Wednesday, 24th April 2019
The FTSE Index I want to see….
How is the UK economy doing right now?
It’s a good question….
And for most people I know, the two-second version of the answer lies in the performance of the stock market – with the emphasis on one specific index….
‘The FTSE 100 is up 11%+ since Christmas, Dave. If the UK were doing any better, I’d be sending out for champagne and cigars….’
Perhaps it really is as simple as that….
Perhaps the closing figure of the FTSE 100 really does contain all the information we need to gauge the current health and outlook of the UK economy….
The headline writers would like you to think so….
The FTSE 100 is the UK media’s go-to Index – the barometer of choice….
Its movements are tracked and reported daily by most newspapers and mainstream news programmes on TV….
As a result of that rigid and unrelenting focus, the FTSE 100 is the market reference point most of us are familiar with….
For most people, I suspect the FTSE 100 is the stock market. The entire market….
For most people, when the FTSE 100 is up, the UK is going well….… Click here to read more
Monday, 11th March 2019
Between fear and complacency….
The bull market in stocks turned 10-years-old on Saturday….
It’s not been a case of straight up like a vertical line. Bull markets don’t work that way. And nor do bears….
But looked at across the length and breadth of an entire decade, stocks have been going up, up, up….
…. Fueled by the lowest interest rates ever known to man and plentiful cheap and easy credit for governments, businesses and consumers….
…. And given extra impetus by government/central-bank-backed programmes of quantitative-easing, money-printing or bond-buying (call it what you like)….
To put things into context, the FTSE 100 closed at 4434 at the end of 2008 – down 31.8% on the year before….
By July 2018 – at its all-time-highest-point – the index had not only bounced back but had gained more than 75%….
It’s not been entirely plain sailing since….
Markets appeared to be on the turn at the end of 2018 with sharp drop-offs in stock values across the global board….
And why not? A correction appeared overdue. And there was plenty going on in the world to unnerve stock-market investors….
…. A trade war boiling-up between the US and China….… Click here to read more
Tuesday, 22nd January 2019
Get ahead in the markets – harness girl power….
After the global financial crisis of 2008/09, Christine Lagarde, chief of the International Monetary Fund, made some comments that enjoyed wide circulation. She said this….
‘I do believe women have different ways of taking risks, of addressing issues…. of ruminating a bit more before they jump to conclusions. And I think that as a result, particularly on the trading floor, in the financial markets in general, the approach would be different….’
The comments did not represent an outright condemnation of the entire male species nor any individual member of it….
But the insinuation was clear: had more women been at work in senior positions on Wall Street and in other financial centers around the world, the crisis probably wouldn’t have happened….
Once the crisis had been digested, many top-level bankers attended the World economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland….
They had an interesting debate around a hypothetical question: had Lehman Brothers (one bank that crashed and burned during the crisis) been Lehman Sisters, would it still have failed as it did?
The consensus opinion among the bankers was that Lehman Sisters would not have made quite so much money as Lehman Brothers did during the boom times, but that Lehman Sisters would still be in business today….… Click here to read more