Masters of the universe: An extract from the diaries of Evil Knievil

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The man the Daily Mail dubbed “The King of the Short Sellers”, Evil Knievil (aka Simon Cawkwell) is Britain’s most feared bear-raider. A big man with a bigger reputation, Evil Knievil famously made £1mn by short selling shares in Northern Rock during its collapse. He also uses his knowledge and experience to buy shares, often resulting in the same devastating effect.

Three times a week Evil provides his thoughts and musings on the markets only at Read an extract from Evil’s latest diaries below and click the banner at the bottom of the page for a free trial to the website…

Well, I thought Goldman Sachs were masters of the universe. And now I don’t: GS offered a 48% chance for Brazil to win the World Cup. And the rest is history.


Oil roundup: Ascent (AST) report that a promised lob of £11.7m has not turned up. This is looking like high risk and it could well go bust. Victoria (VOG) is bombing along but rewarded bulls by retiring on this morning’s RNS. A mistake, I think. And Frontera (FRR) has popped up on commercial news from Georgia. I suspect Frontera is a serious buy – even though I am far from certain.


Poundland (PLND) declares that it does not sell £1 products but products for £1. But what happens when inflation renders a £1 price tag impossible? And how will Poundland brand its proposed Spanish branches: after all, calling it pesetacasa or eurobureau might not appeal much in practice? Poundland is capitalised at around £800m.


It took New World Resources (NWR) a couple of days to respond to its new refinancing proposals but reality is now sinking in. I am staying short at 12p. Indeed, I am told that fair value right now is 1.9p. This latter figure seems generous to me given that NWR is entirely in the hands of its bondholders.


Finally, my attention has been brought to GoPro (GPRO on Nasdaq). This was floated a couple of days ago at $24 but closed at $46 last night and stands at a completely ridiculous price unrelated to anything. Borrowing stock may be difficult. The danger arises from the madmen that dominate U.S. stocks.


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