Thursday, 18 January 2018

Gold vs Bitcoin

Fight!

As Harry Hill would say.

Oh, this ain't an endorsement, by the way, dear reader(s), but this is an interesting email from The Pure Gold Company ...

The Pure Gold Company has seen a 42% increase in first time investors purchasing gold so far this month compared to the same period in 2017, as renewed concerns over a possible crypto currency crash, geopolitical tensions and uncertainty over Brexit prompt safe-haven sales.

Well, well ... / A lot of people are worried now that Bitcoin is a bubble. 'Ha! What about Mikeycoin, boss?' Mikeycoin is very safe, Voice. I email these little pictures of Mikeycoins to people, and they print them out, and then they spend them - what can go wrong? 'Er ...' Exactly! / Okay. Let's hear from Josh Saul -

Josh Saul, CEO of the investment firm said: "In addition to these underlying worries, the collapse of Carillion this week has impelled financial services professionals to buy gold in greater numbers too. We've seen a 69% rise in sales to people in finance citing fresh concerns over systemic risks caused by the collapse of the UK construction giant. More specifically, sales to investment bankers have risen 32% this week amid fears that businesses connected to Carillion, especially the banks, could be affected by the large amount of debt that is unlikely to be repaid."

Okay, okay. And there's Carillion, and Brexit, as well. 'We shouldn't forget Brexit, boss.' I'll never forget it, man.

One thing though: I remember a few years ago, there were certain journalists who were always against gold and writing articles about it, but then - 'They suddenly switched their attention to Bitcoin.' Yes, thank you, Voice. Be quiet, please. They obviously saw Bitcoin as the bigger threat. So maybe Bitcoin wins any fight with gold. 'A threat to what, boss?!' Ah, a threat, man, to ... the interests in this world that they're protecting. 'Oh, I see.' Yes. Open your eyes, reader(s)! 'Open your ears, too!' Whatever.

Of course, personally, I don't care about gold, Bitcoin, diamonds, hard cash, or anything much in the material world BECAUSE(!!!) ... I'm above it all, you dig? 'Nice one!' Yeah, I'm just saying, for the benefit of people who may be interested in the way the world is. The corruption, the lies, the utter nonsense ...

BUT LET'S NOT DEPRESS OURSELVES!!! It's the end of another week, blog fans(s)!

Laters!

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

[No. 579] Constant improvement!

Yes, I'm getting better at spinning.

And a-ROUND we go - !!![1], and, yes, I presume you're coming with me / and it's not as if you've got anything else to do, is it?[1], and a-ROUND we go - !!![2], and no SQUARES, thank you[1], and, yes, I presume you're coming with me / and it's not as if you've got anything else to do, is it?[2], and, spinner(s), if you're not an actual kook ... fake it until you make it, you dig?[1], and no SQUARES, thank you[2], and I want commitment![1], and, spinner(s), if you're not an actual kook ... fake it until you make it, you dig?[2], and, yes ... a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and, oh, uh, using our minds, our souls ...[1], and I want commitment![2], and it's not as easy as it feels ...[1], and, yes ... a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and, oh, uh, using our minds, our souls ...[2], and words are a disease, we all know that, but try to look on the bright side ...[1], and it's not as easy as it feels ...[2], and No. 579 and counting ...[1], and words are a disease, we all know that, but try to look on the bright side ...[2], and ... 'Where's the bright side, Mikey?' / and don't make trouble, Voice, please[1], and No. 579 and counting ...[2], and you're so DIZZY(!), yes[1], and ... 'Where's the bright side, Mikey?' / and don't make trouble, Voice, please[2], and you're getting better, don't you think?[1], and you're so DIZZY(!), yes[2], and, actually, thoughts won't help YOU(!) when you should be feeling, you dig?[1], and you're getting better, don't you think?[2], and, by the way, how do you, uh, feel, right now?[1], and, actually, thoughts won't help YOU(!) when you should be feeling, you dig?[2], and thoughts, feelings, all jumbled ... okay[1], and, by the way, how do you, uh, feel, right now?[2], and if there's chaos for you, I'll try my best to order it - no promises though[1], and thoughts, feelings, all jumbled ... okay[2], and ... 'And how the fuck will you do that?!'[1], and if there's chaos for you, I'll try my best to order it - no promises though[2], and, well ... ha![1], and ... 'And how the fuck will you do that?!'[2], and life beyond the THREE will solve a lot of problems for us, I should hope or imagine[1], and, well ... ha![2], and ... 'Yeah, yeah, yeah' / and don't be like that, Voice / and, Christ! ... the negativity[1], and life beyond the THREE will solve a lot of problems for us, I should hope or imagine[2], and ... uh![1], and ... 'Yeah, yeah, yeah' / and don't be like that, Voice / and, Christ! ... the negativity[2], and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND ... well, what else? / and I mean ...[1], and ... uh![2], and it can be a struggle, obviously[1], and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND ... well, what else? / and I mean ...[2], and a-ROUND we go - !!![3], and it can be a struggle, obviously[2], and, yes, I presume you're coming with me / and it's not as if you've got anything else to do, is it?[3], and no SQUARES, thank you[3], and, spinner(s), if you're not an actual kook ... fake it until you make it, you dig?[3], and I want commitment![3], and, yes ... a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and, oh, uh, using our minds, our souls ...[3], and it's not as easy as it feels ...[3], and words are a disease, we all know that, but try to look on the bright side ...[3], and No. 579 and counting ...[3], and ... 'Where's the bright side, Mikey?' / and don't make trouble, Voice, please[3], and you're so DIZZY(!), yes[3], and you're getting better, don't you think?[3], and, actually, thoughts won't help YOU(!) when you should be feeling, you dig?[3], and, by the way, how do you, uh, feel, right now?[3], and thoughts, feelings, all jumbled ... okay[3], and if there's chaos for you, I'll try my best to order it - no promises though[3], and ... 'And how the fuck will you do that?!'[3], and, well ... ha![3], and life beyond the THREE will solve a lot of problems for us, I should hope or imagine[3], and ... 'Yeah, yeah, yeah' / and don't be like that, Voice / and, Christ! ... the negativity[3], and ... uh![3], and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND ... well, what else? / and I mean ...[3], and it can be a struggle, obviously[3], and

