News / Views

Investment Notes

Follow our regular updates to stay up-to-date with current financial planning and investment issues. We regularly publish press clippings, articles and thinkpieces that we think might be of interest to our clients.

One of the themes emerging from the Chinese press in recent weeks has been their call for the world economy to become “de-Americanised”. This was especially apposite during the debt ceiling crisis when it appeared possible that the US might default on a repayment of Treasury debt, because Congress would not extend the debt ceiling.

Healthy banks are a critical ingredient in the economic infrastructure that underpins growth and equity market performance. Today the healthiest banks are found in Japan and Asia and the weakest in the Eurozone. Thus banks in Japan and Asia look best placed to support growth in their economies, whilst Eurozone banks appear worst-placed.

Since the drama of the Italian election in the spring, European politics have been remarkably quiet. This has been by design – the countries who would like Germany to provide money or ease policy to support their beleaguered economies have understood that it is very important not to scare the German voters ahead of their general election on September 22.

On May 30 we published “UK Economy – Green Shoots” anticipating the improvement in the economy that has become clearer to see in the last few months. Data for the second quarter showed growth of 0.6%, a very healthy pace, house prices all over the country have begun to pick up, and shorter term sentiment indicators are showing a clear improvement in confidence across all sectors of the economy. This note examines the sustainability of the recovery.

In 2009, in the face of a global economic crisis, the major economies of the world came together and acted in concert to ease monetary policy aggressively. Together with fiscal stimulus in the US and China, these policies helped to prevent the world from slipping into depression.

Ben Bernanke’s discussion of the Fed’s policy intentions in the press conference following the Federal Reserve meeting on June 19 was a shock to markets, with all asset classes around the world falling sharply in response.

Over the last ten quarters to March 2013, the UK economy has produced essentially zero growth due to a combination of (i) the UK government’s austerity plans encompassing both spending cuts and tax increases, (ii) severe economic weakness in the Eurozone, the UK’s largest trading partner, (iii) weakness in North Sea oil production due to essential maintenance work, (iv) a large bank

The starkest lesson that should be taken from the Cyprus crisis from all in the eurozone is that no bank deposit is guaranteed. It is always ultimately a loan from the depositor to the bank with the possibility that your government may mitigate any loss. Depositors with more than €100,000 in local Greek, Portugese, Spanish and Italian banks should now be giving serious consideration to moving their money to stronger banks in safer countries, as also might those with less than €100,000.

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