“The UK Debt Management Office (DMO) has been voted the most impressive sovereign funding team and DMO chief Robert Stheeman as most impressive sovereign funding official, said EuroWeek. The top award comes as the DMO sold a record £227.6 billion worth of Gilts in FY 2009/10. Hopefully, Stheeman should have better luck than the recipient of last year’s award for most impressive sovereign funding official, who was Spyros Papanicolaou, who is now the ex-chief of the Greek Public Debt Management Agency.”
- Hat-tip to Jonathan Escott.
Swiss fund manager Felix Zulauf gives a pretty extraordinary interview on King World News. Not extraordinary in the sense of being wildly illogical, but extraordinary in the sense of its candour and its absolutely chilling implications.
In short, the industrialised world is drowning in debt that it ultimately cannot service. Zulauf suggests that when – not if – the next banking crisis hits, governments will be unable to step in and support them as they did in 2008, because their own finances are fatally impaired and their capacity to borrow cannot be extended indefinitely.
“We have been living in a fiction for the last 20 years or so.. we thought we could borrow ourselves into sustained prosperity.” That which cannot continue forever will not. Zulauf foresees years of deflationary crisis that will culminate in the eventual replacement of the current fiat monetary system.
This thesis is, of course, hugely positive for gold, the one currency that doesn’t come with counterparty or credit risk or concerns about oversupply, but is hugely negative for financial assets. And it also highlights just what a disaster it has been for the UK in David Laws to lose by all accounts one of the best-placed administrators to tackle the national deficit. As one trader remarked last week, before Laws’ resignation, “David Laws is not a namby-pamby politician – he is a real person.”
Having effectively outed Laws and his technical breach of Commons guidelines, The Daily Telegraph is now pursuing his replacement at the Treasury for allegedly avoiding capital gains tax on his second home. This is not a democracy, this is the Salem witch trials – what Stanley Baldwin and Rudyard Kipling referred to regretfully as power without responsibility. At a time of grave national crisis, we deserve better from our press.