How to interpret a market plunge….

Whether a sudden sharp decline in asset prices amounts to a meaningless blip or something more depends on mass psychology.

“This crash is probably nothing. But they always are, except for the times when they aren’t.”

Nice little piece from The Economist


The Monday Morning Quote #454

“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, no one is entitled to his own facts.”

Daniel Patrick Moynihan

(via Michael Bungay Stanier)



I never understood modern car loans and now I know why.

In the days when I used to borrow money to buy a car I understood what I was doing. Price was £X000 borrow money at Y% over 3 years means you repay £Z every month until you can either enjoy loan free driving for a year or two or start again. Then the game changed instead of a loan you were asked to get involved in a Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) which sounded to me like renting the car.

Hearing my friend Jimmy extolling its virtues because “you can upgrade your Merc every couple of years because you just roll it on” sounded like pass the parcel but when you eventually removed the wrapping you were left with the bill for the party – or no car.

I presumed that I just didn’t understand and went back to driving my second hand, 3-series Beemers until they died beneath me. Incidentally that’s 4 cars in 31 years – total purchase cost £25K.

It seems that I was right about this PCP business and the balloon payment idea is another bubble (hardly surprising) waiting to burst.

From The Conversation:

Are we facing a car loan credit crunch? Here are the facts


The Monday Morning Quote #440

A collection of quotes, aphorisms, sayings, songs or poems to get your week off to a good start.

“Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think.”

The song is earlier than you think.

HPV vaccine: a setback but not the end of the fight.

HPV vaccine: anger over decision not to extend NHS scheme to boys

I have written about this before here and here and here

The decision is disappointing and short sighted but predictable.

Here’s the BDA’s opinion:

“The decision by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), not to vaccinate boys against Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) has been condemned by health bodies and campaigners. Following a review of the vaccination programme the JCVI concluded that it was “highly unlikely to be cost-effective” to extend the scheme to include adolescent boys as well as girls. The committee, which has yet to publish its final recommendation, said in an interim statement that studies “consistently show” boys are afforded “considerable herd protection” when there is high uptake of the vaccine in girls. A number of campaign groups  criticised the decision, including the BDA. Quoted by several outlets including the Guardian, BBC and Daily Mail BDA chair Mick Armstrong noted that HPV is the leading cause of oropharyngeal cancers, a condition which can have life-changing results. He said government must offer every child the best chance of protection. HPV Action, a campaign group of which the BDA is a member, said they would urge ministers to make the right decision and said there might also be grounds for a legal challenge on the grounds that a decision to leave boys and men at risk breaches equality law. This initial recommendation by JCVI will now be subject to a public consultation and a final decision will be made in October. The BDA said it would urge the committee to reconsider the evidence.”

The Guardian & the BBC agree (as do the Mail and the Sun it seems).



The state of the internet. Mary Meeker’s 2017 internet trends report:

Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has released her highly anticipated, annual presentation on internet trends at this year’s Code conference.

The article in Quartz with a link to her slides is HERE it’s worth a look

Some highlights from the presentation:

  • Smartphone shipments have continued to slow, with only 3%year-over-year growth from 2015 to 2016.
  • Global internet use continues to grow at 10% year over year, with 3.4 billion people on the internet as of 2016.
  • Internet advertising spending is expected to surpass TV spending in 2017.
  • Combined, Google and Facebook accounted for 85% of the total internet ad revenue growth between 2015 and 2016.
  • Images and voice are replacing typed words in advertising.
  • Google’s voice recognition has hit a word accuracy rate of 95%.
  • There are now 2.6 billion gamers, up from 100 million in 1995.


The Monday Morning Quote #422

As The British & Irish Lions start their tour of New Zealand…..

“Rugby has always been a game for all shapes and sizes.

You have the superstars and the fast guys who score the tries, but you also need the workhorses and the people who play all the other roles.

Unless they all work together as a team then it’s really going to affect the performance. Everyone’s got to rely on everyone else.”

Warren Gatland

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