EUnola May

With apologies to Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and their 1980 hit Enola Gay. EUnola MayYou should have stayed at home yesterdayOh-oh it can’t describeThe feeling and the way you lied.These games you playThey’re gonna end it all in tears someday.Oh-oh EUnola MayIt shouldn’t ever have to end this wa…

Trend following

The good folk at Absolute Return Partners have identified eight megatrends, long-term investment themes that they believe will define the world of the future. Those themes are:1) The end of the debt super-cycle2) The retirement of the baby-boomers3) The declining spending power of the middle classes4) The rise of the East5) Mean…

Don't be so negative

In February 2016, The Financial Times published an article titled ‘Central Banks: Negative Thinking’, co-authored by Robin Wigglesworth, Leo Lewis and Dan McCrum. The piece in question was atypically sceptical of the received wisdom of QE, i.e., that it works. If it was sceptical as to the efficacy of QE, it was doubly so in relation to the policy…

Systemic risk

Our own jury is out when it comes to climate change. Whether or not our climate is changing – and we recall the 1970s experience of being told by climate alarmists that a new Ice Age was heading our way – it is a bit of a stretch to conclude that human activity must be causing it, given that the biggest power source in the universe is something…

Consequences

In 2010, we chanced upon the Adam McKay-directed comedy The Other Guys, starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg. The film is a workmanlike but perhaps otherwise unremarkable piece in the “buddy cop” genre. But then come the end credits..

Is Mark Carney the biggest Cnut in the world ?

“In many respects, Brexit is the first test of a new global order and could prove the acid test of whether a way can be found to broaden the benefits of openness while enhancing democratic accountability. Brexit can lead to a new form of international cooperation and cross-border commerce built on a better balance of local and supranational authorities.”…

Outrageous fortune

“Isn’t it funny when you walk into an investment firm and you see all of the financial advisers watching CNBC ? That gives me the same feeling of confidence I would have if I walked into the Mayo clinic or Sloan Kettering and all the medical staff were watching General Hospital.”A senior portfolio manager.

Hire Harry Markopolos

If you want to be soundly depressed about human nature, read No One Would Listen by Harry Markopolos. Remember Bernie Madoff’s $64 billion Ponzi scheme ? Grupo Santander probably does. As, presumably, do Fortis Bank, HSBC, UBP, Natixis, RBS, BNP Paribas, BBVA, Nomura, Tremont Capital, Axa, Dexia and Unicredit – just some of the entities who ended…

Is it a game ? Or is it real ?

“Joshua/WOPR: Shall we play a game ? David: Oh! Jennifer: I think it missed him. David: Yeah. Weird isn't it? Love to. How about Global Thermonuclear War ? Joshua/WOPR: Wouldn't you prefer a good game of chess ? David: Later. Let's play Global Thermonuclear War. Joshua/WOPR: Fine.”From WarGames (1983), written by Lawrence Lasker and…

Home country bias

“A group of Leave supporters standing in the shadow of Westminster Abbey insisted that God was opposed to the EU. A man on a stepladder preached that the Bible – specifically Deuteronomy Chapter 28 verses 1 to 14 – expressed the almighty’s distaste for governance units larger than the nation state.”Robert Wright, ‘Parliamentary divisions…