Apologies for an error in my note about converting to a Roth IRAs yesterday. The tax you pay when you convert an IRA to a Roth is not at the capital gains rate but at your statuatory income tax rate. Note that the city and state do not tax the conversion, at least not if you are a New Yorker. I am not a tax expert.

What I did. I got my bank to open a new IRA. I will then ACAT to transfer the holdings in the E-trade IRA to the bank, where I am a premier customer and will not pay fees. Then when everything is in place, I will convert the bank IRA to make it a bank Roth IRA. My bank, HSBC, uses Pershing as its main marketmaker. Pershing is one of the intermediaries which can trade stocks in Bangkok, as noted yesterday. Thus I can get a proper valuation of my shares in Mutual Fund Public Company Ltd. either using the ticker symbol MTDFF under which I bought them last April, or via Bangkok as MFC..

My bank’s investment counsellor said that if neither of these can provide a current quote for the Thai fund manager’s stock, I will get a no-value letter allowing me to avoid any taxes at all on this IRA holding in the conversion process. But in fact, as I learned from my correspondence Rajitpron Manawes, the company legal secretary, the stock does have value and I will have to pay taxes on it.

I prefer paying taxes to writing off positions altogether.

Tomorrow night I leave for Europe to attend two family weddings, in London and Malaga, Spain. The London marriage of my eldest nephew, Felix, will take place in Kew at the botanical gardens. I’m wearing my huge silk wedding hat for the occasion. I bought it at a 2nd-hand couture shop by the Paris British Embassy when Felix was a toddler for the wedding of Anglo-Belgian fashion writer Suzy Menkes to the late David Spanier, who wrote on diplomacy and gambling for the Times and later ITV. I hope the snows will hold off.

We will also celebrate Passover in London for the first time since we bought our pied-à-terre, Mudchute Manor, on the banks of the Thames a decade ago We will have a Seder, a special family meal with symbolic foods, a narration, and riddles and songs. We do not plan to cross the River Thames to repeat the miraculous escape of the Hebrew children fleeing from Pharaoh.

More for paid subscribers follows starting with Scottish developments, with news also from Australia, Brazil China, Israel, Canada, and Brazil: