Any Other Business - 28/05

Gabriella Griffith

IT SEEMS Harvard academic Kenneth Rogoff has distanced himself from not-so-pernickety Thomas Piketty. Much of the reportage into the calculation snafus in Piketty’s tome, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century”, has included a reference to Rogoff because of a similar spreadsheet mistake on his part back in 2010. But just when you might think the French economist could find some solace in not being the first, Rogoff has declined to offer any kind words of wisdom. “Our one error was minor and did not have any significant impact on our results,” Rogoff told The Capitalist when asked for advice for Piketty. Ouch. No solidarity there then, more a “bog off” from Rogoff.

SINCE the dawning of this year’s IPO frenzy, there’s been a trend for companies to leave unconnected analysts out in the cold. These unconnected analysts, those whose firms have no direct involvement in the flotations, are kept out of meetings for fear they’ll talk down valuations – even though Panmure Gordon’s Gert Zonneveld proved this to be wrong during the run-up to the Royal Mail flotation, valuing the postal giant at more than the sale price of £3.3bn. But few have been given the opportunity to put their oar in during the last few months. Cue B&M, the retailer bucking the trend this morning, by inviting unconnected analysts to a store outing to get a measure of the group’s wares. The only downside being they’ll have to schlep over to Yiewsley for it (near Heathrow if you’ve never been). The Capitalist hears there was almost a clash with fellow retail IPO-er Card Factory’s teach-in, but luckily it was postponed. Phew.