A fully grown Rottweiler has had puppies after mating with a West Highland terrier. Zara, the Rottweiler, gave birth to 11 cross-bred puppies – called Wotties. Obviously a triumph of hope over experience.

I mention the above as it’s been a quiet week on the whole. Even yesterday’s Autumn Statement looked fairly boring, economically speaking, with the only notable happening being Ed Balls making a complete facsimile of himself.

While the Obama administration has launched efforts against intellectual property theft – including the Joint Strategic Plan run by Vice President Biden that aims to curb copyright infringement – the US Army was concurrently using pirated Apptricity enterprise software that manages troop and supply movements. Uncle Sam has been found guilty of software piracy and had to pay $50m in damages.


Most small IFAs will not exist in 10 years time, according to Mattioli Woods’ chief executive Ian Mattioli. Two things: a) he would say that, wouldn’t he?, and b) it has been said with monotonous regularity for nearly thirty years without any noticeable effect. Methinks he misses the point of small IFAs.

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan will craft an economic stimulus package this week worth about $53 billion (£32,348,632,812) [sic] to bolster the economy ahead of an increase in the national sales tax in April, people familiar with the process said on Tuesday. OK. ‘About $53bn’ sounds quite studious and believable but ‘about’ £32,348,632,812?

Portugal exceeded expectations on Tuesday by swapping €6.6bn in government bonds due in 2014 and 2015 for debt maturing about three years later, in what was widely seen as a test ahead of the country’s return to the bond markets next year. Things are looking up in some Euro countries but there is a long way to go unless the ECB gets its finger out.


Brewin Dolphin claimed a 22% rise in adjusted pre-tax profit to £52.3 million over the year to end of September. These figures were adjusted to exclude redundancy costs; additional FSCS levy; onerous contracts provision; amortisation of client relationships, and disposal of ‘available-for-sale’ investments. When these factors are accounted for, pre-tax profit stood at £28.6 million, representing a 4% decline on the year. Brewin said this was down to restructuring costs and ‘material provisions for onerous contracts’. Nothing to do with creative accounting then?

At the supermarket checkout, the cashier said, “Strip down, facing me.” Making a mental note about this disgraceful request so I could complain to the management about this needless Anti-Terrorist Security nonsense, I did just as she had instructed.
After the shrieking and hysterical remarks finally subsided, she explained that she was referring to how I should position my credit card. I’ve been asked to shop elsewhere in the future.



Have a good weekend.

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