TODAY’S FAYRE – Thursday 20th October 2016
“Deep in the shady sadness of a vale
Far sunken from the healthy breath of morn,
Far from the fiery noon, and eve’s one star,
Sat gray-hair’d Saturn, quiet as a stone,
Still as the silence round about his lair;
Forest on forest hung about his head Like cloud on cloud.
No stir of air was there,
Not so much life as on a summer’s day
Robs not one light seed from the feather’d grass,
But where the dead leaf fell, there did it rest.
A stream went voiceless by, still deadened more
By reason of his fallen divinity Spreading a shade:
the Naiad ‘mid her reeds Press’d her cold finger closer to her lips.
Along the margin-sand large foot-marks went,
No further than to where his feet had stray’d,
And slept there since. Upon the sodden ground
His old right hand lay nerveless, listless, dead,
Unsceptred; and his realmless eyes were closed;
While his bow’d head seem’d list’ning to the Earth,
His ancient mother, for some comfort yet.
John Keats – poet –1795-1821
Well at least the last US election debate was finally completed in Las Vegas, Nevada. It seemed just as messy and unappetising as the previous two. Though there was a touch more time spent on policy rather than exchanging insults, the 90 million people or so watching the debate, I hope, would have been a little embarrassed by the content.
Anyway, barring unforeseen accidents, Mrs Clinton looks ‘home & hosed’ to become the 45th and first Lady President of the US on 8th November. Even the FT couldn’t resist the opportunity of chucking its ‘two cents worth’ in to the ring in the hope of preventing a Trump administration, by reporting an alleged money launderer linked to a Trump project – another pebble tossed to create further ripples in the waters of uncertainty!
It’s D-Day for Sir Philip Green, though it should not be today, as we have not heard the whole story yet! Until we know what he intends to do with the pension black hole of £570 million, I think it is wrong to strip a person of his raiment until the entire saga has unfolded.
BHS was a private company and its shareholders (the Greens) were at liberty to do what they wanted with profits and dividends, provided it was in within the law and there is no evidence to the contrary. You might well conclude that more money should have been ploughed back in to the business – so maybe there has been some negligence but certainly nothing illegal.
Let’s accept his apology for poor judgement in selling BHS for a £1 to Dominic Chappell in good faith. He was also poorly counselled by his professional advisors and the £1 for sale sign should immediately set the alarm bells ringing. Sir Philip, after initially offering £80 million towards the pension black hole as an opening shot across the bows, has promised to come up with a plan to settle this matter. Let us hear it before there is any condemnation. Metaphorically speaking Judge Jeffries Black cap can wait in abeyance. What Frank Field and his committee have every right to do, is to complain about the interminable length of time it is taking to complete these pension deliberations. We do need an answer. In fairness to Sir Philip he WAS NOT a trustee of the pension fund. The conversation between Sir Philip and the trustees seems to have been very limited as far as the public knows. In my humble opinion the trustees have much to answer for as has Dominic Chappell for his incompetent handling of BHS once he and his consortium took it over.
MARKET UPDATE TO FOLLOW
UK companies posting results this week – Thursday – LSE, Morses Club, Senior, Keller Friday – Acacia Mining, IHG, Computacenter, Dechra Pharmaceuticals
US companies posting interim results this week – Wednesday – Reynolds American, Halliburton, Morgan Stanley, BJ Restaurants, American Express, eBay, Xilinx, Mattel, Thursday – American Airlines, Walgreen Boots Alliance, Pulte, PayPal, Schlumberger, Microsoft, Friday – GE, Honeywell, McDonald’s
Economic data this week – Thursday – CBI Industrial expectations, ECB press conference
David Buik Market Commentator – Panmure Gordon & co D +44 (0)20 7886 2775 Mobile – 0044 7788 144 877 Panmure Gordon & Co One New Change | London | EC4M 9AF
David Buik Market Commentator
D +44 (0)20 7886 2775 Panmure Gordon & Co One New Change | London | EC4M 9AF | United Kingdom www.panmure.com