The Evil Diaries: Gulf Keystone, Pantheon & envious regulators

2 mins. to read
The Evil Diaries: Gulf Keystone, Pantheon & envious regulators

Easy money?

Lucian Miers phoned latish Friday afternoon and pointed out to me that I just had to buy Gulf Keystone (GKP) 6.25% bonds at 20.75 cents in Norway since they would convert into ordinary shares at 1.1p in seven weeks’ time. This would be in contrast to the current price of the ordinary of 3p. It would be necessary to buy at least $40,000 worth and that would have to be done by a London firm of brokers with a Euroclear account and which could go through Pareto Securities. The only problem is that there is no borrow of GKP ordinaries and that therefore there would be a phase of uncertainty organising the hedge.

But all this proved quite impossible since regulators stopped me. I do not know why. Given that they are nearly invariably mad it is pointless trying to work out what their reasons are. See what I mean by my deploying ‘easy money’?

I have had a go at working out what the regulators were about. It can’t be risk since I offered to take all risks arising through non-delivery of stock. (Do not forget that they tape record all of this). But not even this undertaking was acceptable. At a guess I think the regulators are secretly envious of not having worked this scheme out for themselves and, rather than admit that that is how they are, devised a blanket barrier. It’s pathetic.


Pantheon (PANR) has very disappointingly slumped this morning and on a mark to market basis cost Family Cawkwell £100,000. To those who took my hint last Friday and bought I can only apologise. Being a fathead I bought again this morning.


Sunday morning offered a trip down memory lane with Sue McGregor’s The Reunion. This edition reassembled the founders of Private Eye which I thought well worth my scarce cash when I was at school. It was a huge hoot and ushered in the age of lack of deference. All this has been hugely beneficial to Britain.

My late father-in-law, who was then a brigadier in the War Ministry (as the MoD was then called), prepared parliamentary answers to be rendered by Profumo. Profumo was a natural target for Private Eye. However, Colonel Wigg, a Labour MP and much later on to be disclosed as a prize rotter, attacked Profumo and thus, as my father-in-law judged, breached a proper sense of public conduct. So he was not sympathetic to Private Eye. I think history has proved kinder to the rebel faction.

And, before I forget, my father tutored Richard Ingrams when the latter was at Oxford (my mother thought Ingrams charming). So any clarity of thought subsequently shown at Private Eye is very slightly down to Family Cawkwell. I thought readers ought to know.

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