And a-ROUND we go - !!![1], and, yes, I presume you're coming with me / and it's not as if you've got anything else to do, is it?[1], and a-ROUND we go - !!![2], and no SQUARES, thank you[1], and, yes, I presume you're coming with me / and it's not as if you've got anything else to do, is it?[2], and, spinner(s), if you're not an actual kook ... fake it until you make it, you dig?[1], and no SQUARES, thank you[2], and I want commitment![1], and, spinner(s), if you're not an actual kook ... fake it until you make it, you dig?[2], and, yes ... a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and, oh, uh, using our minds, our souls ...[1], and I want commitment![2], and it's not as easy as it feels ...[1], and, yes ... a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and, oh, uh, using our minds, our souls ...[2], and words are a disease, we all know that, but try to look on the bright side ...[1], and it's not as easy as it feels ...[2], and No. 579 and counting ...[1], and words are a disease, we all know that, but try to look on the bright side ...[2], and ... 'Where's the bright side, Mikey?' / and don't make trouble, Voice, please[1], and No. 579 and counting ...[2], and you're so DIZZY(!), yes[1], and ... 'Where's the bright side, Mikey?' / and don't make trouble, Voice, please[2], and you're getting better, don't you think?[1], and you're so DIZZY(!), yes[2], and, actually, thoughts won't help YOU(!) when you should be feeling, you dig?[1], and you're getting better, don't you think?[2], and, by the way, how do you, uh, feel, right now?[1], and, actually, thoughts won't help YOU(!) when you should be feeling, you dig?[2], and thoughts, feelings, all jumbled ... okay[1], and, by the way, how do you, uh, feel, right now?[2], and if there's chaos for you, I'll try my best to order it - no promises though[1], and thoughts, feelings, all jumbled ... okay[2], and ... 'And how the fuck will you do that?!'[1], and if there's chaos for you, I'll try my best to order it - no promises though[2], and, well ... ha![1], and ... 'And how the fuck will you do that?!'[2], and life beyond the THREE will solve a lot of problems for us, I should hope or imagine[1], and, well ... ha![2], and ... 'Yeah, yeah, yeah' / and don't be like that, Voice / and, Christ! ... the negativity[1], and life beyond the THREE will solve a lot of problems for us, I should hope or imagine[2], and ... uh![1], and ... 'Yeah, yeah, yeah' / and don't be like that, Voice / and, Christ! ... the negativity[2], and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND ... well, what else? / and I mean ...[1], and ... uh![2], and it can be a struggle, obviously[1], and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND ... well, what else? / and I mean ...[2], and a-ROUND we go - !!![3], and it can be a struggle, obviously[2], and, yes, I presume you're coming with me / and it's not as if you've got anything else to do, is it?[3], and no SQUARES, thank you[3], and, spinner(s), if you're not an actual kook ... fake it until you make it, you dig?[3], and I want commitment![3], and, yes ... a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and, oh, uh, using our minds, our souls ...[3], and it's not as easy as it feels ...[3], and words are a disease, we all know that, but try to look on the bright side ...[3], and No. 579 and counting ...[3], and ... 'Where's the bright side, Mikey?' / and don't make trouble, Voice, please[3], and you're so DIZZY(!), yes[3], and you're getting better, don't you think?[3], and, actually, thoughts won't help YOU(!) when you should be feeling, you dig?[3], and, by the way, how do you, uh, feel, right now?[3], and thoughts, feelings, all jumbled ... okay[3], and if there's chaos for you, I'll try my best to order it - no promises though[3], and ... 'And how the fuck will you do that?!'[3], and, well ... ha![3], and life beyond the THREE will solve a lot of problems for us, I should hope or imagine[3], and ... 'Yeah, yeah, yeah' / and don't be like that, Voice / and, Christ! ... the negativity[3], and ... uh![3], and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND ... well, what else? / and I mean ...[3], and it can be a struggle, obviously[3], and

And a-ROUND we go - !!![1], and, yes, I presume you're coming with me / and it's not as if you've got anything else to do, is it?[1], and a-ROUND we go - !!![2], and no SQUARES, thank you[1], and, yes, I presume you're coming with me / and it's not as if you've got anything else to do, is it?[2], and, spinner(s), if you're not an actual kook ... fake it until you make it, you dig?[1], and no SQUARES, thank you[2], and I want commitment![1], and, spinner(s), if you're not an actual kook ... fake it until you make it, you dig?[2], and, yes ... a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and, oh, uh, using our minds, our souls ...[1], and I want commitment![2], and it's not as easy as it feels ...[1], and, yes ... a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and, oh, uh, using our minds, our souls ...[2], and words are a disease, we all know that, but try to look on the bright side ...[1], and it's not as easy as it feels ...[2], and No. 579 and counting ...[1], and words are a disease, we all know that, but try to look on the bright side ...[2], and ... 'Where's the bright side, Mikey?' / and don't make trouble, Voice, please[1], and No. 579 and counting ...[2], and you're so DIZZY(!), yes[1], and ... 'Where's the bright side, Mikey?' / and don't make trouble, Voice, please[2], and you're getting better, don't you think?[1], and you're so DIZZY(!), yes[2], and, actually, thoughts won't help YOU(!) when you should be feeling, you dig?[1], and you're getting better, don't you think?[2], and, by the way, how do you, uh, feel, right now?[1], and, actually, thoughts won't help YOU(!) when you should be feeling, you dig?[2], and thoughts, feelings, all jumbled ... okay[1], and, by the way, how do you, uh, feel, right now?[2], and if there's chaos for you, I'll try my best to order it - no promises though[1], and thoughts, feelings, all jumbled ... okay[2], and ... 'And how the fuck will you do that?!'[1], and if there's chaos for you, I'll try my best to order it - no promises though[2], and, well ... ha![1], and ... 'And how the fuck will you do that?!'[2], and life beyond the THREE will solve a lot of problems for us, I should hope or imagine[1], and, well ... ha![2], and ... 'Yeah, yeah, yeah' / and don't be like that, Voice / and, Christ! ... the negativity[1], and life beyond the THREE will solve a lot of problems for us, I should hope or imagine[2], and ... uh![1], and ... 'Yeah, yeah, yeah' / and don't be like that, Voice / and, Christ! ... the negativity[2], and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND ... well, what else? / and I mean ...[1], and ... uh![2], and it can be a struggle, obviously[1], and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND ... well, what else? / and I mean ...[2], and a-ROUND we go - !!![3], and it can be a struggle, obviously[2], and, yes, I presume you're coming with me / and it's not as if you've got anything else to do, is it?[3], and no SQUARES, thank you[3], and, spinner(s), if you're not an actual kook ... fake it until you make it, you dig?[3], and I want commitment![3], and, yes ... a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and, oh, uh, using our minds, our souls ...[3], and it's not as easy as it feels ...[3], and words are a disease, we all know that, but try to look on the bright side ...[3], and No. 579 and counting ...[3], and ... 'Where's the bright side, Mikey?' / and don't make trouble, Voice, please[3], and you're so DIZZY(!), yes[3], and you're getting better, don't you think?[3], and, actually, thoughts won't help YOU(!) when you should be feeling, you dig?[3], and, by the way, how do you, uh, feel, right now?[3], and thoughts, feelings, all jumbled ... okay[3], and if there's chaos for you, I'll try my best to order it - no promises though[3], and ... 'And how the fuck will you do that?!'[3], and, well ... ha![3], and life beyond the THREE will solve a lot of problems for us, I should hope or imagine[3], and ... 'Yeah, yeah, yeah' / and don't be like that, Voice / and, Christ! ... the negativity[3], and ... uh![3], and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND ... well, what else? / and I mean ...[3], and it can be a struggle, obviously[3], and

