Evil Knievil: How I almost lost £800,000

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Evil Knievil: How I almost lost £800,000
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A chum of many years standing decided a few months ago to sell up and retire from farming. He appointed a local auctioneer in the depths of rural England and so the auction proceeded. However, one of my chum’s sons is a partner in one of the City’s major law firms and an expert in auction law. He attended the auction and noticed that there was a huddle of fellows whom he carefully photographed.

As the auction proceeded he noted who was bidding for what and concluded that the ring was hard at it. It was that obvious.

The law in point is the Cartel Act of 2006 (new to me and, I dare say, others) rather than laws enacted in, I think 1927 and 1948. As a result, the prison sentence is not a measly six months but a more appreciable six years.

There is also the question of the auctioneer’s liability to account for the full sale proceeds that would have applied had the ring not been in action. Much else has also occurred and the ring is in deep trouble. I’ll try to keep you informed.


A reader has asked how Sporting Index blundered so much in my favour in the “Shocking Decision Ref!” market where I trousered £35,000 over the World Cup.

What happens is that Sporting Index have all sorts of novelty markets and every now and then they get it wrong. It’s worth looking out for these booboos and demonstrating sufficient restraint not be drawn into those markets that look like blunders and which subsequently prove to be nothing of the sort.

The best I have ever profited by was the 2006 Rugby World Cup where the market allowed me to sell short at 125 points the extent to which Northern hemisphere points would exceed Southern Hemisphere points. In fact, it turned out that the Southern hemisphere teams proved to be 125 points in hand. I made £250,000.

Afterwards I asked my adviser in this matter and he said I could have lost 800 points or £800,000. That is quite a lot to lose on one bet and, had I known that that was the risk I would have been more cautious. (As it happens, I could have paid it. But I would not have been excited by the news that I had to.)


Finally, and rather disappointingly, MPAC (LON:MPAC) plunged 35% yesterday on news that expected (by the market) profits would be less by £1.2 million. Since MPAC is an asset play and break up exceeds 200p per share, I paid 144p for more of them. Unless MPAC has fundamentally blundered, the share price should be over 200p. Results are out in September 2018 and with interest rates set to rise, albeit bit by bit, the pension fund surplus will gently emerge.

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