Tuesday 13 December 2011

Concern for Facts and History at the Guardian

The Grauniad's financial well-being has long been suspect, and it would seem they have now resorted to having stories written by teenage interns with google and wiki blocked on their PCs:

"There were no gas-fired power stations in 1990, but the rapid expansion of the sector driven by the Conservative government, under Margaret Thatcher, was the biggest single factor behind the 25% cut in the UK's greenhouse gas emissions between 1990 and 2010."

I suppose she does loom larger-than-life in the leftists' collective nightmares. At least the gas bit of the story is correct. And the wicked Tories get the credit ! Thankful for small mercies, I suppose.

ahhh ... the Dash for Gas ... those were the days



Banjo said...

According to Guardian thinking Thatcher came to power in 1979 and was forced out in 1990. Then she came back in 1991 to fight the gulf war.lost the election in 1997. But won again in 2003 in time to start the second gulf war, cosy up to Assad and Gadaffi and Bush. Loosen financial regulation of the city, sell the gold reserves, close Rover, bring in 42 day detention, refuse to repeal any union legislation, refused to join the Euro and held sleepovers with the hated Murdochs.

She lost power again in 2007, but managed to win it back in 2008 just in time to collapse Northern Rock on purpose and so usher in a longed for ideological era of austerity.

Anonymous said...

absolutely brilliant.
Who ever would have thought that Thatcher would end up as a biger bogeyman than Hitler,Stalin the Kaiser and Boney in the minds of supposedly educated British(?) people!
We are getting to the stage where we need some divine intervention and I would commend to all verse 2 of the National Anthem:

O Lord our God arise,
Scatter her enemies,
And make them fall:
Confound their politics;
Frustrate their knavish tricks;
ON thee our hopes we fix; God save us all

BlackRaven said...

do you chaps have a view on Drax?

Budgie said...

BlackRaven said..."do you chaps have a view on Drax?"

Yes, it was all Thatcher's fault.

Ps: nice one Banjo.

andrew said...

I think he was one of the better bond villians

Nick Drew said...

... based on the most vicious of the 18th Century Caribbean sugar plantations, as I recall

seriously, Raven, what's the question ? - I may have an answer

BlackRaven said...

ND, I've looked at drax a few times in the last 5yrs without it being compelling enough, it is outside my core competence.

Naively it looks like a reasonable valuation, but the key is that something might change in the future that massively improves the economics. ie. if the UK relationship with EU does change, or the government changes the approach to carbon then the upside is huge, whereas the downside seems really limited.

Because it is a sector I am not familiar with I was looking for opinions, particularly what are the consensus hopes and concerns for the business?

Anonymous said...

Grauniad losing 26,000 readers a year. It only has 226,000 readers at present, so it will be gone in 10 years even with the support of the Autotrader and the Scott trust fund! Quite an achievement! Alan Rusbridger must be the worst newspaperman in British history.

Anonymous said...

Anon: ".. even with the support of the Autotrader and the Scott trust fund!"

I thought that tax avoidance scheme had been wound up a year or so ago.

Budgie said...

BlackRaven, now I see - Drax. I think we all fight our corner here, speculating what will happen to the economy, even down to company level. But particular investment advice? - that's a no-no.

Nick Drew said...

like it, Banjo, you can come again

Raven, first of all, what follows is just MHO, DYODD etc etc, no financial advice here blah blah

I know exactly what you are saying about coal upside (though maybe not 'massively '), and could even add some more: Drax is efficient (as big conventional coal plants go); has a fantastic brownfield site with good logistics; is probably placed quite well to move to biofuels to some greater extent; and has Critical Mass, which can be very important IMHO.

CCS is a non-starter as far as I am concerned, so I wouldn't add 'CCS potential' to the list. (Its location is OK for that, though.)

On the downside: for the time being the western world is really down on coal (almost to the point of commercial sabotage), so arbitrary regulatory risk of a possibly lethal kind is an issue, however irrational. Also, IMHO their commercial/ trading set-up is only fair-to-middling: that's the sort of thing that can be decisive (though its not hard to fix - see Critical Mass above - if the Board see things correctly). Finally, Ofgem is considering moving to 'postage stamp' (flat rate) transmission charges which would hurt Drax et al in order to favour remote windfarms

I have no view on whether any of the above is reflected in the current price ...

Electro-Kevin said...

Radio 4 sitcoms have young people (who weren't even around then) trying to get laughs from spitting out the words "Margaret Thatcher !"

It's frequent and rather tiresome.

BlackRaven said...

very much appreciate the discussion Nick.

I think everyone being so down beat on coal is exactly the theme I was looking to be a contrarian. (when the price action signals it).

are there any other good pure play bets on coal that you can think of off hand?

Nick Drew said...

Raven - UK Coal (formerly RJB Mining) is still listed.

Reading some of their stuff, they may not be a 100% pure coal play anymore, they seem to be trying to exploit their (rather large) property portfolio, + generating elec from 'waste gas from mines'

& there's even mention of some *ahem* wind generation too!

as always, DYODD: no recommendations here, I have no view on whether the price looks good or otherwise