zak mirs weekend missive – expletives, Mr Sants and HMV!

3 mins. to read

Hector’s House 

At the time the Libor scandal was announced in the summer, I could not believe that Barclays (BARC) had not received a more severe punishment than a mere slap on the wrist £300m fine for its part in the Libor scandal. In fact, the crime was so heinous that the bank and many others who took part should, in my opinion, have been closed down. 

Hector Sants

Now, today we find out why they have not. Former FSA boss Hector Sants has joined Barclays bank as its head of compliance (the “old boy network is well and truly alive!), something which would have been rather difficult if a proper punishment had been meted out… This situation does however tie in with what a former FSA employee told me in the spring, namely that working for the regulator is regarded by its employees as a half way house to a “proper” job in the City. In other words the day to day activities of “regulation” is simply a networking process, and it follows that there will never be harsh punishments delivered, as you would not wish to bite the hand that may one day feed / employ you..! 

There is of course another aspect to this, probably a little “conspiracy theory” so humour me here but you were a financial institution trying to dodge ever increasing regulatory bullets, who would best fit the role? Someone with a proven record of efficiency / strictness in these matters, or someone from an organisation (soon to be abolished) that was asleep through PPI, Libor, the banking collapse, and in the past five years has managed to waste more money in catching half-penny insider traders than they themselves could ever dream of making? 

Even Rip Van Winkle would have had a better track record of being alert during the second half of the last decade. As for the merits of Mr Sants, on this basis Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards would be perfect to coach the UK Olympic Skiing Team (editor note – Zak’s opinion not mine – honest!!!) and Ronnie Biggs should awarded the West Coast Rail franchise. I could go on, but you get the picture… 

Never Mind The ******** 

Something which made me chuckle earlier today was a Tweet clearly with the imprintds of our Dear Spreadbet Magazine Editor. It referred to the “b**ls” of traders who had gone short of Ceres Power (CWR). Not quite in the same league as the Sex Pistols debut album, but in the trading world not too shabby either! I have also been eyeing up the chart of this very difficult play in recent days, and although it would seem unlikely, the shares do seem to be attempting to build a base below October neckline resistance at 3.7p. While it would always pay to wait on say, an end of day close above this level for confirmation, as things stand I can imagine many chartists with their finger on the trigger ready to go long. 


Finally, I have to confess that I thought HMV (HMV) had gone bust and the shares were suspended. But instead, they appear to be very much alive and actually threatening a Thomas Cook (TCG) like resurrection, at least from a technical perspective. The view currently is that while there is no end of day close back below the 200 day moving average now at 3.39p, then I would be looking for an initial target as high as the 6p 2012 resistance zone in Q1 2013. Overall, the top of the broadening triangle at 10p is my end of 2013 target on a situation that would be my stock of the year if it were not ultra speculative.

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