Monthly Archives: March 2021

The Keystone Positive Change Investment Trust

The Keystone Positive Change Investment Trust aims to generate long term capital growth with the aim of the NAV total return exceeding that of the MSCI AC World Index in Sterling terms by at least 2% per annum over rolling five-year periods and contribute towards a more sustainable and inclusive world by investing in the equities of companies whose products or services make a positive social or environmental impact.

Run by the highly regarded Baille Gifford investment house of Scotland.

Its top ten holdings are:-

Tesla 9.7% of the fund
M3 7.6% of the fund
TSMC 6.1% of the fund
ASML 5.5% of the fund
MercadoLibre 5.2% of the fund
Moderna 4.3% of the fund
Illumina 4.1% of the fund
Dexcom 3.6% of the fund
NIBE 3.1% of the fund
Umicore 3.0% of the fund

Top Ten holdings make up 52.2% of the fund

Royal Dutch Shell: March Dividend.

Today, Royal Dutch Shell PLC paid out its March 2021 dividend.

11.96p a share.

Shell PLC is made of 2 share classes, Shell A and Shell B

Royal Dutch Shell plc’s capital as at 26 February 2021, consists of 4,101,239,499 A shares and 3,706,183,836 B shares, each with equal voting rights. Royal Dutch Shell plc holds no ordinary shares in Treasury. The total number of A shares and B shares in issue as at 26 February 2021 is 7,807,423,335


7,807,423,335 x £0.1196 = £933,767,830.866

That is £933million.

Total cash paid to shareholders today is £933million.

BP’s PLC’s March 2021 Dividend.

Tomorrow, BP one of the world’s largest oil majors, pays out it March 2021 Dividend.


The total number of voting rights in BP p.l.c. is 20,352,302,626


20,352,302,626 x £0.037684 = £766,956,172.158184

That is £766 Million

5G Radio Spectrum Auction.

The UK Government on Wednesday 17th March, auctioned off some radio spectrum:-

A total of 200 MHz of spectrum was available to bid for in the auction, split across two bands:

80 MHz of spectrum in the 700 MHz band. These airwaves consist of 2×30 MHz of paired frequency spectrum, and 20 MHz of supplementary downlink spectrum. The 700 MHz airwaves are ideal for providing wide area coverage – including in the countryside.

120 MHz of spectrum in 3.6-3.8 GHz band. These important airwaves are part of the primary band for 5G and capable of boosting mobile data capacity, carrying lots of data-hungry connections.

The winners were:-

EE Limited has won 2×10 MHz of paired frequency spectrum in the 700 MHz band at a cost of £280,000,000; 20 MHz of supplementary downlink spectrum in the 700 MHz band at a cost of £4,000,000; and 40 MHz in the 3.6-3.8 GHz band at a cost of £168,000,000.

Hutchison 3G UK Limited has won 2×10 MHz of paired frequency spectrum in the 700 MHz band at a cost of £280,000,000.

Telefónica UK Limited has won 2×10 MHz of paired frequency spectrum in the 700 MHz band at a cost of £280,000,000; and 40 MHz in the 3.6-3.8 GHz band at a cost of £168,000,000.

Vodafone Limited has won 40 MHz in the 3.6-3.8 GHz band at a cost of £176,400,000.

The total revenue raised from the principal stage is £1,356,400,000. The money raised by this auction will be passed on to HM Treasury.

For EE (A wholly owned subsidiary of BT, the UK’s premier telecommunications and media company), spent in total, £280,000,000 + £4,000,000 + £168,000,000 = £452,000,000 = £452 Million.

For EE, the lower-frequency 700MHz spectrum is seen as crucial for wider and better indoor coverage It will also be useful for expanding the reach of 5G across rural areas in the years ahead. Meanwhile, the mid-range 3.6GHz spectrum will help to deliver greater capacity and speed, both of which are vital in supporting the growing use cases associated with 5G technologies.

Keep in mind that that EE’s investment is approx £5.7 Million per MHz


In India recommended price £49.2 Million per MHz as base price.
In Italy was £18.2 Million per MHz,
In Australia was £3.5 Million per MHz,

Investment in Innovation

DigiTech Centre | University of Suffolk (

BT’s Research and Development HQ is at the world famous site of Martlesham Heath, BT Adastral Park.

Now BT has brought on site an academic parter.

