DESPITE suffering from something akin to man flu, I managed to speak (apparently sounding more like Barry White – in sound not size) at the annual convention of the Million Dollar Round Table at Kensington Town Hall last week
This get together with representation from the main US branch is a gathering of professional financial advisers.
In my innocence I asked if they actually had a round table.
“Don’t be stupid,” came the reply. “Well do you have a million dollars?” I continued. “That’s the amount of value we are supposed to have sold.” So I suppose the answer then is “yes”. Perhaps I had found the right audience to talk to at last – except I could barely speak!
Oh well next time.
Meanwhile the following day under a duvet that appears to be sneezing somewhere in West London, the phone rings...”Good morning. Is that Justin Yukart Smith?” “Nearly” croaks the duvet. “Wanted to know if you’d be free for an interview this morning?” “Sorry but I’ve lost my voice” replied the duvet. “Well that’s no bloody use then” and put the phone down. Nice to be appreciated.
Judging by some of the calls I have been receiving, the row over the Manchester United/ Glazer bond issue is coming to a head.
After all if you can raise a bond of £500m which allows you to take almost £130m out of the club next year, it would raise some eyebrows as well as some hackles. In amongst the details is the right to take £70m out of the club’s reserves, and potentially a £25m dividend.
But there are also terms in there for certain companies the Glazer famil;y own to be paid £6m “for administration and management services” plus £3m for services from other parts of the Glazer empire.
Has any of this got anything to do with football? No wonder double glazing has such a bad reputation. And no wonder the Manchester United fans in London yesterday were grumbling.
With the exception of some of my far brighter friends in the City, few of us can really comprehend the numbers these days relating to the debts that are being run up around the globe. Every year I seem to be chucking away calculators that seem to have insufficient numerals to cope with the trillions we need to enumerate.
Perhaps a better way to look at our nation’s borrowings, then, is to reckon up the daily interest charge we are incurring, which I currently estimate at being some £77m per day.
Still fairly meaningless? That’s just over 8,000 cases of 1982 Chateau Margaux .
WHICH WAY IS LEFT?
With the ongoing argument between the G2 of the USA and China, there seems to be a certain ambiguity in the understanding and appreciation by the media of the political leanings of these two nations.
The Chinese have their own version of communism which has been blended with a certain Confucian capitalism, and of course America represents the land of the free and the heart of the empire of capitalism.
So yes, one is obviously a right wing regime and the other the left wing regime; I am just increasingly confused as to which is which.
Justin Urquhart Stewart is co-founder of Seven Investment Management.