By: Mike Campbell
The UK is estimated to have some 5 million small businesses many of whom will have felt the chill winds of the global recession. A major consequence of the loss of confidence, stemming from some disastrous and bizarre lending decisions from many major financial institutions that triggered the global crisis, was that many “solid” borrowers have found it very hard to secure business loans. Since this is a “bread and butter” function of these financial institutes, this has always been hard to understand. The Federation of Small Businesses (NYSE:FSB) has urged banks to return to their usual lending practices to ensure that its 215 000 members can get access to the finances which are their life-blood. FSB has called for increased competition within the sector and for it to be easier to secure funding from non-UK banks.
Those Were The Days, My Friend…
Yesterday marked the 20th Anniversary of the high point of the bull run on the Nikkei stock market. On the 29th of December 1989, the index closed at a record high of 38957 points. The current value of the index is hovering around the 10600 mark. The strength of the index was built around the property market and when the bubble finally burst, the value of the market collapsed within two years to the values that we are seeing currently. The value of the market has struggled to make half of its peak values during the bull runs in the 1990s and at the start of this decade, leaving Japan with a legacy of sluggish growth and deflationary pressure which it has found nearly impossible to shake off. At that time, the Dollar was worth 143.4 Yen (91.8); a Pound Sterling would get you 235 Yen (146.7) and the ECU (the forebear of the Euro) would buy 170 Yen (132.4) – the current values are in parentheses.
Disclosure: No Positions
By: Mike Campbell