Evil Diaries: Doing The Mash

2 mins. to read
Evil Diaries: Doing The Mash

I became aware of Mike Ashley’s discontent with Morgan Stanley more than six months ago. He is suing MS for circa £40m. He has a point despite counsel for MS putting it to the court that The Mashley has never had any contract with MS. Essentially, The Mashley, Britain’s premier retailer and said to be worth £4bn, shorted Hugo Boss through Saxo Bank who were clients of MS. MS maintain that at the time of this substantial position being opened up they did not know that The Mashley was the force in the land here.

MS asked Saxo for a walloping 400% of the position (or c. £800m) by way of margin money and Saxo in turn asked The Mashley for the same sum. It may be that MS just wanted the position closed but if so they should never have opened it in the first place and they would have known or ought to have known that there was a big hitter in attendance whose identity could have been disclosed on demand. The hitter was hardly a retail punter with a sudden urge on a Monday morning.

The Mashley is irritated that he had to move elsewhere at great expense and economic disadvantage and accordingly has elected to sue MS. I do not blame him. He also thinks MS have behaved this way through snobbery on their part. If so I reckon they are bonkers. At this stage I jump to the unproved conclusion that MS are taking after those buffoons at Coutts/Natwest who disgraced themselves through their mishandling of Nigel Farage.


The Nikkei has gone into new high ground about 34 years after the last high. Apparently the Japanese corporate sector is doing very well (unlike the Government of Japan). Accordingly, as the Nikkei has leapt ahead I have supposed that my holding c. £200,000 of Baillie Gifford Shinbun (BGS), upon which I made 200% some years ago for my family, would cause me to regret my impatience in closing (the Nikkei has subsequently more than doubled). However, nothing of the sort is the case since BGS has clearly gone down. I do not know why – perhaps the talents who ran it left BG who in turn failed to come up with a successor of remotely comparable ability. Explanations on a postcard, please.


Nvidia (NVDA) continues to amaze and, although at $800 it has to be a short, just when the market will take the same view God alone knows.


Radio Review: Not all my readers are married or, if they are, they may not have been married long. But probably for them and certainly all others I strongly recommend a listen to what is on BBC Radio4 at 6.30 p.m. on Thursdays: this is Conversations from a Long Marriage, proffered by that truly fabulous comedienne Dame Joanna Lumley and that master of comedic timing Roger Allam. Remember: you heard it here first.

Comments (2)

  • Michael Wood-Wilson says:

    Will you be at the Master Investor show?

  • TonyA says:

    BGS is Baillie Gifford Shin Nippon. It’s a high-risk highly volatile small-cap “growth” trust so out of favour, and with the 1-year and 3-performance at -19% and -47%, compared to the best-performing small-cap Japan equivalent trust (Nippon Active Value) at +24% and +64%, there’s clearly some poor stock-picking going on.

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