Wry & Dry

China flexes. Apple's pickle. Company profit reporting ends.

After two bumper editions, Wry & Dry is a little truncated this week.  Not that there isn't much going on:

  • the Trumpster confirmed yesterday that, after all, he is going to build the Mexico Wall and he's going to make Mexico pay for it;
  • Brazil's president finds herself down at CentreLink - the Senate courteously waited until after the Olympic Games before they voted to impeach her;
  • the UK is overwhelmed with paperwork from EU nationals who want UK residency before the actual Brexit; and
  • Hangzhou is host to the G-20 meeting, starting on Sunday - W&D bets that the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators will find other things to do.  

But readers will have to make do with less this week.  It's just that, well, W&D is in Hong Kong, far away from the first week of the new government's parliamentary sitting.

And some essential field work has to be done at the expense of a lengthy W&D.  Shopping.

There's still something very English about Hong Kong.  Perhaps it's the rain, which is tumbling down as W&D attempts to put quill to paper, before embarking on assisting the local economy's consumer led recovery.  

Yes, there's the delightful Chinese chaos, the noise, the unique smell (which, as someone observed long ago, is the smell of money) and the strong sense that everyone here is out for themselves.

But the British landmarks, names and monuments remain.  Although the red mail boxes have gone - W&D would have thought the Chinese would have liked the colour.  But... no. 

However, chatting to the locals, there is a sense that the destiny of Hong Kong will not be of its choosing.  Notwithstanding the desire of the locals for less mainland control.

Like it or not, Hong Kong is more and more under the claw of China.

Hong Kong

On the way here, W&D dropped into Thailand.  Now there is an interesting way to run a country: the military run the place.  Because the two principal political parties cannot.  

After the shambles in Canberra this week, perhaps Australia might consider such an alternative. 

Although this edition is a non-Australian piece, some news has arrived over the cable*.  The month of August was a bit soggy for the Australian share-market.  Investment Matters, whilst focussing on First Samuel's clients' investments (another good month), does give some space to some of the wider market's companies. Investors seems to have hung up on Telstra, for example, with the stock returning minus 8.9% for the month.  Wesfarmers and CBA also came to grief.  

More comprehensively, this week, W&D ponders Apple's tax problem: a bill for a mere 13 billion euros came in the mail; considers China and its Asian allies; and also the self destruction of the UK Labor party.

Follow The Money updates the odds on the US presidential race.  Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.  

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

Next week, W&D comes to you from London.  W&D will give W&D readers the inside scoop on what the man on the Clapham omnibus** thinks of Brexit.  Be excited!

* Cable means telegraph, of course.   But readers will be interested to know that it is also market jargon for the foreign exchange rate of the GBP (British pound) against a local currency.  

The term originated in the mid-19th century, when the exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and British pound began to be transmitted across the Atlantic by a submarine communications cable. Since that time the exchange rate of a local currency versus the pound has been referred to as 'the cable'.

** The man on the Clapham omnibus is a hypothetical ordinary and reasonable person, much like W&D, used by the courts in English law where it is necessary to decide whether a party has acted as a reasonable person would – for example, in a civil action for negligence.   He is a reasonably educated and intelligent but anonymous person, against whom the defendant's conduct can be measured.

The phrase was first put to legal use in a reported judgement by Sir Richard Henn Collins MR in the 1903 English Court of Appeal libel case, McQuire v. Western Morning News.