Business Day


- Michel Pireu (

From Jonathan Ruffer: Our call that inflation is on the way is the irresistib­le conclusion which one must draw; in the world that is passing, it was asset prices that went up; in the world that is coming, it will be wages and retail prices that go up.

The credit crunch of 2008 was the natural onset of the cold winter which removes the excesses of the long prosperity which preceded it; the Fed turned the radiators on, thereby artificial­ly prolonging the summer, and now that it, too, is ending, we are looking once again at the elemental corrective to economic excess – a destructio­n of savings.

It is our job to protect clients to preserve the wealth in winter, as well as to encourage its growth in summer.

As always, we are less interested in when it will happen and more interested in the shape of the difficulti­es if and when they arise.

If our analysis is correct, there will be few hiding places, and, unlike the past 25 years, cash will not be safe.

In our view, the perception that wealth is endangered in the world will come suddenly and not gradually, and it will take the form of the sort of financial crisis that Ms [Janet] Yellen believes is all but extinct.

It will itself be fundamenta­l, in the way that 2008 and 1929 changed the whole economic and investment landscape, whereas the 1987 stock market crash did not.

That setback came out of a blue sky, and it was, in hindsight, right to buy into the markets only days after the storm hit. It is unlikely that this time it will be right to do so.

Great stock-market bottoms are born of exhaustion, not of the extremity of fear – and, so far, we haven’t even got to the point of being frightened.

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