Wry & Dry

Company reporting ends. Marshmallows. Scotland the broke.

Again, it's a bumper edition.  

The good news: FY-16 company profit reporting 'season' is almost over (companies have to report by 31st August).  And good company profit results for First Samuel clients are still coming in (see this week's Investment Matters for Dennison's and Fleur's comments).

The bad news: the government of the People's Republic of Victoria has introduced a new tax so as to pay taxi-owners.  This is because a change of regulation (allowing Uber, for example) has increased competition.  The payment is $100,000 for the first taxi-licence, $50,000 per licence thereafter.

Nice work, if you can get it.

Help W&D out here.  Does this mean if First Samuel suffers because a change of government regulation increases competition, that the state government will reimburse the business?

Nuh. But readers should watch and wait for the next 'victim' of competition to surface.  And go cap-in-hand to the government.

On an equally sad note, Wry & Dry notes the passing of Antony Jay co-writer (with Jonathon Lynn) of arguably the greatest (and certainly the most intelligent) of all English language comedies, Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister.  Sir Humphrey (Appleby), the name of the main character, has entered the lexicon as any clever and infinitely devious person with a bureaucratic mindset.

Earlier this month, Jay and Lynn wrote a final sketch about Brexit involving Jim Hacker (the hapless politician) and Sir Humphrey.  It was a fitting testament to the longevity of their comic creations.

Minister: “Can I trust you?”

Sir Humphrey: Of course. We are your humble servants . . . ”

Minister: “Yes, yes! I’ve heard all that. But are you in favour of Brexit?”

Sir Humphrey: “That depends what it means.”

Minister: “Brexit means Brexit.”

Sir Humphrey: (Pause)  “Yes, Minister."

And not quite off this mortal coil is Pokémon Go.  But maybe it's not far away.  W&D reads that the data now shows that peoples' interest in it is declining.  

Readers are quite entitled to ask "What is Pokémon Go?".  Well, W&D doesn't know either.  Is there a Pokémon Stop?

W&D is excited that the boffins have discovered an Earth-like planet sort of close to Earth, orbiting Proxima Centauri, the nearest star to our own.  Well, in the realms of the universe, it's close.  Only 40,000,000,000,000 kilometres (4.22 light years) away.

NASA's New Horizons probe (launched in 2006), the fastest spacecraft ever launched, left Earth hurtling toward Pluto at about 60,000 kph. At that speed, it would take more than 78,000 years to get to the newly discovered planet.

Now, if we told Donald Trump that there are no Mexicans, Muslims or thinking women on this planet, we might persuade him to forego 78,000 years to land him there... oh, never mind.  

More comprehensively, this week, W&D ponders Scotland's unviability; considers the most effective Olympic nations, is getting alarmed at the government's unfunded pension liabilities; and also considers whether any reader would have passed the Marshmallow Test.

Follow The Money updates the odds on the US presidential race.  Woe!  The Trumpster has firmed strongly.  But not yet enough to rouse W&D to outrage.

And, of course, Miscellany, to soothe your troubled mind.

Next week, W&D comes to you from Hong Kong.  W&D wanted to check out those artificial islands in the South China Sea, but the people in Beijing said nuh.  So W&D will be checking out the Chinese economy instead.  And will report back.  Be excited!