So many M&A stories to consider. Yet the most intriguing, although it never left (or intended to leave, it seems) the stalls, is Vodafone / Verizon.

The details and numbers are stunning enough. But it is the ducking and diving of the breakers of the piece, FT Alphaville’s Hume and Murphy, that truly impresses. The ‘how’ they got it is something; but the implied politics of the ‘why’ the Vodafone source(s) sprung are likely even better - possibly the best (untold) chapter of the entire episode.

Back in the markets, speculators have curiously bid up Verizon without, it seems, taking in the full story. A key element of this is the possibility of Vodafone exercising their 'wireless' put: in such circumstances Verizon would be compelled to pay them between $10bn and $20bn (according to FT Alphaville's sources).

Sounds eminently shortable to this scribe.

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