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Rattling around in my head — Brexit and what it might mean for us

The U.K. is on sale. That’s my conclusion from the the Brexit mess.

Somewhere in the UK. is someone selling something — a building, a business, a stock, a something — ultra cheap.

But where there’s chaos, there’s opportunity. If I were there I’d be having a ball. In three years a distress investment will be worth double.

For us with U.S. stock market investments, things are not so certain. The Brexit mess, the slowing European economy and the uncertainty over our China Deal suggests a weak stock market in coming months. But…

+ I’m not selling my stocks,

+ I continue to look for obvious bargains.

My heart goes out to the poor people of the U.K. suffering under an incompetent government, lead by a prime minister who doesn’t listen and is universally disliked.

The New York Times did a piece that grabbed my attention:

For Many British Businesses, Brexit Has Already Happened
For more than three decades, London has attracted global banks, trading operations, hedge funds, asset managers and sovereign wealth funds, becoming a global financial center second to none. Brexit has jeopardized that status.

In the political realm, no one knows how Brexit’s long-running theater of the absurd will end. But for much of the business world, Britain’s departure from the European Union has effectively happened.

Nearly three years of uncertainty since the June 2016 referendum has forced companies to plan for the worst – the prospect that Britain could crash out of the bloc without a deal governing future relations. The twisting road to Brexit has already slowed economic growth, discouraged investment and damaged the reputation of the nation as a haven for commerce.

Global banks and other financial services companies are steadily shifting thousands of jobs and more than $1 trillion in assets to European cities to ensure that they are able to serve customers across the English Channel regardless of the rules that national regulators impose after Brexit.

For the full New York Times story, click here.

The Washington Post did a piece

Theresa May was warned about Brexit. She didn’t listen.

At every fateful historical turning point – every time a bad decision is taken or a wrong choice is made – there is always someone who tries to stop it, someone who predicts the consequences, someone who proposes an alternative plan. Cicero tried to halt the fall of the Roman Republic; Churchill opposed appeasement. And there are less mythical, more recent examples, too: Before the invasion of Iraq, the State Department conducted a massive study of the country, foreseeing many of the problems, making many proposals for a post-Saddam Hussein regime – all of which were ignored by the Pentagon after the invasion in 2003.

Usually, the problem isn’t that no one knows that things are going to go badly. The problem is that the people in charge do know but don’t care, don’t agree or simply have other priorities. This is what is happening right now in Britain, where a bitterly divided cabinet has so far refused to come up with an alternative to the European Union-United Kingdom deal negotiated by the British prime minister, Theresa May. Her plan has been rejected three times by the House of Commons, a failure of historic proportions. And yet not only has she refused to choose something else, she has not wanted to discuss anything else in public.

For the full story, click here.

Picking stocks

I keep away from stocks I feel uncomfortable with — like Tesla or Lyft.

I keep away from many stocks I don’t understand, or don’t have the time to understand.

I try not to feel bad when some of those stocks then proceed to go through the roof.

There are more important things than picking businesses you have zero control over.

Are we being left behind? Yes

China is building roads, bridges, tunnels…Watch this and be embarrassed.

Uber or Lyft?

I have accounts with both. I prefer Uber:

+ It has more drivers. Hence faster service.

+ Uber’s phone app is easier to use.

+ Both are usually cheaper than local taxis. Uber and Lyft cars have suspensions. Taxis don’t.

Life tips

+ Everything is easier than it seems. Especially the second time.

+ Telecharge is remarkably flexible.

+ Don’t sign for 15% reductions on web sites. You’ll be inundated forever with spam email.

+ Better, don’t sign up anything. I spend half my life unsubscribing.

+ Never — ever — give your email address to any politician or any political party. You’ll be begged from for the rest of your life. Maybe longer.

Eat your heart out

The Sultan of Brunei’s house has 1,788 rooms. It’s the largest private house in the entire world. Here it is, along with his private Uber, the hideous, impractical royal yacht.

He’s worth about $20 billion. He gets his money by stealing his country’s oil revenues.

Fascnating weekend reading

+ Egypt’s Soap Opera Clampdown Extends el-Sisi’s Iron Grip to TV

In his desire to wield sweeping power, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt has suppressed politics, cowed the media and jailed legions of opponents.

Now he is extending his iron grip to a new corner of Egyptian society: the country’s cherished soap operas.

Read the piece here.

+ How Climate Change Is Fueling the U.S. Border Crisis

In the western highlands of Guatemala, the question is no longer whether someone will leave but when.

Read the piece here. 

+ Russia Ordered a Killing That Made No Sense. Then the Assassin Started Talking.

Read the hysterical piece here. 

Bear puns for your young children and grandchildren

What did the bear say after looking at his GPS?
“Give me a second to get my bearings!”

Why was the little bear so spoiled?
Because its mother panda’d to its every need!

How do bears catch fish?
They use their bear hands!

What do you call a bear without any teeth?
A gummy bear!

Harry Newton, still with that laid-back Hawaii feeling. Good to visit. Highly recommended. Gotta remember to photoshop my neck.