Last London Letter
Your editor has caught a bad cold from Her Majesty the Queen (via at least 6 degrees of separation) also induced by our going out on the coldest night so far this winter to see the Wanamaker Theatre production of All the Angels last night, a period candle-lit play about how The Messiah was first performed. Staying in rather than infecting more relatives over dinner means I can watch British business TV which normally I have no time for.
The big news is surprise good results from a firm called Persimmon, PSN on the London Exchange, a very odd name indeed for a builder. UK analysts are all rushing to recommend it after the fact.
Another fool's game is buying the relics of Banco Espirito Santo which went bust 3 ½ years ago in Portugal. Now called Novo Banco it is being sold off by the govt bailout commission, which seeks to make a gain. US hedge fund Lone Star reportedly will pay up if the price is right. Bank of Cyprus is another recovery play the hedgers are after. Prosaki! Tem cautela!
Our future president is now taking on Toyota (over the Japanese firm making cars in Mexico) and the US intelligence establishment over whether Russia having interfered in the US election. James Clapper's contention that the Kremlin hacked Democrat Party computer files was supported by Sen. John McCain. I tend to follow the former head of the Republican ticket over Julian Assange, whom the PEOTUS seems to think is a reliable source. It reminds me of the nonsense during the campaign about the Clintons' alleged pizza parlor child molestation ring—if you believe Assange I have a big bluefin tunafish to sell you for $640,000!
Meanwhile Theresa “Maybe” (as renamed by The Economist) is losing control of the Foreign Office over who will negotiate British EU exit. Our leaders are no smarter at figuring out what to do in the future than stock analysts.
Today we updated at 8 am NY time on a firm we own. Meanwhile we have news from around the globe including a recent buy which benefits from the Persimmon frenzy. The report today will be the last from London as we fly back Sunday. Today we report first on the update sector and then on funds, insurance, heavy industry, and IT. We have reports from Australia, Bermuda, Canada, China, Denmark, the Dutch Antilles, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, and the UK.