Welcome to our October bulletin
We hope this bulletin will keep you up-to-date with topical financial matters that can directly affect you… and your money!
Business As Usual
With Brexit delayed yet again, there is little doubt that headlines will continue to talk of a General Election and further Brexit delaying tactics across the political factions. We might all be forgiven for thinking that Brexit is the only important matter going on in the world but, if we take a little time to look beyond Europe, we would quickly realise it isn’t as important as one might think.
Whilst our own headlines are dominated by EU matters, the impact of globalisation continues to encourage the free trade of goods and services across the entire planet... and the relatively benign state of international stock markets seems to support this fact.
When interviewed many business leaders within the UK and Europe have been unexpectedly calm when contemplating a no-deal or delayed Brexit, primarily because Brexit is more of a political problem than a commercial one. As one eminent German businessman put it: “If you put fifteen business people in a room we could sort out a deal in an afternoon.”
Of course, this might prompt some of us to question why we need such a vast bureaucracy (with its annual budget of €160 billion) in order to allow businesses to get on with the perfectly natural behaviour of trading with each other. Not forgetting of course that most businesses are used to existing in a permanent state of disruption.
We are told to be are worried about the automotive industry after Brexit yet, this is arguably nothing compared to the potential crisis it faces over electrification.
For the next five years many drivers may well hold on to their cars for far longer than usual, since far less of us may feel that we want to buy another petrol car now… but even fewer are quite ready to buy electric!
Consumers have learned that, when buying anything with a plug, it generally pays to wait. Microwaves, computers, televisions (the list goes on) all got better and cheaper with time… and so, nobody wants to making the mistake of buying too soon. Yet, nobody is suggesting we ban electric cars to prevent uncertainty across the car industry.
Market forces are actually better at driving solutions to problems than many economists would like to acknowledge. Business approaches a problem using widely distributed intelligence that is applied locally. Thus, problems which might appear intractable to a ‘central policy-maker’ are often resolved cumulatively, via numerous instances of local ingenuity.
One might say that market forces drive (or push for) progressive change, whereas politicians have a tendency to pull.
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