Sunday, 30 October 2016

Game of Thrones - House Green


Hay: "It's statistically proven that people who have religion live longer than those who don't."

Chairman: "Not if you're an ISIS suicide bomber!"

Hay tried to kill me on Friday night. We went out for dinner and she offered me a chip with sour cream on it. From my reaction she may as well have offered me a dog turd on a stick. Sour cream, for God's sake - it's cream that's off! Any civilized person knows that mayonnaise is the only condiment allowed on chips.

Been doing a bit of tangential reading of late. I  started with a biography of King John (Lackland), from which I reread my copy of the biography of William Marshall, often called England's greatest knight (he served 5 Plantagenet kings with unswerving loyalty, even in the face of oppression). Tangentially, this led to me Geoffroi de Charnay's treatise, A Knight's Book of Chivalry. Interestingly, de Charnay is thought to be the first documented owner of the Shroud of Turin.

I started to think about Sir Philip Green and his knighthood. At the heart of knighthood is the concept of chivalry, which includes honour and loyalty. Green deserves to have his K withdrawn.

Went round to a neigbour's house on Friday evening to retune her TV and sort out her latest iPad. At 76 she's not very tech savvy and considers either me or No.1 Son as her tech support. In fact, whenever she phones me I answer with; "IT help desk." She got round to talking about her favourite TV shows, and it transpires she's an ardent Game of Thrones fan.

Talking of Game of Thrones I  hear Old Etonian Brexiteer, Jacob Rees-Mogg, is being touted as a possible replacement for Mark Carney. I'm not surprised Carnery wants to leave after all the invective he's receiving from people who are spectacularly unqualified to judge him. He's probably also keen to get out of the job where his salary has already fallen 18% (in Canadian terms) since the referendum.

Rees-Mogg set up a firm called Somerset Capital Management in 2007 with two other partners, specialising in emerging markets. Rees-Mogg is not an economist, he's a trader, and as such relies on forecasts (which Brexiteers deride) to determine what shares to buy or sell on behalf of his funds. The market and the economy are two very different animals. The big difference between the market and the economy is that the market is forward looking, and it's unexpected events that primarily drive future stock prices. Thus, it doesn't even matter whether future news is good or bad. What matters is whether it's better or worse than already expected. So with all the bad news, unless things turn out to be worse than expected, stocks should provide good returns. I'm not sure putting a market trader in charge of an economy is a particularly good idea.

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