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Category Archives: The Lilac Cruiser

The awful Mr Balls

PoliticsHome | Poll | Some evidence for your review, Mr Balls.
This poll tells us what we already know – people are increasingly not up for statist solutions to all our problems.  The specific target is Ed Balls and his plans massively to expand control over who can supervise children.
Balls has been all over the TV [...]

The “natural” cycle….

This article in the FT by William White, ex public sector banker, makes the point that simple extrapolations of potential growth like this are an oversimplification and macroeconomic policy needs to look beyond short term crisis management.  White argues that some industries will have significant overcapacity caused by above trend growth in recent years and [...]

Is Harrods up for sale?

A good contact of mine told me the other day that Mohammed Al-Fayed wished to sell Harrods.   Some kind of marketing process was underway with a £2bn sticker price.  The business apparently makes about £50m EBIT (haven’t checked this) but has a complicated structure.  It’s also clearly a trophy asset in good times. Not [...]

Mind you, there’s a lot we could cut….

You don’t have to be a raving rightist to be highly suspicious of the effectiveness of government spending, and the cumulative impact on accountability and value for money arising from 12 years of government by people who very often really do believe that statist solutions are the only way.
There is something rather irritating about Matthew [...]

Debt hysteria

At least the debate on cutting public spending has started.  God knows why the Tories took so long to get it going, congratulations to Darling for breaking with Brown’s ludicrous strategy of pretending nothing is wrong.  But some commentators are hysterical – for instance Paul Staines has got it all a bit out of proportion.
I [...]

The rise of private renting

This piece of research from Savills is interesting.  The Savills thesis about the UK housing market is that it is increasingly driven by equity rather than debt, as the home owners who bought their houses in the ownership boom of the 197os and 1980s have paid down their mortgages.  One strange effect of this is [...]

Hague – wit, national treasure, total dickhead

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Came across this again the other day.   I once had the opportunity to run Hague and his wife Ffion over by the traffic lights at Vauxhall Bridge.  As [...]

The deal drags on

Signed engagement letter June 2008, price agreed on a solus deal twice so no auction, just a one on one negotiation with one interested purchaser.  EBITDA never really clear until recently, heads to be signed tomorrow, 15 months from starting discussion.  Mid market M&A in 2009…..

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Nothing doing in big deal land / UK – Lack of deals sparks private equity shake-up.
One of my friends, a banker who has done quite a lot of big stuff, pointed out to me today how things are up there in big deal land.   You can’t get any bank to do more than a £25m hold and there’s no syndication [...]

Bootle on bonuses

Limiting bonuses will not solve the deep problems in the banking sector – Telegraph.
I have to confess that I thought that Adair Turner had gone out of his tiny priviliged mind (after all he is the man who until recently didn’t know what an Oyster card was) when I read the coverage of his comments [...]