Uh ... Coutts

Yes, it's those awful Coutts again. But I'll tell you the truth, dear reader(s), I don't mind them so much now. 'They're all right, boss. They send some good emails.' Yes, Voice. Like this one that came yesterday about challenges and opportunities for 2018 ...

Global Growth - We think the global manufacturing cycle is peaking about now, which raises the question: what next for the world economy and where to find value for investors. With robust consumer and investment demand, low inflation and accommodative monetary policy in most countries, we are expecting the looming slowdown to be gradual, with world growth as a whole still firm through 2018. With company earnings in the major markets likely to continue rising and no sign of US recession on the horizon, we continue to have confidence in equities, with a bias towards those regions where we see the growth cycle persisting for longer, like Europe and Japan.

But can things grow forever? That's the question. 'Fingernails do, boss.' What?! 'I've noticed you always keep your fingernails short, to play your guitar, like.' So?! 'Well, they keep growing, man, don't they?' What the hell have my fingernails got to do with the world economy?! 'Well ... probably not much.' Idiot!!!

Inflation - In our search for inflation-beating returns we favour segments of higher-yielding bonds, like financial credit (yielding over 5%) and emerging market debt, and equities, where dividend yields are solid (4.2% for the UK's FTSE 100) and earnings are growing.

Okay. Fair enough. Or maybe not fair enough. I still don't think we're hearing the whole truth about inflation. They say it's three per cent. More like ten, if you ask me.

Japan - Our view is that Japan's prospects are normalizing and that the outlook for Japanese equities is positive. In our view, corporate balance sheets are healthy and equity valuations look attractive compared to other major markets.

Okay. Well, I've read in that Tony Robbins book I've got - Awaken The Giant Within - that the Japanese go in for constant and never-ending improvement. It's something that W. Edwards Deming taught them after the Second World War. It's why they're always going to come good.

Equity Valuations - Many traditional measures used to value equities indicate that valuations are on the high side, with some in the US more than double their historical norms. Since high valuations are associated with lower future returns, this underscores the importance of identifying areas of the market that are undervalued by investors, consistent with our investment beliefs. Our analysis indicates that these areas can be found - as reflected in our regional themes (e.g. Europe and Japan) and sectoral choices (technology and healthcare).

Well, whatever.

Emerging Markets - We see two factors influencing emerging market performance in 2018: The strength of global economic growth-manufacturing exporters in East Asia and commodity producers like Brazil and South Africa do well when global growth is strong. Also, the direction of US interest rates and the dollar - faster rate rises than currently expected would lead to a rising US dollar, a headwinds for emerging market bonds and equities. Our analysis suggests that global growth and trade will be steady in the next year, that US interest rates are not likely to rise unexpectedly, and that investors in emerging markets should not be put off by the usual political complexities.

Okay, okay. / Now, dear reader(s), Mohammad Syed continues with some stuff, but I don't think we need it. 'Why not, boss?' Well, it's just As long-term investors we ... 'Oh.' We've got the basics. I can't be copying and pasting everything these characters say because ... 'Because?' Because I got a conceptual to write! 'Yippee!' After lunch, of course. 'What are you having?' A luxury egg sandwich, probably.

Laters, then.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Waterland invests in Gas Tag!

Now, I haven't seen the film, but I know that Dennis Hopper behaves like a total psycho in it, as was his wont. 'Boss -' Sadly, the great man has passed away, so how he's investing in Gas Tag I have no idea. 'Boss!' What, Voice? 'You're talking about Waterworld.' What, dolphins and that? I don't think so, man. Get your facts straight. 'No. Waterworld is a bloody film! Waterland Private Equity Investments is a firm. Look -'

Waterland is an independent private equity investment group that supports entrepreneurs in realizing their growth ambitions. With substantial financial resources and committed industry expertise, Waterland enables its portfolio companies to achieve accelerated growth both organically and through acquisitions. 

Waterland acts as an active shareholder in its portfolio companies, playing a key role in their strategic and operational development, growth and performance. With its experienced, entrepreneurial investment team, Waterland aims to help ambitious entrepreneurs attain a strong market position in today's increasingly competitive business environment. To date, Waterland has made investments in over 400 companies.


Oh. Okay. 'You see?' Yeah. Yeah, I see. So they've invested in Gas Tag. Well, that's all right. 'Yes. Gas Tag, dear reader(s) -'

Gas Tag was founded in 2015 by Paul Durose and Stephen Ullathorne and already has a number of high-profile customers and significant order book. It harnesses the latest technology to help landlords, housing associations and local authorities to combat the scourge of illegal gas fitters and enforce gas safety regulations.

As soon as a physical Gas Tag is installed on the gas outlet in a property, the software platform tracks and records all of the property's gas appliances and any gas works carried out at the property - and can only be used by qualified Gas Safe registered engineers.


Okay. Thanks, Voice. The only thing I will say is, it seems that Big Brother is now watching all the gas activities in your house. 'So?' Well, it's no big deal, I suppose. I'm just saying, that's all. 'Christ! You're paranoid! / Here's a bit more , dear reader(s) -'

Pioneering technology company Gas Tag has secured a multi-million pound investment from leading private equity house Waterland.

The deal, which values Gas Tag at well in excess of £20 million, will enable the business to continue to scale up rapidly both within the UK and internationally.

In return for the investment, Waterland will gain a minority stake and two of its senior team will join the board of the Liverpool-headquartered company.


