Don’t think leases work like that, do they?

Fears that thousands of shops housed in railway arches would face crippling rent rises are being borne out after the sale of Network Rail’s property portfolio, owners of the businesses have said.

Despite concerns from tenants, last year the government signed off the £1.5bn selloff to Telereal Trillium and Blackstone Property Partners, who took control of the 5,200 properties.

With the arches used by businesses across the country, from bakers and bike shops to mechanics and brewers, there are claims that as a result some of them have been hit with up to 85% rent increases.

One tattoo artist said that after a visit from the Arch Company, the vehicle through which Telereal and Blackstone own the sites, his landlord received a phone call saying they wanted him out within four weeks as his shop did not “fit their business model”.

Moby Kenyon, a tattoo artist from Peckham, started his business with four others two years ago and employs 12 people at the store, Rye Lanez.

“It would be beyond devastating, it would destroy the business,” he said, reacting to the possibility of being evicted in less than a month. “We have put so much work into getting this place set up. We’ve never taken any loans out but grown it organically.

There usually are break clauses in leases. But one that takes effect in 4 weeks over “we don’t like you”?

I have more than a sneaking suspicion that there’s no lease here. So, in the absence of a lease and security of tenancy why is there this complaint about insecurity of tenancy?

Like, you know, getting stonkingly rich?

Top graduates are no longer flocking to the City of London as banks and finance firms are losing out to trendier businesses in technology and other more fashionable industries, bosses fear.

Dame Helena Morrissey, head of personal investing at Legal and General Investment Management, said her son’s generation did not see the City as an attractive destination with financial services “the 12th choice for graduates” by industry.

At a time of high employment and a growing skills shortage, workers have an increasing choice of jobs and careers. For younger workers in particular this means they can choose companies that match their values….

And thus the rush to tech companies and their stock awards…..

And wouldn’t it be fun if the standardisation of workers equity came from that free market competition for these bright young things? Spread across the economy as a result of peeps trying to compete with tech?

We knew there was going to be a trick here

That the Labour Party wants to renationalise the electricity and gas networks is true. That the Labour Party is insane is true. Even, that the Labour Party is insane to want to renationalise the electricity and gas networks.

But what was going to be the trick?

Pension funds deficits – these are already included in market prices. Asset stripping – the assets have been stripped, the current market price includes the fact that they’re gone. Stranded assets are already in the market price – they’re there at the price that the market reckons they’re stranded at. State of repair is in the market price. Current state subsidies are in the market price – past ones aren’t.

So, all of the adjustments which Labor says it will make are already made.

That is, they’re lying, they’re going to steal private property. But then socialists, eh? Pan-time and U-bend for the national economy….

Slightly worrying, eh?

Jeremy Corbyn has drawn up plans to take control of Britain’s energy networks in a multi-billion pound power-grab modelled on the nationalisation of Northern Rock.

A leaked Labour party document has revealed plans for a swift and sweeping renationalisation of the country’s £62bn energy networks at a price decided by Parliament.

The blueprint, seen by the Telegraph, lays bare for the first time Mr Corbyn’s plan to bring all energy network companies under public ownership “immediately” following a Labour election win.

The party is planning to employ the same legislative tools used to nationalise Northern Rock in order to justify naming its own price for the companies.

Nationalising them? Well, silly idea, obviously. But at below market price? Stealing them? And how are they going to use the NR tactics?

That depended upon the BoE not offering liquidity support so therefore it was bust. Now, maybe BoE was instructed not to offer liquidity but still. In that circumstance it was actually bust.

What would be – what could be – the equivalent tactic? Announce they’re going to buy them at £x, watch the price fall to price £x and announce that’s market price?

Unfortunately I’m too cheap to pay for either the Telegraph or FT where this is explained.

Slightly weird

Settlements to the families of 346 people who died in the two catastrophic Boeing Max plane crashes will be calculated, in part, by how long the victims knew they were doomed.

Lawyers handling claims against the US aerospace company said the longer the passengers and crew were aware of their desperate fate, the larger the likely payout.

“There’s a better chance of (financial) recovery if it took minutes rather than seconds for the plane to crash,’’ Joe Power, a personal-injury lawyer representing some Ethiopian victims, told Bloomberg this weekend.

Sure, there’s a difference between straight financial damages – how much would they have earned for their families if they hadn’t died, to make those families financially whole – and pain and suffering ones. But I thought that it was the Warsaw Convention which determined airplane accident damages? Which have strict limits on payouts, especially for pain and suffering?

Or has the American tort bar found ways around that? Or, indeed, am I just wrong?

Anyone want a free 3D printer?

A manufacturer is asking if I’d organise a review of a 3 D printer. This one.

If I can organise it the deal would be they send the printer and you get to keep it. In return we’d want a proper – ie, not just “looks nice, ta” – review of it for Cont Tel.

Can’t be me of course I’ve no friggin’ clue but perhaps among our more technically minded?

OK, we’re two willing to do this now. We’ll see if the manufacturer is willing to part with actual equipment.

How vulgar

More than 3,500 bankers in the UK are paid more than €1m (£850,000) a year, according to pay and bonus details published by the European Banking Authority.


Luke Hildyard, the director of the High Pay Centre, called for reform of the banking industry. “Much of the revenue used to pay these rather vulgar sums of money

That use of vulgar is so revealing, isn’t it? That British disdain for trade…..

An important concept

Patisserie Valerie executives Luke Johnson and Paul May are facing fresh questions after failing to disclose they were also landlords to the stricken bakery chain.

The duo, the chairman and former chief executive respectively, own Patisserie Valerie’s Tunbridge Wells site, a fact that was not disclosed as a “related party” in the accounts of operating company Stonebeach.

