Good morning, it's Paul here!

No more Italy comments, I promise! 2 days is enough. I've been stopped out of some of my hedge, at breakeven. As a reader correctly pointed out, it's very difficult to decide how much, and what stop losses (if any) to use on hedges. The ideal hedge is a Put Option, but they're far too expensive, in my experience. Still, I might wait for volatility to reduce, and then buy an index put option, just to protect the downside from a disaster-type scenario.

Having discussed Italy with a very savvy bond investor (who made a killing on the last Euro crisis), he reckons Italy will play out just like last time in 2011 - i.e. posturing by Italian politicians, who are then likely to be battered into submission by the ECB and Euro Group. Voting for populist politicians is a cry for help by the electorate - just as it was with Greece some time ago - but ultimately those politicians are making promises they can't deliver.

Euro-membership is a straight-jacket that countries can't get out of. It will ultimately collapse of course, because it's unworkable, but who knows when? In the meantime, the Southern European countries just have to accept that, if they want sound money, they probably won't get any economic growth. Meanwhile Germany prospers, because they're so good at making stuff that people want, assisted by a highly advantageous exchange rate.

As Varoufakis made clear in his book, you only have leverage with the EU if you're genuinely prepared to exit the Euro - which would be a catastrophic process in all likelihood. To date, countries have toyed with that idea, but always pulled back from the brink.


Mello - Kent - 14 June

I've just been chatting to my long-standing shares friend, David Stredder. David and I met at the AGM of retractable syringes semi-fraud, Medisys. I say semi-fraud, because the company did have a product. They just omitted to tell us that it didn't work! So the £200m market cap in the tech boom subsequently melted away to virtually nothing. I have my Medisys shares certificate (remember them?!) on the loo wall, for 8 shares, to remind me not to be a muppet and buy blue sky, massively over-priced junk shares! Still, one good thing came out of it, in that I met David.

David and I…

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