Discolights

The Pound is up a full 1% since I last wrote.

It’s hardly the greatest comeback since Lazarus but every little helps.

Sentiment must be on the rise. Perhaps the mighty dollar is suffering from the imposition of new tariffs between China and the USA.

Chopsticks versus Spam

US folk can no longer afford to eat their spam with chopsticks and the Chinese can no longer afford spam bao with their dim sum.

Dark days indeed.

Worse still if you live in Venezuela. Overnight you have lost five noughts off your currency and your wheelbarrow full of old bolivars is now worthless.

You can probably nip down to the local equivalent of the bank that likes to say “No!” and swap it for a copy of the Venezuelan Investors Chronicle.

That’s if you’re quick. Tomorrow you may only get The Beano.

Laura Ashley shares recently rose 26% amid rumours the brand is losing its relevance.

(Just think what could happen if it did well.)

Well Dressed?

Perhaps Mike Ashley will step in and merge it with Newcastle United.

The Magpies were playing in their away strip, a rather fetching floral chintz. Mr. Ashley himself is sporting a pretty little rosebud pattern. I can see this catching on - Manchester United dressed by Victoria’s Secret?

Trumpton is in the news again and I read that the odds on the great Twitterator being out of office by January 2019 have come down to 4/1.

One by one the dominoes are falling.  Leaders all around the world must be placing large wagers that they can outlast him and resolve their differences with 46, whomsoever that may be.

Barney McGrew would be my long shot tip.

Just Do It

I see reports that Nike has removed a distasteful balaclava from its offerings.

If other brands follow suit his could see the demise of half the fashion industry.

I have never seen the point in buying distressed clothing at outrageous prices. I have never seen the point of buying distressed clothing at all.  I tried asking for a discount once because the jeans on display were torn.

What I thought was a rather jolly joke was completely lost on the sales assistant, as was my business.

Hong Kong specializes in expensive togs and there are regularly queues to demonstrate that a fool and her money are soon parted.

A chance to bring back some standards of decency? Just do it.

See the Bull Run…

Has the S&P 500 had its longest bull run in history?

Well according to many gurus it’s been about to collapse every year since 2009. But Ol’ Man Bully, he jus’ keeps rollin’ along.

Super, smashing, great, as the late Jim Bowen would say.

You can’t beat a bit of bully.

Disappointingly (source BBC Business news) Shares in Avast, the Czech cyber security firm, have risen 3.5% after it published its maiden results.

I was hoping to see the headline “Avast behind.” I don’t know why but dear old Auntie Florrie sprang to mind as I was contemplating that.

What a Carry On.

A rare visit to the cinema for Mr. & Mrs. Hu Ziss this week.

Last time I went it was the Odeon and Roman Holiday was playing.

The latest gimmick is vibrating seats. Call me an old fuddy-duddy but on the rare occasions when I am corralled into going I want a seat I can snooze in and not an exercise chair.

We survived almost 2 hours of Mama Mia 2. Mrs. H was disappointed and kept asking “is this an Abba song?” I’ve seen better plots on Gardeners’ World.

At least we only paid OAP rates. I wasn’t Bjorn yesterday.

The Nouveau Pauvre?

We will definitely not be going to watch Crazy Rich Asians as they are all around us.

Money can buy many things but not good taste.

I suspect some of our neighbours would be in the market for a distasteful balaclava if it had the LV logo on it.

Instead one has to be content with a lime green Bentley and a Penelope Pitstop pink 911.  

Thank goodness we belong to the nouveau pauvre.

What’s Eating Turkey?

Sharp-eyed readers will have noticed that Turkey is no longer on the menu.

The teenage scribblers have moved on. Such is the life of a crisis in 2018.

No doubt Turkey will soon be playing chicken again with its creditors as it seeks to roll over debt and the headline writers will cross out North Korea / Venezuela / Britain / Iran / China / eSwatini or whatever else has filled the gap and we can all start talking Turkey again.

And on the subject of turkies, a very happy 60th birthday to Madge.

I confess I thought she was 60 a long time ago. Or am I confusing her with Deborah Harry? They all look the same to me.

I am more of an era when Charles Aznavour crooned his ballads, the most famous being Xi.

“Xi may be the beauty or the beast
May be the famine or the feast
May turn each day into a heaven or a hell”

Just don’t mention Winnie the Pooh.

Author
Hu Ziss in Hong Kong
This letter is the personal view of Mr Hu, and is not necessarily the view of Alan Steel Asset Management.