Well, that all seems, uh, okay.

...

Anything else? Not a lot, no. Nothing really. 'Your music, Mikey? Come on, son!' All right, man. You know I've got my twelve songs. All I can say now is that I'm focusing on performance. That's it.

Laters!

Monday, 15 January 2018

[No. 578] Don't tell me the answer!

Who are you to say anything?

And don't tell me what you, uh ... know[1], and if you're like me - which you ain't - you'll know that you know ... NOTHING[1], and don't tell me what you, uh ... know[2], and nothing is more than enough for us special ones ...[1], and if you're like me - which you ain't - you'll know that you know ... NOTHING[2], and I didn't even ask a question, did I? / and maybe you should take a day off ...[1], and nothing is more than enough for us special ones ...[2], and I get a-ROUND now, yes, yes, YES(!!!)[1], and I didn't even ask a question, did I? / and maybe you should take a day off ...[2], and what do you believe? Jesus H. - !!! Really?![1], and I get a-ROUND now, yes, yes, YES(!!!)[2], and I suppose you need to believe that ...[1], and what do you believe? Jesus H. - !!! Really?![2], and a-ROUND here ... the kooks and I only need to get DIZZY(!), you dig?[1], and I suppose you need to believe that ...[2], and that's all we want, too[1], and a-ROUND here ... the kooks and I only need to get DIZZY(!), you dig?[2], and write it all down on the back of a fag packet, thanks / and, ha! ... I'll read it sometime[1], and that's all we want, too[2], and, yes, when I'm sick in the head, yes[1], and write it all down on the back of a fag packet, thanks / and, ha! ... I'll read it sometime[2], and beyond the THREE ... ? / ... and as if you would have a chance of knowing, son, seriously[1], and, yes, when I'm sick in the head, yes[2], and there's so much mystery, please don't add to it[1], and beyond the THREE ... ? / ... and as if you would have a chance of knowing, son, seriously[2], and don't forget I know you[1], and there's so much mystery, please don't add to it[2], and if you know the person, then you know the sins, and you can see the bullshit for what it is[1], and don't forget I know you[2], and, uh, well, bullshit, obviously[1], and if you know the person, then you know the sins, and you can see the bullshit for what it is[2], and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND / and let me spin, and leave my consciousness ness[1], and, uh, well, bullshit, obviously[2], and ... please, please, please![1], and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND / and let me spin, and leave my consciousness ness[2], and the gullible will
lap it up, I'm sure, so good luck with it![1], and ... please, please, please![2], and I'll pray for you ...[1], and the gullible will lap it up, I'm sure, so good luck with it![2], and, Christ! ... if you're starting from a point of NO CREDIBILITY, what can I say?[1], and I'll pray for you ...[2], and ... this ... ha! / and this is all[1], and, Christ! ... if you're starting from a point of NO CREDIBILITY, what can I say?[2], and don't tell me what you, uh ... know[3], and ... this ... ha! / and this is all[2], and if you're like me - which you ain't - you'll know that you know ... NOTHING[3], and nothing is more than enough for us special ones ...[3], and I didn't even ask a question, did I? / and maybe you should take a day off ...[3], and I get a-ROUND now, yes, yes, YES(!!!)[3], and what do you believe? Jesus H. - !!! Really?![3], and I suppose you need to believe that ...[3], and a-ROUND here ... the kooks and I only need to get DIZZY(!), you dig?[3], and that's all we want, too[3], and write it all down on the back of a fag packet, thanks / and, ha! ... I'll read it sometime[3], and, yes, when I'm sick in the head, yes[3], and beyond the THREE ... ? / ... and as if you would have a chance of knowing, son, seriously[3], and there's so much mystery, please don't add to it[3], and don't forget I know you[3], and if you know the person, then you know the sins, and you can see the bullshit for what it is[3], and, uh, well, bullshit, obviously[3], and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND / and let me spin, and leave my consciousness ness[3], and ... please, please, please![3], and the gullible will lap it up, I'm sure, so good luck with it![3], and I'll pray for you ...[3], and, Christ! ... if you're starting from a point of NO CREDIBILITY, what can I say?[3], and ... this ... ha! / and this is all[3], and

And don't tell me what you, uh ... know[1], and if you're like me - which you ain't - you'll know that you know ... NOTHING[1], and don't tell me what you, uh ... know[2], and nothing is more than enough for us special ones ...[1], and if you're like me - which you ain't - you'll know that you know ... NOTHING[2], and I didn't even ask a question, did I? / and maybe you should take a day off ...[1], and nothing is more than enough for us special ones ...[2], and I get a-ROUND now, yes, yes, YES(!!!)[1], and I didn't even ask a question, did I? / and maybe you should take a day off ...[2], and what do you believe? Jesus H. - !!! Really?![1], and I get a-ROUND now, yes, yes, YES(!!!)[2], and I suppose you need to believe that ...[1], and what do you believe? Jesus H. - !!! Really?![2], and a-ROUND here ... the kooks and I only need to get DIZZY(!), you dig?[1], and I suppose you need to believe that ...[2], and that's all we want, too[1], and a-ROUND here ... the kooks and I only need to get DIZZY(!), you dig?[2], and write it all down on the back of a fag packet, thanks / and, ha! ... I'll read it sometime[1], and that's all we want, too[2], and, yes, when I'm sick in the head, yes[1], and write it all down on the back of a fag packet, thanks / and, ha! ... I'll read it sometime[2], and beyond the THREE ... ? / ... and as if you would have a chance of knowing, son, seriously[1], and, yes, when I'm sick in the head, yes[2], and there's so much mystery, please don't add to it[1], and beyond the THREE ... ? / ... and as if you would have a chance of knowing, son, seriously[2], and don't forget I know you[1], and there's so much mystery, please don't add to it[2], and if you know the person, then you know the sins, and you can see the bullshit for what it is[1], and don't forget I know you[2], and, uh, well, bullshit, obviously[1], and if you know the person, then you know the sins, and you can see the bullshit for what it is[2], and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND / and let me spin, and leave my consciousness ness[1], and, uh, well, bullshit, obviously[2], and ... please, please, please![1], and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND / and let me spin, and leave my consciousness ness[2], and the gullible will lap it up, I'm sure, so good luck with it![1], and ... please, please, please![2], and I'll pray for you ...[1], and the gullible will lap it up, I'm sure, so good luck with it![2], and, Christ! ... if you're starting from a point of NO CREDIBILITY, what can I say?[1], and I'll pray for you ...[2], and ... this ... ha! / and this is all[1], and, Christ! ... if you're starting from a point of NO CREDIBILITY, what can I say?[2], and don't tell me what you, uh ... know[3], and ... this ... ha! / and this is all[2], and if you're like me - which you ain't - you'll know that you know ... NOTHING[3], and nothing is more than enough for us special ones ...[3], and I didn't even ask a question, did I? / and maybe you should take a day off ...[3], and I get a-ROUND now, yes, yes, YES(!!!)[3], and what do you believe? Jesus H. - !!! Really?![3], and I suppose you need to believe that ...[3], and a-ROUND here ... the kooks and I only need to get DIZZY(!), you dig?[3], and that's all we want, too[3], and write it all down on the back of a fag packet, thanks / and, ha! ... I'll read it sometime[3], and, yes, when I'm sick in the head, yes[3], and beyond the THREE ... ? / ... and as if you would have a chance of knowing, son, seriously[3], and there's so much mystery, please don't add to it[3], and don't forget I know you[3], and if you know the person, then you know the sins, and you can see the bullshit for what it is[3], and, uh, well, bullshit, obviously[3], and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND / and let me spin, and leave my consciousness ness[3], and ... please, please, please![3], and the gullible will lap it up, I'm sure, so good luck with it![3], and I'll pray for you ...[3], and, Christ! ... if you're starting from a point of NO CREDIBILITY, what can I say?[3], and ... this ... ha! / and this is all[3], and

