I wasn’t a terrible child, but I do recall my mother, when pushed to the limit, would always shout “Get up those stairs”. It meant that I was really in trouble and was certainly in for it when my father got home. Currently I’m not afraid of the phrase, during our FaceTime meetings we say it in encouragement when Lucas and I study the charts of the major indices. The stairs are our comfort blanket, but they are hopefully our early warning system.
Up the escalator but down the elevator
Very American I know. We would say up the stairs but down in the lift. That’s how the markets were explained to me. Stock-markets shouldn’t rise like a lift. If they do, the likelihood is that the rapid climb precedes a spectacular plummet. Rises should be gradual, building support at each stage of the way. They should climb the “wall of worry”. When everybody is afraid, it usually means there is no chance a bubble is forming.
BC (Before Corona) things were looking good. They weren’t climbing like a jet fighter, they were looking steady. Solid. But then panic struck. AD (After the drop) we had fits and starts to begin with, but at the moment the gradual upward progression is quite reassuring.
Continue reading “Get up those stairs!”
new research reveals….
“New research reveals that those aching knees are a sign of worse to come”. A typical story in the middle pages of “The Daily Truth”. We then turn the page to reveal adverts for walk in baths, stairlifts and mobility scooters. What a coincidence.
“New research reveals that the UK is set for wetter summers, it’s all due to Global Warming”, is another headline. Turn the page to a further 4 full pages of sunny cruise adverts. News about bad summers typically run after a particularly wet spell when the paper knows it will have your attention. Even though inviting hundreds of thousands of Brits to jet around the world undoubtedly contributes to global warming, the paper isn’t concerned, it’s existence is funded by the holiday industry not the likes of Greenpeace..
“New research reveals the Artic ice cap is melting more quickly than thought”. Turn to adverts for green energy switchers, composters and electric vehicles. Even bad boy news media can look good, as long as there are advertisers to pay them.
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How long have we been living like this? I think it’s 12 weeks or so but it seems much longer somehow. When is it all going to end? How do we get to back to something that approaches normality?
the powers that be
Of course, it’s easy to criticise, but the truth is I don’t envy anyone having to make decisions about how we safely get our economies opened up again. Across the world, leaders have already made mistakes which have cost lives and knowing that the decisions you make today could lead to more deaths is a massive burden for anyone to bear. In many ways, going into lockdown was the easy part. It seems coming out of it is going to prove far more difficult.
Many employees that have gone back already in the first wave are just plain miserable. And it shows. The staff are often the ambassadors of a business. Our perception of a business comes from our contact with its staff, however for many of them, their work colleagues and loved ones are still at home getting paid at least 80% of their former weekly wages. For doing nothing! Why should they work a forty hour week for just 20% more? It’s no wonder consumers derive little pleasure from any form of physical shopping. Make the customers angry and they will go elsewhere.
Continue reading “12 Weeks In”
Clubs eh! When you find a club you like, you do everything you can to join it. You want to be seen as part of that team, that club, that collection of like minded people. People just like us. It’s a continuation of our primal defence mechanism. It’s why the great apes form troops. Team up with others, because together have a better chance of survival.
But once you become a member of a club or group, you then want to keep the outsiders out. You have become different from the others now. Distinct, somehow superior, because you have been accepted and the outsiders haven’t. Take it one stage further and a collection of like minded individuals can move on. We get protectionism, racism, sexism and the like.
You will be glad to hear that this isn’t a blog about toppling statues. It’s not even a blog about the trading block that is the EU. Although it did start off as a group of like-minded countries that banded together for protection, but then became a organised protection racket and has now moved on to trying to punish non-members, even if they get hurt themselves. No, I’m not ranting on about the EU, but there are parallels to be drawn.
Continue reading “New Members, Non-Members, Ex-Members”
A quick game of opposites
I say black, you say?… Hopefully you said white.
I say big, you say?… Small is my guess. You remember the children’s game.
I’m sure you are getting this. Get ready.
What is the opposite to risk? If you said no-risk then no points I’m afraid.
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