Site menu:

Site search

Get Updates

Enter your email address to hear about new posts. (You can view my privacy policy here.)


RSS Recent Posts

Archives (month)


A Frog in My Throat?

Someone stuck a knife in my neck last week. Fortunately for me, he was a qualified surgeon. Fortunately for him, I had signed a consent form.

I was told ten days ago that I have a gland in my neck that was misbehaving: producing too much of a hormone which was making me tired and my muscles ache. The biological evidence suggests that the gland started misfiring some years ago, maybe as much as a whole decade. It’s amazing what one will put up with in terms of discomfort – and even think it is natural – if it comes on slowly enough that you don’t notice a specific change. Rather like the frogs that business guru, Charles Handy, wrote about some years ago. Supposedly, a frog will let you boil it in water without jumping out of the pan, if you turn the heat up slowly enough that the frog never notices the difference.

Happily, I’m not quite as dumb as a frog. A few weeks ago, I realised that a visit to my GP was in order.

But the experience has made me think, once again, about those in the financial markets who don’t see the over-pricing of assets even when it appears to be staring them in the face. If the market isn’t over-priced on a particular day, there’s no reason – absent a massive surge – to think it is on the next day. So, at what point do you say: “Prices are too high”?

The answer is that the market, rather like my misfiring gland, probably doesn’t go from good to bad on any one specific day. But there comes a point when we can look at how things are today and how they were at some point in the past and realise that the change can’t be justified.

See also:  Friday fiascos

Sign up for updates by Email, Twitter or RSS Feed.

Related articles on this website
Regular readers of this blog must be sick to death by now of me repeating how much damage accounting standards are doing to pension schemes (here, here, here and, even ...
Read the complete article
… to be giving a presentation whilst the audience is tweeting their comments onto a screen behind your head. Perhaps that’s going to be the way of the future. For me, ...
Read the complete article
Lindsay Tomlinson is calling for a summit to change the way pension costs are calculated in company accounts. As chairman of the National Association of Pension Funds, Tomlinson would say ...
Read the complete article
I had always thought that employee contributions into a pension scheme were a mistaken idea. Should I be re-thinking that in the light of Hutton’s report out today? Or should ...
Read the complete article
I think the three words at the end of the following sentence must be the most chilling – and the most heart-warming – I have ever read from an accounting ...
Read the complete article
Financial accounts are supposed to enable readers to understand the financial position of the entity under review. But, yesterday, the National Association of Pension Funds published a report attacking the ...
Read the complete article
Until a few days ago, I had never heard the expression: "When you hear hoofbeats, think of horses not zebras". A visiting US professor used it in conversation with me. ...
Read the complete article
When the Thatcher government privatised British Telecom in the 1980s, they created a regulator to cap prices. They did the same with the privatisation of water, electricity and gas. No ...
Read the complete article
Accountants in a tangle with Webb
It’s very disconcerting …
Time to start thinking again, I think
The Hutton Contribution
Accountants becoming effective?
Shoot the messenger!
A horse. A zebra. Or maybe it’s a fish?
Marx out of ten for the attack on price caps?