Adastral Park is BT’s global Research and Development centre and has played a pivotal role in telecommunications research, such as the commercialisation of single-mode optical fibre. The DigiTech Centre will lead to a unique partnership uniting our young, and modern University with a world leading telecommunications company in BT. In a rapidly developing technological age, we want the DigiTech Centre to be a state of the art ‘solution centre’ for SMEs and other businesses as well as research and knowledge transfer hub. The Centre will have world-class co-working specialist laboratories and will make Suffolk a recognised destination for industry-focused ICT and Digital Creative study programmes and an internationally recognised destination for continuous professional development in digital technologies

VP of Engineering at Matrixx, Paul Graham

DigiTech Centre from University of Suffolk on Vimeo

HM Government Borrowings Feb 2021

Another month, guess what, take a lucky guess, it is the same old story, HM Government, spends more money than it receives via taxes and duties.
Now we are in a Covid 19 world. UK’s HM Government needs to fund many new demands. []

Another deficit month, thus to bridge the gap, needs to borrow on the bond market In Feb 2021 , the HM Government had to borrow money to meet the difference between tax revenues and public sector expenditure. The term for this is The PSNCR: The Public Sector Net Cash Requirement. There were “only” 8 auctions of Gilts (UK Government Bonds) by the UK Debt Management Office to raise cash for HM Treasury:-

23-Feb-2021 0 5/8% Treasury Gilt 2050 £2,499.998 Million
17-Feb-2021 0 5/8% Treasury Gilt 2035 £2,500.0000 Million
16-Feb-2021 0 1/8% Treasury Gilt 2024 £3,250.0000 Million
16-Feb-2021 1¾% Treasury Gilt 2057 £1,250.0000 Million
10-Feb-2021 1¼ % Treasury Gilt 2041 £2,000.0000 Million
03-Feb-2021 0¼% Treasury Gilt 2031 £3,143.0000 Million
02-Feb-2021 0 1/8% Treasury Gilt 2026 £3,000.0000 Million
02-Feb-2021 1 5/8% Treasury Gilt 2071 £1,071.2500 Million


£2,499.9980 Million + £2,500.0000 Million + £3,250.0000 Million + £1,250.0000 Million + £2,000.0000 Million + £3,143.0000 Million + £3,000.0000 Million + £1,071.2500 Million = £18,714.248 Million

£18,714.248 Million = £18.714248 Billion

On another way of looking at it, is in the 28 days in Feb 2021, HM Government borrowed:- £668.366 Million each day for the 28 days.

We are fortunate, while the global banking and financial markets still has the confidence in HM Government to buy the Gilts (Lend money to the UK), the budget deficit keeps rising. What is also alarming, is the dates these bond mature from 2024 through to 2071. All long term borrowings, we are mortgaging our futures, but at least “We Are In It Together….”

Bitcoin and Robinhood will end badly for those who can least afford it: Nouriel Roubini

Millions in precarious jobs are betting scant savings on worthless stocks and cryptocurrencies via share-dealing apps

The US economy’s K-shaped recovery is under way. Those with stable full-time jobs, benefits, and a financial cushion are faring well as stock markets climb to new highs. Those who are unemployed or partially employed in low-value-added blue-collar and service jobs – the new “precariat” – are saddled with debt, have little financial wealth, and face diminishing economic prospects.

These trends indicate a growing disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street. The new stock market highs mean nothing to most people. The bottom 50% of the wealth distribution holds just 0.7% of total equity market assets, whereas the top 10% commands 87.2%, and the top 1% holds 51.8%. The 50 richest people have as much wealth as the 165 million people at the bottom.

Rising inequality has followed the ascent of “big tech”. As many as three retail jobs are lost for every job that Amazon creates, and similar dynamics hold true in other sectors dominated by tech giants. But today’s social and economic stresses are not new. For decades, strapped workers have not been able to keep up with the Joneses, owing to the stagnation of real (inflation-adjusted) median income alongside rising costs of living and spending expectations.

For decades, the “solution” to this problem was to “democratise” finance so that poor and struggling households could borrow more to buy homes they couldn’t afford, and then use those homes as cash machines. This expansion of consumer credit – mortgages and other debt – resulted in a bubble that ended with the 2008 financial crisis, when millions lost their jobs, homes, and savings.

Now, the same millennials who were shafted over a decade ago are being duped again. Workers who rely on gig, part-time, or freelance “employment” are being offered a new rope with which to hang themselves in the name of “financial democratization.” Millions have opened accounts on Robinhood and other investment apps, where they can leverage their scant savings and incomes several times over to speculate on worthless stocks.

The recent GameStop narrative, featuring a united front of heroic small day traders fighting evil short-selling hedge funds, masks the ugly reality that a cohort of hopeless, jobless, skill-less, debt-burdened individuals is being exploited once again. Many have been convinced that financial success lies not in good jobs, hard work, and patient saving and investment, but in get-rich-quick schemes and wagers on inherently worthless assets such as cryptocurrencies (or “shitcoins” as I prefer to call them).

Wall Street versus the Redditors: the GameStop goldrush

Make no mistake: The populist meme in which an army of millennial Davids takes down a Wall Street Goliath is merely serving another scheme to fleece clueless amateur investors. As in 2008, the inevitable result will be another asset bubble. The difference is that this time, recklessly populist members of Congress have taken to inveighing against financial intermediaries for not permitting the vulnerable to leverage themselves even more.

