A long-term Slog fan emailed the other day to say the site is sounding extremely gloomy. He’s right of course, and I wish I could be more upbeat. But trying to tone down the downbeat, as it were, has enabled the Tory Party to blow a ten-point lead in recent weeks.
As for the Dick Whittington panto being performed by New Labour, well, the show will run and run – with more matinees once the starting gun goes off. My task remains (without any Party bias, as they are all profoundly superficial) to drag people outside the theatre and onto the cold, hard pavements of reality via the Stage Door of confusion.
Full Circle Asset Management are wealth advisers to all sensible folks worried about what little wealth they have being removed in the shape of tax, deficit budgeting, Connecting for Health, WMD hunts and 0% interest rates. They do a fine job, but chiefly they lack both axe and grinder: their only concern – living as they do on performance related fees rather than bank backhanders – is that client portfolios exceed any other external performance possibilities. Over even the medium term (and for most of the time) FCAM has managed this feat since its foundation. I am not a shareholder; but I am an investor.
The other thing that endears the company to me is their deep distrust of any and all ‘settled science’ in relation to markets and economics. Like me, they are suspicious of those who blindly follow all things neo-liberal and globalist. Like me, they believe that when it comes to the banking system, tinkering isn’t going to cut it. And like me, they think the Government is off with the fairies.
Here are a couple of extracts offering more gloom:
‘Greece remains the guide to the consequences of excessive fiscal deficits and what governments will have to do to remedy them….. Public sector pay cuts averaging 12%, increased VAT across the board, rises in alcohol and fuel taxes, restrictions on public sector pensions and new taxes for luxury items. These actions are targeted over the next 12 months to reduce their fiscal deficit by three percentage points from 12.5% to 9.5% and then to do it again next year.’
And bear in mind, all those of you in search of sun-drenched uplands, that this mayhem and rioting will get the debt down by a measly 3%. Is this a minority, European problem?
‘40% of the global economy is in countries where governments are running fiscal deficits of more than 10% of GDP with no easy way out. This was reported by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in the Daily Telegraph business section’ (12.3.10)
The Slog’s mother-site nby predicted last September that the new crisis would be regional; but even we didn’t expect two in five countries to be quite that much in hock.
So what is one to do? I can’t give direct advice, I can only reiterate what I’m doing: sticking with gold through thick and thin and – now the price has faltered again – buying some more. If I didn’t have a new roof to put on the French house, I’d be buying it by the ton.
Full Circle Asset Management’s website is here