And don't tell me what you, uh ... know[1], and if you're like me - which you ain't - you'll know that you know ... NOTHING[1], and don't tell me what you, uh ... know[2], and nothing is more than enough for us special ones ...[1], and if you're like me - which you ain't - you'll know that you know ... NOTHING[2], and I didn't even ask a question, did I? / and maybe you should take a day off ...[1], and nothing is more than enough for us special ones ...[2], and I get a-ROUND now, yes, yes, YES(!!!)[1], and I didn't even ask a question, did I? / and maybe you should take a day off ...[2], and what do you believe? Jesus H. - !!! Really?![1], and I get a-ROUND now, yes, yes, YES(!!!)[2], and I suppose you need to believe that ...[1], and what do you believe? Jesus H. - !!! Really?![2], and a-ROUND here ... the kooks and I only need to get DIZZY(!), you dig?[1], and I suppose you need to believe that ...[2], and that's all we want, too[1], and a-ROUND here ... the kooks and I only need to get DIZZY(!), you dig?[2], and write it all down on the back of a fag packet, thanks / and, ha! ... I'll read it sometime[1], and that's all we want, too[2], and, yes, when I'm sick in the head, yes[1], and write it all down on the back of a fag packet, thanks / and, ha! ... I'll read it sometime[2], and beyond the THREE ... ? / ... and as if you would have a chance of knowing, son, seriously[1], and, yes, when I'm sick in the head, yes[2], and there's so much mystery, please don't add to it[1], and beyond the THREE ... ? / ... and as if you would have a chance of knowing, son, seriously[2], and don't forget I know you[1], and there's so much mystery, please don't add to it[2], and if you know the person, then you know the sins, and you can see the bullshit for what it is[1], and don't forget I know you[2], and, uh, well, bullshit, obviously[1], and if you know the person, then you know the sins, and you can see the bullshit for what it is[2], and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND / and let me spin, and leave my consciousness ness[1], and, uh, well, bullshit, obviously[2], and ... please, please, please![1], and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND / and let me spin, and leave my consciousness ness[2], and the gullible will lap it up, I'm sure, so good luck with it![1], and ... please, please, please![2], and I'll pray for you ...[1], and the gullible will lap it up, I'm sure, so good luck with it![2], and, Christ! ... if you're starting from a point of NO CREDIBILITY, what can I say?[1], and I'll pray for you ...[2], and ... this ... ha! / and this is all[1], and, Christ! ... if you're starting from a point of NO CREDIBILITY, what can I say?[2], and don't tell me what you, uh ... know[3], and ... this ... ha! / and this is all[2], and if you're like me - which you ain't - you'll know that you know ... NOTHING[3], and nothing is more than enough for us special ones ...[3], and I didn't even ask a question, did I? / and maybe you should take a day off ...[3], and I get a-ROUND now, yes, yes, YES(!!!)[3], and what do you believe? Jesus H. - !!! Really?![3], and I suppose you need to believe that ...[3], and a-ROUND here ... the kooks and I only need to get DIZZY(!), you dig?[3], and that's all we want, too[3], and write it all down on the back of a fag packet, thanks / and, ha! ... I'll read it sometime[3], and, yes, when I'm sick in the head, yes[3], and beyond the THREE ... ? / ... and as if you would have a chance of knowing, son, seriously[3], and there's so much mystery, please don't add to it[3], and don't forget I know you[3], and if you know the person, then you know the sins, and you can see the bullshit for what it is[3], and, uh, well, bullshit, obviously[3], and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND / and let me spin, and leave my consciousness ness[3], and ... please, please, please![3], and the gullible will lap it up, I'm sure, so good luck with it![3], and I'll pray for you ...[3], and, Christ! ... if you're starting from a point of NO CREDIBILITY, what can I say?[3], and ... this ... ha! / and this is all[3], and

Pensions ...

Christ!

Successive governments have been quick to remind us of the success of automatic enrolment in encouraging millions of individuals to save for a pension. Responding to the PLSA's Hitting the Target consultation today(?), PIMFA - the UK's leading Trade Association in the Wealth Management and Independent Financial Advice sector - warns government that ultimately automatic enrolment remains a policy based on participation, rather than adequacy of pension savings.

If the government is serious about ensuring the next generation of retirees have a good quality retirement to look forward to, action needs to be taken to not just encourage, but ensure that this will be the case. As a result, we are today calling for Government to increase minimum automatic enrolment contribution levels to 12% as well as provide a level of guarantee that the current pension tax incentive framework remains in place for the medium term at least.


Well ... where to start? Firstly, this government ain't serious about anything, man. 'And do they care about the next generation of retirees, boss?' Of course they don't, Voice! They only care about themselves. 'Yeah. Damn straight.' Secondly, there are bigger problems to deal with at the moment. 'Like Brexit!' Yes, like Brexit, but also Carillion. 'Oh, Jesus!' It's just gone into liquidation. Tens of thousands of jobs could be lost. So forget about pensions! These people will be lucky to get dole money, the way things are going. 'Ha! Someone in the government will soon accuse them of being scroungers, boss, you can be sure of that.' I know! That's what we're dealing with. / Anyway, Simon Harrington says, "I'm in heaven when you smile". 'Really?!' Ha! No.

