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;

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

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How about Waterloo Station during rush hour looking like this?

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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.

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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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