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City spivs and bubbles #finance

At one time spivs in their sharp suits tried to sell you a watch or a pair of nylon stockings. Now they wear Rolex watches, flash iPhones and try to sell you Bitcoin or Ethereum. These alien currencies are mined, using lots of energy and extremely expensive computers, they are nothing but a con which will be exposed and crash, somewhat like the collapse of Lehman Brothers. At least Carillion was building roads and hospitals despite the fact they were paying themselves with cash that was borrowed. Carillion didn’t just borrow to build, they tried like many other companies to roll over their debt and borrow more to pay the existing debt. Many companies with high debt have been praying for inflation which would inflate away their debt but high inflation never seems to come. Inflation isn’t just rising prices, it is rising prices chasing rising wages. While fat-cat salaries have been rising, the wages of the ordinary worker, the hospital porter and the nurse, have been falling in real terms.

spivs and fat cats

Fat cats and spivs

The fat cats and spivs have few morals and as long as they get their money they care little about the small investor or workers trying to provide for their families. We are going through a desperate time when people are borrowing despite low inflation. The average man in the street is in debt and is hoping inflation will inflate away that credit card balance. Interest rates might be at an all-time low but the interest rate on your credit card is likely to be 15% plus. Not everyone pays such high rates, though. There is a Barclaycard with an interest rate of 6.9% which they will give you if you have just won the jackpot in the lottery. If you’re young and wanting your first credit card, then the rate will be 34.9% or even more. This, they say, will help you build your credit score.

In the jungle

We live in a concrete jungle filled with chancers, spivs and fat cats. How can we survive? First, recognise your needs. You need somewhere to live, food to eat, clothes to wear, energy to keep warm and you need to pay your taxes to stay out of prison. You don’t need many of the luxuries that you enjoy. We are social animals and so we do need to socialize but it doesn’t need to be at a golf club frequented by millionaires. We do need communication these days but it doesn’t need to be the latest iPhone. In fact, the LG G5 is a better phone! Do we need designer clothes? Do we need the latest car design?

Image

If you spend a lot of money projecting an image then ask if you need to do that. Is it important that all your friends know you support a particular soccer team? It can be important to let people know you have certain interests but you don’t need to spend a fortune projecting an image.

Looking forward

Looking forward, I see price inflation rising and I think government policy will hold down benefits and wages, especially for the public sector. People will be worse off and we will see more homelessness, suicides and mental illness. I have no debts but my investment returns aren’t certain in such a depressed economy. Will upmarket companies be the ones to invest in as only the fat cats and spivs do well? I think in the prevailing culture, no company is certain to be a good investment, so we have to prepare for a tough time, made tougher by Brexit. The signs are already there with stock markets around the world getting decimated this week.

Diversity

My investments are reasonably well diversified. I wish they were more diversified but as some go down others tend to go up.  Immupharma now seems to have a very volatile share price. It seems they were shorted when the price went high, effectively reducing confidence in the company in the market. I think we could see the share price soar again and the same thing applies to Solo Oil and Verona Pharma. I just have to wait for good news. Premier Foods seems to be recovering and it is still a large company. We have seen their share price quadruple in a short space of time before now. So I think I need some luck and I have a few investments that could soar at any time and some like the AA and Debenhams that are recovering.

If you like my finance ideas you can subscribe by entering your email address at the top of the sidebar or in the comments section. In the meantime, watch out for the spivs trying to sell you junk!

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