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Justin Murphy (Luxembourg)
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The Snail and the Whale
The Snail and the Whale
by Julia Donaldson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book for reading aloud, 11 April 2013
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I like all of this series by Julia Donaldson and Axel Shaeffler, but this is my favourite. I love reading it aloud. The rhythm of the writing is just perfect, with the same sort of flavour as Sophocles, or Miffy.

It used to be a favourite of my children but now they are getting too old for it.


The Three and a Half Minute Transaction: Boilerplate and the Limits of Contract Design (Chicago Series in Law and Society)
The Three and a Half Minute Transaction: Boilerplate and the Limits of Contract Design (Chicago Series in Law and Society)
by Mitu Gulati
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £23.91

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for sovereign debt lawyers, 11 April 2013
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The authors' thoroughness in their own research and their familiarity with the extensive academic literature on contract drafting - of which I as a practitioner was completely unaware - makes reading this book a necessity for any lawyer working in sovereign debt, and advisable for all lawyers drafting contracts of any kind. Gulati and Scott describe the background and then examine a number of theories as to why such an apparently ambiguous clause is present in almost all sovereign debt instruments. For such a dry subject, it is a very good read. The book is also very well produced: printed on good paper, nicely bound (the hardback edition) and containing a very good index and endnotes (I would have preferred footnotes). It is the right length: it explains everything fully but is not excessively long. It has the feeling of a book that has been very well proof-read, revised and edited. A great deal of work has gone into it and it was not wasted.

I have one comment on the theory that lawyers have not revised the clause because they do not want to admit to their clients that it is imperfect. This is plausible but, if it is true, I think that the lawyers are mistaken to expect that revisions would be unwelcome. I have worked as an in-house lawyer for a frequent debt issuer, and in my opinion we would not have minded at all had our external lawyers come to us with such a proposal. They could always have justified the change by reference to developments in the case law or even blamed it on a retired partner. I think that we would have been pleased that the current lawyers were awake. (But I realise, writing this review now, that it never occurred to me to try to make any such changes myself.) Would the underwriters have minded? I don't know, but I suspect that there is a value in being able to say to investors that the document is just the same as last time. So maybe they would have been more difficult to convince.

It would be interesting to know whether investors really read and care about these clauses when making their investment decisions. I suspect that they just have a checklist in their mind and one of the items on it is that there is a clause indicating that the bonds are not subordinated (which is one function of the pari passu clause). I suspect that very few people actually examine the wording of the clause.


Merrell Men's True Glove Dusty Olive/Amazon Trainer J85533 12 UK
Merrell Men's True Glove Dusty Olive/Amazon Trainer J85533 12 UK

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite shoes, 24 Oct 2012
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I use these for general wear as ordinary trainers, and for outdoor runs on sharp ground. They are great either with or without socks. The low heel feels good for my posture. A doctor told me that I had "fallen arches" and wanted me to wear special insoles but in fact it was just a question of posture that I have fixed - at least when I am barefoot or wearing minimalist shoes - by paying attention to the position of my knees, ankles and feet (cf Alexander Technique).

For running on the treadmill in the gym, I wear my Fivefingers, which are perfect for that use but whose soles are too thin for the paths near my home (some sort of concrete with sharp stones). (I think you can get Fivefingers with thicker soles nowadays.)

These Merrells are a perfect general trainer for someone who has seen the light and wants to move away from the excessive cushioning on the soles of standard sports shoes. But try Fivefingers too: the world is big enough for both. A word on the sizing: I normally take UK size 11 (Euro 45 or 46) and originally ordered these in a UK 11, but they were too small for me and I exchanged them for a UK size 12 (Euro 47). The bigger size fits me perfectly, with a lot of room for the toes.


No Title Available

2.0 out of 5 stars Look good but tough on the heel, 30 Jun 2011
I thought that I would like these shoes, because I have other Teva sandals that fit me well. Unfortunately if I wear these ones in bare feet my heel is rubbed raw within half an hour. Maybe it's just the shape of my heel but I advise caution.


Draper 38716 33-Piece Security Bit Set
Draper 38716 33-Piece Security Bit Set
Price: £8.27

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but there is a still smaller triwing screw in existence, 19 April 2011
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I bought this because I needed a small triwing bit to open a Pokewalker (an accessory for a Nintendo DSi). The bits are very good quality, but unfortunately the smallest triwing bit is still too big for the screws on the Pokewalker.


LEGO® Minifigure Ultimate Sticker Collection
LEGO® Minifigure Ultimate Sticker Collection
by DK DK
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 14 Feb 2011
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My six year old son likes sticker books, and this has been one of his favourites. There are plenty of stickers and they are of good quality.


A Colossal Failure of Common Sense: The Incredible Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers
A Colossal Failure of Common Sense: The Incredible Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers
by Larry McDonald
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.20

4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A useful contribution to the saga, 29 Sep 2009
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This is the (ghost-written) viewpoint of a mid-level trader who was on the distressed debt desk at Lehman up to a few weeks before the collapse. His message is that Lehman Brothers was killed by massive one-way bets on US real estate combined with hugely excessive leverage. The author comes across as rather full of himself, but hey, he is a trader so what do you expect. He is also full of praise for certain senior traders, to a nauseating extent. But even if you don't fall in love with the author, it is an interesting book and well worth reading for anyone who wants to understand why Lehman went bust.


Death and Life of Great American Cities (Modern Library)
Death and Life of Great American Cities (Modern Library)
by Jane Jacobs
Edition: Hardcover

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why was she ignored?, 21 May 2008
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I found this book fascinating. I live and work in a country that has been badly planned since the war and that suffers from all the mistakes that Jane Jacobs describes. What astonishes me is that planning was not influenced by this book when it was written. Most if its lessons are self-evidently correct. Yet even today planners continue to zone for dead, empty streets and monopolistic commerce. It has opened my eyes and made me feel a little angry. I wasn't interested in planning or urbanisation before I read this book, but now I am.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 11, 2008 6:57 PM BST


No Title Available

20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Like having an evil robot in the bedroom, 18 Jan 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Well it certainly wakes you up, but it is a bit unsettling. The quality of the light is the same as for camera floodlights and there is something alien about the LCDs. I also have a Lumie and a Phillips and the Phillips (with the sound of waves, forest etc) is definitely the best.

What is good about the Sunrise is that you can program it for different times on each day of the week, so (for example) you can be an hour later at weekends.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 21, 2009 10:01 PM GMT


Our Mutual Friend: Unabridged (Naxos Complete Classics)
Our Mutual Friend: Unabridged (Naxos Complete Classics)
by Charles Dickens
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £85.00

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great reading, 24 Sep 2007
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With 28 disks, this is a monster of an audiobook but it is worth the space. Timson reads brilliantly, and appears never to get tired. I'd like to know how long it took him to record it.

This isn't really the place to review Our Mutual Friend itself, nor am I worthy to do so. I can believe that some people who have trouble with reading Dickens, because of the length and the wordiness, might find an audiobook an easier introduction to him.

By the way, I was "encouraged" to read Dickens at school and hated him. I tried again a few (well, about 15) years later and now I can't get enough.


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