THE ROYAL OAK, STAFFORDSHIRE – “A Tory MP, a Labour MP and an SNP MP go into a pub. And shut it down.” – Tim Price
Once more into the pubs dear friends, once more. They need the business, the beer will go stale otherwise, and if you don’t need a drink after this, well… all the more for me.
I really didn’t think we’d see another lockdown of this magnitude. I thought that as BoJo wants to stay at No 10, he wouldn’t dare nuke the economy again and would instead find ways of wriggling around the big red “L” button. You need a healthy economy to get re-elected and not a euthanised one, went my reasoning.
But I was wrong. And now I wonder just how BoJo plans on staying in power. How will he be able to spin this into a tale of triumph?
If ever there was a delusion borne of a public sector salary, it is the idea that an economy can be switched off and on again with little lasting damage. For those whose payslip is forcibly extracted from the public in taxes, or is borrowed from the coffers of financiers in the bond market, such nonsense can appear believable.
But for those whose pay relies purely on voluntary exchange – pouring pints for customers, for example – the truth is obvious, and it is they who will shoulder the cost of this. These lockdowns will leave visible scars on the UK economy for years to come – I don’t think the mountain of consequences are even fully in view yet.
I’m in the very fortunate position of being able to work remotely, and without children to look after. For those reading this in the opposite situation, I wish you all the best and hope you’re well provisioned for the trying times ahead.
The last time the lockdown restrictions were expanded, I ran a poll to see how you felt about it – necessary, or unnecessary. When the results came back, the Capital & Conflict readership was split roughly 60/40 in favour of the “unnecessary” camp (The Big Poll – 28 September).
But how do you feel now? Let me know:
Do you think the new lockdown measures are necessary?
Just click your answer, and then come back to this email.
As Tim’s joke at the beginning of this email may indicate, tempers are running rather hot over at The Price Report. Tim has even begun raising money to sue the government for false imprisonment.
He hasn’t taken his eye off the ball of his primary responsibility however: protecting the wealth of his clients and readers.
Here’s a snippet of his latest:
What practical measures are we taking to protect our clients’ capital from the likely depradations of the state?
Markets were born free but are now everywhere in chains. Cash deposit rates are now derisory, but with added bail-in risk. Bond yields are likely to remain squashed indefinitely, helped by governmental funny money. So cash and bonds are largely out of the question.
The one market too big for even the world’s central banks collectively to kick around is the currency market. So we would not be surprised to see some kind of reset develop there. Our way of anticipating that reset is to own precious metals and the shares of sensibly priced mining concerns in “safer” jurisdictions. Because we anticipate an ultimately inflationary outcome due to those aforementioned torrents of funny money, we value claims on the real economy in the form of equity ownership of cash-flow generative businesses run by principled, shareholder-friendly management with an excellent track record of capital allocation, especially when such stocks can be bought at a discount to their inherent worth.
And because we frankly have no clue how the Great Suppression will necessarily play out, we hold uncorrelated (systematic trend-following) funds that offer the potential to zig when the markets finally and conclusively zag.
Our watchword: if in doubt, diversify. Not the sort of commentary we would prefer to be sending out into the world. But sometimes spades must be identified as such.
On a more positive note, some wisdom from the ages: this too shall pass. It just better get a bloody move on.
For more from Tim and to protect your portfolio with his award-winning defensive investing expertise, click here.
All the best,
Editor, Capital & Conflict
Category: Market updates