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Peace, Hope and Progress versus Strife, Despair and Calamity: Any Predictions How These Will Turn Out?

In June 2014, I attended the 105th AGM of the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust PLC (SMT), a fund of nearly £3 Billion of assets spread around the world with a total return objective. It’s managed by Baillie Gifford (BG) here in Edinburgh. As a small shareholder it’s useful to meet who governs and directs one’s portfolio from time to time and I would recommend attending such events on occasions, being an active shareholder is something a private investor should enjoy and not just for the coffee and sandwiches. I happened to know one of the directors as he’s from where I grew up and another Professor John Kay is a regular columnist and worthwhile read in the Financial Times. The board are usually available after an AGM to pose a couple of questions over those cups of coffee I mentioned.
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Fix Your Infrastructure, Stupid!

In my April blog I mention using the low interest rate environment for governments and their agencies to borrow cheaply to invest in infrastructure projects. Pension funds and life-assurance companies are also being encouraged, especially by UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, to invest their cash in infrastructure projects to match their long term liabilities to policy holders with reliable cash-flows from projects lasting up to 30 years or more.
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Trends, Themes and Fault Lines: Where Could All This Inequality End Up – in Darkness or the Light?

Since July 2013 the FTSE100, the leading UK share index, has ranged between 6400 and 6800 points. While the larger US S&P 500 index has moved from 1600 points up to record highs, closing above the 1850 level on several occasions, notably since January the S&P 500 has traded in a more sideways fashion. Perhaps this indicates a top in the market or a pause for good reason- reported earnings weaknesses or Fed tapering – however it’s still an impressive increase from the market lows during the 2007-2009 financial crisis. The bulls and bears react to positive or negative news and information which forms investor sentiment to drive the markets on their trajectories and so forth.
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A crisis in the Crimea and growing volatility in the world’s markets – it’s been quite a 1st quarter for 2014.

Back in January it was hoped that global equities may repeat some of 2013 rally. However, the US Federal Reserve increasing tendency to taper remains firmly part of the US financial agenda. China property bubbles and debt defaults have started to concern investors. Yet so far the Chinese authorities have bailed out government entities and kept a lid on a more general panic in view of the vast quantities of property related-debt. Vladimir Putin put on a good show with the Sochi Winter Olympics, where some of his now sanctioned oligarchs made a few (billion) now devalued roubles, while plotting and executing a, relatively harmless welcomed by many, annexation of the Crimean Peninsula.
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Al-Megrahi and MacAskill Observation

Well to remember- Play hard and well in international relations as coming bottom of the league isn’t a sporting option in the real world. A thought from a few years back-
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The Grangemouth Conspiracy – Close To Reality Or A Product Of My Furtive Imagination: You Decide And You Read It Here First.

2014 following on from 2013 has the continuing debate on Scottish independence and with the referendum this September. However, the industrial action at the Grangemouth refinery near Falkirk, Scotland last autumn an issue came to mind involving the global view of possible US security and economic interests with friends and allies. Read more

The Big Guns Are Blasting In The Scottish Independence Battle Of The Pound

The Big Guns Are Blasting In The Scottish Independence Battle Of The Pound. Is a new currency looming for an independent Scotland and would the EU accept Scotland into its membership?
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Future Perfect or Future Problem: Part 2: Defence and Diggers

And 2014 the Year For A Lot of Yellen

2014 has started with a Polar Vortex descended on a huge chunk of North America some 190 million people affected by the icy Artic blast. The US has reported disappointing employment statistics for the end of 2013, the BoE and ECB have held rates at their current lows and the Federal Reserve has Janet Yellen as its new Chairwoman – a 1st too.
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We, the people demand some decent Government and…

They’re back on the streets again in the Ukraine and Thailand. Brazil has got its share of protesters too never mind the problems of Arabic North Africa, the Levant or Iran and Saudi Arabic too. People are demonstrating to varying degrees of success of course about not just political freedoms but economic ones too.
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Is it Future Perfect or Future Problem?

Part 1:

During the 2030s the economic difficulties from continual high Government spending and rising national debt along with demographics trends will have materialised. The Baby-Boomers will be retired and the Millennial Generation will be taking the economic burden. Will the Euro still exist and will China have grown old before it gets rich? These questions and many more will be getting answered.
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