On notice: The British Pound

January 31, 2007


When I first moved to the UK, the British Pound was very strong against the Canadian dollar with roughtly $2.50 getting you £1. This was great, it made coming back to Canada like going to Eastern Europe or India minus the intestinal problems. Everything was extremely cheap!

Well the gravy train didn’t last long, with the oil price sky rocketing and the Canadian economy taking off, the pound sank against the Candian dollar (see graph) to a low of about $2.00 wiping 20% off my net worth in Canadian dollars!!

Late last year things begun to turn around, just as I was thinking of coming home. The UK increased interest rates and with the hawkishness surrounding the British monetary policy committee members (compared to the Bank of Canada interest rate outlook), the Pound looked very attractive compared to the Canadian dollar and it climbed to $2.35. The tanking of the Canadian economy didn’t hurt either.

However, when the minutes from the Bank of England showed that only five of its nine members voted for the latest interest rate hike, the Pound stopped its climb and headed south.

Once a strong contender for being considered Good Stuff and all the cache which that garners it, the British Pound and its recent decline has displeased me. Come on Pound! We were so close to $2.50 again! I was going to buy every NES game ever to be released with that money.

The British Pound, you’re on notice.


Year-end review and bonus

January 29, 2007

I had my year-end review last week and was promoted to Manager (yippi), and today we were told our bonuses. The bonus whole affair is rather awkward, as one by one the team head calls us into a room and gives us an envelope, which we must then open right in front of him. I’ve been told to never say thank you and to act disappointed no matter what (incidentally by my now boss). Last year used that tactic to great effect, garnering a raise an a bigger bonus.

This year I just want out of banking and don’t have time for any games – so I just smiled and said thank you.

Good stuff: Dunhill

January 28, 2007


Dunhill is a British luxury brand, known for their leather goods, lighters and cigarettes but it has also expanded into mens clothing. The business was developed by Alfred Dunhill after he inherited his father’s saddlery business on London’s Euston Road. Dunhill, responding to the growing demand for automobiles, developed a line of accessories called “Dunhill’s Motorities”. This first collection included car horns and lamps, leather overcoats, goggles, picnic sets and timepieces. Dunhill pitched the company under the slogan “Everything but the Motor”.

I first bought a great dark blue suit with light blue stripes from Dunhill, which quickly became one of my favorite pieces of clothing. I have since bought a tie, a couple of shirts, a bag and a pen, all of amazing quality. I currently have my eye on buying a few more shirts.

Good stuff Dunhill.

20 Smart Companies to Start Now

January 28, 2007

CNN Money has an article (albeit an old one) about the top 20 startup ideas as decided by actual VCs. I’ve taken a quick look through and there are some interesting ideas there.

I think as an interesting exercise I’ll take a look at each one over the next few days (or perhaps weeks) and post here my thoughts. Mainly looking at whether I think I could make any of them work (we’ll see how many I get through before I give up).

The Sartorialist

January 28, 2007

I’ve started adding a bunch of sites to the links section, one in particular which is quite cool is the The Sartorialist. In short its a blog by a GQ columnist which just has pictures of very “stylish” people.

First post

January 28, 2007

This is my first ever post on a blog… and I have absolutely nothing of any importance to say. In the future, as I have something to say or something cool to share I will post it here.