Good morning, it's Paul here.

I'm writing this first bit on Sunday evening, so that you have something to start reading first thing tomorrow, which I know a lot of subscribers like.

Estimated timings - 13:00 official finish time should be achievable today, as I wrote half of it last night!
Today's report is now finished. I'll put any further updates into tomorrow's placeholder.

Covid/macro preamble

As expected, Boris Johnson's address to the nation explained how the Govt expects to gradually, and cautiously start lifting some lockdown restrictions. I can't help feeling that the Govt doesn't really know what it's doing, and the latest catchphrase seems pointless & incoherent: "Stay alert. Control the virus. Save lives". Absolute nonsense. There again, I wouldn't want to be in a position of power, having to make life or death decisions. It feels like we're being governed by a bunch of PR people, who seem more obsessed with "messaging" than with coherent policy. Hopefully I'm wrong about that.

I finally escaped from London (after about 10 weeks), and managed to return home to Bournemouth on Thursday. Not being keen on using public transport right now, I walked from Moorgate to Waterloo, and was really shocked at just how extreme the lockdown is. Everything was shut, apart from a Waitrose I passed.

Here is Queen Victoria Street, in the heart of the City, at about 16:30 on a Thursday, when it would normally be heaving with vehicles, cyclists & pedestrians;



I took this video, showing how the heart of the City (Moorgate/London Wall junction) is eerily missing the usual pedestrians & cyclists;


How about Waterloo Station during rush hour looking like this?



It was quite nice having a train carriage all to myself though. Although how much is this going to cost the taxpayer, running regular train services, but with hardly any paying passengers? Billions.



This all got me thinking that re-starting the economy (words I never thought I'd hear or write) is not likely to be easy, or simple.

I've been building up a long position in Marks And Spencer (LON:MKS) recently, because I think it has the following advantages;

  • Sound financing & plenty of liquidity (see recent update)
  • Stores trading,…

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