Commenting on the response, PIMFA Senior Policy Adviser, Simon Harrington says: "Automatic enrolment remains the most successful policy intervention for long term savings in generations. However, we need to step back and assess what the policy actually does - this is a policy where success is measured by participation rather than adequacy of saving. As we reach the end of the staging profile next month, it is absolutely imperative that we shift the focus from getting to people to save more rather than save at all. It is not enough to hope that people will save more through voluntary means, all the evidence we have about consumer behaviour suggests that if the default doesn't change, nothing will change."

Christ, Simon! People can't afford to save more, son! They can't afford to eat! 'Has this guy heard of food banks, boss?' I don't know, Voice. I really don't know. I know the whole country is screwed. I know that. And I know that certain lunatics want to make everything worse by forcing us all to jump off a fucking cliff edge.

...

Anything else? No, there's nothing else, dear reader(s). I mean, what else do you want?! 'A conceptual, Mikey.' That will come later, man. 'When?!' Eh? You know when. Later. Normal time. What's your problem?

Right. Laters.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

$2 billion for the KKR Real Estate Partners Americas II - !!!

Yes. KKR. That's how much they've got for their new fund. It's all right for some, dear reader(s), ain't it? 'Where did they get the money from?' Uh, the usual suspects. You know, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, mental institutions, family offices, and high net worth investors. 'You mean financial institutions, boss.' What? Oh, of course, man. Yes. Silly me!

Okay. Anyway. What else can we talk about? 'Is that it?! Is that all you're doing?' Well, there's not much else to say about the fund, Voice. A firm raises capital for a fund. So what? It's not the first time, and it won't be the last. Besides, I'm not in the mood for finance. There's no decent news around, and I'm still in Christmas mode. 'Like the Aviva Investors mob.' Ha! Well, I think their Christmas party comes to an end on Saturday night. I suppose they'll want a nice lie-in on Sunday morning. 'After six weeks of hard partying? They'll probably want a week off work.' Yeah, right. A week off work. What work? 'Ha!' Exactly.

...

Well, well. I'm going out today, central London, looking around the shops, like. I fancy getting a Manic Street Preachers CD, Everything Must Go. 'You could download it, boss.' No. Bad idea. The downloads on Amazon cost more than the physical CDs, man, which is fucking nuts, in my opinion. Anyway, I want to go out. I might go to Hyde Park for a bit. I like it there.

Uh, oh ... 'How about a music update, Mikey?' Er ... no. This is a finance blog, man. Let's stick to the rules.

I can't think of ... I know what I'll do! And a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, I go - 'Hey! What's this?! You can't do a conceptual here!' Jesus H. - !!!

Okay, okay. Have a nice weekend, everyone! 'Later(s), crocodile(s)!' Yeah, bye!

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

[No. 577] If you tolerate this ...

... your soul will be next.

And, hello, uh, again, ha![1], and I know your mind is gone, but what about your soul?[1], and, hello, uh, again, ha![2], and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND ... oh, yes, YOU(!) ... go, with no complaints[1], and I know your mind is gone, but what about your soul?[2], and ... so brilliant![1], and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND ... oh, yes, YOU(!) ... go, with no complaints[2], and maybe you're an aeronaut of the spirit ... ?[1], and ... so brilliant![2], and I'll just watch you enjoy yourself, if you don't mind / and, yes, I'm sitting this one out[1], and maybe you're an aeronaut of the spirit ... ?[2], and wave at me! / and I'll wave back[1], and I'll just watch you enjoy yourself, if you don't mind / and, yes, I'm sitting this one out[2], and it's so nice to take it easy for a change / and I think my soul is, well, tired, yeah?[1], and wave at me! / and I'll wave back[2], and beyond the THREE? / and send me a postcard if you make it ...[1], and it's so nice to take it easy for a change / and I think my soul is, well, tired, yeah?[2], and faster now![1], and beyond the THREE? / and send me a postcard if you make it ...[2], and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND ... / ... and I've got to say: I've never seen you so DIZZY(!), man![1], and faster now![2], and I think you love it[1], and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND ... / ... and I've got to say: I've never seen you so DIZZY(!), man![2], and a kook's gotta do what a kook's gotta do / and there's NOTHING to be ashamed of[1], and I think you love it[2], and I could watch YOU(!) forever ...[1], and a kook's gotta do what a kook's gotta do / and there's NOTHING to be ashamed of[2], and you're always silent, and you never complain, and I think that's great, I really do[1], and I could watch YOU(!) forever ...[2], and ... 'Well, they're getting into it, Mikey' / and ... I know, Voice, I know, and I know, yes[1], and you're always silent, and you never complain, and I think that's great, I really do[2], and one day, even the squares ...[1], and ... 'Well, they're getting into it, Mikey' / and ... I know, Voice, I know, and I know, yes[2], and here you come, and here you go / and I'll never, never, never, never, uh, ever ... get bored of it[1], and one day, even the squares ...[2], and ... man![1], and here you come, and here you go / and I'll never, never, never, never, uh, ever ... get bored of it[2], and again, yes, again, yes, again, yes, no, no, no, and don't stop, you crazy kook(s)![1], and ... man![2], and ... you dig?[1], and again, yes, again, yes, again, yes, no, no, no, and don't stop, you crazy kook(s)![2], and, hello, uh, again, ha![3], and ... you dig?[2], and I know your mind is gone, but what about your soul?[3], and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND ... oh, yes, YOU(!) ... go, with no complaints[3], and ... so brilliant![3], and maybe you're an aeronaut of the spirit ... ?[3], and I'll just watch you enjoy yourself, if you don't mind / and, yes, I'm sitting this one out[3], and wave at me! / and I'll wave back[3], and it's so nice to take it easy for a change / and I think my soul is, well, tired, yeah?[3], and beyond the THREE? / and send me a postcard if you make it ...[3], and faster now![3], and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND ... / ... and I've got to say: I've never seen you so DIZZY(!), man![3], and I think you love it[3], and a kook's gotta do what a kook's gotta do / and there's NOTHING to be ashamed of[3], and I could watch YOU(!) forever ...[3], and you're always silent, and you never complain, and I think that's great, I really do[3], and ... 'Well, they're getting into it, Mikey' / and ... I know, Voice, I know, and I know, yes[3], and one day, even the squares ...[3], and here you come, and here you go / and I'll never, never, never, never, uh, ever ... get bored of it[3], and ... man![3], and again, yes, again, yes, again, yes, no, no, no, and don't stop, you crazy kook(s)![3], and ... you dig?[3], and

