A professional sportsman was interviewed after a period of absence and the interviewer remarked how badly he had been missed.
The sportsman responded that he appeared to be a better player the longer he was absent and that exponentially he may actually attain “all time great” status if he never played again.
As the Badger’s Blog has been on hiatus it is hoped that it has enjoyed a similar re-rating of its value.
The break has not just been due to the Badger’s innate laziness, the blogs primarily focused on how economic and political landscapes were being redrawn in 2011 and to a large extent in 2012; post LTRO there has been nothing new to comment on, rather it has been a period of colouring and shading the previously defined outlines
2012 is going to be the year of Political elections and the subsequent directions resulting.
The first major event is the French Presidential election this Sunday. The current President (mini moi Sarkozy) is trailing his Socialist opponent Francois Hollande and is likely to lose.
Francois Hollande has pledged (if elected) to increase taxes on the rich, renegotiate the recent pan European agreements (the relationship with Germany and Merkel will be much less cordial and Merkel’s active campaigning for Sarkozy, if unsuccessful, will have been very regrettable) and to “Put France First”.
The popularity of such a platform is understandable, the populations of Europe are being told that what they previously enjoyed is no longer an option (can’t be afforded) and it’s hardly surprising that they are intent on metaphorically shooting the messengers of such unpleasantness.
So the Dutch Government recently resigned after being unable to pass new austerity measures, and the new Spanish Government is enduring mass protests as they try to enact cuts and labour reforms, this pattern of socio economic strife will continue across the continent.
The US Presidential elections are due to be held in November and Mitt Romney looks certain to be the Republican challenger to President Obama.
Spending time in the US is a curate’s egg experience, it is a fantastic country full of amazing and fun things but its politics are often moronic.
It elects a President who can’t legislate because it simultaneously elects a congress opposed to the President.
The two parties increasingly occupy diametrically opposite positions, the Republicans want to allow markets to dictate direction and taxes to be cut and the Democrats wanting the reverse.
It is sad but basically true that it is simpler for an individual voter to engage with fundamental beliefs which brook no compromise. The politics of “if every problem looks like a nail then every solution must be a hammer”.
The problem with this is that it is myopic and destructive.
The US economy is improving and a sitting President will usually be re-elected if the home economy is at least ok.
At the recent correspondents’ dinner Jimmy Kimmel said that he believed that President Lincoln (a Republican President) was not actually assassinated. What in fact occurred was that he had a premonition of what the Republican party would become in 2012 and he shot himself.
It is hilarious in a ‘you can’t be serious’ sort of way to watch Fox News (News??) commentators in the space of one diatribe condemn the Democrats for not stopping the Financial abuse on Wall Street and to then espouse the allowance of markets to dictate economic actions (i.e. free of political interference).
Is that not completely contradictory? (the answer is of course yes it absolutely is).
The markets left unchecked drove the US economy of a cliff (during a Republican administration) markets have no social conscience, no overriding values of fairness or compassion but then nor it seems does ……..
The US (post elections) has to confront its budget deficit and if it arrives post 2012 at another political log jam of an opposing President and Congress then it is in real trouble.
George, who is known to finagle the Badger for stock recommendations for his portfolio has suggested the blog details some of the investments discussed and analysis of individual companies.
Whilst we as a company cannot make individual stock recommendations future blogs will provide in depth analysis of investments being made personally for the purely academic interest of readers.
NOTE: This is written in a personal capacity and reflects the view of the author. It does not necessarily reflect the view of LWM Consultants. The post has been checked and approved to ensure that it is both accurate and not misleading. However, this is a blog and the reader should accept that by its very nature many of the points are subjective and opinions of the author. This is not a recommendation to buy any product or service including any share or fund mentioned. Individuals wishing to buy any product or service as a result of this blog must seek advice or carry out their own research before making any decision, the author will not be held liable for decisions made as a result of this blog (particularly where no advice has been sought). Investors should also note that past performance is not a guide to future performance and investments can fall as well as rise.