... probably off topic again but what the hell - to prove I'm not such an old fogey after all. Here is a catchy tune for you on Spotify called Budapest by a chap called George Ezra from his new release called "Wanted on Voyage" - enjoy. Back on topic again tomorrow - I promise.
After my off topic special on Glastonbury I'm just about back on topic today talking about holidays. The Germans sneaked out last Friday afternoon and got their towel down early when it was announced that the often rumoured tie up between the two part of TUI Travel was being suggested again. They seem to be proposing a nil premium merger which has been a sticking point in the past and they did finish up by saying: "Discussions remain ongoing and there can be no certainty that an offer will be made or as to the terms of any offer." So watch this space I guess but in the meantime you can watch a webcast all about it if you have nothing better to do.
Meanwhile back in Blighty I see that a plucky US investment banker is taking the UK government to court over its policy of fining parents for taking children on holiday in term time. He is trying to claim that it is a breach of his human rights so it will be interesting to see how he gets on with that especially as parents who take children out of school during term time without approval can apparently be fined up to £2,500 and potentially jailed.
Finally, its not clear if this policy will be such a great boost to children's education as detailed in a recent article the BBC News Educational Correspondent, which you can read by clicking on the image above. As they say you can prove or perhaps disprove anything with statistics I guess. For example from the article Sean Coughlan asks if their is a connection between length of school holidays and achievement and finds the evidence is mixed as follows:
But is there any connection between the length of the summer holiday and achievement in school?
With Glastonbury in its final throws here is a link to my favourite show on the Radio which has a Glasto theme this week and as a bonus it is an extra hour long this week. It is called Johnnie Walker's Sounds of the 70's, which I know sounds naff, but for a more mature gentleman like myself it is great for bringing back memories and reminiscing. I also happen to think personally that it was a great decade for music (except for perhaps the disco phase - unless that's your bag of course). If your too young to remember the 70's check it out as there is some great music in there to be discovered. It is also perfect to listen to while gardening , exercising, commuting or just chillaxing on a Sunday afternoon or any when in fact if you are catching up with it.
Talking of gardening here is a video clip from Click with some suggestions of apps and websites to help you with your gardening which might give you some inspiration and help with your weeds while you listen to the show. Here are links to the the app from the clip above for identifying weeds and a site to help you with your garden. Talking of inspiration there was also an inspirational clip about a computer programmer on the same show.
Finally to prove I'm not a complete old fogey I did enjoy the Metallica set last night and if you think they are not for you then check out this more mellow track from them.
The above chart comes from a the latest interesting piece by Doug Short on Advisor Perspectives. You can click the graph above to read the article in full which suggests that the build up in margin debt to extreme levels and the subsequent down turn in these debt levels can be a precursor to a market correction. Certainly the US market has had a great run and people have been starting to worry about valuations there with the CAPE (10 year) PE and other valuations measures getting towards the top of their ranges.
Talking of valuations and further to my post from the 1 April this year entitled Crazy Caped Crusader idea which suggested buying Russia as it was one of the cheapest markets on a CAPE (10 year) PE basis. I note from an article on Bloomberg recently that Russia has been the best performing market for the last couple of months and the ETF I suggested is up by 12% since then so perhaps it wasn't such a crazy idea after all, although I guess you'd have to be a determined contrarian to switch US equities into Russian equities?
So we had the Bank of England's announcement on plans to cap more risky mortgage lending. So it turned out to be a bad day for the banks yesterday with this announcement and poor news from Barclay's and Standard Chartered. However the general consensus on the Bank of England move was that it would have a limited effect in the short term and was some kind of longer term insurance policy. Meanwhile Carney is already talking down the likely extent of rate rises to 2.5% from 3% which was being talked about - before they have even started to raise them!
Thus it was a good day for the house builders yesterday as they all rose strongly having travelled fearfully ahead of the announcement. So I'll continue to run my house builders for now as I still think their trading will be strong and the Bank is reluctant to raise rates aggressively and its bark is worse than its bite.