However one looks at it the first duty of a banker is to ensure that his creditors, the depositors, get paid without fail. And a lot of those queueing up for HMG-backed loans from banks were not worthwhile borrowers before Covid-19 struck.
HMG might be trying to give the impression that it is standing by companies in difficulties, but the reality is that there are grossly insufficient staff (both in numbers and ability) to assess the merits of these emergency borrowers.
It’s tough to see seeds providers being compelled to write off their unsold stock (i.e. the vast bulk) since there must surely be a way for gardeners to queue sensibly for seeds. The solvency of the vendors would be assured and the happiness of the gardeners achieved. I hasten to add that I am not a gardener of any description and the tomatoes that my wife grows on her balcony seems to me only to attract cats that pee on the plants. (This may explain the verdant growth.)
Last week I read that Cornish fishermen, facing a collapsed restaurant trade, are facing mountains of unsold stock. So I Googled for such a fisherman and was quoted, eventually, £52 a kilo for Dover sole. (I was also offered a quantity discount provided I would undertake to buy £5,000 a week. I like Dover sole but there are limits.)
So I sent my personal shopper of fifty years down the road where she bought four kilos of Dover sole at £25 a kilo. I shall desist from trying to sell this back to the Cornishmen.
It must be something to do with the Cornish that they openly adopt such obduracy. For instance, last Monday, my wife’s brother retired from the post of judge in the West country. I am therefore free to pass on the outline of a trial over which he presided twenty odd years ago. Basically, two Cornishmen got arguing in a pub and, seeing that matters were not being resolved, moved into the car park to settle matters. However, fists were insufficient to move to a resolution and one of the Cornishmen pulled out a shotgun and, mercifully, shot off just the ear of his opponent (his aim was inadequate). Having re-aimed he pulled the trigger again. This time it jammed. The argument was which of the two was more Cornish than the other. I expect that both these chaps are now in the sales department of a Dover sole merchant.
Finally, Caribbean (LON:CIHL) this morning announced that the second dividend of the year (and possibly 5p+) has been cancelled because of Covid-19. This is not entirely surprising and therefore CIHL remains a buy at under 50p.