I have enjoyed a rare Monday off work. The UK had one its dozen or so bank holidays today, and the US markets were closed for Memorial Day.
It meant an opportunity to sleep a little longer and take a long walk along the beach and reflect on life in general.
I grabbed my phone and called as many UK friends as I could get hold of. The mission was simple. What are you going to vote on the 23rd June?
My phone reveals I called 17 friends (I thank them for letting me disturb them on their Bank Holiday Monday – a very sacred day in the British calendar – a day where you can with justifiable reason get pissed on a Sunday night without remorse).
Of the 17 people I called, who predominately are financial professionals, there were not a single one of them who would vote to stay in the EU. I was quite surprised, so when I pressed for a reason, I got the same answer over and over:
- Emigration Concerns
Most of them felt there was something very disconcerting about the whole campaign. “It feels like scaremongering rather than a democratic debate”, one said.
Amen. I am not allowed to vote naturally, so I can stand aside and observe my poor friends attempting to sort shit from channel. AND there is a lot of the former.
Those two points above don’t actually have much to do with the original plan for a Common Union. The Union was intended to increase trade flow and thereby also competition and it did. The emigration concern is a another point altogether, one that reflects a growing concern of democratic impotence, as a super power beyond reach decides from afar what is right and what is wrong.
The Brits are individuals. They always have been. Someone should remind them in what dire straits they were in during the 1970’s despite their membership of the union, and how they sorted themselves out in the 1980’s under a certain Iron Lady. That had nothing to do with the EU, and everything to do with the spirit of a United Kingdom.
In the Financial Times I found a quote from Nifco’s Mr Matthews: why would Britain even contemplate leaving the EU. You have enough challenges in business as it is. Why would you put yourself in a more difficult position?
Yes, indeed. Why would you? May I offer an answer? Because life is more than just business, and the EU has moved from being just about business, to being about what you can and can’t buy, what you have to wear and what you can’t wear:
and then there was the one about the bent bananas:
I was asked what I would vote. I said I had not made up my mind. However, for those Brits who are reading this blog (the reason I write it in English is so both the super intelligent Danes with their amazing language abilities (!) and the “why would I need to learn another language – you all speak English” Brits – can read it) I would like to take this opportunity to remind you of a few things:
- You were great before the EU. You joined in 1973 with Denmark and Ireland. If you vote to stay, you may just risk that you will slowly and surely be stripped of your ability to self-regulate. Did you see this one: http://www.dailysquib.co.uk/business/19041-eu-wide-tax-id-numbers-planned-keeping-track-of-every-citizen-in-europe.html
- Do you ever wonder how Norway and Switzerland have managed to stay so wealthy? Norway is the 6th richest country in the world (oil), and Switzerland is number 10. Denmark is number 21 while Britain is number 27.Norway and the Swiss refuse to be part of the EU. They are doing fine!
Enough said. It is not that I don’t see the argument for a union. It is the argument that I am unable to decide what I do in my own house, because I have signed up for a union which is SO MUCH MORE than just a trade union. It is a union on how to live my life.
This week will be explosive. We have the end of the month coming up. We have a banking sector which is beginning to move in anticipation of a rate hiking cycle in the US. Deutsche Bank has rallied 20% in the last week!!!
We have a Non-Farm Payroll release on Friday; one of the most eagerly anticipated numbers all year, now that the rhetoric from the central bankers of the US is heating up, agitating for a rate hike.
You also have the ECB talking on Wednesday.
How do I stand? After the strong rally off the lows in the DAX index, I think we will see higher prices going into June. I think the market is ready to begin a protracted rally into September, as long as the fundamentals (Friday!) can substantiate it.