A spokesman for Mr Johnson said the company’s board had been made aware of the relationship, but decided it was below the threshold – called a “materiality level” – at which details needed to be disclosed.

Materiality. Sure, all sorts of thing happen, which are important and which are not? That depends upon the relative size of the happening to the whole.

Landlord of one shop out of 160? Sure, not material. Own 50% of the freeholds and renting them at top notch rates to the company? Material. In between, well, look up Sorites.

Are there people fiddling their tax bills by paying in cash? Sure are – do we abolish cash to deal with it? Nope. Suspend civil liberties? Nope.

Is it material, germane to the subject under discussion?

There’s got to be more to this story, no?

Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, is under fire over his former government’s connection to a so-called “freeport” which risks enabling money laundering and corruption.

In letters seen by The Telegraph, Mr Juncker has been told he is “morally and ethically” obliged to crack down on a legal loophole that potentially facilitates money laundering at the site next to Luxembourg Airport.

Le Freeport Luxembourg is a high-security facility for the storage of valuables indefinitely, including art, gems, gold, antiques and wine. Built while Mr Juncker was Luxembourg’s prime minister, it is exempt from the country’s usual tax and customs requirements.

Being exempt from the usual tax and customs requirements is the definition of a freeport. It’s an entirely normal construct too – the metals business relies upon a network of such around the world – LME warehouses are all outside local customs and tax. Equally, the booze and baccy industries rely upon bonded warehouses, the same legal construct.

What is it that is actually being blethered about here?


All 140 staff at Emoov were expected to be given their marching orders on Tuesday night after the online estate agent collapsed into administration.

The start-up, which had engineered a £100m three-way merger with rivals Tepilo and just six months ago and had been eyeing an IPO next year, went under on Monday evening after running into cash flow issues and struggling to find a buyer.

Russell Quirk, its founder and chief executive, told the trade magazine Property Week: “All staff, including me, are expecting to be laid off today.”

The loss-making company, which charged home sellers a fixed up-front fee rather than the commission levied by traditional estate agents, had put itself…

All businesses do indeed fail. Always a bit tricky when someone charging up front does too.

We’re all mortal

A certain amusement here.

Pizza Express is under mounting pressure from debts, rising costs and fierce competition, credit ratings agency Moody’s warned as it downgraded the restaurant chain.

Fears are growing for the business as Moody’s said its rising leverage ratios “may cause the company difficulties in effecting a timely and cost effective refinancing in due course”.

This is mere coincidence:

Peter Boizot, who has died aged 89, opened the first Pizza Express in Soho in 1965 and built the company into a national institution; he became a major philanthropist, supporting causes ranging from Venice, jazz, football, hockey and his native Peterborough, to the Liberal Party, for whom he stood twice as a parliamentary candidate in the elections of 1974.

But we are all mortal, even those legal beings called companies. This one’s just got a bit of a col but the Grim Reaper will come for it eventually as well. As Jeff Bezos has been saying, Amazon will go bankrupt. The only question is when.

Willy Hutton’s gusset dampener

Huawei may protest its innocence – it’s a private company undertaking its own research – but nobody is fooled. Every substantial company in China has a Communist party committee overseeing it.

Will Hutton’s vision for Britain is only that those who sit on the committee be different. Federasts of course, the group clearly and obviously including Willy Hutton. Other than that there’s no difference.

Just can’t remember the damn word

Or phrase perhaps.

So, piecework, when you give out the materials, get the people to do the work, pay per piece completed.

OK. But there’s another phrase for when you go up a level. The “merchant” is still providing materials and thus some part of the capital. Plus the marketing. But there’s this other phrase. Putting out maybe? The point being that it’s a step up in complexity to piecework. To an artisan, a craftsman.

Know a bloke just starting to do this with carpets, hand woven. Not that I want to invest or anything. I’m just trying to find the phrase. He’s a libertarianish economics type too but neither of us can recall the phrase, him understandably as English isn’t his first language.

Anyone know it, the phrase?

Aha! Putting Out, that’s it.

I think we can guess that Sports Direct has less than 20% of its sales online

Retail tycoon Mike Ashley wants to see a 20pc tax levied on online sales and prison sentences for executives who consistently “fiddle” their way out of paying the levy, as part of his plan to save the country’s “dying” high streets.

He said any companies with more than 20pc of their sales generated online should have to pay the tax, which would “level the playing field” in the retail sector and give local councils more money to help encourage people to shop close to home, such as offering free parking.

Channel stuffing

Tesla has turned the largest profit in its history, and the first recorded by the company in two years.

The electric car maker made more than $300m (£232m) in the third quarter of the year, a result that chief executive Elon Musk called “truly historic” in a letter to investors. Tesla’s share price briefly rose by more than 10pc on the news.

The results are a vindication for Mr Musk, who had assured investors that Tesla would be profitable in the quarter. In the previous three months, the company had made a loss of $717.5m and many analysts had predicted it would have to raise money to stay afloat.

The trick is going to be being able to do this next quarter. Becassue if you pull every trick you can then you can make one q profitable. At the expense of the next…..

The thing about the placebo effect is

That the placebo effect works.

Cough syrup maker Benylin has been accused of selling identical pills as cures for different types of colds.

Benylin’s medicines, one of which claims to be for “chesty”, the other for “mucus” coughs, carry the same product license meaning they contain identical ingredients.

The disclosure was made by Martin Lewis, founder of, who has been vocal on medicine rip-offs including the often inflated cost of branded medications versus own brand tablets.

He warned that the Benylin branding could lead to consumers thinking that it offered “something extra”, potentially prompting them to buy them rather than cheaper genetic equivalents, which may be just as effective.

Which is lucky for those who want to do market segmentation and product differentiation.