Morning Brief – Chip Shortage

Chip Shortage

 

Ahead of the Munich Car show when all the top brass of the auto industry traditionally gather after the summer holidays, the CEO of Daimler said that not only would the chip shortage extend through 2022 but would last into 2023. That is code for an early warning about Daimler’s production figures but it is also reassuring for those hoping to sell their second hand cars which have seen price hikes of as much as 15% from their book values. The trick is knowing when to switch vehicles and whether to go for all electric. That’s the other thing: Daimler announced in the summer that it is taking a large bet and spending EUR 40 billion by 2030 to compete head to head with Tesla in the electric market. Looking at the Daimler share price over the past 6 months, the graph looks much like the Bavarian alps with a high of EUR 80 and a low of EUR 70 where it currently lies. The conclusion from that is that the market has not bought into the CEO’s story-yet.

 

UK High Street

 

In the first 6 months of 2021 8,700 high street shops closed-that is almost 50 every day. Before you reach for the panic button, there are two mitigating pieces of news: first, 3500 high street shops opened and the net decline of 5,200 is 750 better than the first 6 months of 2020. However it is clear that the day of the department store in its traditional form at least is over with 120 shutting for good. Additionally, betting shops, car showrooms, banks and fashion outlets all dropped markedly in number. So the High Street is changing with even more going online and people realising in LockDown that they can carry out their banking and finance requirements remotely. The other casualty has been both thrift shops and charity shops which were always vulnerable as marginal businesses vulnerable to their largest expense: rent.

 

Running with the Bulls

 

If you have been missing the chance of scaring yourself as a minimum or at worst getting gored by running with, or ideally in front of, the bulls at Pamplona, Spain, your wait is over: 65kms south of Madrid is Vilasaca de Segra and the Bull Run Festival is back for the first time for 2 years and started yesterday lasting for a week. Runners are limited to 1,300 for each run, but this is ample to get tripped or blocked so that you can get up close and personal with a large bull. The inaugural run yesterday saw no casualties, but there are a further 6 days.

You may be wondering what happens to the bulls after the run? The answer is that the “lucky” ones get to be in a bull fight.

 

Old London Bridges

 

Over the weekend, having found what I had thought was one of the very oldest existing bridges in London which was built by Richard ll in 1396 and crosses the moat at Eltham Palace, I was duly corrected by an English Heritage historian: by some distance the oldest is the Clattern Bridge that spans the Hogsmill River in Kingston upon Thames and was built in 1175. Why Clattern? Because it was named for the noise that horses hooves made on the surface of the bridge as they clattered across. These days the bridge carries more wheeled vehicles than horses but its Norman arches are still up to the task of shouldering the weight of modern traffic.

 

Candle in the Wind

 

Originally written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin in 1973 about Marilyn Monroe, Elton John adjusted it and sang it this day in 1997 at the funeral of HRH Diana Princess of Wales RIP. Watched by 2.5billion people worldwide, Elton performed flawlessly in Westminster Abbey before releasing the new version of the song which went on to sell 33 million copies and was declared the fastest, biggest selling single ever. Here it is:

Goodbye England’s rose
May you ever grow in our hearts
You were the grace that placed itself
Where lives were torn apart
You called out to our country
And you whispered to those in pain
Now you belong to heaven
And the stars spell out your name

And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind
Never fading with the sunset
When the rain set in
And your footsteps will always fall here
Along England’s greenest hills
Your candle’s burned out long before
Your legend ever will

Loveliness we’ve lost
These empty days without your smile
This torch we’ll always carry
For our nation’s golden child
And even though we try
The truth brings us to tears
All our words cannot express
The joy you brought us through the years

And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind
Never fading with the sunset
When the rain set in
And your footsteps will always fall here
Along England’s greenest hills
Your candle’s burned our long before
Your legend ever will

Goodbye England’s rose
May you ever grow in our hearts
You were the grace that placed itself
Where lives were torn apart
Goodbye England’s rose
From a country lost without your soul
Who’ll miss the wings of your compassion
More than you’ll ever know

And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind
Never fading with the sunset
When the rain set in
And your footsteps will always fall here
Along England’s greenest hills
Your candle’s burned out long before
Your legend ever will

 

 

 

Discussion and Analysis by Humphrey Percy, Chairman and Founder

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