And, hello, uh, again, ha![1], and I know your mind is gone, but what about your soul?[1], and, hello, uh, again, ha![2], and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND ... oh, yes, YOU(!) ... go, with no complaints[1], and I know your mind is gone, but what about your soul?[2], and ... so brilliant![1], and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND ... oh, yes, YOU(!) ... go, with no complaints[2], and maybe you're an aeronaut of the spirit ... ?[1], and ... so brilliant![2], and I'll just watch you enjoy yourself, if you don't mind / and, yes, I'm sitting this one out[1], and maybe you're an aeronaut of the spirit ... ?[2], and wave at me! / and I'll wave back[1], and I'll just watch you enjoy yourself, if you don't mind / and, yes, I'm sitting this one out[2], and it's so nice to take it easy for a change / and I think my soul is, well, tired, yeah?[1], and wave at me! / and I'll wave back[2], and beyond the THREE? / and send me a postcard if you make it ...[1], and it's so nice to take it easy for a change / and I think my soul is, well, tired, yeah?[2], and faster now![1], and beyond the THREE? / and send me a postcard if you make it ...[2], and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND ... / ... and I've got to say: I've never seen you so DIZZY(!), man![1], and faster now![2], and I think you love it[1], and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND ... / ... and I've got to say: I've never seen you so DIZZY(!), man![2], and a kook's gotta do what a kook's gotta do / and there's NOTHING to be ashamed of[1], and I think you love it[2], and I could watch YOU(!) forever ...[1], and a kook's gotta do what a kook's gotta do / and there's NOTHING to be ashamed of[2], and you're always silent, and you never complain, and I think that's great, I really do[1], and I could watch YOU(!) forever ...[2], and ... 'Well, they're getting into it, Mikey' / and ... I know, Voice, I know, and I know, yes[1], and you're always silent, and you never complain, and I think that's great, I really do[2], and one day, even the squares ...[1], and ... 'Well, they're getting into it, Mikey' / and ... I know, Voice, I know, and I know, yes[2], and here you come, and here you go / and I'll never, never, never, never, uh, ever ... get bored of it[1], and one day, even the squares ...[2], and ... man![1], and here you come, and here you go / and I'll never, never, never, never, uh, ever ... get bored of it[2], and again, yes, again, yes, again, yes, no, no, no, and don't stop, you crazy kook(s)![1], and ... man![2], and ... you dig?[1], and again, yes, again, yes, again, yes, no, no, no, and don't stop, you crazy kook(s)![2], and, hello, uh, again, ha![3], and ... you dig?[2], and I know your mind is gone, but what about your soul?[3], and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND ... oh, yes, YOU(!) ... go, with no complaints[3], and ... so brilliant![3], and maybe you're an aeronaut of the spirit ... ?[3], and I'll just watch you enjoy yourself, if you don't mind / and, yes, I'm sitting this one out[3], and wave at me! / and I'll wave back[3], and it's so nice to take it easy for a change / and I think my soul is, well, tired, yeah?[3], and beyond the THREE? / and send me a postcard if you make it ...[3], and faster now![3], and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND ... / ... and I've got to say: I've never seen you so DIZZY(!), man![3], and I think you love it[3], and a kook's gotta do what a kook's gotta do / and there's NOTHING to be ashamed of[3], and I could watch YOU(!) forever ...[3], and you're always silent, and you never complain, and I think that's great, I really do[3], and ... 'Well, they're getting into it, Mikey' / and ... I know, Voice, I know, and I know, yes[3], and one day, even the squares ...[3], and here you come, and here you go / and I'll never, never, never, never, uh, ever ... get bored of it[3], and ... man![3], and again, yes, again, yes, again, yes, no, no, no, and don't stop, you crazy kook(s)![3], and ... you dig?[3], and

And, hello, uh, again, ha![1], and I know your mind is gone, but what about your soul?[1], and, hello, uh, again, ha![2], and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND ... oh, yes, YOU(!) ... go, with no complaints[1], and I know your mind is gone, but what about your soul?[2], and ... so brilliant![1], and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND ... oh, yes, YOU(!) ... go, with no complaints[2], and maybe you're an aeronaut of the spirit ... ?[1], and ... so brilliant![2], and I'll just watch you enjoy yourself, if you don't mind / and, yes, I'm sitting this one out[1], and maybe you're an aeronaut of the spirit ... ?[2], and wave at me! / and I'll wave back[1], and I'll just watch you enjoy yourself, if you don't mind / and, yes, I'm sitting this one out[2], and it's so nice to take it easy for a change / and I think my soul is, well, tired, yeah?[1], and wave at me! / and I'll wave back[2], and beyond the THREE? / and send me a postcard if you make it ...[1], and it's so nice to take it easy for a change / and I think my soul is, well, tired, yeah?[2], and faster now![1], and beyond the THREE? / and send me a postcard if you make it ...[2], and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND ... / ... and I've got to say: I've never seen you so DIZZY(!), man![1], and faster now![2], and I think you love it[1], and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND ... / ... and I've got to say: I've never seen you so DIZZY(!), man![2], and a kook's gotta do what a kook's gotta do / and there's NOTHING to be ashamed of[1], and I think you love it[2], and I could watch YOU(!) forever ...[1], and a kook's gotta do what a kook's gotta do / and there's NOTHING to be ashamed of[2], and you're always silent, and you never complain, and I think that's great, I really do[1], and I could watch YOU(!) forever ...[2], and ... 'Well, they're getting into it, Mikey' / and ... I know, Voice, I know, and I know, yes[1], and you're always silent, and you never complain, and I think that's great, I really do[2], and one day, even the squares ...[1], and ... 'Well, they're getting into it, Mikey' / and ... I know, Voice, I know, and I know, yes[2], and here you come, and here you go / and I'll never, never, never, never, uh, ever ... get bored of it[1], and one day, even the squares ...[2], and ... man![1], and here you come, and here you go / and I'll never, never, never, never, uh, ever ... get bored of it[2], and again, yes, again, yes, again, yes, no, no, no, and don't stop, you crazy kook(s)![1], and ... man![2], and ... you dig?[1], and again, yes, again, yes, again, yes, no, no, no, and don't stop, you crazy kook(s)![2], and, hello, uh, again, ha![3], and ... you dig?[2], and I know your mind is gone, but what about your soul?[3], and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND ... oh, yes, YOU(!) ... go, with no complaints[3], and ... so brilliant![3], and maybe you're an aeronaut of the spirit ... ?[3], and I'll just watch you enjoy yourself, if you don't mind / and, yes, I'm sitting this one out[3], and wave at me! / and I'll wave back[3], and it's so nice to take it easy for a change / and I think my soul is, well, tired, yeah?[3], and beyond the THREE? / and send me a postcard if you make it ...[3], and faster now![3], and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND, and a-ROUND ... / ... and I've got to say: I've never seen you so DIZZY(!), man![3], and I think you love it[3], and a kook's gotta do what a kook's gotta do / and there's NOTHING to be ashamed of[3], and I could watch YOU(!) forever ...[3], and you're always silent, and you never complain, and I think that's great, I really do[3], and ... 'Well, they're getting into it, Mikey' / and ... I know, Voice, I know, and I know, yes[3], and one day, even the squares ...[3], and here you come, and here you go / and I'll never, never, never, never, uh, ever ... get bored of it[3], and ... man![3], and again, yes, again, yes, again, yes, no, no, no, and don't stop, you crazy kook(s)![3], and ... you dig?[3], and

