Well, I can’t help but continue with the World Cup theme from my last blog. Not to omit the ‘things were better in my day’ mantra by saying that I forgot to mention that the 1990 England song ‘World in Motion’ is by far and away the best football song (with a nod to Three Lions) ever produced.
Now that we have that important point out of the way I suppose that I should start to ponder something of a financial nature as that is the basic remit for this gig, but is it me or are the financial headlines getting more and more dull as the economy improves, the financial crisis recedes and we all get a bit bored with Europe, Club Med etc.
I have been trawling the financial pages for some topic to inspire me, but the common themes seemed to be an over-heated housing market that is going to undermine the economic recovery and cause interest rates to rise sooner and faster than forecast. However, to offset that there was a nice story about stalling house prices and a cooling market caused by a big uplift in supply from sellers enticed into listing their property in this frothy market!
Am I being unfair to the press to say that these types of extreme stories are more about headlines and sales that genuine market comment? A bit like headlines on the UK’s other obsession along with house prices, the weather. One day it is going to be a BBQ summer, drought etc, the next week it is going to be a washout, flash floods and torrential rain.
The weather will always be with us and will always be a topic of conversation for any self-respecting Brit, but seeing the financial stories slip out of the national psyche would seem to indicate that things really are getting back to normal. That the credit crunch, global financial crisis etc is in our rear view mirrors and really important matters, such as Wayne Rooney’s best position, can take their rightful place.
The only exception to this I guess is: that when interest rates do finally start to rise that it will cause plenty of debate, headlines and angst. It is a strange time at the moment – almost a phoney war – with interest rates. Everyone knows that rates will rise, most people are coming to the view that it will be sooner rather than later (and Sterling just hit a 5-year against the Dollar on the back of this expectation) and yet, and yet…..I get the impression that most people aren’t really convinced. It’s like global warming, yes, it’s probably happening, but does it directly affect me and am I going to give up my car? Or weekly recommended maximum alcohol intake…..yes, on some level I realise that it probably isn’t good for me, but yes I will have one more for the road.
There isn’t really a neat conclusion for all this, but what is your bet for when that first interest rate rise will happen?