Flavour of the Week


Another Royal Baby, another Brexit-bashing week for Theresa May, another week of stock market nerves, and another dodgy time to be holding Sterling. Hold tight as we race around from Windsor via Brussels to Washington and Beijing in another tasty week.


Right across Britain this morning, people have been listening to the words “expecting a baby in March 2019” and going “May, June, July, August….”. On the whole though, most of us doing this are over 55, and from an age where ‘Shotgun Wedding’ didn’t mean some form of royal fusiliers’ salute.

It’s good to know that Harry’s sperm count is genuinely royal, and not plummeting as it seems to be for lots of other blokes right across the Western World. But the Next Big Thing at the Bookies, of course, is going to be what the royal legion’s latest member is going to be called. Months of Name that Baby drivel is about to descend upon us.

There really is only one possible outcome for any red-blooded patriot: Brexit.

Brexit Windsor. There is a certain ring to it, a certain classical yet anti-Establishment dignity which a ginger renegade like Harry should openly embrace.

Brexit George Philip Amadeus Cynthia Windsor. For some reason I’m expecting the baby to be a boy. But Cynthia is in there just in case he/she/they want to identify as something specific in the alphabetti soup of contemporary gender and sexuality.


Our Prime Minister has not been cursed  blessed with any children, but a royal baby called Brexit just might turn her into a republican in the UK sense of the word. For the seventh week in a row, the week ahead for Theresa is ‘make or break’, but I’m damned if I can see why this week is any worse than all the others she has. The PM was a broken toy of the FCO/CIA/MI5/Treasury/City Alt States the minute she insisted that we could have any colour of Brexit we liked, so long as it was Chequers….that is, black and white. Once again, Theresa May or Maynot. It really is the story of her life:


Every week is critical, every month is tough, every Conference is make or bust, every deadline is hard, and every sperm is sacred.

Jeremy Rhyminge-Slange was on Sky this morning saying that the Brexit talks are nearly there, he’s confident we’ll make it but we might not and we’re going to pull out all the stops to try because we’re almost home if not quite dry and rewind to the first line of this paragraph to learn more.

Mr Junta is an even bigger tit than I thought if he really thinks this is The End of anything – except Sovereign Brexit itself. There’s a good chance that the EC countries won’t support it, every chance that Corbynista Labour will vote against it (along with some 44 or so Tories), and the Lords will use delaying tactics which might scupper it.

Then we are no doubt going to suffer a People’s Vote. Good luck trying to sort out what it will mean. The latest study shows that most Brits are now utterly confused about what Brexit has become, are sick to death of the debate, and simply want someone to take a decision roughly in line with what we voted for two years ago. So this responsibility is being awarded to Us. Then afterwards, it won’t be Their fault. And if we get it wrong again, then they’ll have to step in and bail us out.

David Davis, meanwhile, wants a Cabinet mutiny. But nobody in his circle wants to replace the Captain with the Cabin Boy.


Last week I posted about what lay behind the rush of Climate Change news, suggesting that one motive might be distraction from other nasties due to hit us over the coming months. Right on cue,  last week’s stock market selloff wiped $2.6 trillion of “value” from the global equity bubble – almost 5%. Such is the all-pervading influence of The Slog.

Reuters commented that “the selloff surprised nobody”, which can’t be true if 95% of investors, banking firms and algorithms did nothing. I mean, if selling off was an unsurprising thing to do, then why did nine out of ten cats do sod-all? Maybe they were catatonic hahaha. I’m going to ring my brokers later today and ask why they were asleep at the wheel last week. If they tell me they weren’t surprised but did nothing, I will be that bloke looking for new brokers.

There was plenty of evidence to encourage a selloff: a tightening Fed making emerging markets wobbly, a rising dollar increasing the US deficit, China slowing down, and the war of words between Brussels and Rome on Italy’s debt. They all ring “sell” in my head, but then my head is a crowded and at times impulsive place.

Anyway, upcoming-urgentmost this week is the U.S. Treasury’s report on currency manipulators, which is expected to point a whole handful of finger-guilt at China. Beijing continues to keep its Yuan ludicrously cheap, but it’s hard for me to respond reasonably to condemnation of this reality.

Dick Nixon’s decision to float the Dollar set off the fiat insanity we have today, but at the same time it would be good to know whether anyone is going to investigate the price of oil, the level of the world’s bourses, the value of the euro, the price of gold and a thousand other things that are (to use Trump’s technical term) “rigged”. The pointing of grubby fingernails at China is, obviously, The Donald’s desire to ‘weaponise the evidence’ in favour of his trade war with China. But having unveiled the subterfuge here, I’m bound to say I think the President is right to start deconstructing free trade: on this, as with other things, he is ahead of the curve.

The banking bullies JPMorgan, Bank of America, Bank of New York Mellon, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley  all announce their third quarter earnings this week. Despite a very mixed year so far, the market is taking its usual long view and demanding 26% earnings growth on the nail, right now. I was told in 2009 that this kind of thinking would be banished from here onwards. I am not an undiluted fan of Elizabeth Warren, but next time I think we should pay more attention to what she has to say on this subject.

Thursday brings the strong likelihood of a change in the $/£ exchange rate. If you’re a Brit in need of walking-around money in Bucks, it might be a good idea to think about buying some today.

The reason is that Thursday is shit or bust crunch-break very tough indeed day for Mrs May and her One Last Push to get a deal on Brexit in time for the EU Summit that day. As the week goes on, I expect Sterling to take some heavy Dollar punches. This doesn’t make any sense, but I expect it anyway. As always, what you do is your own affair: I am not a professional adviser, merely someone with reasonable eyesight for his age.

Enjoy the week.