Cherie in Swindon

A co-conspirator draws Guido’s attention to Swindon Wide’s reporting of the upcoming ‘Swindon Festival of Literature’.  Undoubtedly one of the cultural highlights of the year.  Cherie will really have to prostitute herself somewhat to push her book, she got a reported £1 million advance and it has sold a mere 33,000 copies.

Guido knows Cherie has a reputation for money grubbing, but even so, the headline is a little unfair…

Quote of the Day

James Crabtree predicts

“2010 will see the ‘rise of a genuinely powerful, left-wing blogosphere’ ready to take on ‘the Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United of British politics’ (aka Iain Dale, Guido Fawkes and ConservativeHome).”

Guido's Portfolio 2009

In the right hand column of this blog below the book ads there is a spot updated in realtime showing Guido’s portfolio position. For the readers who are interested (there are a few) this is the portfolio report for the second half of this year (first half here).

The huge pink drop on the chart is when Guido decided that the U.S. stock-market was getting carried away to the upside and shorted U.S. Dow futures.  He was at the time sat in a deckchair in France drinking rosé in the August sun.  When over the next few days the trade started to go wrong, and the Dow pushed well past 9000, Guido drank more rosé and doubled up his short.  Who said rosé was cheap?

By the time Guido sobered up and exited the trade it had wiped out all the profits from the first half of the year (and some) putting the portfolio in the red.  So Guido stuck to jobbing the gilt market from the short side and dodging the QE bidding, then figured out that it was possible to join the QE bidding.  Next trade mess-up was trying in November, despite being a huge gold bull, shorting a technically over-bought gold market.  Except it wasn’t really over-bought fundamentally as India’s central bank had bought 200 tonnes.  Net-net the year’s trading of gold didn’t really make any money as a result.  Made small profits jobbing oil and getting long the euro.  The portfolio was mostly flat with no positions or risk during the year (68 trades were made all year, mostly held for less than a week).  Guido was too busy doing other things and has removed the trading software from his Blackberry to prevent himself from trading financial markets under the influence.  Nevertheless the portfolio is up 40.82% on the year versus a stock-market up about 23%.

The portfolio’s high leverage and sharp moves in Net Asset Value* are due to having a target of making a 100% annualised return.  Guido was 78% up at one point in early November before giving back profits.  Next year Guido can see no reason to hold gilts, if the markets sense a close election it will spook the gilt market and there is going to be a continuing flood of supply no matter what.  The exit from QE will probably be horrendous.

*Eagle eyed readers might spot a discrepancy in the NAV figures, the final figure is based on NAV versus the start of the year and the NAV changes throughout the year are based on trade by trade changes.

Sh*ts of the Year 2009

The lack of real news flow means that the media start doing predictions and awards to pad out space. Dale’s listmania has  once again gone into overdrive, could have sworn he posted “My Top Ten Lists of 2009”. So Guido will, for the same reason, invite co-conspirators to nominate their “Sh*ts of the Year”.
  • Sh*t Politician of the Year
  • Sh*t Journalist of the Year
  • Sh*t Blogger of the Year
  • Hoon Prix d’ Sh*t of the Year

The last category can come from any field of human endeavour. Put your nomination in the comments together with less than 30 words giving your grounds for your choice. Do not misunderstand, it is not a vote for another bloody list, it is a contest of wits, you have to make a nomination with illuminating, witty amusing grounds in 30 words or less. Not just say “Brown is a sh*t.” It is for a T-shirt after all…

Multiple entries permitted, a co-conspirator T-shirt to the wittiest nomination received by midnight tomorrow…

UPDATE : Despite emphasising that this post is seeking witty nominations and prize is for the best grounds for the nomination, people are just making nominations without giving reasons. Doh!



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Quote of the Day

Jeremy Corbyn at his leadership launch:

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