Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Summer Special Offer - Cash Flow support

Struggling with cash flow?  Worried how you’re going to pay the bills?  Wouldn’t it be great to know exactly where you’re going to be for the next few months?  This is a problem that Prospero FDs solve all the time and we’re now making our expertise available to any local business FREE.

Contact us now, and one of our expert Finance Directors will visit you to install our tried and tested cash flow forecasting software.  This runs on Microsoft Excel and, once set up, can be updated easily by you each week to give you a clear view of where your bank balance will be for the next three months.

There’s no fee or obligation, you don’t need any special computer expertise, all our software and media are secure and virus protected and we guarantee that it will make your life easier.  So contact us now to take away your cash flow headaches.

“Prospero’s cash forecasting model means that I can sleep easier at night knowing exactly where my business will be.  Previously, I only knew we had a cash problem on the day we couldn’t pay the wages!”  Martyn C.  Managing Director, manufacturing business.

Terms and Conditions apply
  1. This is a non-binding offer.  Prospero can decline to make it available to any applicant at its discretion.
  2. Prospero will provide free software and up to three hours of consultancy free of charge.  Any further goods or services will be charged at normal rates.
  3. While Prospero will apply industry standard IT security practices, it advises applicants to ensure they have adequate security over their own IT networks.
  4. Prospero, its associates employees and sub-contractors accept no liability whatever for any losses, economic direct or consequential, suffered by any party arising out of this offer.
  5. Prospero retains Intellectual Property Rights in all materials provided and grants the applicants a non-exclusive licence for their use.

Monday, 25 June 2012

JP Morgan Explains the Euro Crisis with Lego.


This chart comes from a Michael Cembalest’s research note today. There's a summarised explanation here.  
The key is:
  1. The toreador in a floppy hat, and the F1 driver with his helmet, represent Spain, Italy and the rest of the Euro Periphery.
  2. The three men with helmets, shields, and medieval weaponry represent the CDU, CSU and FDP parties in Germany.
  3. The blue-and-white sailor boy is Finland. Obvs.
  4. The woman with an oversized carrot and her friend in overalls with a shovel represent the Social Democrats and Greens.
  5. Wotan represents the Bundesbank.
  6. The piggy bank is the IMF.
  7. The grey-haired Banque chap is the ECB.
  8. The chap in the red bib is Poland.
  9. The artists are France.
  10. The angry chef, the sweeper with a broom, the airline pilot, and the rest of the motley crew at bottom left, represent EU taxpayers in Core countries.
  11. The storm troopers are the EU Commission and Euro Group Finance Ministers, chaired by Jose Manuel Barroso and Jean- Claude Juncker.
  12. The monocled banker and his assistant are EU bondholders and shareholders.
iceland.tiff credit here is given to “Peter Cembalest, who specializes in conceptualization of such phenomena”; I assume that Peter (age 9) helped out too with the Icelandic bonus extra, for people who make it to page three. But Iceland sadly didn’t make the cut as one of the “12 players in the EMU Debt Crisis most likely to affect policy from here”.
Cembalest does at one point feel the need to explain what he’s doing here:
If today’s diorama analysis borders on the absurd, so does maintaining the fiction that accumulation of massive public and private sector claims in Europe can somehow be engineered away.
Still, I like the idea of sitting all the key European players in a room with a box of lego and telling them to work things out that way. The results couldn’t really be more farcical than those of the EU bank stress tests.

The Glasgow Rangers disaster

How can an institution that is a pillar of its local community and beloved by tens of thousands of people around the world collapse into insolvency?  Quite easily, it turns out, if it's run without proper governance and with a casual attitude to debt.

Kevin Mckenna tells the full story here.

Rangers supporters claim that their club is the most successful in the world because it has won more trophies than any other: 115, including the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1972.  

Craig Whyte ... bought the club for a nominal £1 [in 2011], having undertaken to pay Rangers’ £18m debt to Lloyds/Bank of Scotland. It has since been reported that the club withheld all VAT, income tax and National Insurance contributions during the nine months of Whyte’s tenure from May 2011 to February 2012. A list of 332 creditors is owed amounts ranging from millions (to English and Continental clubs) to a few hundred to local newsagents, florists and taxi firms. The overall debt mountain is potentially more than £140m.

Whyte funded the takeover of the club by mortgaging four years’ worth of season-ticket revenue, amounting to £24m, with an English firm called Ticketus. In effect, he bought one of Britain’s biggest clubs by trading on its future income.

HMRC has now brought the curtain down on the 140-year history of one of the world’s most successful football clubs. Rangers will now be liquidated and their assets sold.   The crisis has shaken the foundations of four of the pillars of Scottish society: the government, the judiciary, the banks and the press. This is the nation’s very own bonfire of the vanities.

Any sympathy that Rangers might have had from fans of other clubs has largely evaporated because of an absence of remorse or shame on the part of the directors and executives.

The football authorities must now decide if the new Rangers will be allowed to take the place of the old club in the SPL. If they reject the application, new Rangers will face the prospect of playing Alloa Athletic, Cowdenbeath and Stenhousemuir for the next three years. It is the football equivalent of the Rolling Stones playing Digbeth Civic Hall.