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“...austerity is coming to an end – but discipline will remain” were the words the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, used to summarise his October Budget speech. That balance between continued cuts and excessive borrowing was evident in the measures announced.
The Chancellor’s Budget on 8 March was the first of two due in 2017. The final spring Budget came little more than three months after an Autumn Statement that suggested government finances had taken a post-referendum turn for the worse.
Philip Hammond’s first Autumn Statement will also be his last. In 2017 there will be a Spring Budget followed by an Autumn Budget. In early 2018 there will be the first Spring Statement. The Chancellor presented his Autumn Statement against a background of reduced growth forecasts and the “urgent” need to tackle the long-term weaknesses of the UK economy.
Gold fulfils the conditions of a perfect “medium of exchange” (or money). It cannot be created or destroyed by human whim, it has few alternative industrial uses, which might affect its value and it has a very low weight to value ratio (and so is easily transportable).
Though the financial crisis of 2008 was created in America by the collapse in value of US sub-prime, mortgage-backed securities, its consequences have been far more damaging to the European banking system than to those in the US or the UK.
The Asian economies have for several decades delivered faster economic growth rates than Western economies but their stock markets have been far more volatile. Though these growth rates are now receding, they are still expected to be much higher than in Western economies over the next decade
The Japanese stock market peaked at the end of 1989 at almost 39,000. The bottom (so far) was in early 2009 when it briefly went below 7,000. Since 2000, it has not been higher than 18,000, and is currently trading at around 9,000.