Reasons to be cheerful – Part 2 – Our update on the news that matters now when investing.
The UK’s position today
As I write we do not know the outcome of the Brexit talks.
It is looking more like a No Deal. This will depress the UK stock market further still until actual results eclipse the irrational fear that abounds right now.
The sticking points seem to be…
- Our right to set our fishing quotas in the UKs sovereign waters
- The EU’s requirement that we adhere to their anti-competition clauses and state subsidy rules after we have left the EU.
This second demand is only expressed because the EU clearly fears an unfettered and liberated United Kingdom.
They have reason to be concerned because the substantial rule book they seek to abide by results in slow economic development and excessive layers of bureaucracy both of which inhibit entrepreneurial flair.
When the UK remove the chain and ball, the 45-year-old “prisoner” will “lose its chains” and will forge our own future.
Should we be worried about the UK’s debts?
Covid-19 has caused the government to borrow more this year than in any of the past 300 years. Is this level of debt a problem for the UK?
First of all the majority of the debt is owed by the country itself, not third parties.
Secondly, interest rates are very very low.
Thirdly, following WWII, we had borrowed more than in our history, yet in the 10 years that followed we experienced remarkable productivity and as Harold McMillian was led to say “we have never had it so good”.
But this time around we are not rebuilding cities bombed by the enemy. No, what we are bound to do is the pursuit of programmes involving the green revolution to tackle climate change, including renewable energy, better infrastructure and a levelling out of economic opportunities that will favour the less prosperous of our working population. In other words, a swing away from London and the South East.
So there is much to be excited about and far less to fear than it seems at first glance.
The Green agenda
The UK intends to provide leadership. It will result in new jobs in new industries. The USA will sign up again to all of the “green” policies also driving up jobs.
The UK’s High Streets
We are witnessing the creative destruction of “old” ways of retailing. To revive the high streets people will want an experience when shopping not just endless escalators going nowhere.
The old shopping methods will be replaced by online and experience-based individual shopping experiences. Perversely “small” will become beautiful again and “large” will struggle.
Quality personalised shopping will prosper so the High Street is not dead, it just needs to reinvent itself.
Also, the UK vaccination programme is emerging rapidly and offers us the hope of limiting the spread of the disease and a gradual return to a more normal life.
Rise when profits are being made or optimism and a greater sense of certainty abounds
Is driving share prices now. The USA has long been the driving force for the global economy and we have just seen a record high set for share values on 3rd December.
Firstly, this is because the election of Biden brings a measure of calm and predictability to the USA’s conduct on the worlds stage that has been missing with Trump in charge.
Secondly, because a vaccine for Covid-19 is now clearly in our sights.
Thirdly business does not fear a Biden administration because, if there is a Republican majority in the Senate, that will prevent him from raising taxes.
Biden’s election win
Will the USA radically change direction under Biden and will it affect the value of our investments?
Two points to note. The Senate is potentially controlled by the Republicans, the opposition party to Biden. They will not vote through tax rises or overly bureaucratic policies therefore, no matter what Biden sets out to do, the Senate will counter extravagant initiatives.
Make America great again
Despite being coined by Trump this statement is not born out by the facts. Over the past four years, a divided nation has become even more divided. Perhaps Trump’s “slogan” would be more appropriate if it was “make (some) Americans rich again”
I predict that Biden will want the USA firstly to be recognised as a full participant in the world order and to concentrate on making American more broadly productive with higher levels of employment and higher average incomes.
He will create jobs by embracing a Green Agenda as he wants the USA to be the clear winner in terms of economic productivity, individual prosperity and greater security.
So Biden will use the economic recovery post the Covid crisis to make American evidently great again.
So what of investments?
Prediction of any correction to the US Stock Market will be surpassed by new highs by the end of 2021. Green, clean sustainable investment opportunities will offer real growth in share prices.
Technology, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics will continue to offer real growth opportunities
Biotechnology shares will grow in value as they supply the vaccine around the entire globe.
Meantime Europe will struggle
The UK will struggle but move faster than the EU to recover its place in the world.
Much more hope and the liberated UK can find a new place in the world order succeeding in ways never possible inside the EU.
There is much to be cheerful about.