As part of my job at a London press cuttings agency (he said hurriedly) I have to read through editions of financial magazines, including Professional Pensions. The references to “war” and “potential war” are increasing daily and are not very reassuring. In a story headlined “Schemes urged to invest in equities and catch upturns”, from the edition dated 9th January, Threadneedle Investments’ head of investment communications Helen Mackin says, “An outbreak of peace or a quick, clean victory for a US-led but UN-backed force would be the best outcome [for the markets]. Either could swiftly erase the ‘war premium’ in the oil price … with positive knock-on effects for the US economy.” Shurely shome mishtake… she can’t be both for and against war, can she?
However, this is nothing compared with Mark Dampier of Hargreaves Lansdown’s sentiment in a piece headlined “Between Iraq and a hard place” from Money Marketing of 9th January: “A short war could be good for Isa business.” What on earth is wrong with these people?