Posted by: Nicholas Davis | March 8, 2009

Tid-bits from London

Some random ideas, questions and tid-bits of information that came to me while I was in London over the weekend:

  • Is it true that Battersea dogs home in London is the main beneficiary under the trust structure of the majority of Australian private equity firms? This is something I’d like to investigate further! Why Battersea? Does this structure actually drive profits to the charity, or is it pure trust engineering (presumably for tax purposes or something)?
  • A friend relayed a good tactic for watching drama series on DVD – stop watching (and go to bed, spend time with the family etc) in the middle of a show, rather than promising yourself to finish after “just one more episode”. Watching to the end of the episode is dangerous – the scriptwriters need a cliffhanger to keep you tuning in next week, which in DVD-land translates to many, many weekends being ‘lost’ to 24.
  • I woke up this morning to find that I sent an email at 4am telling a friend to short both the South African Rand and the US dollar. Which begs a number of questions – first, what possessed us to talk about currency plays at 4am? And second, what do you short the Rand against? The Aussie dollar perhaps. Recommendations welcomed.
  • Miracle berries are all the rage in certain circles. I was given a handful of super-sour Australian sweets (remember Warheads?) to try the next time I have a tasting party. Thanks Keith!
  • The requirements for the UK’s highly skilled worker visa (on which many of my friends in London depend) have been changed (effective April 1 I’m told) to the effect that you now need a masters degree to qualify. Which is of course bad news for many, but particularly for lots of Australian lawyers, who often do double degrees with honours (6 years at university!) to get qualified and relatively seldom go on to a separate masters. Obviously this change will affect a lot of other professions too – and is yet another indicator of increasing protectionism in the global economy.

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