Before FSATV coverage continues here's a quick word from our sponsors
You may remember that last week I introduced you to the extensive surveillance network the chairman of the insignificantly-sized investment company SmallBlue Planet uses to oversee and, on occasion, electrocute his employees. If you do not remember, I'm afraid you'll just have to take my word for it ' I did.
One television screen was set slightly apart from all the others that were hidden in the company's boardroom (behind a large portrait of the chairman and his father) and this, I was informed with some pride, was FSATV.
This had nothing to do with free-standing additional voluntary anythings but was instead a sort of fly-on-the-wall in one of the meeting rooms of the Financial Services Authority's offices in Canary Wharf.
Oddly enough this revelation was less of a surprise to me than you might think ' after all, the chairman and the managing director, who was also present, have always seemed curiously clued up on all matters regulatory within Her Majesty's financial services industry. Come to think of it, they seem to have the inside track on most issues ' I must remember to ask them whether they have similar 'access' to the offices of, say, Autif and the AITC. (And the ABI ' although they'd probably welcome that).
Back in the boardroom, the chairman had stabbed a button on his remote control and the screen flickered on to reveal two men in suits sitting facing each other across a table. '... so what you're suggesting is that we take a leaf out of the movie industry's book,' the first suit was saying.
'Well why not?' replied the other. 'It's basic Hollywood practice that when you have one success you follow it up with a sequel ' same sort of formula but with just enough changes to stop it being a complete re-run of the first film.'
'Fair enough ' I'm convinced,' said the first suit. 'Son of Myners it is then.'
All of a sudden the screen went black and I turned round to the chairman to find out what had happened.
'Technical hitch?' I asked. 'No, no,' he said merrily. 'I just wanted to fill you in with a bit of background. That was a recording I made of a meeting some months ago. But, now, to bring us all bang up-to-date, I happen to know of an interesting little encounter going on you-know-where and it should be starting right about ... now.'
And with that the remote control was again called into action and FSATV was on the air once more.
'Come along ' pull up a chair,' said the chairman as one of the SmallBlue kitchen staff entered the room with three boxes of popcorn. 'I have high hopes for this production.'
The scene before us was the same except this time there were four people around the table ' the two suits from the previous occasion, a lady and a casually-dressed man with a beard.
A familiar round of 'No milk, thank you' and 'One sugar please' indicated the chairman had got his timing spot on.
Eventually everybody was happy apart ' from the second suit, who had just discovered that three Jaffa Cakes into four doesn't go ' and the real business started.
And now a word from our sponsors. OK, so I don't have any sponsors ' apart from SmallBluePlanet obviously, but there's nothing in the deal that stops any other companies with capacious wallets from getting a piece of the action (please see right for relevant numbers).
Where was I? Oh yes ' apologies for breaking off just when it was, hopefully, getting interesting and I promise to finish off this FSATV theme once and for all, or at least for the time being, next week.
But I just wanted to address the comments of those people who have kindly been asking me when I would solicit the chairman's views on the soon-to-be launched Women's IFA Group ' also known as Wig, though sadly never as Wifag.
I think of myself as a fearless commentator on all financial matters and so I should like to put it on record that ' encouraged by the charming debate waging on the subject in assorted publications ' I shall be delighted to tackle this sensitive issue with the chairman.
The very moment I see Satan whizzing by on ice-skates.
To promote 'long-term investment'
Switching 'hard and expensive'
Smaller funds still packing a punch
To drive progress