The Evil Diaries: TalkTalk, Globo and SAB Miller

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The Evil Diaries: TalkTalk, Globo and SAB Miller

TalkTalking of law: Some have canvassed the idea that TalkTalk (TALK) faces financial ruin through litigation brought by its customers. Perhaps. But I doubt it.

Say TALK has in effect handed a customer’s bank account number and sort code to a fraudster he is not thereby enabled to make payments since he does not hold the signature or a chequebook or the online password. And so on. If indeed money is stripped from TALK’s customer’s bank account it is because the TALK customer has given the extra information required by the fraudster. That is not TALK’s fault.

Where there seems to be a bit of bother is that TALK has told some TALK customers that they cannot cancel their annual contract with TALK without paying a break fee of the order of £200. That seems nonsense to me: why should the trusting consumer be tied to an organisation that is palpably unreliable when handling its customers’ data? Last week’s disclosures are not the first revelation that TALK is pretty casual.

However, it is hard to see that TALK’s business will prove to have been anything other than hit hard amidships. And at 250p it is capitalised at £2.5bn with tnav of the order of minus £300m. Profits have historically come to perhaps £100m. This is not cheap. On the other hand, talk about TALK is.

Incidentally, just how does a blackmail approach work? After all, having paid off the so and so and given that one has no idea who he is, just why does one suppose the blackmailer will not have another go?

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Globo (GBO)‘s central con artists have resigned. Why anybody thinks the declared cash will be left on a material scale is beyond me.

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Apparently, the Commitment of Traders analysis shows that gold can go down sharply from here.

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Travel news: I slightly thought that this lunacy would go away but, as far I have any records (I do not), it is quite impossible for perfectly sensible commentators either on the broadcast media or in written text to desist from constantly describing their subjects as flying somewhere. Even Charles Moore has his heroine at it in his latest volume of the life of Margaret Thatcher. The disease is everywhere: today’s Daily Telegraph features the boss of AB Inbev as flying to South Africa to pursue his bid for SAB Miller (SAB). Well, I never! Surely, he usually bicycles or, if not that, thumbs down a passing rickshaw.

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Depression in practice: last Monday a longstanding friend of my family, particularly of my niece and her husband from Oxford days twenty years ago, committed suicide. It was nothing to do with money. It was all to do with the vice-like grip that depression as a condition can achieve. In this particular case, the tragedy is that this good-humoured and subtle chap was a genius and expert on many subjects. He seemed to have everything to live for.

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