The Evil Diaries: Ocado, oil and spoofing

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The Evil Diaries: Ocado, oil and spoofing

Today’s Daily Mail features the rumour┬áthat Amazon will tie up and/or bid for Ocado (OCDO). I sold short again in the opening auction at 252p and OCDO is now 287p. I cannot for the life of me see why Amazon would be even slightly interested in this proposition.

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I have gone long oil (at $30.59) on the grounds that several days in a row of end of the world style comment on declining oil prices is essentially silly.

Incidentally, what is described as Nymex Crude February future expires mid January. Confusing or what? So I am long the March future which expires on 19th February.

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Finally, years ago I would occasionally bump into partners in large firms of chartered accountants who would boast of the staggering charge out rates they inflicted upon their trusting or resigned clients. It was just one of those things. But, at the time, it never occurred to me that these “gentlemen” were engaged in anything other than spoofing, a well known feature of commercial life.

(I here interject to remind readers of a 65 year old lawyer who retired aged 65 to enjoy his vast pension pot only to suffer a massive and fatal heart attack. On arriving at the gates of heaven, St Peter told him that, although dead, the lawyer had enjoyed a very long life of some 140 years and that St Peter knew this since he had had a unique insight into the lawyer’s time sheets that the lawyer had submitted in support of bills to the lawyer’s clients.)

Anyway, events move on and in Saturday’s Times I read of a Jeremy Priestley, an insolvency practitioner, deployed in a division or subsidiary of Begbies, who faces criminal charges through allegedly fraudulent time sheets submitted in support of wholly fantastic bills such that amounts available to creditors have been materially and fraudulently reduced.

Note: Mr Priestley failed his exams but, we are told, is expert at advising companies in distress. This is not surprising given that he is so obviously brilliant at causing their distress in the first place.

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