David Cowell: "Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine."

by | May 13, 2016

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Of all the original thoughts in the world, changing the name of Budweiser to America must be one of the most crass. Still, if no-one else thought of trademarking the name perhaps someone should. At least the USA can then be judged as a product rather than a democracy.

As someone once said, ‘Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.’

80% of private bankers to be certified by end of 2016 says the Private Wealth Management Association Chairwoman. Presumably this is yet another manifestation of the Pareto Principle so that one should assume that 100% of private bankers are certifiable. The NHS should start building new mental hospitals now.


Last evening we has a party for clients to celebrate Myddleton Croft’s tenth anniversary. It was great to see so many smiling people, some of whom have been clients of mine for 35 years. That is one of the main satisfactions of working in this industry; one which regulators and politicians seem to ignore. How sad.

No former heads of RBS will face criminal charges over the company’s near collapse which cost the taxpayer £45bn. Seemingly there is insufficient evidence for a criminal prosecution. However, it would be interesting to know if the papers have been passed to the FCA/PRA.

The Bank of England has warned for the first time that Britain could slide into recession in the aftermath of a vote to leave the EU in next month’s referendum. Is ‘could’ the operative word here? If so, presumably the BoE thinks that it might but then again it might not. That would make a great deal of sense from an organisation that doesn’t have a good track record in forecasting anything whatsoever.


The Treasury will postpone plans to change salary sacrifice arrangements until after the referendum on  23 June. In the March Budget they dropped controversial reforms to redraw the pension tax relief system. Not that they are trying to influence the vote, of course. Pathetic isn’t it?

The government has rejected plans to build a £250m trolleybus scheme in Leeds. This scheme was mooted after the original plans for trams was binned. If democracy is supposed to be by the people for the people and there are more than two cars per household, why are these morons trying to make it more difficult for drivers?

EPS growth is now negative on both sides of the Atlantic. US stockpushers have been trumpeting that 80% of S&P constituents have beaten earnings forecasts as a reason to continue buying but actual earnings are down 8% and in Europe, down 4%. Go figure.


With platform consolidation ongoing, there seems to be a lot of talk as to whether, after consolidation, the remainder will be too big thus will present a significant business risk on failure. Short answer: If you think so, don’t use platforms.

Tom finally decided to tie the knot with his long-time girlfriend. One evening, after the honeymoon, he was cleaning one of his cars to take to a show. His wife was standing watching him. After a long period of silence she finally speaks. “Honey, I’ve been thinking, now that we are married, maybe it’s time you stopped spending all your time out here in the garage. Possibly you should also consider selling your cars.”

Tom looked aghast. She says, “Darling, what’s wrong?” He says, “There, for a minute, you were starting to sound like my ex-wife.”  “EX-WIFE !!!!!”, she screams, “YOU NEVER TOLD ME YOU WERE MARRIED BEFORE!!!!!!!”

Tom said, “I wasn’t”.

Have a good weekend.

David Cowell, Director, Myddleton Croft Investment Managers, Leeds, 0113 274 7700


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