Welcome new readers, also welcome old readers. Up until now this has mainly been a politics and economics blog. From now on in, it will also be a travel blog. There may even be pictures! But perhaps not. In the meantime, the fact that I am no longer conflicted out because of my day job means I can do a few more things about newsworthy issues of the day and specific things to do with banking.
For example, our Felix's
latest article on Silicon Valley deals and how they prove that banks are redundant and so on and so on. On the one hand, I agree with a lot of it, because I've always thought that M&A advisory was a really hinky part of the industry (occasional reader - not you! you were great mate! those other guys!). But on the other hand, I would read from the welter of Silicon Valley deals that have been consummated without Wall Street help, a simpler underlying truth - that there are a lot of very good companies which simply have no business being part of the public quoted capital market
and that for the first time in about twenty years, a lot of these companies are not being part of the public quoted capital market. This seems like the system working, for anyone whose career started earlier than about 1997; it would be better if Wall Street had explicitly said that WhatsApp at $10bn was not a suitable investment for anyone's retirement savings, but if they Just Don't Get It and therefore Miss The Deal, then that works too. In my view, a decent next step would be to recognise that companies like Facebook (and even possibly Google) probably shouldn't be troubling the stock market either.
This isn't a slam on tech, far from it. There are lots of really great industries that should never be quoted companies and should not have investment banking advisors talking them into and out of deals. For example, investment banks.