Terry Smith made £8 million last year!

Right. When was the last time I wrote about Terry Smith? 'Are you asking me?' Er, not really, Voice, but go on, tell me. 'I don't know, boss. Years ago.' Yeah, that's what I thought. Years ago. He's still got that Fundsmith of his, dear reader(s). Profits tripled last year, and our Terry took home £8 million. I wonder what he'll spend it all on ... 'Maybe he'll buy an old Spitfire and do it up.' Why?! 'He's that sort, boss.' Oh, okay.

Well, I wish him the best of luck, anyway. Terry is based in Mauritius. Was he always there? 'No.' When did he move? 'How on earth should I know, man?!' Yeah, yeah. Obviously, it is difficult keeping up with the movements of these people. I hope the weather's nice for Terry. He wouldn't like it back here in the wind and rain.

All the bloody austerity. Christ! And then there's Brexit, obviously. 'Obviously.' Apparently, David Davis is upset now because the European Union is preparing for a no deal Brexit. 'Er ... isn't the British government preparing for a no deal Brexit, boss?' Yes, Voice, it is. 'So ...er ...' Let me explain, man. Our government want cake. They want lots of it. And they want to eat it. 'Oh.' All washed down with the finest wines available to humanity. 'Oh, okay.' They're not drunk. They're multi-millionaires.

...

Anything else? No. I don't think so. I'm still waiting for some decent news, truth be told. Or a decent PR email. 'You had that Coutts one.' Yes, but not much else. 'What about Jinksy?' Ha! Forget Jinksy! He's a nutcase. Seriously. His deep love of parcels has driven him insane.

Obviously, well, not obviously, but, uh ... I'll be writing a conceptual later. 'What number are we up to now, Mikey?' What number am I up to? No. 577, I believe. 'Nice.' Yes. It's very nice, Voice, reader(s), spinner(s). Or it will be, later.

Laters!

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Coutts on Bitcoin

Yeah, it's those Coutts again. I don't mind. I don't mind at all. I'll let them have their say ...

Bitcoin believers versus sceptics

Bitcoin fever is being called both an epochal step change that will positively transform the world of finance for ever and a speculative bubble that will inevitably end in tears. The volatility in Bitcoin's value is representative of the conflict between these points of view.

At the heart of the debate is the idea that the cryptocurrency derives its value from its use as a payment system - a new and improved Visa or PayPal - and as a new form of fiat currency. How well it provides advantages over these may well be the defining factor in whether Bitcoin is a good investment.


Okay, okay. 'No mention of Mikeycoin, boss.' Why would they mention it, Voice? That's an old joke. Leave it alone. Please!

A better way to pay?

As a payment system, Bitcoin is a way of getting money from one person to another, rather than a currency itself. So, when you buy or sell Bitcoins to make a transaction, you are in fact trading the tokens attached to Bitcoin's payment protocols. These tokens can then be converted back into the native currency of the buyer and seller in the transaction.

Rather than having a central clearing house - like those used by traditional payment systems - Bitcoin has a decentralized network of 'miners' that contribute processing power to make transactions. Miners are rewarded for this service in Bitcoins; processing a certain number of transactions yields a Bitcoin.


Ha! I don't understand this "mining" business. I mean, it's all in their imagination, ain't it? They don't actually go down a pit. They don't get their hands dirty, do they?

Okay. It goes on a bit, but I think I'll jump straight to the gold part -

The new gold?

According to its backers, Bitcoin, like gold, shares characteristics with both currencies and commodities. Like a currency, it can be exchanged with other cryptocurrencies and used as form of payment. Like a commodity it requires energy to extract ('mine'). And like gold, its quantity is limited and no government can inflate away its value by issuing more of it. Its value as money should therefore derive from its use as a store of value and as a medium of exchange.

However, in addition to the issues of transaction costs and trade confirmation times, its exponential rise has led to extraordinarily high levels of volatility. Its recent 30-day volatility (a standard measure of how risky an investment is based on the variability of returns) is above 120, compared to around about 6.5 for 30-day volatility of sterling versus the US dollar.

On some days, if you had ordered a book in the morning the value of the Bitcoin you used to pay for it could have fallen by a third by the time it gets delivered. This makes pricing items in Bitcoins a nightmare; vendors could potentially make huge losses, although some have probably made huge gains.

Either way, it adds a level of unpredictability to transactions that's clearly putting retailers off. The number of major e-commerce retailers supporting Bitcoin is low, and in fact declining.


Okay, okay. It's risky, then. And let's finish with this -

In the struggle between believers and sceptics, we remain firmly on the side of the sceptics. Bitcoin's value does not seem justified by its role as money, payment system or commodity and we struggle to assign a fair value to it. While some form of cryptocurrency might, in the future, co-exist with traditional currencies, it is our view that Bitcoin, in its current form is unlikely to be one of them.

Oh dear! / And that's that, for today. Because I'm not in the mood for anything else. 'Bad mood, Mikey?' Yes, bad mood, Voice. Where the hell is this summer?! Christmas is over. Where's summer now?

Right. Laters, you dig?