Making matters worse, markets are starting to worry about the massive experiment in budget-deficit monetisation being carried out by the US Federal Reserve and Department of the Treasury through quantitative easing (a form of Modern Monetary Theory or “helicopter money”). A growing chorus of critics warns that this approach could overheat the economy, forcing the Fed to hike interest rates sooner than expected. Nominal and real bond yields are already rising, and this has shaken risky assets such as equities. Owing to these concerns about a Fed-led taper tantrum, a recovery that was supposed to be good for markets is now giving way to a market correction.

Meanwhile, congressional Democrats are moving ahead with a $1.9tn rescue package that will include additional direct support to households. But with millions already in arrears on rent and utilities payments or in moratoria on their mortgages, credit cards, and other loans, a significant share of these disbursements will go toward debt repayment and saving, with only around one-third of the stimulus likely to be translated into actual spending.

Why the GameStop affair is a perfect example of ‘platform populism’

This implies that the package’s effects on growth, inflation, and bond yields will be smaller than expected. And because the additional savings will end up being funneled back into purchases of government bonds, what was meant to be a bailout for strapped households will in effect become a bailout for banks and other lenders.

To be sure, inflation may eventually still emerge if the effects of monetized fiscal deficits combine with negative supply shocks to produce stagflation. The risk of such shocks has risen as a result of the new Sino-American cold war, which threatens to trigger a process of deglobalization and economic Balkanisation as countries pursue renewed protectionism and the re-shoring of investments and manufacturing operations. But this is a story for the medium term, not for 2021.

When it comes to this year, growth may yet fall short of expectations. New strains of the coronavirus continue to emerge, raising concerns that existing vaccines may no longer be sufficient to end the pandemic. Repeated stop-go cycles undermine confidence, and political pressure to reopen the economy before the virus is contained will continue to build. Many small- and medium-size enterprises are still at risk of going bust, and far too many people are facing the prospects of long-term unemployment. The list of pathologies afflicting the economy is long and includes rising inequality, deleveraging by debt-burdened firms and workers, and political and geopolitical risks.

The GameStop affair is like tulip mania on steroids

Asset markets remain frothy – if not outright bubbly – because they are being fed by super-accommodative monetary policies. But today’s price/earnings ratios are as high they were in the bubbles preceding the busts of 1929 and 2000. Between ever-rising leverage and the potential for bubbles in special-purpose acquisition companies, tech stocks, and cryptocurrencies, today’s market mania offers plenty of cause for concern.

Under these conditions, the Fed is probably worried that markets will instantly crash if it takes away the punch bowl. And with the increase in public and private debt preventing the eventual monetary normalization, the likelihood of stagflation in the medium term – and a hard landing for asset markets and economies – continues to increase.

Nouriel Roubini is professor of economics at New York University’s Stern School of Business. He has worked for the IMF, the US Federal Reserve and the World Bank.

US Federal Reserve Response to Covid-19

US Central bank undertook a huge quantitative easing programme of expanding the money supply in the US Economy. So nearly 12months on since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world, I thought I would look at how much the US Federal Reserve has grown its balance sheet in the pandemic. So the numbers are vast, in March 2020 the assets on the balance sheet was $4,241,507 Million ($4.2 Trillion) and has now grown to $7,557,402 Million ($7.5 Trillion) worth of assets, that is an increase of $3,315,895 Million ($3.3 Trillion) assets, just huge asset purchase programme by the Fed, buying assets off the US commercial banks. As you can see from the pictures below, that mass expansion of the balance sheet is much larger than the US Federal Reserve’s response to the Global Financial Crisis of 2008. The damage done by the pandemic is clearly more worse than the insolvency and collapse of Lehman Brothers.

Investment in Poetry: Stairway to Heaven

There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold
And she’s buying a stairway to heaven
When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed
With a word she can get what she came for
Ooh, ooh, and she’s buying a stairway to heavenThere’s a sign on the wall, but she wants to be sure
‘Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings
In a tree by the brook, there’s a songbird who sings
Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven
You knowThere’s a feeling I get when I look to the west
And my spirit is crying for leaving
In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees
And the voices of those who stand looking
That’s youAnd it’s whispered that soon, if we all call the tune
Then the piper will lead us to reason
And a new day will dawn for those who stand long
And the forests will echo with laughter
Remember laughter?Oh yeah, yeah, yeah…And it makes me wonder
If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow, don’t be alarmed now
It’s just a spring clean for the May queen
Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run
There’s still time to change the road you’re onYour head is humming and it won’t go, in case you don’t know
The piper’s calling you to join him
Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow, and did you know
Your stairway lies on the whispering wind?And as we wind on down the road
Our shadows taller than our soul
There walks a lady we all know
Who shines white light and wants to show
How everything still turns to goldAnd if you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last
When all is one and one is all, that’s what it is
To be a rock and not to roll, oh yeahAnd she’s buying a stairway to heaven