From Mr Gareth Howlett.

Sir, I greatly enjoyed Contrarian Partners’ letter to investors ( Lex, July 6), the gist of which was that the secret of success is to find out what the best paid and brightest people in the City and Wall Street are thinking and then do the opposite.

It also seems to work in football. Back in May, Goldman Sachs produced a World Cup economic report, one of whose conclusions was that the most likely semi-finalists were England, Brazil, Spain and Germany. So, a 50 per cent failure rate. Meanwhile, an octopus called Paul living in an aquarium in Oberhausen has correctly predicted all five German results so far, by choosing between two feeding tanks (one with the German flag, the other with the flag of their opponents). Perhaps Goldman would have done better if it really had been a “giant vampire squid”.

Gareth Howlett,

Edinburgh, UK

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