand in hand with such things.  Heart breaking news and photos brings everything down to earth and the law of relativity allows us the time to reflect on the important and simple things in life such as water you can drink, food you can eat and a family you can watch grow up.  What price to see your children live an active and healthy life beyond the tender age of two?  No we can`t make it rain, but we can lobby our political leaders to take more decisive action and think of others beyond themselves.  We need them to take note and divert money and resources where they are needed and stop the civil unrest in the region.  Buddha advices that the most valuable asset in life is good health, and that the greatest comforts is helping unlucky people – I think he has a point.

Newspapers are still reeling at the hacking row and so they should be.  It’s now the turn of `Trinity Mirror` as we see former employees take advantage of the whistle blowing policy and bump all over their former employer.  Meanwhile a good number of ex NOTW employees are now looking to sue as they believe their CV`s are buggered, and their future employment prospects are in tatters as a direct result of the business practices employed by the punch drunk `news international`.

And what about those pesky energy companies, weeping into their Pimm`s as profits drop to just over £1bn!  Centrica are moaning that their profit fell by 19% and that they only made £1.26bn and so a price hike of 18% is now necessary.  Their chief executive Sam Liadlaw is proclaiming that customers “lack understanding”!  No we don`t, you`re a t..t and a robbing b…..d.  I truly believe we all have no problem understanding that.  Mind you its hat`s off the to French owned EDF energy, they have frozen their prices until September 2012.  Watch out for the hike then!   This will come as the nuclear new build program gets ready to launch its agenda and take the country by storm.  Once the review of the `seismic issues` is complete following the Fukushima catastrophe that is!  

Not that BP or Shell mind.  They are raking it in, BP have made £3.7bn in the last three months though it`s shares are still worth 25% less than they were before the Mexico environmental disaster, de-dooms!  Exxon are looking at a staggering £8bn profit.  Strange we`ve not seen our fuel process come down?

In Europe it will be worth keeping an eye on the relationship between Germany & Greece as the former remains somewhat unhappy with the latter following its costly £96bn bailout which also leaves private investors staring into the bottom of an empty jar looking for their £36bn (21%) shortfall on return.

You wouldn`t want to be at HSBC right now, their restructuring plans as a result of the Euro crisis and the American economy could cost you your job.   Hard to swallow when you consider they made £6bn profit, perhaps as a result of some of the hard work of the employees they intend to move on.

Anyway, back to more important matters, yesterday was a nice day to get married I thought thanks to the unselfish act of that other – less famous and less well connected –couple agreeing to move venues .  But what a way to spend the night before, on the royal yacht, no doubt many UK tax payers will be pondering value of their pound spent in support of our England rugby international & his new bride, and royal granddaughter, Zara (not to be confused with the profitable – due to no capex investment – high street fashion chain) Phillips.  It looked pretty cool at Edinburgh docks loading all those celebrity faces up the ramp onto the boat – sorry ship (navy types will tell you, a boat goes under the water – submarine to thee & me – a ship sails atop)!  But why so formal?  If it were anywhere else in Europe they`d have been dressed as trendy as you like.  I therefore assume a stiff upper lip was preferred to a stiff drink in the galley.  I am so old; I can remember her mom marrying that horse jumping type, Captain Mark Phillips.  Very sporty aren’t they?!  I noted that it was an ivory silky & satin dress by Stewart Parvin, and of course the shoes were Jimmy Choo`s.   The fascinators were like spaceships.   It was all very Carry Bradshaw!!  Again, no sign of Fergy? – is she still touring with the Black Eyed Peas?!!

Talking of Kitchens.  I smiled when I read about a troubled kitchen company called Smallbone moving into the China & Russian markets, it reminded me of a recent assignment we just completed on `Jool’s furniture industries ` which was also pondering a move into markets more international based.  Certainly a prime case of life imitating art if ever I saw one.  However Smallbone is a bit more upmarket than Jool’s and attracts suitors such as Oprah, Dustin Hoffman and our very own working class princess, Davina McCall!  Smallbone is owned by Caplan who also do office systems and own a furniture design business.  This irony will be lost on those not in the twenty tenners!!

Maybe if you want a new kitchen you could think of paying for it through an app on your mobile phone.  New technology means that suppliers such as O2 are looking the pheasability of this, along with other retailers and asking focus groups for their thoughts on the matter.  You`ll not be too surprised to hear that the sharks – sorry – insurance companies have now jumped on the ` we can make some money out of this` bad wagon.   At time of writing legendary thieves’ Fagin & Raffles have failed to comment on their revised business plans!  However bit of a geezer  `Dave` (not his real name) was quoted by a close associate as stating he`ll be robbing London tourists of their iphone`s ten a penny now there`s even more lucre to be made by `lifting` from an unsuspecting  public, and prematurely separating them  from their much loved and much maligned mobiles.  

I see that Amy`s record company are spinning the we love `Winehouse` posthumous dollar schmooze as they spring into action to collect as much money from the dead girls legacy as possible.  As Stephen Fry said last week on his twitter page `the poor unhappy creature`.  That can`t be said of the publicists and the marketing execs at her record company who are already stating that her recent work was `autobiographical`.  My arse it was – Shylocks!!  Still, it will increase turnover and money will change hands and lead to other more gracious causes copping for some of it, and I suppose that is ok.  They say all`s fair in love & war – Somehow I very much doubt it.

Finally, now the weathers picked up a bit, might be worth investing a nice pair of Vilebrequin swimming shorts as loved by Tony Blair and big Jack Nicholson.  They are looking to sell and Morgan Stanley is very interested in buying especially now that Prince William has a pair!  I think he had a pair before the Kate Middleton affect…Maybe that`s how he pulled her?

Right I`m off to see which will be the first University to come banging on my door offering me a discount now the bidding war has started and they find themselves slipping into the murky world of competitive business – which in most cases, is a world without ethics.


TTFN Globalagogogo…



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