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Are we Covid covered ?

Wednesday 22nd April 2020

Whenever it’s all over, it won’t be. Never mind the prospect of a   V or W or “Nike Whoosh” recession, or a  “Great Depression 2” . As businesses go bust, people lose jobs and incomes, debt defaults surge, one of the major sectors of the financial industry will face some serious legal action, which will grind on for years. The financial watchdog has ordered that during the current crisis, insurance companies pay out claims to firms or explain themselves. But new research suggests that insurance cover is being reduced because of the Coronavirus pandemic,particularly over business interruption claims. Bruce…

I warned you I’d forecast a scenario

Wednesday 15th April 2020

Two million on the dole and the economy to shrink by 35% .That  stark warning  from the Office for Budget Responsibility gave tasty headlines and had the official stamp of authority as the Chancellor  passed on the ‘serious implications’ message . One report had this: the Chancellor “stressed that the forecast was only one possible scenario’. Forecast, warning, scenario – which ?  Simon French, chief economist at Panmure Gordon, told me on The Business Breakfast on JazzFM ( jazzfm.com) that ‘this is a scenario, not a forecast. It’s important to distinguish between the two – a forecast suggests you know…

Bad news is good

Wednesday 8th April 2020

How weird these days are. Now bad news is good news.  First the economy – usually on a  Wednesday at this time of the month, the financial commentariat would be sifting through the minutes of the last meeting of the Federal Reserve Bank, the USA’s central bank, which tends to give a good reading of the largest economy in the world. If that meeting had resulted in, for example an interest rate cut, the minutes might reveal the level of agreement or dissent, and that can often give a helpful idea of who the ‘hawks’ are and who are the…

Forecasting whether..or not

Thursday 19th March 2020

If you were to twist my arm I’d have to admit that I’m sceptical of the value of  day to day commentary on the markets. The professionals have already done what they’ve done and the punters should really be letting the falling knife drop where it will. Even the analysts have got some of it completely wrong – and I’m not talking about the ‘teenage scribblers’ about whom  Nigel Lawson was contemptuously dismissive when he was Chancellor. For example,  quite grown up gurus were recommending a couple of airline stocks only a few weeks ago, and now investors are nursing heavy…

When in doubt..

Monday 16th March 2020

..do nowt. That’s what my Yorkshire ancestors said. As a transplant from God’s own acres  – ( Dear God, why is Yorkshire  always so f**king cold and rainy all the time ? ) – I have been trying, for many years to resist and put straight the Southern Jessies who run the markets. Thus, my favourite Cockernie trader done me a good ‘un in the last financial crisis. Tony said, ‘Never mind what’s going on – no good company becomes a bad one overnight.’ Well, I think that wisdom is now a bit old titfer.. when you see the big…