If the appointment of Theresa May as Prime Minister brought a semblance of calm and reassurance to the markets this week, her decision to appoint Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary has provoked a more "mixed" response, both here and abroad. In fact, whilst Boris nibbles his Sunday morning croissant, he may be reflecting rather ruefully on a long list of throw-away remarks and proverbial put-downs that may well be coming back to bite him! This is a man who referred to President Putin as "Dobby the House Elf" and once likened Hillary Clinton to "a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital". Ouch! He was also, of course, the architect of the Brexit campaign, which has unsurprisingly failed to endear him to his European counterparts. He was booed at his first public speech at the French ambassador's residence, whilst the German Foreign Minister expressed incredulity that having secured the leave vote Mr Johnson spent the next day playing cricket! You could of course argue that a German politician simply doesn't understand the calming effects of ball on willow, but, cricket aside, Boris is going to have to sweeten his language of diplomacy. And quickly.
It appears that the property industry's traditional summer break has officially been cancelled. By mid-July the property market is usually busy packing its bags and de-camping to holiday retreats in the South of France. This summer, however, is likely to be different. Following the trading suspensions announced last week, the retail funds appear to be acting quickly to claw back cash with a number of trophy assets already hitting the market. Aberdeen Asset Management put 10 Hammersmith Grove and 355 Oxford Street up for sale this week - with a combined price tag of circa £250 million. Reflecting the urgency from Aberdeen's side, buyers were given just days to complete the deals. Other retail funds also appear to be gearing up for asset sales, which suggests there will be plenty of opportunities for those buyers who are in the market. The question now is to what extent the forced sales reflect market re-pricing, or a fundamental flaw in the open-ended retail fund "model"?
The 145th Open Championship concludes this afternoon at Royal Troon with Phil Mickelson and Henrik Stenson locked in a captivating dual five shots clear of the chasing pack. Whoever wins, however, the tournament is likely to be remembered for a Day 1 intervention by the "golfing gods" who denied Mickelson a place in the history books. Big Phil was sure his final putt was on course to secure him a Grand Slam record round of 62, only to see it lip out at the last moment. Sport can be so cruel! At least it can be until you discover that, according to Forbes, Mickelson is the world's 8th highest paid athlete with earnings totalling $53 million for 2016. No wonder so many of Mickelson's counterparts are shunning the Olympics in Rio. Who needs a gold medal when you have $50 million in the bank!!!